Sunday, September 26, 2010

Les Metiers

Very charming! I love the simple (but robust) character designs. Animation style isn't overly fluffy, but it doesn't need to be. Nicely done.

LES METIERS : LE BOULANGER from lam le thanh on Vimeo.

Found via

Saturday, September 18, 2010


I liked this little short by Arjen Klaverstijn. Nice style, simple idea, clear characters. Pretty solid for student work.

'Manfred' an animated short by Arjen Klaverstijn from Arjen Klaverstijn on Vimeo.

found via

Friday, September 10, 2010

Portal 2 - Co-op Trailer

Valve finally got around to releasing our latest Portal 2 trailer on their YouTube channel. I've been neck deep in this project since last Christmas. This trailer features some really sterling work by some amazingly talented folks. The bots were designed, modeled & textured by Tristan Reidford, rigged (mostly) by yours truly, animated by Andrew Burke, Noel McGinn, Matthew Russel, Mike Belzer and (again) yours truly. Andrew also acted as a kind of director/editor for the trailer- well, as much as anybody I suppose. Things like this are very much a collaborative creative effort at Valve. Mike Morasky composed the music, Gautam Babbar did a bunch of environment development as well as the killer final test-chamber in the trailer. Others contributed as well- too many to list here- since the trailer leverages a ton of in-game assets. The entire thing was rendered in our Source game engine using our Source Film Maker tool, previously used on the Meet the Team shorts for TF2 and the Left4Dead trailers. Not too shabby for a game engine render, huh? The trailer was shown at our theater style booth during the recent Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) game convention here in Seattle.

The game is an absolute blast to play (both single player and co-op), and so far it's been a ton of fun working on it. It's scheduled for release on Feb 9th 2011. The trailer is linked here, but go check it out in full HD glory on YouTube.

Monday, September 06, 2010

abAutorig part I Pyro tutorial :Animation with a moustache

Former APT student Olivier Ladeuix has put together a nice collection of rigging video tutorials based on the abAutorigger from Supercrumbly. It's a pretty good system for those who want to rig up their own characters, but may not be riggers at heart. Olivier does a nice job of thoroughly stepping through the process. Super extra bonus points because he uses my favorite TF2 character, too! (which is another reason I dig Valve- we release our rigs and assets to the world to play with. Not many [any?!] film studios are willing to do that.)

Here's his first part (there are 4 parts to the entire series).

Be sure to check it out.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Values in a Drawing- Mark Kennedy

Another great post from Mark Kennedy's Temple of Seven Golden Camels blog- this one on how to use values in your drawings to heighten and carry a scene. This has come at a very handy time for me as I'm curently boarding out a short film idea. My drawings are crappy enough as it is, so any trick or technique that can help me convey an idea is like gold from a camel to me. Check it out and learn.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

On making a short film...

On the surface, this blog post from Software by Rob on surviving the 'danger points' in running a startup business have absolutely nothing to do with making a personal short film. But if you replace a few key words ("startup" for "film" for example) I think there's a lot of solid advice involved. I say this because from my experience I've found that making a short film is in many respects very much like starting up a new company. Some good excerpts. First, on choosing an idea...

But if you tend to over-think your decisions, then choosing a product idea is going to take months…nay, years. That’s right – odds are high that by the time you figure out what you want to build you could have built and launched multiple products in the same time frame.

I'm definitely guilty of this. The goal is to get something done. I often get bogged down doubting if what I want to do is even worth doing. Classic over-thinking.
And on budgeting your workload...

The first way to combat this [problem] is to have a detailed feature list and an estimate for every task on that list. This list should include marketing tasks and anything else you need to get through your launch date. This list will be large; likely 80-120 lines long. With an estimate for each item you should be looking at 400-600 hourstotal. For everything. If you’re over 600 hours you need to cut something.

Anyhow, check it out. Might be handy.


This was should have been nominated for an Oscar a little while back. And for good reason. It's really just brilliant.
(ht: Bob in the comments on straightening me out on the nom mistake)

Wednesday, September 01, 2010