29 8 / 2014


Animation Magazine:

“The Governors Awards allow us to reflect upon not the year in film, but the achievements of a lifetime,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “We’re absolutely thrilled to honor these outstanding members of our global filmmaking community and look forward to celebrating with them in November.”

Miyazaki is an artist, writer, director, producer and three-time Oscar nominee in the Animated Feature Film category, winning in 2002 for Spirited Away. His other nominations were for Howl’s Moving Castle in 2005 and The Wind Rises last year. Miyazaki gained an enormous following in his native Japan for such features as Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Laputa: Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service before breaking out internationally in the late 1990s with Princess Mononoke. He is the co-founder of Studio Ghibli, a renowned animation studio based in Tokyo.

28 8 / 2014



If you’re a professional animator, I would like to interview you.  As an animator waiting for her first big break, I think it would be inspiring and wonderful to hear about other animators’ personal journeys.  I think it would help inspire and motivate an entire community of animation students and freelancers.  

I would like to do at least one a week.  Would anyone like to volunteer to be interviewed?

28 8 / 2014



Hullabaloo is a 2D (hand-drawn) animated steampunk film that hopes to help preserve the dying art of 2D animation; and by supporting this project, you get to help save 2D animation from an untimely demise. We want you to join us in making a short film that will showcase the world of Hullabaloo, which we can show to investors to fund a full length 2D feature. 2D animation is a beautiful but dying art form that the animation studios have all but abandoned. But if we can fund this film with your help, we will be able to show investors that people really do want to see a feature length animated steampunk film, allowing us to get the tremendous amount of funding needed to complete Hullabaloo as the full-length feature we believe you want to see.

In addition to helping save 2D animation, Hullabaloo aims to encourage girls to explore science and adventure. The film’s two protagonists are both young women and both scientists who use their intellect, wits, and courage to fight greed and corruption. We hope that Veronica Daring and her friend Jules will serve as positive role models for girls of all ages and encourage them to get excited about science, engineering, and sci-fi.

To learn more about what steampunk is, go here: Steampunk 101 

By helping us fund Hullabaloo, you get to help save 2D animation, you get to support a pro-girl and pro-science story, and you also get a boatload of cool stuff!

25 8 / 2014

Anonymous said: Could you explain the difference between bump maps, normal maps, spec maps, and ao maps?



First, a little background reading. You might want to familiarize yourself with my previous post on how this sort of thing works in a general sense:

Ok, you’ve read that? Good. Let’s talk about the specifics of what the rest of these do:

Bump Map vs Normal Map

Bump Maps and Normal Maps are actually very similar - in fact, a bump map is a type of normal map. They both store height information about the surface they’re mapping, but the data they store is different. Bump maps store this data in terms of height directly - relative distance from the base of the polygon it’s on. Normal maps store the normals of the surfaces - the direction that the surface is facing. This can be used to calculate other things in addition to the sort of lighting involved, because the normal of the polygon being mapped might actually be facing in a different direction than the normal of the fake surface that the normal map is trying to simulate.


If you look closely, you can see how the shapes on the right look a little different from an angular sense, especially on the bottom two. That’s the directional data stored in the normal map coming into play.

Bump maps and Normal maps differ in that Normal maps require a lot more calculation. Bump maps can be created by hand, but you need some sort of tool to generate your normal maps for you, or else you run the risk of them not functioning properly. 

Specular Maps

Specular Maps are used to calculate something else entirely. Rather than trying to simulate height, what a specular map does is simulate reflectivity. Imagine a chunk of coal. It is dull, it is pithy, it is dirty, and it doesn’t reflect light very well. Now compare that to something made of chrome. You can see your face in it. The “texture” (as in the way it looks, rather than the image painted onto the surface) of these two materials can be simulated with a specular map applied to your polygon. Here’s an example of the same model with changes just to the specular map:


See how it looks so different in each image? Now imagine being able to use this to add other texture or detail. You could, for example, create a visual of a frosted glass with a detailed logo on it just by messing with the spec map.

Ambient Occlusion Maps

The final type of map you asked about is the Ambient Occlusion (or AO) map. Ambient Occlusion calculates how easily ambient light will reach that particular part. The inside of an opaque plastic tube, for example, will tend to be more dull and less bright than the inside of a frosted glass tube of the same dimensions, which will be different than a clear glass tube. This will tend to make things with crevices and cracks stand out more when doing lighting calculations, much moreso than a simple normal or bump map. Here’s an example of an AO map at work:


There’s an overall increased amount of darkness with the ambient occlusion on, but you can see it specifically concentrated around where the crevices and deep wrinkles are on this model’s face. Those areas are harder for ambient light to get into, since the general topography of the face is less conducive to letting light get in. Hence, we get ambient occlusion.

As you can see, there are a lot of really interesting tricks that programmers have invented in order to get more and more things that artists can tweak in order to create the specific visuals they are looking for. These sorts of techniques aren’t only necessarily useful for hyper-realistic looks either - imagine a game with sort of the stylized visuals or post-production of films like 300 or Sin City, except done on the fly. It does come with the drawback that adding all of these things also increases the amount of work that needs to be done for each thing (the ability to use an AO map means that now you need someone to create AO maps for everything), but it does empower artists to create objects of steadily increasing graphical fidelity.

Further Reading:

23 8 / 2014


Watch out studios, here we come - Stephen Silver

20 8 / 2014


Don’t miss Book 3’s incredible conclusion this Friday at 12pm EST on nick.com!
Brace yourselves!!!!


Don’t miss Book 3’s incredible conclusion this Friday at 12pm EST on nick.com!

Brace yourselves!!!!

(via michaeldantedimartino)

19 8 / 2014



When Showtime invited Dan Cassaro to join a design “contest” he felt amounted to milking professionals for free work, he let the network—and the world—know how he felt about it.

The offer, made to a number of designers, involved promoting the Floyd Mayweather-Marcos Maidana boxing match on Sept. 13. Those who submitted designs for Showtime’s use “could be eligible for a chance to win a trip to Las Vegas and have your artwork displayed in the MGM Grand during fight week!,” the network told Cassaro in an email.

After sending an email response slathered in sarcasm (“I know that boxing matches in Las Vegas are extremely low-budget affairs”), Cassaro then posted the exchange to Twitter.

18 8 / 2014


If you cant attend life drawing sessions. This is the best thing for you

Let me show you something I recently found : Croquis Cafe!

You get to see models of different colors and shapes in a life drawing setting. They move and breath while posing (breathing like in real life :O) ambient music is playing in the background and you have 1, 2  and 5 minute sessions. I find it very helpful , you should try it.






(via coelasquid)

05 8 / 2014


Walt Disney Animation Studios

2014 Talent Development Artist - Visual Development Apprentice

The ApprenticeProgram: 

Join us for an opportunity to experience the art of animation and be a part of Walt Disney Animation Studios. The Talent Development Apprentice Program is an immersive experience  available for recent college graduates within three years of graduation for a 3, 6, or 12 month paid position. Under the guidance of a Disney Mentor, the Talent Development Apprentice Program offers a unique opportunity to hone and understand skills, refine and strengthen key disciplines, and engage in a real-time production environment.

(read more)

(via screaming-fan-girl)

23 7 / 2014

(Source: bryankonietzko)