Friday, April 15, 2016

Funny Reference

As I said I would post my reference for the anim jam. It's pretty ridiculous.
Also here is it with sound: colter_anim_jam

I'll post my slip animation soon for one last critique.

Thanks again everyone it was fun having class with you all. 

Special thanks to Victor! Thanks for helping me out in this class. I really appropriate it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Anim Jam Reminder: "An Unexpected Guest"

Hope you all can find some time to bang out 100 frames on this theme for next Wednesday, our last class.  I'm working on mine right now!

Notes addressed.

Hi Victor,

I got around to do your notes, I still have to do another pass on the lids and I'm not completely convinced on what is going on with the hands.

Is the ending part working better now with the beats?
Should I put a little bit of overlap in the hair?
I'm looking for more polishing notes if you have time.

Thank you

Monday, April 4, 2016

Shot Updates

so far focused on the back end of the shot and any quick notes. still addressing some bigger notes such as reach in and touch of turkey and head accents. after watching a few times seems many of the actions need more easing but hopefully the timing has stayed true? any feedback appreciated. thanks!

Notes Addresed

Hi Victor,

I got around to to all your notes from last class.

I did the transitions and tight up the timing a little bit.

Please let me know what you think.



Sunday, April 3, 2016

Polishing Update


I've been addressing the notes on my lip sync, which I thiiiiink I've gotten in there.  I've also started on the eyelid shaping.

As I'm polishing, I'd really appreciate your guidance overall on anything in the shot that's really glaring at the moment.  Frames 83-100ish are also giving me some trouble, in the eyes.  I'm going for a slow look up, but right now you can see the irises widening too much.  O_o

**Oh, and I just realized the cup isn't lined up with his lip in the beginning, along with a hitch in the arc as the elbow extends from his mouth, which I'll be fixing!

Thank you in advance!



I think I've addressed all notes (except for the eye lids being a little footbally toward the end, ran out of time) and the arms are still popping.  Other than that, I would love to get feedback to see if everything is working.  I'm down for nit picky things that will plus it.

Thank you in advance! Ellen

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Anim Jam topics

Hi Class,
I've been building a list of topics for the week 11 "anim jam", which is coming up next class.  Here are a few that we will choose from randomly, but let me know if you have any topics you think would be good to throw in the mix!  Remember, the idea is for a 100-frame clip, interpreting the topic however you choose.  Blocking is fine.  Here's what I've got so far:

Make a wish
Bad hair day
Circle of life
Last night I dreamed...
Special delivery
Blind date
The latest tech trend
An unexpected guest 
Nicholas Cage
Unnecessary sequel
Alien encounter

Looking forward to your ideas!

Cody, revised blocking ideas

Hey Victor!

I've been trying a bunch of different gestures for my shot, trying to find the right combination. I uploaded a version I like to Syncsketch (without the ending of the shot). My main worry is that it feels too busy, and/or the gesture during "nobody asked me" isn't reading like I'd like it to. What do you think? Do you have any ideas?

Thank you very much!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Mark Oftedal short

Thanks to Joe for finding this.  Here is a link to the film, "4pm", which features some nice hand acting.  Sorry I couldn't figure out how to embed it:

Notes from Eyes lecture

Get it:

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Slip update

Hey Victor,

I hit most of the notes still fleshing some stuff out. I wanted to post my WIP.


Let me know what you think.



Monday, March 21, 2016

Gesture Update


Sorry for the late post.  I'm working on the arc of the ending gesture, and am wondering if this is heading in the right direction of what we discussed in class.  I'd like to have him start to reach up to take a sip, but I worry about adding too many more frames.  Also wondering if the hold needs to be a little longer before his hand drifts down...trying to work with the frames I have.

Note - I have not worked on anything but the SL arm in this shot.

Thank you!

Sunday, March 20, 2016


Hello all,

So I've been working on the notes from class.  One of the major ones being breaking up the body on the "DJ" part (easing in and out).  I feel like I've been fussing with it and dont know if I'm doing more harm than good.  So an eye on that would be super helpful, as I'm getting frustrated.

I've also added in the dialogue and started on a quick pass at the brows.

Would love any and all feedback! Thanks in advance! Ellen

Cody - New Blocking

Hey Victor!

I've reworked my blocking again, trying to make the woman in front more concerned with St. Peter, and making the last line the biggest contrast between attitudes.

What do you think? Still inching along, or getting closer?

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Timing changes to shot 5 only

Hi Victor, I made the timing changes to shot 5 (sped up the 2 looks and the hand on the shoulder) and wanted to see if it's close.  I think it's reading better but I'm not sure if it's there yet.  Thanks and have a great weekend.


Friday, March 18, 2016

A primer on editing techniques

Thought you guys might find this interesting:

Sunday, March 13, 2016

block to spline: always a good time...

Hey all! I hope everyone is doing well!

Here's where I'm at with splining.  I want to make sure it's translating well from block.  That it feels the same, and has the same punch.  Aside from the terrible constraint popping on the forward arm, how's it looking?

Sync Sketch Link

Thank you in advance! Ellen

Shot Progress

Hi everyone,

Hope those of you who went to BACC yesterday had fun!

I've been working on that same hand gesture at the end of my shot quite a bit, so I'm hoping this is looking a lot more natural.

I just took the rest of it to spline, aside from the eyes (blinks and such), so I'm currently working on cleaning that up.

Thank you in advance,


p.s. I'm still looking for a less loud background.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Hand size

Hi Victor, I was able to unlock some channels and scale up the finger and palm size on the bodyguard and Lieutenant.  Here's a link with a before and after, will def. need some re-posing but I'm wondering if it's getting in the ballpark or if it's too subtle?

I didn't have much luck with the lattice but if anyone has a good solution/workflow I'm open to any and all suggestions.  Thanks so much and have a great weekend everybody...



Hey Victor,

Sorry I missed your class yesterday. I've been really sick all week. I just wanted post my WIP. It's still pretty rough.




Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Lecture notes

Hi Class,
In the feedback surveys I heard mention that some of you would like to have copies of the notes from my lectures, so I've made some rough exports of the text from my Keynote files so far.  I've removed most of the images and examples, so it's mostly bullet-points, but hopefully it helps.  You can download them here.  Let me know if the link doesn't work!


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Shot Update


I've been working on the notes from class, mainly the end gesture where he says, "Legally, I'm disowning you."  We had discussed that the move was just a gesture and not necessarily a point at his son offscreen, and that he should lead with his head.

I can't tell if it's looking better than what I had at this point, because I've been staring at it for so long.  I did put it into spline so I could get into offsetting of the arm/hand more easily, so it's definitely looking a little even and floaty at the moment.

I'd appreciate your thoughts to see if I'm still going in the right direction.

Oh, and FYI, I haven't done anything about the notes on his mouth just yet.

Thank you in advance!


Blocking plus

Hi all!

This round is of making the changes per class on Wed. and adding more breakdowns/information.  I have yet to find a paper rig that I like, and the one I'm trying to make is in the works.  I would def like to add the note of rolling up the paper.  Also, the eye lids are getting out of sync with what I'm doing, so I will be making a pass at that, but anything glaring will help. Other than that, any general or nit-picky notes will be great as I move into spline.

Sync Sketch Link

Thanks! Ellen

Friday, March 4, 2016

Cody - Ideas for Dialogues

Hey Victor! I've been going through the dialogues I brought to class and thinking of ideas that might go well.

My favorite so far is using the clip with two old women:

My idea is that the two women have just died and are at the pearly gates, recounting how they've spent their lives. The woman in back says a little too much information, they argue, etc. I think it could be fun to add the stress of constantly being watched by St. Peter behind the podium and trying to be on their best behavior.

(Still not sure how I'd like to compose the shot. If you have any suggestions, that would be great)

Just in case, my backup idea is using the awesome Christopher Plummer dialogue:

The shot would be of Santa talking to an elf in a breakroom at the north pole, telling him a story of a terrible christmas party he was forced into going to:

What do you think?

Paper rig

Hey all!

Per class crit on Wednesday, I have been attempting to find a paper rig that does what I want it to do.  Before I try my hand at rigging one, I was wondering if any of you have a or know of a paper rig that rolls up.  Any thoughts or suggestions on the matter would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks! Ellen

Mid-term class surveys

Hi Class,
By now you should have received a survey from AnimC asking about how you're liking the class so far.  If you haven't already, please fill these out and return them as soon as you can.  I find the feedback very useful for improving and adjusting the class, and the feedback is given to me anonymously, so you can be completely honest.  Thanks, and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


Hello Class,

I'm sorry I couldn't be there today, i'm sure all your shot are coming great :)

I took your notes and re-block again, please let me know what you guys think, I think is getting better.

Here is the link:

Have a great week, I'll see you next time.


Monday, February 29, 2016

Rough Blockings

Hi Victor,

Here is my very rough blocking of him starting brushing his teeth.

I tried 2 versions because as I was doing the second version I though about him being much more contained brushing his teeth to be more coherent with his current mood. So the second version has no ending, but it will be the same last beat as the others.

This is the first version I showed you last class:

This is the second version where he starts brushing his teeth and I realized he was doing too much with his mouth. (No ending)

This is the third more contained version of him brushing his teeth.

Please let me know if any of this work, if not to start blocking out the one where he grabs the green toothbrush and then realizes the pink one is there.

Also for the ending I cant decide if he grabs the toothbrush with his hand or not? What would you think it would be best?

Thank you


Sunday, February 28, 2016

Blocking Adjustments

Hi Everyone,

Made the major changes from the notes. Moved most of the screen right animation to the screen left arm and adjusted the body, face etc to follow.....Also added in the two suggested glances off screen left. The changes make the shot different but I think its done its job simplifying the shifting arm moves. Hopefully its still working with the same tone as before the changes. Any notes welcome. Thanks!


Blocking Plus


I've been working on some of the suggestions from last class, and am moving further into the Blocking Plus stage.  I've mostly worked on the first half when he takes a drink.  I'm playing around with how to make the swallow interesting, so hopefully that's looking a little more fleshed out.

Thank you for any feedback!

Good luck on your applications! :D


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Last class?

Hi everyone, quick question... what is the date of the last class?  Thanks and have a great weekend.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Layout/Rough Blocking


Here is my new dialogue shot in its infancy stages!  I decided to go with just the 1 character instead of having the 2nd one in there as an over the shoulder.

I hope things are reading clearly.  Again, this is almost at a layout stage, with a little bit of detail.  I plan to get into the poses even more and really flesh them out.

I've also included my reference that I'm using for inspiration.

Thanks in advance!




New Shot, VERY rough blocking

Hey all! I hope everyone had a good weekend!

So it took some time for me to figure out the character. I went back and forth about how I wanted to play it.  Alot of the prep work I did doesnt really apply anymore :)

So here is a VERY rough blocking on how I want this to go.  (I do want to add a little shaky cam, but if it wont work or is too cliche, Im fine with leaving it out.)

Thank you in advance! Ellen


Saturday, February 20, 2016

Polishing Notes

Hi Victor

I hope you all are having a great weekend.

I addressed most of the notes of my head turn, I still have to  work on the settle at the end.
Do you guys have any suggestion to make Malcom looks like he is breathing?

Thank you and I'll continue to work on this plus the notes you give me.



Cody - IP/Polish

Hey Victor!

I've been working a lot on my shot. I was able to take out the frames in the middle of the lift and combine the two motions into one. Right now, I'm working on her reaction and was trying to get a nice arc on her nose when she gets pulled in, but it seems like her head is being whipped too fast now. What do you think? Do you see anything that stands out?

Thank you!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Ideas and Revisions

Hi everyone,

My mother's better!  Yay!  (My motherboard/computer).  :P

Below are 2 audio clips that I like for the next assignment along with a pantomime idea, and a revision to my Emotion Change shot from last week.

1) Audio - "We've Had A Good Run" - Closeup Dialogue, Choice 3c

I'd like to animate the guy speaking to his son, who is off screen, perhaps at a restaurant.  There is an obvious clink in a glass, so I imagine he'd be holding a drink as a prop.

2) Audio - "I'm Un-adopting You" - 2-Person Dialogue, Choice 3d

This clip is from the same conversation as my first audio, but I thought either could be fun.  I picture a similar scenario as the other, but it could be fun to animate this as a 2-Person scene.

 3) Pantomime - Personal Routine, Choice 3e

Since Victor said no one hardly does this option, I thought it could be fun, but what do I do that would be interesting?  I have lots of cats, and almost every night when getting into bed, one of them is smack dab in the middle, leaving me no room.  I'm sure people with pets know exactly what I'm referring to...

I don't necessarily want to kick my cat off, so I get in bed and under the covers very strategically so as not to totally disturb her.  I thought this would be an interesting challenge of body mechanics with some entertainment that people with pets can relate to.

4) Emotion Change Revision

I hope this is looking better!  The character now inches back a little, nervously, as suggested in class, and I've gotten a bit more into the polishing stage.

Thanks in advance for any notes or comments.


New Assignment: Acting choices ideas

Hey all! I hope you all had a great 3 day weekend!

So here are a couple acting ideas I would love some feedback on.

3c: Closeup Dialog

dialogue #1

A guy in community college about to graduate his 2yrs thinks hopefully/wistfully about becoming a DJ.  When looking at his friends and their reaction (going internally), he throws out being a lumberjack, dejected.

It would be a subtle emotion change, but I like the idea of him going internally and seeing how he comes to the idea that his idea is "stupid"

3g: Listening

dialogue #2

The one listening is the speakers wife.  Annoyed at first (she's heard this all before),  agreement (yes, always the same thing. yes, you are annoying),  aghast (he's about to pick apart her annoyances?!), agreement, (yep, so what).

I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments.  If you think that the audios would be better suited for one of the other choices, please let me know.  Anything you can suggest to enhance each of these would be appreciated as well!

Thanks in advance! Ellen

Sunday, February 7, 2016


Hi Class

Here is the blocking for my head turn, any feedback is appreciated. Hope you guys have a great start of the week.



Emotion Change

Heeeeey all!

So this week is the emotion change.

Per Jamie's previous post about Malcolm's eyebrows,  I have, at various stages reblocked this shot 5 times because I didn't know what the problem was having had no problems with him before.  With that being said, I've got this to a good state in blocking.

I hope the emotions are reading.  Thank you in advance!

Sync Sketch Link

Emotion Change - 1st Spline Pass


Here is my 1st pass in spline.  Malcolm in Maya 2010 was behaving, so yay!

The idea is that my character is being caught in a lie, and he's trying to play it cool, which I hope is reading!

Thank you in advance for your feedback!


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Issue with Malcolm's eyebrows


Has anyone ever had Malcolm's eyebrow controls stop working mid-shot?  Luckily I'm not far into the shot, but I don't want to continue with him if I can't figure it out.  One second they're working fine, and then the next they won't move at all, as if they're no longer rigged.

I'd love your input.


Friday, February 5, 2016

Cody - Polish + New Idea

Hey Victor!

I did some polish on the little cowboy shot and addressed the notes you gave me. Here's the syncsketch link:

I'm also trying to figure out what to do for my physical shot. I looked back at the old one I started with you last class, and I think I like it, but I also found a really nice piece of dialogue that I think could be really fun to animate a physical character to.

Old shot IP:

New Dialogue:

Whatever we decide, I'll be able to make a lot of progress this weekend. Thanks for the help!

- Cody

Monday, February 1, 2016


Hey everyone!

My name is Cody, I'm an animator here in San Francisco, and I studied animation at Academy of Art. Please excuse me for missing the first class! I've been working hard on some shots over the holidays, and I'm excited to get some notes and meet you all this week. See you soon!


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Head Turn - 1st pass at spline

Hello all!

I'm excited for this new term and getting to know all of you!

I've started the head turn and worked it up to the first pass of splining.  I would just like to know if the poses are working and the timing is there.

And of course, does he have character.

Thank you in advance!

dropbox link

Head Turn: 1st Spline Pass

Hi there,

Well, here is my first spline pass.  It's very....spliney.  My intention is that a girl gets nervous as a cute guy sits next to her, so I'm hoping that reads.

Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Welcome to Winter 2016 session at Anim C!

Hi Class, I'm looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow night. Don't forget to have your demo reels ready if you're new to my class!

This is a private blog on which you can share your work with me and your classmates in between classes.  I encourage you to leave feedback for each other.  I will add comments as my schedule allows. 

Here is a compilation of my very first animation exercises at Pixar, back when I started in 2000.  I have some notes, do you?