Friday, September 26, 2008

perspective lesson

From last week's Layout class....
demo drawing done to show the use of appropriate perspective grid, tpo get a certain kind of shot -wide angle, standard, telephoto.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Ok, so how bout some art awreddy!

Have started in again this fall teaching at Sheridan, doing the layout and design course.
I like to kick off each class with an exercise: I give em a broad concept and they get five minutes to do a sketch that gets the gist of it. Then I critique a few. They seem to like the on the spot drawing and feedback.
Here's a couple based on the idea: "Fortress".

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Raiders Redux

I knew I had these somewhere.
Stills from three scenes that I did the animation for of the so-called "Wrath of God".
Oops, the first one is lightning bolts and flare.
The artwork was pretty basic, but like alot of roto efx of the time -black paper, acetate, greasepencil, and some fancy exposure work and filters. Shot onto a piece of film, now i don't remember what stock we used, and then the geniuses in the optical dept. comp it together with the rest of the elements for the scene. We shot on 35mm Vistavision, that's sideways thru the camera, then the element is rotated and shrunk to fit the plate photography ( all covered in detail in some book on ILM, I'm sure.Ie- Cinefex).
The other folks in the dept. at the time were John Van Vliet, Kim Knowlton, Gary Waller, Loring Doyle, and Sam Comstock.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What I Also Did On My Summer Vacation



The other movie experience this summer was, of course, the new, now old (boy, they get forgotten in a hurry these days,don't they?) Indiana Jones film. Covered in detail by many others already. I pretty much concur. Some things worked, but many didn't, and if we can see it, why can't they?( that would be G.&S.) The whole thing left me curiously unmoved. Now why is that? Too much anticipation? Spoiled by the reams of eyepopping visuals of the last twenty years? Just a little bit different weltschau from one's own life experience in that time? In my case, it was definitely influenced by the experience of having worked on the First One. Whenever that comes up, " You worked on Raiders?", it's great to get the gaze, but weird because ..that was so long ago, yet in some ways just yesterday. One feels all old and young at the same time.
So there I am in my first job out of School, in the layout dept. of Nelvana in Toronto in the fall of 1980, on the infamous first-canadian-produced-animated-feature Rock 'n' Rule, along with Ray Jafelice, Dave Ross, Mike Merrill, Franc Reyes, Paul Rivoche, Jim Craig, Bill Marshall, not to mention Charlie Bonafacio, Chuck Gammage,Tom Sito, Dave Brewster, Roger Allers.... and who many... i'll come back and edit you in later when i on the wall rings (just the one for the dept.); Scott, it's for you, hello, it's Jim Macauley here. from the College, ILM is looking to hire and would you be interested. Would I? Well, here's the number, I call later, turns out Dick Friesen, Technical Animation teacher has returned to Calif., is now super for animation effects at ILM. Would like to fly me down for interview. It's a Thursday, on Saturday I am winging down to the Bay Area. All is amazing. Now remember, I am still very wet behind the ears, certainly as far as effects go. There's always been an undercurrent of interest in effects - watched all the Harryhausen films on TV, loved Star Wars as much as the next guy, but I 'm not a fan, per se. Read alot Cinefantastique in the College library. But I don't really know how it's done. Long story short, i am offered the job and thus starts an adventure that still has repercussions today. Not the least of which is disturbing thoughts on seeing Crystal Skull. So great seeing the whole damn Thing again, but then...Why doesn't it hang together? How do the guys who made it feel about it as they did so? We all want to work on something great, but you can't call it. Life is odd. Movies are odder.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Another thing was seeing Wall-E (how DO you spell that?) after having worked on the film way back in 2004, when I did vis dev for a few months.
Not enough to get a credit on it, apparently.
Here's a couple of very first passes on the Axiom...the brief from Ralph Eggleston over the phone was - spaceship, huge, has some kind of space salvage, a city on top with "castle" above that, a docking area for satellite ships, make it cartoony! No Star Wars! But think John Berkey!
So I did these and that was that. The story obviously evolved and so did the Axiom. The cruise ship idea came later.