If you don’t know what “Crazy Gumby Gold” is, it means a whole lot of goodness. In this case, it’s links that I’ve been stockpiling over the last few months. In the absence of a new podcast, at least for a few weeks, I want to give you something for visiting here.
I generally just save bookmarks, so I’m not exactly sure of the sources for all these links. I also don’t claim that any of these are original – or new – they’re simply the things I’ve saved over time as possibly interesting to you. Many of them are from Cartoon Brew, Animated-News, Boing Boing, or Digg. Before we begin, I’m going to take a moment to mention ads on websites. I don’t have any because I just don’t like the clutter, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate what they mean. When I visit a site that provides a service, in this case some animation related linkage, and I see that they have ads, I always like to click a few while I’m there. It’s a simple, anonymous way of saying, “Thank you,” because the person who puts the time and money in to running that site gets a little money from whoever runs those ads. You’re not making any commitment, you’re just clicking and maybe even finding something worthwhile. (I once spent a long time reading about the Full Sail media schools because I clicked an ad.) You can always close the window or hit the back button. I’m not sure how kosher it is to recommend doing this, but I’m sure those sites will appreciate the support. As a matter of fact, I’d say do it for any site that you value. It’s like a tip jar that doesn’t cost you a thing. All right, putting the soap box away … on with the Gumby Gold!
EDIT 8-7-07: Who knows if anyone will notice, but I’m reconsidering my stance on no ads. I’ve decided to put them on the site for a few reasons. First, they don’t generate much money at all, but it is enough to offset my costs to host the site and podcast files. Second, I’m getting used to seeing ads on sites and they don’t seem like such the eyesore they once were. Finally, it keeps me honest and hardworking because I figure that if I have a site where I subject people to ads, I better give them something in return. It’s my way of starting to think of this as a business I run and in doing so, I’m already becoming more aware of how long I take between shows. Thanks for your support!
Evan Spiridellis, co-creator of Jib-Jab talks about producing independent animation at the Ottowa International Animation Festival. He knows of what he speaks. His work has been viewed in the millions.
Here’s one: The Clay Nation Animation Podcast. With a name like that, I HAD to check it out! I’m glad I did because there are come very entertaining “plasticine claymation animations by Max.” Max’s identity is a mystery but he deserves some recognition for his fine work. The podcast currently has one show listed, but there are more clips on the site’s main page.
Sketchcrawl founder and Pixar story artist Enrico Casarosa was interviewed by IllustrationMundo. Listen to the audio here.
Speaking of Enrico, he and Ronnie del Carmen and Tadahiro Eusugi will be mounting another show at the Nucleus Gallery in Alhambra, CA this Saturday, November 4th. I was at the show last year and it was all I could do to scratch and bite my way to buying two pieces before they were all snatched up. I expect this year will be more intense. Bonus info: Tadahiro Uesugi will teach a 3 hour workshop the next day for $25. Seating is limited, details on the Nucleus site. Damn, I want to go!
Looking for Anime (or gasp! even hentai) discussion? Lend your ears to the Anime World Order Podcast. These guys self-proclaim that they are “self-proclaimed experts in the world of anime and manga!”
UC Berkely generously offers up podcasts of many of their courses in iTunes. See them all here. Although any of the courses would aid in making a well-rounded animator, a few that may be of special interest to the animation crowd are Human Emotion (Psych 158), General Human Anatomy (IB 131), and Animal Behavior (IB 31). I’ve downloaded all of these, but haven’t listened to them yet. I’m still trying to get through Existentialism in Literature and Film (Phil 7).
I’ll make a stand and say this is my favorite podcast: The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor. I won’t say it specifically relates to animation but it feeds my mind with a show that lasts only a few minutes, but serves me all day. Keillor, who is most known for writing The Prairie Home Companion, has a voice that masterfully delivers this day’s notable writing moments from the past and present, followed by the reading of a selected poem. I’m telling you, when I’m all worked up about work, this is like instant meditation for me. I especially like listening to the show in my car on the way to work. I can get through about two-and-a-half shows each way. There have even been a couple times when I found the poem especially touching and had to collect myself in the car before before heading to the elevator for work. One I specifically remember was the 9/11 episode this year. My only complaint is that the feed for the podcast is purged every couple days, so if you don’t download a show, you’ll have to visit the website to hear it. [click for iTunes link]
FACIAL/BODY & MOTION REFERENCE
Dr. Paul Eckman is “totally in my face!” He came to speak at Disney once about facial “microexpressions.” Read an interview with him at Scientific American Mind.
Irk mentioned this in the comments of the my last post so I’ll put it here for everyone to see. Popular Science has started a weekly feature called The Breakdown where they “pick a Web video that involves a minor crash, explosion or other nonfatal mishap and invite one of our experts to explain, in scientific terms, what went wrong.” Here’s the inaugural clip. I hope this goes on for a very long time.
Rhino House has done something I’ve dreamed of for years – they’ve brought the Muybridge motion reference in to the 21st century. They have three volumes (fourth one coming soon) of video reference available on DVD. Just go to their site and check the demo reel. It looks like it’s more than worth the price. I’ve just ordered The Animal Motion Show Volume 1.
FARP, the Fantasy Arts Resource Project has posted a gallery of hand photographs for reference.
Time (the magazine) has a photo essay called Actors in Character wherein eight actors were given brief descriptions of situations to act out for the camera. Considering that they had no context to work within, it reminds me of what we sometimes have to do as animators when we’re given a single shot with the dialog already recorded and it’s our duty to sell it.
St. Mary’s University has a bunch of videos of physics demonstrations. Of most interest to us is probably the Mechanics section. It was funny to see the tried and true bouncy ball/heavy ball drop test – a must for every beginning animator.
Along the same lines, “Self Propelled Liquid Droplets.”
Facial muscles don’t have to be complicated with resources like the ARTNATOMY Anatomical Basis of Facial Expression Learning Tool. Go to the ‘Application’ and for the biggest bang for your buck head to the ‘Level II’ section where you can explore the expressions along the right side of the screen. Then you can toggle the various facial muscles to see exactly what each one is affecting. Truly educational.
A guide to eye direction and lying. Originally this was posted on Seward Street and I’m listing it here mainly as an excuse to direct people back that way. Jim has fired up the blogging engines and promises to grace us once more with his online presence.
Now pay attention because this is some serious reference material exhibiting quite a few miracles of modern science. I can’t name them all, but the miracle they’re advertising is a super-duper sports bra. That’s where you come in. You pick the cup size and the amount of activity and the computer creates a shockingly lifelike simulation of what that looks like in three situations: with the super-duper bra, with a regular bra, and with … drum roll … no bra. The combinations seem infinite. If your co-workers are easily offended by computer generated boobies, maybe save this one for home time – or use my line: “What? It’s for research!” You’ve probably already clicked the link. My work is done here.
On Bibi’s Box you’ll find that Bibi is a prolific blogger. Many times she’s directed me toward some great animation sites. Here’s a huge animation link post she did in December of last year.
Can’t go to CalArts? Well you don’t have to because Mario Furmanczyk did and has posted a ton of his notes on his site AnimatedBuzz.com. You might start at his tutorials page and from there navigate to his journal for further edification.
The Essence of Line is hosted by The Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Museum. In it “more than 900 works by artists such as Eug?©ne Delacroix, Honor?© Daumier, Paul C?©zanne, and Edgar Degas illuminate the range of French art over the course of a century of innovation.” A fabulous (did I just say fabulous?) resource.
The American Art Archives hosts a giant list of illustrators with samples of their work. Hours of your time will go poof – bye-bye.
Since I was daring enough to mention the sports bra, I’ll throw this site in the mix with a warning: some content not safe for work. It’s the Electronic Cerebrectomy. This guy loves sexy girls, music, movies, and animation. I go there for the animation and tightly shut my eyes whenever I see a sexy girl on screen. He’s written several great posts on the history of Disney shorts as well as biographies of some of animation’s greats including Tex Avery, the Fleischers, and Ub Iwerks. Scroll down the sidebar for a list of all the animation posts.
I know I’ve forgotten something, and it will undoubtedly pop in to my head when there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ll just have to save any lost links for the next round of Gumby Gold.
Also, make sure you didn’t miss my last link post here. And remember to thank those sites by clicking their ads!