I get this question almost every day. Well, a lot of things go in to making each podcast so I decided to give you some idea of when to expect the next one. In the sidebar you’ll find some progress bars to visually guide your mania. I’ve broken it down in to four easy steps. Here’s what they mean:

1. Interview recorded: I’ve actually sat down and recorded a conversation long enough to make at least one more show (usually more). This is the fun and easy part.

2. Interview edited: I’m still learning after all this time so I have to go in to clean up the audio quality as much as I know how and then edit it down to take out dead space, my stammering, and any else that could detract from your enjoyment. Lots of ums get killed here. This is the longest part of the whole process.

3. In/out recorded & edited: This is my jabber before and after the interviews. I want to stick with the format but things will come and go as it suits me. I thought it was difficult to talk to someone else on the mic until I tried talking by myself – painfully funny for my wife to listen to at times. If I ever get it right on the first take, it’ll be a miracle.

4. Publishing (Chapters marked, images and links added, files converted and uploaded, RSS feeds updated, post written): I have a giant checklist for this part that I dread, as it seems to take forever. Tons of little (and crucial) steps happen here. Most of these details have to be just right or it won’t work. I’ve included so many steps here because they are like cogs in a clock that all have to be set up and put in to place at once. Once it’s done, I’m so happy and exhausted.

Generally one show will take me about 12 hours to produce, but as you may have noticed, those twelve hours can be very hard to come by, especially when other parts of life can be so fun. So you may still be wondering when the shows will be out, but at least you’ll have some indication of my progress on the next one.

Go there now!
Thanks to the Drs.

The planning was almost perfect. I finished animating on Meet the Robinsons the week before Thanksgiving and then took off last week for a vacation in Maryland and New York. Why do you care? Because I theoretically have more time now that I won’t be doing overtime every day and so that means I’ll get back to producing shows and answering your comments and emails. I keep them all, so if you’ve written but are still waiting for a response, I’ll get to it.

It feels great to come back to work after the holiday with a refreshed mind and the promise of a new movie to work on. I also can’t wait for Meet the Robinsons to come out on March 30th to see how people react. I haven’t seen the final version myself so I’m excited for that too!

There are some questions that keep coming up so I’ll answer them here.

– The enhanced podcast feed in iTunes doesn’t have all the shows. I still need to make them. Every show is available in the regular feed.

– One of the Nik Ranieri files was cutting off and that has been fixed.

– I will add to the animation notebook in the future as well. I want it to be worth your while and looking back at my notes, I felt like they needed some more explanation so I’ll be writing and posting when I can.

I’ll talk to you guys soon.

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!

So you’ve seen my last post with the Wii videos. Here’s more new stuff.

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!

Another Pixar story artist, Jeff Pidgeon, was featured on a podcast way back at the front end of this year. Head over to Project1982 for this cool interview.

Homestar Runner has a podcast for Strong Bad emails. I remember these guys from years ago and it’s nice to see them still going stronger than ever. [click for iTunes link]

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]

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!

I promised myself I wouldn’t do the apology for not blogging/podcasting, so forget it. I’ve been working. 🙂

On a little break I came across these clips that I just had to share. Each and every one of them is a goldmine of reference, containing those juicy moments that would challenge any animator. They’re clips of people discovering how to play the new Nintendo Wii. They are put in this room and given the controllers with no instruction. The range of emotions is beautiful to watch, and many times I found myself smiling as much as the people on screen. I hope you’re as captivated as I am by their expressions, body language, and reactions to their discoveries.

I found myself so immediately engaged in watching these people and it reminded me of the Freddy Moore quote from The Illusion of Life:

They love to see the drawings move and the characters think! Remember that! It’s what they like to see in our scenes. It’s what they liked with Fergy’s Pluto, you know. We should always let them see the characters think!

It’s also an ingenious bit of advertising to not focus on the graphics and tech, but on the people enjoying the game. Isn’t that what really matters anyhow? What a great way to sell the darned things.

Enough blabbing. I’ve got more work to do.
Click here to watch and study. I wish there was a way to save these.

My favorite clip is the Japanese couple. The woman’s reactions are priceless!