“Tactics: The overall strategy of seeking to have all a team’s modes assigned to affinity group members is implemented by tactics for choosing each member. The first member of a team, called the team’s “seed”, is drawn automatically from the most multimodal candidates, the second member, who with the seed member forms the team’s “core”, is chosen to generate a joint mode pattern covering as many modes as possbile, usually five or more. This necessarily draws on the multimodals remaining after the seeds have been designated, a process which, although permitting personal choice, can get complicated without computer assistance. The remaining members, being everyone is eventually placed, and unavoidable variations in team size develop naturally.” —  Douglass J. Wilde, Teamology: The Constructive and Organization of Effective Teams, Springer, London.

“It’s like you run into this dark tunnel, trusting that somewhere there’s another end to it where you’re going to come out. And there’s a point in the middle where it’s just dark. There’s no light from where you came in and there’s no light at the other end; all you can do is keep running. And then you start to see a little light, and a little more light, and then, bam! You’re out in the sun.”

—  Peter Docter, To Infinity And Beyond! The Story of Pixar Animation Studios, by Karen Paik, Virgin Books, USA. 


Brown, B., 2012, Cinematography: Theory and Practice – Image Making For Cinematographers and Directors: Focal Press, Second Edition, USA,

An excellent book that explores the methods and processes it takes to create a scene for a film. This was a very helpful book for many of my projects. It explains a lot about the angles of shots and perfect lighting techniques, etc. along with some very useful examples from films and their cinematography methods; it has helped me to understand the thought that must be taken to create a visually interesting scene,; the cinematographer’s part within the production is to keep the audiences’ attention making the scenes interesting and easy to read on screen. A film must visually tell the story even without the dialogue. This is what I have learned from my experience of the storyboards; it must be appealing, and the cinematography has to guide the audience, throughout the entire film. It is a challenging process to create a perfect shot, and therefore it is one process in which the director is fully involved with the cinematographer to make sure his vision is thoroughly progressed. In some cases the cinematographer can make a decision for a perfect shot; they are the artist, so the director at times will take their advice for a certain scene too. Fresnels Units are lights with Lenses. Most Film lights employ the stepped Fresnel type lens, with a few exceptions that use simpler plano-convex lens such as a Dedo or an ellipsoidal (Leko). A Fresnel lens is a stepped ring design that reduces the thickness of the lens to save on the cost and also prevent heat build-up in the glass, which can cause cracking. LED Lights A new and very popular source is LED lights, which are small and extremely energy efficient, which also means that they produce much less heat than tungsten lights (where the electricity produces 90% heat and only 10% light). LEDs have been incorporated into all types of units, although few of them have the long reach of PAR or a fresnel. For lighting fairlyclose to the scene, however, they have many advantages. Their compact size means they can be hidden in many places on the set and also makes them easier to handle and rig on location. There are also many LED lights that run on batteries – these can be very useful for handheld work, camera mounting and other conditions where AC power may not be available or it is just not practical to run and AC power cord. Certainly a hand-held camera operator is not going to want to be dragging a power cable around all the time. Motivated Light Light in a scene may come from many sources, including lights that are actually in the frame such as practicals, windows, skylight, signs, and so on. In some cases, these sources are visible but do not provide enough output for proper exposure. In this case, the sources may only serve to motivate additional lighting that is off-screen. Some cinematographers and directors prefer that most or all lighting in a scene be motivated in this way – that the viewer somehow understands where the light is coming from. In these frames from Honey-dripper, the light is motivated by the lamps, but the actual illumination comes from sources not shown in the frame.

  • Avoid flat front lighting. Lights that come more from the sides and back are usually the way to accomplish this. Any time a light is right beside or behind the camera; this is a warning sign of possible flat, featureless lighting.
  • Use techniques such as backlight, kicker, and backgrounds, accentuate the actor’s features, and create a three-dimensional image.
  • Beware of shadows and use them to create chiaroscuro depth, shape the scene, and mood. Don’t be afraid of shadows; some cinematographers say that “…the lights you don’t turn on are as important as the ones you do turn on.”
  • Whenever possible, light people from the upstage side.
  • When appropriate, add texture to your lights with gobos, cookies, and other methods. Continuity of content applies to anything visible in the scene; wardrobe, hairstyle, props, the actors, cars in the background, the time set on the clock. As discussed in the chapter Set Operations, it is the script supervisor in conjunction with the various department heads who must ensure that all of these items match from shot to shot. These kinds of problems extend from very obvious – she was wearing a red hat in the master, but now it is green hat in the close-up – to very subtle – he has a cigar that was almost finished when he entered and now he has a cigar that is just started.  While the script supervisor, on-set wardrobe, and prop master are the first line of defence in these matters, it is still up to the director and camera man to always be watchful for problems. As with almost anything in film there is a certain amount of cheating that is possible; the audience can be very accepting of minor glitches. Absolutely perfect continuity is never possible and there is a large grey area. Beiman, N., 2007, Prepare to Board! Creating Story and Characters for Animated Features and Shorts: Focal Press, London This was a brilliant book that focuses on storyboard process and shots, character development and the overall story. It has some fantastic examples of animated storyboards and characters; an excellent read that explains everything. There is one part that shows silhouettes, these silhouettes read well and depict typical attitudes of two characters. This book has been a brilliant companion; I decided to take it out from the library, to read, to help me understand storyboards and the process that goes into them. It is a lot of work, but, in my opinion the storyboard is the heart of the film or animation. It is there for reference and to help direct the crew. Storyboard meetings are fun, when a team gets together and runs ideas off one another and to see those ideas sketched down is simply wonderful. The images themselves animate what the story is about, even though they do not move. Linear and Non-Linear Storytelling A linear story progresses from A (beginning) to B (middle) to C (resolution) in sequential time. A situation is established at the start, a composition arises in the middle section, and resolution of some kind comes at the end. Most feature-length animation works in linear format. Linear stories can also work in reverse, as seen in Piet Kroon’s short film T.R.A.N.S.I.T. The film opens as a man is immigrating to Argentina after a murder. It progresses into the past to show how the character’ relationships made this outcome inevitable. Non-Linear animation concentrates on creating an effect or mood rather than telling a carefully plotted story. Many short experimental films fall into this category. WAKING LIFE is a rare example of a feature-length non-linear film conveying moods or emotions, re-search different artistic styles, colour, sound, music and effects that will create the desired impression in the viewer’s mind. You may not wish to make an autobiographical film, but elements from your life can add a dash of reality that strengthens the situation and characters. Comic Boards and Animation Boards Comic and graphic novel artists also use storyboards to rough out their projects before creating the finished artwork. There is, however, a major difference between film and comic storyboards. The comic artist has complete freedom to design frames and panels on the page. Panels may be vertical or irregularly shaped. Effects can be added to the panels borders, or characters can burst right through them. David Chelsea in Love by David Chelsea Motion pictures and computer graphics are more restricted in their staging. The motion picture screen or computer graphic is an unchanging ‘frame’. The animator creates variety in staging by moving the camera, animating the characters within the frames, or cutting to a new camera angle. The frame is always horizontal. Academy Standard – 1.33:1 Wide Screen can be up to – 2:1 The animation storyboard artist must first foremost be an excellent actor. While it is true the voice actor give 50 percent of the character’s performance, it is the storyboard artist’s work that determines the acting that we see on screen. The animated characters are developed on the storyboard before the voices are recorded. The animation storyboard artist performs all the character parts; he or she creates dramatic pacing and cutting and indicates the settings and emotional moods that layout artists and animators will develop in the final film. In addition, storyboard drawings are frequently used as acting and design reference for character designers who may be working on the production at the same time that the boards are created. So the animation artist is also a bit of a casting director! Here is a list of animals and their symbolic meanings. Some animals have been used to represent more than one human trait and opposing traits are sometimes represented by the same animal.

  • Lion (brave, the king of the beats)
  • Lamb (meek, mild, innocent)
  • Mouse (timid and defenceless)
  • Rabbit (clever and resourceful or timid and defenceless)
  • Bear (brute strength, brawn without brain)
  • Cat (sly, cruel, deceptive, and self-centred)
  • Cow and Sheep (unintelligent, docile, a follower)
  • Dog ( loyal and brave or a fawning servant)

Log Lines

  • Surface appearance can be deceptive. People come in layers, like onions. – Shrek
  • A freak turns his defect into an asset, redeeming himself and his mother. – Dumbo
  • Magic comes from personal initiative and the working of conscience.  – Pinocchio
  • A callow youth learns to accept his responsibilities. – The Lion King
  • There is some good in every character. – Lilo & Stitch

Bordwell, D. and Thompson, K., 2013, Film Art: An Introduction: McGraw – Hill International Edition: New York Another excellent book that provides all the techniques and introduces the art of film; this is a wonderful book that provides interesting information on films throughout the years; it has many interesting cinematography, frame dimensions and shape references from films. The book wonderfully breaks down the techniques of a film’s process; it provides insight into how a certain film was challenged, and is mainly about the structure of film. It is an excellent introduction to the world of filmmaking, and teaches and informs on every possible aspect of the film industry, from editing, to lens and camera work, to directing and narrative alternatives. This book has acted as a guide to the cinematic world; it has been a great source of research to finding interesting information; I have often looked to this book to understand some aspect of filmmaking and to find ways to solve and discover. Screen Space In many respects, a film shot resembles a painting. It presents a flat array of colours and shapes. Beofre we even start to understand the image as a three-dimensional space, mise-en-scene offers many cues for guiding our attention and emphasizing in the frame. Dialogue and Aggression In each “dialogue,” on profile devours the other chops and mashes its components mercilessly, and spews out the bits. After several such ravenous encounters, the profiles are reduced to mush, metal shards, and paper scraps. Finally the profiles emulsify intp smooth rounded heads. This shift into identical heads is puzzling but becomes coherent in retrospect. We’ll see the process of reducing differences among the “speakers” conclude later parts. “Passionate Dialogue” gives us a more familiar story. Human figures made of smooth clay, reminiscent of the busts at the end of “Factual Dialogue,” face each other across a table. One is male, the other female. They share a kiss, and this leads to a complete merger of their forms, an analogy to copulation. Once they have split apart, a lump of clay is left over. It tries to get their attention, but both mistreat it. When the man tries to mash the “baby” into the woman’s face, she scratches his face, and soon they are tearing each other apart. In the end both dribble into a mass of clay.

An Example of Traditional Animation: Duck Amuck During the golden age of Hollywood short cartoons, from the 1930s to the 1950’s, Disney and Warner Bros. were rivals. Disney animators had far greater resources at their diposal, and their animation was more elaborate and detailed than the simpler Warner product. Warner cartoonists fought back by exploiting the comic fantasy possible in animated films and playing with the medium in imaginative ways. Warner Bros. cartoons revealed in fast, violent action. In Rabbit Seasoning, shotgun blasts keep rearranging Daffy Duck’s features. The Warner team exploited an impudent tone as well, making Daffy and Bugs Bunny wisecracking cynics far removed from the sweet altruism of Mickey Mouse. Warner’s comedy was often surreal, letting character speak to the audience or mock studio executives. The unit’s producer Leon Schlesinger appeared in You Ought to Be in Pictures, letting Porky Pig out of his contract so that he could move up to live-action features. Of the many Warner experiments, none went further than Duck Amuck, directed by Charles M. (Chuck) Jones in 1953. It is now recognized as one of the masterpieces of American animation. Although it was made within the Hollywood system and uses narrative form, it has an experimental feel because it asks the audience to take part in an exploration of techniques of cel animation. As the film begins, it seems to be a swashbuckler of the sort Daffy Duck had appeared in before, such as The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950), itself a parody of one of Errol Flynn’s most famous Warner Bros. Films. When Daffy is first seen, he is a duelling musketeer. But when he moves to the left, he passes the edge of the painted background. He’s baffled, calls for scenery, and exists. A giant animated brush appears from outside the frame and paints in a barnyard. When Daffy enters, still in musketeer costume, he is annoyed but changes into a farmer’s outfit. Such quick switches continue throughout the film, with the paintbrush and a self, with dizzying illogic. Duck Amuck’s use of animation techniques is just an unconventional as it is narrative form. Because the action moves so quickly, we might fail on first viewing to note that aside from the credit title and the familiar “That’s All, Folks!” logo, the film contains only four separate shots, three of which come in quick succession at the end. In Duck Amuck, the only certain space is that of the frame itself – a quality quite different from the clearly established settings provided in more conventional cartoons.   Edgar-Hunt, R., Marland, J. and Rawie S., 2010, The Language of Film: Academia, London An excellent book that informs the language of film, explaining what is meant by form and angles; it also gives excellent tips and case studies on films, providing information, synopsis and key connotations. Thomas, F. and Johnson, O., 1981, The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation: Disney Edition, New York This animation book “Bible” is an exceptionally good read. From this book I have learned much about animating principles; it is a great volume that provides exciting in-depth history and reference of animation, and really gives a fantastic view of the Disney Studios. I call it a bible because there is so much within its pages and it is also a very heavy book.

  1. Show the expression change!
  2. Avoid making a fast move while changing the expression.
  3. Change your expression before the move, or at the end, when the character is moving slowly enough for it to be seen.
  4. Do not lose the expression change in an active secondary action – such as a hand waving, a big arm action, or follow through on clothes.
  5. Avoid looking up for a frown, unless it is sinister, domineering one.
  6. Do not hide a smile with the head titled down too far or behind a big nose or moustache.
  7. Be sure you have the right staging to show all the expressions in your scene to best advantage.
  8. Have you the right expression for what your character is thinking? Are all parts of the head and face related to this one idea?
  9. Do not change shapes too much all over the face.
  10. At times, hold activity on the face so that just the month is moving.
  11. As we were told so many times before we learned: It is change of shape that shows the character is thinking. It is the thinking that gives the illusion of life. It is the life that gives meaning to the expression.

Nine Economical Ways that Animation Can Build Emotions in the Imaginations of the Audience

  1. Rear View – Sleeping Beauty: The two lovers look off into the distance and dream their private dreams. Since their feelings are better imagined than they could ever be shown in detail, the audience dreams along with them.
  2. Shadows – Snow White: Shadows are usually associated with suspense and drama. They can add interest and variety to a continuity while saving the time needed to draw all the detail on each character.
  3. Shadows Over the Character – Bambi: Faline watches transfixed off the intruder. The excitement of the situation is better conveyed by her whole attitude, with the shadows of the action passing over her, than it could have been by just the concerned expression on her face.
  4. Overlays – The Jungle Book: Baloo is desperately searching for Mowgli who has just run away. Having Baloo partially covered by the branches in the background makes a more rewarding scene than trying to draw his distraught face.
  5. Dramatic Layout – The Ugly Duckling: Overpowering shapes and a path of action going down the hill both add to the feeling of depression as the Ugly Duckling slowly walks away. The Portrayal of his feelings relies on the layout that makes him look small and desolate.
  6. Pictorial Shot – Cinderella: Cinderella had been prevented from going to the royal ball. Her keen disappointment is best communicated by the romanticized view of the castle where she wants to be. A background with a strong mood can save difficult animation.
  7. Effects Animation – Bambi: Fine animation of forms from nature can establish a mood either by symbolism or showing what the character sees. Falling rain, a storm, approaching fire will quickly create strong feelings. The stark colours of these autumn leaves foretell the harshness of the approaching winter.
  8. Head Drawing with Camera Moves – 101 Dalmatians: Some expressions cannot be strengthened by movement. Instead of moving the character, a simulated feeling of activity was achieved by slowly moving the camera – in this case, trucking into a closer shot of the dog’s eyes.
  9. Offstage Sounds – Lady and the Tramp: No animation is needed on a comprehensive shot of the locale if appropriate sounds can build images in the imagination. The entrance to the dog pound in Lady and the Tramp looks forlorn and mournful enough, but it was hearing the howling and the barking and whining of the dogs inside that really told the story.

bambi autumn scene cinderella window scene
Williams, R., 2009, The Animator’s Survival Kit: Faber and Faber, London If there is any animation book an animation student must have, this book would be it. The survival kit is that rare instruction text book that provides the goods. It demonstrates and explains everything and anything about how to be an animator. The great thing about this book is that it acts as an instruction book that teaches you how to animate. I have enjoyed reading through its pages, and it has provided a good source of reference for me when I need to understand something about animating a character. Hahn, D., 2008, The Alchemy of Animation: Disney Editions, New York The Alchemy of Animation gives readers the chance to look into three different art forms; on technics from hand-drawn animation, to stop-motion and Pixel animation. It has seventy year worth of animation history to draw from; an amazingly pleasure, from start to finish.
(, 2014)

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  • Colour is light, but colour of objects is a combination of the colour of the light and the nature of the material it is falling on and being reflected by.
  • What is Motion Control? Some filming special effects techniques need highly accurate control of the motion of the film camera, so that the same move can be repeated many times, with each camera pass being identical to previous passes.
  • Exposure can get pretty technical, so it’s important to grasp the basic concepts first before we plunge into the world of H&D curves, the Zone System, and the mathematics of densitometry.
  • Fresnels units are lights with lenses. Most film lights employ the stepped Fresnel type lens, with a few exceptions that use a simpler plano-convex lens such as Dedo or an ellipsoidal (Leko).  A Fresnel lens is a stepped ring design that reduces the thickness of the lens to save on cost and also prevent heat buildup in the glass, which can cause cracking.


Weiye Yin – Weiye Yin (Franc) is an experienced concet designer in the game industry, as well as a CG artist and Illustrator. Having been engaged to the profession for over ten years. Weiye Yin currently works as the art director for world-famous game projects, and his clients include some giants in the game industry such as EA and 2K. Some of his illustrations, including “Courtyard” and ”Centuried Street“, were selected into the official manual 3D MAX.

Note: (taken from Impeccable Scene Design book) World view is a philosophical term, referring to a person’s fundamental conceptions of the world. A person’s world view is based on his/ her scientific and systematic understanding of the nature, life, society and spirits.

  • To create an impressive oeuvre-d’art, it requires more than inspirations and years of practice. The designer is also supposed to spend a large quantity of time in thinking and analyzing activities in the concept development process in order to make his works more visually appealing to the viewer.
  • In addition to perspective and composition, lighting is another essential element for landscape illustrations. How many lighting sources are positioned, how strong they are,and where to place them are all significant considerations for later process. After all, a world without light is nothing more than a cluster of darkness. In the drafting process, the designer can try to change the lighting sources in different ways for the best lighting effect.


I researched this book, Grammar of the Film Language by Daniel Arijon; we were asked to create a 90 sec animatic and this book was a fantastic resource for understanding angles of a scene and planning out what will be portrayed on screen.

Alfred Hitchcock Centenary Essays by Richard Allen and S. Ishii Gonzalés; this was another book I researched to help me with the animatic project. It mainly discussed the techniques used by Alfred Hitchcock.


Another book I researched for the animatic project was The Animator’s Survival Kit  by Richard Williams; this provided good information on everything an animation student needs to know about animating a characters or animation in general. It also provided me with an understanding of frames and how they work with time; within this book I found some good information on planing out the timing for animation which would work out the frames needed to animate a scene. This process is done before the animator starts animating his characters; an animator needs to know certain things before he/she starts animating, they are the time of the scene and how much frames they need within that scene and what the scene involves. They find this out in the storyboard and animatic.

The Fundamental Principles of Animation

  1. Squash and Stretch
  2. Anticipation
  3. Staging
  4. Straight Ahead Action and Pose to Pose
  5. Follow Through and Overlapping Action
  6. Slow In and Slow Out
  7. Arcs
  8. Secondary Action
  9. Timing
  10. Exaggeration
  11. Solid Drawing
  12. Appeal

– Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnson, The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation, Hyperion ed., USA. Anticipation (emotion), an emotion involving pleasure in considering some expected or longed-for good event, or irritation at having to wait. Pose to pose is a term used in animation, for creating key poses for characters and then inbetweening them in intermediate frames to make the character appear to move from one pose to the next. Pose-to-pose is used in traditional animation, while the parallel concept in 3D animation is inverse kinematics. The opposite concept is straight ahead animation where the poses of a scene are not planned, which results in more loose and free animation, though with less control over the animation’s timing. THE PLAUSIBLE IMPOSSIBLE  – Cartoon physics is a jocular system of laws of physics that supersedes the normal laws, used in animation for humorous effect. Normal physical laws are referential (i.e., objective, invariant), but cartoon physics are preferential (i.e., subjective, varying). Many of the most famous American animated films, particularly those from Warner Bros. and MGM studios, unconsciously developed a relatively consistent set of such “laws” that have become regularly applied in comic animation. In a common cartoon scenario, for example, when a cartoon character runs off a cliff, gravity has no effect until the character notices and reacts. In words attributed to Art Babbitt, an animator with the Walt Disney Studios: “Animation follows the laws of physics — unless it is funnier otherwise.”

Squash and stretch

Illustration of the “squash and stretch”-principle: Example A shows a ball bouncing with a rigid, non-dynamic movement. In example B the ball is “squashed” at impact, and “stretched” during fall and rebound. The movement also accelerates during the fall, and slows down towards the apex (see “slow in and slow out”).

Animated sequence of a race horse galloping. Photos taken by Eadweard Muybridge. The horse’s body demonstrates squash and stretch in natural musculature.

The most important principle is “squash and stretch“, the purpose of which is to give a sense of weight and flexibility to drawn objects. It can be applied to simple objects, like a bouncing ball, or more complex constructions, like the musculature of a human face. Taken to an extreme point, a figure stretched or squashed to an exaggerated degree can have a comical effect. In realistic animation, however, the most important aspect of this principle is the fact that an object’s volume does not change when squashed or stretched. If the length of a ball is stretched vertically, its width (in three dimensions, also its depth) needs to contract correspondingly horizontally.


Anticipation is used to prepare the audience for an action, and to make the action appear more realistic. A dancer jumping off the floor has to bend his knees first; a golfer making a swing has to swing the club back first. The technique can also be used for less physical actions, such as a character looking off-screen to anticipate someone’s arrival, or attention focusing on an object that a character is about to pick up.

Anticipation: A baseball player making a pitch prepares for the action by moving his arm back.

For special effect, anticipation can also be omitted in cases where it is expected. The resulting sense of anticlimax will produce a feeling of surprise in the viewer, and can often add comedy to a scene. This is often referred to as a ‘surprise gag’.


This principle is akin to staging as it is known in theatre and film. Its purpose is to direct the audience’s attention, and make it clear what is of greatest importance in a scene; Johnston and Thomas defined it as “the presentation of any idea so that it is completely and unmistakably clear”, whether that idea is an action, a personality, an expression or a mood. This can be done by various means, such as the placement of a character in the frame, the use of light and shadow, and the angle and position of the camera. The essence of this principle is keeping focus on what is relevant, and avoiding unnecessary detail.

Straight ahead action and pose to pose

These are two different approaches to the actual drawing process. “Straight ahead action” means drawing out a scene frame by frame from beginning to end, while “pose to pose” involves starting with drawing a few key frames, and then filling in the intervals later. ”Straight ahead action” creates a more fluid, dynamic illusion of movement, and is better for producing realistic action sequences. On the other hand, it is hard to maintain proportions, and to create exact, convincing poses along the way. “Pose to pose” works better for dramatic or emotional scenes, where composition and relation to the surroundings are of greater importance. A combination of the two techniques is often used. Computer animation removes the problems of proportion related to “straight ahead action” drawing; however, “pose to pose” is still used for computer animation, because of the advantages it brings in composition. The use of computers facilitates this method, as computers can fill in the missing sequences in between poses automatically. It is, however, still important to oversee this process and apply the other principles discussed.

Follow through and overlapping action

Follow through and overlapping action is a general heading for two closely related techniques which help to render movement more realistically, and help to give the impression that characters follow the laws of physics. “Follow through” means that separate parts of a body will continue moving after the character has stopped. “Overlapping action” is the tendency for parts of the body to move at different rates (an arm will move on different timing of the head and so on). A third related technique is “drag”, where a character starts to move and parts of him take a few frames to catch up. These parts can be inanimate objects like clothing or the antenna on a car, or parts of the body, such as arms or hair. On the human body, the torso is the core, with arms, legs, head and hair appendices that normally follow the torso’s movement. Body parts with much tissue, such as large stomachs and breasts, or the loose skin on a dog, are more prone to independent movement than bonier body parts. Again, exaggerated use of the technique can produce a comical effect, while more realistic animation must time the actions exactly, to produce a convincing result. Thomas and Johnston also developed the principle of the “moving hold”. A character not in movement can be rendered absolutely still; this is often done, particularly to draw attention to the main action. According to Thomas and Johnston, however, this gave a dull and lifeless result, and should be avoided. Even characters sitting still can display some sort of movement, such as the torso moving in and out with breathing.

Slow in and slow out

The movement of the human body, and most other objects, needs time to accelerate and slow down. For this reason, animation looks more realistic if it has more drawings near the beginning and end of an action, emphasizing the extreme poses, and fewer in the middle. This principle goes for characters moving between two extreme poses, such as sitting down and standing up, but also for inanimate, moving objects, like the bouncing ball in the above illustration.


Most natural action tends to follow an arched trajectory, and animation should adhere to this principle by following implied “arcs” for greater realism. This can apply to a limb moving by rotating a joint, or a thrown object moving along a parabolic trajectory. The exception is mechanical movement, which typically moves in straight lines. As an object’s speed or momentum increases, arcs tend to flatten out in moving ahead and broaden in turns. In baseball, a fastball would tend to move in a straighter line than other pitches; while a figure skater moving at top speed would be unable to turn as sharply as a slower skater, and would need to cover more ground to complete the turn. An object in motion that moves out of its natural arc for no apparent reason will appear erratic rather than fluid. Therefore when animating (for example) a pointing finger, the animator should be certain that in all drawings in between the two extreme poses, the fingertip follows a logical arc from one extreme to the next. Traditional animators tend to draw the arc in lightly on the paper for reference, to be erased later.

Follow through/Overlapping Action: as the horse runs, its mane and tailfollow the movement of the body.

Secondary action

Adding secondary actions to the main action gives a scene more life, and can help to support the main action. A person walking can simultaneously swing his arms or keep them in his pockets, he can speak or whistle, or he can express emotions through facial expressions. The important thing about secondary actions is that they emphasize, rather than take attention away from, the main action. If the latter is the case, those actions are better left out. In the case of facial expressions, during a dramatic movement these will often go unnoticed. In these cases it is better to include them at the beginning and the end of the movement, rather than during.


Timing refers to the number of drawings or frames for a given action, which translates to the speed of the action on film. On a purely physical level, correct timing makes objects appear to obey the laws of physics; for instance, an object’s weight determines how it reacts to an impetus, like a push. Timing is critical for establishing a character’s mood, emotion, and reaction. It can also be a device to communicate aspects of a character’s personality.


Exaggeration is an effect especially useful for animation, as perfect imitation of reality can look static and dull in cartoons. The level of exaggeration depends on whether one seeks realism or a particular style, like a caricature or the style of an artist. The classical definition of exaggeration, employed by Disney, was to remain true to reality, just presenting it in a wilder, more extreme form. Other forms of exaggeration can involve the supernatural or surreal, alterations in the physical features of a character, or elements in the storyline itself. It is important to employ a certain level of restraint when using exaggeration; if a scene contains several elements, there should be a balance in how those elements are exaggerated in relation to each other, to avoid confusing or overawing the viewer.

Solid drawing

The principle of solid drawing means taking into account forms in three-dimensional space, giving them volume and weight.[14] The animator needs to be a skilled draughtsman and has to understand the basics of three-dimensional shapes, anatomy, weight, balance, light and shadow, etc.[34] For the classical animator, this involved taking art classes and doing sketches from life.[35] One thing in particular that Johnston and Thomas warned against was creating “twins”: characters whose left and right sides mirrored each other, and looked lifeless.[36] Modern-day computer animators draw less because of the facilities computers give them, yet their work benefits greatly from a basic understanding of animation principles, and their additions to basic computer animation.[35]


Appeal in a cartoon character corresponds to what would be called charisma in an actor. A character who is appealing is not necessarily sympathetic – villains or monsters can also be appealing – the important thing is that the viewer feels the character is real and interesting. There are several tricks for making a character connect better with the audience; for likable characters a symmetrical or particularly baby-like face tends to be effective. A complicated or hard to read face will lack appeal, it may more accurately be described as ‘captivation’ in the composition of the pose, or the character design.

Gifs. Gallery

Behind the Screen

The Cinematography of The Incredibles Part 1 & Part 2

The procedure taken to get each animated shot completed is a long and tedious one. Here’s a basic summary to give you a hint of the many steps taken to produce a shot from concept to completion:


Layout & Key Animation

Surfacing, Set Dressing & Final Layout


Shading & Lighting

Invisible lines that lead your eyes.
The rule of thirds comfortably places elements on the screen in a balanced manner, but the nice diagonal lines if the curb helps to unconsciously lead our eyes to the focal point.
See the triangular shape created by the characters’ positions, this is a common method to setup up the characters to use the space on screen more economically, especially when you have a group of characters all facing each other in conversation. Mr. Incredible’s eyeline falls on the cat in the lady’s hands too. Notice all their hats are angled to point to his face, this is all done on purpose, it createsSee below how this simple setup keeps your eyes moving. 
Since there’s an obvious size difference in these two characters, showing these over-the-shoulder-shots, but it’s necessary to clearly read their faces and know what the characters are feeling and what they are thinking.

Video Reference

Making of Cartier Winter Tale 2013 by Dwarf Labs

Dwarf Labs is the creative studio who brings the “Cartier’s Winter Tale” 2013 to life. Dwarf Labs is an animation and vfx studio specializing in high end computer-generated content for commercials and feature films. For ‘Winter Tale’, Dwarf Labs responded to the artistic vision of Bibo Bergeron, director of animated feature ‘Monster in Paris’, to create the fourth episode of Cartier’s prestigious series. The studio was involved from the very beginning of the project’s development, working on storyboards, character and environment design, colour scripts, storymatic previsualisation, rigging and animation, through to colour and lighting design, and finally, compositing. Dwarf Labs used its in-house tools, allowing the artists to use advanced shaders which gave the commercial its unique look. This is particularly evident for the panther’s fur which mimics real fur behaviour on a stylised design. Olivier Pinol, Directory of Photography, drawing on his years of experience at DreamWorks and Weta Digital, tied together the different levels of stylisation of the environments, the panther and the grooms, and this service of lighting to storytelling is central to the studio’s philosophy.


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Pixar RenderMan Studio 18 Released

Pixar Animation Studios announced the release of RenderMan Studio 18, incorporating all of the performance and feature advantages of RenderMan Pro Server 18 within an intuitive suite of tools designed for the creation of the highest quality 3D animation and visual effects. Major features in RenderMan Studio 18 include new controls for lighting, geometric area lights, and accelerated re-rendering, powered by RenderMan’s state-of-the-art path tracer. The standard shading library has also been expanded with features such as advanced subsurface scattering and support for per-light AOVs. In addition, the image tool, “it,” has been totally rewritten from the ground up, providing improved performance and usability for shading and lighting. Through these new and productive workflows, the outstanding power of Pixar’s RenderMan is accessible to visual effects creators everywhere. “We are hugely impressed with the ease of use and out-of-the-box performance of the physically based shading and lighting system, and we love the geometric area lights and awesome features that come with them,” said Laura Brousseau, Lighting Supervisor at Nitrogen Studios. “The new Lighting Panel makes handling and editing multiple lights a lot easier, and the rebuild of “it” has some great new features that we never thought to ask for. The re-renderer has been helpful in speeding up certain areas of our look development and we are excited to see continued advancements with this feature. We believe that it has never been easier to create truly impressive renders so quickly in RenderMan Studio.” “The new unified sampling and path tracing system has substantially decreased setup times for artists and is a huge leap in re-rendering performance. Add to this the new ray tracing speedups, at times over 50%, the UI improvements, and geometric lights, and you have got the best version of RenderMan Studio yet,” said Leif Pedersen, Senior CG Artist at Univision Network. RenderMan Studio 18 is designed to provide every user of Autodesk’s Maya with fast and easy access to Pixar’s Academy Award®-winning rendering technology, and is the gateway to the many stunning visual effects seen in the majority of today’s feature films. Read more about RenderMan Studio 18.

What’s New

RenderMan Studio 18

RenderMan Studio delivers powerful features and tools for creating photorealistic CGI, while at the same time streamlining workflows for artists, so using RenderMan is now easier than ever before. With this release, RenderMan Studio’s version is now 18 to better match the version of RenderMan Pro Server which it is intended to compliment. The previous version was RenderMan Studio 4.0. RenderMan Studio is Pixar’s suite of shading and lighting tools for Maya Artists, and includes the following components:       1.  RenderMan for Maya – Brings the power of RenderMan to the Maya workflow       2.  Slim – Powerful visual shader authoring and management tool       3.  “it” – Image viewer and scriptable compositor       4.  Pixar’s RenderMan – An embedded renderer based on the latest technology       5.  LocalQueue – Local render management       6.  Tractor – Job management solution for render farms.

Support for RPS 18

Most importantly, RenderMan Studio now supports the feature set of RenderMan Pro Server 18. This includes significant performance gains for polygons and volumes. RenderMan Studio has new lights, shaders, and tools to take full advantage of the latest features.

Accelerated Re-Rendering with Path Tracing

The Re-Rendering system in RenderMan Studio now provides full support for path tracing for accelerated look development. With new workflows for shading and lighting, RenderMan Studio continues to make the process of lighting scenes faster and more intuitive.

Geometric Area Lights

RMS 18 allows you to turn any geometric primitive into a light source with Geometric Area Lights. These lights are not only highly realistic and capable of creating incredibly complicated lighting effects, but geometric area lights are much easier for lighters to control with a feature called “unified sampling” … and compared to standard area lights, they’re simply faster. RenderMan Studio now ships with a library of Geometric Area Lights for both RFM and Slim. Supported Features: 1. All light types: Distant, Spot, Rectangular, Disk, Sphere, Cylinder 2. Emissive geometry: Now any piece of geometric can be an area light. 3. Blockers for Geometric Area Lights 4. Unified Sampling for easier light setup and accelerated rendering

Pixar RenderMan Studio 18 (2)

Master Lighting Panel

A new lighting panel provides easy control over the lights in any scene, and is especially useful for re-rendering sessions. With this panel multiple lights can be modified at once, bookmarks can be created to store light settings, and the influence of individual lights can be quickly displayed.

Per-Light AOVs

To aid compositing workflows, AOVs can now be written out per light, with arbitrary outputs per each light. This new feature also supports “Light Groups” and represents a major overhaul of the light system in RenderMan Studio.

Better Subsurface Scattering

Creating realistic human skin is hard, and the quality of the final result really depends how the subsurface scattering is being calculated. With RPS 18 there’s a better way to create realistic skin with Beam Diffusion Subsurface Scattering. This new model is only slightly more expensive than standard SSS, but it produces much more satisfying results (results similar to “quantized diffusion,” but that are numerically stable for animation). Now your humans can look real, and not waxy. Shader libraries in RFM and Slim now support the improved beam diffusion subsurface scattering technology for the creation of better looking skin and other eff


Image converted using ifftoany

Object Instancing

Now RenderMan Studio supports Object Instancing through the normal Maya Instancing workflows, for more efficient rendering of heavily ray traced scenes.

Enhanced Volumes

RenderMan’s ability to process volumes has been optimized with hybrid sampling techniques. Because volumes near the camera don’t need to be sampled as much as other elements in the scene, the REYES hider has been leveraged to deliver outstanding speed-ups whenever you need to fly a camera through a few explosions, a tornado, or whatever volumetric hijinks a shot demands.

More Efficient Polygons

Polygonal meshes have been overhauled, reducing memory requirements significantly. Depending on the scene, users can expect anywhere from a 4x to 10x overall memory reduction when rendering complex polygonal meshes. The new implementation ray traces complex polygonal meshes up to 2 to 3 times faster with displacement and 20% to 35% faster when there is no displacement. Pixar RenderMan Studio 18 (1)

Additional Features

1) Dramatic Memory Enhancements for Polygonal Meshes 2) Support for Layered Glass 3) New Ocean Shader 4) New “HoldOut Shader” for catching shadows for compositing 5) The image tool, “it,” has been completely rewritten from the ground up, and is faster and more feature rich than before. 6) Use the new “loosely bound co-shaders” to apply a single material over multiple materials. For instance, cover a car with snow with one co-shader attachment.

Pixar RenderMan Studio 18 (2)


RenderMan Studio 18 is compatible with the following 64-bit operating systems, Mac OS 10.8 and 10.7,Windows 8, 7, and Vista, and Linux. Autodesk Maya compatibility is with versions 2013, 2013.5, and 2014. For render farm dispatch, a license of Tractor 1.7 is included and additional licenses are available as a standalone product. For local workstation dispatch a free LocalQueue utility is supplied as standard. Pixar’s annual maintenance program benefits customers with access to ongoing support and free upgrades. For more information please visit or contact rendermansales@pixar.comPixar RenderMan Studio 18

Images from Hugo (Behind the Scenes)

When building Paris on a computer, the smallest “bricks” the company used were called “polygons.” The train station totaled 35 million polygons and each train came in at 2 million polygons.


One scene alone would have taken 19.5 years to render if just a single computer had been used.

(Post Link: Behind the Magic Post – Find Video Reference here)

(Post Link: Behind the Magic (Part 3) – video reference here)


Ben Burtt

An American sound designer who has worked on various films including: the Star Wars and Indiana Jones film series, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, including the “voice” of R2-D2, the lightsaber hum, the sound of the blaster guns, and the heavy breathing of Darth Vader.

Burtt also used a recording of his wife, who at the time was suffering from a minor cold and was sleeping in bed, for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. He created the “voice” of the title character and many other robots in Pixar’s film WALL-E (2008), about a lonely garbage-compacting robot.

Jim MacDonald


Sound Effects Artist and voice of Mickey Mouse (1947 – 1977). Sound Effects Bambi and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.


The Score Composer has to be focused on the story and the emotional content of the film. All the artists have worked hard to tell the story with their performance or artistry. If their work does not evoke the desired emotion, the composer won’t be able to help it much, but if everything is working well, then music can take the project to a whole new level.

Alexandre Desplat

A French film composer; he has five Academy Awards nominations, six BAFTA nominations, and two Grammy nominations, Desplat won his first Golden Globe for The Painted Veil in 2006 and  his first British Academy Film Award in 2011. Among various projects, Desplat has worked on a variety of Hollywood films, including independent and commercial successes like The QueenThe Curious Case of Benjamin ButtonNew MoonFantastic Mr. FoxHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and Part 2, and The King’s Speech.

Danny Elfman

An American composer, from 1976 to 1995 and later for scoring music for television and film and creating The Simpsons main title theme as well as the 1989 Batman movie theme. He has scored the majority of the films for his long-time friend Tim Burton.

He has since been nominated for four Academy Awards and won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media for Tim Burton’s Batman[2] and an Emmy Award for his Desperate Housewives theme. Elfman was honoured with the prestigious Richard Kirk award at the 2002 BMI Film and TV Awards. The award is given annually to a composer who has made significant contributions to film and television music.

Bernard Hermann

An American composer known for his work in motion pictures. An Academy Award-winner (for The Devil and Daniel Webster, 1941; later renamed All That Money Can Buy), Herrmann is particularly known for his collaborations with director Alfred Hitchcock, most famously PsychoNorth by NorthwestThe Man Who Knew Too Much, and Vertigo. He also composed scores for many other movies, including Citizen KaneThe Ghost and Mrs. MuirCape Fear, and Taxi Driver. He worked extensively in radio drama (composing for Orson Welles), composed the scores for several fantasy films by Ray Harryhausen, and many TV programs including Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone and Have Gun–Will Travel.

Thomas Newman

An American composer and conductor best known for his many film scores. Newman has received a total of eleven Academy Award nominations, although, as of 2013, he has yet to win the award. He has won two BAFTAs, five Grammys and an Emmy, and has been nominated for three Golden Globes. Newman was honoured with the Richard Kirk award at the 2000 BMI Film and TV Awards. The award is given annually to a composer who has made significant contributions to film and television music.

Finding Nemo director Andrew Stanton always wanted to work without literal songs, but with a score that could capture the etheral universe under the sea. He not only listened to other soundtracks, but also cut representative pieces of music into the story reels to see how it felt with the story, including some by composer Thomas Newman.

Newman the composer of The Shawshank Redemption and Pay It Forward, turned out to be the perfect fit for Finding Nemo.


Diegetic – this use of music was the only type used in films in the early sound era. Any background music, which did appear, was used during the transition from one scene to another. The first is that the coming of sound added a further layer of reality to film: characters became more fully realized; sound effects, such as everyday noises, created a verisimilitude which audiences had not encountered before. Within a few years, however, background scores were added to restore the emotional involvement which had been removed by its omission.

Scratch Track – Final music composed after completed animation – rough soundtrack (scratch track) created before the animation begins. Scratch Track is timed to animatic – example of an animated feature film  specifically composed to music is Fantasia – entire point of the film was to create an animation that reflected the story the music told. – easier to edit the animation to better fit the music than it is to completely re-compose a track to fit a change in the animation. – sound effects added to later – not part of the scratch track – full length scores, easier to plan the animation to match the music.

Mix – The adjustment of individual sound elements to create a pleasing, final combination of sound.

Dub (also called Dubbing or Mixing) – Process of combing sound together until the right balance of dialogue, music and sound effects is achieved.

Sound Reading – A frame-accurate transcription of vocal performance. The sound reading will be used by the animator to move the character in sync with a line of dialogue.

Foley – Process of recording live sound effects while the film is being projected. A Foley Artist performs sound to match the picture. Footsteps, movement of cloth or paper, and any other sounds that have to synchronize closely with the picture are often recorded this way.

Sync (short for Synchronous) – Elements of picture and sound being played together at the same time.

Monologue – A long speech by one actor in play or film, or as part of a theatrical or broadcast programme.


Music cannot directly communicate narrative in the same way that dialogue can. However, it can provide a backdrop to visual events and dialogue and it is this subtlety that may position an audience in a way that dialogue cannot. Music is representative and emotive. It can engage an audience at a different level and capture their emotions rather than their conscious mind. It is difficult to avoid the emotive of a well-executed score.

Ways of Working with Music

There is one mode of storytelling that exists in cinema beyond that of showing and telling: music.  This facet of cinema can have a dramatic effect on character. Music can impact on our emotions and as such can limit what emotional impact a scene has upon us; and this is different in every film. It doesn’t matter whether it is the incidental music, a popular soundtrack or a themed score; it all affects us as an audience. This use of music has been treated by theorists as an aspect of narration, but it cannot tell, it can merely aid focalisation in relation to that which is being shown and told by affecting mood. This is the aspect of film that acts as a backdrop and some film-makers, such as Ingmar Bergman, feel it should not be included as it clearly breaks with presentation of both characters and events in terms of relating them directly to the real world.

Whatever the use of music is within any film it is complex to identify its precise meaning – such is the nature of music. However, to ignore it is to ignore a powerful part of the signifying practice of cinema.


Manipulating sound – Redubbing a film is always an interesting exercise. In doing this you can see how the replacement of, say, a specific score with tangentially related popular music tracks fundamentally impacts on your ability to read the film, even down on the point of being able to view who the main characters are and what they do.

Sound in the Cinema 

Loudness – The Sound we hear results from vibrations in the air. The Amplitude, or breath, of the vibrations produces our scene of Loudness, or volume. Film sound constantly manipulates volume. A dialogue between a soft-spoken character and a blustery one is characterized as much by the difference in volume as by the substance of the talk. In many films, a long shot of busy street is accompanied by loud traffic noises, but when twp people meet and start to speak, the volume of the traffic drops.

Loudness is also related to perceived distance. All other things being equal, the louder the sound, the closer we take it to be. This sort of assumption seems to be at work in the street traffic example already mentioned: the couple’s dialogue, being closer to us, is sensed as louder, while the traffic noise recedes to the background. In addition, a film may startle the viewer by exploiting abrupt and extreme shifts in volume (usually called changes in dynamics), as when a quiet scene is interrupted by a very loud noise. Changes in loudness may be combined with cutting or camera movement to reinforce our sense of moving toward or away from the source of the noise.

Pitch – The frequency of sound vibration affects pitch, or the perceived highness or lowness of sound. Certain instruments, such as tuning fork, can produce pure tones, but most sounds, in life and on film, are complex tones, batches of different frequencies. Nevertheless, pitch plays a useful role in helping us pick out distinct sounds in a film.

Timbre – The harmonic components of sound give it a certain colour, or tone quality what musicians call timbre. When we call someone’s voice nasal or a musical tone mellow, we’re referring to timbre. Timbre is actually a less fundamental acoustic parameter than amplitude or frequency, but it’s indispensable in describing the texture or “feel” of a sound. In everyday life, the recognition of a familiar sound is largely a matter of various aspects of timbre.

Filmmakers manipulate timbre continually. Timbre can help articulate portions of the sound track, as when it differentiates musical instruments from one another. Timbre also comes forward on certain occasions, as in the clichéd use of oleaginous saxophone tones behind seduction scenes. Loudness, pitch and timbre interact to define the overall sonic texture of a film. For example, these qualities enable us to recognize different characters’ voices. Both John Wayne and James Stewart speak slowly, but Wayne’s voice tends to be deeper and gruffer than Stewart’s querulous drawl.This difference works to great advantage in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, where their characters are sharply contrasted.

Knowledge Nugget: When Bernard Herrmann obtained the effects of shrill, birdlike shrieking in Hitchcock’s Psycho, even many musicians could not recognize the source: violins played at extraordinary high pitch.

REFERENCE BOOKSFilm Art An: Introduction, Tenth Edition, David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson. The Language of Film, Robert Edgar-Hunt, John Marland and Steven Rawie.

Image        Image


(Post Link: The Sound of Music Post – video reference here)


The Mulitplane camera was a revolutionary break through for animation, it was a special motion picture camera used in the traditional animation process that moves a number of pieces of artwork past the camera at various speeds and at various distances from one another. This creates a three-dimensional effect, although not actually stereoscopic. The predecessor to the multiplane camera was used by Lotte Reiniger for her animated feature The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926). The first multiplane camera, using four layers of flat artwork before a horizontal camera, was invented by former Walt Disney Studios animator/director Ub Iwerks in 1933, using parts from an old Chevrolet automobile. His multiplane camera was used in a number of the Iwerks Studio’s Willie Whopper and Comicolor cartoonsof the mid-1930s. An interesting variation is to have the background and foreground move in opposite directions. This creates an effect of rotation. An early example is the scene in Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs where the evil Queen drinks her potion, and the surroundings appear to spin around her.
Here is an example from Walt Disney’s Bambi that uses the Multiplane Camera to create the illusion of moving through the forest.
Sir Isaac Newton  (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1727) was an English physicist and mathematician who is widely regarded as one of the most influential scientists of all time and as a key figure in the scientific revolution. His book Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica(“Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy”), first published in 1687, laid the foundations for most of classical mechanics. Newton’s Principia formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation that dominated scientists’ view of the physical universe for the next three centuries. It also demonstrated that the motion of objects on the Earth and that of celestial bodies could be described by the same principles. By deriving Kepler’s laws of planetary motion from his mathematical description of gravity, Newton removed the last doubts about the validity of theheliocentric model of the cosmos. 11_2-11_edison_bulb
Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. Dubbed “The Wizard of Menlo Park”, he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large-scale teamwork to the process of invention, and because of that, he is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory. ‘RoboBees to the Rescue’ As colony collapse disorder decimates beehives, scientists are developing mini drones, called Robobees, to pollinate our crops. 811_683535818332161_52289987_n Found this interesting Eel, became my inspiration for a creature design in Create A World. 1376009_10200831810257717_1227372921_n



  • NOVEMBER 3, 2013

Perception reference.

  • NOVEMBER 3, 2013

Perception – the inspiration for my team’s animation story.

  • NOVEMBER 3, 2013

Perception reference.

  • NOVEMBER 3, 2013

Perception reference.

  • NOVEMBER 3, 2013

Perception reference.

  • NOVEMBER 3, 2013

Reference for Create A World Project.

  • NOVEMBER 3, 2013

Reference for my teams concepts for the Create A World Project.

  • NOVEMBER 1, 2013

Watch this amazing show reel of artist  Matt Evans, currently based in London; he is a Freelance, Contract FXTD, Compositor and Mograph Designer. He has worked on productions such as,  Immortals and Mirror Mirror, etc.

  • NOVEMBER 1, 2013

Developed by Playstation, The Dark Sorcerer is an amazing achievement in motion-capture.

  • NOVEMBER 1, 2013

Disney have created a revolutionary new design for 3d animation mixing with 2d (traditional) animation. The Paperman is a delightful short, and visually beautiful.

  • NOVEMBER 1, 2013

A behind the scenes look at the making of How To Train Your Dragon.

  • NOVEMBER 1, 2013
  • NOVEMBER 1, 2013

Advice given from Gollum, Joe Letteri.

  • November 1, 2013
  • November 1, 2013
  • OCTOBER 31, 2013

A behind the scenes look at The Hobbit.

  • OCTOBER 31, 2013
  • OCTOBER 31, 2013
  • OCTOBER 31, 2013

Exclusive Sneak Peek at Disney future animated film (2014), Big Hero 6.

  • OCTOBER 31, 2013

A behind the scenes look at the team that developed Frozen. Also an inside look at the technology behind Disney’s latest feature animated film.

  • OCTOBER 31, 2013

This is a behind the scene look at the teamwork involved with the film. It shows their collaborations and enthusiasm for scenes and certain shots.

  • OCTOBER 31, 2013

A behind the scenes look at the making of The Great Gatsby. This movie has some really stunning and incredible visual effects. When watching this behind the scenes look I was shocked to discover that the majority of this film, used visual effects, even for some of the greenery.

  • OCTOBER 31, 2013
  • OCTOBER 28, 2013

My favourite sequence for rough animation. I really do feel that rough animation has much more rich feeling and expresses better than the final film. It gives off a stronger force to me when I watch the scene this way. Though the final movie is good too; but, for me knowing this was actually created  by the hands of Glen Keane (and not a clean up by someone else), means I can feel his enthusiasm and see the emotion created in his lines. Overall, I think this rough animation sequence is beautiful. Also some various other Disney animators’ roughs were involved in the sequence, (but, Glen Keane is my top favourite animator).

  • OCTOBER 29, 2013
  • OCTOBER 29, 2013
  • OCTOBER 28, 2013
  • OCTOBER 28, 2013
  • OCTOBER 28, 2013
  • OCTOBER 28, 2013
  • OCTOBER 28, 2013

These are the steps that it took to create Disney’s Tangled.

  • OCTOBER 28, 2013

Mickey Mouse cartoon Thru the Looking Glass, another good example of Pose to Pose, Anticipation and the Plausible Impossible.

  • OCOTBER 28, 2013

Another great animation that explains the use of pose to pose and anticipation, (not as successfully as Tex Avery cartoons).

  • OCOTBER 28, 2013

Saul Bass cinematographer created the opening scene of Vertigo.

  • OCOTOBER 28, 2013

Roger Deakins, director of cinematography for True Grit (2010).

  • OCOTBER 28, 2013

Looking at lighting position an what it is important; the lighting is always behind, because it highlights the character.

  • OCTOBER 28, 2013
  • OCTOBER 28, 2013
  • OCTOBER 28, 2013

This animation explain the meaning of Poses to Pose and Anticipation in animation. When an animator animates a scene he/she has to think about the timing of the actions, for the audience they have to think about how long to hold a pose, and when to anticipate an action as simple as jumping on the spot. Jumping on the spot in an animated cartoon is much more exaggerated than it would be in real life, this kind of exaggeration is needed for animation, because the characters need to be “animated”, and the audience need time to understand and establish what the character’s actions/motion.

  • OCTOBER 27, 2013

Nividia Faceworks: human head techdome.

  • OCTOBER 27, 2013

Jeremy Vickery – Gnomon Master Class: Efficient Cinematic Lighting. This lecture covers the principles of good composition with an emphasis on effective cinematic lighting.

OCTOBER 26, 2013
OCTOBER 26, 2013
OCTOBER 26, 2013 Kevin Schreck is the director for Persistance of Vision.
OCTOBER 26, 2013
OCTOBER 26, 2013
OCTOBER 25, 2013
OCTOBER 25, 2013
OCTOBER 25, 2013
OCTOBER 25, 2013

    Splitting the atom was an animation piece suggested by a fellow team member, and provided as the basic influence for our teams concept designs for the creation of how our world would look. When we saw this we felt excited and knew that this was it; this was where we wanted to follow as we were developing our ideas.
  • OCTOBER 11, 2013
This is a classic animation piece by Winsor Mcay; also animated Gertie the Dinosaur. It is a brilliantly animated piece; there is one scene with a dragon and the perspective is incredible genius, it really is superb the dragon could almost be mistaken for 3d. Awesome animator truly inspirational.
Excellent piece of animation using a blackboard, from Raoul Barre.
Funny, brilliant and inspiring piece of development storyboard animation, cut scene from Pixar’s Monsters University.
From the Gobelins, an amazing and beautiful animated short.

Disneyland – 2.11 – The Story of the Animated Drawing – Part 1 of 4 (by Disneytv4me) Brilliant Documentary from Walt Disney on a History of Animation.
Disneyland – 2.18 – A Day in the Life of Donald Duck – Part 1 of 4 (by Disneytv4me)
“Fallin’ Hare” All of the Twelve Principles of animation can be found within this animation piece. I remember when I first watch this when I was a kid, laughed my head off. Still brings a smile to my face.
The Tell Tale Heart – 1953 narrated by James Mason I found this a thrillingly haunted story based on the horrific classic novel of Edgar Allen Poe: The Tell-Tale Heart. I loved the story when I read the book, and this animation piece really has reshaped my own imagination of the story.
Motion Picture History | SLR Video FPS | Frames per Second This was a fantastic video filled with everything anyone who loves film, needs to know. Highly recommend. We were shown this video in class and I found everything in this video very interesting.


601095_10200835336625874_1778786258_n 1383089_10200835336425869_1664541004_n 1375135_10200835335905856_1908809351_n (1) 1379443_10200835336185863_1337574228_n 1375135_10200835335905856_1908809351_n Art of Rouhollah Toghyani 1150237_10200835526430619_1440403628_n 1391642_10200835526590623_1092668713_n 1395791_10200835526750627_1373313429_n Art of Lindsey Crummett 1450735_10200835361346492_1845238441_n 1424420_10200835361746502_1258075740_n 1383471_10200835361506496_658164435_n 1377235_10200822229378201_1353871856_n 602833_10200835361946507_1235763902_n557991_10200822228898189_1932031409_n 1376444_10200822228538180_299042216_n 1377128_10200822227658158_1671201727_n 2539_10200822229138195_1774134562_n 1391604_10200822227498154_61250493_n 1381545_10200822228298174_1360660732_n 1422386_10200822227818162_632023018_n Art of Luis Gadea 1390571_10151888275986855_502416957_n 1390669_656245607749449_1081065949_n   Concept Art from Disney’s Frozen tumblr_lqcm38W1DI1qj5qvfo1_500 image-from-disneys-sleeping-beauty-eyvind-earle Eyvind Earle Sleeping Beauty Concept Painting Disney 1959 17768861 Art of Eyvind Earle Fishermen at Sea exhibited 1796 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851 Eruption_of_Vesuvius_1817 Art of Joseph William Turner

Frozen Concept Art – Glen Keane


Storyboard Research

tumblr_m59756b7h71r59fvyo1_1280totoroStoryboard1 VertigoStoryboardsRedwoodstumblr_md8s227cgJ1r59fvyo1_1280 storyboard_009storyboard_005TFVertigoStoryboards spiritedawaysb04 Storyboard references (Bravest Warriors, Hayao  Miyazaki, Alfred Hitchcock and Adventure Time)


  • Fun fact: Did you know that there are 155,520 frames in Disney Wreck-It Ralph.
  • Animators working side by side in the early 1930s. In Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnson’s book The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation a calculation of how many drawings it took to produce a 70-minute animated feature gave the answer: 2,519,200.

Nugget Knowledge

Tails and Ears Are Important Too 1. Ears are an important part of the attitude on any animal. 2. Hair can be a key to personality, and many times will show how a character feels. Scraggly hair gives an unkempt, irritable look.Smooth and sleek fur is soft and feminine. 3. Tails can do much to show the mood of an animal. They can give a perky feeling, or show dejection, or affection. They should not rest on the ground without a reason. They must have life too. Watch out for “dead” tails. 4. The neck is often passed over when considering parts of the anatomy that can help show an attitude. It can be arched for belligerence, show alertness, be cocky with chest out, or indicate anger.


Color theory encompasses a multitude of definitions, concepts and design applications – enough to fill several encyclopedias. However, there are three basic categories of color theory that are logical and useful : The color wheel, color harmony, and the context of how colors are used. Color theories create a logical structure for color. For example, if we have an assortment of fruits and vegetables, we can organize them by color and place them on a circle that shows the colors in relation to each other. A color circle, based on red, yellow and blue, is traditional in the field of art. Sir Isaac Newton developed the first circular diagram of colors in 1666. Since then, scientists and artists have studied and designed numerous variations of this concept. Differences of opinion about the validity of one format over another continue to provoke debate. In reality, any color circle or color wheel which presents a logically arranged sequence of pure hues has merit. Three color wheels - Harris, Today, Goethe Primary Secondary Tertiary Colors Primary Colors: Red, yellow and blue In traditional color theory (used in paint and pigments), primary colors are the 3 pigment colors that can not be mixed or formed by any combination of other colors. All other colors are derived from these 3 hues.  Secondary Colors: Green, orange and purple These are the colors formed by mixing the primary colors. Tertiary Colors: Yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green & yellow-green These are the colors formed by mixing a primary and a secondary color. That’s why the hue is a two word name, such as blue-green, red-violet, and yellow-orange.  



Disney Animated App

Video Reference

Dinsey Animated App Advertisment

Trading Card Review

Dinsey Inifinity Announcement trailer

Image Reference

Interactive Games and Media

Welcome to Interactive Games & Media

Welcome to the School of Interactive Games & Media at the Rochester Institute of Technology. This site contains information about several related academic initiatives and explorations across our campus, located primarily within the IGM School and the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing & Information Sciences and in affiliation with the RIT Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction & Creativity (MAGIC), but with partners both across RIT and abroad. From here, you can find information about our degree programs (such as the Bachelors of Science in New Media Interactive Development, the Masters of Science in Game Design & Development and the Bachelors of Science in Game Design & Development), our labs, our work, our students and our alumni. Through this site, you can find out more about our academic programs, our research and development, and our faculty. IGM at RIT is a community effort in almost every sense—we invite you to see what we’re up to, and, if interested, to join our ever expanding family.


The RIT Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction & Creativity

RIT has recently formed the Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction & Creativity (MAGIC), as a conscious and deliberate effort to blur the lines between the arts and the sciences, between technology and expression, between the study of the creation of digital media and its impact and effect on society and the human condition. Through collaboration with faculty, staff, students, colleges and divisions throughout RIT, coupled with new and unique models of research and production and a sustained emphasis on multi-disciplinary collaboration, MAGIC represents a one-of-a-kind approach to the study of digital media. Established by RIT President William W. Destler in 2013, the MAGIC Center is a unique and constantly evolving approach to the study of digital and creative media at RIT. IGM has a special and unique relationship with MAGIC as a ‘birthplace’ of this initiative, and MAGIC is now the intellectual home of our scholarship and creativity, as well as numerous student projects and research initiatives. It is, in a sense, our studio.

Disney Infinity Interactive Game Announcement Talks


Dinsey Fantasy Interactive Game Experience

Fantasia: Music Evolved (E3 2013)


Download Fact Sheet

Disney Interactive announced “Fantasia: Music Evolved,” a breakthrough musical motion video game inspired by Disney’s classic animated film “Fantasia,” will be available for Xbox One®, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft and Kinect™ for Xbox 360® in 2014. Developed by Harmonix Music Systems, the world’s leading music and motion game developer, “Fantasia: Music Evolved” transports players to a breathtaking world where music and magic combine to transform extraordinary interactive landscapes in entirely new and creative ways!

In this game, players enter the magical realms of Fantasia, selected by the legendary sorcerer Yen Sid to hone their musical and magical prowess as his new apprentice. “Fantasia: Music Evolved” takes players on an interactive and immersive motion-controlled journey through worlds of music and magic, unleashing their creativity along the way.

Using Kinect motion control technology and natural, controller-free gameplay, players will control the music flow from some of the industry’s biggest acts, including electronic DJ and producer AVICII, chart-topper Bruno Mars, and rock royalty Queen. “Fantasia: Music Evolved” gives players creative power to change the mix of their favorite songs in real-time, choosing between the original recording and new remixed versions, or adding new layers of music via magical manipulators that allow them to change music in exciting and surprising new ways!

“Fantasia: Music Evolved” will feature tracks from over 25 leading artists, each featuring two unique remixes in addition to the original recording. The current announced artists and songs that will appear in the “Fantasia: Music Evolved” video game include:


  • AVICII – “Levels”
  • Bruno Mars – “Locked Out Of Heaven”
  • Fun. – “Some Nights”
  • Kimbra – “Settle Down”
  • Queen – “Bohemian Rhapsody”
  • Contact Information:


  • Publisher
    Disney Interactive
  • Developer
    Harmonix Music Systems
  • Release Date
    June 2013
  • Genre
    Musical Adventure
  • Players
    2-player co-op play in structured adventures; up to 4-players in “Toy Box” mode
  • Platforms
    Kinect™ for Xbox 360 ®
  • ESRB Rating
    “RP” – Rating Pending
  • Available

Attendees of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) will have an opportunity to experience hands-on with “Fantasia: Music Evolved” at Disney Interactive’s booth located at #1001 in South Hall.”Fantasia: Music Evolved” is currently not rated by the ESRB.

Harmonix Music Systems, Inc.
Harmonix Music Systems, Inc., based in Cambridge, MA, and established in 1995, is the leading developer of groundbreaking music-oriented videogames. Harmonix was founded by Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy, who formed the company to invent new ways for non-musicians to experience the unique joy that comes from making music and have pioneered music and rhythm gaming in the US. For more information please visit

About Disney Interactive
Disney Interactive, one of the world’s largest creators of high-quality interactive entertainment across all platforms, is the part of The Walt Disney Company responsible

Interactive Theme Park Attractions

Mickey’s Magical Map

Harry Potter Theme Park Universal Orlando, Florida


Disney’s Avatar Theme Park Attraction



When we built websites we usually started by defining the body text. The body text definition dictates how wide your main column is, the rest used to follow almost by itself.Used to. Until recently, screen resolution was more or less homogenous. Today we deal with a variation of screen sizes and resolutions. This makes things much more complicated.

In the heat of the relaunch I wrote a quick blog post on responsive typography, focussing solely on the aspect of our latest experiment: responsive typefaces. Without knowing the history of iA, you’d miss some key aspects to the responsive typography and design in our relaunched site. Instead of mashing up all our articles on the matter, I decided to start from scratch and explain responsive typography step by step. This is step one.

To avoid designing different layouts for every possible screen size, many web designers have adopted the concept of Responsive Web Design. In a nutshell this is the idea that your layout automatically adapts to the screen definition. There are different ways to define it. I like to put it this way:

  1. Adaptive layouts: adjusting the layout in steps to a limited number of sizes
  2. Liquid layouts: adjusting the layout continuously to every possible width

While both have advantages and disadvantages, we believe that adaptive with as few as possible break points is the way to go, because readability is more important than having a layout that is always as wide as the viewport. This is a debatable opinion on a complex matter in itself, but optimal readability requires a certain amount of control over the measure (column width) of the text, and in this regard a liquid layout creates more problems than it solves. More about that another time.

Note: Responsive design already incorporates a lot of macro typographic issues (type size, line height, columns width). So responsive design already incorporates responsive typography in many ways. What we focused on in our first post on the responsive typography on our own site, mainly referred to our use of graded fonts. I’d like to talk about grading in the next post and dive right into the basics of responsive macro typography on the screen now.

Line height and contrast

While body text size can be evaluated with that perspective trick, line height needs some adjustment. With more reading distance and (what we call) pixel smear, it’s wise to give screen text a little bit more line height than printed text. 140% is a good benchmark, but of course, it depends on the typeface you use.

Today it’s a given that you make sure that the contrast is not too weak (e.g. grey text on a light grey background) or too garish (e.g. pink on yellow). Since screen typefaces were designed to be displayed black on white, using dark backgrounds is also somewhat difficult, but these can work if done right. With contemporary high contrast screens it’s also preferable to choose either a dark grey for text or a light grey for the background, instead of a hard black on white. But that is, again, not the most important question.

What about desktop computers?

Some people complain about the big font size in Writer for Mac. Just like we had to go for the biggest minimal size choosing the font size for iPad (which is held at different reading distances), we went for the biggest minimal font size on Mac as well. At the time our benchmark was a 24 inch high resolution iMac, where the perceived size is more or less the same as on all other devices.

Since the variety of Mac computers that run iA Writer is finite, we could determine the different possible resolutions. We looked at every possible configuration to make sure that the type size was the best compromise for most machines.

You might ask “Why not just allow the user to choose the type size?” Well, adjusting type size is not a matter of taste, but a matter of reading distance. Since most websites and applications have an overly small type size, new customers would initially choose a type size that they are used to, that is: too small a size, and never experience the full pleasure of our writing app. The main reason is not that we want to force a certain look upon all users: what we want is that iA Writer works without settings without fumbling, that the only thing you can do with it is write. This has been the open secret of its success and changing that would be messing with its core. (What we need to improve are the accessibility integration for people with bad eye sight).

Okay then, why not adjusting to the device’s resolution automatically? Wouldn’t that be true responsive typography? That’s right, and we are working on something similar. Now, in adjusting to the resolution, you also have to choose the right optical weight to make sure that the typeface really works as intended with every size and resolution. With the type size and the resolution optics of the font change as well. That’s why iA Writer for Mac, iPad 1/2 and iPad3 all have different grades as well. To explain the full logic behind grading digital fonts and explain the thoughts behind our new Website, I need a little bit more time and space. So, stay tuned for Part II!



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