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Animation Mentor

Awnnnnnnhhhh yeah, I’m in!

After passing a wonderlic test and essay questions, I’ve been accepted into Animation Mentor, the online school of animation and VFX! The teachers are all working professionals from studios like Pixar, Moving Picture Company, Dreamworks, Industrial Light and Magic and all the amazing studios in between!

My course will be Animation Fundamentals, where over the course of a year, I’ll relearn what I know needs work with my animation (the basics). Classes are small and conducted completely online. It’s a pretty awesome opportunity. Big thanks to my stepfather John for this leg up in my life!

Winter is Coming

A combination of Game of Thrones and Tron in anticipation of GOT Season 3!

A combination of Game of Thrones and Tron in anticipation of GOT Season 3!

Ahh, the return of excellent TV. So excited that another season of Game of Thrones begins!

And how excited am I about Season 3? Daft Punk/Tron excited. That excited.

3-Point Belt Vol.2 – Clash of Actors?

Who knew pretending to be Greek could be so easy?

Who knew pretending to be Greek could be so easy?

Clash of the Titans (Louis Leterrier, 2010)

Clash of the Titans (2010 film)

Sexy kraken. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. What went right: the seamless fusion of the wings to the Pegasi (my plural for Pegasus), the subtly convincing, venom veins (woo, alliteration!) on Perseus’ arm and the kraken. Kraken = money scene. Brilliantly designed creature.

2. What went wrong: unoriginality. A lot of reviews rip on the CG but I think it’s the writers’/director’s fault the plot makes any VFX flaws stick out like a sore thumb. However, I do have to say, why didn’t they design original effects? Why did they choose to pick Hades to materialise like a dementor? He could have entered in a much more evil Lindsay Lohan kind of way. And why is Medusa so humanoid? The design has been seen before, let’s think for ourselves people!

3. My remarks throughout the whole movie:

Lord Voldemort

Hades needs sex-ifying. Get Draco to slap some tan on him. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

‘Hey, isn’t that Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) playing Hades?’

‘Hey, isn’t that Mr Tough Danish Bond villain (Mads Mikkelsen) playing Mr Tough Greek captain guy?’

‘Hey, isn’t that the captain from 300 (Vincent Regan) playing a Greek king?’

‘Hey, isn’t that Dr Jekyll from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Jason Flemyng) playing Greek Dr Jekyll?’

The biggest problem I had (besides bad storyboarding and writing) is this jumble of characters ripped from other roles. It’s like they grabbed every actor who resembles one cast character in another movie, slapped fake tan and eyeliner on them and BOOM! – you’re Greek. Do we have no faith in choosing other actors for a role they haven’t played before?

English: Sam Worthington at the 2010 Toronto I...

Mate, I’m true-blue Greek, swear on Mum’s Vegemite pavlova. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And on a more important note, I loved the mismatching accents. I REFUSE to watch a tale about Greek mythology UNLESS it stars actors who keep their Downton Abbey English, their Taken Scottish and their rinky-dink Australian accents. True blue blokes.

3-Point Belt Review – Vol. 1


Hey boys and girls! Strap in. It’s time for a movie review!

The 3-Point Belt Review will be my attempt at being sooper edumacated about what’s hot and what’s not in VFX. Basically, each film only gets 3 observed points. Only 3. Because I don’t like long movie reviews. I’m generation Y. Me need instant gratification NOW! [Slams fists down]. Let’s cut to the cheese people.

Independence Day (Roland Emmerich, 1996):

  1. Miniatures and kabooms (pyrotechnics) = awesome!
  2. Respectful use of CG where props can’t be used.
  3. Damn good writing. In the words of the South Park police: “Nice”.

Hugo (Martin Scorsese, 2011)

  1. The CG melts into the sets beautifully due to well-planned VFX.
  2. Set design and the props – perfetto! Fantastically whimsical and true to steampunk.
  3. You know those cupcakes that look really delicious with all that icing and sprinkles but taste like plastic headphones? That was the writing/editing/directing. TERRIBLE pacing, disjointed plot and characters lacked depth. Ugh.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (Robert Zemeckis, 1988)

  1. Seamless integration between 2D elements impacting the real world.
  2. The most convincing interactions don’t occur physically but through EYE CONTACT WITH A CARTOON BUNNY.  I doff my hat to you Bob Hoskins.
  3. Campy but it has a clear plot and motivations, plus Doc from Back to the Future.

E.T (Steven Spielberg, 1982)

  1. Excellent mechanical puppetry and props (aha!) to Matthew DeMeritt for walking on his hands in the suit for some scenes.
  2. Fairly convincing green screen and spaceship, which is remarkable for its time.
  3. Confusing character motivations and acting at times. In other words, the Mum is really weird. Why are you so negligent? She needs Dr Phil to tell her to get real.

Ben-Hur …..errr, I mean Argo (Ben Affleck, 2012):

Ben-Hur (William Wyler, 1959) was a bit scratched and around the cool rowing scene, it became unwatchable. So we watched Argo instead, and –

  1. For whatever VFX is in there, it’s subtle and unnoticeable. The illustrated storyboard intro also immediately piqued my interest.
  2. Yes, it was AWESOME!
  3. No, it is not completely true to facts. Don’t cry about it. If you want a doco, go watch angry polar bears with Sir David Attenborough or something.

Taking a Line for a Walk

15 minute sketch using pencil and oil pastel

15 minute sketch using pencil and oil pastel

A drawing is simply a line going for a walk.’ Paul Klee

Well, here are some more walking lines. You can find them under “sketches”.

New Old Stuff and New Look!

Some pieces that won awards. 'Chivas' on the left won a regional award and 'Digital Autopsy' on the right was featured in the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane and toured Queensland as apart of the Creative Generations awards.

Pumbaa: It’s like my buddy Timon always says: you got to put your behind in your past.

Timon: No, no no. Amateur. Sit down before you hurt yourself. It’s “You got to put your past behind you.”

So that’s what I’ve done….kind of. I spruced up the website a little, put in some old stuff (like some artworks from high school, some past animations and some compositing exercises) and added a dash of new stuff (like the black background – WOW!). So yub-a-dub-dub, thanks for the grub, and enjoy!

Weta Workshop

Last week I was fortunate enough to visit (dun duh!) the Weta Cave and Weta Workshop in Miramar, New Zealand! One step closer to the dream. I even saw Sir Richard Taylor at the Weta Cave! Unfortunately he was busy and I’m not into busting in on someone’s conversation. Ah well, there will be a next time!

The Weta Workshop was amazing and I was able to meet a painter named Matt and a sculptor named Craig Campbell. Everyone who works there is incredibly talented. One day I’ll stand amongst them!