• End of the year thoughts

    Sorry for the lack of posts. Its the end of the year, and everyone is working alot. I know Adam is in crunch for Wall E and I’m cruching on the short that will be in front of the feature.

    We are in the process of redesigning the Spline Doctors web site. Hopefully it will be alot easier to navigate and all the past posts will be better organized. A really talented guy named Ben Lew is helping us. Also, all the Spline Casts will have their own page. In the upcoming year, we have alot of new spline casts coming. This blog will move more towards podcasts. We will still give tips, and write about animation, but we want to focus on creating useful podcasts for you to hear.

    On an Animation note, there was a lot of animation this year. I saw a bit of Enchanted and really enjoyed it. Hats off to all that worked on it and to Baxter Studios. I am curious to see Beowulf, but the eyes on the characters really weird me out. I have to ask why they just did not decide to do this film live action? I appreciate the work, but I really just want to know what is gained by doing cg humans? I can understand doing penguins, or Gollum or giant apes. When I look at the cg human, the uncanny valley effect sets in and I just disconnect. I’d be curious to hear what people thought. One thing I also dont understand is why the film is being considered for academy consideration for animation. Ok, there may be some animation, but the film is not animated by hand. Apparently, the Academy and the powers that be, do not agree with me.

    Education in animation is really gone through the roof. Students have so many choices these days when it comes to learning character animation. On-line schools like Animation Mentor, as well as many brick and morter schools are out there to choose from. The bay area is booming for animation education. One thing that I still feel is a big issue is how students go about making thier own films. If you are doing a film in cg, either you have to do it very simple, use pre built rigs or have an amazing amount of knowledge of 3d software to build a good piece. Schools like Cal Arts does great 2d films, but when it comes to 3d, they struggle. The opposite happens at places like the Academy of Art. The Academy has an amazing program, if you are talented enough to get in the track with all the guys from Pixar teaching. They turn out amazing animators and the teachers are all awesome. Its just that you don’t see alot of student films. Places like Animation Mentor are using pre built rigs to have students do films. I think its a good idea and at least it gets students immersed in film making. The last thing we need is for schools to just pump out animators, much in the way technical schools pump out electricians or mechanics. I sometimes wonder if the industry is large enough to support all the animation students that will be coming out every year.

    Have a great new year and expect more to come next year.


  • Flip Blog

    Hey, here is link to some pretty neat tutorials, put together by Cameron Fielding. They are worth a look and thanks to Cameron for taking the time to put them together.



  • The Original Spline Doctor

    Adam Burke and I did a great interview with Ed Catmull. Thanks to everyone who sent us questions. Special thanks to Ed for doing the interview and to Adam for setting it up. The fact that Ed made time to do this interview says alot about him and the kind of company he runs

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

    Download: Ed Catmull Splinecast

  • Happy Halloween

    Thanks for all your questions to ED. We had a great interview with him which should be up shortly. Sorry for lack of posts. Things are very busy here. We had a great costume contest for Halloween at work. Former Spline Doctor, Angus Maclane and I took first and second place…. He was a half order of chicken and I was global warming. Expect some new posts soon.


  • Upcoming Spline Cast

    Our next Spline Cast is pretty exciting if I say so myself… Dr Burke set this one up. Our guest will be Ed Catmull, founder and President of Pixar and Disney Feature Animation. Anyway, I am posting this so that readers can send in some questions. We will pick a few of the best ones. Just send them to the comments section with your name or if you want to remain anonymous, that’s fine. Obviously, we are not gonna ask him any questions that deal with upcoming films or company stuff.

    Thanks to Dr. Burke and to Ed for doing this.