Feb 26, 2009

iPhone App'imation: Randy Cartwright writes an Animation timing app for Apple.

Randy Cartwright: animator, story guy, committed iPhone geek. My kind of fellow. With a self-taught ability to program, this veteran Disney artist has created a neat little application for lucky owners of Apple iPhones and Touchs: an animation timing program called(aptly enough) Animation Timer.

Randy taps the Timer

It wasn't long ago that Randy told me he had this idea to write his own program for the iPhone, something that would be eminently useful and that no one else had yet done. As there are already a gazillion apps of all kinds for the thing, that would be an admirable feat. A very short time later, he'd done it and voila! It lives. Simple to use and at $2.99 a lot less than the old Minerva stopwatch Cartoon Colour used to sell.

Randy's official App store statement(reiterated on his app website) is as follows:
"Animators can use a stopwatch to time out actions but there has always been an annoying problem. Stopwatches show time as 1/100ths per second but movie film runs at 24 frames per second. To find out how many frames you need to do a tiresome calculation containing 41.66667 each time. I’ve always wanted a stopwatch that would show the time in exactly the format I need so I decided, what the hey, I might as well make one{...}."
The stopwatch action starts with either shaking the phone or tapping the screen. Each additional tap marks the time, which can be shown in either film footage, film frames, NTSC video frames or PAL video frames, as well as in seconds.

If you're interested, all you need to do is search for "Animation Timer" in the iTunes App store. And you don't need the iPhone to use it--it works with the iPod Touch. Very cool.

The man and his program

Feb 10, 2009

Shane P. and Shannon T. and Coraline J.

Shane Prigmore and Shannon Tindle are swell guys: friendly, generous with thoughts and props, and fun. They also draw and design like a bat out of heck.
At top is an example of Shane's work; Shannon's is below; click to enlarge them(and there's much more where they came from-see the links below to their blogs).

Dreamworks has them right now, but several years ago they were working on a stop-motion feature based on an exceptional book by Neil Gaiman, my new favorite author(be sure to read his latest, "The Graveyard Book", which just won the Newbery medal as the outstanding children's book of the year-also keeping in mind that in my opinion Gaiman, like all great authors, doesn't write so much for children as for himself).

I went to see "Coraline" on Sunday. It's a film that both men gave a lot to, along with many other brilliant artists.
I should probably do a separate post just about the film, but for now here's a sampling of some beautiful work Shane is sharing on his own blog, and Shannon's equally inspiring paintings are here. Go see--there's a lot more and it's all simply wonderful.

Lastly, here's a link to what's far and away the best of the several Coraline trailers, on YouTube. Really worth watching, even if you've seen the others.

Feb 6, 2009

Leo Matsuda

He's amazing, that's all.
Leo Matsuda
The above from his blog--his impressions after watching "The Wrestler". Click to enlarge. And be sure you head over & visit his other work.

Feb 1, 2009

Bob Winquist at Chouinard Art Institute c. 1950

Yesterday's gathering to celebrate Bob Winquist was a wonderful event--a great time had by all. Every story and memory related by his family, friends and former students made Bob alive and present again.

I was especially proud of everyone from Calarts--all of you do Bob so much honor and I agreed with every word of all you had to say. I had very little to do with bringing it together so I don't speak with any special authority, but personally I wanted to express how thankful I am that everyone came down--or up. I'm sure we all agree it was a party Bob would have loved.
This is a snippet of very old 16mm footage that I'd meant to show but events took on their own momentum and only a few people saw it later in the Palace. It's the youngest Bob yet--a full decade or so before the photograph that accompanies my earlier post. I'm pretty sure these outtakes (from among Bob's huge stash of stuff boxed away in his last home) were part of an instructional video on Bob's particular speciality, paper sculpture when he was teaching at Chouinard. A few examples of his large-scale work can be briefly seen behind him.

The crowd that was there to remember Bob was big, and it was easy to get happily lost among friends you haven't seen in about 18 or 19 years.
Thanks again, all.