Thursday, December 11, 2014

Autodesk University 2014

Be sure to check the Boxtrolls feature! Amazing all the work behind a stop motion movie.

Link here:


Friday, October 31, 2014

Every frame of Painting

I have recently discovered a great Youtube channel called "Every frame of Painting", hosted by Tony Zhou.

I has some AMAZING information about films are constructed and what the directors are trying to achieve in their films by using camera movements and staging.

I strongly recommend everyone to subscribe to this channel and watch those videos. Below are just a couple of them, to give you a taste of what you can find:

Game animators podcast at

This is a great (and long) podcast that features animators in the game industry. I find it refreshing and different from the common animation podcast, probably because it sounds very informal (and also because there is alcohol involved).

Anyways,  listen to it. There is a lot of information of how the game industry is different from the feature film (besides obvious comparisons), how the industry actually works and tons of jokes.

Also, I added the link to the conference by David Rosen (creator of the video game "Overgrowth") and how a programmer deals with animation.

Happy listening!

A Tale of Momentum and Intertia - HouseSpecial

Great short film!

A Tale of Momentum & Inertia from HouseSpecial on Vimeo.

Links, enlaces et liens

Sorry for not posting as aften as I should, but I've been busy lately between work and my course at CGTarian (more on that on a different post).
Free rig!
Another free rig!
How Naughty Dog plays with the camera and the animation on the latest Last of Us game.
Great blog to follow! Lots of insight for all different levels of animators.
Another free rig! This one from the Hotel Transylvania movie!


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Slow playback in Maya 2014

I'm currently a student at CGTarian Online school, and I recently experienced issues with the playback in Maya when working with the Ultimate Rigs from Ugur Ulvi Yetiskin.

After a lot of research, I was able to find the source of the problem, and even though the playback is still a bit choppy (I get 17 to 19 fps for a 24 fps animation) it's way better than what it was.

The solution is pretty simple: reduce the Smooth Mesh settings of the rig's mesh. By default, the Smooth Mesh in the rig is set at "Smooth Mesh" (if you have worked in 3ds max, this is the equivalent of a Turbosmooth or Meshsmooth modifier).

Default Smooth Mesh settings for the Ultimate Rig

The only thing you have to do is remove the preview.

New settings to improve playback

To apply the changes through all the rig, select the the mesh main group in the outliner and press the "1" button in your keyboard.

How to change the Smooth Mesh setting in all the mesh

If this procedure still doesn't fix your playback problem, these are other things you can try :
Installing the latest Service Pack (download from the Autodesk Maya Support Page and follow the instructions)

Hiding the objects you don't need in the viewport (you can change layer visibility - Click on the "V" beside the layer name). 

Make sure the renderer parameter is set to "Default Quality Renderer"

Viewport Renderer menu

Changing the update view setting to active viewport ONLY.

Playback settings

Reducing the size of the textures displayed in the viewport.

Display Performance

Using the default material.

Use the default material

I hope any of these tips help you. If you have any other solution that can improve the playback in the viewport, share it in the comments!


Monday, September 29, 2014

The Nature Of Creation In The Boxtrolls

Stop motion is such a cool artistic medium!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Links, enlaces et liens
How bezier curves works!
Good quotes from Andreas Deja blog.
A great set of rigs for a good price!

There's a Man in the Woods

I like the theme of this short. I have always wondered why there is not so much thriller/horror feature films. This one is a perfect example of how a good thriller story can make it in animation, 2D nonetheless!

There's a Man in the Woods from Jacob Streilein on Vimeo.

Genndy Tartakovsky's POPEYE Animation Test

I love this style of animation.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Links, enlaces et liens

This post is coming too late. It<s been sitting in the draft folder for waaaaaaay too long. But hey, better late than never! ;)
A Making of video from Duet, by Glen Keane.
This is a great podcast. Very inspiring.
Great little tip!
Pretty much everything here is true.
I shared this one on LinkedIn, but I felt I should post it here as well. Great article of hiring an artist from a HR agent.
A tool to analyze video reference from your phone or iPad!

PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR - "North Wind Headquarters" Clip

I luv the Penguins!!!

penQuickSelect from Paul Neale

Interesting little tool for 3dsmax.

Robocoaster animation demo- Inventor workflow to 3ds Max Design 2012

This tutorial has a little bit of everything, I believe. Technical and artistical. Worth watching.

Pose Controls - Erik Svensson

Great tutorial on how to work with the Pose Control tool in Motion Builder. It has some other tips worth watching.

Pose Controls from Erik Svensson on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

League of Legends - A New Dawn Cinematic trailer

This is a really cool cinematic. A lot of details have been put in there, especially when the character with the gun switches his cigar from one side to the other.

Check also the Behind the scenes. The part where they make the sounds is priceless.

 Source: Polygon

Gigantic Announce Trailer

I love the style of this cinematic. I hope the game maintains it as during gameplay.

Random Animation with Aaron Blaise

Rio 2: Behind the scenes #2 - Sabine Heller

Crazy rigs! The thing with the feet is really good!

RIO 2 Behind The Scenes #2: Rigging - Sabine Heller from Skwigly on Vimeo.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Illusion of life - 12 Principles of animation

This one is old, but very good!

The illusion of life from cento lodigiani on Vimeo.

Found via Splinebomb

Links, enlaces et liens

After a long absence from the internets (due to the World Cup and overtime), I compiled a long list of links for you guys. Some of them are a couple of weeks old, but good nonetheless.

Seriously, if this is his first animation, there is a huge amount of talent in one person.
A look at the new software used at Dreamworks
New tool from Paul Neale.
Hell of a critique!
Crazy good demo reel!
Three new rigs from Advanced Skeleton! Get the tool now!
New animation software in the making.
Mocap database, good for reference and for motion editing practice.
This is a very interesting point of view about the current state of creativity in animation. I kind of agree with most of what John says, in the way that these days, all animation looks pretty much the same. But anyways, that would be a subject for another post.

Legend of the Flying Tomato

Pretty cool short!

Legend of the Flying Tomato from Aurry on Vimeo.

Nike Football: The Last Game ft. Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., Rooney, Zlatan, In...

Funny how all of these players are not playing the finals. Anyways, I love futbol and animation, so here it goes. ;)

How to be an animator and still be happy

Another gem from animator Alvise Avati. There are a lot of tips in his speech, especially his workflow, which I agree with fully.

Found via Splinebomb

Alvise Avati animation tutorials

These are very entertaining. :)

Found via Splinebomb

Animating Adam Savage's Workshop

This is an animation done by the guy that did Aug(de)mented Reality. I think his thought process is really good for the type of animation he does.

Making Of Sketchy Spiderman

This is a step-bystep process of a 2D Spiderman animation test, done by a very talented friend of mine, Guillermo Dupinet.

I love the 2D/3D mix he did.

Furiko ( Pendulum )

Very simple but very nice too. A refreshing style, I would say.

Team Fortress "Expiration Date" Short Film

Really cool!! :)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Friday, May 30, 2014

Links, enlaces et liens

This links post is loaded since it<s been a couple of weeks I haven't posted anything. So, here it goes!
BJ Crawford's Vimeo channel. Great content!
Making-of of Frankenweenie
Nice promo ad for the 2014 Soccer World Cup in Brazil. And in Stop Motion!!
Great gifs!!
This is a nice and not expensive source for learning how to draw
Unbelievable technology!
How a Wacom tablet works

How to do visual comedy by Edgar Wright

Previously, I posted a video on how to do close-ups based on Edgar Wright films. This one is a great tutorial on visual comedy, also taking as example Mr. Wright's movies.

Edgar Wright - How to Do Visual Comedy from Tony Zhou on Vimeo.

Almost... Second place in the CGTarian Animation competiton

I almost got it. I ended up winning the 2nd place in the animation competition from CGTarian animation school.

I put a screen shot because after each competition the page changes, so if I post a link, in a year from now my video won't be there

Honestly, I'm very proud of what I accomplished. It was the first time since my days at school that I participated in a competition. I really put a lot of effort into it, with pretty much every free time I have out of my duties at home. The final result needs polish and now that I saw it again after a week or so, I realize that there are a couple of things I'd like to change.

I won't, however. Below is the animation I did, posted on the CGTarian Youtube channel.

I will post, however, another one with a slightly better render and the thumbnails I did before animating. I'll update this post when I upload it to my channel.

Overall, this was a great experience and I definitely will be doing it again!


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Monday, May 12, 2014

Pascal Campion said it best!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Little Avengers

Really nice design!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

SuperRune - Super Simple Rig

I was looking for a auto-rig script for 3ds max and I found this great script called Super Simple Rig, from SuperRune.

The Pros are that is that the script is really solid and well done, and the rig includes eyes and jaw by default (though you can remove them from your setup if you don't need them). With a click of a button you can create a rig and deleted if you don't like it. It uses locators to setup the bones and the PEN attribute holder script is present in all the controllers, which is a nice way to create pose libraries. And it's free.

On the Cons side, the fingers are a bit hard to setup, since the script does not take into consideration the rotations of the locators (so the orientation axis of the controllers is calculated by the position of all the related locators). In addition, the setup options for the spine are different from what I have seen so far, and there is no option for IK/FK spine control (there is one but the IK and FK are active at the same time).

There are not a whole lot of rigging scripts out there for 3ds max (not really needed since there is CAT and Puppetshop), but if you're looking for some additional customization, give it a try. You won't be disappointed.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Three Point Landing

It's become a norm now that all superheroes land the same way. Maybe they go to the same superhero school?

The Goose

This is just INSANE!!!

The Goose from Arctq17 on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Links, enlaces et liens
Great sprite animation for game Crawl. It's amazing how much pixel artists can do with so little...
Not sure if I have already shared this link, but it's really good for practice not only figure drawing, but animals and facial expressions too.
Live demonstration of the Presto software used in Pixar.
Interview to Pierre Perifel, Dreamworks animator. Really good and insightful stuff. He did the animation test below, which I think is crazy good! Be sure to check out his blog...

goal! from pierre perifel on Vimeo.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Video Player for animators - KeyframeMP

Looks like a great tool! The best is that it was designed for animators, which makes it even cooler...

Keyframe MP Overview from Chris Zurbrigg on Vimeo.

Link to buy and download:

Frozen Progression Reel - Daniel Peixe

Great progression reel, from storyboard to final render.

ShotProgressionSven from Daniel Peixe on Vimeo.

Found via SplineBomb

Ted Ty Masterclass - PIXEL Animation 2014

I just came from Ted Ty's masterclass on Animation Performance at the PIXEL Animation in Quebec City.

I have to say that Ted Ty is a HELL of a speaker. He gives his lecture in such a passionate way that it's inspiring just to hear him talk. There is no doubt that he loves animation and that he wants you to love it as much as he does.

During his class, Ted analyzed some movie clips and explained some details that might be obvious, but make A LOT of sense when viewed with a different approach. Why the actor is doing a smirk? Why is he lifting a brow? What is the character thinking? All those questions are answered during his lecture. And from time to time, he gives some golden nuggets of information that are priceless, and those alone would make the price of the ticket totally worthy.

In addition to what Ted showed, Jalil Sadool and Pierre Perifel joined the second part of the class and they added some relevant comments on the subjects Ted was doing. That is what I call a BONUS feature...

If you have a chance to listen to any of Ted lectures, go. The amount of information you will get will surprise you. And you won't be the same animator after one of Ted classes, I can guarantee you that.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

New Page: Downloads

I've just added a new page in the blog called "Downloads". It basically collects all the scripts I've done in one place, just for easy access.

I already have the "Download" label in my posts, but I've just realized that some of the posts where I explain what the tool does had the label missing, so it was a bit hard to find them. In addition, they are all nicely separated by program, so I think it's better that way.

If you have any suggestions on how to make the site better, just let me know.


Friday, March 28, 2014

CGTarian - Behind The Frames

There is a new series of videos in the CGTarian Youtube channel called "Behind the Scenes" that explain the different problems animators have to face when doing their shots. I believe the first one (by Jalil Sadool) is pure gold!

Here are the first two videos, but I'm sure there are more to come.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Links, enlaces et liens
Arc tracker for Maya. Equivalent of DTools for 3ds max.
Rigging tools from Unreal Engine.
Great podcast with Ken Fountain and his beginning as an animator.

And finally, I found this really good tip on Twitter.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

3ds Max tips and tricks: Cheating your Animation with Procedural Noise

Great little video on how to cheat animation using the procedural noise.


Chuck Jones Gallery

I recently found a link on LinkedIn that took me a Chuck Jones gallery.

It's just amazing. The clarity of the drawings, line of action, poses... But most of all, the memories that each drawing brought back. I confess myself a HUGE Chuck Jones fan (for instance, my favorite animation of all time is One Froggy Evening), so these images are just pure gold for me.

Here are a couple, but be sure to click on the link and look at all of them!

3ds max scripts to modify the timeline start and end values

I created a couple of scripts that allow me easily control the start and end of the timeline. They are fairly simple and will save you a couple of seconds each time you want to change your timeline.

I would normally use the CTRL + ALT + Mouse buttons to change the values or move the timeline (with the middle button), however, when working on long scenes, it can be a bit of a pain to a frame as start or end.

So this little scripts will do the job. Here's a brief description so you know what each script does:
  • UpdateStartZero: It will reset your timeline start value to Zero.
  • UpdateStartTime: It will update the start value of your timeline to the current position of the slider. So, let's say your timeline goes from 0f to 500f and you want it to start from 333f. Just place the timeline slider to frame 333 and run the script.
  • UpdateEndTime: Same as StartTime but for the end value.
I'm planning to create some other scripts to update the end value further from the current value (i.e., to change it to 500f if your timeline currently goes to 400f) and to offset the whole timeline by a certain value, but I'll see if I need them.

If you want more control, you can also try the timeline script that is part of the JJTools package. Actually, I recommend to install the package regardless, it has some REALLY useful tools, like the Clever Move and Rotate.


As with most of 3ds max scripts, just drag-n-drop the files into the viewport. I would recommend you put them in one of your Quad menus for easy access.



Cheers and have fun!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Animating a sequence in The Boxtrolls

Seriously, StopMotion animators are a special breed of animators.

Found via Carlos Baena Twitter:

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Peanuts Teaser Trailer

One word in regards of the animation in this trailer: Refreshing.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

James Kim Demo Reel - AnimSchool

Amazing demo reel! One of the best I've seen from AnimSchool.

2014-2013 Demo Reel from James Kim on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

11 Second Club - December 2013 review

This video review is full of awesome tips on camera work, so be sure to have a look at it.

Here's the link to the 11 second club video review site. I couldn't find a link to the video from the site itself, so in case my first link stops working, you can always go and look it up yourself.



The Passions and Techniques of Steven Spielberg

Great insight of Spielberg's work.

The Passions and Techniques of Steven Spielberg from Steven Benedict on Vimeo.

 Found through Ken Kyleworthy's animation blog.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Maya trick: Hide manipulator tool with a hotkey

Hide Manipulator Tool in action

How the hotkeys work when adding objects to your selection

I recently created a set of hotkeys in Maya that make the transform manipulators disappear when I press a certain hotkey. This is useful when you have an object or control selected and you want to select another one that is covered (or inside) the manipulator itself. The problem is better explained in the image below.

Main problem I have

There are many workarounds on this issue, like switching to the selection tool and then switch back to my previous tool, or decreasing the size of the manipulator itself. All these alternatives are valid but for me they didn't work. I guess I'm too used to 3ds max, where you can select objects through the manipulator without a problem.

Anyhow, I have a US keyboard, so I mapped the new hotkeys to the \ and | keys (where | = SHIFT + \). I mention the type of keyboard because the keys I chose are just beside the SHIFT key, but if you have a different type of keyboard you can map them wherever you see fit.

US keyboard configuration (Image: Link)

The way these hotkeys work is as follows:

\ , change my selection
This hotkey will hide the manipulator and let me select another object that is covered by the manipulator.

| , add to my current selection
This hotkey will hide the manipulator and allow me to add other objects to my current selection. This key is the equivalent of pressing SHIFT + \ (by default, SHIFT is used to add objects to your selection).

In both cases, when you release the keys, the previous manipulator will reappear. This way you will be able to select objects that are inside the manipulator area (especially the rotation tool) and add objects without switching to another tool.

How to install it

First, open the Hotkey Editor (Window\Settings/Preferences\Hotkey Editor)

Hotkey Editor with new commands

Click on New to create a new command. Add the following information for each of the available fields:

Command Name: _HideToolChangeSelectionPress
Description: Hides the current tool when selecting another object
Category: Selection
Language: MEL


overrideModifier -press Shift;
string $_HTPrevCtx = `currentCtx`;

Repeat the process for the other commands:

Command Name: _HideToolChangeSelectionRelease
Description: Shows the last tool after selecting another object with special modifier
Category: Selection
Language: MEL


overrideModifier -release Shift;
if ($_HTPrevCtx == "moveSuperContext") {
if ($_HTPrevCtx == "RotateSuperContext") {
if ($_HTPrevCtx == "scaleSuperContext") {

Command Name: _HideToolMultipleSelectionPress
Description: Hides the current tool when selecting multiple objects
Category: Selection
Language: MEL


overrideModifier -press Shift;
string $_HTPrevCtx = `currentCtx`;

Command Name: _HideToolMultipleSelectionRelease
Description: Shows the last tool after selecting multiple objects with special modifier
Category: Selection
Language: MEL


overrideModifier -release Shift;
if ($_HTPrevCtx == "moveSuperContext") {
if ($_HTPrevCtx == "RotateSuperContext") {
if ($_HTPrevCtx == "scaleSuperContext") {

Once all the commands are created assign them as follows:

Hotkey: \
Direction: Press
Command: _HideToolChangeSelectionPress

Hotkey: \
Direction: Release
Command: _HideToolChangeSelectionRelease

Hotkey: |
Direction: Press
Command: _HideToolMultipleSelectionPress

Hotkey: |
Direction: Release
Command: _HideToolMultipleSelectionRelease

I created this tool to improve my workflow. If you have any comments or suggestions, let me know.



Monday, February 17, 2014

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Friday, January 17, 2014

InFamous Second Son PS4 Development

Cool making of about pushing the facial expressions on one of my favorite Sony licenses.


Links, enlaces et liens
Showing some of the BonusTools in Maya.
Demo reel advice on creature animation from Jean-Denis Haas.
Cool 3D Ninja Turtle concept
Free rigs for Maya! :)
Another free rig! :D
Interesting article of the mocap process for Watch_Dogs
Share this to your friends that have children and have no idea that ESRB exists.