Saturday, December 5, 2009

Facebook Group and Kolbe Film School

Hello everyone, I've just started a Facebook group called Catholic Animators, which will hopefully attract, well, Catholic animators.  I'd love for everyone here to join up to get it started. 

Facebook | Catholic Animators

Also, I've begun teaching a course in Character Animation for a new online school called Kolbe Film School.  It's just a humble little school right now, but its Board of Directors has big aspirations.  See it here:

Kolbe Film School

Maybe you know someone that would like to enroll? 


P.S.  Sorry for letting the blog languish.  Hopefully the Facebook group will help get things going again. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pixar's Up

So it's out ... what did everyone think?

I went in to the theater with little Matthew (3 weeks old) and my lovely wife in a hopeful mood but one that I had purposely suppressed as it's easy to have high expectations of a new Pixar film.

I was most dissatisfied with the short 'Partly Cloudy' -- the animation and expressiveness were certainly not my issue, but rather ... the story itself!

Nevertheless, Pixar's UP was a fantastic experience for me! I picked up on the sweeping artistic stylizations right away but found, that after a while, I stopped seeing computer characters again ... and started seeing people instead. I saw real acting, real emotion, real characters and of course ... a real story that presented it's characters, told an entertaining tale, and answered their needs.

Perhaps I'm easily impressed, but I enjoyed UP very much and I can't wait to see it again.

BTW - Doug ... is plain AWESOME. "SQUIRREL!"

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Been a while -- so here's a first!!

So -- y'know Sacky right? That flour sack that every animator from the beginning of time animates right after the bouncing ball? Well I never did that ... sorta skipped the whole flour sack thing. So here it is!! I've really been working on trying to get my animation feeling looser and also a bit more interactive with the environment as well. Check it out -- C&C welcomed as always!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thesis is Done! Now on to my next adventure!

Hey everyone! So as I just stated I just finished my senior thesis film at my current University. It was a great experience to finally be able to work through story boards, draw up concept sketches, and even model and texture characters for an entire film. Well except for the human character that's in the film, that rig came from animation mentor. So I was able to work on this for a good 4 to 5 months. I really enjoyed the way it came out and I got a great response from it when I showed it at the exhibition. Here it is, please let me know what you think :)

I definitely know that the animation isn't where it ought to be to get me into the industry. I need to keep improving in my medium. That's why I have decided to go to a Graduate school in the Fall I just finished applying to it. The school is called SCAD(Savannah College of Art and Design) They have one of the highest ranked programs in the country. So I'm very excited about that I feel that this will help propel me to become a better animator and hopefully land me a real animation gig :) I know that you can become a animator in your own time by your self. But for me I have always found that I get all my energy from those around me and there sure has been a lack of that from my small little town of Lafayette, Louisiana. Oh and I think that John Webber teaches or once did teach there so maybe if you read this John maybe you could tell me a little bit about the school.

One last thing that I wanted to share with you is that I have gotten the extremely great opportunity to work in an Orphanage in Tapatitlan, Mexico. I'm going to be going through Sisters of Sorrows order. They asked if I would like to teach the children there and I believe it'll be a amazing opportunity! I know that God that called me there. Maybe I could even teach them a thing or two about animation!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Pixar's Up and the general trend towards Blandness

[disclaimer: As I mentioned in a comment, Up, the movie, will probably be less reliant on formulaic animation and style than the teaser trailer (due to its inherent time constraints) which triggered the following thoughts. This is really a comment on general trends in theatrical animation that disappoint me, and should not be construed as criticism of the superb artists at Pixar, some of whom I've had the pleasure of working with in the past.]

I just watched the trailer for Pixar's Up, and I'm underwhelmed again. Maybe I'm just getting old and cranky, but does anyone else think Pixar's films get blander every time out? The design, the lighting, the rendering and even the animation is all...there's no other word for it: bland.

Well, maybe there is: verisimilitude. Why have they gone so far down this road of pursuing realism? Why even start down that road? Can't we have some fun with the backgrounds and designs anymore?

And in the animation, I recognized about 5 different standard Pixar moves (which are also imitated by every other studio) in that short little clip [this is probably due to time constraints]. Come one, guys! Surprise us! Entertain us! You're the best in the business. You've got the skill and resources to push the limits!

Well, maybe I'm all wet. And I owe a lot to Pixar for pioneering the CG animation industry which I enjoy working in. I just wish they'd show some of the spunk they used to show in their early days.

And there's some things I like about the concept of the movie; It reminds me a little of a G.K. Chesterton story. But if Chesterton was an animator I can't imagine him limiting himself with the slavish pursuit of verisimilitude.

[edited after a good night's sleep]

Ooh a new group of friends!

Hello all. I want to first thank Thom for inviting me and allowing me to join. This is super exciting.

My name is Gregory Gillis. I am currently a fifth year senior at Borromeo College Seminary and John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. I am graduating in December with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. While JCU does not offer any real animation classes, I had to teach myself and make my own courses. While I not continuing in the seminary at this point, I hope to use everything I have learned and experienced to teach others.

I am currently in the process of working on things for getting into grad school or a job at some point. Until then, I will be working as a youth minister and computer technician and teach computer classes. The big project I am looking to be doing starting in December is actually how I stumbled onto this site.

A few seminarians encouraged me to start a web site and company doing religious education videos. We wanted it to be along the lines of "Adventures in Odyssey" (Focus on the Family) and "Veggie Tales" (Big Idea). Except we would maintain a purely Catholic stance in all of the messages. We would release 14 videos a year. One each month and a special at Christmas and Easter. Each video would be accompanied by games and activities as well as references and sources for teachers adn parents. A few people have already signed up to help out with translating the site into Spanish and supplying Spanish subtitles. This project is still a little ways off being a poor college student, but I plan to make it work at some point in the near future. I will post things on here hoping to get feedback whenever I can.

If anyone wishes to help, please let me know. I am unable to pay anyone at this point and it would be strictly for the fun of it, but I am being told this could hit big and we could make a large amount. At which point I could pay those who contributed while taking portions out for donations to Catholic Charities and the curch of course.

Thanks again for allowing me to join. Hopefully I will post more things when I get some fere time between classes and semianry formation.

~Gregory Gillis
GSquared Films

Hey Catholics!

Hey everybody! I'm Blake Landry. I'm so excited to see an gathering of Catholic Animators. It's really great to see people who are called to this field of ministry! I'm on the verge of graduating from College at the moment. I also did Animation Mentor, which is where I realized that it's exactly the line of work that I want to be in! I love animation of all Kinds. Especially if it's backed with Good Morels. Anyway, here is my animation reel so far:

Click To Play

Right now all my life is going to is my senior thesis! I think it's coming along great. I'll show you guys as soon as I'm done. Which is in 2 weeks :)

Again it's great to find a Catholic community of animators. I really want this group to go somewhere :)

God Bless!