Friday, December 22, 2006

Flying home tomorrow morning

I should probably be packing right now...but check out these links first! (Most, if not all of them, I got from Mark)

Excellent, excellent character designs/digital paintings:
Ryan Wood
Todd Harris

Stunningly beautiful paintings and drawings:
Nathan Fowkes

Very useful summary of art basics: light, color, value, perspective, etc:
Niklas Jansson

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Sky

I'm getting into the bad habit of taking pictures while driving. I swerve the car from left to right on the freeway while reaching back to fetch my camera, but in all honesty, I can't help it. After coming back from a hiking trip on Saturday, this is what the sky looked like on my way home.

Sometimes you have to stop whatever it is you're doing and look at the sky for a minute or two. It is amazing.

I'm flying to LA tomorrow to get a new passport. God willing, it will go smoothly. And then, Thanksgiving with Ringling friends and many hours of four-player tennis action on the Wii. I predict some good times coming up.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


After reading Keith Lango's comments about good staging examples found in the Iron Giant, I wondered, "Is there a live action film that really stands out in this respect?"

I'm sure there are plenty, but the first movie that came to mind was Chicago. It is such a good movie for many reasons, but the shot composition and use of staging principles to guide the audience's view across the screen is particularly remarkable. It really follows the golden rule of showing one piece of information per shot. Some examples:

There's a lot going on in this shot but our eye goes to the brightest part of the image:

The audience's head become abstract shapes that serve as foreground elements, adding depth to this shot:

The dark, massive figure on the right opposes the light, smaller figure on the left, creating balance:

The warm light on Catherine Zeta-Jones makes her stand out. The cool blue light makes everything else recede. Also, she is framed by the figures in the foreground:

Again, our eyes go straight to the brightest element. The verticality of the pole is balanced by the horizontal rectangle implied by the audience:

I don't know what rule this image exemplifies, but I like it:

Our focus doesn't always have to be on one thing. This shot is more about the pattern created by the black silhouettes inside the red rectangles, than the individuals:

Again, the emphasis on this shot is the collective, not the individual:
Some very nice silhouettes:

Foreground elements framing the main character:
Use of warm and cool colors to stress the evolving conflict between these two characters:

Warm colors stand out over cool colors:

The use of these principles is pretty obvious in a movie like Chicago. After all, most of the action takes place on a stage which facilitates the use of dramatic lightning and staging. But there are plenty of other movies that take place in several other locations where the composition is also superb. Welle's Citizen Kane, Leone's "Once upon a time in the West" and the Coen brother's "The man who wasn't there" are fine examples.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Sunday, October 22, 2006

It was Meng's birthday last Wednesday

We went to Napa Valley yesterday, and I can't get over how beautiful the bay area is. I could stare at the mountains forever.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Destino and Lorenzo

About two years ago Disney Feature Animation went to Ringling to give a presentation. I don't think they were hiring at the time, and that may be the reason why not that many people went to see them. I was helping out with the AV equipment in the Lecture Hall.

The presentation went on as usual: they described where the company was at, showed some pictures of the studio in Burbank and briefly talked about the future and the CG movies they had in production (the Mickey Christmas Special and Meet the Robinsons). Then, out of nowhere, they announced that they were going to show two previously unreleased shorts that have rarely been seen outside animation festivals: Destino and Lorenzo. They were both absolutely fantastic.

You can read about Destino (a collaboration between Disney and Salvador Dali) here and Lorenzo, here.

That was the first and last time I saw them. I've been wanting to get a copy of both shorts so badly, but I don't even know if Disney plans to release them.

I found this clip of Destino on youtube:

Friday, October 13, 2006

Thursday, October 05, 2006

This book is amazing

I just got this today.

The cover is fancy:
But it's the inside that matters. The drawings are big and were printed in very good quality. I highly, highly recommend The Art of Open Season.

Also, and while you have your wallet out, go buy the newly-released Little Mermaid on DVD. It comes with The Little Matchgirl, an awesome animated short that was supposed to be a part of the now defunct Fantasia 2006. So good.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I don't know where I want to go with this one

I do know that I love saturated colors. I can't help it!

On Friday I saw Open Season. Story aside, I really liked the character designs and overall look of the movie. Having heard excellent things about the Art of Open Season, I decided to order it yesterday. To my pleasant surprise, the character models in the movie looked almost identical to the concept art. Very good!


As I was driving back from work one day I looked at the range of mountains that surrounds the peninsula completely. The eastern range was hit by the bright orange light of the setting sun, and the western side was deep blue as it sank in shadows. Marveled by this exceedingly beautiful gradation of colors, I thought of God who made them all, and admired Him.


Roughed in values.

Wanted to be done with this one

This is as far as I'm going with it.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A bit more color (if you can see it)

It's so much easier to start with a complete value study before even dealing with color. Once you are happy with the lights and darks, you can create another layer for adding color and not worry about messing with the values anymore. This may be the oldest trick for a lot of people, but it's pretty much an epiphany for me!

Also, Mark gave me some tips.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Two more blogs

It's hard to keep up with so much amazing art on the internet nowadays:

Benjamin Plouffe
Robin Joseph

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Wii Tennis

This is much fun. Check out Miyamoto and three other dudes playing tennis with the wiimote back in E3.

La mujer gata

Meng, Nara and I choose a topic for the week and sketch it. Last week's task was to redesign catwoman. Here are some attempts. I want to post as many drawings as I can as a way to track my progress and try to improve my drawings. Here's catwoman as a cyborg!In other news, I applaud Nintendo's radical and fresh perspective on gaming in general compared to rivals Microsoft and Sony. I had said before that they were trying too hard to be different when they announced the Wii, thinking that the sole appeal of this console was that "it was so different from everything else that it's bound to sell". But it's clearly more than that. Nintendo's approach is not just to be the polar opposite of the competition (and hoping to sell by just doing that), but rather it designed the Wii to encourage the average person (and not just the hardcore gamer) to give it a try. Furthermore, the many multiplayer games that will be released in the future will provide a great opportunity for communal gaming, which to me, is its greatest appeal. I mean, come on, I'm already challenging people to play Wii sports when it comes out!

I'm sorry PS3 but you're expensive. I could buy 120 cheeseburgers with fries and a coke from In-N-Out with that money.

That's right. I preordered the Wii.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Thursday, September 07, 2006

My dream, my belt

Last night I had a dream.

In this dream there were huge, beautifully multicolored birds. These birds were tied to strings, which I was holding on to. Suddenly the birds took flight and they effortlessly took me up with them. It was one of the best dreams I've ever had.

When I was drawing my belt, however, I remembered that I have it no more and I was saddenned. This weekend, while going through security at the airport, I had to take it out to go pass the metal detector. I realized two days later that I had left the one belt I own in the bin where I had put all my stuff. Happily for me the fun didn't end there, as I was selected to be thoroughly searched when I showed my boarding pass. Nowadays this procedure is slightly more... in depth. The official first asks you if you want it done right there, or in private. After I promptly answered that I wanted it done right there, he proceeded to, you know, pat me in different places. But he let me know in advance: "Now I will go over your back", "now your legs", etc, which was good of him, I guess.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Temple of the Seven Golden Camels

Most of you have probably seen this blog already, but if you haven't it's definitely worth checking out. It's Mark Kennedy's Temple of the Seven Golden Camels, a blog where he writes about everything from staging principles to character design to storytelling. It's not something you just want to skim through -take your time and read it from the very beginning. It's a treasure chest of information!

And now I'm off to Virginia!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

On showing work

I find it remarkable how there is always a way to improve an idea dramatically, particularly when you share it with someone else. Whether it's an idea for animation or story, I always have the tendency to keep it to myself while I'm working on it and only show it when it's close to being done. Of course, the people that I show it to then give me excellent ideas that will plus my work, and I end up kicking myself for not showing them earlier. There are a couple of reasons why I do this but I think the main one is, well, that I'm lazy and the more times I show animation the more likely it is that I'll have to make changes.

Same thing applies for story development. Every time I wrote another treatment of my thesis, I thought it was going to be the last one because I couldn't think of anything else to add. Sure enough, as soon as I shared it with someone else, better ideas surfaced and more rewriting took place.

So a new challenge for me is to overcome the tendency to conceal my work and be more open to suggestions. In the end, it can only improve!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Is Winston's return imminent?

Is it time to finally see The Piano as an animated short?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


The Looney Tunes website showcases a bunch of classic full-length shorts. Check them out! One of my favorites is "What's Opera Doc". I love the animation, the colors, the background designs but above all, I love the fat horse:

Also, Nara showed me some this cool flash animation.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Some color

She isn't finished yet. I'm trying to figure out whether I want her to look flat and graphic or more 3D.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Getting closer

I printed out every single page of Walt Stanchfield's notes. My printer is almost on fire, but it'll be worth it.

Little Miss Sunshine is worth checking out. It's quite possibly one of the best movies I have seen this year- a bitter sweet tragicomedy.

The lesson (reminder?) of today is: "always work from big to small".

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

There's hope people!

Found my very first figure drawings, back from freshmen year:
And no, we weren't drawing chimpanzees nor sausages.

All I'm saying is that, it's never too late to learn!

Still trying to find her

Surely you have heard of John Nevarez. I recently purchased his sketchbook "Bits and Pieces". Very excellent drawings.

Monday, July 31, 2006

The delightful feeling of burning leg muscles

Don't let anyone tell you otherwise -riding a surrey is good fun and great exercise. Meng, Jim and I rented one near the Japanese tea gardens and it was a blast. I mean, we were almost ran over by cars, people were either staring at us or laughing and we almost had a heart attack after pedalling for forty five minutes; especially on the way back, uphill. But it was great fun. I would never do it again, but it was fun.

Also, last Wednesday Matt and I went to Cornerstone Church in San Francisco where some ILM and Pixar people, who attend that church, shared about what was it like to work on Pirates and Cars, respectively. We got to see some footage of Davy Jones and the Kraken's tentacle rig. It was amazing.

I hope you're familiar with Rune Bennicke. If you're not, click here right now!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Drawings, etc.

Meng sent me these really cool links:

Animations from the characters in Street Fighter 3!

Concept Art from several fighting games!

I have about 30 blogs that I need to sort out and eventually add to my links section. I was going to do it tonight but it got kind of late. I'll try again tomorrow. For now, check out The Art of Glen Keane

I also started exploring some character designs. I used to draw very smooth and curve lines, but as of last semester I've trying the sharper, base-shaped approach. Let's see where this goes!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Froghat Studios

Chris Appelhans' paintings are simply beautiful. Do check his website out:

Froghat Studios

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Lately I've been noticing how long it's been taking me to animate something relatively simple, and it's because I don't have a clear idea of what I want the character to do. I find myself always trying new things: new poses, new acting choices, new timing...when I should really be making progress and layering on top of what I already have. And while I admit that I very much enjoy this exploratory process, it's definitely not the most efficient way to work. In fact, except for some happy accidents here and there, it always proves to be a waste of time.

This also happens when I'm refining animation. I look at my shot and decide that the upper torso needs to move up faster. That's it: that's the only change I need to make. But then I start looking at my curves and wonder "maybe the hip should also be coming more this way" and "the arm should probably move slower here" and "what if the head tilts right there". Eventually, I fix the upper torso, but for one problem solved I created four more.

I like to think of animation (an art in general) as a very intuitive and spontaneous process: you keep trying new things until it just "feels right". But there are times in which I definitely need to be more intentional in my planning, more disciplined in the corrections I make and more precise in how I envision a shot.

The good thing is that I'm learning!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Banana Bread

Originally uploaded by gcareaga.
An idea for an animated short has been brewing in my mind for the past week. It involves tango music and a ravishing woman. This weekend I'm going to start narrowing down the story and start exploring some character designs. This short may be finished in a year, or ten, but that's not a concern right now. First, I need to decide if the story is worth telling.

Yesterday I received a letter from Goodwill informing me that Betsy the Faithful, pictured above, has been sold for $140. I'm going to miss you Betsy.

Next week at work they are having a baking contest, and I already have three bananas ripening reserved especially for this exciting event.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Uploaded Sugar Rush to Veoh

Hope this works and makes it easier to watch it.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Ringling's website now has senior shorts from this year in the Portfolio section. Check them out here:

Note: the lastest shorts are from "Our Special Day" to "A Clean Sweep"

Lo bueno se hace esperar

Originally uploaded by gcareaga.
Almost two months here in California! Already two weeks working at PDI! And forty five minutes thinking about what to write here!

So far it's been an incredibly rewarding experience. Being surrounded by super talented artists humbles/encourages/intimidates/inspires me. It's so great being around people who not only know so much but who are also very willing to answer the thousand questions I have each day. I look forward to the challenging days to come!

I would say I love California if it wasn't too cold. Right now it's 59 degrees, and it's summer. "You'll get used to it," a lady told me at the furniture store the other day, and I left the store laughing. During winter, I'll carry chopped wood with me. And a lighter. I could set up a fire in no time wherever I go. Otherwise I like it very much. I like the mountains, the tall buildings and trees. I like San Francisco very much.

The long weekend is upon us! And with it, the company of good friends from the south. Good times ahead.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Bad animation but good times

While deleting old files from my computer I stumbled upon this, my primitive theater! It used to have sound.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Excellent drawings

The Daly Blog proves once again that less is more. Simple, rythmic lines make the figure look so expressive. I like these drawings a lot.

One more week before school is over, and then, a new chapter begins!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

1st post!

testing, testing, 1, 2, 3