Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Demo at CSUN

The Animation Academy enjoys a special relationship with California State University in Northridge. Located in the north San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, Cal State Northridge (CSUN) has an excellent art and animation department with a long history of successful graduates throughout the animation industry. I currently teach at CSUN in addition to the weekly sessions of The Animation Academy.

This is a quick demonstration I created at yesterday's class. The image was sketched in blue pencil first, then followed up with black line and broad tip markers. I blended blue pencil with tissue paper for the blue tones and picked out highlights with an eraser. Clicking on the image will give you a better view.

These demos were also also created at the same session, in the spirit of Halloween, using a similar technique as the demonstration above.

If you're looking for a degree granting program in animation, fine art, graphics, photography and more that is of excellent quality and affordable, check out Cal State Northridge. Here's a link to CSUN's home page: http://www.csun.edu

This link will take you to their art department: http://www.csun.edu/art/

Supplement your education at The Animation Academy, or prepare for CSUN with us and your skills will skyrocket.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Manny Aguiler's narrative art

We recently introduced a new course for advanced students. The class is called Narrative Illustration and is geared towards making the most of Character Design, Background Design and Visual Development skills acquired through the Academy's program. Ongoing students can focus these skills into compositions intended to exhibit storytelling elements.

We've enjoyed a long relationship with Manny Aguiler, an associate instructor who also continues his education with us. His work has been featured before on the Academy's blog on April 12, 2006. Our associate instructors were at one time our students but they go on learning with us to challenge themselves creatively. Here's a recent example of Manny Aguiler's work from Narrative Illustration. He used graphite on paper to come up with this scene from "Jack and the Beanstalk". Click on the image for a better view.

Manny's dynamic composition features a good balance of shapes and tonality to capture the interest of the viewer and push the element of depth of field within his drawing. There's confidence in his draftsmanship and his work creates excitement and enthusiam with students looking to emulate his example.

Our sessions are attended by a host of excellent artists who've been with us for years and are generous with their knowledge and encouraging with their artistic experience. The Academy's next semester, our 52nd consecutive one, will begin next week on October 23. Manny Aguiler will of course be present.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

An Emmy for David Colman

I'm very happy to announce that David Colman has won an Emmy for his character design work on Cartoon Network's "Class of 3000". Here he is pictured with his fiance at the award ceremony.

A former student of The Animation Academy and an accomplished author with his book "The Art of Animal Character Design", David has done remarkable things so far in his career. He is currently working in development at Disney Feature Animation in Burbank.

David Colman is scheduled to return as a guest speaker this coming semester on November 13, 2007 where we'll have an opportunity to congratulate him in person. You can see pictures of David's earlier visit to the school by referring to the blog archives and the entry on June 13, 2007. You can also visit David's blog by following this link. http://davidcolman.blogspot.com/

Friday, October 05, 2007

John Watkiss visits the Academy

It was a very exciting session at The Animation Academy last Tuesday as special guest speaker John Watkiss joined us and blew our collective minds with his incredible art. John is a master whose experience involves the visual development of several Disney feature films including Tarzan, Kingdom of the Sun (Emperor's New Groove), Atlantis and Treasure Planet.

He gave us an extraordinary insight and detailed accounts about how many of the Disney features he worked on came to be, especially Tarzan. Here he is working with a group towards the end of class, relating his views on art and sharing a peek at development work few people outside the studio have ever seen.

John Watkiss is an artist's artist. What he can do with a Sharpie and black Prismacolor pencil is astounding, not to mention his absolute mastery of acrylic painting. He trained artists at Richard Williams Studio in London during the production of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, he taught at the Royal Academy of Art in London, and he is without question one of the most incredible artists I've ever met.

It was a real honor and priviledge for us to host Mr. Watkiss and I hope he'll return again before too long. To see more of John Watkiss' work, visit his blog. http://johnwatkiss.blogspot.com

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Great Burbank Rainbow of 2007

A few days ago a heavy rainstorm passed through the Los Angeles area. I happened to be at the Academy's offices when I looked out the window to see a magnificent rainbow that was anchored almost exactly upon the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. I went to the roof of the building to capture the image you see below. The white object at the furthest point of the lower right hand corner of the photo just above the tree line is the water tower at the Disney lot. Clicking on the shot will give you a better view.

As the gigantic rainbow reached its apex, I took a series of photos to create this composite image. The rainbow is anchored to the right at Disney, to the left on Cartoon Network. In between the arch left of center is where Nickelodeon is located and at right of center is DreamWorks.

This is a very rare occurence. Who knows when it will be seen again if ever. I hope you enjoy these special photos of the animation rainbow in Burbank and that it brightens your day.