Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Industry's New Workflow Paradigm – 3D Compositing (Los Angeles)

A panel discusses the evolving workflows having a profound effect on the work of all 3D animators as well as 2D departments who now do the "finish work" like never before using Flame, Combustion, Toxik, and Nuke.

Event Description



*Steve Wright*, Master Trainer - Visual effects compositing, Nuke and Shake

*Damian Allen*, President of Pixerati LLC - Visual effects design and pipeline consultant

Speakers will explore and explain this new trend in visual effects that incorporates 3D geometry, lights, and cameras in addition to the usual 2D images into the final compositing of a shot. This new workflow paradigm profoundly affects both the 3D and 2D departments as the compositor now does much more of the "finish work" using 3D-capable compositing programs such as Flame, Combustion, Toxik, and Nuke.

Sponsored by Nuke.

6:30 - 7:30 PM Social Hour & Hors d'oeuvres
7:30 - 9:30 PM Program Presentation

Presenter Biographies

Steve Wright's Biography


The James Bridges Theater at UCLA Department of Film, Television and Digital Media


All LA ACM SIGGRAPH will be admitted free of charge. Non-members of LA ACM SIGGRAPH are admitted for $20.00. New LA ACM SIGGRAPH members who sign up on-site, and pay the $40 annual membership fee (checks or cash only), do not have to pay the $20 admission fee.

Special Thanks

Steve Wright, Diane Wright, Mike Amron, Joan Collins Carey, Sharon Eisenberg, Lucy Cooper of The Foundry, and the entire LA SIGGRAPH Executive Council.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

CTN Expo Wrap Up

Artwork by Micah Lewis

Artwork by Ryan Benjamin

Artwork by John Mahoney

The CTN Expo was held this weekend in Burbank. It was a great event. Panels and Expo and tons of giveaways but most importantly plenty of diamonds in the rough with raw talent.
We were happy to partner with the CTN EXPO and offer a 10% discount for our members using the BAVFX09 code.

During the Expo ASIFA hosted an Animation Educators Forum. More information can be found at www.animationeducatorsforum.org There is also another great organization called Girls Drawin Girls. They have a holiday mixer coming up on December 5th 2009. Information can be found at www.girlsdrawingirls.com

Sponsors included Animation Magazine, Toon Boom, Woodbury, Cal Arts and many other educational institutions and animation companies.

Educator and Artist Amarpal Khanna from the ICEF charter schools took a group of 30 students to the expo on Saturday. http://www.icefla.org

Companies such as Warner Bros and Walt Disney were on site recruiting and reviewing portfolios and the top off each evening was an industry mixer with the who's who of animation.

Artists locally and from across the country came out to the event such as
Micah Lewis http://www.artofmicahlewis.com
John Mahoney http://mahoneyconceptartist.blogspot.com
Ryan Benjamin http://www.ryanbenjamin.com

There were also representatives from Percy Miller Studios (Master P) in attendance.

If you attended the expo feel free to post on the wall and add your experience.

See you there next year. http://www.ctnanimationexpo.com

For a complete list of vendors click here

Krystal Cooper
Chair, Blacks in Animation & Visual FX

Monday, November 16, 2009

Keith Hunter: Artist, mentor, most-excellent man *

3rd Annual Keith Hunter College Fund Annual Fundraiser:

More information on this talented artist is below. Rhythm & Hues set up on behalf of his son. If you wish to donate directly to the fund as well, please make any checks payable to "The Vanguard Group", and in the notes section write "Max Hunter Education Fund"

Keith Hunter College Fund
c/o Accounting Department
Rhythm & Hues
5404 Jandy Place
Los Angeles, CA 90066

Keith Hunter was an animator at Rhythm & Hues who passed away from cancer in 2007.
A college fund has been set up in his son's honor

If you knew him, pass this along:

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/08/head-thumb.jpgKeith Hunter, a much-beloved computer artist who managed the modeling department of Rhythm and Hues Studios and volunteered tirelessly in Los Angeles-area schools teaching computer animation to young children, has died after a short but fierce battle with cancer. He was 41.

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/08/babyBuggy-thumb.jpgThe son of an ophthalmologist and homemaker/dietician, Hunter was born in Washington, D.C. and moved with his family at age 7 to Bettendorf, Iowa, where he spent much of his formative years learning to draw, build models and fix machines – boyhood activities that would carry him into a rich career in computer animation.

His father, Larry Hunter, recalls that Keith could assemble or repair just about anything without instructions, including the dirt bike he began riding at age 11 along dirt roads near his Iowa home. His detailed drawings ran the gamut from motorcycles and monsters to comic book heroes of every kind, and as soon as he finished one project he’d start another:

“It was always hard keeping him busy enough – he hated to be idle,” Hunter’s father recalled. “You’d never see him sitting around half the day looking at the boob tube.”
At right, with his older brother, Bruce in Iowa in the 70s

Keith Hunter went to Ohio State University to study architecture. It was there that he met Jocelyn Hayes, a pharmacology student whom he would marry five years later when they moved to Los Angeles.

Upon graduating in 1990, Hunter entered Harvard University in pursuit of a master’s degree in architectural design.

Seeing a powerful connection between the fantasy art he loved to create and the nuts-and-bolts rigors of computer-aided design under which he trained in architecture, Hunter gravitated towards computer animation. Upon his graduation from Harvard in 1991, instructors encouraged him to continue on a doctorate track. But Hunter chose to pursue his artwork and was hired away immediately by Rhythm and Hues, a leading computer graphics studio.

Hunter went to work in the modeling department, creating CG models of products and logos, creatures and machines and within two years was tapped to run the studio’s modeling department.

Hunter oversaw modelers who created some of the most enduring images in computer animation – everything from the Coca-Cola polar bears and the Oscar-winning Babe the Pig to the fantastic creatures in 2005’s Oscar-nominated “Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”
Here’s a bit of his personal science fiction work.

The day after Hunter’s death, studio chief John Hughes issued this statement to his colleagues:

“It is with great sadness that I must share with you that our friend and colleague, Keith Hunter, passed away last night after a courageous battle with cancer …

“Keith joined Rhythm & Hues in September 1991 and had been the Manager of the Modeling Department for most of his years here at the studio. Over the years, Keith contributed to almost every project R&H produced, both as a manager and as an artist. Keith embodied the spirit of R&H in his supportive attitude and constant professionalism, always looking for ways to make this a better place to work.

Keith’s ability to connect with those around him was obvious over the past few weeks. The outpouring of love and concern was a reflection of the special person he was and a testament to the man who will remain in our hearts and minds.”

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/08/jump-thumb.jpgIn spare time, Hunter indulged in childhood passions such as riding dirtbikes, flying RC model aircraft and collecting Japanese anime and toys, and continued to work long hours chipping away on personal animation projects, recalls friend and colleague Steve Ziolkowski, a Rhythm & Hues animator.

Once Hunter became a father in 2000, his priorities shifted, his close friends recall.

“Focused, that’s the best word,” says Ziolkowski. “He made damn sure that he had time to work on his stuff but also that he had time to be with his son and Jocelyn.”

After the birth of his son, Hunter began working with children, teaching computer animation classes, leading drum circles and reading aloud in schools across greater Los Angeles, ranging from Compton to Crossroads.

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/08/armor-thumb.jpgHis method in the animation lessons was to encourage the kids to draw frames of animation on paper, which he then scanned into the computer and animated, says his wife.

Jocelyn Hunter recalls, “Keith wanted kids to be able to have a chance to see that stuff in this area wasn’t impossible. He wanted to show them, ‘You can do it, if you stick it out.’”

Hunter is survived by his wife and young son, and his father, mother and older brother,

Friends have set up a blog for Hunter’s family and friends here: http://hunterfamily.blogdns.org

Sunday, November 15, 2009

20 animated films join a crowded Oscars derby (welcome, Alvin!)

The mystery is over. Turns out that 20 films have been submitted for consideration in the Oscar race for best animated feature. That means there will probably be five nominees, since 16 eligible entries must be submitted. Fewer eligible entries means that there will be just three nominees in the category, which has been the case seven times over the last eight contests since the category was created.

"Eligible" is a key word. According to the academy Rule Seven, that means an entry must score 7.5 or better when evaluated by members of an academy committee who will rank each one from 6 (lowest) to 10 (highest). There's also the issue of production technique, which must utilize "frame by frame" animation. Using computer-generated imagery is a cloudy matter.

A few of the titles on this list are surprises, including "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel," "The Dolphin" and "The Secret of Kells." They hadn't been dished in recent blogosphere discussions. ("Alvin" may face eligibility obstacles due to its use of real people in live-action sequences.) Their additions mean extra padding in this race. A few could fall out and we'll still have five nominees.

The following films have not yet had their qualifying runs in an L.A. theater, but all plan to do so by the end of 2009: "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel," "The Dolphin: Story of a Dreamer," "Fantastic Mr. Fox," "Planet 51," "The Princess and the Frog," "The Secret of Kells" and "A Town Called Panic." Here is the academy's full press release.

"Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel"
"Astro Boy"
"Battle for Terra"
"Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs"
"Disney's A Christmas Carol"
"The Dolphin: Story of a Dreamer"
"Fantastic Mr. Fox"
"Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs"
"Mary and Max"
"The Missing Lynx"
"Monsters vs. Aliens"
"Planet 51"
"The Princess and the Frog"
"The Secret of Kells"
"Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure"
"A Town Called Panic"


Ooops — strike '2012' off your Oscars best-picture list

Gold Derby nuggets: Busy week for Clint Eastwood; 'Twilight' dominates People's Choice noms; identity crisis for 'A Single Man'; can 'District 9' land in top 10?

Oscars to arrive late at the 'Precious' party?

Gold Derby nuggets: Pundits predict top races at Globes and Oscars | Pete Hammond: 'Brothers' has Oscars pedigree | 'Mad Men' recap and forecast

Gold Derby nuggets: 'August: Osage County' vies for West End kudos | Dave Karger: 'Amazing achievement' of 'Precious' | 'Avatar' is half billion dollar baby

'Precious' star Gabby Sidibe sneaked in and was watching us!

Gold Derby nuggets: 'Precious' shatters box office record; Taylor Swift soars on 'SNL'; still mad for 'Mad Men'

Oscars rewind: 'Slumdog Millionaire' tied for most European Film Awards nominations

Oscars predix for best pix from 16 experts

Oscars predix for best pix: Now the real experts pipe in – our forum moderators

Oscars predix: Who's ahead in the best actress derby?

Oscars predix: Who's ahead in the best actor derby?

Photo: 20th Century Fox

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Creativity Drives Employment, Economy in Los Angeles Region

As the U.S. economy continues to transition from a manufacturing-based to a service-based economy, the Los Angeles region will see an uptick in employment for artists and designers, according to a 2009 report from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC).

Data show that the “creative economy” is one of the largest business sectors in Los Angeles and Orange
Counties, generating nearly 1 million in direct and indirect jobs and almost $140 billion in sales/receipts from the arts, design and entertainment industries combined. Over $5.1 billion in state and local tax revenues are generated by art and design-oriented businesses found in the following industries.
Entertainment, Toy, Digital Media, Fashion, Architecture, Interior Design, Industrial Design, and Communication Arts, as well as Fine and Performing Arts.

These findings and more were revealed today at a presentation of the 2009 Otis Report on the Creative Economy of the Los Angeles Region, hosted by Otis College of Art and Design which annually commissions the report to put real numbers to the business of creativity and to spotlight an under-recognized driver of the regional economy.
“Our current economic challenges mandate long-term solutions. It is time for us to join forces in a creative offensive for economic recovery and a better future,” said Samuel Hoi, President of Otis College. “At Otis, we look forward to partnering with leaders from across sectors to take practical steps in unleashing the creative potential of the Los Angeles region.”

The 2009 Otis Creative Economy report was presented by Dr. Nancy D.

Sidhu, Vice President and Chief Economist of The Kyser Center for Economic Research at the LAEDC. “Excluding the manufacturing segments, employment in the service-oriented creative industries of Los Angeles grew by 21,500 jobs, or 9.9%, between 2003 and 2008, and by an estimated 2% in Orange County,” stated Sidhu. “And Los Angeles County is projected to grow by 4,000 more jobs, or 1.6%, by 2013.”

Other findings in the report.

- The Digital Media sector is expected to grow the fastest between 2008 and 2013, with employment of digital artists rising by more than 10% in both Los Angeles County and Orange County.

- Projected declines in Fashion, Furniture and Toy employment by 2013 are due largely to expected losses in the manufacturing sector; however, employment growth is still expected here in the “other specialized design services” category, which includes fashion designers.

- Little if any employment growth is projected for the Communication Arts and Entertainment sectors overall. However, job counts will increase in certain segments of both sectors, including graphic design and post-production services.

The full report is available at www.otis.edu/about/presidents_messages/creative_economy.html :

A panel discussion, moderated by Frances Anderton, KCRW’s on-air host and producer, followed the presentation of the report. Panelists were Andy Mooney, chairman of Disney Consumer Products; Sir Ken Robinson, creativity expert and author of The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything; and Laura Zucker, executive director of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

At the end of the presentation, with over 350 of Los Angeles’ business, philanthropic, art and design leaders looking on, Mattel International President Bryan Stockton presented a $1,850,000 gift from Mattel, Inc. to Otis College of Art and Design to support student scholarships, art and design curriculum and facility enhancement. “To be competitive in the world and in this age of ideas and innovation, we must embrace creativity in our schools as well as our workplaces,” said Hoi in accepting the check. “Mattel clearly understands this important issue by responding with this generous gift.”

This year’s event was sponsored by the California Community Foundation, the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles, toy maker Mattel, and City National Bank. “To us, the data in the 2009 Otis Report are more than the facts of creativity’s economic impact,” stated Hoi. “They also tell the story of possibilities made real by a combination of education and talent.”


Founded in 1918, Otis College of Art and Design prepares diverse students of art and design to enrich our world through their creativity, their skill, and their vision. The College offers an interdisciplinary education for over 1,200 full-time students, awarding BFA degrees in advertising design, architecture/landscape/interiors, digital media, fashion design, illustration, product design, painting, photography, sculpture/new genres, and toy design; and MFA degrees in fine arts, graphic design, public practice, and writing. Continuing Education offers certificate programs as well as personal and professional development courses. More information on Otis College of Art and Design is available at www.otis.edu : or by calling (310) 665-6800

For Otis College of Art and DesignSheri Mobley,

323-668-0874 smobley@mobleymarketing.com : mailto:smobley@mobleymarketing.com