Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Squishy goodness

Enrollment seems to be moving along and going up at work which makes life a whole lot less stressful...at least until it starts getting warmer! Gotta keep them caffeinated fluids goin. Looking forward to upcoming events, the annual Pixar presentation, family gatherings and special moments, 6-year anniversary with my lovely wife, 1-year birthday with our lovely little girl, and the Platform Festival in Portland. I'm reminding myself to stay plugged in to God and be so grateful for all that I have and the neat connections and opportunities that come our way.

A new review of my book has been posted on Michael Sporn's blog, one of my daily web visits.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Spread the Stop-Motion Madness!

I found some animation done by a reader of my book in the US...pretty surreal to see it applied!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Mexico Book Review

My book has been reviewed in a recent issue of Onderfilm magazine in Mexico, published by my friend Ricardo Torres at Golem Producciones. It's all in Spanish so I had a student at VanArts translate it for me:

It has became relatively simple to do animations: a web cam, a PC of last generation and done, you have your first project. However, doing a quality animation with this kind of technique, its still complex and requires a lot of knowledge in different areas like chemistry, mechanics and anatomy. The best way to learn how to do professional projects, its taking a course, a lot of practice and a lot of good reading about the subject. Believe it or not, these last ones are scarce.

The Art of Stop Motion Animation is a new book that talks about this form of animation
with a didactic point of view. Unlike other publications which are descriptive and informational, this book contains exercises that you can do to obtain better results on screen. Ken Priebe, the author of the book, has been a stop motion instructor for more than 7 years, and in these pages you can find the knowledge gained in those years. Also the author enhances the content by doing interviews to people with a vast experience in the studies of animation and the details of the world of stop motion that so far have been great mysteries.

According to Ken, this book focuses en la in the construction of characters, it also talks about which is the best way to get involved in the process of animation and it helps you by giving you tips about the cameras, programs, and plasticine that you should use. " I believe that is important that people have a greater visual reference so they can start their way in the media. Stop Motion is hard work there are thing that work and things that don't. I don't want to touch every single detail, for that you would need a whole bookcase " Ken commented for underfilm.

Looking at the book, you will find that technology has come to evolve since animation was invented; Today we rely on certain tools and tomorrow may be others. everyday is less important which camera or which computer you use to achieve a project with great quality.
" Technology is impressive nowadays but its far away for being the answer for everything. Just because you have the best digital equipment does not mean that you are going to create an excellent animation, you can do a great job with just a webcam. there are people that know all about the tools but do not know how to use key concepts like poses, timing and character design. This is something that takes a long time to learn." Assures Ken.

Nick Park, creator of Wallace and Grommit, a year ago said for underfilm that right now there more people hired to do stop motion than in any other time in history. a great industrial movement is developing in Europe and North America since the production of movies and television series. In Toronto Canada, Cuppa Coffee studios has just been classified the largest stop motion studio in the world. The animator, specialist in this technique are considered by the industry like a rare thing to find; However,every day the gap between producers and artists is closing thanks to the internet. " I posted some of the animations my students made on you tube , and received several mails from animation productors interested in putting them on T.V
It is a lot easier nowadays to show a work. when i went to Mexico, I saw a lot of interest in stop motion, and i believe its because their culture is very handcrafted, people like to do thing s with their own hands. All these people have now access to the same technology and the same exhibition quorum as the others. Now you have to worry about learning and training about how to make professional animation. this is the way there will be more and better animators, art will get stronger and become more popular. My book talks about the best way to get yourself inside the world of stop motion", Ken concluded.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Enter my 80s Brain!

Since I'm in the blogging spirit, for no other reason at all here's some random awesome-ness from my childhood psyche courtesy of YouTube.

This is one of the most brilliant pieces of animation & music used together, actually from the 70s...old school Sesame Street!

The original 80s HBO Logo...

Recently re-discovered the best 80s Disney shows ever...

Wuz gowan own wif Ken?

Since I very rarely blog, it's time to catch up! it's monday...i have today off....i've been dusting, vacuuming, neglecting hygiene, staying in my jammies and working on dubbing for a DVD trade with someone off the SMA.com message board....i'll be getting some good stuff in return....useful for my next book project....shhhhhh! it's a secret. nah, not really....thinking of doing a book on stop-motion history, cuz nobody else seems to be doing it and i think it's interesting so what the hell, it be fun! got 'puppet animation in the cinema' and 'making of king kong' from the library recently to help.

film class at sunday school has been fun....had Kevin Miller as a guest speaker last week talking about the Hero's Journey; very fascinating stuff and helped me bring around full circle many of the themes i've found in movies. speaking of movies, we rented 'Shut Up and Sing' the other day and loved it! I like the Dixie Chicks, they sing good. Working on my film a little bit too.

overall i like life. you should try it too...it's life. it's good.

and now, Ariel likes to dance. I just had deja vu when posting this.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Good-Bye Grandpa Priebe

Dear Grandpa-
I'm sorry we didn't get to say good-bye in this life, so this letter will have to do. I'm sad that you left so suddenly and I won't be able to call you and hear the usual..."OH HEY KEN! OK, LET ME CALL YOU BACK!" :)
First of all, I want to thank you for all the memories I've been blessed to have with you as my grandpa. I still remember many things about all the visits to your house in Dearborn, how I loved the cuckoo clock on your wall, and how you and Grandma always welcomed us with open arms. I was always sad to leave. Visits to our house always would come with gifts of Dunkin Donuts and your little one-finger tickle to my belly. I also remember the visits to pizza places and Greenfield Village, and memories of those places are always reflected with being with you and Grandma. These memories are great, but even more special to me are the many visits I made to see you in Arizona during my college years. This was the time when I really started to get closer to you and learn more about the person you are. I could always count on you to just listen to my dreams, my concerns or whatever else was on my mind. I enjoyed watching old movies with you and sharing new ones as well. You had a kindness and a curiosity and openness to everything, and calm understated contentness with life that to this day I find very inspiring, and as I get older I find myself becoming more like that.
I'm so glad you were able to visit me and Janet here in Ladner and connect with family members here, and I'm especially thankful that you got to meet our little Ariel. Even though she was too young to remember, we'll make sure she doesn't forget.
Although I wil miss you dearly, it comforts me to know that you and Grandma are together again, because I know how much you missed her. So until we meet again, thank you for our history, yesterday and today. I love you with all my heart.