Saturday, December 12, 2009

Barnyard Mayhem

After a semester's worth of hard work, I now have a semi-finished short film! I learned so much doing this film about the process of creating a short as well as what I enjoy doing the most of the process. I am an animator. I absolutely love bringing a character to life. Cluckles was especially fun since he was the first proper model I had created.

There was a lot of frustration on this short. Things would go wrong left and right at the beginning of the semester. As the modeling and textures neared completion and animation got underway, the process became more fun for me. The best part for me though was near the end as I was polishing the animation and everything was coming together. That was what got me through all the late nights!

I am proud of myself. This is some of the best animation I have done so far. I'm excited to see what I will be able to do next semester to further my skills.

I'm going to go back and tweak some of the animation, fix some of the textures, and give it a nice render. But for now, here is a version of my short film, Barnyard Mayhem.

Credit must be given to my friend Mary for doing the chicken noises!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


So as I head into the final stretch of my short film, I thought I'd share some funny bloopers that have happened throughout the course of the semester. Nothing ever goes smoothly in Maya and
random bugs are sure to pop up. Some are entertaining and some are down right frustrating.

I don't think it's supposed to stretch that far.....

He turned into one-legged chicken at one point.

My all time favorite blooper:

This is what happens when you key the wrong node. XD

Monday, October 12, 2009

Portfolio Site

I'm taking Web + Screen this semester and it's proving to be a very interesting class. We're learning html and css right now and will be learning javascript and action script for Flash later on in the semester. We had the choice to make whatever kind of website we wanted and I chose to update my portfolio site for this project. Here's what the home page design looks like:

Friday, October 9, 2009

Animation Tests

I have been working on some animation tests of my chicken running so I can finesse the weight painting of the rig. I also wanted to settle on a character run to help convey his personality. My first test was a bit too general and not quite what I wanted.

For my second test, I added a slight hop to give it character. I like how it came out, but need to work out a few of the details. I'll do that once I start the actual animation though.... which should be next week! So excited!

Short Film Animatic

So I meant to post this up a month ago, but time got away from me as usual. I'm in the process of making a short film for my Advanced 3D class using the featherless chicken I modeled last semester as my main character. I'm nearly ready to animate now having built the set and extra character. Just have to finishing mapping out the UV's and I'll be on to the fun part!

Here is a rough storyboard of my short film. The basic story is that this featherless chicken escapes from the barn. The farmer chases the chicken for a good portion of the short. When the farmer finally catches up the chicken, he puts a sweater on the chicken. My prof was telling me that when chickens get stressed out, they lose their feathers and there are little old ladies in England who knit sweaters for those chickens so they can stay warm while they re-grow their feathers. I thought it would be fun to tie that into my story.

And now here is a very rough animatic. The timing is so off and I've changed a few things, but you can get the general idea of what will happen.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Here's a sketch of Carl Fredricksen from Pixar's latest movie, Up. He was pretty fun to draw. A bit challenging though since he has odd proportions and a square head. Even though he rarely has a smile on his face, I chose to draw him with on anyway. I actually drew it for my friend, Chris' birthday. I colored it and wrote a little note on it.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


After a bit of a posting hiatus, I thought I'd share a sketch I drew of Dug for an Art Jam over at the Pixar Plant forums. I'm doing a collaboration with another member. I was in charge of drawing and now she will ink and color the piece. I'm excited to see how it turns out. And in case you are wondering, that is a Nemo chew toy in his mouth. Nothing against Nemo. Just wanted to add another Pixar creature to the piece. :)

Also, I've been painting a wall for a former high school teacher. She has this random white brick wall in her basement and my job is to make it look like the brick wall of Wrigley Field. The brick is done (updated since the photo on the left was taken though) and I am in the process of painting in the vines; not as dense as the actual wall is. The picture on the right (cell phone photo) shows the back side of the wall without the numbers of the field. More detail as been added to the vines since it was taken. I plan on taking decent photos of the wall once it is complete

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Last Project

I now present my last final project for the Spring 09 semester! We could do anything we wanted for our Ideation final. I'm a quiet, reserved person who keeps most of her feelings on the inside. I tend to remain quite composed, so I decided is was high time that something should be done about that! Inspired by my room mate, Jenn's, silly antics with the Photobooth application on our macbooks, I decided to do a stop motion with pictures of me making a variety of faces. My brother gave me the song suggestion, which worked really well. It was a fun project to make. A bit weird though since it's a bunch of pictures of me being weird. Not used to being so exposed. But that was the point of this project too. :)

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Arctic Shoulder

My first animated short film is finished!! I had so much fun creating this. Animated with classic Disney tunes in the background and danced around. Usually Amber was animating next to me, so that was pretty fun. Although it got frustrating at times, especially using the support rig to get the penguins off the ground, I learned a lot through the process. Mostly about timing, but also a lot about implying 'dialogue' through expressions/emotion. Since I am most interested in character animation, this was a good task for me! After nearly two months of working on it, I'm glad the short is finished, but I will miss the class!

Cluster Balloons

This past Monday I had the wonderful opportunity to help with the Up Cluster Balloon Tour even in Minneapolis to help promote Up, Pixar's latest movie set to be released May 29. Amber, Meg, and I go to the Metrodome before 3 am to help set up. We filled the huge balloons with helium and attached them to the chair which is a replica of Carl Fredrickson's in the movie.

Before the media arrived (it was a media only event), the crew got to go up in the balloons! I am afraid of heights, but it was really really neat. Since we were inside the Metrodome, we got to go higher than they have been able to go on the tour so far; 130-150 ft.

Then around 7:30 am, the media started going up and we all got to help send them up and pull them back down.

And finally around 1:30, we started deflating balloons. For the 12 hours spent there, it sure went by really quickly and I never ceased to be amazed by the large cluster of balloons! It's an experience I will remember for the rest of my life.

More images can be seen here.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fun Time in the Black Studio

I am currently in the black studio taking a bit of a break from animating. Shooting the last scene today and I have the first pass done. Now just to make my penguin fly and I'll be done animating! It is quite exciting. Although, I will miss this class. I learned so much about animation in general from this class; timing and weight especially. Doing stop motion has made me think about animation in a different way. Definitely been beneficial. Made me a better animator. Shell's been a great teacher. Super helpful.

Anyway, last night when I was in animating, I decided to take a few pictures of myself and my studio space.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


In the midst of working on our short stop motion films, Shell gave us an in class assignment to create a strata cut animation. I opted to just play around and see how it would turn out. No rhyme or reason to what I did. It was pretty fun though. We all got to sit around and work. Jenny said it was like a knitting party since she looked up and we were all talking and working away. It was so nice out that day so it was hard to stay put in the black studio. When Amber and I finished creating our strata cuts, we decided to go take a walk outside while we waited to shoot our strata cuts. I got to enjoy the day somewhat.

So here is my finish piece. I shot it and then decided to smoosh it all together and shoot it again to see what happened.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I've been meaning to take a picture of my completed stop motion set and penguins. I've already started animating, but I figure now is a better time than never! Plus, I won't be posting any of the animation until it is completely done. Things are going fairly well on the animation front. A few problems here and there, but nothing too bad. It's pretty fun once I get started. I tend to drag my feet to start, but after the initial push, I'm alright. I'm at a stand still at the moment since I need to talk to Shell about my support rig. Wasn't working how I want it to last night. I'll figure it out tomorrow and progress will commence! My goal is to finish animating by the end of the weekend so I miss the madness of people rushing to finish. Then I'll have a week to do all the post production.

The main set piece is a two in one piece: A slide and a cliff!

In other school news, I finally remembered to upload a photo of my complete featherless chicken for 3D Modeling! All the modeling is completed. Now I am working on the rigging. The process is alright.... ok, it is a bit frustrating. Stupid paint weights. And I'm just not in the mood for it right now as stop motion has taken first priority on my To Do list. So here's Cluckles. I think there's been some minor changes since this screen shot was taken though.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Bale Challenge

I didn't win the Bale Challenge, but I didn't expect to. It was fun just to do. I was able to get some feedback on my animation from Andrew Gordon, one of the Spline Doctors. He didn't have time to fully review, but he gave some good overall feedback which was much appreciated. I have too much twinning going on and the movements are a bit robotic. So I know what to work on! Hopefully I can get some more practice in while still at school, but the last 5 weeks will definitely be chaotic with my stop motion short.

I had the best intentions over spring break to get work done, but only started a few things. It was break so I suppose it isn't too bad, but I just have to work extra hard now! Oh well. I'll get things done.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Christian Bale Completed

Here is my finished animation for my Ideation project. I realize poses could've been pushed more and I could've totally went all out. Still struggle with that, but I am still happy with how it turned out. My critique for it went really well on Tuesday. Everyone enjoyed how I handled the contrast obstruction. Yay for yelling at teddy bears! I had to project it on some object in the student center which was interesting. I projected in on some blue couches to go with my blue monocromatic color choice. It was a challenge to work with the obstructions, but also fun. It was a beneficial assignment that got me thinking outside my comfort zone.

There may be a few small things I'll touch up before I send it in to the Spline Doctor's competition.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Set Building

I've spent the last couple weeks working on my set and getting things ready to start animating. I glued together pieces of pink form and then carved it into the shape that I want for my set piece. It's a duel set piece; half works for one part of my short and the other half for another. It was fun and also a pain to carve the foam. I had pink foam shavings every where. It especially liked to adhere to my clothes.... I was smart and where black..... I also got my armatures for my penguins set up; wood blocks at the base of the body and head connected by wire. I melted black and white clay to get a charcoal color for the penguins. I dipped the armatures in that so the clay will better adhere once I build up the penguins.

Tonight I primed my set base and the main set piece so I can add any other details to the snowy landscape. I'm going to attempt to get an icy feel to the slide portion. My goal is to get everything ready so I can start animating this coming week.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Blocking Stage

Here's my rough blocking of my Ideation project. This is proving to be a fun sound clip to animate to. I'll probably try to push some of the poses farther, but it's a start.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Headless Chicken

I finally remembered to snap a picture of the body of the chicken I am modeling in my 3D Modeling class. Here's the completed body. I'm working on the head right now. Everything but the beak is pretty much done. The beak is proving to be a bit complicated as I have to do some extra work to make sure I can animate the beak as I want to. My goal is to get some extreme mouth movements like Foghorn Leghorn. That should be fun to animate! Just hope I can get it to rig right.

In other news, I am working on a project for Ideation called The 5 Obstructions. We had to think up of a project and then get together with a partner and give each other obstructions while making our pieces. I'm animating to a portion of the sound clip of Christian Bale flipping out and my obstructions are:

1. create intuitively
2. use cold color
3. remove one feature from a character u are using. (example, no mouth, or no ears)
4. show "contrast" in your piece
5. The final piece must be projected on an already existing object in the cafeteria or
Student Center, with sound. (this could be a napkin dispenser, or a table, or whatever)

I started blocking out my animation and it is actually quite fun animating to the sound clp.
Although I am not used to using such vulgar sound clips, it is quite expressive.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Down Shooter

Our stop motion assignment for this week was to do a piece of animation on the down shooter. It had to be 120 frames, move in the x,y, and z axis, do a turnaround, and have a dynamic pause. I chose to use paper for this and had fun experimenting and playing around. I had a lady bug friend come visit me twice during my shot, so see if you can spot him!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lip Sync

We got to do a lip sync project for Stop Motion this week. A 40 sec clip from Princess Bride was split up into 2-3 sec clips for each student. Besides everything getting smooshed together inside the mouth, it actually went quiet smoothly! It helped to have the video clip for reference too. It was a fun first venture into lip syncing in stop motion.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

3D Modeling

I thought I would take some time to write about my 3D Modeling class. I'm excited to learn about modeling and rigging and broaden my understanding of CG production. Modeling is going alright. We practiced polygon modeling:

And nurbs modeling:

Now we are combining the two and creating our own characters which we will be rigging later in the semester. I am creating Cluckles the featherless chicken. He's Jenn idea, but I thought he was such a fun character that I had to made him! Although he is giving me problems. I've had to pretty much restart 3 times already BUT I am finally feeling like I am actually making progress! I will soon be caught up to where I should be which is having his body done so we can work on heads next week.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stop Motion Fun

I had a really fun time in my Stop Motion Animation class today. Opposed to watching dailies for most of the class, we worked the whole 5 hours. We got together in groups of 3 and worked on an abstract, experimental piece. Shell's inspiration for this assignment was Blu's animation Muto:

It was neat to work with our work spaces directly and just go crazy. He encouraged constant movement of everything including the camera to really give the pieces some life. It's a totally different way of working than what I am used too; very intuitive and abstract. It was very freeing as it didn't involve much planning or accurate movements; very spontaneous. A nice change of pace. Probably the most hands on fun I've had in a class so far!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Short Film Animatic

We get to do a short film for the Stop Motion animation class. After much thinking, I decided to animate a story Sam and I came up with freshman year in high school. We came up with a character named Wiggles, who is a penguin rat. She is shunned by the other penguins because she is different. She goes up on the edge a cliff to cry and then one of the 'normal' penguins push her over the edge. They all celebrate. This is where the story original ends, but I added on to the ending. As the penguins celebrate, they hear a honk, turn around, and see Wiggles flying up above them. Their beaks hang open in astonishment. My prof had a funny idea where Wiggles beckons them to join her and they do and fall off the cliff. I think I'll just leave it with the penguins in shock; let the audience make a conclusion themselves... unless I have extra time. :)

Here's my color study and animatic:

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Yesterday I finished up my stop motion assignment. Animating a clay head is not an easy task! It is such a slow process as well compared to other types of animation. We had to do a change of expression, so I did wishful longing to disappointment. I created an old man with a mustache and as he changes expressions, I tried to make him wiggle his mustache. Didn't work out the greatest, but I'm happy I at least tried! The animation itself is alright. Don't know entirely how I feel about it. As a first attempt at facial animation in stop motion, I'd say it went fairly well. We'll see how crit goes on Wednesday!

Friday, February 6, 2009


I saw Coraline today. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The animation was amazing for a stop motion film. It was very smooth and expressive! Good inspiration for my current stop motion project which is to animate an expression change. The goal was to get my stop motion done tonight so it was done and out of the way.... that didn't happen. I finished making my clay head model. Started setting up to animate, but then I couldn't get the face to cooperate; couldn't get the right expression. Plus someone was in the studio taking photos of objects so the lighting wasn't ideal and kept changing. In the end, I decided to just call it quits for the night and try again tomorrow. It was good to get the model done and start playing around with the face. Now I know what kind of things to expect and try to figure out the best way to animate.

Tomorrow I also have to work on my nurbs model for 3D Modeling. Nurbs modeling is more powerful than polygon, but also more complicated. Hopefully I won't have many problems.

Lots of work to be done! 

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Web Work

I'm working on my online portfolio design. I am slowly solidifying my design. It is fairly simple as to not take away from my work. The goal is the make it look professional and be easy to navigate. I think I can accomplish that! I only have two weeks left in the workshop, so it will be up and running soon! It'll house my best pieces whereas this blog will house everything as I make it; a good process blog. I'm enjoying the web design process.

I have to make sure I set aside time to finish up my Pixar Undergraduate Program application! Time keeps getting way from me now that school is picking up pace. I don't have much left to do. Just finalize my cover letter and resume, assemble my portfolio of non 3D work, and put together my demo reel. I have all the pieces. Just have to put together everything and then I can send it out and hope Pixar sees my potential!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Stop Motion Walk

Today we had a critique on our walks in Stop Motion. It was interesting seeing all the stop motion walks, which aren't as nice and smooth as 2D or CG walks. Some were still pretty neat though. I was one of that last to get critiqued and my professor looked at it once through and said, "This is horrible. What were you thinking." He was being sarcastic though and had lots of nice compliments for my piece. It definitely gave me a boost of confidence as I wasn't (still not quite sure) how I will handle stop motion. Straight ahead is a little scary for me since I'm used to Pose to Pose animation, but it is quite freeing. I'm excited for the next assignment. We're creating clay heads and will be animating a change of expression. Will be a fun challenge!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

End of Week 1

And so ends my first week back at MCAD. I think it will be a good semester. I am still getting back into the swing of things though. It's taking a little longer than expected, but such is life. Once school picks up pace (which is sure to be soon), things will be good. Life may be stressful, but I'd rather be busy than have too much time on my hands. It's nice for awhile, but long periods of time.

This past Friday I worked on my Stop Motion homework. I was a bit nervous about the class coming into since it straight ahead animation, but after working with the clay, I think I will enjoy it! Granted, I only did a rolling ball and a blind freestyle where we couldn't look at the computer screen. As things get more advanced, I'm sure I'll run into the issues I've worried about. Now I view it as a fun challenge.

Here's my first venture into claymation:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Day Off

Yesterday was my long day with classes from 9:30 am to 9:00 pm. It isn't as bad as it would seem to be. I think I will enjoy all my Wednesday classes. I have a Greek literature class in morning, followed by 5 hour studio Stop Motion Animation class, and ending with an Online Portfolio workshop. With such a long day yesterday, it is nice to have the day off today!

One thing that I realized yesterday is how intriguing I find learning how different people think. Just listening to my professors is really interesting; seeing where they are coming from and how they view the world. They are really insightful. Being artists they all have a unique way of looking at the world.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Beginning

After a couple attempts are starting a blog, I am once again starting over, but with the determination to keep up with it! Not only is this the beginning of my blog, but also the beginning of the spring semester of my sophomore year at MCAD!

I'm excited for this semester. It will be full of challenges that's for sure, but I'm ready to tackle any challenge that comes my way!

Something I am working on right now is my application for the Pixar Undergraduate Program this summer. It would be a really neat experience and I am hoping my cover letter, resume, and demo reel show my potential!