Thursday, July 02, 2015

Donald In 3D


We’ve had this old, damaged stereoscopic picture of Donald on our wall for many years.   It’s under glass and hard to free-view because of the glare but I always thought it was inverted.  I took it out of the frame and swapped the images around and now I can see it correctly.  Can you free view?  Cross your eyes and focus on the image that forms in the middle.
Original Mounted Under Glass

Images Swapped and Glass Removed







UPDATE:  A friend thought this was from a cartoon, and as far as I can tell my picture is from a ViewMaster Reel.  But! There was a Donald cartoon done in 3D called "Working for Peanuts" that someone uploaded to
YouTube in the free-view format here:

Sunday, June 14, 2015

New Painting_Snowy Owl


Here's an oil painting I just finished and mailed out to it's new owners. The lighting is cheated quite a bit but I call it poetic license, perhaps the bird is flying up to a hidden bounce card that's just off screen?  I did smooth out the background and made the stars more varied but I didn't photograph the finished picture.  Shame on me.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Sergio Pablos and the new 2D Twist

With Klaus, Sergio Pablos has created a potential game-changer by applying the latest digital technology to a traditional approach, and, in the process, redefining what a hand-drawn feature could look like. Pablos is keeping his proprietary process under wraps for the moment.

You could be forgiven for thinking the character animation was modeled and animated with CGI software because Klaus has the polished sheen of the latest big-budget studio CGI epic. But watch again, and the enduring organic charm of hand-drawn animation is evident throughout.

Pablos, of course, knows a thing or two about drawn animation. An accomplished animation master who participated in the 1990s Disney renaissance, he animated on films such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Hercules, before supervising Tantor in Tarzan and Dr. Doppler in Treasure Planet.
After the hand-drawn feature animation industry collapsed stateside, he moved back to his home country of Spain where he launched his own company Animagic (today, known as SPA Studios). His company has racked up an impressive list of credits, providing pre-production and production support to feature productions, but Pablos’s biggest claim to fame is originating the concept for the blockbuster Illumination franchise Despicable Me.

  Klaus teaser ©2015 Sergio Pablos Animation Studios, S.L. & ANTENA 3 FILMS, S.L.U. All rights reserved from The SPA Studios on Vimeo.

This is a rather truncated posting and the original with an interview of Pablos for Cartoon Brew is here in its entirety:  http://www.cartoonbrew.com/interviews/sergio-pablos-talks-about-his-stunning-hand-drawn-project-klaus-exclusive-113621.html

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hummingbirds.

I did a decorative piece on wood for some friends.  They wanted hummingbirds for a picture to be mounted above their newly painted garage which has an overhanging roof over the door. This was way out of my comfort zone because I just don't do decorative paintings.  Anyway, they like it so I'm happy.  This is an oil painting on wood which I sealed with Satin Helmsman Indoor/Outdoor Spar Urethane.

The tail going over the border is a trick I picked up from my mother who would paint hands, or a feather in a hat or something, breaking outside the picture and over the border.  She did one of me as a kid where my one arm looked like it was leaning on the border and my hand hung over and cast a shadow.  I wish I had that painting now, and wonder where it is.


 

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Beatles and Aleister Crowely


This Blog is mostly dedicated to animation but occasionally something gets my attention that prompts me to write about it.  This is one of those times and the subject is once again The Beatles. 

I’ve come to believe that the Beatles were more mirrors than innovators, and because of their popularity, they were able to influence a generation with new ideas.  I think they became a conduit for us that reflected their own spiritual quest and made fashion and esoteric subjects like transcendental mediation assessable to everyone.  The Beatles also brought a very British Victorian history with them and tried to reconcile it to a new modern way of thinking. 

The Beatles admiration of occultist Aleister Crowley is such an example of this British integration.  In England, Crowely was infamously known as ‘the wickedest man on earth’ and called himself ‘the Beast’ after the biblical Antichrist. 

After the controlling influence of manager Brian Epstein was taken away by his passing, the Beatles admittedly felt free to pursue more personal subject matter in their work.  The turning point where Aleister Crowley became visible as an influence was the cover of “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.”  Crowley is plainly shown in the upper left hand corner, but there is some speculation that he may appear twice on the album as the partially obscured red-faced figure wearing a fez.   The idea of ‘twins’ would be further built into the Beatle mythology with the whole Paul is Dead rumor, which also began with the Pepper cover.      

Crowely wrote a book he claims to have been dictated to him by the spirit Aiwass.   According to Crowley, the first appearance of Aiwass was during the Three Days of the writing of Liber al vel Legis. His first and only identification as such is in Chapter I: "Behold! it is revealed by Aiwass the minister of Hoor-paar-kraat"  This spirit would later write the book the Beatles would embrace called “The Book of The Law,” which preached the concept of "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law."

Crowely admonished practitioners of the law to listen to recordings backwards and to practice speaking backwards. An example he gives is “Let him practice speaking backwards: thus for ‘I am He’ let him say ‘Eh ma I’.”  Sounds like ‘I am he, as you are he, as you are me, etc, from “I am the Walrus,” doesn’t it?

How about the image from “The Magical Mystery Tour” showing a sign on Paul’s desk that reads: ‘I Was’?  Now admittedly it reads: ‘I you Was’, but if you just read the bold letters it sounds like Crowely’s spirit guide Aiwass, doesn’t it?

Sir Paul has often stated he believes in magic and he clarifies it’s magic with a ‘K’ spelled ‘magick’.  This is how Crowely spelled it.  Now the Beatles weren’t the only ones to follow Crowely.  Black Sabbath, Lead Zepplin, The Rolling Stones, and many others were adherents, along with the father of solid rocket fuel, Jack Parsons, and the creator of the cult Scientology, L.R. Hubbard, interesting, no?

Friday, May 08, 2015

Will Vinton Making Features Again.



Above is a link to an article from Cartoon Brew announcing the partnering of two companies which will help Will Vinton to make feature films once again.  There are some proposed properties that date back to went I was employed there.  I'm glad to see they may finally get a green light.  But I think there is more to the story. Ideas are free game if someone beats you to the punch, so they say. 


The posted artwork from the decommissioned Digital Domain film, “The Legend of Tembo” has prompted me to write about what I feel may be the origin of other films that did reach the screen, all starting with Will.



 Below the artwork for Tembo I added a concept drawing I did  for one of Will's projects about a baby elephant with a tick bird friend who is hunted by a man riding a Bull Elephant. 


Do you notice the friendly tick bird and Bull Elephant in the Tembo picture?


Just as I suspect Tembo to have had its beginnings with Will Vinton, so do I believe Will may have been the source of several others.  Let me explain.  There was a time feature material was being actively developed at the Will Vinton Studios and the results were three to four ideas that were shopped around Hollywood for financing and distribution.  Nothing came from the effort.  Or did it? 

One idea was about a messenger pigeon that helped win World War One.  Do you recall a film called “Valiant” about a messenger pigeon that helped win World War One?





Another idea was about zoo animals that break out and try to get back to their home in Africa.  Sounds like two films that competed with each other to reach the box office first, “Madagascar” and “The Wild”.  I know first hand both films came from the same script because the lead characters names were the same while I was working on “Wild” and the lions name had to be changed.  Will Vinton was given an executive producer credit on “The Wild” but says he didn’t even know about it till he was told later.




Then there was a musical version of "The Frog Prince" and shortly "The Princess and the Frog " came out.

Lastly an idea was pitched about a small action figure named Cliff Damage, and then the movie “Small Soldiers” hit the screen not long afterwards. 
I see "Jack Hightower",a comic action adventure about a miniaturized secret agent, is among the ideas in development with this new venture.

Good for you Will, and hope to see you on the big screen again.  

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Marc Davis Painting

Painting in Pirates of the Caribbean entitled  "A Portrait of Things to Come"
Well, here's a painting from the Pirates of the Caribbean Ride done by Disney artist Marc Davis.  I first saw it in a View Master reel as a boy and looked for it when I finally got to go on the ride.   It was right where it should be over the bar.  This painting is currently my screen saver.

UPDATE:  I learned the title of this painting is "A Portrait of Things to Come". Apparently there is some controversy over who may have done the actual painting.  It's well documented that Marc did the conceptual design (below) but the rather amateurish finished work appears like it was done by another hand.  Was Marc trying to emulate a more primitive style that would fit better with the time period?   Perhaps.
MARC DAVIS SKETCH

Someone with the handle Jimmydonc.tellnotales did a painting based on the Davis concept art, and it too is a treat.  I don't know what your preference is but I kind of like the native feel of the painting that lives in the park.  

Jimmydonc. painting more accurately following Davis sketch