Friday, January 27, 2006


What a week! Remember last week everyone? The whole Disney/Pixar thing? If this isn't monumental I don't know what is. An animation artist running feature animation. I still can't get over it. I've read a lot of blogs where people say they can't sleep because of the news. They're just too excited. I have to admit...I'm in the same sleepless category. My mind is just freakin' out. I mean just look at these drawings below.

It just speaks volumes to me. So much character, so much appeal, so much attitude. So much life! With the new happenings at Disney, there are constant rumors about bringing back hand drawn animation. Most people in the industry are pessimists. "Ahhh, but 2d is so hard, I'm happy doing 3d." " I worked so hard just to turn the model around, in 3d you don't have to think about it."" My hand doesn't hurt anymore." " I get to go home earlier than I did in the past." I mean these are all valid points...but I guess I'm the only optimist. I love 3d and love working in the medium... but there are limitations sometimes. 2D will return, believe me. It has to. Just look at Timothy the Mouse again. If you're an animator you know what I'm talking about. When you see drawings like that, you just want to make them breathe and come to life! Now, I never worked on a feature 2d film, so I don't have much history there, but I did make four 2d films at school, and I know the struggle it is just to get that drawing right. But the feeling boys and girls! The feeling of creating something out of nothing! It's amazing! You're the modeler, the designer, (well, in some cases), the hair, cloth, simulator, and animator. You don't have to rely on Joe Shmoe upstairs to F up your blurred in-between or smear pose that you worked so hard on. And you don't have to worry about breaking the model. Maybe I just don't have all the freedom and resources that Pixar folks do. I don't know, I just know that every time I push a character really far, I have to make a number of calls to someone who says "That's the way the system's mathematical formula figures it out. There is nothing we can do. You don't want an ugly blur in that frame? Um, well, it's not that easy to just fix one frame. You see, the code that we're writing for that scene is blah blah blahditty blah..and it will take a week to render and ...duh duh blah doo doo blah" What!?? One frame can make all the difference! Just remove the ugliness from my shot please! Can you do that??! Ok ok ok woah...going on another rant. Just breathe....hooooo....hahhhhh.

One more time, just look at timothy the mouse again. Too much fun is waiting to begin and if we don't make a fuss about it I don't know who will.

Onto the posts!

So here are some Oldies but Goodie drawings. Oh, and one new one I did a few weeks ago. I found these in my old portfolio bag....basically just a bag of doodles and shmoodles that I thought would get me a job in the industry sooner or later. Since I haven't posted in awhile, I decided to just rummage through it and see what goodies to put up.

So this is Bailey Brent My friend, old Cal Arts roomate and current invader of Los Angeles. He's been working at EA up North by the bay and now he's returning to smog central. Welcome back Bailey, can't wait for you to make me your famous breakfast burritos. I'm telling you, start your day with a Bailey Burrito and you'll fall back asleep till 3 p.m. Yes, they are that good.

Here's a sketch I did for a painting. I did this while working towards that pirate painting I posted a few weeks back.

This is creepy green guy.
He really likes your liver.
If you pass right by him.
His smell will give you shivers.

I drew a lot in my Maya classes. Just couldn't sit still I guess. These drawings look very claustrophobic to me. Maybe it's because the 3d computer lab at cal arts is in the dungeon and has no windows and is painted a hideous grey color. I did learn how to pose characters in that class though, so I did get something out of it. Jeremy Cantor was my teacher. He's an awesome animator. Check him out here if you will. Jeremy Cantor.

Oh look! There's Bailey again! (wearing the earing.) And Michael Scroggins too! ( Man with goatee) And at the bottom we have Paul Linsley and Marina Valentina. Two exceptional artists. Check out Marina's children's book on her website. It's amazing.

Some Calartians in a favorite tool of mine. A black caligraphy marker.

These thumbnails were for my 3rd yr. film at Cal Arts. It was a film I half finished because it was the year I tried to make the "epic" film. Every student goes through this. You make a couple small films your first 2 years and here comes 3rd year and you're like, holy crap, I'm ready for a feature! So you start writing your feature with tons of locations, characters, and props, did I mention vehicles too? And you start boarding this epic , which takes longer than you think, because you're trying to make this enormous story work on all levels. Well, by the time you think you're ready to animate, the deadline approaches like a huge steam engine.

It says " Toot toot!"(Wait, that sounds like a tiny train, just imagine a really loud whistle and bell..) The train says "Times up! Gimme the film" And there you have it, an unfinished Epic film.

So a word of advice to all you student film makers out there who have just a few months to finish. Don't forget about that train, it approaches fast and steady and will knock you down. Keep things simple and clear and try to finish your story reel as early as possible. The audience is waiting for you...and that includes me.


insert name here said...

Realy realy "French bon gout"
Maybe the new hair cut gave you some sort
of inspiration!
my name is Arnaud

chris chua said...

the one of Bailey is cool's totally him!

Jim M. said...

Animation thumbnails are art in and of themselves...Thanks for posting! I'm curious - do you ever scan 'em & drop em in Final Cut for a first pass at timing?

keep rokkin like dokken.

donnachada said...

Hey man, that first one is a cracker. What a pose.

jeaux janovsky said...

hey jeremey,
that was encouraging and inspirational! thank you!
you should become an animation Motivational speaker!

Matt Williames said...

Dude, you are so right... and you know what? To me part of the satisfaction of hand drawn is THAT you do everything and that it DOES takes a ton of work!! Drawing solidly takes skill man, making things look alive takes an artist! ahh, now you got me ranting, either way I am looking forward to the future of hand drawn. It's too amazing to lose.

SMacLeod said...

Nice bears :)

word verification: snufl (now that's funny)

Alina Chau said...

beautiful artworks!! THESE are aWESOME!! GREAT STUFFS!

Luca Tieri said...

Totally dig the markers!

Anonymous said...

Jerm.... you left your underwear at the house last night. Should i drop it off ?


Jenny said...

Great post!

-tom said...

I'm sort of confused. I understand the appreciation for hand-drawn animation and the beauty of the 'Timothy' art, but, 'Dumbo 2006'?
I'm just a little confused, being out of the loop, but doesn't such an idea bear a striking resemblance to the 'Bambi II's and 'Lion King 1.5's that plagued pre-Pixar Disney?

Jeremy Bernstein said...

Hey Tom, yeah I noticed that too. I think they are character designs from the original Dumbo used as inspiration for a supposed sequel. I sure hope Dumbo 2 isn't going to be made.

Anonymous said...

2006 is just the production number. If you notice the date on the Joe Grant approval stamp is for 1940.

Anonymous said...


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