Jan 15, 2018

Paying for toons

Don Hertzfeld's latest animated short, World of Tomorrow Episode 2: The Burden of Other People's Thoughts, is now available to rent on Vimeo for $4.99. There's a trailer for it on the Webpage. The original World of Tomorrow is also available.

They're both amazing and combine Hertzfeld's simple line drawings with bright, computery backgrounds. The new one includes three-dimensional effects.

This is an interesting way for filmmakers to make a profit. In this 2015 interview, Hertzfeld said that YouTube is "eating themselves alive with advertising".

By paying through Vimeo, the viewer gets access to the video for 30 days and 90% of the profit goes to the filmmaker, who can re-upload the film with improvements at any time. It requires a Vimeo account (just a username and password) and they accept Paypal, which works for me.

Jan 14, 2018


From Tuesday and Wednesday. I wandered over to The Plastic Club on my lunch breaks for a quick sketch at the afternoon workshops. All my figure sketches are drawn with a 0.9 mm automatic pencil with 2B leads.

Jan 13, 2018


Wayne, NJ
This past Sunday, I drove to Wayne, New Jersey to see their monthly toy and collectibles show. I try to get to a toy convention once or twice a year. New Jersey has a lot of them. I don't even collect like I used to. The past couple of years, I've gone mainly for the atmosphere.

Among the funniest things I've seen at these conventions include the woman so thrilled to find an old Strawberry Shortcake doll that she ran up to her husband, held it up to his face and began rapidly squeezing it to blow scented air at him, exclaiming, "look, it still smells!" squeezy squeezy squeezy. Another, was a guy with a massive box of those little green plastic soldiers, selling them by the pound with a big scoop.

Thank goodness for hobbies. The skinny person at left has been present on my neighbor's lawn for years. I believe it was initially intended as Halloween decoration and never left. The outfit changes every month. This month it's wearing a sweater. Last month it was dressed as Robin Hood. Over the summer it was wearing water wings and diving into an inflatable kiddie pool. I'm pretty sure at one point it was dressed as a cheerleader.

It's so great that people do things like this. It's reassuring. With all the horror on the news, wouldn't be refreshing to hear [pick your least favorite aggressors] have suddenly discovered they prefer collecting stamps? It's my geeky dream.
Neighbor's yard

Copyrighted music

Musician, audio wizard, and friend Bob Lee has written to say the missing pieces of audio in the uploaded Never-Ending Man are segments of music removed due to copyright laws. I thought that glitch seemed oddly intentional. Now it makes sense.

Meanwhile in New York, animator Nina Paley is working on her next movie, Seder-Masochism. After failing to get permission to use copyrighted music in her previous film, she released Sita Sings the Blues to the public, free of any copyright. Anyone who wants to watch it can do so right now for free.

For Seder-Masochism, Paley is ignoring music copyright entirely. When she has a vision for a song, she goes ahead and animates it without seeking permission. In this TED Talk from 2015, she explains why and shows the result. She's written a 2017 update on her progress here.

Jan 9, 2018

Miyazaki doc

In the 2014 documentary, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki completed his final film, The Wind Rises, and announced his retirement from directing.

This new documentary, Never-Ending Man, chronicles Miyazaki's return to animation in 2016 with a small team of computer animators. The audio cuts in and out in places, but Miyazaki's reactions to working with computer animation is worth it.

Jan 7, 2018


From Friday. SEPTA was goofed up in the evening, so rather than sit around at the station, I wandered over to the club and drew these. There was a good-sized crowd there of maybe ten artists. I cheated on the hair a bit. Scribble scribble scribble.

Dec 27, 2017

Animation, Chef 9

The class I was taking is over. The holidays have past. Time to return my focus to what matters most.

Toaster eyes!

I'm determined to complete The Telekinetic Chef for an animation festival in February. For anyone new to this project, the chef is attempting to scramble an egg with the power of his mind. What follows is a series of quick shots of the hypnotic process (like the one above), alternating between the chef and the egg.