Feb 17, 2019

Sculpy Day

Thank you Bob Lee for coming up with this fun idea. I'll be hosting a hands-on character sculpting workshop at The Plastic Club this afternoon at 1:45.

Tonight's 5:00 animation screening is 'sold-out', but I'm told reservations aren't necessary for the afternoon events that start at 1:00. My sculptures and fresh Sculpy are packed up and ready to go.

Here is the official festival schedule:

Current exhibits: "Dynamism In Art", main galleries; Rick Wright's vintage 20th century ray-traced renderings of iconic paintings, Bob Jackson Gallery.

1:00 Gallery talk. An informal gallery talk about this month's shows, the animation festival, and how static art communicates movement, action, sequence and the passage of time. First floor main gallery.

1:45 Artist/cartoonist/animator Andy Hoffmann leads a hands-on demonstration of why and how he models characters in 3D, even though he works in 2D. Skulpey modeling clay and drawing supplies will be provided. Bob Jackson Gallery (basement level).

2:45 Robert Moore demonstrates how he uses Photoshop's little-known movie-making tools to create his animated video collages, examples of which can be seen in the current exhibit and in the evening screening. Upstairs studio.

3:45 Animators/artists Karl Staven and Rusty Eveland demonstrate zoetropes and flip books--how animation was done before mechanical devices or electricity. Paper and tools will be provided for people to make their own zoetrope strips and try them out. Ground floor meeting room.

5:00 The Sixth Annual Philadelphia Independents Animation Festival Screening begins, followed by a Q&A with the artists and a reception.

Feb 13, 2019

Festival update

The Plastic Club will be hosting the 6th Annual Philadelphia Independent Animators Festival this upcoming Sunday the 17th. Bob Lee, who is organizing the event, has been setting up animation-related activities that will be going on throughout the afternoon.

I'll be running a hands-on workshop on sculpting characters at 1:45. Sculpy clay will be provided for anyone who would like to give it a try. The resulting sculptures will be fired in the oven on the day. My latest sculpt is in the above photo. I'll be using it for reference while animating Rita Fletcher in Fatal Error.

Also scheduled for the afternoon are Bob Moore's talk on animating with Photoshop and Rusty Eveland's zoetrope animation workshop.

Festival activities begin at 1:00. The animation screening starts at 5:00. Afterwards, there will be a Q&A session with the animators.

Festival attendance is free, but space is limited and a reservation is required. If you'd like to attend, please make a reservation over here.

Animators who showed their work at last year's festival are linked in this recap.

Feb 9, 2019

Oscar toons

The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2019: Animation show is now playing at Ritz at the Bourse. I always look forward to the honorable mentions included at the end. Sometimes the most impressive shorts land in that category.

Last year's winner was Dear Basketball. When it won, I wrote about its director, Philly native Glen Keane over here.

Feb 7, 2019

Two strange shorts

All this talk of walls reminds me of Lazar (Gavrilo Gnatovich, 1987), an animated short about a mad escape from a walled-in city. I saw it in the theater in the 80's when it toured in an animation festival.

It took me a long time to find it on the internet. I couldn't remember the title. All I could remember was the ending; a great ending that stuck in my memory for years. Thankfully, Gnatovich posted it online or it would still be bugging me.

Another strange short with an odd title is Gisele Kerozene (Jan Kounen, 1990). The fun thing about this one is how it was done. These kids figured it out.

Feb 4, 2019


This is 564 drawings of bicycles, all traced from frames of video. I drew the last 389 of them over the weekend. Good enough. The Park is ready for the festival.

Jan 31, 2019

Paley's latest

Nina Paley has completed her second animated movie, Sader Masochism. Two days ago she posted it for free viewing and downloading over here. Her previous movie, Sita Sings the Blues is available for free over here. Both are in the public domain.

Releasing her animations this way allows Paley the freedom to use copyrighted music of her choosing without having to deal with the rightsholders. She elaborates in this TED talk from 2015. And sure enough, Seder Masochism is made up almost entirely of musical numbers with catchy tunes from every genre.

Jan 29, 2019

Animation festival alert

The Philadelphia Independents Animation Festival is coming up on Sunday, February 17. Since Fatal Error won't be ready in time, I'm going to submit my other 2018 project, The Park.

This is the most recent edit. Maybe I can get some more rotoscoped characters in there before the festival.