Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy killing it

It's been out a couple of weeks now and the Guardians are still killing it at the box office. Proud to have worked on this one, it's pure silly stupid fun. I'll do a post in the near future showing a step by step animation progression of some of my shots with Rocket Raccoon. For now you can see one of them in this trailer. "Aint no thing like me, 'cept me!"

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Joshua Schneider's Anny Vigil



I stumbled on Joshua Schneider's blog a while ago, and was very impressed with the animation tests I saw there for an animated western he's currently producing all by his lonesome. I wrote him an email congratulating him on such lovely work, and also took the opportunity to ask if he could use any help with the voices as I read that he was stilcasting the film. I sent him a link to my voice over demo and after auditioning for him was asked to voice two characters in his film! I'm really happy to be involved with the project.
We had a massive 4 hour recording session over Skype the other week which was lots of fun. It's fantastic that the internet makes it possible for people tens of thousands of miles away from each other to collaborate like this. Josh is a great guy and super talent and I can't wait to see what the film is going to look like. Here's the facebook page to it, like like like!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy Trailer

It's been out for a week and a bit already, but in case you missed it here's the first trailer for the insane film I'm working on at the moment:

 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Almost there...

Hello Cuthbert friends! Our little bird is coming out of hibernation. The Cuthbert sculpt is almost finished, we are just figuring out what kind of base to put him on. We would love to produce a limited vinyl series of this sculpt. We would sell it on Kickstarter to raise the funds but we would like to figure out first if there is enough interest.
If we can get as many 'likes' as possible, it might give us an indication. So please share this post with EVERYBODY and go to the Cuthbert facebook page to like and share as well. It will help us continue with our Cuthbert adventures. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Animation Insider

Mike Milo of Animation Insider has been nice enough to ask if I wanted to do an interview for his website. Of course I was happy to oblige. Read it HERE.

Monday, December 16, 2013

New job


I've just finished my first week at Framestore, where I'm helping out with some animation on the upcoming Marvel comic-turned-to-movie extravaganza "Guardians Of The Galaxy". It's been 6 years since I've worked in visual effects (at the time I was involved with "Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix" and "10,000 B.C." At MPC) and it sure takes some getting used to the involved pipelines again, but the team here is great and I'm sure we'll have a lot of fun. I've seen large portions of the film and just like last year's "The Avengers" that it ties into, it's a lot of silly tongue in cheek fun.

Meanwhile the Cuthbert short is chugging along slowly. Uli and I have started storyboarding, but with Christmas looming and the new job progress will be near non existent until mid Jan.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Cuthbert Art For Sale!

Galerie Daniel Maghen in Paris is offering the original pen & ink and watercolour illustrations of Uli's picture book 'Cuthbert was bored'. Incredible art if you ask me. The proceeds of the sale will go towards realising the short film. Where that's concerned I'd like to share that we're happy with the story outline we've been chipping away at and as of today we start storyboarding!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cuthbert Sculpture

Everyone's favorite Schlingmann, Michael Schlingmann, is nearing completion on the Cuthbert sculpture he's been chipping away at in his spare time over the past weeks. Doesn't it look amazing? We're going to use this as the prototype for the exclusive Cuthbert vinyl toy. Who wants one?

Friday, November 08, 2013

Evolution of a walk

I've received quite a few messages about the walk cycle I did for Eric the zookeeper. "What's your process?" is often the question so I thought I'd do a post showing the steps from beginning to end. Anyone serious about animated walks need look no further than Dick Williams' wonderful book "The Animator's Survival Kit" for tips and tricks by the way.

When working on an actual scene where there is probably more going on than just walking or running, it's nice to go straight ahead after the first blocking as the result tends to look more spontaneous and organic, but in this case it was just a simple cycle so it became more of a technical exercise. First I roughed out the main walking positions, very quickly, without much detail: step left, down, middle, up, step right, down, middle, up, so we can return to step left. I shot the eight drawings on 4s:
video

Right away I saw I didn't like the movement of the cap, it's too much, and there's some jerking and twitching going on in the upper arms. Also, there is no sense of dimension or perspective yet. I didn't want to go overboard with this as part of the charm of Uli's designs is that they should read as flat drawings, but I thought that at least I should add a little feel of Eric's face and body moving away and towards us as it adds a slightly more sculpted feel. Otherwise I felt quite confident going in and starting to add detail:

video

It's starting to look like something now. I left the cap and hair out at this stage as I thought I might still change the spacing a bit; add more drawings when he's at his highest perhaps, maybe take some out when he's down so the steps are a bit more bouncy. The body and head are now moving a little bit more in perspective, though everything still feels quite flat. The main thing I noticed is that I went overboard a bit with the nose and upper lip. It looks nice and funny but they really are bouncing up and down too much, Eric isn't made out of rubber. I tend to go too far (cos it's so much more fun to go wild!) and then have to reign myself in a bit. I also found the wrists snap too much on the arm swings. Breaking the joints in movement adds a lot of sexy looking flexibility, but here the eyes are drawn to it too much:
video

The cap now adds more dimension to the face, and I've changed the eyes as well so on the step right position the face is almost profile. My experimenting with the spacing is done so I went straight ahead over the drawings to do the hair. I'm noticing that the nostrils and teeth are jumping around and that the belly volume isn't up to standard yet, that still needs fixing. Other than that we're almost there. I could keep fixing a lot of other things I'm not happy with (those wrists could be toned down even more) but at this point we're not looking for perfection, this is just a test so we can figure out a pipeline for the film. Uli took my drawings and went over them to put Eric on model, and he put the whole thing on 1s as well(my final version was still mostly on 2s) adding an extra smoothness to everything. Needless to say he can draw circles around me, it's amazing how much better everything instantly looks the moment he touches it!
video

And there you have it. You can see the coloured clip below.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Animation Test/Cuthbert book and calendar ad

While brainstorming about the story for the Cuthbert short, Uli and I created a little test animation to see how long certain things take to put together, and to experiment with our pipeline. We're using it now to promote the characters and hopefully garner more interest in both the books and the upcoming short. Please share!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cuthbert gets a short

I haven't been blogging for many a moon, partly because I've been so busy running around from project to project, and partly because I never think my work is of enough significance to talk about. This will now change and you'll see me blogging a great deal more, as my good friend Uli Meyer has asked me to help him make an animated short. I've worked with Uli for many years on commercials and features, and if there's one thing I've learned from the experience it's that the end result is always something significant and worth talking about. We live in a time where the vast majority of quality animated content you see is computer generated, and yet there seems to be a real thirst for traditional hand drawn pencil animation. Uli and I are incredibly passionate about this kind of work and we'll try our best to create a hand drawn film that will please both modern audiences with attention span disorders and fans of the old classics! Impossible? Perhaps, but I'm sure we'll have a lot of fun trying. Wish us luck, and watch this space for news and updates!
Cheers
Boris


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hotel Transylvania Trailer 2

Last week I finished work on Hotel Transylvania, out in cinemas at the end of September. Rarely have I had this much fun on a feature production. The film is all about the animation, which is loose, squashy, stretchy bouncy, and has a real graphic 2d feel to it. It was great to be involved with this, and I can't wait to see what the world will think!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Børge Ring's House


Some sad and devastating news: my old mentor Børge Ring's house burnt down to the ground yesterday. A fire which apparently started in the chimney rapidly spread through the old farmhouse with thatched roofs in which they lived.
I can't even begin to imagine how horrible this must be for Børge and his wife Joanika. Thankfully they are both unharmed, which is something to be grateful for, but all their possessions have been consumed by the fire.
I have very fond memories of visiting them both at their farm; from '94 til '98 I must have called round there every other week or so to soak up the animation wisdom Børge had to offer, and browse through the many books he had on all kinds of subjects concerning animation, film and fine art, as well as countless short-TV-and feature films from all over the world. Their house was such a warm and loving place, where one would immediately feel relaxed and at ease. To get an idea of what the place was like take a look here: maasdijk 4
Still, at the end of the day, no matter how lovely, a house is just a roof over your head, and can be replaced. I'm thinking of what was inside that has been lost that can't. Far from being materialistic people, they are artists, and as such most of their belongings represent something important and meaningful in their lives. Their musical instruments, their letters of correspondence, their documents, their art. Børge's film work, cells, drawings and awards, Joanika's paintings and sculptures. There is nothing left. It's unbelievable how this could happen.
I was there only a month ago to film Børge for his Winsor McCay Award acceptance speech. To think the place no longer exists feels strange and surreal to say the least, and to think this happened to people in the autumn of their lives leaves me with a sickening knot in my stomach.

Please visit borgering.com and help.borgering.com if you want to help them.

Their daughter Anne-Mieke and I will be at the Annie Award ceremony this Saturday to pick up Børge's Winsor McCay award, and if you're there and know Børge come find us, we're happy to pass on any letters or messages you may have.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

...And all the best for 2012

Next year I'll learn how to draw. Promise.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Børge's New Toy


I'm extremely proud and happy to say my friend and 90 year old mentor Børge Ring will be awarded the Winsor McCay Lifetime Achievement Award at the Annies on Feb 4th next year.
If you don't know this wonderful man and his delightful work, click here!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tongue Tied

A couple of weeks ago my good buddy Mark Norman asked me to do some animation for a teaser clip he put together to promote a new smartphone game he's developing.
I miss handdrawn animation so I happily obliged. The result can be seen here:


I animated the dog in the beginning and the two dogs fighting over the bone.
A break down that goes into the animation proces from rough to clean up then coloring and shading can be see here.


The game is called "Tongue Tied" and will be on smart phones from Dec 15.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

pencil test


For those of you interested in seeing pencil tests here's one from the St Trinians short we made last year. Although it's already very much a Searle character here, when you compare it to the final film you can see how much the drawings are elevated when traced onto frosted cell with pen and ink. It's very short so it's looped 5 times, hope you like it... After having animated mainly with computers for 3 years it was a joy for me to draw again.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

St Trinians Animation Test



A couple of months ago I finished work on a lovely 2d animation experiment at Uli Meyer Studios. The goal was to see if we could successfully translate Ronald Searle's
incredible pen an ink scribbles to the screen. We had a lot of fun putting this together, and it made me realise how much I miss animating with pencil and paper. There's nothing quite like it...
We got some attention with the test, notably from cartoonbrew, and you can read more about it here and here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

new job

Haven't been posting much as usual. I've moved to Bristol a month and a half ago and the good people at Aardman Animation have been keeping me incredibly busy, animating on upcoming CG feature Arthur Christmas...

It's a great project to be involved in and I love every minute of it.
Apart from the above image I can't show you anything yet unfortunately, but rest assured it'll be a LOT of fun.