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Thanks to LabJovem, an Azorean festival which awarded my film best in their film category, I have been awarded a training scholarship and I’m extremely excited with my choice of school. So the thing I’m counting down the days for is my move this January to San Francisco for four months to take courses from the Animation Collaborative, a school recently founded by Pixar teachers last summer! In fact it is taught across from the building, so they can teach conveniently right after work.

Actually it’s quite cool how I discovered it in a series of events. After I met with Carlos Baena (as detailed in my previous blog posts), I noticed on his blog that he personally recommended this school and after a bit of research I was sold! Although I was accepted in September with short notice, it made more sense to settle details beforehand and go in the Winter semester. Also, it’s been great to be in contact with current and future students to see the quality of work they are producing so I know that not only will I be mentored by superb teachers but be in class among very motivated/talented people!

In the meantime I’ve been working on several animation exercises, a Pixar Lamp and ball one dedicated to both Steve Jobs and Pixar, part of an animation exercises forum I’ve joined.

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Back to the Drawing Board

This month I’ve spent much time drawing, painting and planning as I’ve been having major computer problems in which we finally figured out that one of my harddrives failed. Thankfully was able to backup the data, but then directly after reinstalling all my programs/importing the data, my computer failed again, causing more delay and having to redo the process again.. such is the joy of computers :) . I’ve recently heard a couple stories of friends losing all their data during hardware failures which is tragic. We store so much of our irreplaceable files on these machines and though most people don’t even take the necessary precautions, the reality is that that computers fail all the time and when they do, there won’t be any notice!

Here is an example of one page of my sketchbook, this day I was studying the sketch style of one of my major inspirations, illustrator, concept designer, filmmaker, screenwriter, (former animator!) Iain McCaig.

Below is a painting I created in acrylic to study one of the promotional photos of a favourite film The Secret of Kells, I was lucky to attend the filmmaker’s presentation of behind the scenes of the film at a Siggraph Vancouver event a couple years ago before the film got an Academy Award nomination. This is a film I recommend to all my friends as it is quite the gem in terms of story, characters and visual style but still isn’t that widely known.

Inspired by this style I went on to create my own design as a 11″x15″ watercolour utilizing a similar painting texture. Here is the progress from the initial sketch, the outline in ink, the application of watercolour resist for the flowers etc., painting in sections of similar colour and the final product.

In the next update I hope to share an animation exercise in addition to really exciting news! Trying my best to have patience and to prepare for what is to come :)

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Decisions, Decisions

This is the week of big decisions for me! In the meantime, thought I would post a few photos.

Life drawing from last night, I wanted to try out a different style – it was difficult to drawing only in pen as there was no room for mistakes! Took about 15 min:

Another quicker drawing, 5 min. pose:

Otherwise, I was lucky that my friend and Siggraph photographer Tony http://tonytsai.net/ just happened to be watching by at Siggraph while I was talking to Carlos. Here are the photos!

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Summer Update

These past couple of months I’ve taken a bit a personal leave from art production/updating my 3D knowledge in my spare time outside of full-time work as a 3D animator at NGRAIN. I am now back refreshed and newly inspired from the Siggraph Vancouver 2011 to produce more work! Not to mention my trip to San Francisco and to stand in front of the Pixar gates gave me new motivation :)

I was lucky to have the opportunity to meet and speak with Carlos Baena, Pixar animator, co-founder of the Animation Mentor school and soon to be a filmmaker. We had a conversation about all the reference gathering he did for the scene in Toy Story 3 with Buzz Lightyear dancing in Spanish mode – specifically about his in-depth flamenco research and how he approached each move, to take them to the next level rather than just copying exactly, emphasizing and exaggerating the movements in a way that only animation can do. His passion and dedication was quite infectious along with his aim to not only produce his best work but to be mindful of portraying everything, flamenco included, as authentically as possible. I am happy to see that some people don’t let success get to their head and are not only still relate-able but friendly to talk to no matter whom they think you are.

During the past while I have been regularly going to lifedrawing hosted at Emily Carr to brush up on figure and gesture drawing skills. Also, I have uploaded a newly redesigned flamenco website – something that has been long due since the last update over six years ago. It’s amazing how much technology standards can change in such a seemingly short time.

Otherwise, I have been following some inspiring blogs that I recommend below:

Stay tuned for more posts as I update my reel! :)

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Annex Pro Best Animation Award

I am pleased to announce that “Oriana” has won “Annex Pro Best Animation Award” for its screening at the Vancouver Women in Film & Television Festival (VWIFF) 2011.

Emily Carr University of Art and Design also posted a nice post to congratulate me here: http://www.ecuad.ca/about/news/114309.  Thank you so much!  (screen-shot below)

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