No More AAA Credit for the United States

What does it all mean? Well, this was the simplest summary I found.

“Like any borrower, as the US’ credit rating get’s worse, the cost to borrow money is more expensive, if it’s more expensive to borrow money, spending drops, when spending drops, more business lay off workers, as unemployment grows, the FED prints more money for entitlement programs, as the supply of paper money increases, the buying power of the dollar decreases and Gold and Silver go up in price.”

GMUNK – Interface Artist from TRON

If you navigate past the monkey jerking off on his main page, you can see the massive portfolio that GMUNK has put together, including work from the recent TRON release. Checkout his work through the OUTPUT link.

Quote from “Lost In Cyburbia” by James Harkin

“Many of us, as a result, are tired of the old ways of doing things and are looking for something more intense, more oblique and more involving. Rather than surrender ourselves to this new sensibility, those of us with something to say can do things with it. If we are to capture the attention of those who have grown up living their lives on an electronic information loop, we will have to.”

– James Harkin (from Lost In Cyburbia”

Eric Goldberg – Disney Animator

Eric Goldberg directed 2 shorts in Fantasia 2000.  He animated the Genie in Aladdin. He’s currently animating on the upcoming “The Princess and the Frog“.  He is also author of the Animation Crash Course.  What else? His credit list is huge, look it up.


Although it came out last year, I just listened to Part 2 of Goldberg’s podcast interview.   Many animators would say that this stuff is common knowledge, but as a technical 3D guy who doesn’t deal with this kinda stuff on a daily basis, it helps to hear it from someone with such experience. What are some of the bits I’ve learned?

  • About how, in 2D, you can capture the feeling before you have to worry about the anatomy.  The importance of gestures, again, rears it’s head. Capturing this in 3D is a bit tricky sometimes. Another reason to pick up pencil once in awhile and/or work on a 3D solution to simulate this.  😉
  • In regards to FX or secondary animation, in 3D, with everything we get for free, we loose control over key story telling elements.  He gives the example of the fur in Monsters Inc.  It’s all controlled dynamically, but if it’s dynamic, we cannot use the fur as a tool for enhancing the movement, or even the emotion.
  • He notices how rigs are usually animated via the torso first, and how this makes CG walk-cycles feel very floaty and difficult to feel the energy.
  • He sometimes approaches his animations from the eyes outwards, drawing the eyes first, then the nose, then the cranium around the eyes.  The expression builds the shape.

If you want to hear about Goldberg’s recollection of animating Robin Williams as the Genie, or directing Pocahontas, check out the podcast over at  I’ll have to go back and listen to Part 1, as I’m sure there’s great stuff there also.

Finally, I have to include a link to a clip from the Magic Lamp Theater @ Disney Sea in Japan. I had the pleasure of working with Teunis de Raat, who worked with Goldberg in order to make this 3D version of the Genie come to life. That must have been one hell of an experience. Maybe I can convince him to divulge some details.

Did You Know?

Saw this a few months ago, but forgot to link to it. It’s worth archiving (after watching).

Carlos Baena Interview

Carlos has been animating for 8 years now and most animators are familiar with his work. CGTalk has an “Meet the Artist” thread where he’s doing a little Q&A. I find his responses quite inspiring and would recommend checking it out.

CGTalk’s Meet the Artist

Unfortunately it looks like his Fingerboarder site is down. Was an entertaining vid that you might be able to track down… somewhere.

Rigging Wizard – Masaki Togashi

Claus, a very talented and technical animator friend of mine and I were talking of the recent events in the company. We were talking about some key things that can really set most rigs apart from the standard. This includes custom icons (locators) instead of just NURBS curves, or broken hierarchies which make it easier to post character silhouettes to camera.

He told me that his favorite rigger was a Masaki Togashi. I looked him up and apparently he was the sole rigger on Ghost in the Shell 2. I guess the guy really knew his stuff, though other riggers found him difficult to work with. A “my way or the highway” approach. In his defense, I can understand what it’s like what you try and go outside the normal boundaries in order to make innovations. Hope to meet the guy one day.

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