Animation Mentor to Release New Free eBook

Animation Tips and Tricks eBook, Volume II – 2009 Edition
Available April 7th

Save the Date and Plan to Join Free Webinar on April 18th
eBook Contributors and Animators Wayne Gilbert and Keith Sintay Share their Professional Knowledge, Personal Tips and Answer Questions from the Audience

This is the Chance for your Readers to Learn Character Animation from Professional Animators

About the eBook
Ideal for people who love animation and enjoy learning about the art of animation, Animation Tips and Tricks, Volume II-2009 Edition takes it to the next level by offering budding animators a wealth of career advice, real-life insight on the working life of an animator in addition to valuable tips on everything from making a demo reel, making a scene, acting, bringing characters to life, workflow, and a whole lot more.

This eBook is written by Animation Mentor cofounders Shawn Kelly (ILM) and Carlos Baena (Pixar) and includes features by Animation Mentors Keith Sintay (Digital Domain), Aaron Gilman (Weta Digital) and special guest Wayne Gilbert.

*The eBook will be available online Tuesday, April 7, 2009. Please contact us if you would like to obtain the link to eBook before it goes live for easy online publication.

About the Webinar
Date: Saturday, April 18, 2009 (replay available after April 22nd)
Time: 1:00-2:30 PM (Pacific Standard Time)

eBook contributors and animators Wayne Gilbert and Keith Sintay share their professional knowledge, personal tips and answer questions from the audience.
Comments (2)

Eric Goldberg's Animation Crash Course Coming Soon!!!

About eight years ago we had just completed an opus work of note recompilation having taken the gritty xerox copies of Eric Goldberg's famous animation notes, and turned them into nicely formatted PDF's with searchable text. We had posted the first couple chapters up on the site when I got an email from my good friend Mark Pudleiner who was working with Eric at Disney. It turned out that Eric had finally started turning his notes into a book and had asked us to take down the notes. We ended up giving Eric all our PDF's hoping that it would speed up the production of his book.

Unfortunately the book took another eight years to get from Eric's mind into our hands, but I think the wait will have been worth it. I just got email from Eric and his book , Character Animation Crash Course! is coming out on Amazon next month. You can pre-order it now. The bonus is Eric decided not to just recompile his notes, he is giving us a cd full of animation tests and x-sheets to go along with all the examples he had to begin with. You will be able to examine stuff frame by frame, and see in real time all of his fabulous animation examples.

From the looks of it this will be probably one of the most informative books on animation to ever be produced. If you are a student of animation I would run, not walk, to get this book. Eric is a master of the cartoony style of animation we all know and love, and if you want to master cartoony animation there is now a way to see inside this master cartoonists brain. It will go alongside The Illusion of Life, Richard Williams’ Animators Survival Kit, and the Preston Blair books as one of the go to books for learning the craft of cartoon animation.

Here is a blurb from the email Eric sent out today announcing the availability of his new tome:

"Well, the animation book I've been writing for 25 years, based on my animation notes, has finally arrived! Well, almost... Character Animation Crash Course!, published by Silman-James Press, is available for pre-order on It's 240 pages of cartoon goodness, all geared to getting great performances from your characters on the screen. It comes with an accompanying CD that has animation movie files of selected sequences in the book. You can watch them in real time, or frame-by-frame, and they all include X-sheets, inbetween charts, circled keys, and underlined breakdowns, so the tests can be analyzed while you read the book, revealing how the principles actually look in movement and why. Shipping date might be as early as mid-July. Also, I'll be premiering it at the San Diego Comic-Con, signing copies at Stuart Ng Books, Friday July 25th from 2 - 4, and Saturday July 26th from 11 -12. Also, the book provides examples from classic cartoons that can be pretty easily-accessed"

Anyway I'm about as stoked as anyone can ever get about this book. I can't wait.

Pre-Order it on Amazon


5 Second Animation Day

Been a long while since the last post. I know. Well here's some cool news....

As you may know, last Thursday was Valentine's Day.

Well at Titmouse Studios in Hollywood, it was also
"5 Second Animation Day". This is a day that all employees are not to work on the regular in-house projects for the studio, but to take the day to come up with a completely original animation piece at least five seconds long. Any type of animation is allowed. Traditional, Flash, 2D, 3D, stop-motion, mixed media, pretty much anything you want. Licensed music is available to use. Use of the sound booth is open to record anything you wish. The sky is the limit. Judging by how late some people stayed to work on their projects (6am the next morning) this was not simply a day of play. A lot of effort was put into these pieces and it showed in the final product.

The genius of the idea for "5 Second Animation Day" came from above. Yes, this idea came from the head honchos of Titmouse itself, Chris and Shannon Prynoski. The artistic spirit that runs throughout Titmouse flows from top to bottom. It was their idea to have a day to break the monotony of the day-to-day grind and give their artists a day to let loose and see what they could come up with. Titmouse is neither the biggest, nor the most affluent studio in town, yet they still found a way to give their artists some time to blow off some steam and still be creative.

I guess the big question is, why haven't other animation studios done this? Or maybe they have (any recently)? If you know about any or just have a comment about "5 Second Animation Day" at Titmouse, please feel free to comment.

As of now, the films are not available online. If they become available, we will provide a link to them.

- Here is a link to a few of the shorts posted at
. I will see about getting the rest.

- steve (a Titmouse employee and participant in "5 Second Animation Day")


Character Designer Lecture at CSUN

Sorry we didn't get this up sooner....
Stephen Silver flyer

*Review for pre-selected CSUN student work only. Submit work for condsideration to: Prof. Trujillo, AC 402, by Nov.14 6pm. California State University Northridge, CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. Art Department on Halsted St. Park in Student Lot E-6. PayBox in Lot $4 Art Dept. Ph: 818-677-2242

- steve


Thinking Animation

Just got some email about a former animation colleague, Jamie Oliff, and it looks like he has gone and written a book about transitioning between traditional and 3D animation. Jamie was in one of the years ahead of me at Sheridan back in the '80's and knows his animation stuff. He cut his chops on a bunch of great animation for Disney in the big 2D boom during the 90's, having worked on such films as Hunchback and Mulan. He made the transition to 3D animation working on Kangaroo Jack and Scooby Doo. For the book he has teamed up with veteran 3D animator Angie Jones whose credits include Stuart Little 2 and X-Men 2.

The book they have teamed up on is called Thinking Animation: Bridging the Gap Between 2D and CG and is described as a one-of-a-kind book that emphasizes how artists can use traditional animation techniques and principles with today's computer generated animation technology. The list of animators contributing to this book is a big one, filled with names most in the animation community will recognize: Henry Anderson, Bernd Angerer, Carlos Baena, Mark Behm , Chris Bailey, Tony Bancroft, Dave Brewster, Tom Capizzi, Brian Dowrick, Cory Rocco Florimonte, Dan Fowler, Angie Glocka , Eric Goldberg , Ido Gondelman , Evan Gore, Scott Holmes, Cathlin Hildalgo-Polvani, Victor Huang, Ethan Hurd , Ed Hooks, Mark Koetsier , Bert Klein, Keith Lango, Laura McCreary, Darin McGowan, Cameron Miyasaki, Mike Murphy, Floyd Norman , Eddie Pittman , Mike Polvani, Fred Raimondi, Nik Ranieri , Leigh Rens, Keith Roberts, Troy Saliba, Joe Scott, Tom Sito, David Smith, Roberto Smith, Javier Solsona, Mike Surrey, Richard Taylor, Conrad Vernon, Roger Vizard, Don Waller, Larry Weinberg, Paul Wood, Bill Wright and Dave Zaboski.

I haven't got my hands on the book for an in depth review but it looks like it will be a welcome addition to my animation library.

Check out the details on their site here:

Thinking Animation

Good luck to Jamie and Angie! I know this is one book I will be ordering.


Eggman Cometh

Great collection of interviews with Pixar's Ralph Eggleston by teens on the Red Studio site by Moma. Ralph speaks about everything from the "Pixar process" to his Oscar® winning short film For the Birds. Definitely worth checking out!

- steve


Remixing The Magic

We are about a week late with this post, but please check out Gallery 1988, February 17th - March 10th "Remixing the Magic - 50 artists reinterpret Disney classics".

Gallery 1988
7020 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Tuesday - Saturday 11am-6pm
Sunday & Monday closed

- steve and hoops


News Feeds

We've added a few more news feeds to our main page. Now you can catch the headlines from The Animation Archive, FPS Magazine and The Animation Podcast as well as the return of AWN Headline News. Welcome all!

- steve and hoops


Bring it on!

With the purchase of Pixar Animation Studios by The Walt Disney Company, the future for Disney Animation looks brighter than it has in a long, long time. According to Floyd Norman, a Disney old timer who has also had the privilege of working at Pixar as well,

"As a guy who has been lucky enough to work for both companies, I can truly say this merger will be a benefit for both Disney and Pixar. As a Disney old timer, I can tell those who wonder what the difference is between Disney and Pixar, that culture difference we keep hearing about -- Pixar is simply the way Disney use to be before Eisner and his managers screwed everything up. With true creative leadership in place Disney will be free to thrive again.This is good news for everyone in animation.'

Nothing captures the moment as well as Floyd's cartoons from his book Son of Faster Cheaper. One in-particular that stands out in my mind is this one on page 86. I still get a kick out of it, but now it's even more fitting as a prediction come true.

©2003 Floyd Norman. All Rights Reserved

Good one Floyd!

- the other jon and steve!


Pixar board to approve Disney takeover

The board of Pixar Animation Studios, the digital animation company, is set to meet tomorrow to approve the company's $7bn (£3.9bn) takeover by Disney.

Here's hoping nothing but good things come to the animation industry from this merger.

- steve and hoops


Principles of Motion

The UPS guy came today and I was happy to see my order from POM (Priniciples of Motion) had arrived. I popped the discs in the computer and was not disappointed. Each disc came with a large number of actions and the cool thing was that they have a mode which shows all the actions in top, side and front view at once (perfect for CGI). You can also view each mode separately as well. There is also large frame counter to help you with the timing of each clip. Overall this is a great product. I can't wait to start animating a breakdance routine from the urban hip hop disc. I would recommend these discs to any serious practitioner of the animation craft. The good thing is that POM is having a Christmas sale with all discs 45% off so if you need a perfect gift for your animator friends check out the deals at POM.


Comments (1)

Great new reference for animators

It is about time someone did this. Principles of Motion has released a great set of DVDs which show various kinds of human motion, from basic walks to various fighting and dance styles. It is kind of a modern day version of the Muybridge books which most animators own. I just ordered a couple discs for myself since they are having a Back to School Special. The discs are very reasonable coming in around $25 each. I'll write a report on how good the reference is when I get the discs. Check out their website at to see some examples.

Comments (1)

The origin of the species

Here's a great interview by William Shaw with Ray Harryhausen about his career, his thoughts on Corpse Bride and Wallace and Gromit and Peter Jackson's new King Kong.

Click here for the article

- steve


Don't Pick On Me

Here's a great new animated music video by Tom Neely for the band The Muffs. Just click on the image to the right for the video. I've been a big fan of The Muffs for a long time. Nice to see them put out such a cool video. Cool music. Cool video. It's available in MP4 - Video iPod format!

Great job guys!

- steve


Channel Frederator

Finally someone has done it! A fantastic way to get cartoons! Head on over to Channel Frederator. A new way of distributing cartoons from the people at Frederator Studios. From there go ahead and download or subscribe to an RSS feed and get your cartoons! By subscribing to the feed (in iTunes or other aggregator) you will have cartoons delivered straight to your computer! A great avenue for artists to show their work! It is currently a free service. After seeing the first few shorts though, I would have no problem paying for this service if I know the artists were getting paid for their work. For now, I am more than happy to enjoy it for free. I especially enjoyed the "Mantelope" cartoon! They were all really good though!

Great job guys! Keep up the great work!

- steve


Animation Archive

Here's a post we received from Stephen Worth concerning the Animation Archive Project

John Kricfalusi recently donated his archives to ASIFA-Hollywood. Included with the donation were original storyboards from Ren & Stimpy, copies of layouts dating back to Mighty Mouse, production manuals, and boxes and boxes of reference binders. We also have the production files from Mike Lah's Quartet Films, with material related to television commercials (Tony the Tiger, Snap Crackle Pop, Green Giant, etc.) dating back to the 1950s.

We're looking for volunteers to sort, catalog and help us make the material available for use by the public in our Archive facility in Burbank. If you, or anyone you know is interested, please contact me at

You can find more info on the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive at...


We are behind anything that preserves the artwork and knowledge of the art form known as animation. Good luck with the project Steve!

-steve and hoops


Prelude to Eden pt3.

Michel Gagne has informed us that he has secured more bandwidth for his site and is now distributing his short Prelude to Eden again. Head on over and check it out at Gagne International.

- steve and hoops


Prelude to Eden pt2.

Unfortunately Michel Gagne was not prepared for the response he received after putting his animated short up on his website. He was overwhelmed!

from Gagne International:
Little did I know that putting Prelude to Eden on-line would create such a frenzy! In just a couple of days, the film has been downloaded several thousand times, far exceeding my bandwith limitations. I wanted to offer a high quality version for anyone to own, but the whole thing has sort of backfired and now, I owe a hefty penalty fee. At the rate people were downloading the film, I would have to pay about $1000 a month in additional bandwidth requirement. I have no choice but to take the film off line. I'll investigate some options and see what I can do.

Michel is going to investigate some other options and try and make the short available again at another time. I'm sure he'll let us know when it's ready.

- steve and hoops


Prelude to Eden

Our good friend Michel Gagne has posted some good quality versions of his short film Prelude to Eden on his website. These are free to download and are the best web versions available to date. It's a great piece of animation and holds up well in today's world of "CG animation". Head over to Gagne International and check it out!

- steve and hoops


'Bride' Stripped Bare

An extremely informative article online about Tim Burton’s new stop-motion feature Corpse Bride from Editor's Guild Magazine. Have a look!

- steve


How Art Meets Technology

The Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be hosting an animation event - The Animated Performance – Art Meets Technology at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater at 7:30 tonight. The program will feature discussion on animation, animation performance, art and technology with industry experts including Academy Award winners Brad Bird (THE INCREDIBLES) and Jan Pinkava (GERI’S GAME). The event will be moderated by Bill Kroyer, Academy Award nominee and Sci-Tech Council and Academy animation board member.

Check it out if you can.

- steve and hoops

Comments (1)

Animator Mark Koetsier Debuts Jet Pack Benny


Had lunch with good friend and fellow animator/story artist Mark Koetsier this week. I've known Mark since we both were animating at Bluth. His current day job is a story artist at Dreamworks (although I don't hold that against him). He gave me a peek at his new story book, Jet Pack Benny, of which he has a garage full of copies. The art is fun and the story looks like a good read for the kids. Jet Pack Benny follows the adventures of a rascally squirrel who like The Rocketeer has his own jet pack. All the illustrations were done by hand in pastel and evoke classic Disney pre-production art.

Mark will be at Comic-Con in San Diego July 13-17, 2005, and his book will be available at the Stuart Ng booth 5013.

Take a peek yourself by checking out the book at:

Hope you all love it.

- hoops


Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day to all our Canuck pals up North! Good day, eh!

-steve and hoops


Big Star voice actors ...

Do we really need them? Sure, big stars have a lot of draw in the live-action realm. Do they have the same clout in animation?

I want to see great characters when I go see a film. Many times, if I see a big name attached to an animated film, it actually makes me want to see the film less. That's not to say there aren't some great actors out there that can do great voices. PIXAR seems to have a knack for casting. But more often than not, celebrities are getting these roles based on their name and not their voice acting skills. Check out this really great interview with Billy West by Kyle Ryan about voice acting. I'd have to say that I agree with Billy on many of his points. What do you think?



Happy Birthday!

Today is Animation Meat's birthday! Back in 1999 we had an idea of trying to preserve and distribute all of the animation notes we had collected over the years from various studios and artists across the internet so that none of the information would ever be lost. We plan to continue doing just that in the years to come. Enjoy!

-steve and hoops


Site of the Day!

This morning, Animation Meat was "site of the day" on Fresno's own Front Row Morning Show with Jennifer Lipp and Jerry Lentz! Listen to the clip here. They even gave us five stars!

Big thanks guys!



Great Reception

It's been a little over a week now since we re-launched the site. We've had a great response from all of you! Especially in the Guest Book! Thanks for all of the kind words. Over the years we have received countless emails of appreciation worldwide about the site and how it has helped young animators along in their careers. We felt it would be a great thing for everyone to see.

Hoops and I had lunch with our pals Ken, Chris and Mike last week in Pasadena and saw their set up at the new studio. They showed us some of their tools for reviewing their work and doing research and their cool new projector. Hey Ken, ever get Firefox on that machine? We wish them good luck in their future projects.

If you haven't already done so, head over to Animation Podcast and download the first and second parts of the interview with Andreas Deja. You don't need an iPod to download or listen to it. Just an MP3 playing program like iTunes. We are looking forward to many more great animation interviews in the future. Keep up the great work Clay!

Hoops was able to get a couple more of the Walt Stanchfield's ready so go get 'em!



Practice makes perfect

Practice is a new area for us but something we have wanted to do for a long time. Since many people do not have access to sound breakdowns for doing dialog, we wanted to offer sheets with trackread dialog. We hope this will help. We'll put up more soon. In addition, we are teaming up with Eric Head at Animation Corner. If you have a nice piece of animation to one of the tracks and you want people to see it, head on over and post your scene. It's completely free.

-steve and hoops


It's new!

Welcome to the newly redesigned Animation Meat!

We hope that along with the new design and new areas, we can continue to help young and experienced animator's further their excellence in the field of animation.

Our new homepage features news and articles from our site along with aggregated news from around the web. We hope that this will help those looking for news about animation find it. We still intend to post new articles with reviews of new movies as well as observations about the animation community. As always the Butcher will be swinging his cleaver around when it's required.

One feature you now have is the ability to comment on any of the articles or reviews. So grab yerself a Gravatar and start ranting! It's free!

We'll continue to talk more about the new site and areas over the next few days. So have a look around. It's got that new car smell!

-steve and hoops


'Twas the night before Christmas

as interpretted by Dave Brewster

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through LA
Not a creature was stirring, not even a PA
The pencils were stowed by the portfolio's with care,
In hopes that Walt Disney soon would be there;

The artists were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of great scenes danced in their heads;
A wonder of timing each scene with real snap,
A half decent job that just dropped in their lap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the steel bars and threw up the sash.

The moon shone brightly off the ABC signs glow
Giving a the lustre to the pavement below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But what looked like Walt Disney and something else queer,

Tied up executives, dressed really slick ,
I knew in a moment that they must be a clique .
More rapid than eagles his prisoners came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and handed them blame;
"Now, Eisner! now, Jeffrey! now, Shumacher and Ball!
On, Lafaro ! on Ovitz! You all made it fall!
From the top of the hat! to the top of the wall!
Cheapquals are sickening I should fire you all !"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the prisoners flew,
With the weight of their guilt pushing them through.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little goof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney they all came with a bound.

He was dressed in a suit, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of execs he had flung on his back,
And he put them all down and then gave them a whack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His fine little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the stash on his lip was as white as the snow;

The stump of a cig he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a firm little belly,
He stared hard at Eisner who then turned to jelly.

He was angry about something that charming old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Beatings so violent my stomach would jerk,
Then laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney they rose;

He sprang to his limo , then gave out a shout,
He opened the door and then kicked them all out.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Let them build empires on another mans house ,
this one was built on the back of a mouse"

Ferngully 10th Anniversary

Happy 10th Anniversary to everyone I got to meet and work with way back on
FernGully-The Last Rainforest.


A very special thanks to
Bill and Sue Kroyer
for being great friends and simply the best people I have ever had the pleasure of working for.