Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Couple Warm-Up Drawings

First, happy birthday to my old friend, the highflyin' Vi-Dieu Nguyen! Hope you have a ball, pal.

Second: the "Name That Trailer Soundrack" challenge!

After seeing the trailer for the new Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy, I decided to pose a challenge to my Twitter followers to name the soundtrack in the score. Fifty seconds later, someone identified Elfman's Wolfman theme. I should have known better than to underestimate the wisdom of the Twitterverse!

This drawing went to the winner, Nick Folkman.

Speaking of monster drawing challenges, Chades Challenge LIII: Super 8 is due tomorrow! Everyone is invited to contribute and all submissions will be posted! Let's see what sort of monster you would have designed for JJ's film.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Combat Con

Emma Coats and I have an agreement: she makes films, and I animate her production company's bumper for said films. Sometimes we even make a promotional sticker of said bumper for said film (see below).

So when Emma goes to a festival to promote her film, I like to tag along to promote my bumper. Last weekend was the premier of her latest masterpiece, Horizon.

We showed the film at Combat Con in Las Vegas. Since this is the first year Combat Con has been put on, the crowds were...modest, to say the least.

12% of our audience were knights, so that's saying something. He really dug the film by the way, even though he was unable to sit and had to watch the whole thing leaning against a beam.

While we were at Combat Con, we figured we'd get a bit of sparring in. Our visual effects supervisor Don taught a lesson in pain to this haughty knave.

While there wasn't a huge crowd at the convention, the characters that did attend were pretty colorful. I saw this gentleman stomping away from a pulverized slot machine.

After the screening, the Horizon crew wandered the strip for a while and ended up running into a co-worker. Usually, one experiences a different sort of buzz in sin city.

We capped the night off with a round of donations to the Caesar's Palace fund.

Needless to say, it was another knight to remember in Vegas.

If you'd like to check out Horizon (and the gloriously animated production bumper), Emma will be screening the film next month at TR!CKSTER.

16 days...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Brave Trailer Premieres Online!

This is one princess who won't need saving. Tha mi ag iarraidh briosgaid!

To hear some thoughts on Brave, Cars 2, and much more, listen to the Animation Fascination's podcast with Chris Chua and myself.

Chris and I will explain exactly why we're wearing kilts in the picture below.

18 days...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Opening Day of Cars 2!

My dad is a huge fan of the Cars franchise (I'm pretty sure he owns at least one of each of the Hotwheels toys), so it's been fun to share the Cars 2 experience with him.

I took him to the premier few weeks ago. Watching Cars 2 with a member of the Baby Boomer generation is the best way to see this film. They are definitely a generation of car culture enthusiasts.

The best part of car culture, in my opinion, are the pit crews. It's essential for any good pit crew to be well-rounded, like these ladies.

It's also become a tradition for my father, uncle, and cousin-in-law to come to our annual Motorama. One of the stars of Cars 2 showed up this year. A friendly bloke, shorter in person than I would have imagined.

Here I am with my cousin Kelli and her family. As you can see, thanks to Kilt Fridays, the worlds of Cars 2 and Brave are clashing today.

Her new baby, Blake, is a big Pixar fan, but Motorama was a bit much for him. Still, I sense a future animator here...

Making family films, it's important to keep family a part of the process. For me, sharing my work with the fam is one of the most rewarding elements of filmmaking!

I should mention that opening with Cars are the Toy Story short Hawaiian Vacation and the Brave teaser.

This young lady is the reason the Pixar animation department wears kilts every Friday.

0 days! Cars 2 premieres!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Now that they have dragons in Game of Thrones, do you think there's any chance we'll be seeing orcs?

I was in the mood to draw this nasty customer after seeing this new still from The Hobbit, and hearing the first track from the score. If George R. R. Martin doesn't deliver the goods, Tolkien certainly will!

Between The Hobbit, Game of Thrones, and Brave, 2012 is looking like a good year for swords and sorcery!

1 day...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Feliz Aniversario!

My friend Yale commissioned this piece for the one-year anniversary with her main squeeze, Walt. Their first date ended with a midnight viewing of Toy Story 3, and I'm pretty sure it was during one of my scenes that they realized they were in love. My work tends to have that effect on people.

Here was the rough I gave Yale. The actual scene in the movie was animated by the incomparable Carlos Baena. Yale's notes were to add aliens and a cowboy hat on Walt (which I guess he wore to the midnight screening. NERD.)

Congrats to Yale and Walt! May your love go to infinity and beyond!

In other Pixar news, the Brave poster was released today. The full teaser will be attached to Cars 2. Wear a hat, because it will blow your mind. Alba gu bràth!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Iron Grill

My friends and I throw a little Game of Thrones party every Sunday, but tonight's season finale calls for something special. That's right, it's time to bust out the IRON GRILL. Forged from the swords of lesser grill-masters, the Iron Grill's words are "Dinner is Coming." And, with tonight's menu, those words have never been more true:

Littlefinger Links
Tyrion's Pulled Pork
Maester Aemon's Donut Chain
Daenerys's Deviled Dragon Eggs
The Knight of Flower's Flour Tortilla Tacos
The Mountain's Tourney Skewers (aka Clegane Kabobs)
Targaryen Tarduckin (a dragon inside of a dragon inside of a dragon)
Ned's Head Cheese

And three beers for the three main houses: "Dead Guy Ale" for House Stark, "Ruination" for House Targaryen, and "Arrogant Bastard" for House Lannister (Joffrey specifically).

I just started a Zazzle account, so if you really like the Iron Grill, you can buy an Iron Grill apron. Y'know, for all your Season Two parties.

Happy Father's Day! Well...not for the Stark family.

5 days...

Friday, June 17, 2011


If Texas had a curling team, and if that curling team had a mascot...

These animals have proven perfectly capable on the ice in other sports, so I figured why not curling? He's a bit cheerier than the San Jose mascot which reflects most sharks' true temperament (all those attacks were accidents, they swear).

As always, if you have your own designs, please let me know and I'll post them below. Absolutely everyone is invited to join in on the Chades Challenge, and I will post all submissions. If you don't have time to participate in this week's Chades, you can join in July 1st for: 


Zane Yarbrough threw down this awesome challenge. I don't know about most of you, but the Super 8 creature is not what I imagined he'd be. What were you picturing before the big reveal?  Submit your design and contribute to the monster menagerie!

7 days...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Happy 91st Birthday, Ronald Searle!

Okay, so my birthday wishes are a few months old (Mr. Searle's birthday was March 3rd), but the reason I'm late is because I wanted to make sure ol' Ronald got our gift in the mail before I spoiled it on this blog.

You see, a few Pixarians collaborated on this birthday sketchbook. The volume contains original sketches and paintings from 70 artists including Teddy Newton, Ronnie Del Carmen, Erik Benson, Josh Cooley, Bill Presing, Emma Coats, Victor Navone, Mark Andrews, Enrico Casarosa and Pete Docter!

The watercolor-logged tome found its way across the Atlantic and now resides safe and sound in  the home of Mr. Searle, who sent us a lovely thank you note in return.

The note, along with the rest of the Pixar Searle tributes, will be posted on Matt Jones' blog. Enjoy, and once again: happy birthday one of the world's greatest illustrators!

11 days...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Kilt Fridays

At the end of each week, it's kilt or be kilt in the Brave anim department. I don't know if you can see the subheading, but that's the Revised 3rd Edition of So You're Going to Where a Kilt. It's important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, y'know.

In other Pixar news, Disney just released this image from  a scene I animated in Cars 2, introducing Luigi's relatives: Mama and Uncle Topolino!


Monday, June 06, 2011


Took a break from Brave animation tonight to play Shadowrun with our gaming group, the Dandies. Everett Downing ran an amazing campaign, which Emma Coats and I did our best to capture on nearby sketchpads. Here is some of the ensuing madness.

My character was a dwarven hacker named Wolfman Jack.

Ev's friend Peter played the smarmy "face" (that's Shadowrun speak for conman) Iceman. This character turned out to be an FBI informant who gave us all up to the cops at the end. Nobody likes a rat, Peter.

Emma played an old character of hers, the physical adept Burgamont.

The good-natured Erick played the ill-tempered orc gangster Urk.

Perhaps my favorite character of the session was the glam-rocking combat mage Bo Jareth. My fellow game designer Jason played this androgynous wonder.

Drawn by Emma Coats

Finally, our pal Rossi played the punk samurai, Mags. Sweep the leg, Mags.

Drawn by Emma Coats

Early on in the game a transient made the mistake of asking our orc, Urk, for some spare change.

Burgamont and Bo Jareth did very little to prevent this.

Drawn by Emma Coats

Later, Burgamont decided it was a good idea to drop a severed head into my character Wolfman's lap while he was driving their getaway van.

Drawn by Emma Coats

Ever the consummate professional, Burgie took the wheel while my character lost his proverbial shit.

Drawn by Emma Coats

Allinol, Ev ran a fantastic session and, though our characters ended up in the clinker we all had an amazing time and came away with some memorable scenes. Who knows, maybe the old blood-soaked-head-in-the-lap gag will show up in a future Pixar film!

18 days...