Eddie Soriano

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Eddie Soriano Supervising Director at Big Bad Boo Studios in Vancouver, Canada
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Being a Draftsman in an Engineering firm that pays not even $6 bucks a day. Crazy, but this happened not in America, but back in the Philippines where I came from more than 20 years ago.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Projects from Nickelodeon: Angry Beavers and Catdog… I directed a few episodes.  Timing Director for Timon and Pumbaa, the TV series.  Atomic Betty, I directed a few episodes.

How did you become interested in animation?
It just happened by accident. I was working with a group of artists (painters) way back late 80’s. I saw them preparing Continue…

Toonboom releases Harmony 12

Harmony 12Today in addition to the new tiered buying model for Harmony, Toonboom released Harmony 12 which looks to have some pretty cool features, such as more bitmap brush options,  faster rendering times and a new Light Shading feature allowing you to auto add shadows from various perspectives. Below is a video walk through highlighting the newest features.

You can find out more about Toonboom Harmony at Toonboom’s website.

Toonboom updates Harmony and Storyboard Pro to include subscription pricing


Big news today in the world of animation as Toonboom has just released a new subscription model for both their Harmony suite AND their very popular Storyboard Pro software to reflect the new Cloud business model like Adobe and Autodesk have done in the last two years.

Now you can pay annually, monthly, or buy a perpetual license which is more or less buying it outright without a subscription.

For Harmony, $15 a month will get you the Essentials version which seems to be fairly robust except for the one Art layer limit and no 3d capabilities. The Advanced version gets you a number of other features including four Art layers as well as the ability to see 3d models placed in a scene by a Premium version but not access or edit them. Premium of course has all the bells and whistles that full blown Harmony has.
To see a list of different features of the various versions of Harmony available head over the the Toonboom site for more info.

Word is Toonboom will be phasing out Toonboom Studio and Toonboom Animate in October of this year.

Storyboard Pro subscription
As for Storyboard Pro, you now have the option to do a subscription which will cost you $38 per month. This in and of itself is a huge boon for storyboard artists seeking to use the software since the standalone version will set you back $950 and most freelancers can’t afford that cost easily.


To see more about Toonboom’s new Storyboard Pro pricing head over to their site.

Now if we could just get Wacom to do a Cloud model! 😉




Dan Forgione

What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Dan Forgione, and I am an Animation Director at Titmouse,Inc, working on Season 1 of Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
My first job ever was as a caddy at a local country club, and in HS I worked in the food service dept at a local hospital where I was part of an assembly line putting together patient meals. I later went on to wait tables, bar tend, and even manage a restaurant during my first few years of college. Also I originally went to college to become a Phys Ed teacher, but transferred after a year an a half to art school.


What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I’m proud of all the work I have done both past and present, but there are a few that stand out in particular. Most recently would definitely be the work I’m doing at Titmouse, as well as the work I’ve done at Six Point Harness, where I was able to work on a number of projects with great crews of artists, some of whom have become my closest friends since moving to LA two years ago. I also got to work on a very unique project back in NY with Flickerlab, where I got to traditionally animate an entire 2- min piece for BNY Melon on paper napkins which was then shot as stop motion.  Before that, there were numerous projects that I did with Dancing Diablo, including several spots for the Bronx Zoo .  And of course, the pencil test I did as my proposal to my beautiful wife, Amanda.
How did you become interested in animation?
I always tell people I consider animation my “astronaut dream.” You know when kids are asked what they want to be when they grow up, and they respond with “firefighter,” or “superhero,” or “astronaut,” mine was “Disney animator.” As a child I loved to draw and by the time I was old enough to Continue…

The Poor Animator’s Guide to making it in a Digital World

So let’s say you’ve decided to become an artist, or you came up old school and have yet to traverse across the digital bridge to the 21st Century. Of course there are devices that work well such as the Wacom Cintiq, The Surface Pro, The Wacom Companion and the Lenovo Helix, but all of these are expensive as hell, and you might wonder what you can do to keep the hard earned cash in your pocket. Fear not animators and artists, Animation Insider’s got your back for cheap alternatives! One look at the items necessary to be a professional digital artist these days can make you think twice about continuing in your endeavor. In order to buy all the essentials like a Wacom Cintiq, Storyboard Pro, Adobe Suite, Autodesk Maya you’d almost have to sell a kidney to have the cash to shell out for these fine items.

Or do you?

For digital drawing hardware there are many cheaper alternatives out there to the industry standard; the Wacom Cintiq and while honestly none of them are as high quality as a Cintiq, if you’ve never used one to begin with you’re unlikely to notice a difference.

Yiyinova MVP22u

The Yiyinova MVP22U is a capable Cintiq replacement and about half the price but for now that’s the only alternative to a desktop Cintiq alternative I can recommend and even that has the caveat of shipping from China. To be fair though if a Cintiq breaks you’ll have to ship it to Germany so it’s a fair enough tradeoff.

Luckily there are other smaller devices you can buy as well that work decently enough.

The Asus EP121 tablet PC is a decent tablet that even has a touchscreen. No it’s NOT an iPad but honestly I’ve found those to be crappy at best while trying to produce professional art, and they won’t run professional programs like Storyboard Pro, or the Adobe Suite. Besides I find it hard to support a company that will not listen to the artists out there by purposely excluding a stylus option for the iPad despite a clear market for it.

For the record a much better alternative for artists is the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2, which while it will not run the above mentioned applications either it DOES come with a stylus and that alone makes me think it’s worth it. We reviewed it last year if you want to take a look.


The Asus EP 121 will run all the standard applications artists use today in a professional environment and do it well. Flash, Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, and Premiere all run handily on the Ep121. It will even handle Maya, 3D Studio Max, Mudbox and Motion Builder and sometimes you can even find it for less than $300 bucks. Right now the cheapest I’ve found the 64 gb configuration for is $550 (which you’ll need to install all that software) but still with a Cintiq costing $2000 you’re getting a good deal. It will even support an external monitor too boot.  It comes with a wireless bluetooth keyboard as well.

I happen to be selling one of these right now if you’re in the market so give me a shout if you’re interested.


The old standby though has to be the Motion Computing’s Motion series, in the form of the LE1600 and the LE1700 both of which run Sketchbook Pro like champ and if the studio is asking you to use Photoshop, it natively handles .psd files perfectly. The LE1600 is the cheaper of the two and for that you’ll sacrifice a bit of computing power but it still will run decently for the price. You can get a Motion Computing LE1600 at Gainsaver for $107 bucks! Not bad huh? It will even do light Maya chores, which for $100 is pretty damn spiffy in my book!

The more powerful device is the LE1700 though and for the extra price you can get a much more powerful processor. Granted it will NOT run Storyboard Pro, but it WILL run Flash, Photoshop and Sketchbook Pro. You can get a LE1700 cheaply at Gainsaver for about $125 bucks but if you do, I would suggest you change the processor configuration to the Intel 1.5 ghz Core 2 Duo and have them install Windows 7 on there for you. I would also bump up the hard drive to 80gb. This will only set you back $374 bucks but you can ‘probably’ get away with the default configuration if you just use Sketchbook Pro. Also this handy lil’ device WILL run Maya which is pretty cool but you won’t be able to have dozens of characters and huge backgrounds in one scene. It’s great for modeling. animating and rigging though. It’s not going to run any serious games or anything processor heavy but you can easily draw and animate with it.

Also, with Sketchbook Pro’s latest addition of the Flipbook 2d animation timeline, you can now animate in 2D for a VERY low startup price using both of these devices.

For software, of course you can always buy used software on eBay as well, but quite often that’s just pirated software packaged to look legit and when you get your disks delivered sometime programs won’t register so I’d stay away from that.

There are alternatives as well and so you don’t really have to go to your friendly neighborhood software pirate to get decent software. Most don’t know this, but there are many academic sites that offer the ability to buy cheaper software legally. All you need is a scan of a student’s report card (and if you’re taking classes ANYwhere you qualify) which you’ll upload and they’ll create an account for you which will allow you buy all SORTS of discounted software.

The best I’ve found is called http://www.journeyed.com/ but there are others and they all offer around the same discounts.

Watch for our Artist’s Guide to Tablets 2014 to get advice on everything you could want for an artist coming next month.

Rob Davies


What is your name?

Rob Davies

What would you say has been your primary job in animation?

I don’t know that I’ve had a ‘primary’ job in animation to be honest. My longest stint is as one of the founders/owners of Atomic Cartoons in Vancouver. However, I’ve worn many hats in and out of Atomic.
I started as a traditional animation layout artist. Anyone who’s been around for awhile (pre-digital) knows what that is…
Other titles include character designer, art director, storyboard artist, storyboard supervisor, director, producer, series creator, and presently VP of Development at Atomic Cartoons.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?

Before I broke into the ‘toon biz, I worked as a sign painter, dishwasher (lasted one night), construction laborer, duty-free store clerk, T-Shirt designer, political cartoonist, silk screen printer, art supplies store clerk, even worked the camera counter at Kmart…
Can’t say there was anything that was particularly ‘crazy’ (like juggling flaming chain saws at kids’ parties) although the duty-free store at the BC-Washington State boarder was strange. It required I run down the highway to just past the nearest exit to the boarder crossing and then hand customers their shopping bags. This was to prevent Canadians from loading up on smokes and rye whiskey at the duty-free and then hanging a quick right just before customs. I ran in all sorts of weather. It is Canada after all. Eventually they just closed off the street. Easier.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?

I’m grateful to have been a part of anything, to be honest. But I’m most proud of Beetlejuice the Animated Series, Asterix Conquers America, Eek The Cat, Pinky and The Brain, The Zeta Project, Captain Flamingo, and Atomic Betty.

How did you become interested in animation?

It was pretty obvious, especially in math class, that I was destined to do something with a Continue…