Ed Bell

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Ed Bell. I’m an animation artist and currently an affiliate director with Special Agent Animation, in the Bay Area. I’m building a short film at the moment. I also teach character design and mentor aspiring animation artists at CCA. Recently, I’ve started painting, and developing a gallery show.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
None. My first real job was in animation.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
“ Bring Me The Head Of Charlie Brown” was a short my classmate Jim Reardon made, that we took around to festivals with Spike & Mike. Awesome experience. Then there was the “Ed” trilogy by Richard Moore, also made at Cal Arts. I think of “Roger Rabbit” and “The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse” from the 80’s. But at Collosal Pictures, “The Big City” for Liquid Television because it was my first short as a director, and “King Tut,” with the great John Stevenson and Jerry Juehl with Quincy Jones helping us pitch, those are cherished memories, (even if Tut never made it to the screen). As a Warner Cartoons fan I’m amazed I got to contribute to some Warner Brothers cartoon shorts with animators I learned a great from.

How did you become interested in animation?
I’m a child of the “golden age” of T.V. or whatever, and grew up glued to the TV set, or glued to movie screens whenever and wherever I could. Every aspect of entertainment seemed to mesmerize me, nearly as much as it entertained me! Animation’s hand-crafted nature, and animation’s rich sense of Continue…

Mattias Gordon

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Mattias Gordon and I work as animator ( handdrawn, 2D & motion graphics ), illustrator, comic artist and writer as freelancer in my own little studio.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Crazyness is part of the job but I cant remember any crazy jobs.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
My first animationjob was when I 1986 – 88 worked on a Swedish feature called Voyage to Melonia.  It was fun to work on the two first CD-games with the Swedish famous characters Pettson and Findus ( same in english I think ) becuase so many have played these games.  In 2009 my shortfilm the Jaguar had premiere on the Cinemas. Don´t think it was a huge success but it was very nice.  My musicvideos for Kathryn Williams, Hazmat Modine and now lately Fanfare Ciocarlia.

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I am from Sweden and have been living most of time here. I have been in the business for some years. I will be 50 this year. When I was small I was very interested in animation but Continue…

Darko Tomicic

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Darko Tomicic. I am 2D and 3D animator and animation director on clips for Croatian National Television.

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

I worked as accountant in meat factory, and occasionally as security officer between two animation projects.

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

I enjoyed working on animated series Mr. Bean in Varga Studio Budapest, but I was even happier to work on Tom Jones musical video Give a Little Love. I animated several scenes, designed some characters and almost all old model cars that appear in the clip. Since I am a huge fan of 40’s and 50’s music and lifestyle I enjoyed a lot designing and animating cars from that period.
Regarding „proud to have been a part of“ I am proud every time people whom I worked for previously and were satisfied with my work call me again for their next project.

How did you become interested in animation? 

As a kid I loved comics and cartoons (don’t remember what was first) and spent most of my free time Continue…

STORYBOARD PRO 5 NOW AVAILABLE!

Today Toon Boom announced our new release, Storyboard Pro 5! Storyboard Pro is recognized as an industry standard in storyboarding, and the studios and artists who use it to create stories are passionate about what they can do with its toolset.

Storyboard Pro 5 is available for free as a benefit for customers who own a Desktop Subscription or Perpetual license with Support. Simply go to the Toon Boom site and download your new software today.

You can buy Storyboard Pro 5 for as low as $38 per month on a yearly subscription or $999 for a perpetual licence. A full breakdown of pricing can be found here.

If you haven’t tried Storyboard Pro yet, download our free trial of Storyboard Pro 5 here. There are loads of free learning materials available to help get you started.

Storyboard Pro

What’s New

The new release of Storyboard Pro streamlines the workflow with new creative tools for artists, adds improvements to the 3D workflow, and provides better integration with editorial.

What's New

With a new more neutral UI colour scheme that reduces eye strain, Storyboard Pro 5 makes it easier for artists to accurately see the colours they are working with. Of course, for artists who prefer the original look, the traditional colour scheme is still available.

A better 3D Workflow

The 3D toolset in Storyboard Pro lets you integrate 3D models, block out camera shots and create scenes with depth. Storyboard Pro 5 includes several new features that provide better integration between 2D and 3D.

There’s the new Snap to Surface that makes it easier to position and animate 3D models on a 2D plane like a floor or wall (this feature works with 2D artwork as well). You can create layers on surfaces when you want to draw on 3D models, which is a powerful way to add 2D artwork to your 3D scenes. The 3D camera is much more responsive making it easier to position, do tilts, pans, rotations and camera rolls. And Alembic and Collada can now be imported (added to existing support for FBX and 3DS), making it easier to bring in CG content.

A better 3D Workflow

Here you see a 2D prop being positioned inside a 3D spaceship. Positioning and animation controls let you easily place your artwork, which will maintain contact with the surface no matter what changes you make.

Enhanced Bitmap Drawing Tools

Storyboard Pro has both vector and bitmap drawing tools that interact seamlessly. This provides the flexibility that artists are looking for when developing artwork from sketch to cleanup. New in Storyboard Pro 5 are customizable tips for bitmap brushes. These enable more artistic freedom and control over the look and feel.

Enhanced Bitmap Drawing Tools

Change the roundness, hardness, and angle of tips as well as add randomness to affect the resulting lines. Brush tips can be customized, and you can create your own in Photoshop, Harmony or Storyboard Pro.

Better Organization with Layer Groups

In Storyboard Pro, artists can break out their artwork into an unlimited number of layers in a single storyboard panel – for example, character line work and shading can be drawn on separate layers. This enables artistic freedom and makes it easier to edit drawings. For an even more fluid creative development process and exchange between artists, Storyboard Pro 5 features the ability group layers of drawings – making it easier to organize and share content.

Better Organization with Layer Groups

When you select a group of layers, all the layers move together. With Layer groups, artists spend more time being creative and less time searching for artwork, which is especially important when projects need to be turned around quickly.

Faster Revisions with Shared Drawings

Some drawings, like a background, are regularly reused in a storyboard. To make it easier to update this kind of artwork, you can now share drawings – use a single drawing across multiple panels. When you make a change, the artwork updates everywhere so you can move on more quickly to the next creative process.

Better Organization with Layer Groups

Qt Application Scripting

New Qt Application scripting support can help you save time by creating scripts that automate manual tasks, or you can create new tools that can be accessed at the click of a button.

Qt Application Scripting

To get you started, a number of example scripts are available in this release – delete hidden layers, export the camera path, change the timing of multiple panels simultaneously, and others.

Better Integration between Storyboard Pro and Editing

Added support for 23.976 NDF timecode enables the seamless transfer of animatics from Storyboard Pro to the editing suite making it even easier to collaborate with editors. Storyboard artists can now work with this frame rate, directly exporting animatics and timelines with panels, sound, transitions, and timing to editing suites via EDL, AAF, and XML.

For those who haven’t tried Storyboard Pro yet, now is a great time. The new features in Storyboard Pro 5 add to an already great blend of creative tools and technical capabilities that help customers increase pipeline efficiency and creative output. Try it out!

Joshua Taback

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Hi, my name is Joshua Taback, I recently became episodic director on Randy Cunningham, 9th Grade Ninja.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Nothing too crazy. I worked at an AMC Movie Theater in high school and some of college.  It was perfect job to geek out at, especially when home video wasn’t as convenient as it is today.  When I was in school in Philly I worked at another movie theater that was more artsy. Blockbuster Video one summer.  All of which fed my film fanatic-ness. Besides that, camp counselor when I was younger, clerk in the humanities office at college.  I heard those folks talk a lot of dirt.  Then I “went west, young man” on the cupboard wagon of animation.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Since I had been on The Simpsons for eons, I would have to site specific episodes and sequences. The Wizard Of Evergreen Terrace, in which Homer becomes an inventor inspired by Thomas Edison, was an episode where I really hit my stride. There were a lot of great acting opportunities as well as action bits where I had a lot of fun and I think the episode turned out great. Also, being a fellow New Jerseyan I liked giving Edison a plug. As far as the shows I was an assistant director on, Homer The Moe was a show we really attacked and did well.  There were a lot of great bits and we did a lot of good animation.  I also did a good deal of storyboarding on that episode.  That’s about the time in my A.D. career that I began to have my hands on almost all the aspects of a show.

There was a couch gag that I came up with.  Usually the writers come up with the couch gags and we Continue…

Where to Work: Top 100 Studios for Animation Professionals

Animation Career Review has a list of the Top 100 Studios for Animation Professionals. Below is A-B. Click the link for a full list!

343 Industries

This is the studio that took over Bungie’s Halo series back in 2009 and released Halo 4 in 2012.  In October this year we’ll finally get to play Halo 5: Guardians and see what’s in store for the future of Master Chief. No matter where the series is headed, I’m sure 343 will consider hiring plenty more game artists in the coming years to create make Halo 6. Next year we’ll get Halo Wars 2 to help us wait.

A-1 Pictures

This is simply one of the hardest working animation studios in the anime industry today. In 2014 and 2015 combined they have released a new season for twenty four different anime series including the highly anticipated Sword Art Online II and Persona 4 The Golden: Animation. Sure, they often collaborate with other animation studios to complete so many shows, but I don’t think we’ve ever seen a 2D animation studio deliver such an intense schedule of releases in such a short amount of time.

Aardman Animations

If you fell in love with the stop motion clay animation in Chicken Run or the Wallace and Gromit films, then this is a studio name you probably know well already. In 2006, they entered the computer animation industry with the film Flushed Away, and since then they’ve worked on the films Arthur Christmas (2011), The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (2012), Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015) and they’re currently at work on Early Man (2018) and Shaun the Sheep 2 (TBA).

Animal Logic

My prediction from last year for this Australian studio hasn’t come true yet, but I’m still holding out hope! Illumination Entertainment hired Mac Guff to create most of the film Despicable Me for them, and then used the massive profits to buy the studio outright. Warner Bros. Animation went through a similar symbiotic relationship with Animal Logic, which animated all of The Lego Movie for them, so I still wonder if an acquisition is on the horizon. Either way, Animal Logic just opened a new office in Vancouver a few days ago, so they’re doing just fine! Both offices are hiring, so check them out!

Anzovin Studio

This animation company is located in Massachusetts and offers services in storyboarding, animation, graphic design, game art, software development, Maya plugins, character designs, character rigging, and can work in Maya, Mudbox, 3DS Max, ZBrush, VRay, Substance Designer, and all the Adobe CC products. Their rigging tools look superb, and it’s no surprise they’ve worked with famous clients like Bungie, A&E, PBS Kids, Microsoft, Syfy, DreamWorks Animation SKG, and Sea World. If you want to work on lots of different projects over a year instead of a huge neverending project over many years, then this could be the perfect studio for you.

Bardel Entertainment

The name “Bardel” comes from the names of its married founders, Barry Ward and Delna Bhesania, and they formed this Vancouver animation studio in 1987. Together they’ve handled plenty of large projects in the past, but what’s really gaining them global recognition is The Prophet and their hilarious art in the new television show, Rick and Morty. One of their other ongoing projects is doing all the animations for VeggieTales and VeggieTales in the House.

Bento Box Entertainment

This California studio is one of the younger ones on the list, but already has several hit series under its belt. Founded in 2009, they’ve already helped worked on Neighbors from Hell, Bob’s Burger’s, Allen Gregory, Brickleberry, Out There, Murder Police, and Bordertown. Add in the Web series The Awesomes and Gloves and Boots, as well as the films Achmed Saves America and Madea’s Tough Love, and you’ve got one of today’s most promising young studios.

Bethesda Game Studios

If you’re a gamer, then all I have to say is the Fallout series and The Elder Scrolls series. Enough said? Enough said. Not a gamer? Then this is a studio name to remember; even when it’s been years since they’ve released a game for either series, I still listed them as one of the most influential video game studios in the world. When Skyrim came out in 2011, the Internet was a quiet wasteland for a few days as everyone unplugged to play the expansive game. Forums went dry, comments sections were barren, and no one got insulted on YouTube for a whole sixty seconds once. Then, a few days later, the Internet damn near broke when everyone came back all at once and discussed the game everywhere and anywhere on every dot com imaginable, which made for one of the most memorable months the net has ever experienced. This November, Fallout 4 will finally be released! Prepare yourselves!

BioWare

One of the oldest game studios on this list, BioWare was founded back in 1995 and has been relevant ever since then. Its famously memorable storylines rely heavily on award winning writing, making it a highly competitive studio to get employed at. Lately they’ve been releasing several games for the series Dragon Age and Star Wars: The Old Republic, and are now looking to launch another Mass Effect title. They’ve got a lot of exciting things in motion, but they also have a lot of job applications, so bring your best and see if you can get an interview.

Blizzard Entertainment

In one word, legendary. Blizzard was legendary long before they became an Activision subsidiary. Sometimes Blizzard gamers can be notorious for only playing Blizzard games, but even when that’s not the case, the loyalty is still strong. When Blizzard releases a game, almost everyone plays it, regardless of their demographics. For decades they have released the most breathtaking 3D animated cinematics the world has ever seen, even when compared to the best films the box office has to offer those years. They only hire the best, but the projects they tackle are so huge that they hire a lot of employees, so if you want to be one of the thousands of names listed in their next credits list, then apply and see what happens!

CONT’D…