Sunday, July 19, 2009

Flash Animation Line Test

Wild Life
National Film Board of Canada, 2009

Here is a little piece of animation I created using a Wacom tablet and Flash for a new NFB film directed by Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis. This piece required some precision and patience!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

3D Maya Animation

Buzz Lightyear Star Command
Disney Interactive 2002

Working at Disney Interactive was a wonderful opportunity for me to hone my 3D skills. I was animating and lighting some of the classic Pixar characters for educational games. Great fun!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


From Flores
National Film Board of Canada, 1991

A few samples from the boards I created for my second film at the NFB-From Flores. These boards are pretty elaborate because they were created as presentation boards to sell the concept to the NFB. The film was completed in 1991.

Exquisite Tenderness
Lolipop Productions, 1993

Sample drawings taken from a series of boards I created for the feature film-Exquisite Tenderness shot in Vancouver and starring Malcolm McDowell. I really enjoyed working on the project as it was an action-packed "hospital horror" movie so I had fun treating the boards in a comic book fashion. The director, Carl Schenkel was intense but a pleasure to work with.

The Barkerville Ghost
National Film Board of Canada, 2000

These panels are taken from the storyboard for a film proposal that I submitted to the NFB in 2000. The Barkerville Ghost (working title) is a historical gothic horror tale in the vein of Edgar Allen Poe. The proposal was rejected. I might return to this idea one day as I am still convinced it would make a terrific film.

Buzz Lightyear Star Command
Disney Interactive, 2003

These are some storyboard panels I created for commercial animation production at Disney Interactive in Victoria.

Monday, June 29, 2009

From Flores

National Film Board of Canada 1990
Best Short Film Sao Paulo International Film Festival 1992
Award of Excellence PIMA Festival 1990

I worked on this film from 1988-1990. I'm very proud of it but the project was probably too ambitious. I didn't have enough time, money, energy or experience to make the film I really wanted to make. Perhaps every artist feels this way when a project is complete but I think enough time has passed now for a fair and honest evaluation. I poured everything I had into this but the rendering technique was too labour intensive. It was exhausting. I wanted to create an immersive and cathartic west coast experience- a living painting. I wanted to transport a viewer to this rugged environment in the middle of a winter storm. In the end, I simply ran out of gas. There are moments that really work but overall, the film falls a little flat. Live and learn. No regrets.
While I certainly hope to direct more films, I won't take on a project of this scope again. Even if I had the energy and resources, it wouldn't make sense to create something like this today. The world doesn't have much patience for this sort of filmmaking anyway and computers have probably rendered this approach obsolete. To me, this film is an odd but interesting time capsule both in my life and in the world of film making and animation.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Studio

Life as a Freelance Artist

I began working from home 6 years ago when Disney Interactive closed the Victoria studio. Some of the folks who worked at Disney went across the pond to work at various studios in Vancouver. Others set up new studios here in Victoria or found jobs with the government. I decided to go freelance. For the most part, it's been a positive experience. I've taken on a variety of interesting projects and worked with some terrific people along the way. There are times when I lay awake wondering where the next job will come from but I always seem to find something. I manage. I feel fortunate to live in a beautiful part of the world. My schedule is flexible and this lifestyle allows me time to explore and develop my personal work. I feel healthier now that I'm out of the studio system. I walk every day beside the ocean. I play hockey 2 or 3 times a week and I swim regularly at the local Y. As a freelancer, I receive no benefits, no holidays and no pension so I gotta stay healthy -I have to keep working! I'm not complaining. I would be bored silly if I didn't work. Life is good!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Flash Animation for Children's E-Learning Title

Grade 4 Math

I've created dozens of these 3 minute Flash cartoons for Etraffic Solutions-a local developer. They are designed to introduce e-learning modules for Grade 4 Math. The voices feature local kids. Flash is an ideal medium for this sort of thing as it's pretty quick and affordable. I can usually manage about a minute of animation per week in this style.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Children's Book Illustration-The Potter

Coteau Books 1998

Written by Jacolyn Caton

The Potter was my first children's book. It's a fantasy about an ancient potter and his magical pots. Watercolour and Prismacolour pencil on paper.

Flash Animation-NFB


National Film Board of Canada 2008

Directed by Wendy Tilby and Amanada Forbis

I created this line animation in Flash for my good pals, Wendy and Amanda. The girls are now busy with the final painting of these frames. I can't wait to see the finished film!

Children's Book Illustration-Belle's Journey

Orca Book Publishers 1991

Written by Marilyn Reynolds

Watercolour and Prismacolour pencil on paper. I used a Japanese electric eraser to create the snow effect. The pencil crayon work is very time consuming so it was scary using the eraser on these images but the effect works very nicely. This book is now considered a Canadian classic with over 40,000 copies sold so far. Editions have also been published in the US, Japan and Germany.