From the Blog

Posted by frankrause at 8:22 pm

I just finished a sketchbook I’d been working on since I was living in New York this July. Through most of it, you’ll be seeing cels from my new film, “Nosy Bear”. The bear character might look familiar, he’s been showing up in my sketchbooks for a long time, and even appeared in the very first post on this blog.

I tried a new technique for this film – I’d been having a lot of fun sketching with friends over the summer, and I didn’t want to head inside to the computer / light table / animation dungeon, so I thought I’d figure out a way to make my film while sitting outside in the park.

I made myself a tiny field guide, so I could trace a series of very small 16:9 fields into my sketchbook – I could fit about fifteen on each page. Then I animated with a nib pen and ink. People asked, “How do you test it, keep it registered, that sort of thing?” and the truth is I tried not to worry about it. At first, I shot quick tests with my cel phone camera, but after a couple pages I just tried to wing it.

The animation is done, along with the compositing and a preliminary soundtrack, so I’ve already started to send it to festivals. After Christmas I’ll be working with Steven Nistor, the sound engineer, to finish up the final audio.

I’m looking forward to showing everyone the finished work!

Posted by frankrause at 12:16 am

In my first-year Digital Methods class, all 53 students will be collaborating on a film, and I’m joining in. Each student was responsible for making one image. Then they were assigned an image from another student at random, and they’ll have to move from one image to the next in twenty seconds of animation. At the end of the semester we’ll have a 17:40 minute film. I’m really excited to see how it turns out.

The only thematic requirements were that each still had to contain a red, square-headed cat and a green backpack. My still was made in Maya, using only cubes. I’d been meaning to try something graphically simple in Maya since seeing David OReilly’s stuff, and I wanted to try something with a limited palette of objects and colors. Also, I’m shooting for a less-than-cartoony mood.