Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Hands down some of the best animation I have seen in a long time. I especially love their mixture of animation and real footage in Break the Law of Silence. For more check out their site here.

Lorn - 'Ghosst(s)'

Break The Law of Silence

Les chiens isolés


The Wedding of Joseph Koelsch & Emily Walker

I was lucky enough to get to spend the last weekend down in Memphis, Tennessee celebrating my brother's wedding. I spent the entire weekend capturing all the events and the video below is the result. The footage was shot on a Canon 7D with a 24-70mm and a 16-35mm lens. The audio was recorded live using a Zoom H4N from a band we saw on Beale Street called Two Weeks Notis. Enjoy.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Fun little animation from Trevor Conrad and Alexander Perry for a revolutionary new iPhone app that will help people with vision problems to shop at grocery stores.

Photo of the Day - Untitled

Untitled by patrickjoust
Untitled, a photo by patrickjoust on Flickr.
Via Flickr:
Yashica Mat 124

Fujichrome T64

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Portraits Revisited

I was going through my old videos on my Vimeo page recently and came across the video below; a portrait of my girlfriend Lisa. It really jumped out at me. I forgot how much I loved it, and at the time I had planned to do many more of these. That was a year ago and Lisa was the only one I've done. I figure because I'm so animation focused these days I owe it to myself to revisit this little portrait series...

Friday, May 18, 2012

We Are Seventeen

Sick little typography piece from We Are Seventeen.


Not long ago my work buddy, David Ayling, approached me about an idea he and his former co-workers had.  He pitched me a simple show about an ad agency run by hipster cats called CATOW.  Coincidentally, CATOW's biggest rival in the market is a company called DOGMA which run entirely by coked up dogs.  Needless to say this short synopsis had me intrigued and I was eager to help on the creation.  It was left up to me to come up with how we were going to actually build these episodes, all I had to go off of were some plastic cat toys that Dave had photoshopped.  As I began thinking about it I knew the backgrounds would have to be fairly realistic to match that cats I was already provided.  My brain led me to Aqua Teen Hunger Force.  I have been a big fan of this show and had always been intrigued about how they built the background plates for the episodes.  Their style lies somewhere between Adobe Illustrator texturing and photo realism.  I thought this would be a perfect style to replicate for CATOW.

A brief Google search brought me Jay's Illustration of Life and this little tutorial.  I took the principals from Jay's site and started to create my own backgrounds.

I started with some simple sketches of Tom's Office and Stone's Office.

Tom Caterson's Office

Stone Catow's Office
From this point I went into Adobe Illustrator and built out the rooms.  At this stage it is important to think about layering and breaking objects into several shapes to make texturing easier. For instance, Tom's desk is broke into 3 separate parts (Top, Front, and Side). This makes it a lot easier for me to texture each side individually in Photoshop. The giant red dot is my point for the One Point Perspective I used to create the rooms.  As you can see there are a lot less elements for Stone's office because it required less things to be textured, it was more made up of objects than anything else.

Tom Caterson's Office

Stone Catow's Office
Now I brought all my AI layers into Photoshop as smart objects. This makes texturing and shading extremely easy. All it requires me to do is put my AI layer in place, put my texture on another layer above it, hold alt (on Mac) and click on the line between the two layers (your hand cursor will change to two circles overlapping). Doing this makes your texture masked by your AI shape (look at my layers in the image below to see).  What's really great about this is that you are free to edit, transform, and warp the texture as much as you please without worrying about losing your original shape of the AI layer. In many cases I would put another masked layer over the texture and using a large brush at low opacity I would paint in shadows to give the room a more realistic depth.  I found most of my textures at CG Textures. Texturing is the most fun for me because that site is literally a playground for stuff like this. They don't only have textures but they have buildings, doors, windows, rust, signs, posters, etc.

Below are the final results

Once my sets were complete I brought them into After Effects and imported them as Composition - Retain Layer Sizes. This keeps all my layers in the same order that I had them in Photoshop. I worked some animation magic and below is the result. Enjoy and keep your eye out for more episodes here.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Qualcomm Authorized Test Labs by Abe Vizcarra

Lately I've been really drawn to design that would make for good animation. Here is yet another example from Abe Vizcarra for Qualcomm Authorized Test Labs. I love the simplistic style of the design but what I enjoy even more is their overall mixture of photo treatment and graphical elements.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Josh Cooley

If you don't know Josh Cooley then you are sorely missing out.  He is a Story Artist at Pixar and his blog is a treasure trove of good humored fun. Check it out here.

Brent Couchman

Some really inspiring work here.  I love Brent's color and texture. His style lends itself perfectly to animation too.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Did You Know Sample

Today I feel like this.  Recently I was tasked with coming up with a creative way to display information in video for a client.  Normally in these situations animation can get very boring with text on screen after text on screen. So for this sample I wanted to try and make the text apart of the environment.  After putting this together the hairy armed client decided to go with their own stale branding instead. At least I got a shot piece for my reel I guess....

Photo of the Day - Untitled

Untitled by klOrklOr
Untitled, a photo by klOrklOr on Flickr.
Via Flickr:
Location: Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong

sooc, gotta love film :)

Bronica SQ-Ai, ZENZANON PS 80mm F2.8, Kodak Portra 160NC... | Tumblr | making of my waterfalls project

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Shins : The Rifle's Spiral

A stunning compositional masterpiece from Jamie Caliri and his team for The Shins new track, The Rifle's Spiral. They shot this with a Canon 7D, 5D, and 60D and used Dragonframe to help with the animation. For moving shots they used a rig called the Volo by ARC Motion Control.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Complete Animade Lernz

I love these little shorts from Animade, and up until this video I had only actually seen "Walk" and "Eyes". Truly inspirational work here.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


In East Africa, WellDone provides materials and education so villagers can build their own wells. These DIY wells last longer, are less expensive to build, and help communities stay connected. This celebration of water has helped more than 30,000 people work towards self-sufficiency, develop pride in their work, and grow healthier. Threadless has recently put on a challenge to design a logo for WellDone's cause. Below is my attempt. After researching some of their work I came across a lot of pictures of hands cupping water. I found the image very powerful and this became the basis for my design. Another theme in the design is the contrasting elements of smooth and rough. The heart and water are both smooth, life giving elements, while the hands are rough, earthy, and textured. I did this to emphasize the great impact that water can have in these harsh environments. If you like my design please vote for it here.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

HPS in 60 Seconds

Fun little piece from the guys over at Breakfast of Champions.  Simple and fun way to show how much a company does in just one minute.

100 Frames

Fraser Davidson, the same person who brought us the amazing piece, Bill Maher's Irritable Bowl Syndrome, has begun to create 100 frame shorts inspired by different letters in the alphabet. Below is U and H, although O and M are both done as well.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Camera Collection

Fun little piece from Antonio Vicentini. Reminds me a lot of one of my works.

5 Second Project - Nothing But Cubes

Grey Scale Gorilla has recently come out with a new 5 Second Project under the theme "Nothing But Cubes." Knowing GSG's heavy Cinema 4D influence and following my immediate thought was that there was no room for me to participate in this round.  I figured I would need to use Cinema 4D to create anything that used cubes. Then, while sitting at my desk yesterday it hit me.  Ice cubes! There is more than one way to reference a cube and there is more than one way to animate a cube.  With my hopes rising I went into action and created this image in Adobe Illustrator.

Then, with all my layers separated, I brought the AI file into After Effects and animated it to completion.  I'm pretty sure it's one of the only pieces in the competition that hasn't used Cinema 4D with a cube exploding, and for that I'm proud.

Nothing But Cubes from Chris Koelsch on Vimeo.

Figure Father

A really touching piece from Andrew Ellis at Nomadique Media, LLC. Those guys tell some truly touching stories. Check out more of their work at their site and read more in depth about this particular piece at their blog here.

Figure Father from Nomadique on Vimeo.

Nokia - Traffic

I really like how this short piece Punga created for Nokia displays the various text information.  In my professional work I often find myself fighting to find elegant ways to add text throughout animation.  The simplicity of the style along with the use of negative space really makes for a good composition in this work.

Nokia - Traffic from PUNGA on Vimeo.