Wednesday, December 24, 2008


I saw this on Keith Lango's site and it was so interesting I had to post it here. Give it a chance. It's pretty amazing.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Richard WIlliams Stuff

A fantastic documentary about Richard Williams. Too bad the quality is poor. If you don't have the time to look at the whole thing at least check out the beginning of part two where he's analyzing people's walks.

There's a lot of documentaries popping up on youtube lately about him that I haven't seen before. Do yourself a favor and do a little search for them.

It really is a shame what they did to his life long project The Thief and the Cobbler. There's a recut version floating around out there and I was fortunate to get a copy on DVD. If you can see it, do it. It's not perfect, but there is some AMAZING animation that wasn't put into the film. I really wish they'd release a director's cut of this gem.

And of course, just in time for the holidays ;)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Evolution of Video Games

A very interesting article on the evolution of video game graphic design. Yeah it's a lot of pictures, but it's still fascinating. My only gripe is that they don't show any pictures of Zork....

Oh wait.....

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Great post about John Cleese

Worth looking at just for the cool picture at the top ;)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


So I'm doing this directed study with a really nice guy named Everett Downing. He's a wicked animator, and even though he doesn't have any animation on his blog (wink wink nudge nudge) you should go over there to see the comic he's working on as well as other wonders and delights!

His blog is located at

Monday, November 17, 2008

Make your own luck

Monday, November 10, 2008


Sunday, November 09, 2008

My thesis...

Recently I've been spending day and night working on my thesis for my final review this December. I feel like I should be posting some animation here, so here's four shots I animated and then decided to discard from my thesis. I hesitated in posting them because I feared it would give away the story of my short. But I think I'll just settle for saying SPOILER ALERT! If you'd prefer to be surprised when you see my final film, don't look at these clips!

I stopped working on them when they were all pretty much in progress, so there's not a lot of polish here. But I do like a lot of the distortions and shape changes I was able to get from the rig. Most of that stuff is on ones! Can't let the computer do all the work, now can I?

Again, there shots are not examples of finished animation. They're more examples of how I work. I've put them in sequence according to my old storyboards. Enjoy!

Unused Thesis shot 1 from Graham Ross on Vimeo.

Unused Thesis Shot 2 from Graham Ross on Vimeo.

Unused THesis SHot 3 from Graham Ross on Vimeo.

Unused Thesis Shot 4 from Graham Ross on Vimeo.

Unused Thesis Shot 5 from Graham Ross on Vimeo.

Sabrina's artist bio!

My girlfriend Sabrina has been recognized by ASIFA-SF! Here's a link to her artist bio:

and here's a link to her Q and A:

And while you're at it, swing by her blog and check out her lovely thesis film:

The Curious Explorations of Jasper Morello

I hope I spelled the name right ;)

Someone showed this short to me a while back, and although I haven't had time to sit through the whole thing, the style and tone of it is really amazing. It has a dark edge to it that reminds me of Poe or maybe Slow Bob (a stop motion short from the days of Liquid Television). But I also love the Steampunk elements of it as well.

Please check it out!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Really excellent slow motion stuff

Researching a jump and found this on youtube. Really interesting to study how the body moves and compresses through space.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dog Studies

Some studies I did while watching Animal Planet.

New show on Discovery - Time Warp

Great animation reference!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Eight Rules for Writing Fiction...

Eight rules for writing fiction:

  1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
  2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
  3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
  4. Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action.
  5. Start as close to the end as possible.
  6. Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
  7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
  8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

- Vonnegut, Kurt Vonnegut, Bagombo Snuff Box: Uncollected Short Fiction (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons 1999), 9-10.

--Found through 9 Rules and here.

Friday, October 10, 2008


My buddy Bryce game me some crap about not posting as often as I should. I took my camera to school and snapped a few pics of what I've been drawing lately. Happy Bryce?

I've been having a lot of trouble getting the WHOLE figure down on the page. I'm not really sweating it though. I feel like my slowing down and appreciating the model has made me...well...slower! But I am recording what I see more accurately now. And each week I'm getting a bit more down on the page than last week.

I think it's really a matter of editing...and elaborating...and choosing. So at this point I need to learn how to do these things. The more I practice them, the faster I'll get.

BTW, while you're at it check out Bryce's awesome blog here.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

While these aren't some of my best drawings, I felt that I hadn't posted some of my work in a while, so I picked these few favorites. I've been pushing full steam on my thesis, so I really don't want to post anything until it's close to finished.

Incidentally, the maquette is the main character from my thesis. I have to go back and re-sand him to smooth out some rough parts, but he's almost done so I thought I'd post a pic anyways ;)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Two posts in one day?

I'm busy working on my thesis, but I do find time to look for inspiration!

Check out this blog:

At the time of writing this, they just put up a great breakdown of the Kung Fu panda opening title sequence. Great place to learning about storyboarding for sure!

Great quote....

"Take your profession seriously; don't take yourself seriously. You really only matter to a certain degree in the whole circus out there. If you take yourself seriously, you're not going to be able to move forward. You're going to be hampered by always wanting to look in the mirror and see if you have enough tuna oil on your hair or something like that."

--Clint Eastwood from this article.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Don't Vote

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Venice Beach

You might be wondering why I haven't posted any animation lately. Basically I've been busy working on my thesis film and I'd rather that people view it as a whole as opposed to a series of vignettes. I might change my mind eventually ;)

Here's a few sketches from my trip down to LA. I seem to be very "profile happy" lately. Honestly though profiles are really fascinating...each face has it's own unique geology that says something about their character.

Practice practice practice!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Follow Thru Suggestions....

Temple of the Seven Golden Camels
did a post a while back that was a handout from Disney on follow-through. I found it super useful so I'm copying it here as well. Great stuff!

Friday, August 08, 2008


Here's some recent sketches:

A "coffee deamon". This is based on a design by my girlfriend Sabrina Cecchini.

I love this drawing, but some people pointed out to me that it's a little to close to some of the designs by Michele Gagne. Oh well!


I just finished my ecroche class for the summer. It's a sculpture class where we build the human body from the inside out. You start with the bones and work your way out to the external muscles. It was pretty intense, since I'm not much of a sculptor, but I really came out of it knowing a whole lot more than I did about anatomy.

I've also noticed that, since taking the class, I've begun approaching my animation from a different mindset. In CG, it's so easy to break the rules and bend the model all different ways. Sometimes that's necessary, but a lot of the time you forget that the leg can only rise so far before it hits the bone of the pelvis. Or that the vertebrae running down the back of the rib cage are fused, so they can't really bend. Or that the entire arm swivels from the collar bone, so those shoulders are going to engage of the arm moves.

So now, when I move the cg puppet around, in the back of my mind I consider anatomy with every pose I make. Really really awesome stuff!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Syd Mead interview on BoingBoing!

If you don't know who this guy is...;)

If you're going to watch one of em, watch the last one where he talks about blade runner. All of them are pretty good though.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Short interview with Angus MacLane

It's not a very long interview, but he does say something that I try to keep in my mind whenever animating...

"It's funny, people say it's 3D animation but really it's just 2D animation in a 3D medium."

And here's an interview with a story artist from Pixar, including some boards:

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Always helps to have a goal, right?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Post #151....

Yep. I totally missed that last post was number 150.

It's pretty amazing to me that I've been able to keep this thing going. I originally started it to my folks could keep up on the things I was studying in school. But now I realize it's a great way to see how far I've come in my animation and my drawing.

To celebrate, my revised reel!

Graham Ross_Reel_7-1-08 from Graham Ross on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Glasses Redux...

This exercise always bothered me, so I decided to go back to it. Tings I was thinking about were simplicity and figuring out how to avoid giving him "pivot butt" by keeping him locked in the seat.

Recently I've started to try simplifying the number and frequency of keys I have in my animation until I hit the polish phase. I think it's pretty easy to get caught up in the details while you're in IP (in progress phase of animating). However, like drawing, if you don't have good structure to begin with, you're not going to have much of anything in the end.

Something else interesting. The "before polish" was at the beginning of m Pixar 2 class. The "after" is now, after having taken the whole class.

Please note I dont think this version is completely finished. There still needs to be some breaking up of the body, but overall I'm happier with how I solved it.


Glasses_withPolish from Graham Ross on Vimeo.


Glasses_noPolish from Graham Ross on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The fine art of polish

Something that I'm trying to incorporate into my work flow is polish. Polish is your final pass on your animation, where you go back in and tweak your splines and clean up any bad bumps. It's something that's expected in my classes and on the job I can imagine.

Problem is that there's little documentation on how to polish. I'm hoping someday someone will write a good tutorial on approaching polish on a scene.

Anyways, just for fun, here's my one person dialog exercise before polish and after.

1 Person Dialouge - No Polish from Graham Ross on Vimeo.

1 person Dialouge from Graham Ross on Vimeo.

UPDATE: Here's some good resources I found. Here and Here, both courtesy of Keith Lango.

Black and White films of moving anatomy

I can't embed these videos becuase they're lisensed by Getty images, but I can at least provide a link:

It's x-ray clips of bones moving within the human body. The ones on feet are amazing. Does anyone know where they're from?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

First walk test....

So since I'm going to the Academy of Art I'm supposed to complete this thing called a "thesis". I know I know...but it's fun to rig and model and light....and then animate!

Anyways, this is my first test with the rig. I'm not even gonna show the front view. I did it pretty fast so it's still kinda bumpy in some parts, but I'm pretty happy that the little guy actually moves! I'll do a more polished one soon. Promise!

First Walk Test... from First and last name on Vimeo.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Keeping Motivated

Monday, May 05, 2008

New(er) Demo Reel

Just did a newer version of my demo reel with a dialog test.

Graham's Updated Demo Reel 5_2008 from kungfu hampster on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Just realized a lot of my portfolio pics are reposts. I'll save the for my portfolio site. I should have that site up and running soon. It'll be meant strictly for potential employers. Yay!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Drawings Part 2

Here's a few more. More ta come!

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I recently compiled a new demo reel, so I shot a lot of my old drawings and such. I'll be posting a few of em a day, since there's a lot. Here's round one...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ollie Johnston 1912-2008

Monday, April 14, 2008

New Reel

Just put a new reel together for some internship submissions. Enjoy!

Untitled from kungfu hampster on Vimeo.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Composition in Horton Hears a Who....

Very interesting articleon composition of the frame within Horton Hears a Who


I'm working on doing my new reel for intern submissions. Here's a few things I'm working on cleaning up. Of course I'll post the reel once it's done ;)

Untitled from kungfu hampster on Vimeo.

Untitled from kungfu hampster on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Zoo drawings...

Went to a workshop by Joe Weatherly. Check out his site sometime. His book on animal drawing is a must-have!