Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Michel Gagne's Secret Production Blog for "The Saga of Rex"

Michel Gagne is making an animated film based on his graphic novel , “The Saga of Rex” .   He is funding the film through Kickstarter.

Anyone who makes a contribution of $20 or more will gain access to The Secret Production Blog on the making-of the film

Michel writes:

“I will use the Secret Production Blog to share what I learn, divulge my tricks and give a real insight into my process. I want to make this a great tool for animation students to see how I do things—sort of "a crash course in making a classically animated film". Hopefully, potential creators will be inspired to put that knowledge to use in their own future productions... and by the same token, help keep the art of 2D animation alive. I'm going to be learning a lot myself and sharing will make it all the more worthwhile.

If you know of any animation/art schools, students, or enthusiasts that would be interested in getting a real behind the scene look at this endeavor, please let them know and pass the link around. Once again, thank you all for your support!”


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

"Drawing everywhere ..."

“Paperman” director John Kahrs talks about the importance of DRAWING in the CG age.

I'm excited about this film and hats off to John Kahrs and everyone else at Disney who is pushing CG animation in a new direction (combining CG with hand-drawn) but I guess what I'm still sort of scratching my head about is : if Disney wants to retain the look and appeal of hand-drawn animation , then why not just DO Hand-Drawn Animation ?  Am I missing something ?   Seems to me what has really hurt the advancement of hand-drawn animation lately is not the technique , but the the subject matter .


Friday, May 25, 2012

Poe Project on IndieGoGo - Michael Sporn Animation

 UPDATE #2 , May 26, 2012  -   Well, the IndieGoGo site shows that  POE didn't quite reach the funding goal of $13,000, but it got close.    Good luck to Michael Sporn as he continues to press forward with this independent animated feature. 

*However, this just in from Michael Sporn:
"The amount shown on PayPal doesn’t reach the $13,000 goal requested, just $12,225. But several people had difficulty with PayPal and asked to just send me the money directly. With that additional $1450, we’ve definitely reached and passed the goal, and I couldn’t be happier:  $13,675."


UPDATE #1 , May 25, 2012 -  as of this writing only 8 hours to go.   The POE project is at $12,175 ,  just $825  short of the goal of $13,000.    That's doable if only 55 people give the minimum of $15.00 each.    42 people could put them over the top with $20.00 each. 

I just donated to this project and I recommend my readers consider it.

More information in the video and at this link:

The Poe Project on Kickstarter    IndieGoGo

"The Animatic, above, is a rough representation of animation in progress. It helps us tell the story. We hope to turn the many segments started into completed animation to be able to thrust the feature film, POE, into complete production. The  money raised through Kickstarter IndieGoGo will do that for us and help satisfy the needs of the possible distributors and financiers who are already interested."

Director Michael Sporn has worked in animation since the early 1970's , first working with other notable Directors such as John Hubley and Richard Williams , and then running his own studio since the late 1970's . He also has one of the premier animation blogs which I highly recommend you bookmark and check frequently if you don't already have it:

Michael Sporn's Splog

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Support Ken Duncan's "My Beastly ABCs" project on KickStarter

 UPDATE:  FUNDED !    They raised the $35,000 and then some.  

Yet another project worth supporting has come to my attention .    Ken Duncan's studio on Pasadena, CA,  is making an interactive animated app called  "My Beastly ABCs" 

Go to their KickStarter page to read all about the project .   I supported their project and I hope you will consider doing so , too.   Any donation amount would be appreciated.

I think independent projects funded via pages like KickStarter and IndieGoGo are the way hand-drawn animation is going to survive in the short term , so if you want to see this kind of artwork continued to be produced by masters of hand-drawn animation and design such as Ken Duncan , then throw some support their way.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Hand-drawn project worth supporting - Mark Kausler's "There Must Be Some Other Cat"

Sorry to hear that Michael Sporn's  Kickstarter campaign to raise money for his animated feature-film  "POE"  didn't reach it's funding goal.   (see the post below this one)   I supported it and I urge you to do the same if Michael starts another fund-raiser  , which it sounds like he may do soon.   I hope he keeps moving forward with it.

Onward ...

This doesn't have a KickStarter page , but if anyone is looking to support a worthy hand-drawn animation project check out the latest post on animator Mark Kausler's  "Cat Blog" :

 Mark already made the brilliant hand-drawn short  "It's the Cat" a few years ago and has completed animation on his next Cat film "There Must Be Some Other Cat" .

The pencil animation for  "There Must Be Some Other Cat" is finished (Mark showed the pencil test to me at CTN; it's great stuff !)  , but the new film is still slowly inching it's way to completion in color.    It's being done entirely traditionally , so it's hand-inked and painted on actual cels and then photographed on the last working Acme 35mm camera stand in New York City .  (owned by the producer of the film, Greg Ford) .

Like I said, they don't have a KickStarter page, but Mark is selling the hand-inked Cels from the first Cat film to raise money for finishing the new Cat film and also has set up a PayPal account to take contributions from anyone who wants to help finish the film. See his blog post linked above for contact details.

Here are the cels they currently have for sale:

I purchased this beauty:

 (actually one very similar to this one , not this exact frame .  This is from the cel gallery on Mark's website) .

Buy a cel or make a contribution if you support independent animators committed to making hand-drawn animation.    The hand-inked and painted cels are beautiful examples of a craft that is now virtually extinct.

By the way, you can watch the full  PENCIL TEST  of Mark Kausler's first Cat film,  "It's the Cat"  on his website, here:

*NEW : Kausler's Kat now on FACEBOOK (go click the 'Like' button) -


Friday, March 2, 2012

The Story of Animation - an educational film

I saw this posted on the TVPaint Animation Forum.

Nice, humorous (slightly exaggerated) explanation of the production process.  Made as an educational piece for clients wanting to use animation who know nothing about the way animation actually produced.    A lot of production was done by students at  The Animation Workshop in Viborg, Denmark  --

The Story of Animation from David Tart on Vimeo.
What is "The Story of Animation"?
The Story of Animation is an educational film about the process of animation. Although aimed primarily at potential animation clients, the film has something for everyone - animation students, animation artists, animation producers, and anyone who has ever wondered about how animation is made. Please see our website -

The Story
The film follows the journey of "You" (the main character), a 3rd-tier technical writer who dreams of one day being a product designer. Working after hours, he creates a fantastic new product. When he presents his product to his employers, they inform him that it's up to him to create an advertising campaign for the product - an advertising campaign that must be animated. This poses a problem for "you" - he knows very little about animation, and is instantly filled with doubts, and thus his future hangs in the balance. This is where our friendly narrator steps in, to guide "you" through the process of making an animated film. Step by step, our hero's anxiety and doubts are put to rest, and in the end, he is triumphant!

The Production
The Story of Animation came about as a solution to a problem: The Animation Workshop, an animation school in Viborg, Denmark, had been graduating a great number of incredibly qualified animators, animation producers, and CG artists over the past 10 years. These artists had been forming small companies and beginning to produce fantastic work. The problem was not with the studios, or the quality of work they were producing, but rather with the clients: Most of them seemed to believe that animation was a simple, uncomplicated process, and were often disappointed to learn that there were very specific stages in the animation process that required their participation (and finances). It's almost as if they believed that creating animation was as simple as pitching an idea, and then sitting back while a couple of animators with pencil and paper goofed off, told jokes, and drank copious amounts of coffee until "wallah"! the animation was finished! Furthermore, they seemed to think that there would be no difference in cost between an animated film created in flash, 2D, stop motion, cut-out, motion graphics, or fully rendered Pixar-style 3D animation! At the time Morten Thorning, Director of the Animation Workshop approached me with the idea for the film, I was experiencing similar problems with a client in Copenhagen. In fact, I'd just spent several days creating a presentation about the benefits of using animation for an environmental messaging campaign. I was tasked with convincing a panel of scientists, sociologists, environmental activists, and architects how animation could be used to create positive, engaging, and entertaining content for environmental action messaging - no small feat!

The Team
After talking things over with Morten, it was decided that I would write and direct the project, which would be produced by Claus Toksvig of The Animation Hub, and animated at Tumblehead Studios. Tumblehead, led by Magnus Moller, did an amazing job on the film, assembling a team of character designers, animators, storyboard artists, and background artists (all graduates or current students of the Animation Workshop). Tumblehead saw the entire process through, from concept to post-production. The narrator was voiced by the awesome Richard Spiegel, and the sound design and score created by Mark Menza, whose many credits include sound designer and composer for "The Jimmy Neutron Show". Additional support was provided by Thomas Ahlmark (a veteran of many Animation Workshop productions).