Friday, December 14, 2007

YouTube analysis: "You get away from here!"

This is one of the most animated live-action clips I've ever seen. The timing is simply perfect!

A few things I've noticed:

  1. Much of the charm here comes from the contrast between the busy, wild 7 seconds of the beginning, and the remaining 5 seconds of quiet aftermath.
  2. The dog detaches and leaves not at once, but gradually. It reminds me that the principle of arcs is much broader than we usually give it credit for: things tend to change direction over time, not in a single moment.
  3. Another gradient is his posture. He's hunched down for the first 6 seconds or so, then straightens in three beats:
    00:06 - slightly straighter, the dog is further now
    00:07 - almost fully upright, but his back is still arched forward - he's still inside the situation
    00:10 - fully upright, spine arch reversed, he's out of the situation.
  4. His arm up when he says "you go" is clearly an act of pride and victory.
  5. For the first 10 seconds, the only thing in the world is that dog. This we see through change: when he feels the crisis to be over, he looks at the photographer - the rest of the world is relevant again
I'm sure there's more - feel free add your own observations.

Kudos for Shuki Gamliel, who sent me the link.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


The head is finally finished, and it's time to move on. I made a little turntable version, too. Big thank you to Oleg Kuklin, my teacher. I wonder what my next project should be. Something more expressive, I think.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Quick sketch: a cute girl

It's about time I started uploading some drawings again. Here's a recent one.

Out of the cocoon

SO....the cast head is all but done, and I'm very excited and pleased. Still have some cleanup to do - a couple of hours of work, and my first real cast sculpture will be ready. It's going to be SO great to have it in my living room.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sculpture update

Haven't been here in a while (busy busy busy...really). Did you miss me?

Here are some work process photos. First, I added a nice clay base to the thing. Then we prepared some cast and started splashing it onto the clay. It has this cool effect:

Casting cast

In the end you get this cast cocoon, in which hides the clay head. It's a very strange feeling, having your work buried in like that. It took 5 hours of hard physical work to bury it!


Today we opened the cast, removed the clay, and poured cast into the mold. These pictures were taken while we were removing clay:

Modern art 2
Modern art 1

Next time, we remove the mold, and the session after that we'll cleanup and make some correction on the cast statue itself. And then, hopefully, it will be over. I have to say, I'm looking forward to finishing this, and starting something new.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Finished clay stage

Finished clay head - up shot

Well! My first clay sculpture is finally finished. I still need to transfer it to cast and all, of course, but the clay stage is done. It's not perfect, but perfectness is not an option on your first attempt. nice to be old, you get so much more relaxed about not being perfect:)

Finished clay head - turnaround 1

Friday, October 05, 2007

So far so good

So today was lesson 7, and it's suddenly starting to look like something that could, in theory, have a slight chance of not being a total disaster.

Lesson 7, profile details

Lesson 7, head

Lesson 7, full sculpture

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Sculpting demo

Absolutely brilliant.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Sculpting scene

Bit creepy, ain't it? Nice photo taken by my teacher Oleg. This is where it's at so far (around the end of session 5). Proportion and basic facial features are more or less there. Now starts the REAL work....
Will upload a turnaround in a week or so.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Photo Analysis 1

Following something Alex Orrelle was talking about in the studio, I'm recently trying to notice interesting pictures and analyze what's interesting (to me) about them. Well, here's one:

So what's interesting about it? I did a few sketches trying to simplify and exaggerate, almost as if I was caricaturing the photo. I think what made me stare at it in the first place, was the sudden streak of strong warm yellow within all the blueness.

In this black and white, high contrast version (thank you Photoshop), something else comes up: the attractiveness of the small, relatively bright tree, in the midst of his big dark peers. Being an "oddity" in the context of this picture, it stands out and becomes a natural focal point for the picture.

[Disclaimer: I'm not a great painter to say the least, and I don't intend to teach anybody anything. These are just some illustrated thoughts, sort of a visual analysis for my own enjoyment.]

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sculpting frenzy!

Well, I'm not posting here as much as I would have liked, but what the hey. Doing my best.
After dreaming it from plenty of years, I've finally taken sculpting lessons. So far it's a huge pleasure, worth any penny and every moment invested. The head above is the model for my very first sculpting mission. I've started by sculpting the underlying skull. Below is the result after two lessons (about 6 hours). Judging from my teacher's response, I think it must be fairly quick for a first try.

And me:

I'll keep y'all posted as the thing comes along.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Joseph Christian Leyendecker

Here are a bunch of great illustrations by Joseph Christian Leyendecker. Enjoy!

Yet another Team Fortress 2 video

Friday, August 17, 2007


A few doodles from a meeting at work, loosely based on a fellow animator. For some reason, he didn't seem to like me having fun with his face. Go figure :)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Team Fortress 2 trailers and teasers

Well, here's something I haven't done before in this blog: embedded teasers. However, I think the artistic value of this stuff is so great, that it absolutely justifies stepping out of character. So, here as some teasers for a multiplayer game called Team Fortress 2, and I think you'll agree that the character design could have easily made a Pixar feature film

Meet the Heavy: The heavy weapons character introducing himself. Excellent performance!

The Teaser:

Illustrative Rendering Featurette: A short presentation touching on artistic decisions and tech solutions.

And finally, a trailer showing some in-game footage:

Well, isn't that juicy? Can't wait to play already!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Bertrand Russell Doodle

I was working on a character concept for something, and I remembered the philosopher/mathematician Bertrand Russell, thinking he might make a good reference. Here's a quick doodle I did based on his features (which, by the way, didn't work for my character at all).

Friday, July 06, 2007

To be honest

I have to admit: when browsing through my art blog feeds, I usually look at the pictures, briefly go through the the text, and proceed to the next blog. A post from Emma's "Art, plz" blog made me stop and read carefully. It's really, really well written. It has a touch humor, a touch of personality, and a ton of wisdom. And good sketches to go with it, too! No wonder she works for Pixar. Have a look. Then come back, I want to add something.

[No no, don't continue - read her post first!]

So. Drawing honest is absolutely where the gold is. That's a great notion. Problem is, most of us consume mind-food in the same way we consume body-food: if it's not tasty, we're not going to eat it, no matter how good the nutrition value is. You can be honest till you're blue in the face, and it won't do anybody any good if it's not well put together.

That, folks, is the catch22 of good artwork: if you focus on good form you lose the honesty, if you don't – you lose your audience. How do you get honest, then?

I think, by taking the long road. You spend some years climbing up the mountain of craftsmanship, working hard to conquer form. Then you spend some more years climbing down again - down to reality, down to where your audience lives, down to content. It takes time and effort to learn how to use the craft as a consultant, not a tyrant. Once you can do that, then – and ONLY then – you can, and should, draw honest.

Friday, June 29, 2007


This was done for a forum drawing challenge under the title "Mom! Dad! Look what I found!". I took a big breath and plunged into some experimental painting. I have to say, I sort of like the result.

Strangely enough, my conscious brain had no say in choosing the subject... My hand just kept doodling silly dinosaurs, and after a few attempts to regain control, I just decided to play along and do something with dinosaurs.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Yet another silly comic strip

My business card trio

I designed these business cards with the idea that people would be able to choose the one they like. So far it's not working too well, everyone seem to want all three of them :)

It's interesting that, when I ask people which one they would have preferred, they don't have to think about it much - one of them is always much better than the rest. But it's not always the same one; in fact, the distribution between the 3 cards is quite even. I like that.

Monday, June 18, 2007

My Google Reader shared items page

Google Reader is an amazing tool for keeping track of your favorite blogs (and any other internet content that supports RSS). Among other goodies, it also allows you to create your own "shared items" web page, to which you can very easily (a single click) add interesting items. What you're practically doing is creating your very own "web magazine", sort of a mozaic blog made of bits and pieces you find interesting.

Long story short, HERE is my google reader share page (I'm also adding it to the links list on the right). You can find there a link to the RSS feed, to help you follow.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

Angry dude

Did that as a caricature for something, but I won't tell you what it means. Make of it what you will. And if you come up with something interesting, write us a comment, won't you?

Friday, June 08, 2007


This one started out as a fun little morning doodle, but I think I got rid of most of the fun now. Some of it is still there though, and I haven't been posting anything lately, so here it is. Comments and whatnots are, as usual, very welcome.

I decided his name is George, if that's ok with everyone.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Old and Gray

Don't worry, I'm quite cheerful these days. I bought a new, wide format A5 Wacom - and you're watching the very first doodle I made with it. Things are slowly falling into place now, and soon I'll be updating regularly again.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

She Donkey, or: the beauty of ugly drawings

Some months ago my Dad was complaining to me about a cartoon he was trying to draw, which was giving him a hard time. The drawing involved a guy riding a lady-donkey, who obviously had the hots for him (don't look at me, it's his idea!).

I offered to help, and he agreed. So I took a bunch of papers and started doodling, just idly exploring some possibilities. Dad was puzzled; as an amateur cartoonist, he was sure his professional son is going to be able to just draw the thing right off the bat - which was what he was trying to do the whole time.

In my mind, however, being a pro means more than having more knowledge or better tools. It also (perhaps chiefly) means better problem-solving strategies. It's the ability to recognize how complex a problem really is, and finding ways of breaking it down so it can be dealt with one step at a time.

That drawing Dad was trying to make requires designing two characters, communicating the donkey's feelings (and the guy's reaction), all that while dealing with the weight and pose problems that come from one character sitting on top of the other. Add staging, donkey anatomy, composition, and the usual challenges of drawing, and it becomes clear that trying to do all that in one step, is really asking for trouble.

He got the idea pretty quickly. We sketched together for a while; below is a collection of some of the butt-ugly drawings we made. The hopefully nice she-donkey design at the top of the post, is based on these careless doodles. By allowing ourselves to explore without fear of ugliness, we were able to explore a lot of ideas before making a commitment.

A sign of life

As was expected, the move to Israel is causing some blogging stagnation; being homeless, usually internetless and also having lost my Wacom pen, makes things a tiny bit difficult. But not to worry; the blog is on my mind and I plan to get busy updating it the moment I settle a bit, which should be in about 2 weeks or so.

In the mean while, just to show I mean business, I'm preparing a post with some scanned stuff and a few thoughts. Coming right up.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Yet another attempt at a self caricature

This is me. I think. Maybe. Dunno. Is it? I probably look a bit younger in real life, but after years of failed attempts, I'll settle for a recognizable older me.

Haven't been very active lately on my little online sketchbook here, but this is not because I've been lazy or unproductive. I'm actually working on some really interesting things these days, only these are not yet ready to show off.

I'm doodling all the time at work, and some of it is pretty funny. maybe I'll get some of it scanned and posted soon.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Idle doodles [1]

Just draw, is all I say. Don't make it a sacred thing that needs to be solemnly scheduled and prepared. Keep a pen and a bunch of papers at hand, so that you can doodle around whenever your hands are free. You'll find that cool drawings have a tendency to happen on the back of a coffee-stained paper napkin. Don't worry about it, it's just part of the crazy way the universe was built.

Above - a strange doodling session, that lasted the whole day: Every time the computer was rendering an animation preview, I did one or two of those. As for what it means, your guess is as good as mine.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Monday, February 05, 2007

Nature sketch

Another brave attempt to go beyond my usual realm of characters.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Been trying to get it right for a while now. Wonder if it works now.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Bird flew

I've been wanting to try animating a small bird for ages, bun never got around to it. So when I started on this silly short film venture, I thought - hey, as long as it's silly, it might as well have a bird in it. So here we go - my first bird animation test. What say you?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Stanly & Ron

I've been wanting to do something like this for a long time - ever since I got to know Calvin & Hobbes. I had to wait for the right idea to come along though. I don't know if I'll ever do more Stanly & Ron comics, but anyway, here's the first one:

If you don't own "The Complete Calvin and Hobbes" yet, you're wasting your life away. Get it immidiately!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Facial animation concept

This here is a very small test I made to show how a mouth might work for this character (right click + save as on the picture). The idea is that most of the time there will be no mouth, and it will only pop up for stuff like fear or laughter. Don't mind the actual animation, it wasn't meant to be perfect.
The "facial rig" is very simple. Most of the animation is done with free Translation/Rotation/Scale animation. There are a few morph controls for the mouth, and one squash/stretch control for the whole face, just to make it feel a bit flexible.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Something fishy

Corny title, I know.

These are some rejected fish concepts I did for a commercial. I won't mention any names, because the production is still happening.

I've been in Israel these past couple of weeks. Glad to be back, and will continue posting at the usual rate (once or twice a week).