Raf Anzovin is Making CG Animation Fun

CG Animation can often drown artists in technical limitations both in terms of software (Maya) and methodology. Things are getting better, as studios have begun pushing new boundaries in rigging, design aesthetic, and limited animation with films like The Lego Movie, Captain Underpants, and Into the Spider-Verse. But things can always be better, and after reading Raf Anzovin’s latest post, you can plainly see just how much better they can be, and just how limited we are by heavy and outdated software like Maya.

His post is a compilation of sorts, a culmination of many months of work trying to figure out a better way to animate, keeping animators focused on their craft and not distracted by these aforementioned limitations. As a CG Animator, it’s exciting to see his progress and I for one would be quick to adopt these tools and forget the status quo work flow. Raf writes:

I’m not trying to come up with algorithmic methods to take more of the burden of defining motion on the software, using simulation or procedural animation. I am, in fact, moving in the exact opposite direction. I’m attempting to remove all the red tape from the process, so that the animator is left with only the most direct methods of interacting with the character possible. This is essential for the fast/high production value animation process that is my long-term goal.

You can see some of his results below, but I encourage you to check out his blog to see the full effect of what he’s trying to accomplish and share and support this if you’re on board. 🙂

Baloo Meets Mowgli – Animation Analysis

Veteran Animator and Instructor, James Chiang, has put together a very informative five-part series of blog posts analyzing Frank & Ollie’s masterful animation of Baloo and Mowgli in The Jungle Book.

Yule Log 2016

A creative array of micro-shorts in various mediums, all exploring the same theme, Yule Log, is here to help you procrastinate during the holidays. Head over to watchyulelog.com to keep up with the latest entries. Juan Behrens, Animation Director at MediaMonks, describes his contribution (featured below) as:

Kids playing around with their last transmission of the year with their friends across the galaxy, the year is 2140 earth years, outside the Localgroup.

Tips and Observations on Bird Flight by Brendan Body

Brendan Body animated some great shots on Legend of the Guardians, has put together a great resource on bird flight mechanics. Watch his show reel below and stop by his site to see how it was done.

Anatomy Next – An Online Anatomy Resource

From the makers of Anatomy for Sculptors comes Anatomy Next, a new online anatomy resource. The site currently features digital copies of Anatomy for Sculptors, a preview of the follow up volume Head and Neck Anatomy, a 3D Viewer, a library of dozens of slides (examples shown below), and a model library with a variety of faces and expressions from every angle to use as reference. The site even has a human proportion calculator to keep you in the creative zone. This is clearly one of the best resources for studying anatomy currently available online. Check it out!

Tool Chefs

Tool Chefs is a small start up created by two industry veterans, Daniele Federico and Alan Stanzione. Their motion path tool is easily the most robust arc tracker I’ve seen for Maya (see below). The tool was demoed at work using production rigs, and doesn’t lag or slow down your scene at all. Stop by their site to download for free.

Artella is a New Way to Collaborate on Creative Projects


Artella is the home for creators and contributors, driven by you. A home where you not only post your work, but collaborate with others, tapping into diverse skill sets to build anything your imagination can dream. Whether it’s a website, comic, game, VR world, animated film or something entirely new, Artella enables you to create and contribute to the projects that you want to see brought to life from concept to completion!

I’ve worked on projects like this, and it seems to be the way the industry is shifting. Artella is the one of first companies to get behind working remotely in a way that let’s everyone easily get involved. The excuses for not creating that IP you’ve been dreaming about are quickly evaporating. 😉

Animated Spirit by James Chiang

Veteran animation artist, James “JC” Chiang, has started a blog called, “Animated Spirit“.

James writes:

It’s about the art and craft of animation and the artists that make it a daily part of their lives. It’s inspired by the writings of Robert Henri, and his Continue reading Animated Spirit by James Chiang