Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Rock & Rule - Cindy and Angel escape

This is my favorite sequence I animated on. Basically, I directed myself and was allowed complete freedom...as long as I followed the basics of the script and the recorded dialog.

Below is the thumbnail analysis I did for one of Cindy's early scenes. I animated this particular scene 35 years ago, but I don't think I could do a better job today...the result might be different but not technically any better.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

2D Animation Work In Progress

I've been working on this two and a half minute short web cartoon on and off for the past year. It's my way of keeping my hand in traditional 2D animation, using pencil drawings scanned into ToonBoom Studio software. This file shows the various stages I go through to produce my final color...there are completed color scenes, cleaned up animation, rough inbetweened animation, and basic key poses.

For those viewers who can't see the below embedded file, please go to Vimeo at:

A frustrating aspect of Blogger is how it messes with the quality of the uploaded HD video clips. But this gives you an idea of how my characters' relationships are developing.


Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Zen of Animation

Animator: BILL TYTLA

Animation that is entertaining is an extremely taxing process, both mentally and physically...so, it's best to enjoy experiencing the process itself. If you do, you will spend many positive hours in "The Zone", where you become one with the drawings you create.

Animator: BILL TYTLA


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Old School Pencil + New School Tools

I've been working on simple action cycles that are entertaining to watch and play with...as in a mobile video game. I created this clip of simulated game play, using a combination of old school and digital methods...animating with pencil on paper, then scanning the drawings into ToonBoom Studio for color and assembly.

Click on the video below to watch it. 


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Brad Bird and Jerry Rees Letter

One of my mementos I picked up along the road to developing as an animator is this letter I received from Brad Bird and Jerry Rees.

Notice the lack of a formal letterhead on this letter from Brad and Jerry. They definitely weren't wasting any of the budget on non-essentials.

Several months after receiving Brad and Jerry's response to my portfolio and sample animation scene of The Spirit, I visited with them at their
KINETOGRAPHICS office in San Rafael, California and showed them my animation reel from "Rock & Rule," which consisted of my characters Cindy Schlepper, Officer Quadhole, and Mylar the Club Owner. At that meeting, I was offered a spot as an animator on their Spirit crew once they got the project off the ground...which unfortunately never happened. A few years later, Brad tracked me down and asked me to animate on his "Family Dog" episode of Steven Spielberg's TV series "Amazing Stories." However, my plate was extremely full at the time and I had to decline his offer.

The following is my interpretation of The Spirit for animation. It would have been fun to do.

John Celestri's interpretation of Will Eisner's Denny Colt aka The Spirit.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

My Disney Letter And The Road It Set Me On

I had finished my summer school animation night class at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and decided to apply to Disney. For my portfolio, I sent in my one-minute-long silent pencil test I'd completed as my class assignment...which was the very first (and only) animation I'd ever done. This is the response I received.

Below is the one surviving animation drawing from my very first piece of animation (a rabbit character boxing with his own shadow), which is the film the above letter refers to.

Six months after I received the Disney letter of rejection, I was hired in 1975 at New York Institute of Technology as an inbetweener to work on "Tubby the Tuba"...where I met and worked under the master Popeye and TerryToon animators Johnny Gentilella and Marty Taras. During the 14 months I worked on that feature, I developed into a Cleanup Assistant Animator...which led me to getting hired in 1976 for "Raggedy Ann & Andy", directed by Richard Williams...which led me to getting hired by Friz Freleng as an animator in 1977.

But when I tried to reapply to Disney in that summer of 1977 (less than three years from my initial submission), I was told that I'd had TOO much experience and they preferred to start with younger art school students...they were clean slates that could be "molded to the house style."

The influences of working daily on those rare non-Disney features for almost two years led me on a path that enabled me to develop my own style of animation. I have NO regrets!