George Berlin’s Art Blog

Delving into the mind of one of those weird artist people

Archive for August, 2009

Doggie Collections (re-revisited part 1)

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on August 25, 2009

Wow, so we’re taking a trip in the Wayback Machine today folks…

Remember my collection of dogs driving stuff?

I know, it’s been a while since I’ve been on that one. Been working and making my short film and stuff.

I  recently got some freelance work and the mantra about the work future I’m striving for re-entered my brain:

“Don’t do more work- do the same amount of work for more money!”

Hence, I’m back to kicking my own self in the butt to get my licensing art back on track.

Here’s a pattern!

puppies cute dogs kids funny animation cartoon art childrens licensing motorcycles trains George Berlin

I got this cool new pattern-making Photoshop plug-in called Motif Studio so I can make precisely repeating images for

textiles, wrapping paper, etc.

I hadn’t really used it to make patterns where the images were different sizes like this one. That’s a bit tricky, but I really

like how this turned out, size-wise especially. Turning the train and motorcycle dogs make it seem like they’re moving a bit

more, too- especially the biker dog.

He looks like he’s doing some Evil Kneivel action!

Oh yeah, and as  you can see, I added some accessories to it, too!

Li’l secret- I made a pattern with pups and then made the accessories pattern over it- it helped them to not interfere with one another

in the patterning process.

Anyway, here’s some of the accessories by themselves-

dog bone cartoon fire hydrant funny animation art kids childrens licensing dogs George Berlin

I’m particularly proud (oddly enough…) of the color I made the fat on the outside of that steak. Silly, I know.

But it’s very much like the real thing- and the shiny-ness of it makes ya hungry, don’t it?

I figure sure, suppose dogs could drive and stuff…they’d still jump right off  to go chase a bouncing tennis ball or pull over at the deli when they go by!

Dogs are dogs!

Alright, that’s all for now. More later!

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Work, still! (Degas)

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on August 24, 2009

So, last time we saw the first part of this scene…

Now, the next part!

So first off, yes- Degas really did work on paintings after he’d sold them.

Never happy, it seems. And yes- he did have a friend who chained a painting to the wall that he’d bought so Degas wouldn’t take it home to his studio to work on it some more whenever he visited!

Crazy, right? Okay, so we exaggerated a bit with the boat anchor chain and the nails and the wrench and all.

I like how this guy pops around the scene in such a frenzy, trying to secure his painting before Degas gets in. It was a bit rough, moving his mouth all over the place trying to keep it on his face as he jumped all over.

That and I had to time it JUUUST right to keep it from showing when the hammer comes in front of his face.

I also like how gritty the watercolor is here- I’d been working a lot on getting the paint lighter and looser and more fluid with that video and it’s working out well. Last video the background’s were a bit too bright and punchy and we’d lose the characters sometimes.

That and- man was it it something to animate all those chain links moving! They go by pretty fast, but I had to do 5 or 6 drawings of those chains all moving in sync with one another as he links them up with the lock.

Chains are a pretty crazy thing to draw over and over. I kept getting the wrong side of the link on the front.

But it worked out well, I think.

Adios for now…

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Work, again! (Degas)

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on August 21, 2009

Hey there gang… back to the ol’ grind as you see.

More animation!

Okay, first off, I’m not really this quick.

A lot of this video I’ve already animated for layout a few months back. Then folks kick the ideas around, we record new voice parts, then I re-time it and add the new ideas, etc.

So all the animation I’ve done on this since a few months back was add the animated door and a head turn- and of course timing changes. Basically, this means I have to take all the animation I did before and slide it all around so it fits the new timing and dialogue.

Not terribly hard, but rather time-consuming. Luckily, I have a job that yields funny cartoons, so it’s not so bad.

On to the animation! First off- I’m pretty proud of the door.

It ain’t rocket science, but a decent solid 3D rotation like that feels good to draw well. We added a knocker since last time- he didn’t knock in the last timings we did.

And I don’t know what it is, but I love the ‘pounding noise’ visual that shows on the door when he knocks! It just makes it so much funnier somehow.

My favorite character touch is him taking off his hat. He does it so crankily! Like, grumble grumble, I walked 5 miles in the rain to fix that painting because that one part still bothers me now let me in I ain’t going home!

The ‘fancy’ lightning effect is fun, too. I basically just animated the brightness of the character down to nothing when the flash comes in. Looks all sophisticated, but it’s not really.

Oh and if anyone cares, yes- that’s me doing the voice of the woman!

Somehow, way back when we did this video on George Washington I did his wife Martha’s voice for the scratch track and darn it if people didn’t love it! So I’ve become the voice of all the women in these videos now.

Ahh, my legacy!

Next time- the rest of this scene…

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More more work! (Edgar Degas)

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on August 19, 2009

Back to Edgar Degas- we saw a bit of animation way back here about how well his Dad was running the bank…

The short answer- not very well!

Again, more animation from the video here:

Work Stuff Archive

So, what to say about this one? Well, obviously it’s not entirely finished yet- but darn close!

I’m coloring it as we speak, actually.

First off, I cheated on this one. Well, not really.

I did however, create a 3D model of the door swinging open and then trace it so the perspective would be good.

Bad animator, right? No, good animator really.


I did however, do all the drawings of Degas stepping through the door, which I’m pretty proud of. He lifts his leg a bit high, but I think it still works very nicely.

How did I animate all that money disappearing, you ask? Well, we did this video about Thomas Jefferson where we show James Monroe paying Napoleon to acquire the Louisiana Purchase.

It was, like, 15 million dollars! Lotta change to bring with you somewhere, right?

So the gag I used was, well, what if he just starts shelling out the dollars right there when they agree on a price? So I animated him piling up money-like this:

Pretty funny, right?

Well, when we got to this scene from Degas where we wanted to show the money disappearing I went, hmm- reverse function anyone?

Same money, just backwards and going a bit faster. That and I piled it up a bit deeper and shortened some of the stacks.

I mean, I had to move it around a bunch of times and what not, but still. A bit faster than starting from scratch.

I animated this one shot of 3D snow flying for one of the videos- and it’s been re-used in about 4 other videos that called for snow. And I think I snuck it in a holiday graphic I was asked to do for a small TV show, too.

Animation is very environmentally friendly- we recycle all the time!

The hand is basically the same hand re-colored and re-timed about 50 times. Sounds fast, but I mean MANUALLY re-timed. Yeah.

Duplicating and shifting it a few billion times.

Nice to get up and take a little walk after something like that.

Well, back to work- more stuff soon!

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Far more work stuff (Edgar Degas!)

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on August 18, 2009

Man, I’m just workin’ away, aren’t I?

Hey, with all the people losing their jobs- I’m not complaining!

More Edgar Degas for ya!

See some more of the video here!

So, what’s this scene all about?

Well, back in the day, the Salon was the place to show art in Paris!

And Edgar got a piece in the show- hurray!

Not so fast, bub. Seems, um, they had a really high ceiling. Yeah. And they used every inch of it!

So in this scene, we see Edgar the proud artist taking his Dad to go see his first piece in a fancy show.

And it’s reeeeaaallly high up there. Past the nesting birds almost up into the stratosphere it would seem.

Oddly enough, I’ve been to art shows like this.

Not necessarily way up that high, but in deep winding hallways where nobody will ever find your work or at severely out of the way locations.

And of course, you bring your friends and it’s kinda weird to tell them, well, here it is! But they’re usually very nice about it…

Also, the author/illustrator of the Degas book this video is based on-Mike Venezia-really wanted the dialogue between Edgar and his Dad to be very

much a ‘Who’s on First’ sort of routine.  If you don’t know who Abbot and Costello are, ask your parents…


My favorite part is how the bird pops up and peeps. He looks very suprised to see a movie camera floating up there.

I think I was thinking of the old Partridge family opening. Oh geez, now I’m sounding old…

We’ll pause here while all you young’uns go ask your parents who THEY are, too. Go on.

Ask about Milton Berle too, while you’re at it.

He may come up later.

That and, boy, do I spend a lot of my time finding clever generic ways to fake olde tyme paintings from the 1800’s! I put in all kinds of little guys in armour, fops sniffing flowers and mountainous landscapes and ladies on settees and all that jazz in these paintings!

It’s gotta feel like a period painting, but not any specific one. Harder than it sounds.

See you next time!

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Even more Degas Work Stuff!

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on August 17, 2009

So, showed you a bit of stuff back here…

(you can see the rest here, too)

Now, more Degas!

So what’s going on here?

Well, Degas’ Dad passed away and guess what? Turns out he hadn’t been running the bank his family owned as well as everyone had thought!

Edgar was broke, basically.

Luckily the Impressionists decided to put on their own show at this point and Edgar jumped at the chance to sell some work.

This shows the aftermath of the show (well, a bit exaggerated of course).

Basically Edgar brought 10 paintings to the show and sold 7 of them. Hey, I’d be happy to sell 5 out of 10 I bring to a show…

The rest of them, well- they didn’t do too well. Nobody bought any work and they basically got torn apart for their art and ideas.

I kinna like the guy crawling with the canvas on his butt. Hee-yuk. I gave all these guys funny names too, just like in this post.

Hey c’mon, they all look the same- it’s hard to keep them organized otherwise. That and whenever we do animation with the French in

it, everyone has a twirly moustache! So I can’t exactly call anyone ‘moustache guy’.

My other favorite part is the guy with the glasses on the bottom whose moustache twirls in and out in little spirals while his glasses wiggle and his eyes spin.

That and the way Edgar counts his money- great classic animation fake-y stuff. I love them dirty tricks…

I just put in that little pop with his left arm at the right point and your brain tells you that he’s flipping a bill from one hand to the other!

When, of course, in reality it’s the same little counting loop over and over and over again. No bills go anywhere!

That and I toss in a bill flying here and there and voila!  It’s real!

Whatcha think?

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Outer Space collection (part4!)

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on August 14, 2009

Yowzers! I almost forgot to post this!!

I showed ya some spaceman stuff here and here and here…

And then things got all busy and I forgot to post this. Oops.

satellite outer space astronaut spaceship funny cartoon kids art childrens animation licensing George Berlin

This is painted from the doodle here…

One friend of mine commented that it looks like the strange child of a syringe and a waffle iron!

I guess I hadn’t considered the culinary aspects of its design before that, really. I did notice later that in photos of satellites the solar panels are longer and skinnier. Eh.

I like its simple design and even the little blips coming out of the dish- I wasn’t sure if I’d keep those but they’re not bad, really. It feels like a homemade space toy, almost.

Did I mention I really dug outer space as a kid?


More later!

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More Work stuff!(Degas)

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on August 13, 2009

Well- enough of that lazy goofing off you’ve seen from me the last few weeks…

what with all the spacemen and cute animals and crap like that.


Back to the stuff that finances all of that! It’s workin’ time!!

Here’s some of the previous work on this video, “Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists: Edgar Degas” made by

these nice folks.

I do all the animation and paint the backgrounds just like in the book these are adapted from by Mike Venezia.

In fact, if you listen really closely, you can also hear me as one of the French dudes in the crowd at the end.

Multi-talented, I know…

It’s basically a fun little animated biography of Degas, with animated scenes that illustrate his life

in between showing his art and historical photos from the time.

So what’s going on here, you ask?

Well, Edgar’s  dad ran the family business- a bank!

The Degas were rolling in dough, apparently. Part of why Edgar could go to art school and get to be so

great instead of getting a real job, it seems.  Lucky guy.

Well, his dad wasn’t the greatest at running a bank- he preferred taking the day off to go play the guitar and hang around

galleries with his son. Good for the son- not too good for business.

So here’s the little joke on that- him turning people away with sacks full of cash that they just want to hand to him.

I’m pretty proud of the animation of him walking out- that’s always a funny angle to animate a walk… that whole 3/4 front view thing.

I gave everyone in this scene names when I was animating them for several reasons.

First off, it gets a bit disorganized calling everyone ‘Guy01’ and ‘Guy02’ etc. Or even worse it gets a bit lengthy calling them ‘Guy front right’ and ‘Guy front second from right’ etc.  So I gave them names like Vlad and Gramps and the Baron or Lucy.

And the second reason is of course, that I work down here in my studio all day with no one to talk to so I need to invent some ‘friends’ for the day.


They’re all pretty awesomely funny looking, aren’t they? I can say that because, well, I didn’t design these characters- the author of the book did.

I also think I did a good job animating the acting on Edgar’s dad before he walks away. Subtle, but it gets the point across without using a hundred poses.

More later!

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Outer Space collection (part3!)

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on August 12, 2009

So, I’ve worked a bit more on some of the doodles I made back in this post…

Here’s the spaceman!

astronaut outer space funny cartoon kids childrens animation art licensing George Berlin

How do ya like them apples, eh?

I like the gloves- they’re kinna fun, I think.

How’s the jet-pack/oxygen tank looking? I like the simplicity of it, personally. I did a few other drawings last time

where I made the jet pack with little control handles (like they actually have) but I didn’t want to clutter this up

or occupy his hands like that.

It felt too much like IT was wearing HIM, really.

Okay, one more…

rocket spaceship astronaut funny kids art cartoon animation licensing George Berlin

Little tiny stumpy spacemen usually need little tiny stumpy spaceSHIPS, it seems.

Again, like with the Police Rescue Force Helicopter, I went for the ‘kiddie ride outside of the supermarket that moves back

and forth for a quarter’ look on this rocket.

It’s kinda fun, right? Makes you want to jump inside and head off to some odd planet somewheres, don’t it?

Adios, until next time.

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Outer Space collection (part 2!)

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on August 11, 2009

I showed a few spaceman doodles way back here when I’d just come up with the whole idea…

and a colored space shuttle back here…

Well, I’ve  made some more doodles that explore it a bit more!

outer space shuttle astronaut rockets cartoon funny animation kids cute art licensing George Berlin

If you take a look, you’ll agree the last spaceman I did was a bit weird. I drew his feet a tad strange.

I’m leaning towards the one in the upper right. The left one has a slightly too big head and I think it’s a bit weird that his oxygen and jet pack are the

same thing. The middle one feels too much like he’s a deep sea diver or something.

The upper right one has good proportions, I think- kind of ‘baby astronaut’, if you will. That and I seems giving him a smaller visor makes him feel more

‘astronaut’ and less ‘diver’ to me.

The rest, I was sort of re-iterating and strengthening some of the ideas I laid out last time. I like the way the rocket came out here on the bottom and the satellite thingie there is nice-

good amount of detail without going overboard and making it feel to ‘tech-y’


I was playing a bit with how the radio waves should come out of the dish on it… maybe it won’t have any waves, though.

I was trying to work out a nice sun image that would go with all of these- didn’t quite make it, really! I wanted something that felt very radiating and gassy, but these just weren’t doing it.

I might even leave the sun out, too.

I’m hoping to paint some more of these today, so we’ll see if I can get some of those up for tomorrow.

Blasting off now!

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