George Berlin’s Art Blog

Delving into the mind of one of those weird artist people

Archive for the ‘Animation’ Category

3D vegetables!

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on January 5, 2010

Here’s a bit from a very new project I’m working on with some singing, dancing vegetables

that promotes good nutrition (still in the early creation stages).

I have some of it animated, but I can’t really show any of that- confidentiality and all.

There’s some original songs and all for the product they wish to sell that they don’t want out there.

Here’s some character models, however.

animated veggies vegetables broccoli celery pepper cool fun funny cartoons kids children art licensing nutrition George Berlin

The celery is the lead singer, of course. It’s always the cool,  good-looking vegetables with the awesome hair

who get to be the front man, you know.

I really dig the broccoli- looks kind of like he’s got a big green ‘fro. I also like how their stalks split into legs- feels a bit like

Gumby or something. I was also pretty proud of the organicy-ness of the pepper. Good and gnarled and bumpy like a real pepper.

Basically, he’s just a cylinder with some parts pulled inward and then pushed around a bit.

These are my client’s designs, with a touch of my hand in them. This is a bit smaller budget project, so I’m trying to keep the design simple and easily readable

with a minimal of detail. Essentially, just trying to be smart about how I spend my time. The celery’s stalk going up into his hair, for

example I tried to show as much ‘branching off’ as possible without really making it too complex so it reads ‘celery’ without a lot of


Also, the characters have hand-drawn mouths (as opposed to, say 3D modeled mouths) that are simply placed on their 3D surface.

These will animate and render faster and I don’t have to spend time modeling them either. And I think it fits nicely with their look, as well.

A few more:

animated veggies vegetables broccoli celery pepper cool fun funny cartoons kids children art licensing nutrition George Berlin

One of my personal favorites- the Onion! I actually made this out of a copy of the pepper you see above. Just pinched a

few things here and there and we have an onion- who knew, right? I’m very proud of the texture on this one- there are no

photographs used for this (or any of the others).

It’s just numerically controlled gradients and color layered over one another. And I really like the ‘onion-y’ legs on her too. Like

she’s wearing onion pantyhose or something.


Oh and the ladies all have pink glittery cat-eye shades. Think of the back-up singers for Ray Charles- that sort of look.

One more:

animated veggies vegetables broccoli celery pepper cool fun funny cartoons kids children art licensing nutrition George Berlin

I actually made a little mistake here- the tomato has a leaf that looks like he’s wearing a beret (think ‘beatnik’).

He’s actually supposed to be wearing a real beret- the sketch from the client was a little misleading. I like the leaf, though. It’s kind

of funny.

The tomato is actually made from a copy of the pepper, too. Awfully versatile pepper, eh?

I had to be careful with the pea pod that I placed the, er, ‘bumps’ in the right places… being a girl pea pod and all. I also had a bit of

a time positioning her mouth and glasses well, so that a pea didn’t look like her nose right in between them. She went from foxy to

Jimmy Durante really fast.

What do you think? Would you go see them in concert?

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Animating doggies!

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on January 1, 2010

Look at that- my first post of the new  year!

Hot dang!!

Anyway, here’ s some of what kept me so busy for two months where I wasn’t posting.

Well, this and a lot of other things- I’ll post some of those later.

Animated puppies:

So this is just one drawing of a puppy (which I didn’t draw) that is then cut up digitally into a body , a tail, a head

and four legs to be animated like a puppet.

I could really identify with animating this, because my dog (who’s part chow) likes to play games by himself sometimes

if he wants to play and I don’t. It’s a chow thing- apparently they entertain themselves pretty well.

So he’ll toss his fetchin’ ball up in the air and catch it or chase his rawhide treat around the living room and ‘capture’ it before

he sits down to chaw on it for the night.

Even I was amused watching this little puppy attack his bowl. The little bit you see here is part of a bigger 30 second pet store commercial (a lot of which was animated by several other animators). This scene alone took me probably about two hours to animate.

A whole lot of bending legs and posing and so on.

2 Hours = 5 seconds screen time…  that’s the animator’s life for ya!

Adios until next time!

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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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“The Bee’s Knees” my next short animated film (part 19 of a bazillion)

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on August 7, 2009

So, I wrenched the poor little bee’s true love right out from under his funny-looking nose last time…

I know, I’m a bad man.

Animation will do that to you.


Unfortunately, I won’t be showing any more storyboards just yet. Gotta keep my spoiler ending to myself, you know.

Back to some doodles I made right around when I was doing the storyboard.

bumblebee flower bees art childrens kids cartoons funny animation George Berlin

Somewhere during the whole storyboard process I went, huh… what DOES a flower look like from the back? Hadn’t really thought about it during many of my earlier sketches working

out how the flower is going to look.

So, I doodled this.

Most flowers have the weird spikey stuff on the back, like the top middle one I think. But the world I’m designing for this film is much rounder, so I might go for more like the bottom


I also figured I’d post this just cuz, well, you guys never get to see me doing re-oh-listical looking drawings.

I’m not bad, eh?

Okay, here’s another one:

bumblebee flower bees art childrens kids cartoons funny animation George Berlin

So, this one was important because I’ve never really drawn a view this wide of everything as it’ll be designed.

That and I wanted to explore a few more ‘hill pattern’ ideas.

I might ditch the hearts and stars (I don’t want to get all ‘Lucky Charms’ on ya with the designs). But I like the rest- especially the

spirals and the wiggly lines. The triangles and circles are a bit “80’s shoulder pad woman’s work suit” but I think they’ll work with the right


I also like how solid the car looks here- that’s a pretty tough car to draw. I keep drawing it over and over just to burn it into my head.

That’s all for now, folks. See you next time!

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“The Bee’s Knees” my next short animated film (part 18 of a bazillion)

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on August 6, 2009

It was all love, all the time for the last post…

Well, get over it, ya wimps- here’s come the rough times!

(pull out the Kleenex)

bumblebee bees cartoons animation art childrens kids licensing George Berlin

I know, I’m so cruel to my poor little animated minions, aren’t I?

So, he’s all singing happy with his eyes shut and his girlie’s lovin’ him and fluttering her eyelashes and then BAM!

He hears her squeak and turns to see the window slam shut and she’s gone!


Oh yeah, and there’ll be that twangy clunking noise that you hear when a guitar hits the floor suddenly too.

This has been fun so far and a good work-out, creatively speaking, putting the little guy through all of his paces emotionally.

Did I mention there won’t be any words in this piece? So I’m trying to tell it all with pantomime and expressions and action.

Wish me luck!

More parts to this tale as I work them out. I think my next step will be timing out the storyboards to some rough sound and music.


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“The Bee’s Knees” my next short animated film (part 17 of a bazillion)

Posted by eyeofthehurricane99 on August 5, 2009

Wooing in full force last time!

Well, put on the oven mitts today- it’s gonna get steamy!

bumblebee bees cartoon animation funny kids children art George Berlin

I might have just gone from ‘G’ to ‘PG’ here, folks.

I decided to do the kiss as a nuzzle mostly because it’s funnier, really. I think of the bee as a dog sometimes, but here I’m modeling him more on an elephant. That’s usually how I handle all

the snout-related issues for this.

So then he’s all enamored in the second shot, bobbing back and forth and wagging his stinger (see, he is part dog!)

Um, and then he disappears. Hey, what’s up with that?

And she has to watch him turn into a little speck as he goes back into his hive.

I resisted the urge to show her with the hands on the hips in the “Mmmhmm” pose right after that.

Here’s my second to the last storyboard!

Okay, there’s 25 more pages, really. But I don’t want to give away TOO much of the story just yet.

bumblebee bees cartoon animation funny kids children art George Berlin

Aww, perty little flower got her heart all broke!

That first shot will be pretty long, with maybe some sad strings music. I know- wipe the tears folks, wipe the tears…

But wait, he’s back and he brought his… ukelele?


I figured, c’mon he’s all in lurv– how can he resist?

That and I thought it’d be funny for him to sing ‘Daisy’ to his girlfriend the daisy. Nyuk nyuk.

I figured there’d have to be some courtship of some sort, right?

The song will go on for a few bars… and then…?

See ya next time!

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