Sunday, December 31, 2006



So, here’s my last post before 2006 draws to a close. I will not write any Top 10 lists, since I’m strapped for time as it is. I will not write about what I liked most or least about 2006. I instead will write about what I look forward to seeing in ’07.

We’ve just upgraded our creative tools and software, so I look forward to working with these new tools, and new artists. I look forward to seeing the new TMNT. I look forward to seeing Delgo, which we may have to wait ‘till ’08 for. Looking forward to seeing Ratatouille. Ditto for Bee Movie.

I eagerly anticipate the onslaught of the next San Diego Comic-Con, which promises to showcase new technologies and film methods alongside entertainment properties. I hope webcomics gain more prominence in the American landscape—they are overdue for recognition. I look forward to the next version of Adobe (formerly Macromedia) Flash.

Last but not least, I’m excited about the BXT, the next incarnation of the TXB. Jeff’s got some stuff brewing that we should all keep our eyes peeled for.

I’d make this post longer, but it would seem pointless to do so. So I’ll end it here.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Cinematical nails it.

This is awesome. Yes, it's past time that animation is taken more seriously.

Monday, December 25, 2006


James Brown dies.

"Severe pneumonia" is what was first reported when we first learned of the state of the Godfather of Soul's health. The AP report, according to his agent Super Frank, said he'd be out of the hospital by Saturday in time for some concerts he was going to do in the South.

Today we learn of his death.

You know, it seems like more people in the entertainment business have died during the month of December than the soldiers in Iraq. And no, I did not mean that as a joke.

I'll be going now to Mark Evanier's blog,, to see what he has on this latest celebrity death.

Saturday, December 23, 2006


Mr. Stafford, and more

It was because of guys like Robert Stafford that I made it in college as long as I did.

I don’t usually write about the lives of senators and politicians, but I take exception in the case of Sen. Robert Stafford, R-Vermont, because millions of college students today are benefiting from his dedication to making it easier for the underprivileged to pursue higher education. He died today, according to the AP and other major news outlets at 93.

He was also an environmentalist of sorts, but his championing of clean air didn’t necessarily make college more accessible to lower income students. I believe he will be remembered most for the federal student loan named in his honor.

Some of you already know that my business venture here in Houston is centered around VFX. (If you don’t, well, now I guess you do.) I am proud to announce that I have mastered one of the most vital components in Combustion, key to fine-tuning and in some cases creating visually-stunning sequences of animation from white flatspace. The Timeline.

There are times like these when I remind myself that purchasing a second monitor could speed up the entire arduous process of conjuring 3D from scratch and compositing it with 2D elements. Many design programs (Adobe After Effects, Premiere, Maya 8, Max 9) have options which allow you to make thorough use of a second monitor—whether it’s placing File Bins or Timeline windows on your viewer helper or raw data, if ever our work can be made simpler it would probably start with the purchase of the second monitor. So, I’lll mull that over for the next couple months.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


My Website

As some of you guys know (all four of you), I had been wrestling with my website for nearly two years now, sometimes working with a couple of other acquaintances or going at it utterly alone. Well, now I’m announcing I’m throwing in the towel on big parts of it. That’s right. I’m done with it.

I will try to update my static Wordpress blog, followed by the Webcomic Directory and revamp the index page somewhat, but I in all honesty can’t tell you exactly when those changes will come about. I’ve been juggling quite a bit lately, and my workload will only grow in volume, not decrease, so some activities of lesser importance will have to be indefinitely sidelined. Wrangling with is that activity I have just classified as being of lesser importance.

This blog will continue to be updated VERY sporadically, but it will be maintained—this is stark contrast to what I had originally thought months back (and posted on here), but times change and so do human goals, and I have just altered mine to make room for this Blogger account I’ve had since June 2005. (Can’t believe it’s been a year and a half. . .)

I want to thank all you guys (especially YOU, Melon) for taking time out your tight schedules and busy days to check out my comparatively insignificant ramblings. Without your indulgence, I would not have the will to write (it is not that strong as it is—I have to make myself press each key. That guy who said “writing is agony” was onto something. . .)

Until the next post.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Read Jeff Harris’s remembrance of Shirley Walker.


Shirley Walker, 1945-2006

I am saddened to hear of the passing of one of the great animation composers, Shirley Walker.

She was every bit Danny Elfman’s equal. For the first episodes of Batman: The Animated Series, I believed I was hearing the music of Elfman but proved myself wrong when I became old enough to desire reading the end credits of animated shows. Her name popped up numerous times in the end credits of numerous animated programs. You can always feel an artist’s sensibility through their music, and Shirley’s was one of sophistication. Yoko Kanno, Joe Hisashi and Hajime Mizoguchi are the only other composers for animated works (that I can think of as of this writing) who possess this quality characteristic.

She took writing music for animation as seriously as she did for her live-action projects. To her there was no distinction. It was all about what the story required. Artists today composing music for animated entertainment would do well to internalize Shirley’s concept of writing music for story and not animation. The end product not only elevates the story’s sophistication and resonance with its audience but animation in its entirety, which the genre really needs these days. Which brings me to my next point. The loss of Shirley Walker represents a big loss not only to the music community but to the animation community, and indeed animation as a whole, being that her work cemented in our memories the gloriousness of the storytelling in Batman: TAS and all of its incarnations, the film based upon the animated series, Mask of the Phantasm, representing the need for artists to take creating music for animation more seriously as this is what is necessary to increase the genre’s potential and our respect for it, as Shirley has done.

It will be a very long time, possibly not even within our lifetimes, before we will see an American composer in possession of the particular brand of talent Shirley had. Meanwhile, we still have Yoko Kanno, Joe Hisashi and Hajime Mizoguchi. . .

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