Behind Keyframes

While checking out the new Ouroboros preset by Sander van Dijk (seriously, click the link… it’s pretty awesome), I saw another blog post of his about a tumblr blog called Behind Keyframes. It’s a collection of user-submitted screenshots of their timelines, wireframes, motion paths, etc. that are really pretty interesting to look at just on their own. Sander van Dijk even rendered out a recent project of his with the bounding boxes and axes (is that right? plural of axis?…) turned on that ended up being really cool. Below is that animation, as well as some of my own Behind Keyframe type of screenshots. Check out Behind Keyframes at http://behindkeyframes.tumblr.com.



Back in college when I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do after I graduated, I took a class on a whim called RTF 344M Visual Effects and Motion Graphics. That class was when I first touched After Effects, when I first learned what keyframes and alpha mattes and blending modes were, and countless other things that really pushed me into what I’m doing now.

The lecturer for that class was Dr. Arie Stavchansky. Since then I’ve helped him out on a couple of projects, but most recently he contacted me about a new After Effects script that he had developed called Templater. When he showed me some of the tutorial videos he had been working on that show off all that Templater can do, I was blown away. I knew of scripts that could link text layers or render settings to spreadsheet data before, but this was the first time I had seen it used with online data (Google Docs or Twitter) or in a design-friendly way.

Anyways, he contacted me about working on the sizzle video that would be posted on the Templater product page and aescripts to help get people interested and give them an overview of what Templater can do. I, unfortunately, was busy with other work so I wasn’t initially able to help him out. However, a week or two later he contacted me again to see if I could give him a day or two of my time to help make some changes to the sizzle video that he had animated, and at that time I agreed to help him out.

Below is the Templater sizzle video that I worked on a little bit, but really this is just a post to say, “Go check this script out! It’s pretty amazing!” If you are someone who often has to create lots of different versions of videos, or different translations, or different encodes of the same video, then definitely check it out. You can learn more and purchase Templater at aescripts.


Dell Children’s Hospital Gala 2014

I had the honor of helping create some of the video elements for the Dell Children’s Hospital Gala this year. Houndstooth Studio and ILIOS Lighting transformed the Austin Convention Center into an enchanted forest by utilizing projections on two giant 147 x 20 foot walls, as well as a large center cube screen. I animated the storybook pages (seen around 1:01 in the video).


Austin Anijam 2014 A Huge Success!

Welp, that was awesome! Everyone’s work was really impressive and I’m really glad I got to participate in such a cool event. Check out the section of the music video Dustin Scott and I worked on below, but definitely be sure to check out the full length video! Here’s hoping that there will be another event like this next year; already looking forward to it!


Anijam Thumb Drive Pick-Up

AMAG posted this video from last night as each team was given their thumb drives with their respective start/end frames and section of music.


Austin Anijam 2014

Looking forward to participating in the Austin Anijam this weekend! Here’s a little write-up about it in the Austin Chronicle.

Introducing the Octopus Project’s Exquisite Corpse

The Austin Motion Artists Group frankensteins up a new music video


Just one frame in a wildly animated body of work

Just one frame in a wildly animated body of work

The exquisite corpse shall drink the new wine, as the Surrealists discovered back in 1920s Paris. In these modern Texas times, though, it’s more about the beer.

Travis Benn and Ryan Padgett, main instigators of theAustin Motion Artists Group, have teamed up with intrepid music outfit the Octopus Project to provide a challenge and a creative opportunity for local animation studios: Make an animated video for an Octopus Project song – one 12-second segment at a time, with one segment per studio, and with none of the studios knowing what the others might do – and all of it’s got to be finished within 48 hours. Then: string all those segments together for one complete sequence. It’s the creative gambit called Exquisite Corpse, although, classically, it was done with words or static drawings. But this is the 21st century, after all; and they’re calling it an “anijam.”

An animation jam, you see?

“The idea isn’t original,” admits Benn, an animator at Houndstooth Studio, one of this event’s sponsors. “But what makes ours unique is the 48-hour aspect of it. There have been anijams before. There’s one that’s about 15 minutes long, called ‘Anijam,’ that came out in 1984. Ralph Bakshi was a part of it – it’s really wacky, with this yellow guy running around and doing rude things. And a really cool one just happened in London with studios collaborating over the course of three or four months; it was about a superhero, and they did his birth, his childhood, his teenage years, his midlife, and then his death. It flowed together seamlessly.”

That’s the sort of goodness the AMAG social network is currently setting the stage – er, screen – for. “This anijam is our second public event,” says Benn. “We did a thing at South by Southwest last year, a kind of a forum where local artists presented their work. And people who were here for South By came in and listened and drank beer. So for this second event, we wanted to do a morecollaborative thing, and somebody at one of our meetups mentioned that Octopus Project would be cool to work with. So we got in touch with them, and they were all about it.

“So on Friday the 17th, we’re gonna meet at Moontower VFX, the visual-effects studio that’s playing host for everyone. As of right now we’ve got 15 teams, and we’re literally going to hand everyone a USB drive, and each drive has a start-frame and an end-frame and a 12-second piece of audio.”

“Each segment’s actually four bars of music,” says Padgett, a freelancer currently working with mobile app developer Chaotic Moon.

“And they’ll animate to that,” says Benn, “starting with the one frame and ending with the last one.”

“Anything they wanna do,” says Padgett. “From hand-drawn all the way up to 3-D animation, as long as it’s within the general theme.”

“And it has to be back by Sunday night at 8 o’clock,” says Benn. “And then we’re gonna take all those pieces and plug them into the computer and line them up.”

Says Padgett, “In addition to contributions from Travis and me and Moontower and the Octopus Project people – they’re also one of the animating teams – the other participants so far are Dustin Scott and Michael Ricks, Geoff Marslett, Diego Hernandez, and Niall Farrell.”

“And Nick Walker of Zoticus,” says Benn. “And Stephen Fishman, Wiley Wiggins, and Ryan Gallet.”

“And then we’re gonna screen the video during a little wrap party,” says Padgett. “We’ll have some beer, some snacks – and that’s gonna be at Moontower. They have a lounge, a little screening room, and so …”

And so, reader, if you want to see what comes of such odd collaboration, of this traditional process with a modern twist, animate yourself over to Moontower VFX (4600 Mueller Blvd. #1001) on Sunday, Jan. 19, at 8pm and witness what the AMAG and friends hath wrought.


Breaking the Links

I told you missing footage always makes things look cooler!


Version 3.0

Finally updated my website with a brand new theme that has a much cleaner look and some better functionality. I’ve also updated my portfolio with some more recent work, so feel free to check that stuff out!

Of course after I got everything looking the way I want, I’ve realized this theme is not responsive, so it doesn’t scale all neatly like a lot of sites do these days. But oh well, it’s good enough for now.

I’ll leave you with this video that was uploaded today by dlew, called Late for Meeting. It is a companion piece to his 2011 video Going to the Store.



I just posted the two Wonder Bread Mexico spots I worked on, along with a bonus breakdown video. I have some other work that I completed recently that I should probably try and post too pretty soon.

2013 is off to a good start for me. I got to see DJ Douggpound of Tim & Eric and Portlandia fame live last weekend, and I was crying from laughing so hard at one point. Last Friday, I scored high enough on the Terminator 3 and South Park pinball games to make it on to the leaderboard for each at Pinballz. I’m really looking forward to the Geographer concert next Saturday. And finally, I’m looking to buy a house. Now, I just need to keep that new work coming in!

Terminator 3

South Park


Summer Time

It’s almost July, and summer is definitely here. We hit a high of 109º a few days ago in Austin, which is the new record high for the month of June. I’ve seen some of the stuff about the fires in Colorado and it reminds me of the fires that hit Texas last year. Hopefully those firefighters are able to get things under control soon and the deaths and injuries are at a minimum.

Now on a completely different note, I just updated my site with a couple of recent jobs. The first one is a video for AMD featuring their new ZeroCore Power Technology. View it here. The second one is a series of videos for The American Legacy Foundation that aim to educate Americans of the dangers and consequences of smoking. View them here.

Rap Superstars of the Summer and Beyond: Krispy Kreme and Money Maker Mike