Tuesday, November 13, 2007

New Animations Up

Hey guys, now that Bee Movie has come out I have put up my the new animations that I did here at Reel FX. Check'em out in the animation section of my website!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

We finished!

The RFXU apprenticeship...class of Summer 2007........is officially over!! I would like to thank Reel FX for this great opportunity, giving us a chance to work with the professionals side by side and get to know them. So many people have gone out of their way to help us out and have taught us so much in the process. I would especially like to thank Sean Jensen for all the hard work went through to start this program up, helping us get in the door, and being such a great teacher. Thank you also Tim Lannon, who has taken over the apprentice program as of about a month ago...I know you will do a great job with the future groups.

Lastly...I send my congratulations to my fellow apprentice-mates...Randy Hayes, Seth Olson, Andrew Closson, Doris Wang, Lauren Davis, Geoffrey White, and Yi-Ming Chu. Thank you all for being who you are! I've had a lot of fun getting to know you better, opening up, and really having some great times together. I've never had such strange conversations any other time in my life. I hope we can continue the life (or death) of all our zombies, ducks, and other odd creatures.

In about a week, 8 more apprentices will arrive. To you I say good luck, and don't be afraid of asking questions or speaking up around the people here. Try your hardest and give 150% to every project that you get to work on. And don't be afraid of putting in a lot of extra hours in order to get the work done. If you have any questions at all, just let me know and I'll help you out, or point you to someone that can.

So what is to become of me?... I am getting to continue here as a contract animator (YAY!) We have several exciting new projects that I am very thankful to be working on. And there is an upcoming movie to be made, which will be the highlight of my career so far!

~ Peace!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Tinpo Aired!

Today marks the first time I have seen my own work on television!! This morning CBS aired several 30 second shorts during the "kewlopolis" kid's block. The characters are called Tinpo and are being sold by UNKL toys. They are small collectors item toys and come in various sizes. The different designs are very clever as are the shorts. Basically these little guys overcome strange situations in very abstract ways.

Here is the episode I had the honor to animate. I also did the short bit at the end where Frekpo jumps across the logo.

click here to view/download the quicktime
(c) AGC 2007 - Reel FX Creative Studios

To conclude it all...I would like to congratulate all of the RFX apprentices that worked on this project....this marks (in my opinion), our biggest professional accomplishment to date.

If you would like to see the rest of the episodes...and there are 10 total...then be sure to watch CBS on Saturday mornings from 7am. They are included in the "kewlopolis" childrens block and are aired with Strawberry Shortcake, Cake, Care Bears, Horseland, and Trollz.

Until next time!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Apprentice check-in

Hey everybody, just a check-in here. Everything has been really going great here at Reel FX. I have learned so much in such a short amount of time. Right now we 7 apprentices are at the 5 month mark. The 8th apprentice, Yi-Ming, has another month or two left after us. So, with only 1 month left I am really trying to shine here as best as I can!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


And! We know that Spock is going to be played by Zachary Quinto... but I'm not too keen on having a new Spock...so I did a little work to help us make the transition.

Does this make me wierd?

Did you know....there is going to be a new Star Trek movie! Yep! It is going to be produced and directed by J.J. Abrams.

What has J.J. Abrams done?

Thursday, August 9, 2007


I got some input from a few people at work today...and I've begun splining it out. Here is what I have so far!

Thanks Dave, Ernesto, and Randy!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

ball test

I worked on a classic ball and leg test last night... It's in the blocking stage right now. I really enjoy going back to a simple character and seeing what i can do with it.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Ug sells LOVELY houses too!

My animation is finally out in the world of the living! Now available on tv's everywhere is Ug the Caveman, buying ugly houses from everyone. It's short and sweet, but it was the first real project I worked on at Reel FX, and after 4 months I can finally spill the juicy stuff!

Click Here to see it!

I am responsible for the first animation in that shot. I kept everything else in tact so you could see it all in context, but the rest is in black and white to avoid any confusion. I hope you like it! My work has greatly improved since I did this too...and right now I'm currently finishing up a 29 second shot to be air with some Saturday morning cartoons. When it is released I will give you more info.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Lesson of the month.

Apprentice lesson of the month!

" Don't get too attached to your animation!! "

One of the most important lessons I have learned here so far is that you should never own your work too much to change it. Your work will be critiqued, and there is a little person inside of you that won't want to make any changes to it...but don't listen to it! The pros here have been doing this a very long time, so...when they give you advice...take it! If you really like that your character wiggles...and your supervisor tells you to make it wobble...then by God it should wobble!

It's not that they want to make you work more, it's that your animation will be better for it! Each change that is made...stop and think about why you are changing it...and try to think ahead in the future to compensate for it. This is what will make you a great animator Take the best of everyone's experiences and make them your own!

In further news...

The animated short I am working on is going on the back burner for a while. As a group, the apprentices here at Reel FX are making a short of our own...and it's coming along a lot faster than mine is so far. I'm learning a lot about the details of creating a short that I wouldn't have learned by msyelf too.

concept art for - Tailwind

Punch-Out for the ladies!

Unleash your inner woman and slap like mad to become the toughest woman of the house! I found this on Andrew Burke's blog this morning and it is totally wicked! It's very reminescent of Punch-Out! for the nintendo...I love that game..

It's called Rose & Camellia.
Play it HERE

Monday, July 2, 2007


Hey everybody! Today is a good day for rain...don't you think? Ratatouille came out this weekend, but all I can think about is Evan Almighty (which was a very cute movie by the way), and his ark. I've been telling my wife Rachel all week that I'm going to need to take a boat to work.

Work has been going great lately, we've been working on some test cycles for a new project coming up. There are actually two projects I am excited about right now....neither of which I can talk about...but there is a good chance I could have my name in movie credits for the first time ever! (crosses fingers).

I haven't worked on my short in a couple of weeks...but the one that we are working on here is beginnning to move into the storyboarding phase...and this time I have a little bit of an influence over the script, so I've been a bit more involved with it than with my own.

On a more personal note, my wife and I have started a small garden in the back yard. We bought all kinds of seeds too, so right now we have corn growing...but when the flood stops we'll be able to plant more stuff!!

I hope everyone has a great 4th of July! ~ God Bless!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

UFO Test Flight

I took my UFO for a test flight today. It's still a little bumpy so I'm gonna make some adjustments...and I need to start working on the paint job, but the primer coat is applied. Click HERE to view the animation!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

House Model

This is the actual model I am working on, but I did a little concept work on top of it, mostly just playing around with the look of it.

Story Finished, awaiting confirmation

Hey again! I've finished writing the story, and will try to spread it around tomorrow at work to see what everyone thinks! Here it is so take a look while you're here.

The Adventures of Harold Puffinfluff

Harry is hopping through his garden. He pulls a carrot out of the ground and he checks its "ripeness" by smelling it and taking a small nibble. He concludes that it is not ripe so he puts it back into the whole that he pulled it out of, so it can finish growing... He's so proud of his carrot crop.. Then a small UFO comes and starts beaming up all of his carrots! One by one it plucks them from the ground...all the way until they are all gone...Harry, mad, is jumping up and down in fury. The UFO comes over, pulls out a huge mallet and whacks him into the ground! His ears stick out just like a carrot's leaves! Then three more UFOs come along only to find that their friend has already abducted all the carrots but one. BUT...the other one is actually Harry! One of the UFOs come and suck him out of the ground and into their ship....
Now we find Harry in a big room within the UFO, thrown in a gigantic pile of carrots. Realizing where he is, Harry runs out of the carrot storage room to the bridge of the UFO. (the ship is small so it's basically the size of a star trek shuttlecraft) Harry pulls a lever and the alien is launched out of the spaceship. (ejecting seat). He then grabs ahold of the controls and flys after the original UFO. He shoots it down and all of the carrots come flowing out of the hatch. Lastly we find Harry hopping back through his carrot garden, all the carrots have been re-inserted into the ground. He picks one out, it's ripe, so he takes a bite out of it and hops into the distance.

So...it's still a little rough around the edges, but I like it from beginning to end. The theme of the story is "Just because someone looks innocent and cuddly, it doesn't mean they won't kick your butt if you steal from them."

Check out my next post for progress on models!

Friday, June 8, 2007


Yesterday I took some time to brush up on my UV and texturing skills. So I took the UFO model I have been working on and started testing myself with that. I think the overall look of it would be better with HDRI rendering, but I also must consider that the short will not be rendered with that way. Here is a picture of my progress so far! The proportions are off from my original sketch, but this is more just like a test-run.. Geoffrey White, a fellow apprentice has been tutoring me some too, and is showing interest in helping me out on the project. If anyone else out there reading wants to help out just send me an email and I would love the help!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Style Board

Mr. Bunny sketch and model.

I thought you might like to see my work so far.

Mr. Bunny model 360

My short story

Since we've been dealing with the development of a short film at work...I've decided to begin concepting one of my own. Hopefully I can use this opportunity to round out my skills with drawing, modeling, rigging, lighting, rendering...the whole realm of 3d. Not to mention doing more animation! So...It's still in the air right now...but here is a story I have come up with.

Bunny Short

Mr.Bunny is hopping through his garden. He pulls a carrot out of the ground and he checks its "ripeness" by smelling it and taking a small nibble. He concludes that it is not ripe so he puts it back into the whole that he pulled it out of, so it can finish growing... He's so proud of his carrot crop.. Then a small UFO comes and starts beaming up all of his carrots! One by one it plucks them from the ground...all the way until they are all gone...Mr. Bunny, mad, is jumping up and down in fury. The UFO comes over, pulls out a huge mallet and whacks Mr. Bunny into the ground! His ears stick out just like a carrot's leaves! Then three more UFOs come along only to find that their friend has already abducted all the carrots but one. BUT...the other one is actually Mr. Bunny! One of the UFOs come and suck him out of the ground and into their ship....

The three decide that they have enough carrots for their master plan, so they head back to outer space. Now we find Mr. Bunny in a big room within the UFO, thrown in a gigantic pile of carrots.

I am still thinking of a cool ending...but Doris and Seth gave me a couple of suggestions I could go with...

1. The aliens nibble on him but he is not ripe yet (just like the carrot he sniffed)...so they put him back on earth.

2. He takes over the alien ship, shoots down the other two UFO's...chases down the original one.. and takes his carrots back.

I like the second one so far but I'm still thinking....

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The blog bone is connected to the...website bone...the website bone is connected to the blog bone!!...so now if you ever had trouble finding it, it's easily accessable from the main entrance page @ www.kentalfred.com. :)

So, as promised, the last couple of days I took my own advice and have come up with two good points to cover in today's blog.

Number 1 - It's okay to break the principles of animation..(what!?!)...when it makes sense (ohhh). For example, suppose your character is doing a slapping or a stomping action. As a rookie animator, it's your first instinct to follow your arcs strictly, so you make sure that stomp has a beatiful flowing arc motion to it right? Wrong! Think about it and act out the motion...slam your hand on the table!! Do it again and you'll notice that on your down motion there was no arc what-so-ever. Now I'm not saying that every rule of animation needs to be broken, but it's just a reminder that just because it is a rule...it doesn't mean that you have to stick to it like the bible...

Number 2 - (And this is a reminder to myself as well as help for you) - Squash and stretch can even be applied to non-cartoony characters. Most of the time when you study s&s you see a lot of Tex Avery, Chuck Jones cartoons where the character literally stretches across the screen. That looks really cool when you are going for that kind of animation...but it looks even cooler when you sneak it into your more realistic animations subtly. I've known about this little tip for a while, but Bryan emphasised to me just how important it really is, so I'm going to start really concentrating on this part of my animations..to push it to the next level...ascended animator style! If you'ld like to see more info on the use of this tip, read up on Victor Navones tutorial at http://www.navone.org/HTML/Tutorial_DashTake.htm ... it really demonstrates what I am talking about here.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Creating a short story.

Well, this has been my first full day with a blog. I feel so cool now and full of words. All day I've been trying to remember things to write...I think I'll start carrying around a notepad so I can actually jot down some notes for the day.

I bet you are asking..."So..you what did you do at Reel FX today Kent??"...Well, most of the day I spent working on some personal animations, but what feels the most significant was the discussion about our upcoming short film. Apprentices 7 we are....a film we shall create.......but first we have to think of a story!! So far all we really have nailed down is that we want to use the imagery that is being created from the artist Zdzislaw Beksinski ( http://www.beksinski.pl/ ) And even though none of us have correctly pronounced his name once..his artwork has spawned many different ideas in our heads. Beksinski grew up near a concentration camp during WWII, witnessing attrocities that little kids should not. It wasn't until he was older that he actually began painting interpretations of his childhood memories. To me though, it's not necessarily the story of the author that compells me, it's the actual images that draw me in...they are so detailed!!...and scary!! I want our short film to bring up these kinds of feelings for the viewer..

For our next meeting, all 7 of us are to bring a new variation of our most current ideas. At this point we will probably shoot them all down again...but we know it's for the best...when we finally all decided on a story it will be great...it will be scary...and it will be ours. Personally, I feel like production will be tight, but if any other group could ever pull this off it's us. So, we will see what happens next time...and I'll keep you updated.

The Ascended Animator is born.

The battle was fierce...but after confronting an obviously much stronger opponent...the Ascended Animator was born...dun dun dunnnn... By not giving up, I was pushed to the next level of animation. No longer am I the simple school-boy animator of past. I have beaten the evil university monster, and now I am moving to the future, unknowing of my limitations....

But really, today I am moving to the world of BLOGS!! 2 years ago I would have thought you had to be a journalist or congressman to have a blog..but now it seems that even animators can write! So maybe...just maybe...someone will be interested in what I have to say...

And what do I have to say you ask? Well, I'm officially on the inside of Reel FX, an awesome studio in Dallas...as an apprentice. I am literally here to suck the knowledge out of other people, to learn all that I can in a six month period. How did I get here?--- Through hard work and dedication...and connections.

It is here that I would like to give this blog a purpose... I have created Ascended Animation for the little guy(or girl)...the person in college, wondering what it takes to become a part of the real animation world. That's the main question I had the whole time I was there..."What actually goes on in a studio?...What should I expect?" By writing about my daily experiences, I hope to bring you insite into my world...and creating a path into the 3d industry (from an animator's perspective).