Duncan Brinsmead Plays With Fire – For a Living

Duncan Brinsmead is not only the principal scientist with Autodesk, he’s also the creator of Maya Paint Effects, Maya Hair, Maya Toon, and he also put considerable work into Maya Fluids and nCloth too.

Have a look at his blog, and some of the demos of what’s possible in Maya 2011

Be careful. Some of these demos can be hazardous if you’re not wearing protective clothing.


Festivus Facelift

The (British) animation forum and employment agency, Festivus, have updated their website to reflect changes in the organisation.
The expanded job board and information section is now called AnimationBase, while the social and networking activities remains under the Festivus name.

banner on the animationbase site

The link for AnimationBase is here, and the Festivus Facebook group is here.

It’s easy to register, and the Festivus gatherings (normally in central London) are very useful for networking and getting to know the people and the gossip in the animation business. Take loads of business cards with you!

Animator’s Pay Packets On The Up

Recent surveys of animator’s salaries in the U.S. show healthy recent rises, despite the gloom of recession.

… Latest salary information figures as published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that the salary for animators in the country today is between $50,000 and $100,000. In reality, there are a few professions today that are offering such a huge average salary.

The salary data statistics also reveal that the average salary today stands at $56,330. While the starting wages are $31,570, those offered to the most senior people often exceed $100,000 a year. The salary chart also discloses the growing trend of many animators working on a freelance contract basis. In fact, some of the most experienced and highly skilled workers are now opting to go on freelance contracts, rather than working on a full-time contract.

Read the whole Webwire article here, and here’s a link to AnimationSalaryData.com

Get better and get earning!

All the best,


Some Stills From “The Illusionist”

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(Click the pictures to enlarge them, please.)

If you have never seen a Jacques Tati film, it would be a good idea to rent one of the six films he wrote, directed and starred in, and appreciate his understated comic genius before diving into Sylvain Chomet’s “The Illusionist“.
Here’s a short interview with Sylvain Chomet after the premiere at the Berlinale Film Festival on February 16th..
There are more clips from the film in this Russian teaser.

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The art direction in this film is stunning. It started off in the care of Evgeni Tomov, who worked on early concepts, but the production art direction that you see in the final film is by Bjarne Hansen. You’ll find his credit on this IMDB page.

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ComparePSD – Free Windows Download from PixelNovel

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If you’re working with several saved versions of a Photoshop PSD file, this is a mighty useful tool for examining and comparing your PSD files, layer by layer, to make sure that you open the correct version. And you don’t have to open Photoshop to do so! Better still: It’s free!
Here’s the link.

MaPZone – A Free and Powerful Procedural Renderer

thumbnail of MAPZone example Stone Steps
(Please click this image to enlarge it)

Head over to the MaPZone website to discover what’s special about this texturing tool.

Link to MaPZone site
Link to Wikipedia article about Procedural generation.

Marvellous Disney

Amazing statistic: There are more than 5,000 Marvel characters.