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Reblog Friday: The Sound of Monsters

For this week’s Reblog Friday I wanted to share a featurette covering the sound design of the new Pixar film Monsters University. The video is brought to us by the SoundWorks Collection.  You can see more of what they do by clicking here.



Reblog Friday: Guys with Pencils

It’s Reblog Friday here at Fly Machine Pictures!  Do you love animation?  Comics?  Video games?  Are you looking for a podcast that’s inspiring, informative, and entertaining?   Guys with Pencils is just that, and then some.   Join cohosts Adam Hines and Andrew Murray as they interview industry professionals from their Toronto-based apartment in a casual, round-table setting.  Here are a couple of our favorite interviews so far (contains some NSFW language):

Guys With Pencils Ep98 - The Business of Art With Stephen Silver

  • Stephen Silver – character designer for shows such as Kim Possible, Danny Phantom, and the Fairly Odd Parents; gives excellent advice on how to lead your art career and be business-savy in the art world


(photo courtesy

Guys With Pencils Ep 62 - How Do You Make A Comic? Ask Tyson Hesse

  • Tyson Hesse – creator of popular webcomic Boxer Hockey; how starting his comic has helped him grow and shape his career.


(picture courtesy Boxer Hockey)

Guys With Pencils Ep 86 - Artistic Therapy with Jason Groh

  • Jason Groh – A passionate director and designer of more than 20 years in the industry.  One of the most inspiring interviews you’ll hear today; covers a broad range of topics from taking the plunge to pursue your art; balancing work, personal art, and family life; and even some advice on senior films.


(picture courtesy Guys with Pencils)

Hope you enjoy!

- Jess

Reblog Friday: The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum


Today I wanted to share a really fascinating little video about the world’s largest collection of cartoon and comic book art, by way of the wonderful blog, Boing Boing

You can also find out more about the museum by clicking below:


Words and Drawings by Phil McAndrew

Hello and welcome to another installment of Fly Machine’s Reblog Friday!  We have an oldie-but-goodie for you today - Phil McAndrew’s “Super Obvious Secrets That I Wish They’d Teach in Art School.”  Providing some great common-sense advice alongside some awesome drawings, it’s the perfect bit of inspiration to get your art-making self in gear. 

And if you’d like to see some of his other work, check out this link too.  You won’t be disappointed!


- Jess

The Making of Ernest & Celestine

Hello everyone!

Today, I wanted to pass along a link to a fantastic and adorable ‘Making Of’ blog that covers the production of Ernest & Celestine, a French-Belgian film based on the series of children’s books.

It’s got great information and wonderful personality. Click the link below to check it out.

The Making of Ernest & Celestine

If you have any questions, the blog even comes with a handy explainer-pig!


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Reblog Friday: Duckumentary

For today’s Reblog Friday I wanted to share this featurette on the art and design of Capcom’s remastered DuckTales game. In the video, the developers discuss at length the importance of character animation. You can see how all that thought and attention contributes to such a fun and friendly aesthetic in the final product.


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Reblog Friday: Paper City

For today’s Reblog Friday I wanted to share this whimsical piece of animation. Created by London-based animator Michael Janicki, Paper City sets out on a soaring journey through a paper landscape as the trees, trains and buildings of urban life take shape around us.

You can read all about it and watch test footage at Janicki’s website by clicking here.



Underway Monday: Walkadoo!

Check in every Monday for a sneak peek at a currently in development animation! This week we’re doing something a little different. We wanted to share one of our recently completed animations, an introduction video for the social-web fitness program “Walkadoo.” The animation just went live on the Walkadoo website!

You can click the image below to take a look.


(Or click this link if you’re old-school, like that.)

Watch Neil Gaiman’s keynote at The Digital Minds Conference 2013, QEII Conference Centre, Westminster, London - 14th April 2013.

You could say this is an unsettling time in the animation industry (or many industries, for that matter).  Large studios are laying off great quantities of staff due to budget concerns; vast portions of animation work are outsourced to other countries; visual effects are struggling to be openly recognized for their labor; and the future of American 2D feature animation feels somewhat grim.   The job stability that large studios used to provide has taken a downward turn in recent years, and the question we are all asking is – how do I adapt?   How can I stand out amidst this sea of people just like me, looking for work, and make a living for myself?  And in that pursuit, what if I fail?

 Neil Gaiman, famed writer of such works as American Gods, Coraline, Good Omens, and The Sandman series, thoughtfully presents his experiences on what it’s been like adapting to the digitalization of the book industry at the 2013 Digital Minds Conference.  Providing examples from his punk-rock youth through his time as a young author up to his recent experiences exploring the artistic boundaries of Twitter, Gaiman reassures that while digitalization has been the death of many things, it has also provided immeasurable opportunities for artistic expression that were unthinkable back in the day.  This is a time where anything goes, becoming independent, and putting things out there to see what takes.   We must allow ourselves to become like dandelions, not fearing failure, but instead embracing the possibilities open to us amidst this ever-changing environment.

Enjoy the video, and have an inspiring weekend!

- Jess

P.S. Interested in reading Neil Gaiman’s books?  Check out this link:

The Elusive Pose Test

Most pose tests never see the light of day - they are mysterious creatures hidden away from the public eye. Today, you will have the opportunity to see one in action and get an idea of how they fit into the animation process.

A pose test is the first stage of adding motion to still images. It’s like a slide show of our finished storyboards, each shot synced up to a rough sound-scape and stitched together into jerry-rigged animation. Sometimes a character’s poses are crudely sketched to give some indication of their actions.


Generally, no-one outside our team would ever see these early stages because it can be difficult to even understand what’s happening! 


So why bother? When we first start the animation process, pose tests function as an invaluable opportunity to discuss and tweak the animation with the team. This allows us to identify weak points and avoid any pitfalls that would be impossible to see without viewing the project in real time.  

Interested? Take a peek at the comparison video below

Post Test Comparison from Fly Machine Picture Co. on Vimeo.


Underway Monday: Animated Animals

Check in every Monday for a sneak peek at a currently in development animation!

This week we’re sharing two finished snippets of animation from an upcoming project. The GIFs run a little slower than the actual animation but they should give you a clear picture of the detail that goes into even a relatively simple character movement.


Also, kitties!



Underway Monday: A Pose By Any Other Name

Check in every Monday for a sneak peek at a currently in development animation!


This week we’re bringing you pose tests of three separate shots from an upcoming animation. They should give you a good idea of what the completed shots will look like when finished. That being said, we make no promises about them appearing to make sense.