Sunday, December 20, 2009

Rodrigo Blaas's Alma

Back in 2000, myself and a bunch of other kids from around the world moved to NY to fullfill their dream - work on a feature film. One of those aspiring filmmakers was Rodrigo.

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you, Pixar Animator Rodrigo Blaas's short film, alma.
click on the poster above to see the short film

My 1st TOYSTORY Shots

Sorry for the big break between posts. Working hard on finishing up on Toy Story 3.
ABC is showing a sneak peak of TS3 tonite during The Incredibles. Below is my first shots on TS3 that I was assigned. The shots are longer, but for TV it has been edited down.
When starting my 1st Toy Story shots - I just stared at Woody for a good 2 days. I was scared to touch him. Its like George Lucas telling you 'go ahead and turn on Luke's Lightsaber, go have fun'. On the 3rd day I made him blink, then slowly got into animating. Now 9 months later, im sad that I will soon be saying goodbye to Andy's Toys.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Prehistoric Odd Couple

Since i'm digging through my archives, might as well continue to embarrass myself.
In this performance I play a slightly femine sloth and a grumpy mammoth. Short shot but fun to play two completely different personalities.

Monday, October 19, 2009

How do you make a bird cry?

Heres a shot I did of Vlad the Vulture crying at the end of the movie.
The directors decided to put this at the end of the film at the last minute.
It was nice to go back and animate him one last time - knowing it would be our last dance together. I sure miss that buzzard.

Friday, October 9, 2009

...and the rest of them!

WOW. Today is Toy Story 3 poster day!

Which one is your favorite?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Rex TS3 Poster

The new Toy Story 3 trailer debuts online this Monday!

Heres a new poster to hold you over.
Looking at this poster, it gets me excited to see the film and i'm working on it!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Vlad the Vulture

Well, 1 more month til Pixar's UP comes out on dvd. Since I wont be able to show you the shots i've done until it hit shelves Nov. 10th, i'll take this time to show you some of my old animation.
On Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears A Who, I was the animation character lead for Vlad the Vulture. I was really excited at the chance of animating a villian. My goal was to scare at least one child. If there was one child to afraid to go to sleep at night because Mom and Dad took them to go see Horton at their local cinema, then I did my job.
After all, im still scared of Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Toy Story 1 and 2 is released in 3D. Sure, you have them at home on dvd so why would you go see them in the theatre? Well, if your a movie junkie like me -- then you'll want to know that the new ToyStory 3 trailer will be attached to them.

My 3 shots in the trailer:
1) Andy pushing Buzz's button (very quick shot)
2) Andy and Rex eating popcorn
3) Mr and Mrs Potatohead's parts all mixed up

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Autumn

My daughter Autumn Ruth turns 15 today.
love you Ruth ~Dad

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Chicago filled week

Welp, Chicago keeps on coming -- even when I'm back in San Fran.

My good friend, Royce, started his 1st week at Pixar. Us both being from Chicago, he suggested we go see the Cubs against the Giants on Thursday nite. It was one of the best games ive ever seen.

We were 8 rows behind the visitor's dugout. We ate peanuts and polish sausage. And in the 9th inning, Cubs are down by 1 with 2 outs and 2 strikes. Crowd is cheering on the SF pitcher to strike out the Cubs batter. The pitch - the swing - he hits a homerun with a runner on 1st base.
CUBS WIN!!!!! Crowd is silenced except for the two guys yelling and jumping w joy 8 rows behind the visitor's dugout.

Royce was clapping so hard that a woman came up behind him and hit him in the back. Sore loser.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Chicago filled weekend

Took a trip back home recently for a wedding. Was great being back in old Chi-town. 
Here are a few of the highlights:

1) Took my daughter out to dinner
2) Watched part of a highschool football game (the kid fumbled the ball on the kickoff, a old man leaned over to me and said 'he mustve been staring at the lights on that one')
3) Went to Second City (home of Bill Murray, John Candy, Tina Fey, Steve Carrell, Chris Farley to name a few)
4) Had drinks on the 24th floor - saw a old Chicago buddy who just happened to me in town the same night
5) Visited my old college and was shocked to see a small shrine dedicated to me (see pic below)
6) Met old friends at Navy Pier (even Cappy from Robots showed up!)
7) Went to see Cloudy w a Chance of Meatballs in IMAX (funny movie w alot of sick food jokes)
8) WhiteSox vs Royals. Sox won - 13 to 3 off of a Grand Slam (ate lots and lots of junk food- ugh, not feel well!)
9) Went to see another film (Mr Matt Damon 30 lbs heavier)
10) Ate at one of my favorite sub places - PotBellys across from the Chicago theatre
11) Went to the church for the wedding (Congrats Dave and Jess!)
12) ran in the rain to Nookies for some soup.
13) went to the reception for alot of drinking and dancing (and photobooth pics - see below)
14) House of Blues at 2am
15) Jogged Lakeshore Avenue past all the Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers fans (so badly wanted to make fun of the Steelers fans but was chicken)
16) Went to Bennigans and ate a fried sandwhich (remembered why I was 50 lbs heavier when living in Chicago)
17) Bought 3 Chicago t-shirts to let people in San Fran know "IM A CHICAGOAN"
18) Placed post-its everywhere I went (got a email from a couple who saw one of them in a restuarant saying 'they loved site')
19) Sat between two people because I keep forgetting to check in early on SouthWest
20) Hugged my beautiful wife and boy when I arrived home

WOW. That was alot.

Columbia College made a display full of my films I worked on.

Always advertising, even at a wedding. Shameful!

Mr. Post-it visits Chi-town

Monday, August 10, 2009

lets go fly a kite

My 2 kids flying a kite

Jackson's 1st kite aflight

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Daily Post-it

I started a new website, The Daily Post-it. I will be drawing the news of the day (along with the occasional doodle) posted on post-it notes. 

The goal is - to draw a new pic everyday - in hopes of drawing more and a personal dream of mine, self publish a book. After a year of post-its (365 to be exact) - I will put together 'The Year in Post-its' book.
Spread the word - and please, cheer me on.  Im going to need it.  -thanks!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hayao Miyazaki

Today at work I was enjoying my morning Cap't Crunch when I look up and see the man in the white suit with matching hair. I forgot that Pixar had a screening of PONYO today, followed by a Q&A. 

I managed to sneak in off to the side - where I was about ten footsteps away from John Lassetter and Hayao Miyazaki. Its moments like these that I can't believe this Chicago boy is actually here!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

365 Supers

My good bud Ev has came up w a very inspiring idea. Draw a new superhero for each day. Thats right, 365 supers.
After cracking up over two supers: Red Cross/Blue Shield, I suggested Arm & Hammer. I was stoked to see my idea made it onto the page. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

ICE AGE : Dawn of The Dinosaurs

Last March when I left BlueSky for the west coast, IA3 was just beginning. I was a bit bummed to only do two shots on the entire film. When I went this past weekend - I was shocked to see I got my name in the credit. 

The original ICEAGE was my 1st film - when watching it, I always remember the good times. A bunch of kids trying to pull off a feature film. None of us ever working on one before. Its really nice to have my name on all 3 of the films of the trilogy. 

Now if there is ever a 4th - I may have to go back and see if they can let me animate one shot.

the credit list

shot 1 - this shot is longer,  cut down for the trailer - in the film, Scrat faints then comes back up hugging onto the tree

shot 2 - this is what I see in the computer while animating the shot. Added snow by modeling long triangles w a animation cycle so I could be reminded of the force he was struggling against.

shot 2 - the final animation. My last Scrat shot - I miss you little guy.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

pic of the week

A friend of mine is a avid photographer - he takes some really interesting pictures. When I asked him how he comes up with some amazing shots - he told me he doesnt look when he shoots. He just holds up the camera and clicks away. Whatever he gets is a happy accident.

Heres a pic I took of my beautiful wife Karen. Its my 'happy accident'

Saturday, May 30, 2009

UP - The Shot List

Below is a list of some of the shots I worked on:

1) Young Carl in bed reading a book with a flashlight. A balloon floats in the window, startling him. Ellie pops her head up from outside 'Hey Kid!!' Carl screams 'AHHHHHHH' smacking his face with his arm cast. Ellie crawls through the window saying - 'I've got something to show ya!'

2) Russell at the dinner table says 'Hey, that looks like Kevin!' Muntz half turns away from the map on a wall 'Kevin?' Russell goes 'yeah, that my new giant bird pet - he followed us' Muntz now engaged into what the child is saying 'Follow you! Thats impossible - How!' Russell says 'he likes chocolate - he goes gaga over it!' Muntz now angered 'Chocolate?!' I did the Muntz shots of this sequence.

3) Russell just waking up notices the Kevin is missing. Tells Dug to find the bird. My shots are when Dug is sniffing around for Kevin saying 'find the bird, find the bird - POINT!' Russell runs in saying 'Oh, there he is!' as he points to the sky. Dug goes 'POINT!' now in the correct direction. Carl yells 'get off my roof!' then Dug follows and says 'Yeah, get off of his...Roof!' in his bark voice.
4) Russell goes off to save Kevin. Carl runs back to his house and trys pushing it, pulling it - anything to make it move. Giving up, he throws a chair in anger. Then he gets the idea to throw out all of his posessions.

5) Carl nearly falls out the window of the blimp - says 'Come on Kevin!' They both go climbing up the ladder as Muntz stumbles to his feet. Noticing them escaping, he reaches for Carl's leg - just missing it. Carl continues to climb when all of a sudden he slips - barely holding on. Looks down and sees Muntz coming up fast. Carl gathers his footing and continues to climb out of frame.

6) Carl just put out the flames on his house. He is breathing heavily with his back turned to us - Russell says 'you gave away Kevin'. Cut to Russell - 'You just gave her away'. Carl quietly says to himself 'This is none of my concern' Then turns yelling in anger 'I didnt ask for any of this!!'

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

a long road

'UP' is almost here! Just one more day.

Its been a long journey - back in Chicago I went to go see a film called 'Toy Story' on my lunch break. Walking out of that theater right into night school,  3 animated shorts, 5 siggraphs, 3 companies, 3 cities, countless demo reels, countless rejection letters, and 14 years later....

'UP' my 1st Pixar film.  

I love you Grandma and Grandpa Hartline. I hope there is theatres up there - because I thought of you a awful alot when I was animating on this film.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday, May 8, 2009

UP - the ride

I love my job! Where else do you go into work in the morning and look up to see a blimp next to a guy in a sofa chair being lifted by balloons. 

Today the press got their first glimpse of 'UP' at Pixar. Sure hope they liked it!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bald is Beautiful

Toy Story 3 Animation has officially begun. After the wrap party for UP Saturday night, Animation decided to get a fresh start on Monday. We shaved our heads and beards - then letting it grow until animation wraps. Im not looking forward to this itchy beard!

From time to time - i'll post a pic to show my hair growing skills.

Supervising Animators Bobby and Mike do the honors

TS3 Animation - with our fearless director, Lee Unkrich

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mystery Men

I love working at PIXAR. Where else do you get to watch a movie at lunch time - then meet the cast and crew after.
Mystery Men - hopefully coming to a theatre near you!

movie still

Meet the Mystery Men

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Partly Cloudy

The 1st official image released of Partly Cloudy, the new Pixar short directed by Pete Sohn.
I can't wait to see it in front of UP!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Back to School

Yep, you heard it right - im going back to college. 

I've started teaching at AnimationMentor - a online animation school. When I heard the word 'online' school, I was a bit skeptical. After cruising the campus, watching some of the lectures, and talking to some of the students - im sold! Online is the future. You get taught by professionals working in the field and  you get more personal attention reviewing your assignments. I wish I had this available when I was starting out.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dave Warnke

When I moved to East Bay I started seeing some crazy looking characters popping up in my neighborhood. Hanging out by telephone polls, sleeping in the park, waving at me right outside my house. I was a bit nervous until I met their creator -- Mr Dave Warnke.

Dave is my neighbor 2 doors down. We met Dave through my son Jackson who plays with Dave's daughter 'Bea'. I just found out that Dave and his family are moving to a few towns away. Although I know I'll still see him from time to time, I sure hope I see his crazy friends.

You Rock Dave! Thank you for such great art in our neighborhood.

Found this guy hanging outside my house

Public art sculpture

Original painting

Dave at work - cafe 504

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Thats my boy!

I know, whats with the kid pic? Isnt this suppose to be a animation / art website??

This posting is strictly for the grandparents. I promised them every so often I would post a pic of one of the grandkids. This was taken on our Hwy 1 trip up the California coast. We were close to being home, when K convinced me into stopping one more night in this little coast town. Im really glad we did, such great memories on our last day of our family trip.

Friday, March 27, 2009

UP links

As the movie gets closer to its release date - more and more goodies start popping up on the web. This is my favorite time. You work on a movie for a year or two and no one knows what it is. Then when all these trailers, commercials, pics and goodies show up on the web -- its a bit weird to be watching it with the public when its been hush hush behind close doors for so long. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Back when I was attending Columbia College of Chicago, every so often I would get the occasional 'are you the Aaron who did that kick-ass drawing?' I would hang my head down and point to the red headed guy on the other side of the animation room, the very talented Mr. Aaron Johnson.

Aaron is now the creator/artist of 'What The Duck' comic strip. A great strip about a duck and his camera. 

I got a phone call at work from my two year old son saying 'wanna open it!' When I got home I found out what he was talking about - Aaron was kind enough to send me a Walter Ducket plushy (that my son has taken and called 'Bella') and a original painting on the box that Walter came in. 

Thank You Aaron! Your artwork is on its way!!

Walter and the box he came in

'What The Duck' comic strip

Walter 'Bella' Ducket visits Pixar

Monday, March 23, 2009

UP website

The UP website is up and running!!!

Its chock full of goodies - meet the characters, videos, trailers,  bios, icons, wallpapers, movie stills, games, and plenty more. Go on over and take a look see.