Saturday, December 19, 2009

Vivi the Bat!

Hey All!

It's been a little bit since I've posted! With end of the semester here at Calarts, I've been a very busy little veebs. I'll be posting the next installment of Reflecting on Greatness soon, so "Stay Toon-ed" .

For now, here's a little dude I've been working on, in After Effects to get used to animating in it more extensively.

I designed and animated all of it- it was really enjoyable! I hope to develop this into a small animation, a ten-second self contained film similar to my 10 Seconds of Fun.


Vivi So Far from Vanessa Buldowski on Vimeo.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Glass Woman

Most recent test. not that fancy. Charcoal and watercolor. I'd like to go back in and fix some things. Because of the shimmer on the drawings (which happen because there is no way you can make watercolor drawings without them being inconsistent) I think there should be a shimmer on the seashell as well, since its an element she is interacting with.

Glass Woman Test 02 from Vanessa Buldowski on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Shere Kahn

Here's a Shere Kahn test I did, to try to capture a preexisting character successfully. There are a few issues I take with it still, like the mouth closing at the end needs an inbetween. Pops a little. I'm slowly getting better! Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming swimmming.

Actual voice is from "The Traitor" where George Sanders plays a bad-guy. Same voice actor. Voila.

Shere Kahn Test-Ruff from Vanessa Buldowski on Vimeo.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Logan Ruff Animation Fun

Logan Ruff Animation from Vanessa Buldowski on Vimeo.

Just some random good natured fun. Inbetweens and BD's added in. Working on cleaning it up now, taking my time on it because its on the side of all the other stuff I'm doing. Gah.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Reflecting on Greatness 01

I often sit back and think about the great artists and animators that have come before me, and what I can learn from them. I've found myself gathering as much information as I can about these great men and women, so I've decided to do something pro-active and share it with you folks! So from now on, I'll post twice monthly these little blurbs about such great animators. Enjoy!

I decided to start this series off with none other than Milt Kahl, the well respected Disney animator who was, unquestionably, the animator who defined the Disney style. He is most famous for his work on Pinocchio, Madame Medusa in The Rescuers, Shere Kahn and King Louis in The Jungle Book, Peter Pan, and Merlin from The Sword in the Stone (among many, many others).

Milt started at Disney in 1934 at the age of 25, when he was hired as an assistant animator on classic Disney shorts like The Ugly Duckling. It wasn't until Pinocchio was under production that Milt emerged as the tour-de-force of Disney studios. His decisive mark-making and excellent draftsmanship earned him his renown, and his drive and passion for his craft kept him striving for the excellence he demanded of everyone who animated under him. Veteran animator Jim Hill speaks fondly about Milt's explosive personality, remembering the first time he met the man, "Behind me was a door that led to the adjoining office, though it remained closed. I didn't need reminding who occupied the next office, because suddenly we heard the crash of a fist slamming hard on a desk. "Dammit!" shouted the artist. "Doesn't any %#*$!?# here know how to draw!?"

Milt was known for his explosiveness, but as Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston point out," He was honest to the point of bluntness. Unlike any irascible temperaments who have filled the halls of history, Milt had a very sweet helpful side, when he chose. He gave unstintingly of his time and talent when it was to help the picture, and almost as often to help a fellow artist who had a problem. However, he expected anyone coming for help to have worked hard and tried everything-to have done his best before coming."

In Richard Williams' famous and amazingly helpful book, The Animator's Survival Kit, he often mentions wisdom passed on by Milt. Within the first chapter, Dick Williams provides the reader with the following first lesson-a-la-Kahl...(Unplug, folks!!)

Milt really was an amazingly astounding draftsman. His linework has remained unparralleled, I believe, at Disney and any other studio out there ( But there are certainly MANY MANY animators, even today, who are just as dedicated and have superb draftsmanship). Milt's greatest strength was said to be from the fact that he believed animation drawings were truly two dimensional and should stick to that plane- thus he is famous for his concise, posed drawings (and pose to pose animation stlye!) where everything was clearly readable to the audience.

Here's a great example of some of Milt's work. I watched this film recently, and was blown away by this section, so you can imagine my delight in finding the actual drawings online as well! Look at how clearly you can read every action. Nothing is hidden, nothing is obscure.

Milt Kahl (Mowgli) from Victor Ens on Vimeo.

Milt Kahl - Mr. Snoops Pencil Test from David Nethery on Vimeo.

Milt was a great asset to the industry, and his legend still continues in the many artists who pull from his work, freeze-framing and stepping through frame by frame to glean some of the genius away from it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


those of you who know me well know this guy. I'll give you a cookie if you can figure out what he's saying.

Keys only. Maybe I'll actually flesh it out. It was just a pose-test for fun.

Logan Keys from Vanessa Buldowski on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


...was awesome! There is not enough time to go into how great this expo was! Amazing panels by top people in the industry, an exhibit floor filled with awesome artists and book shops and information, and DID I MENTION PEOPLE FROM THE INDUSTRY!? Here's a quick overview of what I did!

Friday night I got a small tour of Cartoon Network Studios, and took this picture of the stairwell up. LIGHTSABERSSSSSSS. This made me giggle with glee.Friday the expo was already hopping. Here's a a shot I took of Tony Bancroft, Disney animator and Director of Mulan, working and talking about animating. That's a drawing of pumba he's working on, in china marker. He gave me a really great critique on my portfolio on Saturday, and some great tips about how to approach drawing animals.I did my rounds of the exhibit floor a billion times on friday, and was finally brave enough to take a snapshot of Gary Goldman, producer and animator on all Don Bluth Studio films. I wasn't brave enough to meet the man, or Don himself, yet.Friday was a pretty good day. Then Saturday happened. AND IT WAS CRAZY AWESOME. I thought it was busy on Friday, but the weekend was hoppin!

I got to meet and talk to Andreas Deja!!!!! And he looked at my portfolio and gave me his wisdom. Gotta push myself to get better! Push my drawings skills to the max!
Joe and I met up with Valerio Ventura, an amazingly talented artist who worked on many, many things including Class of 3000, Hercules, Mulan, and many others! He's super sweet and down to earth, with a wicked design sense to boot! BUY HIS BOOK!!!
I went to a panel about Ronald Searle, an amazing artist, to support Manny Hernandez, a BFA 1 here at CalArts who got onto the panel. He got to sit with world renowned animators/artists John Musker, James Baxter, and Matt Jones. Manny is the young one with the hat. Haha. Sitting next to John Musker, the lucky dog!
Seeing this great panel gave me the courage to finally go to talk to Gary and Don! And they both were happy to look at my portfolio, and feed me golden knowledge. Don was so eager to teach me something, it was refreshing and exciting. He told everyone this piece of information-" You know when you make a drawing you like, then three hours later you hate it? Ever wonder why that is? It's because when you made that good drawing, your brain expanded, your knowledge expanded, and you conquered something." Oh man.

Then I asked them for their picture, and I was content to have the two of them in it, but they pulled me into the shot! Once Gary was satisfied with teasing me with bunny ears, Don said "Now this is a serious photo, everyone act like we've known each other for years!" Some of the most sweet and down to earth people I met at the show! I really appreciated their advice and guidance, as well as warnings for what to do. AHHH!
After this, I stumbled out of the room to find Andreas Deja giving an animation demonstration! SO OF COURSE I listened in, and asked questions to my hearts content. It was great hearing his approach to animating, and when I asked him where he thinks new animators are lacking, he said "Performance!" I found this answer to be a running theme with all the top animators I asked.So now it was time to see a screening with Joe! And guess what it was.
Heck yes. HECK.YES. It was totally Brendan and the Secret of Kells. And my mind was blown. There were certainly some issues with the film, and some things didn't work together, as well as a very anticlimactic ending with a patched up resolution....but... it was freaking such a visual smorgasbord. There were scenes where I got the chills, from the designs elements and the unique character animation. Check out this clip, when scene in context with the whole film, made me freak out and break out in goosebumps.

Banjo the Woodpile Cat was screened right before it as well, and AHH such good animation! Old school done on cells awesomeness.

And on Sunday, I met Eric Goldberg! Here's a picture of him going over someone's portfolio. I didnt get the chance to ask him to look at mine, unfortunately, but I did ask him waaaay to many questions about his approach to animation, and what he felt about the industry now. He didnt seem to mind, and shared his story about Ken Harris when he was working for Richard Williams on Roger Rabbit, and even did his impression of him, too! You can hear the story also on The Animation Podcast, where you'll also get lots of wisdom from other artists too!

So much happened. More than ALLLL of this. I don't know if Glen Keane was there, but if so I wish I could have met him and picked his brain some.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ever have one of those days?

Can you tell I like teal?

This is a reformatted image I made for this post-card things that I wanted to print out for this weekend... but I dont think I'll get a chance to. I need to find a CVS, then maybe I can. Maybe tomorrow morning.

So yeah. CTN ANIMATION EXPO! I will be attending from tomorrow till sunday, learning alot, hopefully talking some to some awesome artists. I got together a portfolio of my work...and it will improve with time. I have issues with it, but hey, we've all got issues.

I got some great advice today about portfolio making from the fiancee of a classmate of mine- Eric Favela , who is an awesome, super modest artist. Check out his blog!!

The end. I must work now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Maggie the Monster

I like her. Possibly next year's film. First success with pastels.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bird Cycle Ruff Animation

This here is just a pencil test of a 12 frame cycle I had to do for one of my classes. Done quickly. The non-loop on his chest and head feathers blowing in the wind bugs me. Thinking of going into it and doing some clean-up practice to fix it. I might even make it a cell-painting excercise for fun, and slap it on my demo real with a flash background or something.... Hmmmmm....

Bird Cycle from Vanessa Buldowski on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009



please. please please. Let America get a slap to the face and start making animated televison show's like this one. Teaser trailer for Baidir.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Adventures in Calartia 02

So here's a little update on fun times recently. On mischief night I attended the Calarts Halloween party as this flapper. I had fun confusing people who already knew me, since none of them recognized me at first. Sweet.

This is my desk again. I know you've seen it. I dont care. You're getting another picture of it because it's beautiful.

Just this past Sunday I WENT TO THE ZOO. FUN TIMES WERE HAD. DRAWINGS WERE MADE! Lots of drawings were made. a fourth of my sketchbook, to be exact. It was AWESOME. We also met a Disney employee there, who work in the Imagineering section of Disney now. The Calarts Mafia is everywhere. Zoe and I were sketching, and I hear "You guys are animators, right?" Other animators recognize us, it's like a scent or something. Or you know. furiously scibbling pencils.

This is Zoe. Lookit how happy she is at the zoo.

And this is a perty sunrise. Please enjoy it. Yet another sunrise from the balcony of B3.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ideas floating in my head

So I drew this guy at work on Thursday, off of a very Al-Herschfelt-like drawing that was lying around of a crow. And then yesterday, I got a little involved in his existence, so I drew him again... and spent way too much time on one drawing. Which is nice, every once and a while. His legs look a little wonky. More than a little.

Finally here's a close-up of his face, because he's pertyful. I might take this into photoshop and play around with it some, adjust the colors. Who knows?
So how's your day been?

Friday, November 6, 2009

11 second club "finished"

Ruff v.02 11SecClub Oct. from Vanessa Buldowski on Vimeo.

So the results are in for this month's competition! And of course I lost, I was expecting to lose! The one I voted as my ultimate favorite won, though! ITS SO GREAT!! Watch it here!

I did, much to my surprise, place 33rd out of 213 entrants. Which is like woah! to me. I'm going to keep working, take the feedback I got from commenters on the site, and work hard on the November entry!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

You can call me Vee.

Remember remember the fifth of November, the gunpowder treason and plot...

...Happy Guy Fawkes day.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Bears. I've grown very very fond of them recently, and its not because people told me my animal was a bear. Several people.

I just like them. I animated a bear earlier, you can see the post here.

The sunbears and the grizzlies where most fun to draw. You can tell.

Panning Animals

So recently I've been pining over the fact that I never get any chances to draw any animals. In the morning and when I eat I specifically make myself do figure drawing, but there is NO TIME devoted to animals. I also believed that Calarts was devoid of them. I, however, was being foolish as everyone and their mother has a dog here. So, I am taking it upon myself to draw any dog I see if I have the spare moment.

Dog's aren't the only animal out there though. I've been trying to plan out a trip to the zoo for a while now, and I decided come hell or high water I'm going this weekend. Alone or not, I'm going dog gawnit. I'm sure someone will tag along, which will be massive fun.

A short explanation- The fish is Tomy, a beautiful little Koi owned by Zoe's housemate. Russell is the entirely cute little dog you see there, who these are 10 second drawings of because I've never seen a dog who fidgets so much while lying down. Lastly is a thumbnail sketch-layout of a pan I will be shooting sometime Thursday, after I create the rough sketch on actual panning paper, which will eventually be transferred to nice Ingram panning paper to be watercolored for my film.

yes and thank you.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Glass Woman update

Glass Woman Raindrop Test from Vanessa Buldowski on Vimeo.

playing around with camera moves and getting to know my glass woman some more. A rough shot from my film, first take on it. Match cut on the action of the raindrop, which needs to be resolved because it feels like a jump cut.

I need to think of a name for my film, and a name for her. I feel like "Glass woman" is too...i dunno. but I feel she's so unique I almost despise naming her anything. A Charolette or any other name wont do. She's a goddess, beautiful and carefree. Naming her feels like claiming her, or a lie. At least Glass Woman is honest, because that is exactly what she is. Its not labelling, its just stating.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

October 2009 Entry 11 Second Club

Hey folks! I submitted my clip to! If you want to see it and vote, click here!

You do need to register to vote, and also, you cant decide which video you get to see, so if you only want to vote for mine, just press the "Next Animation, Please" button. THERE ARE SOME AMAZING ENTRIES this time around. Alot of 2D work, surprisingly. One in particular blew my mind and I hope it wins.

All in all, this was a great learning experience, and I want to keep working on them!

I'll post the actual animation up here after the contest is over on the 5th.

Friday, October 30, 2009

One rant of many about Glen Keane (and I am surprised that I haven't ranted before...I dont think..)

So anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge fan of Glen Keane. Well, more than a fan. Mr. Keane is one of the major reasons I animate today (as well as several other AMAZING ANIMATORS) and I want to learn from this man, so every opportunity I get to inspect/dissect/study his work is taken to my inner most core. He's got a great drive and power in his drawings, and I would love to develop the emotion and acting he creates in his characters in my own.

With this gushing aside, here are some videos of pose tests and pencil tests by Glen. Pleases to the enjoys.
This first one is of good old Rattigan. Such great stretch in his face!! AHHH!!!

Glen Keane - pose test (Rattigan) from Alex Petreski on Vimeo.

Everyone who knows about my love for Keane's work also knows that I hold his work on Tarzan among the epoch of the best animation known to man

Glen Keane- rough penciltest - TARZAN from Alex Petreski on Vimeo.

Lastly- this clip of Glen flipping IN TIME to a scene from Aladdin was new to me today, and made me squeal in glory. I also thoroughly appreciate that he says " This twenty second scene took me a MONTH to animate". Makes you feel good knowing these guys are taking their time. But hey, they can afford it!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Oct. 11 Sec RUFF animation

Ruff Animation Oct submission 11 Second club from Vanessa Buldowski on Vimeo.

'Ruff' animation fluctuating 2's and 1's. The hand is floaty. GAH. I don't have time to fix it. >_<

Will post finished animation soon, =P

Monday, October 26, 2009

October 11 Second Club Keys

11 Sec. Club Oct Keys and BD from Vanessa Buldowski on Vimeo.

Here be the keys and breakdowns for my upcoming submission for the October 11 Second Club. Will be inbetweened by Saturday, where I will post in on the 11 Second Club website, so please vote for me when the time comes! (If you like my piece, that is) You do have to register to vote, but its free and you get to see all the other entries as well!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Just a couple of friendly Lions...

... and character poses of myself when I was seven years old.

This perturbed looking man with the floating goldfish is none other than Kevin Cooney.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Animation Test

Here is a simple walk cycle look at my character, the Glass Woman. I was doing the test not really for her action, but more for the style of doing the clean up. I'm not sure which feels most effective, but I'd love some feedback.

The color pencil and normal graphite clean up were very fast, by my standards, but the watercolor one took significantly longer (and I was using water color pencils for it). Any feed back would be great.

Though this really wasn't to show the characters actual attitude, I was thinking of her personality and it is "reflective" of her in a way. (I like my puns). She is a strong willed person, vivid and unfettered until she realizes the fragility of her own self. So, this is more in her "innocent" stage.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Reality leaves alot to the imagination"

OKAY SO TODAY I HAD AN AWESOME TALK WITH ADELINE ( a bfa in experimental) ABOUT JOHN LENNON. I made her a drawing. Then she slammed me with this amazing one.

And then I colored it. Horribly. in like 10 minutes just now because I was so excited. I will attempt more awesomeness soon. For now, John Lennon returns to the surface of my desk to inspire me.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


As you can see, I've gotten really lazy about the color quality in the pictures I've been taking anymore. Well... I'll work on it. I dont mind taking snapshots of things I'm going to post here. But I'll take better pictures for the drawings I'll put in my portfolio.

Don't judge me.

Actually. No. I'll force myself to take better pictures from now on.

These are two drawings I did today at the latter half of Steve Brown's / Corny Cole's Figure drawing sessions. I didnt get to stay for long, but I'm glad I pushed myself into going. Figure drawing is always worth it.

Need to gesture animals. Must go to zoo soon, or else. Please build me a jetpack thankyouvermuch.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Character Gestures

So today I went to the first student-run class on Walt Stanchfield's gesture drawing technique. I was so excited when I heard about this, because I truly enjoy and learned a lot from his books.

Dave, a sophomore in character animation, ran the class and he really did an exceptional job of following the heart of what Stanchfield taught people. He had us gradually try to incorporate the "character" that the model was creating for us, as well as what we were feeling from the model. These pictures are some of the drawings I did in the second and third part of the session.