I Live!!!!

2:08 PM Posted by Rebecca Forth

I have about 36 pending blog posts that I never published, so I think it's about time I post.

I have been busy for the past ~2 years at ILM as a Resource Assistant. The job has been very consuming, but incredibly educational. I learn more each week and I can speak of a now more robust knowledge of python!

In terms of lighting, I have started a lot of small projects to keep up practice and to add to my demo reel. Sadly, I haven't had the change to get my Renderman license back, so I haven't been able to finish them.I'm hoping to change that soon.

In the meantime I have been exploring more of the aspects of Mental Ray, which we all know is a painful process, it's soooo expensive on the render times. I haven't had much a of a chance to dabble in VRay, seeing as I'm still using Maya 2009 (don't knock it!). On the flipside, I have been able to really dig into The Foundry's Katana, and I have been focusing a lot on  learning more about it.

Anyhow, I plan to post more often than I have been! If you haven't yet, go see Wreck-It Ralph!!!! It's amazing!!!! 

Mocking Bird Animation Breakdown and ILM!

11:52 AM Posted by Rebecca Forth

So, it has been quite some time since I have posted to my blog, to which I blame procrastination and other issues. Anywho, I have finished the breakdown of my Dumb and Dumber animation, and have switched the tangents from stepped to spline which made a lot of my hard work look incredibly mushy and unattractive. None-the-less, I am still moving forward! I had the opportunity to have Jason Schleifer, who's most recent work was as the Head of Character Animation on Megamind, review my work and he gave me a lot of great critique and ideas!

I was relying a bit too heavily on the reference video which, as Jason pointed out, kind of took the life and creativity out of the animation. Also, I hadn't taken the initiative to really examine the eyelines of the characters, which are rather offset through the entire clip. So, I do have quite a bit of cleaning up to do, but I can't wait to finish!

Mocking Bird Animation Stepped to Spline from Rebecca Forth on Vimeo.

On another note, I FINALLY have a job!! Yay!!! I accepted the role of Resource Assistant at Industrial Light and Magic just about 10 days ago! It's not an artistic position, but it is an important role in the production pipeline!! My recruiter described it as "Digital File Management." So, San Francisco here I come!

Mocking Bird Yeah!

9:29 PM Posted by Rebecca Forth

Dumb & Dumber Animation Rough Blocking from Rebecca Forth on Vimeo.

One of the 3 projects I've been working on, I started on this guy two weeks ago and just finished the rough blocking, lip-sync and facial movements. This is the mocking bird scene from Dumb and Dumber, a favorite movie of mine, and I'd always wanted to animate it but never really got the opportunity to, so... I decided not to animate the entire scene, as there would be too many characters and models to animate and round up. So I kept it to the simpler shots. Anyhow, this is the original scene here:


12:59 PM Posted by Rebecca Forth

In an effort to actually USE this blog, I decided to give the low down on SIGGRAPH 'Aught 10!

For all who do not know of SIGGRAPH I'll simplify it for you:

Group on


It is a massive conference for computer graphics held annually. This year it was at the Los Angeles Convention Center!!

My previous and first SIGGRAPH (2008) was also in LA! Last years was in New Orleans. I was busy with my internship at Disney when it occurred.

I attended most of the production sessions: Avatar, How to Train Your Dragon, Day & Night, and Alice in Wonderland. The Avatar talks and production sessions really explored how much technology was invested into the film. I had realized this before, but it way beyond what I had thought it was. I also had been somewhat quick to label James Cameron as a director who didn't really consider the huge connection between the work of CG artists and production crews. I thought that he imagined Motion Capture as some kind of magical tool, but he really deserves quite a bit more credit. During the Avatar production session, the panel speakers discussed the use of a virtual stage and camera, and even said that James Cameron himself did most of the camera work on the movie, which kind of shocked me.

Here's a short article on some of the tech used in Avatar:

This years SIGGRAPH didn't seem as big as 2008, maybe it was because it wasn't my first time there (?). The talks, panels and production sessions were very interesting, but the job fair seemed really disappointing. The point of the job fair is to offer job seekers the opportunity to apply face to face with a studio, but for the most part they would just hand you a flier and tell you to apply online. I understand that they didn't want to lug back a load of demo reels with them, but come on! We (the attendees) spent a good chunk of money, time and traveling to come and talk to people face to face. BUT! But, I still made quite a few new friends and connections. And I got a teapot!
The Renderman Teapot is always the big thing to get at the conference! The theme this yer was Mr. Potato Head (for TS3)! I got one with the blue hat, and the RMan User Group teapot.

I got to talk to quite a few recruiters and artists! I visited Disney (of course! They also sponsored the Geek Bar this year!) and got to see Dawn, Deb, Matt, Lance, John Murrah, Bruce, Scott, Bryan, Tanja, and got to meet a new Lighter Jorgé (I hope I spelled that correctly)! I also visited Sony Imageworks, Rhythm & Hues, Nickelodeon Animation, Lucasfilms & ILM, Pixar, and Blue Sky. Sadly Dreamworks didn't have a booth or a suite this year, but their talk on the visual style of Dragon was excellent!

Summer 2010 Demo Reel

5:13 PM Posted by Rebecca Forth

I reworked my last demo reel to make it stronger and replaced two of my selected sequences with what I thought were much stronger pieces.

Rebecca Forth Demo Reel 2010 from Rebecca Forth on Vimeo.

Final Spring 2010 Demo Reel!

3:15 PM Posted by Rebecca Forth

I finally got my Spring 2010 Demo Reel together, I had to rethink the whole presentation of the compositing scenes. Enjoy!

Rebecca Forth Demo Reel Spring 2010 from Rebecca Forth on Vimeo.

Cartoon Brew- Beautiful Grim

2:00 PM Posted by Rebecca Forth

Here's another great post by CartoonBrew.com! There is some beautiful art up for auction! Check it out and help the cause!

Cartoon Brew - Beautiful Grim

Leif Jeffers, an animator at DreamWorks, wrote in to tell us of an auction that went live on ebay today. It’s called Beautiful Grim. Here is the the description of the auction from the website:

“My name is Daarken and I am a concept artist and illustrator working for Mythic Entertainment. My friend Leif Jeffers, an animator at DreamWorks, and I are organizing an art auction fundraiser.

Earlier this year my girlfriend, Cat, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 25. On November 3rd, 2009, she had a bilateral mastectomy after going through 16 weeks of chemotherapy. As you can imagine it has been hard for her, not only mentally and physically, but financially. In order to help alleviate some of her medical bills Leif and I wanted to throw an art auction. The proceeds that are left over after her medical bills have been paid will go to a breast cancer related charity.

We currently have artists contributing that hail from all regions of the industry: concept artists, animators, photographers, sculptors, fine artists, illustrators, you name it. The theme for the auction is “Beautiful Grim.” The interpretation of “Beautiful Grim” has been left up to the artists.”

Here is the most recent info on the first group of artwork that went on sale today. Over 200 professional artists and animators, including Nico Marlet (above) and Emmanuel Shiu (below), have contributed to this cause with some amazing work - and you can check it all out here. And here’s a direct link to the ebay page. Help spread the word.

10:13 PM Posted by Rebecca Forth

I'll be finishing up my demo reel today, so keep an eye out! It will most likely need a bit more polishing, but the general idea will be there!


I know not that many people read this, but I feel it is very important that everyone is aware of the National Bone Marrow Registry Program.

Cartoon Brew recently posted a story (view it here: http://www.cartoonbrew.com/animators/help-pres-romanillos.html) about animator Pres Romanillos. Pres is an animation great, his work has included being Supervising Animator on Shan-Yu from Mulan (along with several other characters), an animator on Madagascar, Shrek 2, Pochahontas, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and most recently an Animator of Prince Naveen from The Princess and the Frog. He has been waiting for a bone marrow transplant to battle his recent relapse of leukemia, and has inspired a live art auction in L.A. and online at Pres-Aid.com by fellow industry friends.

After reading this article I discovered the National Marrow Donor Program, where you can join their registry and save the life of someone like Pres. I had always heard of a marrow donor list, but had never really pursued checking it out. I've registered online and am waiting for their response. I just wanted to share this information with anyone out there who never really taken this kind of thing into consideration! Just think, you can save a life! For real! Not just some $20 donation to charity (not that those aren't important!) You can check out the National Marrow Donor Program at: http://www.marrow.org/. Shaquille O'Neal is even in on it!

And finally,

How to Train Your Dragon


Loved it

A Complex Villainelle FINAL

11:39 AM Posted by Rebecca Forth

About two weeks ago we finally finished A Complex Villainelle, and submitted it to the Student Academy Awards. We plan on sending it to SIGGRAPH 2010 as well!

A Complex Villainelle from CU Denver CAM on Vimeo.

12:58 PM Posted by Rebecca Forth

Here's the latest show reel for our student short!

February Update!

4:04 PM Posted by Rebecca Forth

Since it's already February, I figure that it would be a good idea to post something!! I'll start off with some still frames from my student short: A Complex Villianelle, a parody of what might happen if the Penguin (the Batman villain) met Mary Poppins. I have been involved mostly in lighting, compositing and rendering. Here are a few stills from shots that I have been working on! I have only done the character lighting for these, the environment lighting was done by another student, Bryan Weathers.

This is one of our main characters, Mary Poppins, her primary character design and her model was made by fellow student: Ellie Reznikov.

And this fellow is the main character, The Penguin, based off of the classic Batman villain. This character was both primarily designed and modeled by Nathan Billington.

For compositing I have been using Fusion 5.2, because, lets face it, node-based compositing is far better than After Effects and /or Final Cut. We are sticking to a standard animation pipeline with this project:

We also have a basic rendering template that we are sticking to, using Renderman for Maya. The decision to use RfM has been both rewarding and challenging, mostly because of Renderman's dislike for our renderfarm.

Here's an uncomposited render:

And here's the fully composited image:

Other than that I've been working on a side project for my demo reel. I'm kind of trying to stick with a film noir theme. I found a bunch of images from a photo shoot for Vogue magazine and fell in love this image:

So I've been lighting with this image in mind. This project's on hold for now, seeing as I have a student short to work on...

I'm bad at blogging...

1:12 PM Posted by Rebecca Forth

Okay, so I haven't blogged since June, if this is not proof that I am a failure as a blogger, then I don't know what is... Anywho, I have been busy since I came back from Disney (which was one of the most amazing experiences I could have possibly have been given). I had to be in class as soon as I got back from California. I have my senior production class this year, where we are working on making our student short. We have all character modeling done, all character texturing finished, and a large percentage of environment texturing and modeling finished as well. We also have our animatic locked down, which is really helpful, it keeps us on track!! I can't really share a whole lot of what we're doing right now, as we're trying to keep production in house (like the big guys do) but I hope I can bring more to my blog site thing as soon as possible.

As for my demo reel, I haven't really had a vast amount of time to work on it. But, I do have some projects I am planning to put into the reel that will display where my lighting experience stands. I'll try and post more stuff later this week!!

Walt Disney Summer Internship: Days 1-3

8:47 PM Posted by Rebecca Forth

Here's a run down of the past three days, I can only tell you certain things because I am under a confidentiality contract with Disney. There are a lot of things I am not allowed to discuss with anyone outside the studios.

Anywho, Monday was my first day at the animation studios. We all got a full tour of the place (which took most of the day), had lunch, and got settled at our desks. I saw so much beautiful artwork and concepts up on the walls from their two future productions (which I can't name) and also from the Princess and the Frog. Later, another intern got a "special story assignment" to go and pick up a "special story object" from Anaheim (which is about 2 1/2 hours away with traffic) and I'm the only intern with a car, so I offered to take him, and of course 3 other people had to come to. The "object" turned out to be a big white banner all taped up, and when we got to the destination the person just gave it to us and made us leave. We had just sat in rush hour traffic for 2 hours and they just hand us the object and shoo us away!!! So we decided to get even by buying a heavy duty white shower curtain (which played a convincing white banner) and burn, shred, cut, run over, and dirty it up. When we handed it to the Story head yesterday he thought it was hilarious!! It was really funny.

Yesterday I met my mentor, who will be the person teaching me while I am here at Disney, she is a lighting artist who has worked on Bolt, and Meet the Robinsons. She's very nice, I get to meet up with her again on Friday to get an assignment!!!

Today was a bit less hectic. I met a Disney legend, Burny Mattinson, who has been the head of Story for The Rescuers, The Great Mouse Detective, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. It was amazing to listen to him talk!! I then attended a figure drawing class, which they offer every week. Lastly I went to have a tour of the Walt Disney Animation Research Library, which is where they keep every last bit of original artwork made by Walt Disney Animation. It was amazing to be able to look at the original storyboards for 101 Dalmations!!

Until I post again!!


Walt Disney Internship

4:17 PM Posted by Rebecca Forth

I haven't posted for a while now, so I figured it is time to do so. Big things are already happening this summer for me! First off, I got accepted into Walt Disney Animation Studio's Summer Internship Program!! I am a lighting intern, so that means I need to brush up on my stuff to get ready. The internship officially starts on June 12th (Orientation Day), I begin working in the studio on June 15th, and the internship ends on August 21st. I still can't believe I got it, it seems so surreal!! I will be going to Disney's studio in Burbank, CA and will be sharing an apartment with fellow interns. Here's what the studio looks like:

I am beyond excited for this!!

I also got the position of lab monitor at my school, in the DAC Labs. Now I get paid for living there!! Hahaha! Just kidding, I actually do work there.

I also finished my finals for the semester just last week. My first final was for Character Animation. I polished and added to my previous animation video "Weapon of Choice." Here is it is:

Weapon of Choice Character Animation Final from Rebecca Forth on Vimeo.

My other final was a Fluids Project, which...well...wasn't phenomenal. It was supposed to be a glass of water, with a fish in it being poured into a fish bowl. For some reason, the particles in Realflow did not really like my glass mesh and went straight through the mesh when the glass tipped over. I resized the glass and even remodeled in Maya before exporting it back out to Realflow. In the end I just went with what I had and tried to use caustics and ray-tracing to my advantage.

Rebecca Forth Fishbowl Fluids Final from Rebecca Forth on Vimeo.

Weapon of Choice Pre-Viz

1:24 PM Posted by Rebecca Forth

This is the video for my animation of the "Weapon of Choice" music video by Fat Boy Slim. I won't be animating the entire (4 1/2 minutes!) video, but just some bits and pieces. This video is the pre-visualization, Pose-to-Pose, rough animation. I am going through breakdowns and polishing right now.

Rebecca Forth Weapon of Choice Pre-Viz from Rebecca Forth on Vimeo.

The Second Draft of my Lighting/Texturing Internship Demo Reel

5:42 PM Posted by Rebecca Forth

Rebecca Forth's Lighting/Texturing Demo Reel 2009 from Rebecca Forth on Vimeo.

This is the second version of my demo reel that I submitted to Walt Disney Animation for their Summer 2009 internship. I only made a few tweaks, but I hope to have more pieces for my next version.

Senior Student Short 2010
The Penguin Meets Mary Poppins

I am currently working with my fellow classmates on our Senior Short. The short is titled The Penguin Meets Mary Poppins, and tells the tale of Mary and the Penguin meeting before they became a nanny and a villain. I am part of several elements of the pre-production process, including Character Design, Storyboarding, Editorial/Story, Animatic, and Key Frame Illustrations. We are currently wrapping up Storyboarding and are hoping to have our final 2D Animatic by this Friday. We hope to have final Character Packs by next week, as well as Key Frame Illustrations. The Environments Team is also wrapping up on final Environment Packs and Set Packs. We are also hoping to have a rough 3D layout of cameras before the end of May!

The First Draft of my Lighting/Texturing Demo Reel

6:21 PM Posted by Rebecca Forth

This is the demo reel that I sent in for the position of Lighting Intern at Pixar Studios in Emeryville, CA. I'm hoping I get it, but if I don't, it definitely won't be the end of the world.

My next deadline will be for Walt Disney Animation Studios, which is April 20th. I'm hoping to add more to this reel and polish it.

A Tale of Blogging, Classes, & Demo Reels

11:04 AM Posted by Rebecca Forth

Okay, I'm new to blogging and such so this may be downright horrible. But I figured that it would boost my networking options and such, so here it goes!

First off, my name is Rebecca Forth and I am currently a 3rd year student at the University of Colorado at Denver. I plan to graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis on Digital Animation. I am still learning animation techniques and fields, but have found that my strength seems to lie in Lighting and Texturing (which pretty much come hand in hand).

Currently I am attempting to get an internship for this summer at an animation studio. I'm applying to Pixar, Walt Disney, Blue Sky, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network! My first deadline, for Pixar is this Sunday and I am somewhat rushing to finish it up!

Here's some of the work I am submitting in my demo reel:

I made and rendered this image in Autodesk Maya 2008 using Mental Ray. As of right now I'm compositing in some render passes for a higher quality image.