The Internet age is a wonderful time to be an animation fan. All manner of behind the scenes material, industry insider news, and the personal musings of some of the greatest artists working in the medium are available to anyone who cares to see it. As it does with almost any subject, the Internet has a lot to see for the animation enthusiast, which can make finding a good place to get started tough. These are three of my favorite animation blogs that offer just a taste of what’s out there.
Andreas Deja is one of those aforementioned greatest artists working in the medium. A former Disney animator who helped give life to characters ranging from King Triton to Scar to Hercules to Lilo, Deja is currently working on an independent animated film. His blog offers a few glimpses of that and some insights into his own time and work at Disney. But the majority of the posts are appreciations of the work of other artists – past animation masters or great illustrators whose work has inspired Deja. Just seeing some of this artwork is amazing and getting to read thoughts from one of the top modern animators about what makes them so special is a true treat.
A pencil test is a stage in hand-drawn animation where the animator’s rough drawings are filmed in sequence to make sure the animation is working before the drawings are cleaned up. I’ve always loved the feel of these looser drawings with their strong sense of the artist’s hand. Pencil Test Depot collects these early stage of animation from a wide variety of sources – well known features to more obscure gems and demo reels. Unfortunately, the site is no longer being updated and some of the videos have since vanished from YouTube. But it’s still a great way to enjoy tons of beautiful pencil tests.
Story artist Mark Kennedy’s blog is chiefly about storyboarding for animation. It’s also an absolute must-read for anyone with even the slightest interest in narrative in film. While some posts are focused on the specifics of animation, many can be applied to live-action or any kind of visual storytelling and cite examples from all different kinds of media. The most current post as of now is about a scene from The Big Lebowski. This isn’t a blog I visit often, only because I can easily lose hours learning about more and more nuances of how to tell a story with moving images. Like so many sites devoted to the craft of animation and filmmaking, it helps you to gain a new appreciation for elements of movies you love.
Share your own favorite blogs about animation or any of your passions in the comments.