Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"Home" sneak peak with The President, Steve Martin, and Jim Parsons

A fun clip surfaced of the President getting a little behind the scenes look at the movie I'm working on.  Also fun to see Steve Martin and Jim Parsons do their thing!  It's impossible to imagine the movie without them.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

President Obama Visits DreamWorks!

Well, this was a special day here at DreamWorks.  President Obama came to give remarks (not a speech, apparently these are two different things).  Apparently this is the first time a sitting President has visited a film studio in 40 years.   So it was crazy all week leading up to main event.  Tons of security - we had to park over at the LA Zoo and get bused into work, go through round one of security to get inside the campus, and then a second round of security to get into the speaking area!

Very cool experience.  The President as always was well spoken and looked like he was having fun.  It's been great hearing stories getting traded around all day between employees.  Some of the MoCap guys got some extended time showing him a demo...and rumor is he even got to see our Hidden Room (the impressive bar CFX built hidden behind a wall)

No President yet, but I got pretty close to the podium!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

New Additions to Blog

Head's up!  Up and over a few tabs you'll see a some new sections on my blog site.  I added a whole bunch of animations from over the years into the Animation Gallery, some figure drawing, and a biography.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

TD Ameritrade Ad for Outpost12

Excited to share this fun project that my wife, Heather Abels, and I did for Outpost12 Studios in Lincoln, NE.  It's a website takeover video for the launch of a new TD Ameritrade Exchange site.

I did all the animation and rigging of this little guy, along with a previs animatic to get a buy off from the client on all the different beats of the ad.  Heather handled all the models, texturing, and 2d graphics animation.  Sound was added by Outpost12.

We're really proud of this video.  It was our first collaboration since our graduate thesis project...and this one we managed to complete after work hours while taking care of a 8 month old!

Here's a link to the project page on Outpost's site:

Monday, November 4, 2013

University of Nebraska Featured Alumni

My undergraduate school, the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, just launched a new website.  I'm one of a handful of alumni to be featured on the site.  It's an honor to be up there along with some of my old classmates like Tim Croshaw and Abby Miller.  Good company to be in.

You can check out the page here:

Friday, October 25, 2013

Peabody Trailer & Stills

The first trailer is finally out!  Can't wait to see what people think of it...I personally think it's unlike any DreamWorks movie we've done - in a good way!

Also, in an article in USA Today, a bunch of stills from "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" were released.  I love the character designs on these guys - and they look amazing animated.  Hopefully a trailer will show up soon

Monday, October 7, 2013

"Home" (previous known as Smekday)

A few images of Home (which had been called "Happy Smekday!") came out today from a press screening DreamWorks was hosting.  It's been a real fun show to animate on - especially with these little aliens (the Boov).  You can get the sense of humor of the film from their press release about cast updates:

Subject: Steve Martin and Jennifer Lopez
DreamWorks Animation
Somewhere in the Universe -- Attention Earthlings: Your friendly alien invaders The Boov would like to inform you that legendary comedian Steve Martin and singer/actress/pop-culture icon Jennifer Lopez will be taking their rightful place among three-time Emmy Award winning actor Jim Parsons and international superstar Rihanna in our upcoming film from DreamWorks Animation. Since humans are largely a primitive and uninformed race, we will also remind you that our film, Home, is based on the critically acclaimed book “The True Meaning of Smekday” by Adam Rex and will be released in theaters in November 2014.

Steve Martin will be honored with playing the role of our very brave and never-wrong leader Captain Smek, while Jennifer Lopez will play one of the very important humanspersons you call a “mother.”

Our research on your race leads us to believe you will also find the following information helpful:
DreamWorks Animation’s Home is not your standard post-apocalyptic-alien-invasion-buddy-comedy. When Earth is taken over by the overly-confident Boov, an alien race in search of a new place to call home, all humans are promptly relocated (Captain Smek optimistically declares “Relocation is fun and mandatory!”), while all Boov get busy efficiently reorganizing the planet (“You’re welcome”). But when one resourceful girl, Tip, (Rihanna) manages to avoid capture, she finds herself the accidental accomplice of a banished Boov by the name of Oh (Jim Parsons). Equally stubborn and set in their ways, these two fugitives realize there’s a lot more at stake than intergalactic relations as they embark on the road trip of a lifetime. Good thing they have a flying car.

Tim Johnson (Over the Hedge, Antz) will serve as the film’s director. Chris Jenkins (Rio, Surf’s Up) and Suzanne Buirgy (Kung Fu Panda 2) are serving as producers and DreamWorks Animation’s Head of Development Gregg Taylor is overseeing the project. Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember (Get Smart) are currently writing the screenplay.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Peabody Website Up

The website for Mr. Peabody & Sherman is up.  Finally starting to get some good views of the look of this picture.  I crashed a cross-site dailies last week and got to see some of the new ideas for the finale (it's changed a lot since I moved off the show at the end of last year).  I LOVE the animation on this show - can't wait to see on the big screen.

Also appearing on the web are a few shots of Ty Burrel and Stephen Colbert recording dialog for the film.  They both do a great job - and Ty is just a standout at playing Peabody.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

FLASHBACK: DreamWorks Company Photo

Well, this picture is from quite a few months back, but I just ran across it on the DreamWorks tumblr blog.  Its actually a pretty interesting blog - lots of great concept art and designs get posted up on it.

This picture is the entire company getting together up at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal Studios last October.  It was the first time both Redwood City and Glendale campuses got together in one place at one time. This was way back before all the layoffs - so this is probably the largest picture of DreamWorkers that there'll ever be. 

Friday, August 23, 2013


We're moving to new desks this week.  Not that moving desks is at all a news-worthy item.  It's just an excuse to post this picture I love of my desk.  Spencer snapped it the other week during the portrait photo shoot.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mr. Peabody & Sherman Posters

Here's a teaser poster for the new incarnation of Peabody and Sherman.  My biggest animation shot to date was for this movie.  It has the same animation team behind it that did Megamind - which I love the animation on.  I think the whole film is looking amazing - just sad that I have to wait till 2014 to see the final version!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Work Portrait

Needing a current work photo of me, today I had my good friend Spencer take some portrait style photos.  I always love Spencer's photos, and he's had several photo art exhibitions here at work.  Check out his blog for his photo-a-day series!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Turbo Release & Crew Party

It's a big day of Turbo celebrating at DreamWorks today.  Lots themed-out lunchtime fun.  We also had a great crew screening and wrap party a few weeks ago at the Petersen Auto Museum.  It's been over a year and a half since I saw a version, so it's really great seeing the finished film with all the final details in place.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Happy Smekday!

Moving on to yet another show here.  I'm joining up with Happy Smekday! and it looks like it's going to be a blast.  I'm getting to use the fancy new next generation animation software DreamWorks has been building.  You know it's going to be a great show when the director, Tim Johnson, swings by your desk to introduce himself on the first day :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Turbo Final Trailers

Time for a rundown of some new Turbo trailers out there!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Turbo Time Once More

Well, rolling off of "Peabody" has me now going back to "Turbo" for a month or so doing one-off hero work for crowds.  Lots of fun to be back with the ol' crew again - and fascinating to see how the movie is shaping up after a year away.

Today they also released this new poster.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Wife & Oscar

Insanely proud of my wife!  She stopped by work (she's still on maternity leave) to have her picture taken with a couple of guys named Oscar.  She was the Lead Matte Painter on "Life of Pi" and I'm insanely impressed by all she has accomplished.  Way to go honey!

You can see some of her work on the film here

Thursday, February 28, 2013

VFX, Layoffs, Oscars, & Uncertainty

Lots of developments this month.  DreamWorks is laying off up to 350 people, Rhythm & Hues is laying off most the company and going bankrupt, there was a vfx protest at the Oscars - oh, the Oscars, where the vfx supervisor on Life of Pi was cut off mid-speech while trying to mention the stress and turmoil currently in the industry.  We'll see where this goes - but it's been quite the ride for the last 4 weeks....

Oh, and everyone on social media is changing their profiles to green squares (as in "without visual effects your movie would look like this"). 

Thursday, January 31, 2013


So, I keep this blog pretty much just on work-related topics...but gotta post a picture of this little guy!  This is him out for a walk with his mom in the afternoon.  He's just about always this happy.  Having a little one at home definitely changes your perspective on things...can't wait to see what the next months bring!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Suit Up!

Got to suit up in the mocap stage for the first time today.  We needed some quick visual reference for waltzing - so Jack Geckler from our department and I got the job.  We learned from youtube how to waltz in about 5 mins and spent 15 mins capturing the dance.  He led. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year, New Baby, Same Show

Well, I'm back from paternity leave and found out that I'm staying on "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" a little bit longer.  Appropriate to work on a film about a father and son!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hello Wesley!

Little Wesley joined us on Dec 7th!