Technical Art for Animation and VFX



The Mocaptionator’s Handbook V1.2

An article about building performances with motion capture.

LowcapMan (for MotionBuilder) [in production]

A free character based on the Lowman set-up; Equipped with the ‘complex’ version of the facial rig presented in Jason Osipa’s Stop Staring.

Scripting… isn’t that just for programming geeks?

There are lots of resources to give you a basic idea of how programing works. That’s easy to find. What isn’t always so easy is finding out exactly how scripting helps you – the artist. Here’s a short list of the benefits.



“Motion Capture Solver (Global Optimization) plugin for Autodesk Maya.” Lots of other useful tools on this page, especially Swapslash and Renamer.

UI Builder for MotionBuilder

“At the moment UIBuilder works with regions. Plug-in makes it possible to divide tool’s canvas into regions. It’s very easy to do it. The source code is the result of the work with UIBuilder, which you can put into your Open Reality or Python tool.”


XSI Character Rig by Christopher Crouzet.

Norman Rig

Norman is a Maya puppet built unofficially for the Academy of Art University Pixar classes. Since those classes disbanded, we decided he should finally be set loose. Anyone should feel free to use the rig for non-commercial purposes, to edit him and pass him along to your heart’s content.”

KP_PointCache for Maya; KP_PointCacheTools 2.5 for XSI

“The Point Caching Tools allow you to record complex object deformations to a cache file and reapply those deformations. You can even interchange these caches with XSI, 3ds Max, Maya, Houdini or Blender.”


Converts your text to be read upside down.


Plays back your text content at 300 WPM, one word at a time.

Graph Paper

Free online graph paper and grid paper PDFs. Downloadable and printable.


Tips on Software Versioning

Applicable to release of your scripts, rigs, and plugins.

The Project Triangle

“You are given the options of Fast, Good and Cheap, and told to pick any two. This triangle reflects the fact that the three properties of a project are interrelated, and it is not possible to optimize all three – one will always suffer.”

VNOG Blog: Ergonomics

Victor Navone talks about the importance of proper posture, alignment and work habits to help avoid RSI.

The Faces of “The Polar Express”

David Bennett, from Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc., “covers methods used by Imageworks artist and technologists on The Polar Express (“PEX”) for the entire facial pipeline. It includes a wide range of information from the shoot through to the final facial animation seen on the screen.”

Animation Notes from Ollie Johnston

“When I was an animator at the Disney Studios, I had a xeroxed list of simple notes from one of the great Disney animators, Ollie Johnston, pinned to my drawing table. The list was originally written down by another great Disney animator, Glen Keane, after working as Ollie’s assistant for a few years. These notes have been an inspiration to me for years. Even though they were meant for hand-drawn animation, I believe that they still apply to computer animation.” – John Lasseter, Pixar


Matt Logue – Road to Animation Supervisor

“We follow animator Matt Logue on his path to becoming an animation supervisor on
The Incredible Hulk.”

How Innovation Led HTC to the Dream

“John Wang, HTC chief marketing officer — AKA Chief Innovation Wizard — talks about how his company does its magic. Hint: fail cheaply, fail often and be humble.”