JiJ : Two Buckets “gun play”

This is a couple of strung-together cuts from the second act of the new short. Definitely up a notch from the last two, but now I’m disgusted by my complete lack of dynamic angles. So flat!!

THIS IS NOT JOE. Joe himself is not in this clip. These are, instead, Very Bad Men That Joe Has Known. There’s a lot of those, it seems.

It is, as far as I can tell, physically impossible to twirl a pistol like that. I know, I tried, I dropped a model Sig several times, I bruised my toes in the great pursuit of Art. But that’s the magic of animation for you… animation is all about the things that can’t be done, being done.

There’s two examples of staggered timing here (“staggering” is when you set the timing so that it goes 2 forward, 1 back). For instance the clutching hand in the third cut is seven frames that ease in and out of a closing motion, but by setting the timing as 1-2-3-2-3-4-3-4-5-4-5-6-7-6-7, you extend the timing from 7 to 15 frames without additional drawings, and create that clutching motion. The laugh cycles at the beginning are also staggered, but not so evenly (more like 1-3-2-1-2-4-5-4-3-2-5-4-3-6-5-6-7, or something like that, I don’t know). It’s not as good-looking as straightforward, properly animated action, but then again it’s a cheat.
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JiJ : Racing Crew

A series of racing-themed images for Joe is Japanese. This depicts pretty much everyone in the main storyline cast, something I haven’t gone into much up to now. The characters are (from upper left to lower right) our titular hero Joe and his femme fatale Miyuki, Mister Mountain and Koga, Victor and BJ, Island Masta and the nefarious Kawakami.

JiJ : Opening Animation “gung-fu”

This one is a bit unusual, in that it’s not a sequence from the narrative. This is, instead, a small piece of animation that appears in the opening sequence. It will likely be used as a masking element, though in what capacity I’m not sure… I just draws ’em, I don’t makes ’em up (sometimes).

I enjoy animating silhouettes ’cause they’re a lot easier than full character work… you can hide murder in that negative space. Ultimately it becomes a matter of just following the lines, but in fact the initial rough animation for this contained a full (if incredibly scribbly) character. It wasn’t until the cleanup phase that it became a complete silhouette.

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JiJ : Two Buckets “turntablin'”

This is an interesting piece, because it’s really not set up for a specific animation routine… instead, it’s built as a series of layered actions so that the compositor can set it to the music. So there’s sets of actions; drag, release, center switch, just the basics… but set to the music, it looks pretty sweet. This particular sequence is really just a line test… it’s not set to anything in particular, but it shows how the moves work.

In theory, we could probably make an interesting little Flash game out of it all, too… the elements are there, anyway.

There’s a couple elements that aren’t included here… there’s sway in the bar, for instance, and a flicker to the record reflection so that it’s not so static. But I gotta leave something for you guys to check out in the final.


Layered line test, completely drawn in-system using a WACOM Cintiq and some custom HTF techniques. No trees were harmed in the making of this production. Took a couple days to put it all together.

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Ye ole 2007(ish) reel

This is the older Humouring the Fates demo reel from 2006 era. We think it was released in Jan 2007. We’d like to thank all the animators who helped make the work found in this collection. We’d also like to extend a warm “thank you” to all the clients who paid their bills. Hopefully we’ll be able to release the 2008 reel sometime before 2013…

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JiJ : Kenji Saga “legbreaker”

Line animation for the upcoming HTF project Joe is Japanese… one of many, many cuts, this one involves a story Joe tells his friend Koga in a bar about how his buddy Kenji maimed a guy in a fight once.

Needless to say, this scene won’t be truly complete without sound. MMMmmmmm… crunchy. :D

Koga at MySpace


racer-oates.jpgThe very first post.

My honors.

This is our new endeavor to try and reach out to that outside world a little more and interact with our art as we make it. Which just boils down to: we’ll have to talk about our work more… show updates of things as they happen. That kinda crap. So here is the place where we share the riotous joy that is making cartoons. Our plan is to show you some of the insider making-of art, stories, gripes, and a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to make animation. One frame at a time…

Maintain Composure : Pencil Test Edit

An early, early pencil test stage edit for a project about two rival composers in a strange universe where the only form of artistic expression is musical.  It does have some damn good lip sync animation in it if we can say so ourselves…