30 diciembre 2011

Scandinavian Muppet Art

In my last post I wrote about inking in Illustrator, I made an illustration for a blog called Scandinavian Muppet Art. In this blog you can see a lot of fantastic illustrations made by scandinavian artists and other people from other parts of the globe. Highly recommended !

08 diciembre 2011

Inking in Illustrator

Some days ago I discovered a fantastic blog called 'Cartoon Snap', made by Sherm Cohen, a storyboard artist an animation director. It's full of interesting and useful information such some tutorials like storyboarding, digital painting with ArtRage or Inking drawings in Illustrator.

I never inked in Illustrator, I tried for the first time while I was watching the videotutorial and... I liked it, I i need to continue improving the technique, but in general terms I'm glad with the obtained result.

 Original drawing
Starting inking in Illustrator

Inked drawing

Finished drawing. Coloured in Photoshop.

This drawing is a part of an illustration I made, I'm going to show you within the next days.

05 noviembre 2011

Alf Prøysens barnesanger

Alf Prøysens Barnesanger (Alf Prøysen children's songs) are a group of 9 animated shortfilms made by the norwegian company Sandnes Media. They started in 1999 with ' Bolla Pinnsvin' (Bolla the hedgehog), and now, 12 years later, they collected all the films for a DVD release, 'Musevisa og åtte andre Prøysenklassikere'. The release of this DVD is the 9th of November, and you can buy it here.

Alf Prøysen (23 July 1914 - 23 November 1970), was a writer and musician from Norway. Prøysen was one of the most important cultural personalities in the second half of the twentieth century, and he made significant contributions to literature, music, TV and radio.

I haven't seen all the films, only 5, but I can say that are high quality films, some years have passed since the last time I saw a good animated product. the backgrounds, animation, etc. ....  especially one film named 'Helene harefrøken'. For a moment I thought I was watching Disney animation, from the 'Nine old men' era.

Some backgrounds

The animation is ' digitally hand draw' they used TVPaint software. I add an extract about how they work. HERE you can read the complete article.

When I start out animating a scene, I start with some of my initial sketches. They're very rough, made with a thick brush in TVP. The background-artist has made some layout-ideas, maybe even sketched the whole thing in rough colours. So, the layout goes into TVP as a layer at the back. Then, all of the sketches are put on top of it, just to collect the ideas.

The blue pencil is my favourite sketch tool. I'll make it a bit bigger than just 2 px, and start roughing out my scene. The scene is then playable,- it's easy to play the blue sketches and get an idea. The little "flip" function works great,- you can flip the last drawings like you would with sheets of paper. The blue sketch can easily be removed later.

We're all drawing on Wacom Cintiqs. It's great to draw directly onto the screen. Also, the buttons at each side of the cintiq are incredibly valuable to the workflow. I have attached the most useful functions to the buttons: scroll, zoom, next instance, next frame, previous frames and instances and the "move" tool. That way, I never use the keyboard. I'm drawing with both hands on the table, like I would with my original drawing desk.

Some videos

Background art by Ingebjørg Faugstad Mæland

All images and videos are © Sandnes Media as

19 octubre 2011

Background design

Today I made my first decent background with Illustrator. Since today I only used this program to vectorize scanned drawings. I used bezier curves and a pair of brushes to make the basic shapes and then i exported to Photoshop to add some details.



Finished background

Then I exported to Toon Boom to try the Multiplane Camera. A bit difficult to see, too subtle.

16 octubre 2011

Work in progress

My first attempt to animate with Toon Boom Animate. I feel comfortable with it, better drawing tools than Flash.

This rough animation is from my new short film, 'the life of Eugene Breadface'.

Animation exercise

A fast animation that I made last month. Around 30 minutes of work. Made with Wacom and Flash.

07 septiembre 2011

Elleville Elfrid - Sunshine Katty

Last month was the World Premiere of Elleville Elfrid (Sunshine Katty) in the norwegian channel NRK Super, in the section Barne TV. As I wrote in this post, I'm currently working as a Flash animator in this production.

Here is the intro

You can meet some characters:



Fru Berg

20 agosto 2011

Angora Napkin

Halloween is upon us. It is on this fateful night that we find Beatrice, Molly and Mallory, the pop music group known as Angora Napkin, running behind schedule for their performance at the big Halloween bash.

Taking a short-cut on a dark, twisted mountain road, the girls cross paths with one of the wandering dead and offer him a lift to a secret underground party. It is there that they are introduced to a lonely, misunderstood zombie boy named Dennis who they unwittingly convince to eradicate life on Earth in order to keep the party of the undead going for all eternity!

Will Angora Napkin be able to right the horror they’ve unleashed upon humanity and still make the show on time, or will we all become worm food in the wake of the zombie apocalypse?

Angora Napkin is a project created by Nick Cross and Troy Little. The idea began in the late 90's but it didn't came to life until 2005, when Troy began to draw the first graphic novel. One year later, when Troy was in the middle of the production and managing his cartoonist life with his real life (he has wife and two daughters) Canada's network Teletoon said yes for an Angora Napkin pilot. He called Nick and they started to prepare the first pilot episode.

In 2010 Angora Napkin was nominated for an Eisner Award.

And now, in 2011, Troy is going to make the second AN graphic novel, in full colour, called ' Harvest of Revenge' . If you would like to help Troy in this adventure you can contribute with some bucks, or , maybe, you prefer to buy it. The novel has 152 pages and hard cover and only cost... 19,99 $ . A ridiculous price for a fantastic artwork.

This is the first AN pilot episode. 23 minutes of entertainment.

The second AN pilot episode

01 julio 2011

2 very interesting blogs

This week I discovered two fantastic animation blogs.


A huge collection of animated lines such as: Concept art, storyboards, backgrounds, linetests, etc...... of well-know animated films. A must see !!

Ratigan, Disney's The Great Mouse Detective. By Glen Keane

Early designs from 'How to train your dragon'.

Key drawing of Stromboli, animated by Bill Tytla. Disney's animated film 'Pinnochio'

Deleted scene from Lilo & Stitch. Animated by Andreas Deja, Alex Kupershmidt and others.

Bill Tytla - Stromboli Pencil Test from David Nethery on Vimeo.
Stromboli, animated by Bill Tytla

The other blog is...


about animated Special Effects: explosions, drops, water, smoke...... includes real footage and some tutorials

Jason Keyser's EFX Animation Reel from Jason Keyser on Vimeo.

Jason Keyser's Demoreel

Before the computer era, all was made by hand.... Akira !!

01 mayo 2011

Mi primer trabajo en animación - Studio Cámara

Era el año 1999, por ese entonces yo tenia 21 años recién cumplidos. Durante esa época iba a una academia de dibujo, pero reconozco que perdía más el tiempo que otra cosa. Tenia un compañero que hacia unos meses que había entrado a trabajar en un estudio de animación de Barcelona, llamado Studio Cámara. A principios de verano otros dos compañeros y yo fuimos a probar suerte, no es que supiésemos animar ni nada, era solamente la ilusión de trabajar.

Recuerdo perfectamente como fue, me hicieron entrar en un despacho y hablé con Carles Prenafeta, le mostré unas pequeñas animaciones que había hecho y el, al ver que para animar un parpadeo había invertido 18 dibujos, salió corriendo y llamó a Sergi ( el Big Boss ). Volvieron a mirar mis dibujos y me preguntaron:

- ¿ De donde vienes ?
- Del Mascaró....
- Vale ! nohacefaltadecirnadamás !! ..... supongo que no sabes que es un squash & stretch, no?
- ehhh...no !
-....... mmmmm.....ven mañana por la mañana !!

Supongo que les dí un poco de pena, pero como vieron un brillo de ilusión en mis ojos y no les pregunté acerca de cuanto cobraría al mes ni por vacaciones, debieron ver algún tipo de potencial oculto...

Así pues, el dia siguiente fui para allá., y conocí a los demás integrantes del estudio, Sergi, Lluissa, Carles, Florenci y Meritxell, J.A. Noé, Bego ( superheroína de España ), Claudi, Ivan y Meri.

En esos meses estaban en plena producción de un episodio piloto de 'The artoons'. Se me acercó Carles con unas hojas con algo muuuuy bocetado y me dijo: Esto tiene de ser un coche, y esto un camión. toma ! y me da un álbum de fotos con coches de New York. Ese fue mí primer trabajo en un estudio de animación, dibujar coches. Días más tarde ya me enseñaron a intercalar y todo lo demás.

The Artoons

Trabajé en Studio Cámara durante un año, del verano de 1999 al verano del 2000. Trabajé como intercalador para bastantes series, de las que recuerdo: Captain Pugwash, Little grey rabbit y alguna otra más que no recuerdo, también realizamos los Lay-outs para la serie italiana Zepi y Zinia.

Mención especial merece la serie ' Jack et Marcel' aparte de ser divertida trabajar en ella, pude hacer mis pinitos animando algo. En concreto animé un par de moscas y un 'take' en primer plano.

Guardo grandes recuerdos de esa época, y todavía conservo amistades, en concreto de Florenci y Sergi con quien tuve el placer de volver a trabajar 8 años más tarde, ya fuera del mundo de la animación. Los demás se los llevó el viento y nunca más supe de ellos.

¿Como seria la vida sin internet? buscas y encuentras, en concreto el episodio de Jack & Marcel que he comentado. Moscas en el segundo 0:10 y 'take' en el 0:30. :)

30 abril 2011

Elleville Elfrid - Sunshine Katty

I'm currently working as a Flash animator in the production of Elleville Elfrid ( Sushine Katty for the rest of the world ), an animated tv serie for NRK, the norwegian national TV. Each episode is 7 minutes long and for children between 5 and 8 years.

The premiere of the first four episodes is the next week, during the Kristiansand Intertional Children's Film Festival, 3 - 7 May 2011.

Elfrid has a Facebook profile, if you visit you can see the promo.

Click the image to see the animated promo.

24 abril 2011

How cartoons were made ( in the 20th century )

How Walt Disney Studios made Snow White and the seven dwarfs.

Walter Lantz teaching animation.

I remember when I was little, I saw the Woody Woodpecker show on TV, between the cartoons appeared Walter Lantz showing how cartoons were made. I think that these videos awakened the artistic vein in me.

17 abril 2011

First steps with Toon Boom 02 : Creating a background and a multiplane camera

I painted an easy background in Toon Boom, just to try the multiplane camera.

Experimenting the multiplane camera.

I really like it. I made an improvised movement with and improvised background. But if you have a nice Bg and make a good camera planning... with the addition of a real 3D environment, you can make some fantastic scenes.

Here's one example.

05 abril 2011

Firsts steps with Toon Boom

Today I made my first step with Toon Boom Animate. I like it, it's much better than Flash, better brush options, includes an X-Sheet, 3D camera, import directly from scanner, and more..... After 7 years with Flash it's time to try something new.

Flash animation

Some animated scenes that I made two years ago. Poppets Town.

01 abril 2011

Work in progress

Sketch and some storyboard random panels of a current project.

25 marzo 2011

Sex og SingelSiv

Today is the premiere of  the first episode of  'Sex og SingelSiv', a new animated series produced by Qvisten Animation, an animation studio in Oslo, who also produced, a couple of years ago, the series Fanthomas. 

Every Friday we can see a new episode in the website of  norwegian newspaper VG , particularly in its section VGTV. Even if you pay a small amount can see the following episodes before the rest of mortals. 

The series is a parody of  'Sex and the City' and the Norwegian politician Siv Jensen, leader of the Norwegian Conservative Party, the Fremskrittspartiet.

The first episode is pretty good and i like the designs and animation. The distribution is only through the internet, only in the first eight hours the episode was viewed by 56,515 people, plus if you include the Facebook fanpage, the videos that anonymous people will  upload to Youtube, etc ... will become a success, as Fanthomas in his day. And sooner or later the DVD.

Click to see the episode

10 marzo 2011

Kaboing TV is here !!!

Tomorrow, March 11th, is the Premiere of Joe Murray's Kaboing TV. An online platform  for animated entertainment and animators !!

Joe's words

We will premiere a new episode of “ Frog In A Suit” each Friday from March 11 to March 25 and then see where it goes from there. It will be a work in progress,, sort of like when Disneyland first opened and there were things breaking down and high heels getting stuck in newly laid asphalt,, but oh well.
I’m hoping that KaboingTV creates a platform for cartoon creators to take their cartoons directly to the people. It will take a lot of work, and additional funding from viewers. We will not be starting out with any funding from the outside, or from advertising or subscriptions. Since these cartoons were produced with the funding from “the people” ( Kickstarter backers) I feel it should be “out there ” for the people. But to make further episodes, I need a viewer to step up and drop some money in the hat. Take a moment and pledge for new cartoons, or to keep the site going. Tell your friends about it,, put links on your facebook page,.
It will up to us to make this happen.

Here's the first webisode

You haven't got any excuse to not visit Kaboing TV, quality animation for free ! :) Visit, send to your friends, expand the animated plague !

This is the beginning of a loooong way.... good luck Joe !


Kaboing TV.

KaboingTV' Facebook's page

Frog in a Suit Facebook's page

Joe Murray Studio

Joe Murray's blog

04 marzo 2011

Work in progress

Currently my day to day is divided into two parts:

1 - Looking for a job, send cv's ....
2 - Working on my projects

The major part of the day in front of the computer.

These days i'm working on a storyboard. It's the final work of the 1st Joe Murray's Masterclass, (Crafting a cartoon). I need to finish and send it the next week, before the second and last masterclass begins (Creating and Pitching an Animated Series!).

Ohh ! I didn't see before. This is the post number 100, and this month is the fifth anniversary of the blog !

Hurra for meg !!

28 febrero 2011

Creativity in schools

In the last post I talk about Animasjon i skolen, a blog  about teaching animation in schools.

About this subject, develope and enhance creativity in children, there is a very interesting video of Sir Ken Robinson, "schools kill creativity?". I think it is an essential video

And two more videos of Sir Ken Robinson

Bring on the learning revolution !

Changing education paradigms

Animation in schools

I recently discovered a very interesting blog, it's called: Animasjon i skolen ( animation in schools ), it's in norwegian, but you can translate with Google translator.

The blog is written by Bente Assheim, a teacher with experience in animation. For over 10 years she's using animation as a teaching method for children, and makes courses for other teachers to do the same. She had also written books on how to educate children with animation, among others. She offers a variety of courses and seminars, for children and teachers, and customizes the courses depending the needs.

If you enter to her blog you can see a lot of animations made by her little students. She teach stop-motion animation: cut-out and plasticine.

 Maybe some of these children have a great future in the animation world.

Future storyboard artist?

Sincerely, I find very interesting to motivate and enhance children's creativity in this way. Actually schools are indoctrination centers, where children are forced to memorize numerous data (mostly useless) and where creativity is despised and suppressed.

Photos and  video taken from Bente's blog.

20 febrero 2011

15 febrero 2011


This week I'm finishing my first Joe Murray's online masterclass, it's called ' Crafting a cartoon'. It's not about how to animate characters and things, it's about how to develope and produce a project for Tv, web and shortfilm.

It has been a fantastic experience. I learned how to develope characters ( character hooks, protagonists-antagonists, chemistry, etc...), develope and planning locations, how to make a consistent scripts, gags.... Now, I need to make my final 'exam': I took one of the premises that I wrote and thumbnailed and make a final storyboard or animatic.

It was nice to meet Joe, a great professional. We exchanged points of view about scripts, characters, the animation world, the difference between american an european humor... I have a good impresion, although I knew, a cartoonist/animator never is a boring and a serious person. :)

These days i'm searching information and art to inspire me, I'm going to design the backgrounds and some stuff. I'm thinking to animate with Toon Boom Animate, I found some nice blogs with video-tutorials and information, and it can be nice to learn a new program. I downloaded a trial version of the program, but at this moment i'm not 100% sure.

Some inspiration examples. :D

Hanna-Barbera backgrounds

Mary Blair paintings

Adam Phillips, shows how he draw a background in TBA

Stay tuned ! :D

10 febrero 2011

Dream Worlds , Production design for animation - Hans Bacher

Dream Worlds is a fantastic book, it's about production design for animation ( series and features ) , the author is Hans Bacher who worked nearly 20 years in Disney. It's published by Focal Press.

Dream Worlds es un libro fantástico, acerca el diseño de producción en animación ( películas y series ), el autor es Hans Bacher, trabajó cerce de 20 años en los estudios Disney. Ha sido publicado por Focal Press.

In this book you can enjoy a lot of pre-designs, concept art, visual development.... from the last Disney films and you can learn about camera rules, composition of a scene, value and color and more. It's really inspiring !! The book is full color and brilliant and satin paper.

En este libro podrás ver: arte conceptual, pre-diseños, desenvolupamiento visual...de los últimos films de Disney y podrás aprender sobre enfoques de camara, composición de escenas, color, y más. ES realmente inspirador ! Es libro es a todo color y con papel brillante y satinado.

It's edited by Focal Press, I really like this publisher, they have a lot of good animation books and many others. At this moment I have 6 Focal books:

Está editado por Focal Press, me encanta esta editorial, tienen bastantes buenos libros sobre animación. Actualmente tengo 6 libros de esta editorial.

- Dream Worlds, production design for animation
- Layout and Composition for Animation
- Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes ( 1 & 2),
- Elemental Magic ( Special Effects animation ) Highly recommended !!
- Directing the story. ( Storytelling and storyboarding  )  Highly recommended !!

This is one of the books that came with me to Norway. I haven't got many space in my room and I couldn't come with all my collection of animation books. :)... but in few months i'm going to have all my collection again, I hope !

Este es uno de los libros que vino conmigo a Noruega. No tengo mucho espacio en mí habitación, no he podido venir con toda mí colección de libros de animación...pero, espero, que en los proximos meses pueda volverlos a tener todos juntos.

Why I choose this book and not another ? I'm going to explain in another post. :)

¿Porqué escogí este libro y no otro? Lo explicaré en otro post. :)

Some page exemples from Dream Worlds.

 Dialogue set up

 Mulan concept art

 Brother Bear concept art

Various designs

Illustrations and designs are Copyright © Disney Enterprises, Inc & Hans Bacher.

07 febrero 2011

Two links for independents

Here are two articles about alternatives to the accepted ways of doing business.

This story from Fast Company is interesting because it explains how the people running YouTube see their business. It also goes into detail about how advertising revenue is being generated and split with content producers.

This story about Brooklyn animator Mark Stansberry tells how he's marketing his character and cartoons on the N.Y. subway system.

Original article:  Mayerson on Animation

24 enero 2011

The Pig Farmer - Nick Cross

Finally, after 10 months of production, Nick Cross released his latest film, The Pig Farmer.

What can I say ? nothing bad.... it's a fantastic film ! Elaborated and colourful backgrounds, good animation and some nice camera effects.

I started to know about Nick Cross some years ago.... Always I like John Kricfalusi's cartoons, one day I discovered his blog and thanks to this I started to know some people that worked or developed their careers thanks to John K. Like Katie Rice, Kali Fontecchio, Marlo Meekins, Nick Cross...and others.

Two years ago I bought Nick's first film ( I think it's the first ), 'The Waif of Persephone'.  I liked it ! The last year, he released another short, 'Yellow Cake'. It's nice, has a better production, and you can see the artistic evolution of Nick. And finally ' The Pig Farmer'. If you don't know who is Nick and never have seen one of his short, now you have a good excuse.

The difference between The Pig Farmer and the others is that for the first time he used a funding platform. The web is IndieGoGo. I wrote about this type of platforms here, and I say the same: I like this kind of platforms, people who supports the projects are really interested or believe in the person behind. 

Well, that's all ! you can see now the three short: The waif of Persephone, Yellow Cake and The Pig Farmer, and, if you prefer you can visit Nick's profile in Vimeo with more videos.

The Waif of Persephone

Yellow Cake

The Pig Farmer

17 enero 2011

Work in progress

Another scene of my project. As the others, hand draw animation made with digital tablet and using Flash.

© kenneth figuerola 2011

05 enero 2011

Work in progress - 3D

Bueno, al fín me he puesto con el 3D, desde que acabé el curso intensivo el pasado Julio no me habia puesto de nuevo. Más o menos el fondo será así, quedan por hacer retoques pero bueno... poc a poc.

Finally, I started with the 3D production, since i finished the course, last summer, i didn't work again with the program. This is the general background, I need to make some little things and change some presets.... patience.