Tag Archives: work

Fresno Bee covers Making of a Law

Hey the Fresno Bee wrote a story about our Making of a Law film! They even mentioned my poor little bill character! (No relation to Bill of “I’m Just a Bill” fame — but I have to admit, it’s amazingly hard to talk about the legislative process without personifying the bill somehow.)

The film is part of what’s called The Constitution Project, funded by the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands. The nonprofit group says it wants to improve civics education and public understanding of democratic institutions. In a related film, for instance, Imbriano examines a crucial Supreme Court case from the 1960s.

The films target a high school audience, or younger. A cartoon embodiment of the Wawona school bill walks through Capitol Hill corridors, slumping in despair when doors shut in its face. A scene from a cheesy old horror movie illustrates the dire fate of most of the 9,000-plus bills introduced in Congress each year: Most die.

“The documentary really shows how hard the process is,” Stauffer said.

You can read the rest here:


Jurors: Set 3

Bite-Size Jurors

I’m working on a series of films about juries at the moment. They should be pretty fun to do (I get to animate trial by ordeal, for one), but there’s a lot of character work and not a lot of time. Thus, digital puppetry.

I was hoping to work with After Effects’ extremely fun Puppet Tool, but the results I got while experimenting were just a little too squishy for this project. (Anyone know some tricks for getting convincing, not-too-exaggerated motion out of it? Even liberal use of the starch tool seemed unhelpful, and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out a way to make elbows and knees bend properly.) So for the moment it’s back to IK rigging — and a lot of carefully placed anchor points.

I’m much more satisfied with the results, particularly now that I have a keyframable checkbox parameter that switches the bend direction of the joints. In plain English, I can make someone’s elbows bend both ways — e.g. a character can go from having their hands on their hips to picking something up off the table next to them with very little trouble.

Creating the jurors themselves was a lot of fun — the characters need to function more as archetypes than individuals. The result: a wide range of ages and races and a complete lack of faces.

I now present… my little jury guys (and girls!):

Warning: Do Not Eat.