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malcolm in the middle. good show! i sometimes had to take a break from Breaking Bad by watching malcolm in the middle episode - its just so weird seeing Hal again in such a gritty role.

September 28 is sun jae’s birthday, a friend of mine.We joked that he would one day start a glow in a dark dildo business. I animated him in a night club with glow in the dark dildos. We share the same birthday!check out his work:

September 28 is sun jae’s birthday, a friend of mine.We joked that he would one day start a glow in a dark dildo business. I animated him in a night club with glow in the dark dildos. We share the same birthday!

check out his work:

Sep 9
break time doodle

break time doodle

Sep 9

early rough passes for WAND’S WANDER. trying to understand the design style and animation style!

Sep 8


My graduation film from Gobelins and CalArts!! Hope you’ll like it!

Here’s another film I was involved in too. I did some CG animation!

Pedro Vergani is an amazing painter, and a brilliant technician when it came with using Maya as his main program for animation. A bunch of the camera set up and movement was hooked up to the movement of his IPad, so it was kind of like he was working with a virtual camera. He was in my film workshop class, and he always blew us away with the tests he came with, and some of the vis dev he developed for his film. Another great friend, very nice guy, and another In& Out burger buddy. I hope both Nadya and Pedro come back soon. Check out 8.9, a cg film that deals with two characters stuck under debris during an earth quake! My cg skills are not strong at all, but I’m happy that Pedro gave me a chance to try out some of his rigs!

Sep 8


Gobelins/Calarts 2014. Nadya Mira. 

And all the GREAT people who were helping me

BG painting: Vasiliy Zorin Alexandre Deboine Sergey Kritskiy

Animation: Elena Volk, Pavel Andryuschenko, Tony Unser, Denis Borisovich, Toniko Pantoja,  Nata Metlukh  Eve Guastella Thidaud Gayral  Ilya Shekiladze, 

and many thanks to Fran Krause who was my film workshop teacher at Calarts

My friend Nadya Mira’s gobelins student film! Nadya is awesome, she’s a great friend to talk to, and a great artist to bounce back and forth too. Sometimes we’d go get In & Out burgers during crunch time when we were still awake, and just chill out with a few meals. We could really bounce ideas at each other, while at the same time show ways to fix each other’s work. My film had a story crisis, and she was helpful enough to give me some pointers to clarify it up a bit more…. Check out her stylistically beautiful film she made during her time at cal arts! Those shots… Wow. Great character designs! It was such an honor to be a part of it! I helped out on some 2D animation!

Sep 8

Hey toniko, just saw that you worked on this short WAND'S WANDER on gobelins youtube. Was that film like a collaboration between Gobelins and Calarts?



Nadya Mira is a good friend of mine, and she was an exchange student during our Calarts and Gobelines student exchange plan. While a few of us are selected to go to France, a few of them come here! Nadya Mira and Pedro Vergani were the gobelins students this year to come to calarts, and both are very talented artists. They could either do a film on their own, or form a group like students at Gobelins usually do.

Each of their film is their own, so they still had full creativity control over it. I have learned so much from them! Pedro asked me if I could try out animating, and I was eager to do some cg animation again. It was really fun playing with his rigs. Nadya also asked if I was available to help her out on some 2D animation, and I was super thrilled to try animating her very stylized design choices. I learned a lot from them. They are both very good friends of mine, so being a part of their work is such an honor! I still wish I still had the opportunity to push things for the better.

Sep 7

Do you really feel like going to art school helped you as an artist? And I don't mean just "the grand and powerful Calarts", I mean school in general. Did you think being in a classroom with teachers and like minded students as yourself helped you grow as an artist, or do you think you would've gotten the same results if you just stayed home and read "The Animator's Survival Kit"?


Hey! That’s a pretty good question. I feel like this is a question you should ask every other artist because I’m sure they’ll come up with a very different answer for what I have to say. Their words would probably be more humble than mine.

I think going to a school with teachers and students in the same field really helped me grow. Before even going to college, I did have an interest in animation but I didn’t really know what direction I wanted to take. Yes I did own a copy of the Richard Williams book during high school, but I also did watch things that inspired me frame by frame and see how they did their own “problem solving.” Some people actually work well with just this alone. However, I wasn’t sure what kind of “artist” I wanted to be. Back at home, I wasn’t exposed to a lot of things animation related, so I personally needed to do more self discovering on that part. I didn’t even know what character animation was, but I did like the idea of engaging performances. In my family, its pretty much a given that we study abroad after high school, so I used that opportunity to study at specific places.

The animation survival kit is just there to remind you of some of the basic foundations if you get stuck. Its not going to teach you anything like performance or deep character animation, its only there as a compass if you get lost in your basic principles. There are a ton of animation lectures and other books that really talk about performance. I do believe that a ton of infinite self practice will help you get to where you want to be at.

For me, going to a school really helped me out on that part because it gave me exposure to different things such as storytelling methods, animation methods, design choices, etc. Going to Sheridan helped me get a decent drawing foundation, and cal arts really let me grow by working on my films, being around crazy talented classmates and teachers, each having their own approaches to their work. I have a lot of bad drawing habits, but its definitely much better since I started school. I’ve had teachers who have discouraged animating on 3s (very common in Japanese anime, this teacher even said ‘you’re not in Asia so don’t do it!’), while I’ve had some that made it their assignment. They were all different, but it wasn’t a bad thing at all. In fact, I think it helped me out on what kind of animator I wanted to be - because of that exposure to different approaches. After our 1st year, we’d be put in film workshop classes where we are placed with a small group and talk about each of our film’s progress. I’ve had teachers who were very pro - job, pro portfolio, and just pro self discovery and having fun.

I guess that’s also why I can’t really justify any answers towards whats best for a person’s education. Half of it comes from experiencing with it, and half of it comes from what you know/ or what you want to do. Its also very hard for me to answer it now since I already graduated, and imagining a different ‘what if’ scenario might give me a very different view point on this answer. However, I do believe that you do need to set your own parameters that really pushes you to learn. With no deadlines and schedules set, I think it would be really hard to kick yourself into working and improving. In general, I highly benefited from being in the learning environment - but I can’t say the same for everyone else.

Sep 6

Hello there! I'm currently a graphic design major in my senior year. I really want to pursue visual development but sadly there aren't any degrees like that in my country. I'm planning on applying at CalArts or Art Center but that would mean another four years and I'm worried about the financial costs. Do you think I can do without the degree if I want to join the animation industry?


Hi there!

Yeah, a degree isn’t really a huge requirement for animation anymore, unless you plan on teaching it? I still think you can pursue visual development without a degree

Sep 6

Questions on financial stuff about cal arts

From here on, I’m not answering any questions relating to financial things based on cal arts and/or similar educations. I cannot suggest any “right” choice for those who are concerned with financial issues and loans, since I do not have the right to tell people what is best for them. As for myself, I just happened to have the money to help me pay for my education - but the financial details are a sensitive topic for me, and I’d rather not talk about that publicly.  Thanks.

Sep 6

Do you think it's a good idea for me to go into animation? My passion is in storytelling that's why I used to want to be a novelist, I also love drawing and art just speaks to me. It seems like art and storytelling goes well together. However I've never been very animated as a person nor an athlete, I think rigorous focus on gestures and detail oriented body movements would bore me. If you asked me to be detailed oriented with art id have no problem. Would you say animation is not the field 4 me


Sure, why not?

Just try it out and see it for yourself. If you like drawing and storytelling, thats a pretty good start.

Sep 6

I love the fact that calarts gives you the creative autonomy to make a film each year and I would love to make films like yours. However i have no interests in actually working in the animation industry for large companies, you could say I just want to make my own animated projects for me and others to enjoy, not necessarily to apply it to a trade to make money off from. Would calarts be worth the large sum of money or would I be able to learn the skills be myself?


There’s a lot of students who go into cal arts with their own reasons when wanting to learn the medium. I personally do know people who would rather freelance or do their own stuff rather than work in big places. I also know people who went to cal arts for animation, but ended up doing things like live action and such. I do have teachers who wanted their students to get hired at big places, or just focus on their own thing. I honestly think that if you’re concerned with the large sum of money that is needed to pay for calarts, then there’s probably other options to take like workshops and/or seminars. I can’t really answer you on that one since a person’s artistic journey is personal, and if you feel that calarts might help you on that, then by all means go for it. I’ve had friends who took a semester to a year at calarts, so people are always experimenting whats good for them.

Sep 6

Hey I saw that you had a background in Sheridan college, why did you decide to do your actual training at cal arts over Sheridan? How were you able to support yourself financially at Calarts being an international student



I should probably put this question and answer in my FAQ page since it seems to be a recurring thing that everyone asks. I was in Art fundamentals in Sheridan, but I didn’t get accepted into their animation program. I applied for both Calarts and Sheridan, and I only went to the school that accepted me for their animation program. However when i do think about it, I’d probably gear towards more calarts because I like that freedom of doing a film every year.

Internationals can get financial aid apparently!

Sep 6

Advice related question here! Are there any books that you found really helpful when studying animation?


As far as books go when studying animation, I don’t really have much :P But here’s what I mostly used when studying animation alone.

The Animation Survival Kit by Richard Williams

Character Animation Crash Course by Eric Goldberg…

Sep 5

Is the 2D animation industry on the decline or is it just me? I see less and less traditional animation features these days.....

Hey there shanimeme! Thanks for the message!
If we’re talking about the american feature animation industry alone, then yeah, it’s pretty much dead. The reason why I say this is that the common medium nowadays is CG as a standard for feature films, and if you think about it you’re right, there are no 2D animation features coming out anytime soon. When major studios do dip their feet back at 2d animation, its more of a stylistic choice since the norm of studios is CG. Is the foundation of 2D animation important within the industry? Hell yes.

With 2D animation knowledge, it really helps you in other fields such as story boarding and character design. It helps you understand gesture better, pushing drawings, acting and performance, the list goes on. You can study Milt Kahl, you can study Baxter, Keane, Yoshinari, Miyazaki, Otomo, and within those drawings there’s a lot to be desired.

The possibilities you can do with CG animation are great! It’s already always “On Model”, and it doesn’t require the time of making new drawings for inbetweens! but at the same time there are limits to the medium - the same goes for 2D animation. Thats why in many studios, they utilize the skills of both. Although the films are animated in 3D, there are a lot of 2D graphic choices implemented in the characters to make the characters more appealing. A studio like Disney has done this with Glen Keane overseeing all the CG animation in Tangled. It definitely has the appeal found in 2D animation. Paperman utilized both hand drawn and CG at the same for its animation. 2D animation is important and relevant, but its no longer a common medium choice.

Smaller studios in the US and outside of the US still utilize the potential of 2D animation. In fact, 2D animation is booming within the independent movie making. Other feature film industries outside of the US still work with hand drawn, paper 2D animation. There’s a lot of indie teams kick starting 2D animation projects with its sole purpose of bringing it back, or to “keep it alive”. Surprisingly, there is a lot of support for that.

Should animators in the industry take a stab to learn it? By all means yes, and for many reasons. Sure it pretty much had its run in the mainstream industry, but there’s no doubt that it isn’t forgotten. It’ll come back as a gimmick or a stylistic choice - but whatever it comes back as, itll bring back nostalgia for sure.