Friday, February 25, 2011

Under New Management.

I am Brandon Strathmann, Assistant Professor of Animation and Entertainment Art at Cal State Fullerton. I'm now the proud new manager of Prickly Pachyderm Productions. Stay tuned to see more great artwork and see how our new films develop!

Friday, February 18, 2011



After a short hiatus the terrific artists at Prickly Pachyderm Productions are back with three tremendous titles. “The Hit”, “Tremendous Trouble” and [Sheep] are a hilarious trio of films that are well into production. Take a look at the following teasers for the animated shorts. There will be more art to follow.

“The Hit”

“Tremendous Trouble”


Monday, March 22, 2010

Welcome to Prickly Pachyderm Productions!

The birth of Prickly Pachyderm Productions a year ago also began with rainy weather in late January although today included the news of two twisters - one in Santa Barbara and one in our very own Fullerton. We had our pre-semester meeting to tabulate the talent of the group and begin assigning our new company "employees" to their films.

We have three films in the works:
"Firefly" will be created in traditional or pencil animation with some CG effects for the cloud of firefly's who come to the rescue of one of their own. This film has several veterans from last year's "Gwyllgi" film about the orphaned children who take on death himself including Crystal Cornejo, Kat Ruzics, Diana Ortiz, Bill Stewart, and Sarah Banning. They will guide the new talent to tackle a much lighter subject in "Firefly" whose concept was co-created with Amy Clark who is working full-time now at Dreamworks.

The second film will be an experiment in a simulated cut-out style of animation with heavy use of After Effects to capture the art and characters created by Sara Amijo. Her story revolves around the challenges of a lonely little boy who adopts a discarded robot that struggles with some serious issues. The working title is "Goovel" and we have assembled a great team of illustrators, animators, and post production artists to bring this story to life including Diana Ortiz and Karen Okstad helping flesh out the story details.

Our third film has been in heavy development even through intersession in the creation of the story premise and the assets. Headed by almost an entirely new crew, today's meeting covered lots of ground and resolved several key story issues. Several key members have been through previous animation classes and you can already see the creative chemistry happening as we dealt with the foundation of their scenes. This one will be coming in as our CG project under the working title "The Guardian".

Keep checking back to see our art, animation and photo journal as we launch these three projects! You can get to know some of the newest talent on the horizon as the projects come to life.

"FireFly" Opening Title

Title design and animation by Leo Parada.

Home Sweet Home

The toy store and the apartment where Dannie and his mother live.

"Firefly" Background

Painting by Attila Szenczi-Molnar

"Goovel" Backgrounds

The large shot of the street where Dannie lives, pencils by Sarah Amijo, art preparation by Melvin Young, and paint by Annie Ruygt.
Animator Joonhee Cho works on the main character running through the fields after fireflys on a summer evening.

"Firefly" progress

Background artist Attila Szenczi-Molnar has completed almost all of the new digital backgrounds for "Firefly".

Revising the story;

Story revisions for both "Goovel" and "The Guardian" have kept storyboard artists Karen Okstad and Leigha Panelli hard at work revising the scenes.
Animator Stephen Gunawan works on the final scenes with the robotic cat and child.

Setting the color palettes;

Colorist and team illustrator Philip Vo works out the art direction on the film painting directly on the three dimensional monochromatic layouts.

Modeling for "The Guardian"

Modeler and animator Ben Smith builds the interior environment and details for the inventor's shop scene.

3D Layout

Lead Environmental Artist Alex Diaz and Production Manager Ken Hung refer to the "Guardian" village to plane their staging and the movement of the characters through the scene.

Jonathan Soto's Animation

is is the scene where the mechanical cat breaks through a wall in chase of the soldier.

Goovel Updates

Directors Sarah Amijo and Diana Ortiz review the latest watercolor background paintings with Production Manager Ara Zakarian.

New Background Paintings

Monday, February 22, 2010

Studio Logo

Creators and leadership of "Goovel"

"Goovel's" primary team from left to right; Background painter and Assistant Production Manager Annie Ruygt, Production Manager Ara Zakarian, Animation Director Diana Otiz, and Creator/Director/Illustrator Sarah Amijo.
From left to right; Alisa Ogura, Leigha Panelli, Leo Parada, and Ethan Lawrence

Getting the Characters Down

This are character studies as the "Firefly" team of in-betweeners and clean up artists become familiar with the characters, drawing style, and for most trying to master drawing on a Wacom tablet.

Amber Brinigar's Character Studies

Adrienne Jimenez First Drafts

Firefly Team Members

Director of Production William Stewart reviews work with Annie Rugyt and Kat Ruzics. Kat is a lead animator on "Firefly" and Annie is working on two films this semester.

Amos & Murphy Take Off

This is a first of a series of animated scenes with the background paintings of Attila-Szenczi Molna with keys by either Sarah Banning or Kat Ruzics.

"Firefly" Murphy Test

Monday, February 1, 2010

Getting Started

Crew member David Hummel reviews the staging and action for the city in "The Guardian" have been explored using a simple forms in 3D. The story revolves around a shell-shocked soldier stumbling into a "Steampunk" era village that has been badly damaged. His assumption that the town has been totally abandoned is shattered with the appearance of a mechanical creature and a child that has somehow survived the destruction. Tune in for more adventures...

Second Film Crew

Chris Emerson meets with "The Guardian" crew to get all the assignments handed out.


Directors Bill Stewart and Sarah Banning explain the foundation of their film "Firefly". The story revolves around an adventurous boy and his faithful canine companion as they attempt to capture their first firefly. The tables are turned and the boy and his dog learn a dramatic lesson in how freedom is a universal desire.

"Firefly" crew and new recruits

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Master animator and all around source of inspiration Eric Goldberg with the hosting officers of this year's Pencil Mileage Club. Sarah Banning, Crystal, and Eloisa are Prickly Pachyderm Productions alums from last year's films.
Artist-Creator James Gurney on the art and creation of "Dinatopia"

Recruitment Begins for the New Season

Selection of the new concepts for the Prickly Pachyderm Productions 2010 Season have begun with a number of great proposals by an animation team led by Sarah Banning entitled "FireFly", the story of life in an Inuit village by Diana Ortiz , a conflict between a community of rabbits and cats by Joseph "Joey" Saenze, a friendship between a young boy and a mis-behaving robot by illustrator Sarah Amijo, animator Meg Waldow's tale of friendship and calamity. the curious fate of missing socks by Kevin Lam, and more.

The applications for joining the PPP 2010 teams in the Art 487e Special Studies in Animation course are now available and we look forward to a creative and dynamic new body of work.

The final rendering of last year's "Buki" is in it's final stages with new audio and music tracks now being created. Keep an eye on the website!

We have been inspired by the recent visits by master animator Eric Goldberg and artist-creator of "Dinatopia" James Gurney to get back to our drawing tables and get to work. Our thanks for them coming out and giving such great presentations.

Monday, September 7, 2009

This happy crew are the creators, artists, and animators of "Gwyllgi", the darkest of our three films as it follows the hunt for souls during a famine. Led by co-directors Amy Clark (the one hugging) and Sarah Banning (the one being hugged), the group is amazingly cheerful considering the somber mood of the traditionally animated film.
Here is the team that worked on "Buki", the sad little sushi with a serious thirst. A little tension seems apparent in the group's affection for Director Howard Cheng as 2nd Director Kijeon Nam hides somewhere off camera. Ahh... good times....
These are the artists and animators who worked on "Meteor" where a mild-mannered lizard faces off with an apocalyptic chunk of rock hurtling toward his hometown. The film was created by Heather Crilly (not in photo) who is co-directing with Pedro Santana (center, front row) .
"Buki" is in it's final stages, here is the image of the Sushi Bar counter where the central character makes his intitial entrance. We hope to launch a premiere of the film in the Spring semster of 2010.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

This is a recent render of a scene from "Buki", the story of a frustrated Sushi in search of a beloved elixir...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Here is director Howard Cheng's lighting sample for the kitchen scene of "Buki". Watch for the new animation coming soon!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thanks to our animation/illustration area student organization the Pencil Mileage Club, several of our team members were able to tour the Dreamworks Animation Studio on April 10th. Since many of us got there early, we got coffee at their own Starbucks on the lot and were in line with Jeffrey Katzenberg and Ben Stiller. Thankfully, no one went uber-fan and accosted either one.
Several team members from our films attended a Dreamworks presentation on layout using Maya.
On Friday, April 10th, director Heather Crilly, Effects Artists Quoc and Vincent Nguyen and PMC officer Liston Morris met with a Dreamworks Effects Artist to discuss the technical challenges of some scenes in both "Buki" and "Meteor".

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Newly textured "Buki" character

This is the recently textured version of the central character "Buki", the sushi with a passion for soy sauce.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Animation from "Gwyllgi"

Big news for the "Unbound" film, a mythological dramatization of the devastating potato famine in Ireland: We have a title for the film! It will be Gwyllgi” (pronounced "goo-li-chi") which translates to the "Black dogs" of Welsh Folklore.
First run at the entrance of the news van....
This is Robbie Robertson's initial animation of the central character Bob as he is hearing about a meteor hurtling toward his little apartment....