Sunday, March 6, 2011


One Small Step will be showing at Wondercon April 1st through the 3rd. Check for showtimes and details!

It will also be showing on
March 26–April 17, 2011, at Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater in Los Angeles, California!

I'm very happy that the film is still out there and that people are enjoying it :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Woo Hoo!

This is a repost from my personal blog, but like my thesis film got into a few film festivals! The first one is the Califonia International Animation Festival and the second one is the Animazing Spotlight! Thanks to everyone involved who selected my film!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Featured on Cable Cartoon blog!

There's a feature about me on the ASFIA-SF blog! Go check it out:

Thanks Joe Sikoryak! I appreciate the plug!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Aniboom featured artist!

I've been selected to be featured on! The artist profile isn't up yet, but you can find my film on their youtube channel!

I'll link to the artist profile as soon as it's posted.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

Music - Can't Live WIthout It!

Music is a very important part of any film. I had cut the film together using a temp track, which fit extremely well but since the tunes were licensed they were unusable.

I shopped around a bit for a composer, but eventually decided to look for music that was in the public domain. I've always been a fan of old, scratchy jazz records and was surprised at the amount of stuff there is out there. I don't know if it would be appropriate for every film, but it provides very interesting counterpoints and cadences.

Here's the three songs I used in my film (be warned these sites have a lot of ads):

"Transatlantic Stomp" by E.C. Cobb and his Corn Eaters
"Pepper Steak" by Washboard Rythm Kings
"Grand Ole Rag" by Billy Murray

Okay that last one isn't the original download. But it's such a weird youtube video I had ta use it ;)

More to come!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Suburbs pic

Because I was running short on time, I had to snag a picture of suburban houses to stand in for a suburban landscape. The picture was used under a creative commons liscense and the original image can be found here.

Monday, June 8, 2009

A lot of these props were done by Salem Abi-Hanna. He's a pretty busy guy, so often what I would ask of him was to design one object, like a bottle or a pan. I would then take that object and modify it's mesh to vary it up and provide different shapes in the background so everything didn't look the same.

The rigging of the gun and the flag was done by me. Modeling was again done by Salem Abi-Hanna.

Film showing in Annecy!

The town that is ;). I submitted my film to a festival outside Annecy. Should be a lot of fun and if you're over there I reccomend you stop by! Oh and cheer really loud for my film!

Here's the info:

Monday, June 8th at 7.30 pm
Le Comptoir de la Folie Ordinaire
32, rue des Marquisats
74000 Annecy
Quite easy to find. There is a swimming pool close to the bar on the opposite side of the road. I'd say it's approximately 10 minutes far from Bonlieu by foot - where the official festival is taking place. You can come by foot, by bike or by car. There is a parking right next to the bar.
If you need a map, I recommend using
Please correct me if there is any mistake in the title of your film. We will begin at 7.30 with music videos. I'll briefly introduce the films at 8. We should be done by 10.15 - 10.30 approximately so you can go to the official outdoor screening if you want to. However, we will screen a series titled "Turkish Delights" after 10. Then we will play a few records (rock'n'roll, garage, psychedelic music). The bar closes at 2.30 in the morning. Feel free to stay with us after 10!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

FIlm posted on "One Small Step" comic website!

Go check it out!
In retrospect I might have build a bit too many controls into the hand. However, like with the body having more controls allowed me to override problems in the mesh. It was also good practice to set up a hand rig with IK controls in the fingers.

These are some notes I wrote to Salem Abi-Hanna about designing the ship. You can see the final design in the lower right-hand corner. Filling out this page was a way for me to unload all the ideas I had in my head. What I ended up going with was a much simpler solution.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


These are my revised storyboards I did under the supervision of Everett Downing. I completed them in about three to four weeks. It's interesting to see how slow these feel now compared to my final film!

Untitled from Graham Ross on Vimeo.

Monday, May 18, 2009

One Small Step

This is the final version of my film, submitted for graduation from the Academy of Art. Promise this isn't the end of the road for this blog though. I've got a lot more interesting stuff to post ;)

One Small Step from Graham Ross on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Rig pt.1

I knew that, form the design oif my character, I was going to run into problems. He has kind of a sacky shape. And making something in CG that's flexible and rubbery can be hard.

My main goal was to make a rig that was flexible enough that I could fake my way through breaks and limitations. There were lots of times where the hands and arms just weren't working right, but having that extra bendy control helped me to sculpt the pose I needed!

Again, these images are form my thesis booklet for the school.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


In my short there were a number of obsticles I had to overcome. Aside from story, character design and rigging, I had a number of effects which were beyond the typical things you'd get for free with Maya. One of them was electricity.

Maya does come with particle effects which could pass for electricity and I'd even tried using stretched polygons to substitute for bolts. After Effects also has a lightning tool. But utimetly I chose to draw the effect by hand. Personally I like the look of hand drawn effects and wanted to make sure the effect had a specific look to it.

Here's what I drew in Flash without any effects applied:

Lightning only Flash from Graham Ross on Vimeo.

Here's my first pass using After Effects and Photoship. I learned later that much of the colorization I used in Photoshop could have been achieved using solely After Effects. You'll also see some timing issues and some left-over stretched polys that I was using to simulate sparks:

Lightning w/ AE from Graham Ross on Vimeo.

And the final render. I animated a light to flash on his underside and kept the background dark to emphasize the electricity:

Lightning w/ Render from Graham Ross on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Character Design (more ta come!)

When I was coming up with the design for the character, I did lots of pages like this. Just oodles and oodles of shapes...trying to find a good idea. See if u can find the one I eventually went with ;).

This is the original design I went with for my midpoint presentation at the Academy. Kinda looks like a man in a suit. It would have been easier to rig, but I'm glad I went with their advice to use a more "sacky" type of body.

BTW, a lot of these pages are just copied right out of my thesis booklet.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

First Post

Currently this blog is under construction. Over the next few weeks I'll be putting up storyboards and other materials and then end with posting my completed thesis film. I'm shooting for a post a week, so please check back!