Monday, December 1, 2008

"I don't need a Christmas tree......."

Thats what I was saying to a friend in the store. "When I have to move its going to be extra stuff to pack up. If I will i get it there?" I was finding all sorts of reasons NOT to get a tree...But then....I walked around the corner of the aisle and saw all the John Deere Christmas ornaments. SOLD!!! Immediately I knew it was the perfect tree for me, because it reminded of home, and my family. For the first few days I only had the mini John Deere truckers hat on top of the tree. But then I got thinking about what Christmas is really about...and its not actually John Deere. So I made my own little star and put it on top of the truckers hat. :)

Work is still going well, and keeping me very busy. We just watched a screening of the movie today, and I am very excited about it. Of course it was a rough version of the movie, because its still in progress. But, when I saw the 20th Century Fox logo attached to the beginning of the film today, my heart began to race a bit. I never thought I would be able to be apart of something like this. I am told by senior animators that the first time you see your name roll across the movie screen....that its a pretty awesome feeling. I can't wait. :) Here's the new website for the movie.

Hope you like my Christmas tree too! I sure do!


The only odd ornament, is the pickle as you can see in the picture. I just thought it was funny when I saw it in the store. Its green, so it works. :)

I was playing with a setting on my camera in the picture below and thought it look cool.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Still surviving in NY with a smile on my face.

Hey Good Peoples,

I finally received my computer a couple weeks ago, and have finally found a moment to do a quick update on my blog. Well, things are still going good at work. To be honest, I feel the last six weeks or so, I have really began to settle in more and more. Its tough to explain, but basically I feel like I am able to focus more on my animation and less time worrying about things that I can't even control. I am having fun. :) On the flip side of things. The more I settle in, the more I start to think about how sad it will be to leave Blue Sky, and all the awesome people there. But we'll save that sadness for another time. We still have a ton work to do on the film. :)

In September, some buddies and I went to the second last game ever to be played at Yankees Stadium. The Yankees beat the Orioles 1-0. It was definitely worth over paying for the worst tickets in the stadium.

Here's a video of the 7th inning stretch.

7th Inning stretch at Yankees Stadium Sept 20, 2008 from Sheldon Kruger on Vimeo.

Here's some pictures of a rainy day in Central Park. Such a awesome park! I want to go skating in the park sometime this winter.

I don't really know why I am turning my umbrella inside out. Just being a goofball. :)

One last thing. We're still doing the "Dude Challenge" at work and trying to grow beards. Thankfully we only have one week left, and then we can shave. Its getting really itchy! My photo this little goofy. Just a warning. I'm having fun. :)

I hope you've enjoy the pictures. I will TRY to give an update again soon. We are getting into a very busy time at work so my spare time will probably be used for catching up on sleep. :)



Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dude Challenge Week 2

The new pictures are up of our Dude Challenge "beards". The fun has only just begun. Ha ha.

Regarding my picture...I don't know why I do the things I do.

Work is going good, and I am super excited about my next shot. :) computer. Sorry for no pictures.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dude Challenge 2008

So 43 guys at work are doing what is being called a "Dude Challenge". Basically we're not shaving for 5 weeks and seeing what we can carve our facial hair into. We just started this week with clean shaven faces. Some guys have specific styles they will have to grow or atleast try. But others have "freestyle", in which they will get to create their own design. I am one of those freestyle fellas, so we'll see what happens. Some guys at work are doing a blog for the challenge and will update it with weekly mugshots of our progress. At the end of the five weeks, the ladies of our department will be crowning a winner. Should be fun!!!...and scary. :)

Here's the link:

Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm still kicking :)

Hey Good Peoples,

I am sorry. I have been without a computer since September 2nd, which is why I have not updated my blog. Obviously I don't want to do it at work, and where I am doing it now isn't really that convenient. But I really wanted to do a quick update so people know I am still alive.

I am still enjoying my time in New York and at Blue Sky Studios. But I am not going to sugar coat anything. As cool as this job is (to me anyways), it can also be very stressful at times. The expectations are high, as they should be. But I am hanging in there though, and working my butt off to find ways to become a stronger and faster animator.

Bottom line, I am still happy, and thankful to be surrounded by so many awesome people at share the stress with. :)

Blue Sky has brought in several speakers for us. The latest one was Richard Williams. He is a Canadian animator that is very widely respected throughout the animation world. He was the animation director for the film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (1998). Thats just one example of his many credits. He is also very well known for his book, "The Animators Survival Kit". And it truly is a survival me, I have the book. :)

Anyways, here's a picture of him with the Blue Sky Animation Department from the day of his visit. I'm in there, peeking in from the back with a smile. :) You can click on it to make it bigger. Thanks to Tom Saville for the photo.

I will TRY to update my blog again soon. My new computer is "supposed" to arrive this week...but who knows. :)

Thank you!


Saturday, August 23, 2008

I love it out here. :)

Hey Everyone,

Well the title of this post says it all. I am absolutely loving my time in New York so far. I am still settling into everything at work, but its going well. This past week alone was my most productive yet. I hope to finish the current shot I am working on sometime next week. I am going into work tomorrow (Sunday) to try and get even more of a jump on it because I am showing it to the directors Monday morning. This past week we had a screening of the entire movie in storyboard form and got to find out what happens in the rest of the movie. Of course I can't say anything about it, but I can say that everyone walking out of the screening was pretty energized about where this film is heading. I think its going to be really great movie, and I am so thankful to be a part of it.

Today a friend and I took the train into the city and spent the entire day in Central Park. That park is just simply AWESOME. I feel as though I could go there every weekend and just hang out. This was actually my second Saturday there in a row.

I love the look of the trees against the buildings. What makes Central Park so cool is that in some places you can't even see any buildings. You can really relax and almost forget that you are right in the middle of a huge city. Its awesome.

Below is a video of an area where there were just people dancing either in there shoes, on roller skates, or on roller blades. It was cool just to see a whole bunch of strangers just dancing in the park and having a good time. But the best part about it was the guy playing a cowbell. It pretty much made my day. :)

Playing a cowbell in Central Park, NY. from Sheldon Kruger on Vimeo.

Five raccoons just hanging on the side of tree. I thought it was a little weird.

We played a some frisbee in this massive open grass field where there were hundreds of people just relaxing, listening to music, reading, playing catch with a football, baseball, or frisbee.

Here's a picture looking up when we were crossing the road. I thought it turned out pretty cool.

I will try to update again soon. :)



Sunday, August 3, 2008

Hey Good People!

Its was an awesome second week at Blue Sky. I definitely felt a little more settled in, as compared to being quite overwhelmed during the first week. We were given our first shots to animate for the movie. I am really excited about it and can't wait to get back in there tomorrow morning and continue to work on it. All the full time staff at the studio have continued to make us feel really welcomed throughout the week. It really feels like such a great group of people to work with.

A few of us took the train into Manhattan for our Saturday evening. We walked around through Times Square, saw the Rockefeller Center, and went for some New York City pizza at Lombardi's. Its America's first pizzeria and has been around for over a hundred years. It is still labeled as having some of the best pizza in the country. I definitely enjoyed it. :) The picture above is inside of Grand Central Station.

I'll update here again soon! Thank you!


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Survived my first week in New York!

Hey Everyone!

Thank you for all the Good Luck wishes!

Last Saturday I flew into Newark, New Jersey, rented a car, put my trust in the GPS and drove about an hour north to White Plains, New York. Last Monday was the first day on the job and seriously everyone at the studio was so incredibly welcoming. People in the animation department were constantly stopping by and introducing themselves to all the new hires. A very cool thing is that five other students from Animation Mentor that I have been going to school with also got hired. It was cool to have friends already, even though we had never met in person.

For our first week we were just trying to get a handle on the way things are run at Blue Sky. The character rigs are about 100 times more complex then anything I have ever animated with before. Its definitely a little bit intimidating, but I have no doubt that I will get a handle on it all. The studio is filled with so many incredibly talented animators, and the best thing is that they are all willing to help. The learning curve is going to be a steep one over the next five months at Blue Sky. I am so excited about it. :)

As for my Animation Mentor education, I decided to withdraw and give all my attention to Blue Sky. Since my time at Blue Sky is only scheduled to be for five months, I may continue Animation Mentor after. Unless another job comes along.

Next weekend a few of us hope to take a 35 minute train ride into Manhattan and see all there is to see. Something I really want to do is go to Yankee Stadium for a baseball game because its the last season that the Yankee's will play in the legendary stadium.

This week we might get our first shot for the movie, so thats pretty exciting. I will try to update my blog whenever I can with how things are going. :)

Best thing of all, is that I gained a new little niece the day before I moved. It was just in time. I was so happy to meet the new little lady before I left. :) I'll be back at home again for Christmas. :)

Thank you!


Thursday, July 17, 2008


Hey Everyone!!!

It just got finalized yesterday, and I've been waiting to post this for a little while now but, I GOT A JOB!!!........Its weird to finally say that. I've pinched myself several times, but the job is still there. :)

Here's the crazy details...

I got hired as a Temporary Animator at Blue Sky Studios which is located in White Plains, New York; approximately 30 miles north of Manhattan. I will be joining the team there already working on the movie Ice Age 3. If you haven't seen the trailer for it, click the link: I will be working my butt off there for approximately 5 months. After that...who knows. :) The thing that excites me the most though, is how much I am going to learn from the many talented people at Blue Sky in all departments. I am considering the option of evolving into Sponge Bob SquarePants so I can soak up as much knowledge as I can. :)

Thank you to all my classmates and professors at California State University Fullerton. Everything I learned there helped me immensely at Animation Mentor, and will continue too. To everybody involved in Animation Mentor...classmates, mentors, staff, Scott Carroll, Bobby, Shawn, & Carlos. THANK YOU!!!

Most importantly I have to say a huge Thank You to my family and friends. I've dragged them down a crazy path to finally get to this point, and they never let go.

Oh yeah, did I mention that I am moving there in 2 days, and start working on Monday morning?!?!? (July 21st). I better start packing!!! :)

Thank you!

Sheldon (I'm so excited!!!)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Class 5 complete!

Hey Everyone,

I have completed class 5 of 6! It was an awesome class where we were guided through the process of how to develop strong stories for our short films. I gained a whole new respect for all people involved in the pre-production stage of a movie, or any project for the matter. I really enjoyed it quite a bit. There are things that I was taught to think about and consider, that the audience will never notice, but will hopefully make it a better viewing experience for them. Thank you to my awesome mentor Cal Brunker, and my entire class.

In the layout stage, I set up all the cameras, figured out the timing, added some basic sound effects, and did some very rough blocking to get my story across. I still have lots of work to do on the creation of the store, and especially the fan and lighting department at the end. Click the picture below to see the layout. I hope you enjoy what I have so far.

Thank you. :)


Thursday, May 29, 2008

FJORG!!! Acceptance!!!

Hey Everyone,

Our team of three just found out last night that we got accepted into the FJORG competition at this years SIGGRAPH convention in Los Angeles. Our team members are Natascha Evans (classmate), Francine Mangin (Animation Mentor Alumni), and myself.

Here's a quick brief on what FJORG is:
-16 teams of 3 participate from around the world.
-32 hours straight to create a 15 second animation based on a theme given at the time of the competition.
-The Goal is to resist distractions and meet the deadline for creating the best character driven animation.

Its going to be so much fun, and at the same time, great exposure since its run by professionals from around the entertainment industry. =)

I've also finally "completed" a couple of my latest assignments. So I compiled all my Animation Mentor work so far into one simple video. It starts with the most recent work and goes back to the beginning. =) Hope you enjoy it!

Thanks for stopping by!


Saturday, May 24, 2008


Hey Everyone,

Sorry that it's been a little while since my last post. I have been extremely busy polishing up my old assignments, entering into a 32 hour animating marathon in Los Angeles in fall (still hoping our team of three gets accepted), and at the same time keeping up with the development of my short film at Animation Mentor.

You've hopefully seen my video pitch for my story idea in my last post, and now here is whats called an 'Animatic'. I took my idea and roughly drew it out to figure out the timing. Some areas could still be shortened up a bit yet which I will do in layout, but I hope you enjoy it for now. =)

I can't wait to do video reference for all of this! Ha ha...I'll be making fool of myself yet again...and loving every moment of it. Don't worry I'll put up here. =)

Thank You for stopping by!


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Who's behind the sheet???

Hey Good Peoples,

So its time to tell you what my story idea will be for my short film. I'll start off by explaining what a Story Pitch is. Its something that a person does when they have an idea for a film and want to explain/or convince others that its a good idea. So this week we had to record ourself giving our story pitch. We had a great lecture given by a lady by the name of Mary Coleman who is the story development executive at Pixar. We learned that instead of just telling your story to your audience, you need to get into it, get involved, work in some acting, have variation in your voice, make it entertaining! So those of you that know me...know that I have NO problem at all getting into it if you put a camera in front of me. =)

Just to give you an story takes place in a Home Depot, has a thief, and two security guards.

One question though: "Who's behind the sheet?". Click HERE to find out and see my pitch.

Thank you for stopping by. =)


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The hamster is still running in the wheel.

Hey Good People!

I've been busy creating and developing some short story ideas. With the help of friends and guidance from my mentor, I am 90% sure on which idea to do. But if I can keep the little hamster in my head, running in the wheel...I am sure I can make the story stronger yet. This is such an important step to get right, to have a successful end result.

I am not ready to tell you my story yet, but this simple animation is a hint.

I am guessing you probably still have no idea from that hint, but I just didn't want to post without some sort of visual for you.

Thank you for stopping by!

-Sheldonator the Animator

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Done class 4! Now bring on class 5!

Hey Everyone!

My 4th class came to an end last week. It was an awesome term and I really feel like my animation skills stepped up another notch. Its a great feeling! The lectures, my mentor, and classmates were absolutely awesome.

So now its on to class 5 which is titled Short Film Preproduction. My new mentors name is Cal Brunker. He is a film/video director and story artist currently working at a studio in Toronto, Canada. The most recent project he was apart of was "Horton Hears a Who!" from Blue Sky Studios in New York. Last night we had our first Q and A and he really eased my mind about coming up with a good idea for my short film. He just seemed so chill and relaxed, which made me relax and realize...just have have fun with it. There are 10 students in the class. Nine from the United States, and one...from Canada. =)

Only six more months and I'm done!!! Then we'll see what happens. I have a secret "wish list" of studios I am hoping get a job at. But for that to become a reality, I have to keep pushing myself. The snow hasn't even completely melted away yet here, and I already know my summer is done. I can't wait to get a social life back once I get a job. =) I just know this hard work is going to pay off.

I am still finishing up my last assignment from class 4, and will post it on my blog hopefully within the next month sometime. It felt wrong to be posting on here today and not rewarding you with any visuals. So I whipped something up really quick, just for fun. Its basically me as a maple leaf still having a great time up in Canada, with my animation mentor experience. Its nothing much at all, but its something. =)

Thank you!


Sunday, March 16, 2008


Hey Everyone!

I finally have a chance to update my progress. I have been pushing really hard lately on this assignment. I only have about 10 days or so left until this class comes to an end. But then I will move on to my next class which will be creating and developing my own mini short film. I emphasize short, as in 30 seconds...hopefully. Adding just a few seconds here or there can easily add days, weeks, or even months of work. So I am going to try and stick with the goal of 30 seconds, as they recommend. For class 6 (the last class) I will then animate the short.

Its been an exciting week at Animation Mentor with a handful of students being hired on at Dreamworks. I get so excited just hearing about others getting hired...I seriously can't even imagine how excited I will be when my dream job comes along. Hopefully more sooner then later.

When I look at the work of the students that are getting hired, its really good...but I'm definitely not as intimidated by it, as I would have been before starting Animation Mentor. I feel that my own skills are getting closer to that same level as every week goes by. I'm not there yet...but I know will be. That feeling is so encouraging for me. I just have to continue to focus on my studies right now, and hopefully one day someone will tap me on the shoulder and say "Hey kid, do you want get paid to do that, or keep working for free?" Ha ha. That's about the time when my excitement goes through the roof!!!

I feel that its also important to note that I would not be where I am at, without everything I learned from the awesome professors and students at California State University, Fullerton.

I leave you with my work in progress on my current assignment.

Thank you for stopping by!


Click HERE to see!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Time flies when you're having fun...Week 8 already!....Whoa & Yikes!!!

Hey Everyone!

This is going to be another quick post due to, trying to stay on schedule with my current assignment. Its going really well, and I just want to make it as shiny and polished as I possibly can by the time this class ends next month.

My lecture this week was titled "Advanced Entertainment" and was taught by an animator by the name of Doug Sweetland. He's has animated on every feature film from Pixar, starting with Toy Story back in 1995. Absolutely awesome, and very well known animator who is full of knowledge.

My current assignment is beginning to really take shape and I am excited about it. So excited I have trouble falling asleep at night because I am just thinking about the movements and arcs. But instead of me rambling on here, how about I just show you my far. =)

Click HERE to see!

I also did another face pose study last week, but the guy in the picture is not just some random face I pulled off the internet, like I have done in the past. He is a talented animator by the name of Shawn Kelly, and is one of the three co-founders of Animation Mentor. He was cool with letting me use his picture for my assignment. Too prove my "talented" comment above: Shawn just recently was in a small group of four people who won a VES award for "Best Single Visual Effect of the Year!" It was on the Transformers movie, but more specifically the desert highway sequence where the robot is basically skating down the highway around the cars at crazy speeds. If you've seen the movie, you'll remember it. If you haven't seen the're missing out. =)

So here it is! Click it to see it bigger. =)

Alright...I hear my assignment calling my name, so I should get back to business here. =)

Once again, thank you for stopping by!


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Super Double Dooper Quick Post

Hey Everyone!!

This is going to be a super quick post because I have so much to do this week. I am really excited about how my shot is coming along. My mentor had some great comments to make that makes me even more excited. I am learning so much all the time, I can't even put my excitement into words. Hope you like it! far. =)

CLICK HERE to see.

I also did another face pose study.

Thank you for stopping by!


Monday, February 11, 2008

Found out I have a twin brother!!!

Hey Everyone!

Yup!! You read correctly! He even helped me film my video reference for my next animation. Let me explain a little about my scene, it has 2 characters: A guy who thinks he's smooth with ladies, and a sarcastic female working a concession stand.

NOTE: She gives him a bag of ice. You need that tidbit to get the joke. =)

CLICK HERE to see it, my twin, and of course the usual appearance of Jade, my reference video recording buddy. =)

Alright, alright...I don't really have a twin a brother, or a brother at all, but with a little video composition looks like I do. =)

The line I am using that you heard is from the movie Super Troopers.

So after all my planning, I got into the computer and did a first pass of rough blocking with my two characters.

to see it.

I also did another face pose study like you saw in my last post.

Well, that pretty much sums up to where I am at in my animation studies. A lot of visuals this time, and not much of me rambling on. =)

Thank you for stopping by!


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Half done Animation Mentor!! Whoo-hoo!!!

Hello Good People,

It is TIME to breath some life back into this blog. **breath-breath**....alright that should do it, here we go!

First off...I completed Class 3 before Christmas, and learned so much from my super duper talented mentor and classmates. So, here is my final Class 3 Reel.


I am now in Class 4 which is titled "Advanced Acting." I have cool mentor by the name of Scott Carroll. He is currently a character animator at Blue Sky Studios in New York. (Sweet!!) ...**breath-breath**...that was for me. So, Scott is currently working on the movie "Horton Hears a Who"...which is a Dr. Seuss Story. Its coming to theatres near you, March 14th. Heres a link to the trailer if you haven't seen it already, "Horton Hears a Who". Take a look...its really quite beautiful...if I can use that word.

Other films Scott has worked on are:

Ice Age: The Meltdown (Blue Sky Studios)
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (Lucasfilm)
Van Helsing (Universal Pictures)

Along with Scott, I have a really energetic and talented group of classmates. There are 2 other students in Canada, 9 from across the USA, and 1 from Brazil. Its going to be another great term.

So, we continued to refine our shot from the last class by adding in some facial animation. Facial animation is crazy stuff I tell you. Maybe in my next post I will do a simple little explanation of some of the smallest details, a feature animator pays attention too in the face. They are details sooooo small...that I believe it would really test, if you love animating or not. These details make me I think I'm ok. =)

It still needs work...but here it is for now.


Over the last few weeks, we have been doing face posing exercises. We were required to find some pictures of faces, and recreate the same feeling of expression with our 3D character, Bishop.

Here's what I came up with. Click on the picture to make it bigger if you like.

I have no idea who those people are...but thank you.

As you can tell, I did this blog post a little differently from other times. Instead of having my videos load directly on my blog...I now put a picture, and a "Click HERE" link. That way my blog will hopefully load up much faster each time someone visits it. And if you don't understand the technical part of what I just worries. You're doing great, and thank you once again for stopping by my blog.


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