Gio Toninelo, the man behind GI Joe Fest and Pond Patrol, on movies and miniatures


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Initially, though, you were doing Pond Patrol, which was a comic book layout with still photography. Was animating them something you were looking to get into all along, and how did you make that transition?

Yeah, I really wanted to animate from the beginning, but I just didn't have the time to do it, so I just did stills -- but it's a lot of the same process; you have to build the sets, it's all miniature stuff. So I did the comic book as an homage to the animators out there, and it was supposed to be just one. But the ball just kept rolling and the Fest just kept rolling.

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How do you get started as an animator?

Getting started, you need a good camera. You've got to observe human movement, too -- it's very important, because otherwise your characters look all goofy. And just start shooting, really. It helps to get a decent software to put the stills together, but some people still use film cameras - just one click, one click -- but that can get really expensive. Digital's really the way to go these days.

You want to keep the camera in the same spot, and I use a DSLR to really get that depth of field. A point-and-shoot, auto-focus camera can kind of mess up the transitions, because you get a lot of that flickering, so I find that a DSLR is really the best way to go. And always make sure the figure is steady before you move it! If you're moving the head and he falls down, you can never catch up -- you've got to do it all again.

See Toninelo at the Build-A-Brickbuster Fest this weekend at the Broomfield Auditorium; for a full schedule and tickets, see onesandzeros.webs.com.

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Broomfield Auditorium

3 Community Park, Broomfield, CO

Category: General


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