By: admin                Categories: 3D AnimationAnimationGeneralSIGGRAPH

We are are at one of the  biggest computer graphics events – SIGGRAPH! The  team here at Focal Press is hard at work on last minute preparations.  It is our favorite time of year!  We are excited to meet and spend time with Focal fans old and new.  This year, we are co-exhibiting with CRC Press – Come by our BOOTH #1213 and check out all of the new releases, receive 20% discount on our books, enter for a chance to win free books, and say “hello!” to the team.

This year, we are giving away a 1-year license of Toon Boom Harmony software at our booth… in honor of our new book coming out, Animate to Harmony. Don’t miss out!

We hope to see you soon!

Here are some of the books you will see at the conference:

Can’t attend? Well you see have a chance to win some free loot. Sign up for our newsletter, and we will select one person to win a free book of their choice.

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By: Cedric                Categories: AnimationBooksGeneralSIGGRAPH

While at SIGGRAPH 2011, I bumped into Kenny Roy, Focalite and co-author of How to Cheat in Maya 2012. He and co-author Eric Luhta recently released a new edition to the successful How to Cheat in Maya 2010. He wanted to give upcoming animators insight on his latest book from Focal Press. Kenny took the time to talk about who would benefit most from the book, what is new in this edition, and he even took the time to give a quick tip before jumping into your next Maya project. I guess I should shut up and let Kenny speak for himself…

Kenny talks about How to Cheat in Maya 2012

Kenny Roy – How to Cheat in Maya 2012 from Focal Press on Vimeo.

Kenny discusses the new edition.

What’s new in How to Cheat in Maya 2012? from Focal Press on Vimeo.

Kenny provides a quick tip.

Quick tip for Maya animation producers from Focal Press on Vimeo.

How to Cheat in Maya can be found at, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books can be found.

Kenny Roy
Kenny Roy has animated TV, feature films, commercials, and games since 1998.  His most notable credits are Scooby Doo 2, Garfield, and King Kong.  in 2007, Kenny founded Arconyx Animation Studios, a boutique studio in Los Angeles, which works with clients like Mattel, Disney, Nickelodeon, FOX, and SyFy.  Kenny mentors full-time at and offers online animation training at

Co-author Eric Luhta is an animator at Pixar Canada whose recent credits include Bioshock 2, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Horton Hears a Who! and numerous television commercials.  Eric has extensive experience with Autodesk’s Maya, including teaching it as an instructor for the Maya Training Program at  He currently lives in Vancouver, with his wife and three computers.

Posted by Cedric, Marketing Manager, Animation, Gaming, and Web.

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By: admin                Categories: AnimationBooksGeneralInspirationSIGGRAPH

As an animation editor, I’m always fascinated by the artistic development and cross-over between animation, stop-motion and contemporary art installations. Wander through the SIGGRAPH Art Gallery Events or check out any museum space and you’ll see the intersections between animation, information, interactive art and technology. 

Reflecting these trends for alternative stop motion techniques, we are publishing Tom Gasek’s Frame by Frame Stop Motion  in October. This title highlights some really incredible stop-motion techniques and unique approaches to animation.  The short film MÖBIUS by ENESS is not exactly an animated short, per say, but it does feature some incredible time lapse and frame by frame techniques.

An award winning art & design practice, based in Melbourne Australia, ENESS creates public art installations that marry varying disciplines from fine art to architecture, interactive technology and sport. They recently transformed Melbourne’s Federation Square with twenty-one neon-green triangles.

MÖBIUS is described as “a sculpture that can be configured into many cyclical patterns and behave as though it is eating itself, whilst sinking into the ground. The result is an optical illusion and a time-lapse of people interacting with the sculpture and moving through Melbourne’s landmark location throughout the day. ” MÖBIUS was animated over two weeks.  Armed with two wide-angle lenses, frame by frame magic and scores of volunteers, The MÖBIUS team moved 21 art installation pieces across the square.  Each shot took 3 hours to accomplish, accounting for only 3 to 4 secs of film.  Be sure to check out the “Making-Of” video as well.  It’s fascinating to see how this was accomplished.  Enjoy!

Mobius Short 

MÖBIUS from ENESS on Vimeo.

Making of Mobius

Making of MÖBIUS from ENESS on Vimeo.

 Posted by Katy, Associate Acquisitions Editor, Animation and 3D.  Interested in writing for Focal Press, reviewing a proposal or just chatting about all things animation?  Visit Katy’s Linked-In page.

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By: admin                Categories: AnimationBooksGamesGeneralInspirationSIGGRAPH

Image Credit: PoYang Used with Permission

With SIGGRAPH 2011 starting in t-minus 3 days, we have our passports in hand, our newly published titles printed and our famed charm packed and ready to go for another great SIGGRAPH show. We are debating packing our Bruins jerseys–too soon for the Stanley Cup jokes? We kid, we kid.

It’s a great joy to see our readers in person, get your honest opinions about our content, and learn more about you. It’s also great to see friends from past SIGGRAPH shows, and meet potential authors or partners.  The networking parties, fruity cocktails, and Electronic Theatre screenings are really just something we have to suffer through to attend the show.  Come visit us at booth #747!  Be sure to say hello, don’t be shy!

In addition to meeting Focal editors and marketers,  you’ll have the opportunity to meet and network with some of our incredibly talented authors.   You never know who you will meet with their nose in a book at our booth!

Follow Focal  on Twitter  for real time updates from the show and be sure to check out our book signing on Wednesday August 10th at 10am PST at Focal Booth #747 with co-authors Catherine Winder (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Spawn, Aeon Flux) and Zahra Dowlatabadi, award-winning animation producer. They will be signing the hot-off-the presses second edition of Producing Animation.

Travel safe and we hope to see you at the show!

Posted by Katy, Associate Acquisitions Editor, Animation and 3D. Interested in writing for Focal Press, reviewing a proposal or just chatting about all things animation? Visit Katy’s Linked-In page.

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By: admin                Categories: AnimationBooksGeneralInspirationSIGGRAPH

As the SIGGRAPH 2011 countdown clock gets closer and closer to zero (39 Days to go), we are gearing up for our busy conference season with Focal Animation attendance at Comic-Con and SIGGRAPH. We are excited to meet friends of Focal, our authors and all the attendees at these shows; stay tuned to the blog for details on the shows or follow us on Twitter for real-time insights from these shows.  

Conference excitement has grown even more palpable at Focal HQ with the announcement of the Computer Animation Festival winners and runner-up films for SIGGRAPH 2011. As a multi-year SIGGRAPH attendee, I’m always struck by the creative energy and focus found in these dynamic, gorgeous and innovative films, developed by leading professional and student talent.  

 Capturing our attention as well as the “Best in Show” award is William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg’s short, ” The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.”  Self-described as old fashioned and cutting edge at the same time, the short is inspired, in equal measures, by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a love for books.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore Trailer from Moonbot Studios on Vimeo.

We know we were won over when the story line was described as a “story of people who devote their lives to books and books who return the favor.” As publishing professionals, we are book lovers at heart and have devoted our careers to developing great content. I now fancy myself to be like the woman at 0:15 with the book cluster, flying off into the sky. I did mention the whimsy of the trailer, right? The trailer alone captures a whimsical love of story and craft with an impressive mastery of animation techniques, including the use of minatures as well the seamless integration of 2D and computer animation. 

In addition to the trailer, Moonbot Studios has also release three short “Making Of” featurettes, discussing the story development, animation styles and minature use in the short. This will be a nine-part series of behind-the-scenes segments. Each are a fascinating addition to the trailer itself.

The Making Of Morris: Part 1 (The Power of Story) from Moonbot Studios on Vimeo.

The Making Of Morris: Part 2 (Animation We Cherish) from Moonbot Studios on Vimeo.

The Making Of Morris: Part 3 (Thousands Of Books) from Moonbot Studios on Vimeo.

Come August, you’ll find a happy editor at the Electronic Theatre at SIGGRAPH watching this short and the others that were nominated and awarded this year. What are you most looking forward to for SIGGRAPH 2011?  

 Posted by Katy, Associate Acquisitions Editor, Animation and 3D.  Interested in writing for Focal Press, reviewing a proposal or just chatting about all things animation?  Visit Katy’s Linked-In page.

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