View Full Version : Halloween Animation

01 January 2005, 01:30 AM

Hi all,

Here is an animation that I've been working on for 3 years and some change called
Baby Ghoulie
I meant to release this for Halloween but ran into some obsticles.
I used 3DS Max 6 for the animation/modeling and I used Avid Express and After Effects for compositing and editing.

I am very happy with the finished result and hope you enjoy it.

The animation is about 13 minutes long at 720 x 390. A Smaller version of the animation is available as well at 400 x 224.

You can Download the movies from here:

Low Res (Divx) ( (79 MB)

High Res (Divx) ( (104 MB)

Or visit the site: (

Comments and Critiques welcome

01 January 2005, 04:23 AM
Hey guys!

I've posted a Low res version of my animation to my site. The file size is 79 MB.


01 January 2005, 05:29 PM
This was definittely an amazing piece. The quality, script, and effort placed into finishing this animation is excellent. Even though it took 3 years, looks like the final product was definitly worth the effort. The music, sound effects, and voiceovers also aid in bringing the best of 3D animtation to life. Kids and adults of all ages will love this inspiring piece. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

01 January 2005, 05:42 PM
Alright Teddy, I finished watching your short. And I gotta say, I've got mixed emotions.
First of all I can't believe you did all this yourself! It's huge!! Well done man, well done. You did a good job overall of conveying what you wanted to get across. Although I do think there were some weak areas. I think the primary one being pacing. It seemed like we didn't really get into the story till about 3 minutes into it. YIKES! I was getting bored wanted something to happen. When the camera gets to the scarecrow in the begining with the big music and all. I just had to ask myself, did this shot need to be here....did it further the story in any way. I think there were a lot of scenes like that. Or maybe some of them were just too long, and could have been cut in half. I think you could have easliy chopped off 4-5 minutes in the editing room. For example we spent a lot of time just watching the kids walk. I think the other big area of weakness was the ending. It just didn't make any sense. *Edit*(So I don't give the ending away) *Edit* There were a couple other odds and ends that could be worked on as well. The sound effects seemed off(steps, door knocks). The begining was VERY dark. With that huge moon, it would be nice to see some really dramatic rim lighting around that opening barn area etc. Character designs were pretty cool, animation was not bad. Though the moster limp could be worked on a bit more. Needs more weight. Anyways, for what you've acomplished, you did an amazing job Teddy. But when you do something so exhaustive, you open yourself up to more critisism. Hope I'm not being to harsh. Hopefully we'll be seeing more soon!


01 January 2005, 03:43 AM
It seems like every shot is on twice as long as it should be. i feel like i'm watching it in slow motion. it drags really bad.

01 January 2005, 09:45 AM
WOW!!! That was amazing!

(ps, the music sound a bit like "The polar Express")

01 January 2005, 11:08 PM
Thanks for the feedback guys!

Glad you all liked it.

Yeah I agree that some shots are on too long. I'm not really an editor, just an artist. I'll probably, at some point, go and re-edit it so the shots aren't as long. I guess i just wanted to show my accomplishments by putting all the shots in. :) (which can be a mistake at times)


01 January 2005, 05:42 PM
First off let me say that the completion of this project is a large accomplishment. You followed through with a large amount of animation and modeling over a long period of time. From my experience I know that even rendering something over 10 minutes long with multiple passes becomes as much of a logistical issue as a time problem. You have accomplished a lot during the creation of this piece, and I've seen your work improve greatly during production.

To top it off, it looks good. You should be greatly proud of it and yourself.

That said, I have critiques. After spending nearly 3 years working on something probably the most difficult thing to do would be to edit items out. Each shot has reasons in your mind for being what it is. It's hard to achieve an objective view of it. I think you can probably edit down at least 4 min and maybe more. And I think if you edit down your shots you'll find some of the animation pacing to be slow at times, so you could probably find another 1-2 min to shave off there too.

Pacing is the weak point of this piece, everything needs to push the story forward. With the amount of work you have to do to each shot, every moment of each shot needs to count.

I have a couple of things that I've talked to you before about. But I gotta say, you accomplished so much during the course of this. I know it was a gigantic learning experience and I think in that aspect it paid off big time.

I wish you the best in your next project! Great work, teddy. seriously.


01 January 2005, 05:54 PM
Congratulations on completing the first version of this puppy. It darned near brought me to tears. There were some missed opportunities, though, to really bring on the waterworks.The primary reason is because the ending did not explain several things that might have jerk the tears from my eyes.

First, why is ghoulie is so intent on getting candy? I mean, why doesn't he just want to eat the other little boys' brains instead, like every other ghoulie might?

Also, what is the significance of showing the graveyard is haunted? Who is the woman who comes to his grave and brings him the candy? How does she know to even do this?

These are VERY important questions because they justify having the shots in the film in the first place. If, during shots that were extraneous or redundent, you showed the viewer the significance of these questions, the ending would not only make more sense, but there wouldn't be a dry eye in the house.

I agree that the pacing was way too slow. The main reason being: each shot didn't add new information that shows us the why of each character's actions.

For example: You focus a lot on the mannerisms, movements, and actions of the selfish little boys that ghoulie follows. Perhaps, if you showed ghoulie trying to act like them by adopting their collective mannerisms, you would show that ghoulie desperately wants to be alive again. Or, that he is still just a lonely, little boy who wants to hold onto his childhood by participating in trick or treating. Or, both.

Also, ghoulie is wearing a bow tie and suit. Someone must have loved him a great deal to dress him up for burial. Is that someone the woman who brings him the candy? If so, how could you show the relationship between the two characters before or by the ending of the film?

Personally, you spend so much time focusing on the actions of the little boys, that I think it should have been they who follow the dirt trail, and ultimately share their candy with ghoulie. Perhaps by leaving a bag of candy atop his grave. But, only after ghoulie has gone back into his grave. That way, he never knows of their generous act. That would make ghoulie's disappointment and loneliness even more poignant. Another lost chance for connection in his brief life. Additionally, the act of generousity would endear the little boys to us, showing us how beautiful children really are.

Now, if the woman is to be the one who brings the candy at the end, we need to know why she does so. Perhaps, when ghoulie first appears at her doorstep, you could show her reaching for the empty bowl on a table next to the front door. As she does, we glimpse a picture of a happy little boy wearing a bow tie. We make the conection, but she doesn't. Obviously, she doesn't recognize ghoulie.

Then, when the woman opens her front door the second time and sees the graveyard dirt, we see a flashback of ghoulie smiling feebly up at her as he raises his bag for candy. This would be a moment of realization for her, and then we'd understand why she brings the candy and knows where to find ghoulie. Of course, I would wonder what motivates her to open the door the second time, but that's probably just quibbling.

This is a beautiful production. I love to look at it. Some technical issues need to be addressed, though. Like the character animation details brought up by previous posters. However, it is the story itself that needs to be adjusted in order to make the film absolutely memorable and affecting.

I hope you don't mind my input. I really think you should consider making whatever changes you feel need to be made. After spending three years getting this far with it, I strongly suggest that you take it even further. It's THAT GOOD of a project.

Oh, and my eight year old and five year old daughters were teary-eyed and trembly while watch this the first five times. They identified with ghoulie, but were confused about several of the things I brought up to you. Great job!

01 January 2005, 08:10 PM
Hey there guys!

Thanks for all the input you all have given me. Digilusionist especially! You know, i might just take you up on that offer. I might just make Baby Ghoulie the son of that lady. That REALLY sounds like a great idea. I love the fact that i can put a little framed picture inside the door on a little table. Also that she doesn't recognize him, maybe because, of course, cause of his decaying state and his dirty clothes. I like it. a lot! I will also start cutting the animation up to make it pace better and also make it a bit shorter.

Digilusionist, you are the man. I am seriously gonna do that. I will, of course, give you credit for it as the credits.

Thanks again guys! I guess this is why Disney and Pixar have like 20 people working on a story a any given time. Maybe i should have come to you guys first. Like i said, i'm just an artist, not an editor or writer.

Please look here for a future Baby Ghoulie version 2.0 LOL


01 January 2005, 09:04 PM
Teddy, no need for the credit. You're the one who busted your hump getting this done. It's easy to make suggestions like mine.

Anyway, I'm glad my input was helpful. I look forward to the next version.

03 March 2005, 08:09 AM
I am still disappointed that I didn't end up getting to score the music for this film, but if I had known that THE Danny Elfman was the "high school friend" of yours you decided to use at the last minute instead of me, I wouldn't have felt so bad!

OK, so I'm being sarcastic (apologies!), but I am confused. If your friend backed out on you, I would've been glad to jump back on-board, so your film could have original music. Even after you dismissed me, you sent me an email saying you could use me on your next project... But now you've inexplicably blocked all email from me?!? You're one interesting character.

I still really like your film, and I'm sure your next one will be even better. I'm just a bit confused about what's going on.


Todd Kinsley

11 November 2005, 09:18 AM
I have watched it and so far I have mixed emotions about it. The good point for this short is that the environmental details and the models looked good with nice texturing, production quality actually so keep it up on that part. The bad point is that it is kind of slow-moving, draggy so to speak for the pace of the story and much improvement is needed for the animation since it is quite jerky and not as fluid as expected. There is lack of good antics there to make the characters look alive and believable, quite stiff really. Also, the ending, which served as a happy one for the baby ghoulie, however it did not make much sense for a single adult to track him all the way to the graveyard, which she should be wondering why such a dubious place like a graveyard would a child be wandering into, just to give bowl load of candies. Overall, the short is not bad, though the animation and the ending just need further refinement.

3d Magic
11 November 2005, 05:56 PM
I think all the pointers mentioned are very valuable, but I think your film definitely had a different style from other animated films I have usually seen. I mean I really enjoyed watching this slow pace with so many profound visuals with great sound. I think you should keep this version, as I am sure many people would like it. Every movie doesn't have to be super fast like action reaction Disney. Animation and timing could be made better but it still works well to make things clear and make an impact on audience. The ending can be made better, that the woman could be his mother!! but it didnt feel abrupt to me. May be it can have a new following episode.yey!!

I Loved your movie!! Keep it up!

11 November 2005, 09:35 PM
I loved the short. And I also agree with the crits made above. I think with a little bit of editing, this could be a whole lot sharper. For example I would open with the Graveyard scene and cut the Barnyard and Cornfield scenes in the beginning (unless they are relevant to the story). I think the Graveyard scene is much stronger an opening too (I love the camera pan through the letters).

You might also want to re-look at your transitions and timing of your cuts between shots. (Some should be cut a half a second sooner I think). My absolute favorite was the cross-dissolve on the fly over the houses to the street scene. That was really beautiful and it added to the 'feel'. There should be a balance between cuts and dissolves.

I love your camera angles and how you framed most of your shots. That is very strong.

The other thing is that fake film grain/specs and dust doesn't really add to it I think, but it may be a pain to take that out. I think a cleaner looking frame might be better here since you went with a modern color look vs. say film noir black and white look.

The texturing and lighting is very good.

Great work! I really enjoyed watching it.

CGTalk Moderation
11 November 2005, 09:35 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.