July 27, 2010

Artist of [Undetermined Timeframe] #9 - Animator Bill Belongia

Hooray, Blog, it's time for another A.O.U.T.!  And this time I uncovered another unique one.  I found out the other day that my longtime friend Bill has a semi-secret life doing all manner of cool computer animation.  Well, "semi" because it's his actual day job at Plank Road Publishing, a local publisher of music and music teaching aids for kids.  "Secret" because I had no idea he was capable of creating such fun stuff.

But he is!  Check out the fun stuff I snagged from his website, Blog.  Everything on this post is by Bill...like little critters here from an ecard he did for Plank Road Publishing.

For starters, he's pretty dang good at drawing, as his sketch of a lovely elf here shows.  And with a computer and whatever magical software programs he's mastered, Bill can do everything from anatomical diagrams to building exteriors in 2D and 3D.  The thing I love about what he does is that you have to be adept with both your right AND left brains.  Kinda blows me away, Blog.

And then there's the Flash animations....  As a sci-fi buff I totally dig the animation of a meteor colliding with the earth.  Meanwhile, Randometer is totally enamored of the skipping flour sack.  (Those puffs of flour crack me up.)  And jazz fans, check out the singing egg.  Bill has done educational games and ecards that are really fun and adorable.  Man, I wish I knew how to do this stuff!

My favorite creations of Bill's are his music videos.  He created one for a song called "Forte Piano" by Teresa Jennings.  Well, in the first place the song is totally adorable.  In the second place, the animal orchestra does an absolutely bang up job performing it, due to the deft flash stylings of my friend Bill.  And if you have little kids, you can use this video to teach them the musical terms "forte" (loud) and "piano" (soft), along with fortissimo, pianissimo, and crescendo. 

Our local PBS affiliate got wind of Bill's video and included it on a recent broadcast of their arts magazine show, "Arts Digest."  You can go to that link and then find the 20:25 mark to see it, but there's no need because we've got it right here.  Right, Blog?

But wait, there's more!

Likewise combining the educational with the totally wackadoodle, there's another Teresa Jennings song called "Major Minor."  It reminds me of a time in the car when I was teaching some music theory to Davie about how major key music sounds happy and minor key music is sad or moody.  Well, in the video Bill's animals get downright schizoid about it.  Like the song says, "No flats, no sharps, no worries."

Bill gives a lot of credit to the animation program developed by Milwaukee Area Technical College, where he got his degree in Visual Communications.  And no doubt it's some pretty slick software.  But I have a feeling that's Bill being modest, which is another specialty of his.

Bill is available to do freelance work, and you can contact him at wbelongia @ wi.rr.com (without the spaces).  Wouldn't it be cool, Blog, if we were made of money and could hire him to do full length Flash movies of the Bloodchained novels or something?  Like that scene at the opening of Bloodchained II when the Magician is working his wiles on Kelsi and...but we digress...

We can't hire Bill to make movies of the Diana Laurence books, but we sure can brag about his talents and share them with you.  :-)

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