Ben Halstead

E-mail: halsteadart@gmail.com

Hello, and thanks for visiting my site! I am a professional character animator currently based in the LA area. I am familiar with some of the leading 2D and 3D animation software, although I specialize in Toon Boom Harmony, and I am practiced in web design and other forms of art as well. I earned my BFA in Character Animation from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit in 2011, and have been living in the San Fernando Valley with my wife since then.

Copyright 2014 Ben Halstead


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Animating on all fronts!
March 9, 2015
Life got a little crazy over the past few weeks as we got deep into crunch time, not only at Laundry Design but also for a last-minute project I was commissioned to do for Toon Boom in my spare time. Over the course of three weeks, a team consisting of myself, Marco Arsenault, and occasionally my wife, managed to design and build a fully playable game demo from scratch, using a new plugin for Toon Boom Harmony that allows you to export your animated rigs as sprites for Unity. I was also able to use Harmony's new bitmap painting tools in place of Photoshop to create all of the background art and objects. I was particularly excited because it gave me a chance to rig, animate, and paint the game art around a character I created last year! Wishling_animate We then took a lovely drive up to San Francisco for the GDC to showcase our demo alongside Beast's Fury, where we met with Andrew Fein, the Beast's Fury Design Lead, as well as several of the Toon Boom crew, who generously showed off both games at their table in the massive Unity section of the convention! David_Helgason_ToonBoom_small   Here I am pictured with some of our Toon Boom friends, as well as David Helgason, one of the founders of Unity. Below, a picture borrowed from the Unity and Toon Boom twitter feeds showing the full crowd that came to watch the Toon Boom presentation, which featured my animated character and a generous shout-out to Beast's Fury as well: Unity_ToonBoom_small   It was an amazing trip, and I'm looking forward to doing more animation for Laundry and Beast's Fury in the coming weeks. I am overdue for a portfolio / reel update, as well.  
Run Cycle
January 17, 2015
Here's a run cycle I drew on a tablet. These are always good practice, and difficult to get to look right. I'll have to keep improving.

Run Cycle
Updating the website!
December 4, 2014
I've been doing a lot of coding and messing around behind the scenes recently, to get this website upgraded. My goal is to set things up so I can connect the site directly with several social networks.
A Long Overdue Update! CTN-X 2014!
November 26, 2014
First and foremost: We are still hard at work on the Beast's Fury game demo, and are on track to finish it at about the end of December! Here are some of Vincent's special attack animations:

Giga Tiamat Knuckle
Leviathan Kick

In other news, my wife and I (married just a couple months ago!) just got back from a weekend at the CTN Animation Expo here in Burbank! This was our fourth year going and it was awesome as always! To everyone I met there, or who may have picked up my business card, welcome to my website, and stay tuned because I'm about to expand this blog to all the big social networks. Also, I recently finished a gig as Toon Boom Animator for Laundry Design LLC, which was fantastic. It was great to meet everyone at that studio and I hope to be back there soon for more character animation work!

CTN always gives me a big boost of enthusiasm for the art of 2D character animation, and I plan to keep the momentum going. Many updates to come!
We made it!!
June 20, 2013
alt : http://www.halsteadart.com/uploads/vid/Matilda_standing_sm.mov
We reached our primary stretch goal for crowdfunding the game Beast's Fury: Over 20 grand to fund a playable PC Demo! Over the next few months we will be hard at work making animation and other assets to make this demo a reality. Above is the idle stance animation for the character Matilda. Below is the link to our IndieGoGo page that made this all possible.

Beast's Fury is going strong!
May 15, 2013
The game I'm animating for has reached its first goal on the IndieGoGo fundraiser! Let's keep the momentum going... if we can reach $20,000, we'll have enough to complete a playable PC demo. Help spread the word!

Original Ralph Bakshi sketches!
May 15, 2013

As thanks for contributing to legendary animator Ralph Bakshi's recent Kickstarter, Last Days of Coney Island, I received this complimentary original doodle with Bakshi's signature (first image) and a sticker with a Ralph Bakshi character (second image). Depending on your resolution, the images on your screen should be pretty much true to actual size.

Personally, I've always had mixed feelings about Bakshi's material, but I also always respected him for his originality, and his courage to do things outside the "norm" with animation entertainment. That's why I'm eager to see what he'll come up with next!
New Beast's Fury IndieGoGo
May 5, 2013
The game I've been animating for has a new IndieGoGo! You can check it out at this link:

And you can follow the updates for the game at the new website, here:

Funding would really help this get off the ground so if you like what you see, please consider donating to the crowdfunding campaign. Here's the video from the indiegogo:
11 Second Club Submitted!
May 1, 2013
alt : http://www.halsteadart.com/uploads/vid/halstead_11s_april13_small.mov
It's done!

Or at least as done as it's going to be. Last night I submitted the above video to April's 11 Second Club competition. Fingers crossed! Now to vote on all the other entries.

Before I add this to my 2013 reel I may add a few more inbetweens and color it.
11 Second Club in Progress
April 18, 2013
alt : http://www.halsteadart.com/uploads/vid/April2013_roughs.mov
Early this month, I decided to give April's 11 Second Club a shot. These were the character designs I settled on after a heartfelt period of scribbling, sketching, and studying Patrick Stewart's face. And the video is where I currently stand in my animation. I'm a little behind where I want to be, so it's time to pick up the pace!
This website and all art displayed here is Copyright 2014 Ben Halstead unless otherwise specified. Please do not distribute without permission.
Social network icons were designed by Martin Knize.
This site was designed and coded by Ben Halstead, except for some WordPress tech behind the scenes, and the Raphael Javascript library for those fancy bubble thingamajigs.

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