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


Picarto Livestream

Click to watch me animate!

Close Close
Wishling Revisited
July 21, 2017
A new take I've been wanting to do on the Toon Boom Wishling concept. Not sure why I love exploding eyelashes so much. Wishling-2C In other news - I am still working on a rig for Caelith from the animated short (below). It's definitely turning into a potentially powerful and reusable rig. I'll admit that the original inspiration for the short was a Soundgarden song... so, the recent death of Chris Cornell took a lot of wind out of the sails for that project. But the idea has a life of its own, and I'll be posting more updates on that soon. Also, other announcements on the way.
Shaking Off the Rust
March 31, 2017
Some quick roughs I did for Caelith. Depending on how rigging goes, I might not have to do cleanup. Caelith_Test1
ARMSmasters Patreon
March 21, 2017
Hey, I want to give a shout out to an extremely talented animator friend of mine who just launched his Patreon. Michael Winn of Alpha Omega Animation Design has experience in many areas of the animation industry, including studio, freelance, and teaching, and is developing an original property called ARMSmasters. Lots of content has already been produced, from concept sketches to fully colored and produced animation, with more on the way!


Your support could be a great way to get a look at the kind of artwork that goes into animation development, not to mention getting to see more of the cast of ARMSmasters, and Winn's uniquely anatomical drawing skill. Check it out, and spread the word!
Tower Nest Concept
March 19, 2017
Built from the central peak of a large crater, it's part rock, part... alien tree... thing. Tower_Concept
Caelith - Concept 3
March 17, 2017
Back design. Simple and symmetric = Easier to animate. Hopefully reads better, too. Caelith_3
Caelith Concept
March 15, 2017
Fleshing things out a bit more. Still finalizing her equipment and air boardCaelith_Concept
Titmouse! ... Also, new animated project
March 13, 2017
I haven't updated in a while as I've been either focused on my professional work, or focused on my personal work. But of course, that's not a good reason to post less often... it's a good reason to post MORE often! So, here's a look at some of the development I've done for a new animated short I'm working on.

Also ... I got hired at Titmouse, as a Toon Boom Compositor! :D I also had an awesome gig with Hornet before that! Anyway, here's a space girl. Expect more updates Garden1 Garden2 Garden3
Speed Painting
August 24, 2016
Wasteworld Digital speed painting I did the other day with Photoshop. This is the placeholder background art for one of the shots in my pilot episode animatic that I am making. The featureless area at the bottom will be masked by foreground elements.
New 2016 Demo Reel!
July 29, 2016

Here's my new 2D animation demo reel! Toon Boom Harmony was used for pretty much everything, although depending on the project, sometimes Flash or After Effects was used, as well.
Kung Fu Panda Fan Art
February 6, 2016
KungFu_Liang_SM We went to see Kung Fu Panda 3 recently and I got inspired to do some fan art. Nico Marlet's character designs are incredible! So I thought I'd try my hand at a blind clouded leopard character in his style. If you'd like to take a shot at this character design challenge, you can download the high-resolution template here: http://halsteadart.com/uploads/img/KungFu_Character_LG.png
Check out Switchboard Infinity!
December 12, 2015
Switchboard_Infinity I wanted to do a shout-out for an awesome audio show that's going on right now. It's called "Switchboard Infinity," and it's a fun and funny (that is to say, hilarious) sci-fi about a guy named Malcolm who escapes from the Jupiter system and tries to get back to Earth. It's made with a mix of theatrical improv, excellent acting performances, and extensive professional sound design, and is frankly a joy to listen to. Check it out now for free on Soundcloud! https://soundcloud.com/switchboardinfinity
2D Rig Animation Test
December 7, 2015
For a while now, I've been developing my 2D rigging skills in Toon Boom Harmony Premium. Here's my latest test for my most advanced rig. Some features it includes: 180 degrees of full body rotation (mostly keyframeable, with many hand swaps available - could be modified to 360 degrees if necessary), volumetric lighting / shading, deformation controls for the spine and limbs, a kind of cheat I came up with that allows IK on the feet, and a fully poseable mouth rig for lip syncs. With the help of action templates, animating this full-body lip sync test took me roughly one hour per second. The next step for me is to start building new male and female rigs based on this model, which I hope to use for commissions, contract work, and my own pilot episode! P.S. If the video player isn't showing, try clicking this link: 2D rig animation test
Toon Boom Webinar!
November 25, 2015
My wife Christina will be doing a webinar about using Toon Boom Harmony and Storyboard Pro, on December 3rd. Check it out! http://blog.toonboom.com/news-and-opinion/webinar-working-with-storyboard-pro-and-harmony-in-a-unified-pipeline
Day...18? Horror
September 27, 2015
Day_18 So, I've definitely missed a lot of Daily Drawing days recently. My excuse is that my wife and I have been super busy with an animation project. Still, I plan to do all the missing drawings. In the meantime, here's a hideous monstrosity.
Day 17 - Comic
September 19, 2015
Day 16 - Shizzle
September 18, 2015
Day_16 I don't even know
Day 15 - Bath Time
September 17, 2015
Day_15 He pretends to hate it.
Day 14 - Candy Harbinger
September 16, 2015
Day_14 Just playing with Sketchbook's paintbrushes.
Day 13 - Her Specter
September 15, 2015
Day 12 - Jumping Isz
September 14, 2015
Day_12 More fanart of Sam Kieth's "The Maxx". Kinda looks like a giant, stomping Isz... oh well. I'm looking forward to drawing Mr. Gone!
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.

[Valid Atom 1.0]Valid XHTML 1.0 TransitionalValid CSS!