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ABOUT ME

Me

Ben Halstead
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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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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_17
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
PSX_20150915_034925
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!
Day 11 - Alien Defender
September 13, 2015
Day_11 An important character from one of my storylines. I may add more detail and color later. Still one day behind!
Day 10 - Expressions
September 12, 2015
7922dc48-fac4-4766-abb9-4e126ce3f80f   Drawn on my Note 4. Technically this is catch - up for yesterday... Tonight's drawing will have to wait.  
Day 09 - Familiar Faces
September 11, 2015
Day09_Familiar-Faces After a great deal of consideration, I have decided to post this animation I made from Day 9 of this month's daily drawings. I should hope that in this day and age we are still legally allowed to make simple artistic commentary.

DISCLAIMER: The above animated image is intended as a basic, non-commercial, critical observation of current trends in popular cartoon character design. The characters depicted are not mine but are the respective properties of Cartoon Network and The Walt Disney Company.
Day 08 - Upon Nights of Clear Sky
September 9, 2015
Day08 You may, upon nights of clear sky,
See things meant for no living eye.
What guides their display?
There are none who can say.
Best pray they go silently by.
Day 07 - Hand
September 8, 2015
Day07 I want to do a proper hand study at some point. For now I'll upload these variations on a hand I referenced with Google Images.
Day 06 - Young Swamp Farmer
September 7, 2015
Day06   Made last night on my Samsung Note 4 with Sketchbook Pro. Added some touchups on my PC with Photoshop.    
Day 05 - Chopplit
September 6, 2015
Day05 This is a chopplit. ... That's about all I can tell you.
Day 04 - The Maxx
September 5, 2015
Maxx_Halstead_Day4 I was always inspired by Sam Kieth's "The Maxx" for some reason. The character doesn't always make sense... his very design seems to constantly fight against any sense of logic or reality, which makes a surprising amount of sense if you've ever read the comics or watched the animated series. Anyway, I always wanted to try drawing him, and it was a lot of fun - plus I got to experiment with Sketchbook Pro a bit more. I may try drawing or even animating other Maxx characters at some point.
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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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