Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tutoring w/ Stephen Gregory week 7

I felt a little apprehensive picking such a low key audio clip. But Stephen liked that it was such a subtle shot, with a lot of great opportunities for acting. And save for a some continuity and staging tweaks, he liked where the acting was for this one was going so far. Which was big for me and really instilled me with the confidence I needed, because I wasn't so sure if this was any good.

Here Stephen is illustrating the concept of keeping the focal character's expressions open to the other character. Emphasizing a triangle composition to each shot.

-Acting: Ideas & Choices - Somewheres along the line we were talking about acting choices based on the character & story vs. choices made for movement sake. And he told me about an instance last year where a student reel they got for the summer internship , had a character do a little acting bit idly playing with a bottle cap or something, and it just felt right and completely natural. And even though the rest of the reel didnt have the most "polished" animation in it. They were sold on strength of the ideas and choices for that one clip, and that person was picked up for the summer internship. And that alot of times people get hired into the studio on the strength of one shot, one moment from their reel. He mentioned again that someone can come in, sit down with the animators, and be taught how to polish and finish a shot well. But the acting instincts and choices an animator makes is hard to teach. So work to be extremely selective about those acting choices! Clarify if its ambiguous, and remember to simplfy! Make acting choices and not movement choices!

I know I know, easier said than done, what do I know I'm just the messenger!

So since next monday is Christmas Eve, and the monday after that is New Years Eve, we wont have our next session until Jan 7. So that gives me alot of time to work on this one! I can still send him work-in-progresses if I need to, which is great. I'll be posting progress on this shot here. Until then, Happy Holidays!


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tutoring w/ Stephen Gregory week 6.5

I was out of town last Monday so we had to postpone our week 6 session until this coming Monday. Here's where I'm going for my dialogue exercise. I wouldnt even call it rough blocking really. Its more layout/blocking, just enough information the idea across. It makes me chuckle, but maybe only because I can relate to it. Haha, I think I've been in this guy's situation about 3 times in my life. Maybe not the exact circumstances, but I definitely know what he's feeling. Method acting I guess!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Tutoring w/ Stephen Gregory week 5

Quick recap of the week 5 session w/ Stephen. We're going to call this one done for now and move on to another assignment. But before we do that Stephen had some notes on this piece. The pose the boy student gets into from about frames 140-155ish wasnt reading clearly. And the expression could be presented clearer if it wasnt in profile but more turned towards camera.
The perpetrator pose in question. Stephen's suggestion for a clearer read. His draw-overs on the frames. My fixes according to his critiques.Here are the results with Stephens feedback implemented.

Hm. I'll have to step away from this one & not look at it for a while before I could go in and polish again. So hopefully the mistakes and such will be more apparent. This was supposed to be a simpler, more physical, 200 frame-ish assignment, but somehow it grew into this beast! Its insane how much time I end up spending in the polish phase. I feel like my workflow could be improved in that area. And also acting. And moving holds. Mechanics. and everything else....

So heres to the next assignment! A dialogue shot! Only a few more weeks left of the tutorship!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tutoring w/ Stephen Gregory week 4

So this weeks session had to be postponed til the next, but here is where I currently am; implemented Stephen's changes, still polishing body mechanics, and have yet to move onto facial. It's not there yet, but I feel like its starting to come together. I'm spending alot of time actually slowing down a lot of parts, so its starting to get much longer than its initial 200 frame intention. But I really feel like this doesnt work unless I allocate the right amount of frames to keep things still.

**Update: I polished mechanics alot more and made passes at facial animation. Still have to iron out a lot of arcs.

So I was talking about James Baxter last week. If you wanna to see some beautiful 2D animation of the highest quality (and get in touch w/ your inner princess) check out Enchanted! Baxter's studio did the 2D animation and it is some seriously amazing stuff! The look was real Art-Noveau, Alphonse Mucha inspired, which worked really well. As usual, I made Cheryl stay after w/ me to watch the end credits and see who the animators were and it was just this superstar list of 2D guys like Andreas Deja, Mark Henn, Rune Bennicke, Jakob Jensen and more. It was great to see that caliber of traditional animation of the big screen again!

**Update: James Baxter Animation posted their Enchanted Reel online. Check it out Hurry!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

FACA: The Bad News Boos

So while I was waiting for the animation tutorship to start, I thought It'd be fun to enter a competitor in the upcoming Fist-a-Cuffs competition. This one was slated to involve a tag-team AND a manager, so I hooked up with 2 guys that were looking for a 3rd. They turned out to be 2 great, talented dudes, Mitch and Greg, and heres what we came up with. There were a lot of ideas thrown out, but we all agreed to the idea of a paper route manager who posessed the souls of 2 paperboys to do his bidding.

Here is the rough idea and final color of my contribution, Suzy Spectre.
With the others' contributions, We were the Bad News Boos!We made it past the first round, only to be stopped in our tracks the second round by "When Nature Calls You Out." I only got to do one spot of smak talking, which admittedly, is kind of crappy.

Still, it was a lot of fun to do. It went suprisingly smooth and both teammates were extremely creative and fun to work with.
Go Boos!

Tutoring w/ Stephen Gregory week 3

Wow! Week 3 was such a great session man. Even made me forget about all the tech problems I was having last week. Not only because it was virus-free, but Stephen had a bunch of visual aids and we framed by framed some shots, both work in progress and finished.
Here is what I submitted to Stephen this week, basically incoporating his notes, and adding breakdowns and smoothing out holds. "Blocking plus", but far from polish. I felt okay about it, but after a while I never could tell.

And here are Stephen's notes.

Honing in on a specific part of the assignment. Essentially breaking down where I could begin to go in and clarify the acting ideas by specifying how I wanted to move in and out of the storytelling poses. The spacing and timing of key things like anticipating and dragging of the head, pushing the arcs on the chest and shoulders, for example, would all contribute to what the specifics of the acting would be.

Which to me was the biggest lesson of the night, the key poses would tell the story, how you animated between those poses would sell the acting, and therefore the sophistication of the animation of the scene.

Following blocking and getting into rough animation, he usually starts really animating (working out the curves) with the hips and branches out into the spine, then to the extremities, head, and so forth. Usually working in FK arms. He works pose to pose but usually ends up "hiding the poses" as to make it feel more organic. Breaking up the different elements of the body helps achieve that.

I asked him about moving holds and my attempts to throw in "random, ambient movements" to keep a pose alive. Nothing should be random, subtle movement shifts (keep-alives) should come from thinking about the physics and inertia of moving from one pose to another. How each part of the body settles, overshoots, or begins to sets up another pose, at times independently from one another. Its actually very difficult for anything to come to a complete stop without some specific residual movement. Well, where is that coming from? None of it is random.

I also heard in the recent Spline Doctors Roundtable that Stephen felt that you could essentially do a scene with one pose. I mentioned that while I was at Animation Mentor, the biggest comment I'd hear watching the acting classes was to consolidate the number of poses. That "you have 3 poses here when you could be telling it with one." He showed me a scene he did from Monsters Inc where he blocked out the whole scene with just pose. A story pose in which, you could be able to read the jist of this scene with just this one pose. That kind of "less is more" approach struck a chord with me. Thats what generally describes my taste in all art. Now obviously, he would later go on to animate so it was more than just that one pose, but it all would work within that key pose and support it. This whole idea may seem contrary to the paragraphs preceeding this one about "hiding the pose", but I think its just a way of simplifying your scene. And to not have to feel like you have to hit a different pose for every single beat of a dialogue.

We then went through a James Baxter scene in the Rescuers Down Under, of Wilbur, the albatross, dancing while he delivers some dialogue. This scene was a prime example of one being able to spot the key poses if you frame-by-frame it, but you can also see how in depth James is thinking about moving in and out of these poses, and thus not making them so apparent so the whole thing feels organic. When the shoulders are leading the movement here, bringing up the ribcage but dragging the pelvis, so as to cause a nice stttrrretch in the body. How, when the pelvis comes down it makes a nice arc in its path of action setting up the next pose. How the wings are leading or dragging, while the graphic arrangement of every element in each drawing stages the action so that it reads clearly. I mean, there was just so much going on there. I felt like I was watching a magician at work, as cheesy as that sounds. But it was beautiful man.

We contrasted that scene with the one directly preceeding it, that he thought kinda sucked. It had the same character, essentially moving from one pose straight into another, with seemingly little thought to what lead to what was inbetween those keys. And sure the keys were okay, but it lacked that the particularity of movement inbetween those keys. And it paled in comparison. I was really quite blown away by the difference.

Stephen was like." right now your shot is that scene, "this week I want you to get it to James Baxter level."

Haha, Surely I wont come anywhere near that . But I'd probably get alot further if I shoot for that degree. So thats next week's assignment.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tutoring w/ Stephen Gregory week 2

So leading up to this weeks session was a little nightmarish for me because my computer was, and is even now, infected with trojan viruses that make it impossible for me to work on anything or even check e-mail without having to close out 20 popups and one time coming up every two minutes. It was so bad that I couldnt get on to correspond w/ Stephen. So we did tonights session over the phone, which was actually really cool, what w/ no hiccups and all.

Frankly, I was a bit embarrased of my submission to Stephen this week, as I didnt have a lot of time to work on it, and when I did get the time, I was combating viruses and such, which sucks because I hate making excuses for not getting stuff done, or done well. I started out wanting to do something like this:
Where smitten guy in class is checking out girl, gets caught, and sheepishly feigns looking elsewhere, Stephen thought the idea a little bit generic, but to go for it anway. Here are some things he wanted me to do and think about before jumping in:

Start off by thumbnailing or writing down acting ideas you want to hit. Emotions poses etc. then take that with you in front of the camera and try acting out those ideas. Eventually it will all start to flow naturally and by the 10th or 20th take in front of the camera you might have some interesting stuff happening you can use for your test. This idea is typical of student work and the only thing that will separate it from the typical, is if you just don't animate your first idea. You'll need spend enough time working it out in front of a mirror or camera to break away from the typical. The other thing is don't try and copy the acting of this moment from "Superbad". People always pick up on acting that is taken from other movies.

Oh yeah that DID happen in Superbad! Maybe thats where I got it from. And 10-20 times ?! Yeah. He mentioned that on the first couple of takes, he's thinkin too much about hitting beats, dialogue, etc. And you can see that in the takes. But by the 20th take , its starts to feel a little more natural and begins to flow a little better, and you're not consciously thinking about it so much. And that those first couple of takes are kind of like rehearsals.
And I wasnt comfortable w/ him thinking the idea was so typical, so I changed up the idea and went for this:
video

Eh. I thought it was kinda funny when I was working on it. But when I came back to it after watchin the Hawks game I was like ,Oh, Thats pretty bad. Oh and also still pretty typical. And that timing there is ridiculous. But I had to send it off anway.

video
So above are Stephen's notes and feedback. The main issue for him was the length. The assignment was preferrably to be around 100-250. Mine clocked in at around 450 frames. So as seen in the video, he suggested trimmin the fat in the beginning, and getting it down to one pose that read panicked, confused, and frustrated, and then I like what he did w/ the end. Where he kind of flirts with the girl, she's repulsed, and he has an opening to check out her paper. Google Video cuts it off at the end but after she turns away, he takes one more quick peak down at here paper. It ends quicker and it made me laugh when I saw it.

I think we're gonna meet up again this week to go over more stuff in-depth, so hopefully issues w/ my comp are all worked out by then.

We also talked a little about workflows. He likes to work in copied pairs and I do too. Copied pairs is where you have your key poses, and work out your timing by copying your key poses over so that it gives a hold, transition, hold , transition, hold result. I did alot of stepped in AM but only because I just wanted people to see just the poses during first pass. But even at work its usually copied pairs. A lot of people I saw that were completely new to animation, one of the hardest things to do was to transition from stepped to spline. He mentioned that, yeah, a lot of 2D guys at Pixar felt more comfortable with stepped ( because its like the pose-to-pose tests in 2D). But as they got more comfortable w/ the computer, they were all about the splines.

Speaking of Pixar, I asked him what some of the things were that usually blow people away, sitting in dailies. It's usually the acting choices.. The choices that are made, how true they feel, and how well they fit in those moments. And to top that off, are just well executed, great animation. It reminded me of something I read James Baxter say, "My goal is to combine good performance with strong technique. It is only with strong technique that you can deliver the good performance with maximum impact."

So yeah for this weeks work, heres to less viruses!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

FACA Ring Card Girl

Sweet! This "Ring Card Girl" won a spot to be a ring card girl for one of the upcoming rounds of Fist-a-Cuffs, in which I also entered a fighter, so look out for that! Thanks to everyone who voted! Its crazy to think about how big this competition has become, how many people enter and vote, and its all on one man's blog! I'm a big fan of alot of the massive talents that post there, so its kinda cool to be part of it all.

I believe the rounds start this monday! This time around it is a tag team battle WITH a mananger. So check it out!

Fist-a-Cuffs.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Tutoring w/ Stephen Gregory

So tonight was my first meet-up with Stephen Gregory for our tutoring program. So without further ado, we'll get into some of the things I took away from tonights meeting.

One of the things that he sees, seperating the great from the so-so animation reels is the thought process. The feeling that this person actually sat down to think about what the character is doing, and why they're doing it. That "quality/spark/x-factor(whatever you wanna call it)" is intangible when you see it , and its hard to describe, but you can see when it's there. Animation, now, more than ever, is so accessible, and there are lots of people who can just learn to move a character well. Learning to break down who the character is, any why they make the choices they make, is the harder part.

Another is giving the people reviewing reels, something they've never seen before. Between school classes, submitted reels, etc., they see it all, and everyone is essentially doing the same thing. What catches their attention is something they've never seen before.

Short films give insight to who candidates are on a personal level, which can leave a lasting impression if done well. They give you a sense what someone's about, the stories they want to tell, qualities that are important to them. Stephen actually likes seeing great films. On the other hand, most student films are pretty bad.

That said, great animation can get you an interview, but at Pixar (although not necessarily every other studio), 60- 70% of the time, what gets people hired is they're personality, and what they bring to the table, what gaps they fill in the team, are they someone who could work well with the team. What makes them unique.

And now! His comments on my present reel (which you can find to the linked on the right-hand toolbar):

The opening baseball bit:
-Too many ideas, think about simplifying. It seems like you're rushing through the thing to hit every single idea.
-Timing is too even (this goes for most of the reel)
-Overall, Need to work on finish, polish on the animation. (i.e. that bit where the batter is bouncing back and forth, there's a lot of lost animation that could be incorporated in that section.) I've actually heard this feedback from several feature pros before.

I asked him what he thought about the acting on my reel, as that was the area I most wanted to improve/learn about. He thought it was normal, so-so, it was what it was. Which to me, meant it's not anything to write home about, not stand out. Which is great to hear! Because to me, just the mechanics of animation is so much to think about, I feel like I'm in the dark when it comes to acting for animation. I badgered on for specifics, but he remarked that we'll talk more about that later. One thing at a time.

It looks like I'll hit two assignments during my session with Stephen, the first being a simple, character driven, physical action. With emphasis on polish, taking the animation to a finished level, and on the front end, asking those pertinent questions. Who the character is and how s/he feel about what s/he's doing, essentially. Character's internal dialogue, and limiting your choices for acting based on the specifics of who the character is.

All of these points so were jotted down quickly, or are coming from my shotty memory, so I apologize for the lack of cohesiveness.
Here are the other tutorees taking this program!
Dan Forgione
Dave Vasquez
Adam Gard
Sandra Murta
Jim Levasseur

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

ArenaGirl Voting Begins!

Yes! Voting has started for your favorite fist-a-cuffs card girl!
So head on over to the Fist-a-Cuffs blog and cast a vote for your favorite flaming hula-hoop, belly dancing chica this side of the blog-o-sphere!

Note, you have to have a complete blogger account to vote!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

One more!


One more ghoulish bit before the 31st! This time after John Singer Sargent's Lord Ribblesdale. I know my work doesnt show much of it, but tons of history's greatest painters have always been an influence to me. The most considerable being; Michelangelo of course, Caravaggio, I loved Pontormo's figure studies, Rubens, Boucher, Ingres,Watteau, for their draftsmanship (animators much check out their drawings!), Delacroix ( over his contemporary David, although I shouldn't have to pit them against each other!), Velazquez (Las Meninas!), Sargent's exhibition here in Seattle, when I was a student,blew me away, Matisse, Picasso for his bravery, versatility, & creativity. So so many more that escape me right now.
An ex co-worker and I liked to go back and forth between who was a better draftsman, Rubens or Sargent. Hey man! Sargents amazing, but Rubens was a beast!

On a semi-related note, I've really enjoyed looking at artists' posting step-by-step processes lately. Always fascinating stuff. My favorites are always when the intial sketches are flurries of lines, ideas, energy, mistakes ; I dig the rough stuff.
I usually am pretty haphazard, and do a lot of wandering off. But on a focused day, this is what it comes down to. Nothin special really, although I have to say, I often spend for-ever noodling with colors. Thats the hardest part .**Also, my first meeting with Stephen Gregory for the tutorship is Nov 5th!

And check it out! ABC News did a feature on THE Sartorialist!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Braaaaains

A bit o lunchtime summoning to prepare for Hallows Eve!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pacquiao

I've been wanting to do a drawing of Manny Pacquiao for a while. I figured nows a good a time as any considering his win over Barerra last week!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Barbarella

Again with the ladies?! Yes I'm afraid so. This week, Barbarella, for this weeks Sketchwich. The topic is futuristic.Her wingman.

Still keeping busy w/ work, life, waiting for the tutorship, & trying to squeeze in some drawing time whenever I can! I get a little antsy when I don't have any personal projects, art or otherwise, going on outside of work, and it just feels a little weird for me to go to sleep early.

And on a bit of a random note, I just realized I have 353 art blogs currently bookmarked/subscribed to!! Jeeze!! They range from 3D animators to 2D illustrators, students to pros to superstars, to people whose art I'm not even sure I like so much but I like what they have to say about things.

I wonder if looking at so much art is doing more good or bad. What do you mean bad, how could that be bad? Well I mean bad as in, the inevitable, perpetual comparison of my work to theirs. Which, at times for me, breeds just as much discouragment as much as it does inspiration. There is just SO MUCH GOOD stuff out there, it can get overwhelming! But I guess that's why an artist's best work is always his/her most personal. Picasso always had his own way of doing things, AND he had the balls to put his whole life out on display!

Reminds me of something that Maurice Noble said, "Everything has been done before, you just have to do it your own way."

Whoa! Sorry to get to introspective on this blog! Thats a rarity!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Some news on the animation front!

Great news in fact! I recently was picked to be a part of a private animation tutoring program with Pixar animator, Stephen Gregory! It goes without saying that I'm stoked to be a part of it! For this session he could only afford time for like 5 students (tutees?) so I feel pretty fortunate, like I won a golden ticket or something. I dont know all the specific details about the program so far, I do that it is going to run a few months, we meet with him every week one on one, and everyones assignments are based on their skill level, and what specifically they want to accomplish. Which are two sexy bullet points for me. Oh and Cheryl's a lil happier that I dont have to spend so much money this semester for AM.

Plus, hell, I've never heard of anything like this go on, so he's kind of trailblazing here, and its exciting to be on board! I dont really know what to expect, which is always dangerous fun. That said, I'll definitely be posting by progress here just in case people are thinkin about taking it sometime. It'd be nice to know what you're getting into no?

Find out more info about the program here!
The Spline Doctors

Friday, September 28, 2007

Pereferral Vision Girls

Cheryl and I saw Stardust the other night and we loved it! Heres a drawing of Michelle Pfeiffer's character, Lamia. My favorite character in the movie.And this one I did for Sam Hiti's fist-a-cuffs site. I think I might've submitted a little late, but it was fun to do anyway. I already forgot what I decided to name her, it was something hot slash awesome like Hoopnotical or Hoopnotic. Shes based on someone I saw perform at E3 one year.
I just realized that her and Lamia are looking at the same thing, I dont know why that happened. Something about the glancing-to-the-side expression thats really appealing to me. Gotta stop with that, all my drawings are looking the same!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

AM- Class 2 Progress Reel


Well here it is, another class, another progress reel! Hope you like!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

AM Class 2- Last Q n A

Tonight was our last Q & A with Greg Kyle, I should keep in touch cause I'll miss him. For any AM students going into Class 2, try to work the system and get Mr. Kyle. I really appreciated his candor and his commitment to share everything he knows about animation w/ our class, plus he's freakin funny. To be frank, this quater got a little bit frustrating at times, because I continued to use 3D Max, and there was no shortage of Maya-specific questions during Q & A (understandably). But he never was frustrated, and was always open and willing to share his experiences and thoughts about the industry. And times would still be around w/ us well over the 8-9 Q&A schedule. Once I remember Q & A went a little past 10:30 man!
I also made a few more new friends this class which I'm thankful for. Still I wish I had more time to drop by other students' workspaces, as I did in Class 1. Next class I'll really make an effort to do so. That and I wish I wasnt so lazy, otherwise I'd share things Greg shared with us here on this blog regularly. Hmm. Maybe next class I 'll even have the courage to jump into Maya!

Oh and , I'll upload my class 2 progress reel here soon! Going through it, I felt like I was doing the best I could do, but lookin back at the work, I feel like I could've pushed a little more. Dont you hate that feeling?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

happy bday cheryl!

Cheryl's bday was this past weekend and it was a blast! A group of us went camping at the San Juan Islands. We also "fishing", petted camels, went whale watching, went wine tasting, and we were( more or less) attacked by a fox! Which was scary because we even brought the dogs! Well Cheryl was real delighted it all worked out so well, so I was happy. I'll upload some pictures later!This is what I gave Cheryl, framed. I just wanted to do something that would make her happy whenever she glanced at it. She loves koi fish, and is always pushing me to do more art for the house. "Arent you an artist, why arent you doing art for our walls?!" My response is always that my stuff isnt good enough and it isnt. Not that this is. But I had big ambitions to actually give it a more painterly look, but I was rushed for time. Plus I was reminded that I can't paint to save my life, and I just went with what I knew. I wanted it to say something positive but not as plain as "happy." So I thesaurus-dot-commed "happy" and settled on bliss. Could've been worse, could've settled on "chipper."

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Popozao!

A sketch to end the week and break in a new brush. I actually got to draw all week at work which was freakin awesome! I feel really rusty man, I was drawing all the time doing traditional anim. at my very first gig, after that I got into ArenaNet, and stopped drawing seriously for like 3 years because I was so deep into learning 3D! So I got alot of catching up to do. Having this blog helps. I feel like it'll feel negelected if I dont feed her something, anything!, for a long period of time.

So far, at Gas Powered, its been a good balance of animating in 3D and doing concepts here and there. I imagined before that it'd be easy constantly going back n forth between the two on the fly, but its actually pretty hard for me to get into the back into the groove of one or the other. Its challenging fun. On another note, I was lookin thru the Meet the Robinsons art book again, and Joe Moshiers designs are...just delicious. Deliciousness.

So the days nowadays pretty much go; leave the house at 9:00, get home from work, spend time w/ Cheryl and the pups, if I'm not too lazy hit the gym, and finally work on Animation Mentor stuff until 3-ish. So I've been pretty tired the past weeks. Which means more coffee in the mornings, which mean harder caffeine crashes in the evening, or whenever I'm not drinking coffee.
And so bumbershoot this weekend!! Rod Y Gab, its gonna be off the chain! And if you havent yet check out MIA's new album Kala. Its freaking sick.

Monday, August 27, 2007

AM Assignment 3- Blocking

Blocking for the last assignment of this class! Got some beef with how this is coming out? Please lemme know!

**After a couple of iterations I've uploaded a version of this one in polish phase! Yeah boy!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

AM Assignment 2- Polish Pass


Another pass on this one after Greg Kyle's comments last night! I'm just gonna be polishing this the rest of the week and then its on to the next one!
So here are some plans and rough keys thumbs for the next one!


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Ukelele girl

Done today for a good friend of mine to christen his new apartment!!

Friday, August 10, 2007

AM, Cadaver Parts, and Comic-Con Swag!

Making more progress on the second assignment in Class 2! I've been super tired all week. Bring on the weekend!!And heres a lunchtime sketch for my co-worker and friend, Paul. Who had knee surgery today and apparently might score some cadaver replacements for his leg! Recover well soon buddy!

So again I didnt get to make it down to Comic-Con this year. But I did have a few books that I had a friend, Chris, so graciously pick up for me this year!

Oogeley Boogeley,
Pascal Campion.
Filled w/ Pascal's awesome illustrations that all seem to nail great design, color, composition, and tell a story in one panel. I recently got into his work, dug in the archives, and found that he was doing at least one of these a day!

The Art of Deanna Marsigliese.
Killer animation artist from Sheridan. Filled with great character designs. Shes gonna be doing big things in the future. She also did an awesome little doodle inside.

She also left her number somewhere below, but to respect her privacy I wont post it here. =)
And my crown jewel of the con, Belle du Jour, Bill Presing.
This book is stunning. From the presentation to the packaging. The content from finished illustrations, to rough sketches and watercolour tests. And to top it all off, Chris managed to snag a limited edition w/ an original art piece attached to the inside cover. I was a little apprehensive because it costs so much more, but when I cracked it open and took a look at the original piece (below, bee suit-girl.), I felt vindicated. Look at that man!!! That piece is freaking stunning. The dude has some real skills.
One of the pages from Belle Du Jour.My original art piece from Bill Presing.

So lastly, I wanna say thanks to my friend, Chris Turnham , for picking these up for me. And a big congrats to Chris for scoring a new position as a designer at Laika animation studios! Thats freaking rad man Good luck.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Sarts dude

Saw this
guy on
the Sartorialist
and couldn't
not draw
him.
How does
he even
tie his
shoes
you ask?
Easy, he
wears
slip-ons.

AM Class2-Assignment 2

This weeks lesson is on locomotion! Heres my keys/breakdowns pass for this week!
**Edit: Made changes n tweaks based on Greg's feedback!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Biking!

For fun.

This really is amazing to see:
Its Glen Keane quickly animating a scene, straight ahead, for a lecture at Cal Arts. One drawing at a time, this character really does begin to come alive in front of you. He really does believe it, and you can be startled (along with the class) when he rolls the drawings and the guy actually comes alive. Its really quite something, and I dont think any other artform can give you the same feeling. And for those of you that know me, know that Glen's work was and is a big reason why I decided to pursue animation in art school.



Oh and look who it is! Just me chillin with my Pixar peeps, hangin out online, shootin the poop, drinkin beers.
In reality its from a Ratatouille q & a session ( with Robert Russ and Doug Dooley) Animation Mentor held tonight. I was so excited I can barely remember the answers to the questions I had, as a matter of fact I can barely remember the questions I had.
I did remember to ask what some of the biggest lessons they learned on the project. Both of them mentioned specifically they learned more about posing than ever before. Especially since Pixar brought on a lot of newer traditional animators they dubbed the French Connection. Bolhem Bouchiba, Kristophe Vergne, Theirry Martin among others. I did recognize these names from the Tarzan animation team, who was animated at the France studio. (Off the record: I'm a huge fan of Bolhem, dude, he animated Jumba in Lilo and Stitch. Who was RAD! ) Anyway, these guys came in and taught them so much about graphic solid posing, strengthening their work.

I cut out early to walk the dogs and spend time with Cheryl, but at least I got a question in and walked away with some sage advice. And that is:
In this industry, if you're not French, dont bother.

Kidding!

Or am I?

Friday, July 27, 2007

Assignment 1- Polish Pass!

Tryin to put this one to bed ! Until tommorow morning when I see something to fix. I swear you could tweak some of these scenes up until the very last minute. Theres always something.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Lion!..

....Tiger and Bear not so much! Lately I've been only drawing what I'm comforable with. I've always been intimidated by doing animals, so In the spirit of pushing myself, heres an attempt at a lion! Uh sorta. I need to hit up the zoo more!
Another.
Gah. Apologies for the Lion Kingy-ness of this one, I was just trying for some appealing shapes. Kind of turned out looking like bad clip art.

If you wanna see drawings from someone who really knows what they're doing, check out these sketches by Andreas Deja from Victor Ens' blog! Thanks for sharing these Victor!

On another Disney note, I found this relatively unknown, but fantastic, Disney Animation short linked from another blog, CartoonColin:
"One By One" (2004), a short that was apparently created for the never completed Fantasia 2006, directed by Pixote Hunt and plopped on the Lion King II DVD:


I loved Fantasia 2000, well done short films animated to music make for an amazing experience. It doesnt get an better than Rhapsody in Blue and the Firebird Suite was sweet I dont care what you say Katy. Watching this is just as awesome and I wish I could see it on the big screen!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

ARRR!

My submissions for this week's Sketchwich!
Pirette.Captain Morgan and Jose Cuervo. Bosom Buddies.
Quickie sketch done at work.
Not very pirate-related. Just another lunchtime quickie sketch.
Maybe shes doin a pirate jig! yo ho yo ho!
For this weeks Chades Challenge, the theme was Flamboyant Armadillo.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Class 2- First Assignment!

Back at Animation Mentor!
One of the choices for our first assignment was to have "Ballie"(Ball character with two legs) kick a ball. Kicking a ball was considered a one star difficulty, while another choice, turning around 180 degrees, was a two star. Really? Turning around? I didnt want to seem like I opted for the easier one , still, I thought'd be fun to have him kick a ball.
My idea was just to have Ballie ready himself to kick what he thinks is a rubber kickball. But shh get this.... What he doesnt know, is that its actually a bowling ball! hahaha! Take that Ballie! To the bank Ballie!
Anyways here is some of my ref footage. Hopefully this doesnt come out assy.
Animation Mentor-Class2 Assignment 1 (Reference Footage)

Monday, July 2, 2007

back in action

I'm back from from the Philippines, again! I'm gonna just start taking two week vacations every month.

Check out this super rad sculpture I scored! Not quite as cool as barrel man, but a little bit cooler than phallic ashtray.
I know right?!

Tonight is supposed to be my first night back in Animation Mentor, but for some reason I cant seem to log in. And considering the price tag every one of these sessions is precious. I dont even know who my mentor is yet. If this goes on any longer, I better get like, Brad Bird or something. Or anyone French. Like a Gobelins student or something, I'd settle for that.

**Update** Finally got to log in and my new mentor is Greg Kyle! Sweet.

Heres a quickie done for the Unleaded Artists site, a blog started by some Gas Powered Games artists. It just started up so theres not much yet, but heres my meager, unfunny contribution!
The theme was "The unathletic, promiscuous priest who was genetically engineered".

My brain cant process that many words in one sentence. So heres my unathletic priest.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Bad Robot.

One more theme drawing for sketchwich, World Killer.
Now! I'm off to the Philippines! See you later!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I'm Sorry.

My "Elderly Mermaids" entry for the Chades Challenge. New entries are 'sposed to be up friday, but I'll be in the Philippines by then, again!
Apologies if this is in poor taste. I'm just jealous, is all. Insanely jealous.

Check more awesome sketches here!