Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Lonely Queen and Her Guard

This piece is based off of a dream I had months ago and finally got around to finishing. I suppose it sort of fits with the holidays. It was a sort of fairytale a la Chronicles of Narnia or Wizard of Oz.  I tried out a number of new things I normally don't do, including the style the characters are drawn in and the way they're painted. I don't usually visualize dreams, either, but I wanted the challenge of designing a creature like the one pictured with the Queen.  Here's the development work on both characters, but mostly on the Guard creature, since he was more complicated.

Friday, November 18, 2011

CTN Expo

So I'm here in good ol' Burbank, CA at the great CTN Expo. Off to network and show my portfolio to anyone who will look at it. Most of my portfolio is already on here throughout the entries, but I'll upload everything into one entry as soon as I have a sufficient enough internet connection. See you around, folks!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sketches Part Two

Here's another collection of sketches from this past August and September. I still am deeply buried in the habit of drawing my own characters all day every day, including some new designs that I'm currently playing around with. As I work on my portfolio, though, I have to get back in the hang of life drawing. Most of them are of some cats from a rescue center I visit, but I found some from lectures that I liked. I also tried my hand at caricaturing my dad's dog, some students at my school, as well as Doctor Who's Matt Smith.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Making a Candy Run

Despite how much time I spend on my senior thesis, I like to do other artwork and characters as a kind of breather between lab sessions. It keeps my mind going and my thesis from looking all the same to me if I switch it up sometimes.

Like Maestra in my last post, this is a little speed painting of the Candyman I did the other day. I've been working on him and Lucie a little bit more. Their story is more or less the same, since it's supposed to be simple. I mostly just worked on their relationship and personality quirks. For instance, Candyman doesn't really talk much. He speaks in candy names; he'll say something like "candy hearts!" when he likes something or "licorice twists..." when he's complaining. Lucie does most of the talking for the both of them. You know, silly little things like that to keep me amused with the two.

The Show Goes On

So senior year at Ringling keeps trucking along as I work on my thesis. I did this quick painting of Maestra earlier in production to make sure my color choices are working and to remind myself of the textured look I want the film to have. The good thing is that her rig's arms and legs are just as bendy and noodly as they are in my drawings. So exciting!

Monday, August 15, 2011

"Spirit Rappings" Concept Art

I found a couple of character concept paintings for "Spirit Rappings", the story that Vin, Bonnie May, and Abby come from. As I develop the story more, I will try to upload its artwork on here.

This was done a few months ago when I was wrapping up "Belles and Dandies" and visited Savannah, GA. I was trying to build on the sketchy, old fashioned look I wanted for the film with this and also used it as practice with working in sepia tone.

This simple marker drawing was done more as a tribute to the great Disney animator, Freddie Moore, than for real concept art for my story. I'm not going to lie. I am very heavily influenced by Moore's work, particularly his pinup girls.


No matter what kind of artist you are, I think it's so important to keep a sketchbook. It's the quickest and easiest way to express yourself. You can make your work as rough or as refined as you want. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have mine. It's where I keep almost all of my thoughts and it's my escape. I have books upon books filled with doodles and tiny notes from over the years. It keeps my thought process going and referring back to older books is a good source of inspiration to me.

Every month on my page, I update with a compilation of the previous month's sketches. Below are some of my select sketches and doodles from this past February through July. Many of them are concept doodles for stories for school or my own personal ones, particularly "Spirit Rappings". So far, this year has also been an experiment into trying new styles and techniques for my artwork. There's also some fanart sprinkled here and there. Sometimes, it's just nice to show appreciation for the works of others.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"Prima Maestra"

During Animation Preproduction, we have two projects. That way, at the end of the semester, the students and the faculty have a choice on what should be done for the senior thesis. The process starts all over again with story pitches.

Two of my ideas are featured in previous posts, "Bastet's Gift" and "The Revolutionary Snowman". The alotted time to come up with our new pitches was very short, so I could not make new artwork for these older stories. I did, however, come up with seven new ideas, five of which I was able to make quick paintings for.

Idea one is another love story. A lonely mime falls in love with a blind girl after thinking she was a mime, too, and tries to get her attention any way he can. Of course, it's difficult considering mimes are silent and only communicate visually.

Lucie the Troll Girl and the Candyman make a comeback as costars together. Their story is altered to Candyman being a recovering sugar addict and Lucie is a pest in his shop.

This idea started off simply as a question I asked myself: "why do music conductors look like they're dancing?" It turned into a story about a ballerina quitting her job to become a conductor, but her old ways come back to haunt her with beneficial results.

This idea spawned from all those insane photographs of construction workers building 1930's skyscrapers. The story was about an unemployed fellow in the Great Depression jumping on the first job he could get his hands on before the rest of the jobless public. What he didn't know was that he would have to risk his zero-experience life and limb as a construction worker.

This was just a silly idea of a hat wearing horse trying to get his tophat back. Nothing too terribly special about it other than some visual gags I would have liked to do just for laughs.

The story about the ballerina turned conductor won by just a hair. Her closest competition was the Mime Boy and the Blind Girl. Those two, however, moved on to be a children's book idea and are now happily named Felix and Cecily respectively. As for the Ballerina Conductor, her story was changed for the better. Now, the conductor for her recital is missing and she is trying to fulfill both roles. This idea passed and is now going to be my senior thesis here at Ringling. As such, I think I am going to hold back on showing the animatic until the short is done. Instead, I am happy to show you my visual development work. I really look forward to working on this project. I have never tried this 1950's UPA style before, but I love it and am excited at the challenge of trying to make it work in a computer animated short.

Lip Sync

Well, I certainly have made enough posts leading up to it. The entire spring semester in Computer Animation was dedicated to the Lip Sync project. After modeling and rigging my self caricature, we took them on a test run with the emotion test.

After fixing the problems and/or figuring out to work around them, we moved on to the lip sync, itself.

Just when you think we would be done after this, we get another chance to animate ourselves. In take two, we exchange caricature models with one another and animate them with our own models. The shadows are a little jumpy due to last minute lighting changes.

"Belles and Dandies"

So the big ol' projects of Animation Preproduction class came and went. We had to pitch five ideas in front of the faculty and they helped us choose which one we would spend most of the semester working on. Here are the rough paintings I presented for my ideas.

Prince made a comeback with his original story. You can see the progress that lead to that some posts back. I went with the first animatic's approach for this pitch.

The little troll (who is now named Lucie) from my Drawing for Animators painting branched off to her own story for Preproduction pitches. The idea with her was that she was trying to find a scary place to inhabit, like other trolls, but is afraid of the dark. She sucks it up and goes spelunking down into a cave to find valuable gems as her reward for overcoming her fear.

Another returning idea with the distant design relatives of Zemti and Kale, Set and Cain. It was pitched as the original chase scene extended to include more of Set's turn around as a thief, even though Cain doesn't end up forgiving him.

Like Lucie the Troll Girl, Candyman also got his own story for Preproduction pitches. His is a relatively simple cautionary tale about taking everything, including sugar, in moderation.

Finally, Vin and Bonnie's story from the One Minute project was pitched without any changes made to it. They seemed to have won the pitch by a landslide.

Over the half of the semester that I worked on this, Vin and Bonnie went through the trials and tribulations that stories go through during Preproduction. What started off as just wanting to spice up the ending turned into a completely different story that was even more complicated than the first. I cannot say that I am exactly happy with the end product and it certainly showed when the idea did not pass, but I will not get into that. I am happy, though, to have had the chance to develop Vin and Bonnie May more than I ever have before. I think my favorite part of this project was the visual development work that I did for it.

Push Pull Exaggerated

As promised, I have the second half of my Push Pull project. Push Pull Exaggerated is pretty self explanatory. I think I liked it more than natural since I could get away with more and already had experience animating Chonglin.

Drama Painting

For our final project in my first Drawing for Animators class, it was kind of a free-for-all. It was simply called Drama and we had to essentially tell a story through our painting. I had many ideas that I could not settle on. One was a teenaged, not so stereotypically hideous troll and another was about a sugar addicted candyman.

After collaborating with my awesome professor, I decided to combine both characters into one story. The idea became that the troll is a customer in this odd little world and the candyman is introducing her to the wonderful world of candy... until he literally gets a sugar crash. The idea was difficult to portray in the usual shot-like composition we normally use for storytelling images, so I ended up making the painting more like a movie poster.

It's a first attempt at a new painting style for me, but this project helped me create two new characters that I love and are fun to draw. I ended up pitching them a couple of times for my thesis, so you will see more of them both.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lip Sync Model Rig

So here she is, my caricature rig. Yeah, she looks VERY different from the original model sheet, but I think it's for the better. She's much simpler and easier to work with. I'll try to get her emotion test and the actual lip sync up soon.

Monday, March 21, 2011