Sorry for the lack of posts, but professional and personal life are at a fever pitch!...And I've been a lazy f*ck.
So anyway, the above clip is from our student film that we had completed for our final year at "The Joe Kubert School" in 1995 and it was called "Cruel-Tea".
All 5 of us who were in the Animation class worked on it over the course of 5 months, inbetween our normal class load. The school "semi-supported" the production in that they allowed us class time and that was about it. Our ink and paint method was to print out backgrounds on a copier and then trace and use white-out over the characters, or cut them out and paste them onto the Xerox backgrounds. Now THAT's old school!.
One of our teachers Sal Mallimo, (who actually got it onto YouTube) encouraged us to enter it into the ASIFA-East film festival, so we then went into New York City ( the school is in Jersey) and had added film post and sound. The guy who did our sound had an entire library of BETA tapes which we went through to see what would work.
We entered our film into the student category and it was the first time any class from our school was entered. We had competing films from both CalArts and SVA, so we just didn't wanna get ripped apart. They had the viewing at NYU film school and we watched all the films, and then ours game up. As it played we heard laughs and at the end all of us had a sigh of relief and as we were talking amongst ourselves a dude who sat in the front of us turned and said " Was that your guys' film?"..My bussy Bill replied that it was and he said " That was a fun, little cartoon..Good Job"....We later found out that that dude was kick-ass animator Bill Plympton, so we were stoked.
In the end we actually got 2nd place ( the film from CalArts got first...who knew?)and were pretty happy, but now when watching it after 13 years, we cringe at some timing we get unsettled at some of our key poses...But we still laugh when the Bear digs into the kids skull to grab his tongue.
The sketch above I did was for a dictator like boss character, and they wanted him to have some "Kim Jong-Il and Castro"...Because the setting was sci-fi, I threw a little "ED-209" in there to help the lil' bastard get around...It runs on farts too.
This weekend I wanted to see "Ratatouille", but didn't get to go..But I will. I did however get to see "Surf's Up" the other weekend and I really enjoyed it. I mean, Penguins are played out, but then again I guess there's always room for more than one penguin film..I mean weren't there like 8 Vietnam flicks in the late 80's and early 90's?...Anyway, it was a better overall picture than Sony's last outing "Open Season", as it had more enjoyable characters and story. I will say this that I really do like Sony's overall art direction, both in "Open Season" and "Surf's Up". The environments and character designs in "Surf's Up" were really impressive, and damn did the water look amazing.
Newsarama has posted a pretty good interview with "Secret of Nimh" and former Disney animator Don Bluth. He has kind of retired from animation after the debacle of " Titan A.E" that he headed up at the late Fox Animation. He has some interesting things to say:
About some of Disney's "9 Old Men"
"What we noticed that the 9 Old Men who were still there were instructed to teach us their techniques and different things they had learned over the years. That way we could continue the Disney way. Well, I’m not sure they really wanted to do that. Many times we would ask them questions and they ‘couldn't remember’ how they did it."
On the abundance of 3D animation
"It’s also caused a lot of people to enter the animation industry who can not draw. Now they’ve become puppeteers. With CGI it’s a puppet inside the machine. All you have to be able to do is move it. The curse is we are losing a beautiful art form that many people still love. "
It's a really great read, and he still has real passion for the business as an art form, although as a 3D animator who transitioned from 2D his whole " all ya gotta do is know how to move it around" atatement comes from someone who has never animated on a computer...Also he suggests the one "dream project" he'd come out of retirement for.
Been heads down on our latest PSP title as well as ramping up for a new project, but I've been trying to get this lil' piece done in between. It's of course Yoda, and I haven't finished the full color, but wanted to post up the progress I've made...In reality just like Luke gave up trying to lift that X-Wing out of the Dagobah swamp, I might do the same with this.
OK, I've had discussions with my fellow geeks on this point, but didn't it seem that Today went from using his "backward speech" only slightly in "The Empire Strikes Back" to every single damn sentence in the prequels?
This was a concept sketch I did for a baseball title, so being it's baseball season and it's in full swing, I threw some color in it and decided to throw it on up here. By the way, the inks done on this piece were by Jeff Willis, who is without doubt a 4-star kick ass artist.
I'm a pretty huge fan of baseball and my team in the Yankees..Yes, I've heard all the "big money" talk and everything, but it IS a Yankee-Nation and everyone else just lives in it. The Yanks are staring to turn things around it seems, and hopefully can get into the playoffs this year, Clemens is back, A-Rod is getting getting caught hitting on chicks, but he's also hitting balls outta the park, and Jeter just keeps increasing the value of that rookie card I own..Just need to know if I'm gonna fork over money for the kid's future college fund, or buy myself a trip to see the Yanks play in the World Series once.
I live in Seattle, but I was born and raised in Jersey so the Yankees are like religion. I light a votive candle for Saint Anthony and one for Lou Gherig ( Catholics know what I mean). Now anyone who knows baseball knows about the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, and that's why it darn near baffled me when Democratic Presidential hopeful, Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico said on "Meet The Press" that he had loyalty to both the Yankees AND the Red Sox...?!?!..There are constants in the Universe, and that statement goes against the very sands of time. Only a politician trying to get every vote he can would even try to say that with a straight face..Oh he also said that he liked Pepsi AND Coke, Harley's AND Suzuki's as well as Sean Connery AND Roger Moore.
Here is another lifedrawing, and yes ladies we don't just draw nekkid women, but also dudes..And yes, they're nekkid too. . I had a male model in class who was a dead ringer for old Saint Nick, ( he didn't have a sack full o' toys, but indeed had a sack ) and I'll scan it in...Maybe even make it my Christmas card this year.
I know. " Too Much Info" but here is one of the sketches I scanned, I went with a more gestural sketch and actually used charcoal for this. I usually as an animator always use pencil, but once in a blue, I will try something new and get some nice results.
Went through and started to scan some of the lifedrawings from my portfolio and various sketch pads, so I'll start posting them up once in a blue.
I remember the first time I started doing life sketches in school and when I brought my sketchpad home, my uncle was like "They don't have any clothes" and I still hear that statement today whenever you talk about "nude" models.
I think the only other occupation that can relate to seeing a nekkid person in a professional context are doctors....I mean, don't get me wrong when an attractive girls walks in, your like "Wow, not bad" but then when that pencil hits the pad, your more concerned that you drew her feet like crap, then what her nipples look like.
Hope you all had a good Memorial Day weekend, filled with BBQ and cold beer!. It's been awhile since I've posted any sketches, so here is a chick...With gloves.
I decided to post the pencil sketch as well, because I ain't thrilled to death with the color, but in the pencil version I think I went a bit too forced ( perspective wise ) with the hands. As Jerry Seinfeld would say "She's got Man Hands!"
The weekly "Inspiration Thurday" is hella late this week, so it got kicked to Monday..I don't think my 3 regular readers are in any uproar over it, but deadlines and such got in the way.
Anyway animation is such a quick process, and in animation there are many techniques that take place in that 1/24th of a second to fool that you never really notice..One of them is the Blur.
One of my animation teachers Doug Compton showed us this great Warner Brothers cartoon called the "Dover Boys Of Pimento University", check it out:
After watching it, we went back on a few scenes and he went frame-by-frame on the old 4 Head VCR ( we're talking 1993 here) and we saw some of the images below ( which happens at 3:29 in the cartoon)
We were all pretty awed, as you never really focused on these crazy frames, but they are all over the film, and in many other ( especially Warners) cartoons.
When I worked on 2D games, I would use blurs for toony action, as it gave a good look, and cut down on the number of frames you would have to draw, in the 3D games I've worked on, we were able to get this effect in some of the anims we did for "Over The Hedge" PSP, especially with the speedy hamster Hammy. So it is definitely something that can be used for animation of all mediums.
It's been a lil bit since I've posted, and a weekend has come and gone. The big deal this weekend was that "Spider-Man 3" opened up, and it made ass-loads of cash. I haven't seen it yet, mainly because this weekend was also was Cinco De Mayo, so I was too busy drinking Tecate's and eating fried foods lathered in cheese, which made my Spidey-Sense tingle all the way to the Banjo!
Even though some friends of mine said it was "alright" I still plan on catching it next weekend, and hopefully at IMAX...But until then I did up a sketch of ol' Spidey, which was actually a lot of fun, as he lends himself to awesome animated poses..As much as Spidey has been in movies and media, my first and fondest memory of the "Wall Crawler" was when he appeared on "The Electric Company". Web sling your way down memory lane HERE
Sorry haven't posted in awhile, but been busy, busy. I am on a new project at work, and one of the reasons is because one talented animator and good friend of mine Jason Newkirk a.k.a "Notorious Newsquirt" is leaving Amaze after 10 years!
You can go ahead and read about the awesome opportunity he is leaving for at his blog by clicking HERE
As a proper sendoff we decided to do up a caricature as a CD cover, and frame it with a gold CD, like some big time recording artist. It is a great play, because Jason loves music, and he loves all types of hip-hop. So I went on ahead and drew him up, rocking the Mickey Mouse boxers and the animation disc chain.
Newk and I along with two other artists shared an office 10 years ago when Amaze first started, and it was a great time, we had one CD player in our office and we'd pick a CD and we'd all listen to it...Jason had eclectic tastes, from "Zony Mash" all the way to Michael Bolton's "Secret Passion" opera CD, and even throwing in "John Tesh" for a round ( and I think each of those CD's were only played once ). All in all, he is a good guy, and in 10 years there have been a hell of a lot of laughs, late night crunches, and good times.
The above clip is an early Disney CGI test directed by John Lasseter with characters from the "Where The Wild Things Are" children's book series. This came a year after the Jeff Bridge's masterpiece "TRON" ( remember the gridbugs?).
This test is one part of a great website that chronicles the history of computer graphics and animation. It's a great look back. Check it out HERE
all images are copyright of Warner Bros...So don't sue my ass, I did pay for the book!
Figured I'd start a new post called "Inspiration Thursday" where I'll post either examples of art, blogs, books or animation that I have used as reference and inspiration as an animator and artist.
Gonna kick it off with these amazing backgrounds from various Looney Tune cartoons. These images I have been studying these for some background sketches ( which I'll post soon) that I have been concepting out. They come from the "Draw the Looney Tunes" book, and believe me there are a tone more like it.
What I really liked about these pieces was how they follow all the perspective rules ( as seen in the 1st pic ), and yet they still added their own unique angles in the details to keep it from looking to rigid. Also the dimension that some elements have, mixed with flat almost billboard like objects as well. Also the colors to convey a mood, as seen in the 2nd pic is just like the artistic lighting that films use.
So enjoy the work of the "masters" and hopefully I'll post my stylized "titty bar" soon.
Well the above character sketch was another concept I had done for an potential project. The basic gist was that all these characters all had to represent hip-hop and rap, and have some type of "future elements" as well.
Each link below is for each of the other characters I previously posted:
One funny thing is that in the post about the "Lil' Shorty" I linked to a pic of rapper "Lil, Kim" . I get at least 8 hits from image search hits to my site for that one pic. Most come from the UK, where it seems the Brits want a gander at her assets...Even if they are bought ( guessing from record sales)
pics from Animationarchive.net click images to enlarge
I've been busy doing some animation for the Beefcakes blog, so I haven't been able to get a new sketch to post up. One of the toughest things about drawing characters has got to be hands, but luckily with all art, there is usually someone who kicked ass at it, and whose work can be learned from.
For animation the best reference for hands is found in the work from the artist above, Disney animator Milt Kahl. Kahl was considered one of the best draughtsman at the Disney studio, and in one instance "The Sword in the Stone" director Woolie Reitherman saw Milt's first rough drawings of Merlin the magician and Madame Medusa, he reportedly turned to Milt and said, "These things look so beautiful, they could hang in a museum" to which, Milt responded with a characteristic "Aw...You're full of it!"
So enjoy the above pics, save them and learn from them. I have the pencil versions, and am constantly using them for reference. Gotta learn from da Masters!
I have been trying to get some animation to post through youtube, but I have been running into problems posting it. If anybody has a way of doing it, drop a comment by, because I'ts been a pain in da ass!
So you guys will have to just look at another drawrin' today, and this time I did a take on the man who shot Greedo first Han Solo. Overall I am pretty happy with it, but it still looks "off" from Harrison Ford, I think I probably should have gone more "toony" and less charicature, but I did like the pose and all, so I though I'd post it up anyways.
I found Star Wars actually done all in ascii text and for fun you can check it out HERE
Got back to doing some sketching, and decided to make an attempt at a pinup gal ( which is based on a Rose McGowan photo). I always found getting the features of a chick's face ( unlike the obvious butt and boobs ) just right. I think the above was one of my better attempts.
Speaking of chicks, I had the displeasure of watching about 5 minutes of Halle Berry's "Catwoman" movie, and man was it beyond terrible. The direction and the acting, from both Berry and Sharon Stone was awful. I can honestly say that the best work each of the two actresses has done has been when they were nekkid ( and one even got an Oscar for it ).
I think the most awful thing was the network that had Catwoman on it was AMC which stands for "American Movie CLASSICS".
photo by: Danny Ngan...and yes, those are panties As posted earlier, our band the "Drunks Of Hazzard" had our show last Thursday and it was a hella good time! The Jewelbox Theatre was the perfect venue for us to spew our rude, filth ridden lyrics...All to a toe tapping beat!
We gotta thank everyone who came out on a school night, as the place was packed with family, friends and new fans of the Drunks, was awesome to see a full house of drunken folks. Gotta give big props to Chris Brockett and the Tweezer guys for helping put on a great show.
Also another co-worker and fellow blogger Jack Brummetwrote up a fun review of our show
"Chris Brockett and The Wasted Bullets opened up a show on Thursday night at The Rendezvous. Chris played a short set with some of his own tunes and some great covers, including a Johnny Cash cover in which he was joined by the Drunks of Hazzard. Brockett was nervous about his guitar playing, but it didn't matter. His voice sounded great, and he put on a moving, and oh so humble show. I hope I can see him perform a longer set soon. Keep it coming, Chris!
The Drunks of Hazzard are Fraser Thompson, Tony Ravo, Eric Gingrich, and Mike Chavez--artists, designers, and a programmer in the game world. You can find some posters of their gigs here. This band is a gas to watch and hear. And for some reason, you get thirsty listening. After their Thursday night gig, my stomach hurt from laughing so much. Each of their faces are a unique mirror of the music. Tony Ravo and Fraser Thompson mainly front the band. Fraser, in particular, is a joy to watch. His frantic facial expressions and wild limb movements while he plays and sings (most lead vocals and lead guitar) are worth the price of admission. His face can be puzzled, amused, and demonic all at the same time and watching him bounce around the stage only amplifies the music.
I have seen the Drunks play four or five times, but this time they were the most rehearsed I'd ever seen, and they broke out six or seven new songs--most as sick and hilarious as the great old tunes. The audience was convulsed in laughter. I want to try and post some of their lyrics in the near future. If you live in Seattle, try to show up at one of their sporadic gigs. And, hey, Drunks! Isn't it time to put out a CD? I could already name 12 songs that deserve inclusion. I have some low-quality boots of them, but I need an actual CD. Thanks, Drunks!"
Well it's been awhile, but our band "The Drunks Of Hazzard" are gonna be spewing our al-kee-hol inspired, sophomoric tunes this Thursday March 8th at the Rendezvous' Jewelbox Theatre.
We're gonna have two other bands, "Chris Brockett and the Wasted Bullets" is a solo act, and "El Scorcho" is a Weezer cover band.
We've had some great shows at the Rendezvous, which has been totally renovated, but I remember one time we played we saw this super hot chick nearly fall on her ass, but a bum had helped grabbed her arm right before she hit the ground and pulled her up. However she was totally blitzed and she acted as if the bum saved her from falling into a hole filled with starved Rottweilers, and actually exclaimed " You saved me". The best part was she totally full on frenched the hell outta the bum to repay him for his good deed..The Breathalyzer test between those two mouths was probably a "point 30"..good Times
So if you can stay up a bit late on a school night, then bring 3 bucks and your best drinking duds!
Hope you kids had a pleasant Valentine's Day, hope that the flowers and candy got you a bit of "action"...And if you were alone, well hopefully you gave a final glance at the Anna Nicole Smith Playboy ( that one small term outta give me about 30 extra hits a week ) before you hermetically seal it to be preserved through the ages.
Well the sketch above was one of a few concepts I did of Giants a few years back..You can guess what he has in his hand, I'm sure that some of you will think of the cute, and others the obscene :)
The website superman-with-chimps has shut down, so they stopped their online contests. But even though the contests are done, you can still go by and check out all the previous submissions.
I had started the above illo in case they were going to have another contest, I wanted to something a bit "toon-ier" with Supes. Of course it's the classic "shirt rip" and I dug my line art and pose, but I just kind of ran outta steam on the colors...and didn't even attempt a background.
So the above sketch is of "The Duke" John Wayne, nothing to meaningful here, I'm just trying to keep sketching away.
So within the last couple of weeks I've added to my art library with the following latest additions..Oh and by the way, I strongly suggest joining Barnes and Nobles' membership program. It's free and you get 20% off on all "Adult Hardcovers" which is pretty much what each "Art Of Book" usually is.
The Art of Open Season: Didn't like the movie as a whole very much, but I did like the style and this book is really packed with great sketches, especially character design. It's really inspiring, as they included various designs from different animators on each character, and the background paintings are very Warner Brothers in style. It is one of those new "interactive books" which means it contains lots of extras, and keepsakes. I have a Bruce Springsteen book, and it works for that, as they give you replicas of gig posters and backstage passes, but for this book, the most you get are cheesy postcards, and stickers based on the characters, so the format isn't that great for this book, unless your 5.
Draw The Looney Tunes: Not a bad book overall, it is supposedly the "bible" they gave all the character artists at Warner brothers studio.It's not so much an animation book, but an overall basic drawing manual. It describes proper layout and drawing theory, and as far as animation it covers the basic "Preston Blair" bases of line of action, dynamic posing etc. I know the title says draw the "Looney Tunes", but the basic character featured is Bugs Bunny, so it's a bit limited. The book does feature full color pull-outs of really nice Warner Brother back grounds, as well as velum cleanup overlays of some rough drawings. Overall if your a professional artist, you won't learn many new tricks, but as far a visual ref and inspiration, it's a pretty decent book.
The Art Of The Incredibles: I waited on this for awhile, but finally grabbed it at Barnes and Noble ( yup 20% off too ) and it's a really good book, full of pre-production art. Each character and main environment from the film has a series of sketches, and even paper collages that were used in the early design phase. Overall, it was a smaller representation character-wise than the Open Season book, but still very inspiring, and interesting to see the retro-style that went into the overall film.
The above sketch was a character concept I did for a game a few years back. We wanted to portray the "3 Billy Goats Gruff" as the characters from the "3 Stooges". The game design changed in pre-production, and these 3 lil' bastards ended up getting cut, but it was still loads of fun to sketch.
On a side tangent, I guess the 3 Stooges were always found to be funnier by men than women, and Stanford University actually did a small study about it, (when they weren't busy finding cures for cancer and how to remedy global warming) and basically the summary of their findings was this: "women were a lot faster to decide something wasn't funny in the first place. Too, the women's brains were more active in language processing and executive function than the men's were. This meant that women analyzed the joke more than men did. The scientists theorized this indicates men start out thinking a joke is going to be funny while women don't"
So there ya have it. Another mystery of the universe solved!
Was back east for a week visiting my family back in "Joisey", where weirdly the weather was pretty nice...Funny enough it was 70 degrees when we landed last Saturday, and here today in Seattle my nuts have retreated into my small intestine, because it's been cold and snowing...Global Warming maybe?
But if it is Global warming the man who can stop it would be the dude I drew in the sketch above, "Jack Bauer" from the show "24" which had it's big 2 day-4 hour season premiere, and man was it ever kick ass! I have only a small selection of TV shows I check out religiously, one is "24" and the others are "Smallville", "House" and "Heroes". Problem is now both "24" and "Heroes" are both on Mondays @ 9, and I don't have Tivo or Digital Cable, so because "24" isn't big on re-runs during the season, I'm gonna tune in to see how Jack saves the world in one day yet again..This year he was released from a Chinese prison where he was tortured for 2 years to start his day.
Good thing he's the man to save the world, because if terrorists wanted to blow up a city on a day after I drank 8 car bombs the night before, I wouldn't be able to get my head off the pillow till bout 5PM.