Sunday, March 25

Coming out of hiding.

A lot of stuff has gone on since I last posted. I went to a nearly impromptu interview with Stormfront Studios at the school, which went rather well, but I don't believe I'll be hired. Either way, it was a good experience, and they did like my reel. Apparently my jump isn't very good, so I'm going to redo it with a better model (most likely Norman). I'm also working on a giraffe walk. It's not the best model either for some things, so it's taking some time.

Also, I've started working on some 2D VFX for an independent feature film called Half-Life. The only thing is I'm basically doing digital inking, which requires the use of a wacom tablet, a tool I've used only briefly before, so I'm basically just getting used to it now. Unfortunately I can't post any of the work here, so you'll all just have to wait till it comes out by the end of the year.

That's about it for now... I'll try and post some work up tomorrow.

Friday, March 16

Jump attempt #2.

Because YOUTUBE is a piece of crap, I uploaded my videos to my xanga site. It seems to be much friendlier and prettier quality as well. Anyhow, here's my jump (not finished with the landing poses) and the timing hasn't been set. Basically all it is so far is me putting the poses in. Whoo hoo. The reason there is no end yet is because that was the end of my reference footage haha, so I have to figure out how the rest will be.

I also have some sketches of Gabrielle, but I'm too tired to scan them right now. That's for tomorrow morning.

Good night and good luck.

-ERM err... TLC

Tuesday, March 13

Human Jump.

So, as I feel the quickest way to improve my reel at the moment is to continue doing what I started doing the other week when Paige and I filmed me jumping off some cement wall at one of the Squares in San Francisco.

I only worked on this for about 2 hours, and haven't even finished the key poses yet. The timing is by no means settled. It's just me putting the poses in the timeline.

This is also a test of a rigged model that I got from Cindy. It's kinda weird... actually makes me miss Norman in a way. This character has a lot less options for animating him such as you only have the options to "curl" and "separate" the fingers in the rig. I think you may be able to rotate them joint by joint if you have the joints showing, but that's a pain in the butt. The worst, by far though, is the arms. They don't make any sense!

Blah... anyways, enjoy, but I'm not really looking for much of a critique yet because well, the whole thing is needing improving and basically I'm just copying my footage. I'll be looking for critiques once I have the timing and and poses finished, but feel free to mention anything you think might just be a big fat mistake!

Also, I have just been sketching weird stuff lately. Weird stuff. I don't know why. Sort of stream of conscious sketching, (i.e. doodling). I drew weird shapes without looking, and then turned them into faces, no matter what shape I got. It's a fun excercise if you need help figuring out how to exaggerated faces.

Also, I drew some face sketches of Gabrielle, and needless to say, I still have to really figure out her shapes. It's tough trying to draw something from different angles before you know what they look like. Most of the faces turned out to be crap, but a few, like this one were pretty good. I think the eyes are just a little too big. And I also did the redesign of the Baroness. It's not a finished sketch yet, because clothes takes a while to design, but that's the basics of her.

Monday, March 12

Too many men to choose from.

So, since I'm feeling malevolent towards FLASH, I will curse it here first before my sketches.


Why must you close on me for no reason twice when I try to run you, and THEN after being open for nearly 45 minutes, you choose to close before I've saved anything?!?!?!

I was working on creating a flash character to animate, and I hadn't gotten very far (I was doing the line work) and then *poof* like a fuckin' faery, Flash disappears on me. Little bastard!! UGH.

So, I didn't feel like opening flash back up.

- - - - - - -

GET ON WITH IT. Sketch time.

I was truly unhappy with the first version I drew of Bastien, because his pose lacked rhythm, and his face was slightly too cartoony compared with Gabrielle's, so I did a lot of, um "research", i.e. looked at hot guys on GQ's website, and drew a bunch of sketches of those poses, and shortly after, did a new, much more rhythmic drawing of Bastien with some changes. So, I've decided to put the three of them up together, so you can see whose STYLE more closely resembles Gabrielle, and who fits the better description of her Bastien: he is a silly guy, though fairly quiet; he's sometimes intimidated by the fact that Gabrielle loves driving him around on her motorcycle, but that's just because he's afraid they'll crash and die; he loves her tres beaucoup (very much) and is kind of the pillar of calm to her bubbly, adventurous personality.

I think I've figured out what I think, but I want everyone else's opinions first. Or should I just scrap them both and try again??

And first, a detail of the new (and debatably improved) Bastien.


So, guess what... after posting this and deciding to go to bed, my brain was so annoyed at the fact that I had two versions of a character that I liked certain things about, and yet it still wasn't right. So, here I am one hour later posting the new sketch I did of the "hybrid". Don't mind his expression, it's sort of how I feel right now as it's almost 5am, and I can't stop DRAWING. Oh, and don't mind his legs either, I know they're a little funky, but again, 5am = not so perfect lines. Anyways, continue on with the discussion of who fits the bill best of "Bastien".

Saturday, March 10

A Circus of Art.

I did so much stuff today that I don't feel like explaining all of it. First was getting all my shit ready for GDC. Once I got THAT done I went to The Grove to sketch, and drew this character design of Bastien, Gabrielle's boyfriend in her story. Then I did a sketch of my friend Eddie's character for his song "Vampanda" who kills goths by drinking their blood with bamboo fangs (don't ask, it's not my thing lol) and he wants more sketches for more buttons for his band over in London.

I also came up with my T-shirt ideas. I want them to be based around helping the environment, i.e. - tree-hugging and riding your bike instead of driving a car. Thennn when I got home tonight (after finishing the owl at The Grove) I was in a lot of pain in my lower back left side from however it is I sit while sewing. I vowed to never sew dolls again. And then I thought of the perfect idea when I ran across my Princess Mononoke fur left-overs. And consequently, the sketches arrived, and I started cutting it up and.. YES, SEWING. And YES my back hurts again. I may need to hire someone to sew my ideas haha. Anyhow, it's 4am and I'm pooooped.

Rough breakdown:

Thursday, March 8

Sketches, more sketches and... a doll?

Today was mostly spent working on THAT. The plush version of my little jumping owl on my website. It's not quite finished yet, as you can tell by the funny look of his left side (your right). I have to finish stuffing him and then figure out how to sew him shut. I believe a ladder stitch is the best answer. (I was busy learning all about making plushies last night). Anyhoo, that's the doll.

The rest of the day was spent at The Grove sketching. I wanted to work on a design for one of the other characters in Gabrielle's story, and this is what I came up with. I know, how do these two tie in together? It's weird, but I can explain... another time. In any case, I began drawing her head too low when I was just scribbling faces, and therefore her body is very small and she looks like, the very short, Sarah Jessica Parker. I don't think I'll be using this version of th character, but I enjoyed drawing these sketches none-the-less.

Lastly I drew a few quick sketches from another project I'm working on (I'm so scattered, I know!) Since I haven't mentioned it on this blog before, this is from my short "The Lamp Post at Fillmore and Pine" and these are rough sketches from the thumbnail storyboard.

And now I'm off to fix my animation reel for GDC tomorrow! Blah.

Wednesday, March 7

Craptastic to Fantasmic

Last night I attempted to do a sketch of Spring, but it her head ended up too large and the feet and legs are all wrong, so I tried doing another sketch this morning which turned out even worse. I'm only posting this because they are THAT bad, and you can laugh with (or at me).

The only part that turned out awesome are the hands from the first drawing. So, hooray for me and sometimes being able to draw.

And so after getting frustrated with the cartoony characters, I decided to sketch from a magazine, and also draw some more realistic characters. I don't know where the backwoods/rural couple came from, but here they are.

I finally drew a character design of Gabrielle that I LIKE. Gabrielle is a character I created for a short that I wanted to do two years ago. I still want to do it, but the story is so screwy now that all I have as a solid foundation is:

a. Gabrielle lives in Paris.
b. She lives in a cute apartment with her overly affectionate cat.
c. She rides a motorcycle or moped (can't decide which yet).
d. She owns a little cafe.
e. One day she gets upset about something and takes a sudden trip to a small bed and breakfast with a peach orchard in the mountains.
f. Something happens in said orchard that makes the story... what? I do not know.

In any case, here she is! A design that I am finally satisfied with.

Horse jump study #1.

Thumbnail drawings of a horse jump.

Tuesday, March 6

Hey Horse Face!

Just trying to get myself acquainted with drawing Chase so that when I go to animate the horse walk, I'll have a good feeling of how she moves. I won't actually be drawing her from the front or turning or anything (not unless I'm feeling REALLY ambitious) but it's good to have a feel for the character in a three dimentional sense. Obviously I'm having problems with the mouth (from both lack of drawing horses with their mouths open and because this drawing is about two inches tall). But for now, I'm not going to worry about expressions. Body movement is what I need to focus on.

Also, a few more sketches of winter. I think I'm finally getting the proportions of her head engrained in my head. Blah blah blah.

At last...

...Winter has her very own second sketch! Hooray! Those bangs were a lot tougher to deal with than I thought they'd be... it must've taken me three pages before I got the bangs to look right in front of the face.

At last...

...I've figured out a simplified horse design to animate! I've been looking at so much illustrative work lately that I almost forgot how to make easily animatable characters! There is such a distinction between animation characters and illustration characters. The anatomy of an animated character has to be much more solid and weighted (if we're talking classical animation, which is what I need to do for film) and in illustration it's totally okay to tweak a character's design so much that the anatomy and weight may be totally unrealistic, because there is no need to animate an illustration, and you don't have to worry about how a slightly longer arm or leg, or very heavy head might affect the way the character moves. Sometimes I miss having that freedom in animated characters, of course, if you think of 3D characters it gets even tougher because to fix something you can't just erase it or hide something funky, you have to make sure the model and rig work correctly and have all the mobility a real puppet might have.

Anyway, sorry for that long tangent. Case in point, here are some more horse sketches and a couple of my model horse, *Chase. (Yes I gave her a name, I've got a slight obsession with names...).

*she's the horse in pink and brown pencil

Sunday, March 4

Fix it, fix it good.

Alright, I was reaaaaaaally dissatisfied with what happened with Spring's arm in the drawings I did last night (I was exhausted though that's no excuse). Here's a fix so she doesn't look like spaghetti arms!


Without a job to keep me in the know about the times (i.e. - what day of the week it is) I really was sort of taken by surprise when I realized today was the second day of Wondercon here in San Francisco. I really wish I'd had the obvious smarts to get my portfolio really ready to be seen by industry people. I had all my old work (up to the Bugses) and I just really didn't feel like that was the best examples of what I can do, but I wanted to hear what they had to say none-the-less. I did however get to make up these really spiffy little cards with Autumn on them, and everyone seemed to like her the most out of all the designs they saw (quite a feat considering that on the card she was just over an inch in size).

Everyone I talked to was really helpful and humbling. I love comic book artists and animators. I thoroughly believe they are the least self-important people in the world. They're never, ever convinced that their work is good enough, even if it's the most amazing artwork you've ever seen, they'll still feel that it can be better. It's really rare to find those qualities in purely illustration and fine artists. I think I chose the right field. I love everyone I meet.

Anyhow, I started doing more sketches of the seasons faeries, unfortunately I don't think I have the energy to keep myself awake to finish a new sketch of Winter. I'll get on that shit tomorrow. MmmHMMM.

Saturday, March 3

Horses studies: YEEHAW!

I figure if one is going to animate a horse, one might want to understand the mechanics of a horse. And while, yes, it is quite easy to just match up a rigged 3D model to images from a Edweard Muybridge photo sequence, that's not entirely the point of animating, is it? The point, I do believe, is to gain and understanding of how people and animals move and how to recreate that, from any perspective, not just an orthographic side view.

So, hooray for horse studies!

And it's now reached 6am... again. I reaaally have to learn how to do artwork during the daytime.


Every artist needs a sketchblog. So... here here's mine.

I've started concept work on an idea that just popped into my head the other day. It's always been a persistant idea of mine that there need to be more intelligent character-role models for younger girls. When I was younger I loved cartoons, but I was never able to really get into comic books. I really wasn't into the Superhero comics. I really can only narrow the reasons down to: A.) lack of romance and B.) I never really cared that the world needed to be saved from some crazy villain. So, the graphic novels and comics I ended up reading were all comic strips like Garfield (give me a break, I was a kid!), Bloom County, and my all-time favorite strip, Calvin and Hobbes; graphic novelwise I fell in love with the intricate relationships and fantasy world of Wendy Pini's "Elfquest"; and as for comics, the only ones I ever bought were the Betty and Veronica ones from Archie Comics.

So anyways, I've decided I want to make some sort of comic aimed toward younger girls. It seems to be an untapped resource in American comics. To those who say, "There just isn't a market for that", I say, "Look at the Asian manga industry." Half the stories there are marketed to teen girls! Hence, I have support to back my endeavors!

So these are the preliminary sketches I've come up with for this new idea... it's about young Faeries who start going to school to learn specifics for their chosen season. They all have the dream of making it to the top (the CEO position) of each season. The story will see if they get there or not.