About Me

I study animation and tell stories through my art, whether by writing, illustration, painting, or animating. I live in the country with horses and 2 German Shepherds named Raven and Sula. When I'm not drawing and animating at work, I do farm stuff at home!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

3D Production Studio work: Hallway roughs

I'm sorry about the grossness of these.  I had no reference for the stair shot which is really obvious.  Terrible.

3D Production Studio work: Fight Scene rough

...he will be fighting a monster.  I worked on the cameras and two characters' animations in these playblasts.  They are really rough...I also worked on the animatic and cameras for shots 1, 2, 3, 4, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Stop Motion: cut out and replacement animation

While stop motion isn't my personal favorite animation practice, I really enjoy watching it.  I was happy with how this turned out for first-time attempt at this type of animation without a 3D puppet.  The ligthing and masking and animation could be better, but my technical skills aren't up to par yet...plus, I made this entire thing kneeling on a hard surface on a super sunny yet cloudy day!  Brilliance in it's purest form...tis I. 

My character Conrad.  Hope you like it.

Friday, June 3, 2011

New Projects

Amongst my various hobbies and projects, I am now focussed on three things:  My 2D Studio final project, which is a HUGE undertaking for my entire class, my first novel, and now a new idea that I've been brewing for awhile:  to illustrate a children's story that I wrote a few years ago. 

The story I've been told is charming, clever, and entertaining even for adults,yet would be loved by kids as well.  The only thing keeping me back is the overall character design approach, which I'll be sorting out hopefully with a little help from friends or you, dear reader.  So, harness your inner child and tell me which would you prefer to see?:

1) Literal yet slightly fantasized animals (think Brer Rabbit)...more traditionally expected.

2) Humans with whimsical designs and abilities based on specific animals...a more different approach...think along the lines of a theater show or even kids dressing up.

Me?  I'm torn between the two ideas.  I love the look of traditional animal stories, yet I am also drawn to the newer approach of using animalized humans for it's novelty and ability to reach out to kids without the use of direct animals. 

What do you think?  Either comment here or vote on my newest poll at the top left. Or, you could do absolutely nothing if you so desire.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Concept art

My 2D Animation Studio story and trailer pitches.  I created very rough concept art/story sketches to attract the eyes of the onlookers!  I came up with 5 original short stories and four trailer ideas, these were my favorites.  Maybe one will be selected for our group animation.

The quest of an arctic fox takes her beyond all that she knows after she seeks a fiery-winged creature.

A sleep-climber is saved from disaster by a celestial star being.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Animation Final

53 hours of work for this condensed scene of Jay Walker and Mary Onnet from me book.  Enjoy.

 Still a work in progress....he needs more scars and they both need shadows.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Animation: Work in Progress

Here's my most recent version of an animation I've been working on in class for about 10 hours so far.  These are basically the rough keys and extremes.  It is a short scene from my book, with some script-editting to allow for the time constraint of being under 30 seconds. 

About the Scene:  I'm not going to give it all away because frankly I don't want to re-write my book here, so you'll just have to read if you want to know more!  (I'm so clever like that!)  BUT, basically, it is my main character Jay Walker talking to his therapist Mary Onnet in New Heights Asylum for the criminally insane.  Why is he there?  Not going to tell you!  But he's only as insane as he thinks he is....now the woman is a representation of hypocritical psychiatrists...you know, they preach tolerance and understanding, yet don't exactly believe in what they say.  Well, Mary here is WORSE because she doesn't care about her patient's mental well-being...she likes to toy with them...to make them her little puppets...and if they resist, she doesn't mind harsh punishments and wouldn't give a second thought to ordering a lobotomy.  Anyway, I shan't bore you with this any longer.

I've wanted to do this scene for awhile, and may change the music later on.  You've Lost Karma is who I''ve asked for a little soundtrack from, but the music you hear is simply me playing two notes on the piano...just for the time being.  The voice of Jay is Gabriel Vazguez, and Mary Onnet's voice is me!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I will always love 2D

3D animation is becoming more and more the norm nowadays...but for me, 2D will always be the top dog.  There is not a single 3D movie or game that tops any of my 2D favorites...there's a missing element in 3D...something to do with hand-drawn animation I think.  Nothing can beat it.  NOTHING! 

Here's what I think:  2D animation and live-action film are on the same level because they have the presence of human nature within them...whether it is the impeccable acting of an actor or the drawing of an artist:  There's emotion that seems less forced and less awkward than 3D for me.  Up, Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon, and Toy Story can't compete with An American Tail, The Iron Giant, The Lion King, All Dogs Go to Heaven, The Secret of Nimh, or even the likes of Ren and Stimpy...you know why?!  I never catch myself thinking about those 3D movies, or aspiring to make a lovely, technical render of a 3D character...NO!  I always, no matter what am more drawn (oh how witty) to 2D.

Yeah, all the music and sound can make me weep and laugh and shudder, but I don't need a picture for that...which is why I will always drool in a die hard way over 2D.

Anyway, I am working on a 25-second animation of my slightly insane charcter Jay Walker, which I will post when I'm through...will take more than 48 hours of work.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Character Development: Conrad Flynn

Conrad is my very special character.  Oh so special!  I must give you a quick back-story:  I saw him in a lucid dream, but he, unlike Smokes, was a good guy, and I didn't know his name.  "Conrad Flynn" is a name I made up which means "feathered friend", because he started appearing after I was constantly barraged by cardinals!  No joke...they'd wake me up all the time, pecking on my window.

 I've seen Conrad in dreams when I was sick and rather morose, and frankly hopeless, but the next day I seemed miraculously guided to a cure.  I also saw him after I saw Smokes for the first time, and as I said, I was scared huckleberriless!  But Conrad appeared and made me laugh about some absurd joke, and I forgot my fear.  Then , the night before we were going to put my dog Biscuit down (he was suffering from cancer), I saw Conrad playing with him, and wouldn't you know, the next day Biscuit was much better!  He lived for four months after that, (two more years than his predicted death-day, in fact).  Good things always seemed linked to this child in my dreams.  Needless to say, I grew fond of my little dream friend, and HAD to make him a character.
The first time I saw Conrad, he floated slowly up out of the ground in a pinkish mist.  He had reddish-brown hair, and a kind face that inspired comfort, and I instantly liked him.  It wasn't a "hot/gorgeous hunk" face...it was a simple, humble face, with very wizened eyes, even though he was quite young . 
I decided that Conrad's design would be that of a young boy mixed with a cardinal; basically, he'd have the appearance of a normal human with the markings of the cardinal (black skin around the eyes and neck, very vibrant red hair in a sort of mohawk, and red-to-black attire) 
His clothes started off basic, long sleeved shirt and pants, and they lacked character, big-time, which is a no-no.  So, I'm now dabbling with his sleeves having a sort of fringe (like feathers), a black shawl around his neck, and plain black pants that blend seamlessly into sharp little shoes.
Conrad started without wings, then I foolishly gave him some out of a naive desire for him to look like an angel.  I took them away once I fully developed his history (look to the books if you want to find out...your heart will throb with such emotion!)

Conrad's face is the hardest for me to get right, since I'm wretched at drawing cute things!  But Conrad has given me a reason to practice, and I'm getting better.  I'm also trying to come up with an "animateable" design for future prospects.
Another fact about  Conrad is that he changes age frequently due to his *cough* spiritual condition (it's a part in my book...I shan't reveal more!), so I needed to work on various ages, trying to keep him looking like the same character, which is still a big challenge.

I've used Conrad for multiple projects of mine, and always find little secret places to put him in my art, either as a plain old cardinal, or a boy with rusty hair and a red shirt, a super-hero, or even himself.

So there you have it: A brief history of the character inspired by a good-hearted spirit in my dreams. 

Next:  Either Adela, Jay Walker, or some other basic character development.

I go now.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Character development: Smokes

Alright, so here's the deal:  good characters aren't usually the first idea you come up with...first ideas are usually biased and predictable.  It takes time to make a visually-appealing character, and time to bring personality to the character as well.  I've been developing personal characters for years, and will show you a few steps in the process.  I'll start with Smokes, my evil demon whom I saw in a dream. 

In the dream, he was impish, and not too memorable visually, but he scared the holy huckleberries out of me!  So, I wanted to amp up his design, but make him strangely appealing, because even evil characters must be likeable in order for the audience to become attatched, and we animators rely heavily on manipulating the masses subconsciously! *insert evil chortle*
bottom left corner...how atrocious!

top left corner...SICK!

Smokes started out as impish as I saw him, and was first an "off-to-the-side" character, but he was just rotten-ugly!  No one liked him!  And that's BAD!  No one cared enough about him to allow themselves to be scared.  So, the evolution began.

The puggish, pixie face took on a more elongated structure, emphasizing masculinity with a wider chin and squarer jawline.  Suddenly, people noticed him.  Oh, how peculiar!  They even started to LIKE him...wonder why...He could now stand on his own, without fancy backgrounds, and people KNEW he was a badass capable of inflicting harm.  

Current Design
Old design

Smoke's original design included a clown-like outfit with little spots and frilly collar...which is how he appeared in my dream.  Evil clowns are infamous, and people seem drawn to them for horror purposes, but the spots and frill had to go.  I needed to mature the character, for he was far too darling to inspire pure terror! I wanted there to be nothing about his clothing or design to take away from his face which I wanted to be the source of attraction...so I made his clothes simple white gauze, and the frill became spikes around his face, enhancing the focal point.

Smokes is still evolving, his spiked-appendages are still in development, and he is now attaining a hollow caved-in chest (hmm...no heart? why, how clever!)...the red nose has been omitted (I am moving away from "clown" all-together), charred flesh is being considered around his gaping chest, and stitches may appear to hold his appendages on (for a more grisly effect).  This all has to do with the history of the character, which I shan't reveal!  So stop asking!

Next, I'll talk about my other characters...perhaps..if you behave.      

Monday, February 7, 2011

Why do dogs bark at the sky at night?

Because there are UFO's and flying invisible creatures!  Anyway, hello.  I am a curmudgeon, and this is my first blog entry.  I'll just start off by saying "hi" to whoever reads this, and thank you for viewing my page.

I'm sure you're wondering why  you'd follow my blog, so here's a few reasons I've considered: 
  • if you are a fan of my art
  •  if you would like to witness for your brain-eyes visual stories from my wandering mind
  •  if you're interested in animation and the processes involved
  •  if you're curious about my upcoming book series (which I'm still in the middle of writing).
  • if you like tea

What would I like to become?  Well, surely a nomadic yak herder, an alpaca farmer, a restaurant chef and shop owner, a novelist, an art director/concept or character designer or artist for feature film (animated or live action).

So there you have it.  I will finish by stating that tonight I had some spicy chai tea, and will leave you an example of a character design for a children's show done with copic markers.