Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
- My polarized sunglasses, and the endless entertainment they provide as I'm driving because I can tilt my head side to side and make the sky disappear.
- Flour. Think about how many cookies there wouldn't be without that stuff.
- Words like, "pronto," e.g. "Get me two cups of flour, pronto!"
- British TV dramas based on books from the 1800s. Either they're good because they're really good (even if you're embarrassed to admit it), like the A&E Pride and Prejudice, or they're good because they're really bad, like the one my wife and I just watched: "Doctor Lydgate!" "Rosamond! I was just. . .er, looking for Mr. Chaucerberry." "Oh. He's gone to market." "Oh. Er. . .good day." *weeping* "Rosamond, what on earth is wrong?" "I'm so very sad, Dr. Lydgate. Is there never to be anything between us?" (He sweeps her into his arms and kisses her.) "Oh Dr. Lydgate, I'm so very happy!"
- Which brings up the another important thing to be thankful for: British accents. Without British accents Monty Python would be a miserable failure, and you wouldn't hear nearly as many condescending remarks about how much better the British version of "The Office" is. Also, a large portion of the United States believes European politics are superior because, as we have learned from BBC dramas, the entirety of Europe speaks in an English accent.
- Also, dental floss.
- Except when it is wielded by those ladies (hygienists?) that do all the cleaning at dentists. Ow.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Nicktoons Network has Pajama Gladiator posted up for a day so people can vote on it. Hurry and watch it before they take it down.
Things I did on the short:
- pitched the original story---a bit different from how it turned out, but I still feel happy that it was the project people picked
- worked with Joe Olson to do the majority of the character and environment pre-production art
- modeled the horned guy (didn't do the acid-purple surfaces)
- did surfaces for the "Cyclops" character in Renderman
- animated a couple scenes, including the "Cyclops freaks out scene" at the end of the battle
Things I learned from doing the short:
- No matter how much you contribute during pre-production or production, the folks that really matter are the post-production guys. This short never would have been done without those guys and they deserve all the credit in the world.
- The timing you get in the story boards/animatic is probably not tight enough for the final renders and animation. This thing felt really good at first, but now all I notice are the awkward gaps in the timing.
-Don't suggest a freeze-frame action montage unless you're willing to back it up with an example of how it should look. This is the most awkward part of the short, by far.
- Don't complain about the rigs on a student project, no matter how bad they are. Either help design them so they get them right, or shut up so you don't get the all-powerful rigging guy mad at you.
- It's hard to get people to see eye-to-eye on a group student project. Period.
In spite of all these problems, I think it turned out pretty good for a student short and I'm proud of it.
Friday, October 17, 2008
I did this for a themed party we had at our house tonight, "A Tribute to Jell-O." We're not Jell-O fanatics, it was just a funny idea my wife had when talking with some friends. Everyone was supposed to prepare a tribute to Jell-O, and we had everything from folk songs about heaving gelatin to autocad representations of favorite Jell-O recipes. This was my entry: a tribute to a unique dessert, and the man who gave Jell-O an unforgettable face.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I started with this great mental image of a warty-necked (pronounced nekk-ed) witch. I always expect that when I have a good mental picture, drawing it will be easy. Unfortunately, there's a disconnect between the picture my imagination thinks is cool and the drawing that my eyes have to reluctantly accept as the best I can do. I drew this character about 12 times before she started to look okay, at best.
A few positive lessons I learned, though:
- Drawing the same character over and over seems to always help
- I've created a brush that allows me to procrastinate design decisions until the image is nearly finished. There's nothing like reinforcing bad habits.
- Chicken scratch drawings can be forgiven if nobody ever knows they existed. Oh, whoops.
- Witch hats look stupid if they are blowing the opposite way of travel (maybe that's why my son drew his witch flying backward?) Apparently my kids already have a better grasp of physics than I do.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Friday, September 05, 2008
The girl is last Friday's effort, and the guy is from this morning.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
So there you have it.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Monday, August 04, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I brought them closer together so they read as a unit and re-posed them so their limbs would create a sort of sunburst shape out from the Captain's head (but only as far as it felt natural).
I tried to make the characters feel stronger and more able, but also accentuated their differences in face and body type. I went a bit further with the caricature, so people hopefully won't be confused about whether the picture is supposed to be serious or not. I also think this will just make the image more fun, (even if it's just more fun for me to work on, you have to consider that as a factor too). I might find ways to simplify them more as I put color into them---just get them more streamlined so people aren't distracted by unnecessary details.
I'll talk about what I'm doing with the background and the ninjas in a later post. Right now, I'm tired and I'm going back to bed.
Also, you should stop typing without punctuation and capitalization. It makes you sound like a robot in my head when I read your sentences.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
The first question to ask yourself when doing a picture like this is, "Why am I doing it?" In my case, an art forum was having a drawing activity titled, "Pirates vs. Ninjas." Not a good enough reason to spend a lot of time on a picture, especially now that I'm going to spend MORE time on the it. I don't think I can get away from the fundamentally odd idea going on here without destroying the purpose of the "fix bad art" thingy, but I can try to make an image that has enough appeal to make people like looking at it even if they don't really understand it.
The second question is, what am I trying to communicate? At the time I only had a vague idea of something funny with singing pirates and confused ninjas, which is probably why the image is neither that funny, or really, all that clear either. So my new goal is, show why pirates are better than ninjas: musicality.
Now that I've got an answer to important question #2, it's time to figure out how to pull it off. I have a few ideas: 1-Emphasize the pirates, de-emphasize the ninjas. 2-Make the pirates look like they are having fun, and the ninjas are not. 3-Make the pirates look cooler, instead of a bunch of drama pansies (sorry to all drama pansies out there).
Third "question" (Not a question. More of an "issue."): Appropriate format and composition. This is the biggest problem with my original piece. I created a composition that would look great for a full-color image, but went with a completely wrong format. And since nobody who is not named Eric Canete should tackle a subject this complex in just black and white ink, I think I'll convert the image into a painting.
This has a lot of compositional problems to fix if I'm going to do a painting, but the first is value and lighting scheme (this will affect how I compose and design the characters and background, as you will see later). I did a few thumbnails to test a couple ideas.
Full daylight: pretty good, but the pirates really get lost against the bright background. Making the sky a darker blue might fix that problem, maybe.
Sunset: Very dramatic. But totally wrong for what I want to accomplish.
Night: Better than the other two, might work.
Day with modified background: Also good.
I'm having a hard time deciding between the last two. I even did a quick color pass for each to see if that sorted anything out:
The night scene is very theatrical, but the day scene allows for nice color. Chime in if you think I should go with one over the other.
Next post: Revising the character designs, and how writing sentences without capitalization or punctuation makes you sound like a robot.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Here's the image I'll start with, something weak from years, and years, and years ago. Or, 2003.
I know, some of you will look at this and think "What's wrong with it?" Others may be thinking, "Only five years ago you were doing this garbage?" To both parties I say, it's not really that bad, and some parts are working well, but it's both planned and finished poorly. We'll see in time whether my improvements will be actual improvements.
There, now I'm committed.
In other news, a couple months ago I got whooping cough. It's not as fun as it sounds, I haven't whooped once (I'm a little sad about that). I didn't go to the doctor until it was obvious something was really wrong with me, and although he gave me antibiotics, the damage was already done. Apparently, the coughing part of whooping cough can sometimes last for up to a year after the bacteria is dead. Unfortunately, the coughing part is a lot worse than you'd imagine---constant coughing fits, difficulty breathing, and in my case, a runny nose that makes the coughing worse. So when you're wooing your love interest over a plate of manicotti at Olive Garden, and some guy is coughing constantly in the next booth, messing up the romantic ambiance? Yeah, that's me. Sorry. Maybe it will help to think about how good my wife is for putting up with it all.
On a positive note: These days, two hours of uninterrupted sleep feels awesome, and I'm ecstatic every time the doctor finds a medication that gets my throat to relax, even if it means I have to use some kind of strange drug paraphanelia while I'm at work, closing my door and crouching in a corner with a guilty look on my face if anyone comes in to sate their curiosity. Anyway, it's nice how perspective can help your attitude, making you grateful for things like being able to breathe. And I can use the time I'm awake at night to work on posts for this blog.
The moral of the story: Get your booster shots. I think the Tetanus booster has a vaccine for whooping cough in it, and it lasts for about ten years.