Monday, December 22, 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cold Hard Witch

Hey I just cranked out this re-design of Jadis for my Visual Development project, and I'm liking it a lot more! I've also been working on Peter, giving him a better-structured look and trying to add some of that indescribable "appeal" so vital to a heroic character... maybe that image will follow later, but for now, tremble with terror at the Wicked Queen of Narnia:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Self Portrait #1

I'm still here, and still drawing stuff!
Here's some proof, a self-portrait from figurative concepts:
Besides the size of a few features being off, I consider this a success--it looks like me! I've done a few self portraits before in the olden drawing classes of days gone by, but learning to use the chiaroscuro style, where cast shadows define the forms, is a huge step forward. I like when there's a system, a set of steps to hit along the way. It helps me stay focused and to keep going until I know I'm done. I like how Nicolas explained the head drawing process: it's like focusing a camera, starting with blurry shapes of dark and light, getting everything in the right place and then slowly refining all of the shapes so it slowly comes into focus all together. Remembering that keeps me from getting caught up in little details too early.

Speaking of getting caught up in little details-- I've begun animating my short film, "Sea-Lion Around". I started drawing very lightly and just blocking in the characters' shapes, with little cross-hairs indicating where their faces will be looking. It was a good move, because after showing it to an instructor I was promptly informed that my camera positions are breaking the 180 Rule! (Layman's Terms: you couldn't tell which character is which because despite the fact that they're facing eachother, they both appeared on the same side of the screen in their close-ups...) Wrong positions, wrong angles--drawn WRONG, but drawn lightly! So it was relatively manageable to erase and reposition them.

Aaaaand I've got 'em, so I may as well post 'em: Character designs for Sea-Lion Around!!!!

Here's the little layout I drew to avoid breaking the 180 Rule... See? I was TRYING to do it right!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Narnia Characters

Here's my first stab at character design for my visual development class. We had a few stories to choose from, and I picked "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe" by C.S. Lewis. They look OK, but I feel like I stifled myself creatively since I know the Narnia books so well, I don't want to design outside of the story, whereas some of my classmates are getting more "out there" with their projects and seem to be having fun with it. Then again, it's so early in my program that there's nothing wrong with focusing on simple designs that are well-structured. Then, when I have my own crazy ideas later, I'll be better prepared to draw them (I hope)! So here we have designs for Jadis (The White Witch), then Peter, and Lucy!

Facial expressions too!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My Secret Life

This is primarily a venue for sharing my animation-related artwork, but here's something entirely different!

My roommate, Yifei, is a Photography major, and she uses me as her model sometimes because I will work for cheap (my fee = bowls of noodles and use of her laptop). The purpose of the shot was to recreate this photograph by Lillian Bassman, then we played around with other poses, and we thought that other one was quite nice, so I put it up too.

I could try to relate these to animation by drawing lines of action or outlining human facial proportions, but why ruin the fun of being glamorous for a day?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Figures and Faces

A quick note: I was hoping to update the blog every Sunday, but I had to go swing dancing this past weekend at Golden Gate Park, so things got delayed... it was a delightful afternoon in which I learned to dance the Charleston and then picnicked with my roommates, but now it's back to work!

The stuff I'm posting today is from my Figurative Concepts class. The concept of structure is so essential for everything else I'm doing here, and developing the skills to create the proper structure requires a lot of dedication and attention. I had a total art-geek moment doing perspective drawings yesterday. I realized the line of action, on which every figure's pose should be structured, it a lot like the perspective lines in environment drawing, where everything is constructed in relation to those pesky vanishing points... it's all connected!!! For me it was a big 'aha' moment, but I'll admit I am easily impressed by all the interconnections throughout art, life, and everything.

So above are some muscular anatomy charts I made, to help me focus on structure. And we're moving into head drawing next, so we had a homework assignment to draw faces from photographs with attention to cast shadows. I used photos of friends on facebook and then went through my own archives, so perhaps some folks will recognize people they know :)
Clicking on the images takes you to a larger view! That's it for today, but lots more is coming, like character designs from Visual Elements of Story, and a storyboard of my upcoming animation project from Principles and Pipelines! Check back soon!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Walk Cycle

I've graduated from a floppy little bag of flour to animating a human form! There are so many little nuances to a biped walk... and knowing what should happen with all those swinging limbs and bending joints didn't make it any easier to draw when I got down to it... but here it is:

I did try to loosen up on the quality of line, but I don't know why I did such a weird nuts and bolts joint thing on my figure, most people in my class did more rounded, squishy figures. I think I'm just a little obsessive-compulsive about keeping the structure intact as I animate. Maybe that's not a bad thing, but I'm still hoping I can achieve more fluid motions in the future.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Home Sweet Homer

My first homework assignment for Visual Elements of Story was to draw Homer Simpson in different poses. When I used to doodle little Homer heads in my high school notebooks, I never dreamed I'd be doing this for grad school! Of course, 10 one-hour Homer drawings, as fun as it was, got very tiring. That last pose is actually my self portrait as I finished the assignment :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

I can imagine no better way to celebrate my 23rd year than to finally start my blog! Now that I'm in grad school working towards me MFA in Animation, time is a precious commodity, so spending time here sharing my work and my thoughts is the gift I'm giving myself.

And what better way to start an Animation blog than by sharing my most recent animations from my "Principles and Pipelines" class? Last week, we animated a flour sack jumping onto and off of a box. The flour sack is an elementary animation exercise to work on capturing weight and effort (without the pesky details like limbs, a head, or facial features). Here's my first stab at it:

I know it's very dark... but other than that I was pretty happy with it. My instructor recommended more squash on the second landing, and to add some personality to my flour sack. My buddy Bunker suggested adding some weight on the first jump.

So here's a new one with my revisions (and additions):

I feel the sense of weight is a little better now, and I added him mopping his brow after the effort of jumping to add some personality. I felt it was still a little bland, so I tried to add a Looney Tunes-style zip-out, which was a fun challenge!

In retrospect, I spent way too much time making every line perfectly dark and pronounced, and I feel like that distraction resulted in motions just a hint too stiff. I'm going to work on drawing more loosely from now on, which should help me be faster, too--then I'll have more time here on the blog! So now I'm off to have brunch and get some other work done, thanks for checking out my stuff, feel free to comment!