5.27.2011

Speaking Of Noir.

It's been a while since the last update on this blog, but I simply ran out of time to update this one recently. I'm pretty happy how this one turned out. It was created for Phinehas who curates and runs the Speaking Of... reading series in Pittsburgh. If you are available, you should come out to the event on June 18th at the New Hazlett Theater. I hear it's going to be a good time, and one of my co-workers at Animal, Samm, created this sweet promo video, which is part of a full length video that will be screened:


Here is the intial sketch for the idea:

Simply a WIP:

To get closer to this:

To the final:

5.17.2010

Joe Ledbetter's Magnus Maximus Trailer

Joe Ledbetter contacted me a couple months ago about animating a short trailer for an upcoming solo show he is having at the Corey Helford Gallery, and as a huge fan of Joe's work, I was more than happy to dig in for this one. Thanks, Joe, for the opportunity and hope we can work together again. Everyone in LA, definitely don't miss this show opening on June 4!!

3.15.2010

Fake Fast Food


Almost exactly a year ago at Animal, we shot a commercial for a local chain restaurant. The goal for this particular campaign was to make this restaurant seem as though the food there is better than your average fast food restaurant. In the spots, the people are eating the typical fast food burger, fries and soft drink, but we could not put an exact brand name on the foods, although they did use fries and burgers from a joint with the initials McD. Anyway, we created a fake name that would provide the audience with a placeholder for a fast food joint, and after coming up with many different options, Moo Moo's Quickies was settled upon. I was asked to create a faux logo for Moo Moo's Quickies, and above are the options I provided. The image below is the logo we settled on, which was a mix of the favorites provided above. Dig!

9.18.2009

Twisted Brobee

I love this!

Found on deviant art, by dyemooch.

7.07.2009

3.19.2009

Gear vector

I recently cleaned up and vectored a version of the character Gear for Monstroville!! The original design is by the magnificent Miah Alcorn!


I did a little animation test of him, too, which you can see over at the Monstroville blog here.

Ward Kimball Signed Library Card

I recently bought this cool artifact!



A library card signed by one of the Nine Old Men!! Ward Kimball probably got this out of the Burbank library. It's not much to look at, but I'm so stoked!

I can now add this to my signed book, Kimball's Art Afterpieces, that I bought at a store in Burbank when I used to live out there for very cheap. When I purchased it, apparently they priced it so low not knowing that his signature was in the book, and the guy at the counter quickly offered to buy it back from me for twice and then quadruple the price he had marked it as. I rejected his offers - not because of the money but because I just wanted to own an authentically signed Ward Kimball book. When I went back there last summer, the store had gone out of business. It was located next door to Blast from the Past. I don't really want to scan the signature since it's on the inside front cover of the book and it is somewhat delicate, but this is what the front cover looks like.


I also won a group of Ward Kimball's tin toys on ebay last year that I keep in my toy collection. I'll post those sometime too.

Oh hey, look! There's Ward in that picture below! And who's he with? I forget his name...Walt something or another, I think.

Ronin Media Logo Animation

I recently completed a logo animation for a friend of Animal.



So I never really posted my process to get to a finished piece on here and thought I'd share how I got to this finished piece. From beginning to end this took about 2 weeks. Jeff came to me with the image below and asked if I could come up with an idea for the animation.


I juggled some ideas including samurai sword fighting, anime, and asian culture, and then the opening sequence to Kung Fu Panda came to mind as inspiration to draw from.





So I drew up this storyboard with this artistic direction in mind.


He also needed a typeface for his logo, so I presented these options that I thought best matched the culture of the character.


Jeff liked the storyboard, so I moved forward with quickly creating a rough animatic for timing in Flash. Very quick.

video
After this step, when animating the samurai, my animation needed to match up as closely as possible to the drawing Jeff gave me. So I created a vector version in Illustrator since I knew that I would need to eventually anyway (since the version Jeff gave me was a bitmap that would probably get pixelated in the video). This also gave me a good idea to remember where the clothing wraps, how low it should hang, how much of his arms are showing, his hair length, etc so that while animating I could keep these things in mind.


I then created a rough animation test to get the movement of the guy running and jumping, hand animated in Flash.

video
I then blocked in color and started finalizing background art.

video
I wanted the background in the opening to be very eye-grabbing, so I used bright warm/hot colors with rough textures to mimick the old feel that you might see on old chinese transcripts. I wanted this to contrast the flat colors on the character and the dark background at the end.


I exported separate layers from Flash as PNG sequences with alphas, then imported these sequences into AfterEffects to create motion blurs.

video
Finally it was time to jump back on the logo type. Jeff picked a typeface he liked best from the options above and I went with it. I wanted to make sure the text really popped on top of the dark grey/black background and was very legible. I went into Illustrator and below is what you see in the final footage.


The sound was added afterward by a friend of Jeff's. I regretfully forget his name, but will make sure to update when I find out for his credit that really makes this piece work! Overall, quick and easy process - thanks to Jeff for the great opportunity to have some fun with this!

Thanks for reading!

3.18.2009

City Folk

Cameras Left on Benches in NYC

Someone left a couple of cameras attached to benches in NYC - one in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn - to see what would happen. A note was attached to each which read “Good afternoon! I attached this camera to the bench so you could take pictures. Seriously. So have fun. I’ll be back later this evening to pick it up.” Sure enough when they returned to pick up the cameras, they were still there and the rolls of film had been filled.

When they were developed they had some interesting results.




View the rest of the pictures here.
Now I feel very inspired to try this out in Pittsburgh!

Found via swissmiss

3.05.2009

Flash CS4 - Linking a Quicktime is No More

So I've slowly been getting in the groove of animating with the new features of Flash CS4. Cool motion editor, IK capability, X-Y-Z rotation...all great new stuff, and so much more! BUT when I went to File > Import > Import to Library and selected a Quicktime file I wanted to link to in the timeline to animate on top of like I have in CS3 and older, there was no option for that.

This is what the import window looked like in Flash CS3:

And then after hitting Continue the user is presented with this:

I would then select the bottom option, "Linked QuickTime video for publishing to QuickTime". I needed to select Flash Player 5 in the Publish Settings for this to work, but that didn't matter to me since my final export wouldn't be a SWF, but instead a jpg or png sequence to make a QuickTime.

Now in CS4, instead of that screen, when the user goes to Import to Library, they are presented with these options:

I didn't want to import an FLV, I wanted to import and link a Quicktime for animating on top of for timing purposes. Then I would composite the animation on top of the Quicktime in AfterEffects (or other editing software). Since importing a Quicktime wasn't an option, I converted the Quicktime into an FLV file and selected the "Load external video with playback component", to which I quickly learned that's not what I wanted. I read "Embed FLV..." but thought that's also not what I wanted (why I didn't just try that in the first place I don't know), and I knew I didn't want to "Import as mobile device...".

I searched online and in the Flash help menu for an answer but couldn't find anything that addressed my specific issue in detail. So I called the Adobe helpline. After waiting a while and speaking with several people answering the same questions (what is your customer id, serial number, name, company, what is your issue, etc) about five times, I finally was on the phone with someone that could answer my question. Apparently the issue is that Flash CS4 no longer supports importing or linking QuickTimes. Nada. So there are two workarounds. 1: Go back to Flash CS3, import as you used to and you can then open that file in CS4 and it will work. Or the other option I will now be using, numero 2: Convert the QT into an FLV, import to library, and select Embed FLV in SWF and play in timeline. You are then given this window:

You may select Embedded Video or Graphic which which will stream in the timeline when you scrub. Movie Clips do not stream, but the flv video file will still be imported into your library which you can drag onto the timeline to scrub through.

This process is probably self-explanatory to many people, but for people like me that was used to importing and linking the QuickTime in previous versions I wanted to clear this up and note the change from CS3 to CS4 for anyone else that runs into this same issue. Hopefully you will find this blog post helpful!

Cheers!

3.01.2009

Liz Gilbert is inspirational

I've been watching these various lectures from TED that have been really inspirational. I just watched Liz Gilbert talking about how we perceive inspiration and thought you might find this as interesting as I did.



via Luc Latulippe, via Jon Hogman

Another one of my favorites is a great lecture by designer Paula Scher. (I loved her rant about how she hated Helvetica, and as someone pointed out to me, that is the font used on the podium in front of her)
See it here.

2.27.2009

Warm-up 1

I like to do a warm-up sketch once in a while. Here's one.


Can anyone tell me the name of this place?

2.13.2009

Steven the Film Moron



This was an extremely fast drawing I did a while ago. This is based on a true person, a film history "teacher" actually. Why do I put quotes around teacher you ask? Well in 2003, the man said that Tom Hanks is an up-and-coming actor, and he claimed he never heard of Christopher Walken when a student mentioned Walken. In his mind, "Pulp Fiction" was the greatest movie ever made, which I guess to some can be debatable, but nope, you're all wrong. Good movie though. On his RateMyProfessors.com page, he is quoted as saying "...I don't know. You're the student, I don't have to know this".

This is Steven. The film moron.

New Pepsi Logo


I found this, and thought the same.

1.22.2009

More Tilt Shifts






Photos from Pens vs Rangers 1/18/09 and Steelers vs Chargers 1/11/09. See other pictures from these events on my facebook here and here.

1.21.2009

Dr Sketchy in the 'burgh








Here are some drawings from Dr Sketchy Pittsburgh last Mon night. I'm super rusty (or never really was that good) at figure drawing, so please be gentle. It's still fun though and I love to get out and draw when I have the chance.

1.15.2009

GO STEELERS!



So the Steelers game was pretty awesome last Sunday, and I was there for it. I'll post some pics of that soon, but I made this to hold you over...