Monday, June 24, 2013

PDC Day 10

Been a while since I posted for the challenge (new job helping Pre-College keeping busy).  Used today's entry to practice basic rendering

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hans Zimmer Quote

On watching a film before composing the score of a film:

"I'm like a cat, I have 9 lives. After 9 complete viewings, I find it difficult to feel anything new, so I usually work from the first impressions and try to hang onto those for dear life."

Saturday, June 8, 2013

PDC: Day 3

  • You do not have to be a good draftsman, but you do need to know how to communicate ideas clearly
  • Visual storytelling is about communicating the emotion of a shot, not the action
  • Story in an image, story told by images
  • 3 things to always keep in mind: focal point, clear poses, choices

"I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse"

Friday, June 7, 2013

PDC: Day 2

A drawing a day keeps the anxiety away

Joining sort of late but here's our challenge page: 2013 Pokemon Project

Pokemon Drawing Challenge #1

  • Accents are important, even in sketches and gestures
  • Audience is important
  • Our brain associates the talking with the doing.  Bouncing ideas and talking about work is good and fun, but be careful!

Joining some old friends' Pokemon drawing challenge.  Seeing it as a good way to warm up with something more rendered and posing from imagination.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Story Game 12

Here's another one.  Image used

INVENTED STORY: After years of hard work, Vivi was finally accepted into witching university!  A month before move-in day, the school sends every incoming student their owl mentor, which also carries their required materials list.  While out shopping at the supermarket, a sales associate asks Vivi about her owl and she excitedly explains.  Vivi lives in a remote, somewhat conservative town where studying witching is more or less the equivalent to studying art: high risk.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Own your Externals

One thing I've learned that makes a large difference in my productivity is getting myself out of the house and working at the cafe.  I knew that right from the get-go when I arrived home for the summer and it's been working beautifully.  As life would have it, not one but two of our cars shut down (and for the double whammy, one of them shut down in the middle of the highway while I was on my way to ACEN) and its looking like I'm without any transportation in a town that pretty much requires a car in order to get around or to said cafe.

There were a chunk of other things happening that I won't dwell upon here, but all in all, I was becoming pretty angry at things in life seemingly blocking me out of nowhere, and they were all particularly most prevalent and hardest hitting whenever I was going down a path I knew would eventually benefit me.

So I was walking around aimlessly at my Mom's house, thinking to myself, "Man, I can't do anything if I can't get out and to the cafe."  But it was then I had to acknowledge that both the car and the cafe are, when boiled down, luxuries.  I remembered an old Bobby Chiu piece of advice that helped me a lot through my struggles at even getting to Ringling:

  • Don't let the external things in life dominate your situation and don't entrust and put your life in the hands of external situations because...
  • Given the right shift in attitude and focus, you have what it takes to own your externals

It took me a while to realize all this.  Maybe the many privileges we're so fortunate to have at Ringling have softened me up.  The other thing I learned is that the greatest rewards are usually right around the corner when life decides to pile on and will only be there IF you put forth your best efforts to achieve them.  I mean, just look at the post I just made about how rewarding ACEN was regardless of the freak setback of having your car shut down in the middle of the highway right on the biggest day of the convention, amongst other problems?

There are a lot of other Bobby Chiu pieces of advice that fit the bill and help what I'm writting, but I'll leave it short and sweet: Don't let externals own and dominate your life and, if you keep pushing, the rewards will be there.


Made it to the cafe after all!  Did plenty in the sketchbook, but here's some tablet stuffs

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Finishing content plus more notes

Just trying to keep the momentum going by generating finished content on a daily basis.  Below are some more notes I'll be updating throughout the day and a more illustrative drawing I made as a graduation card for a buddy of mine.
  • If you procrastinate, then you are delaying yourself from reaching your goals
  • Pencil and pen sketches use a lot of leading lines to create appeal (but don't forget that the base of the drawing are shapes, don't just draw and focus on lines)
  • During the gesture, don't just throw lines everywhere but emphasize the shapes and anchors that describe the pose the most
  • Don't forget that values, esp. on forms, need to contrast from one another, even when they're not close to the focal point (remember the mid stages of rendering on the ghost girl's hat and bow below)
  • Thinking and analysis are good, but never forget to trust your intuition
  • Don't forget about figure/anatomy, even with caricatures
  • When in doubt, turn it diagonally
    • Figure = what anchors your drawing in believability
    • 2D Design = what makes your composition appealing to look at
    • Perspective = the same definition as figure, except specific to depth

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Story Game 11

Now that I'm armed with more foundation knowledge, it's time to get back into the story games again. This is the first set I've done in months and looking back it's rewarding to see the difference in speed and general improvement.

Overall, the camera moves around a bit much, but I just wanted to hit the beats and clarity of the scene.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

More Personal Drawing Notes - May 23rd, 2013

Just more misc. notes that I'll be updating throughout the day for me to refer to for future use since previous entries have been pretty helpful

  • Use tangents to your advantage (ie. creating bold powerful shapes, leading lines.  Refer to Bobby Pontillas)
  • Every stroke either works for you or against you - try to communicate your pose with fewer lines (remember Ryan Woodward)
  • When reading an image, the eye rushes through areas filled with negative space and slows down in areas drawn with more detail
  • Don't force techniques if they're not working.  This can be frustrating since they might have worked so nicely the before, but it's a sign that it is time to learn something new and apply it alongside older techniques.

Applying today's notes - portraits have been a favorite warm up

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

ACEN 2013

ACEN 2013 was this weekend and it was awesome!  Trying to say why in a such a nutshell doesn’t really feel like it does the experience justice, but as previously mentioned, it was my first artist alley and also my first time doing commissions.  Scary stuff, but in the end, super rewarding.

My table-mate, The Kao and I (you can view Kao’s stuff here)
One of the drawings I commissioned from the show

Other finished prints:

Monday, May 6, 2013

Summer 2013: Chapter 1

Hey blog, wanted to quick post today with a few notes for future reference since looking back at the notes from winter break have been pretty helpful/refreshing

Some quick things:

  • Generate finished content on a daily basis.  Studies and sketches are good, but too much of it leaves you directionless and creating finished work gives you that direction and are landmarks of your progress (remember ACEN 2013)
  • When cafe sketching, an easy way about thinking of character is knowing what they are doing and how are they feeling about it/overall attitude.
  • Even when sketching, try to think a few steps ahead of the phase you're doing.  For example, when doing the initial linework/gesture, imagine what the drawing would look like completely rendered and finished to give the gesture more direction (like how we think a few notes ahead with music, or driving the car analogy)
  • Form is created through contrast and requires at least 3 different values
  • Think about squash and stretch in cafe sketches
  • Observe, and enjoy the process
  • Always keep your mind on your work, not work on your mind... or else you'll go crazy
  • Set goals for yourself one at a time.  Setting too many often becomes too much to handle and leaves yourself disappointed
On a side note, I started a tumblr to keep updated with friends and other artists I admire since it's becoming such a big place for sharing work.  Really motivating seeing my stuff reblogged and get some attention by complete strangers.

On a side side note, I'll be at ACEN 2013, so here's some prints I made since I got back home

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Personal Threshold

My classes this semester have revealed to me a bittersweet weakness - for whatever reason, I seem to be able to start work strong in the gesture/idea and blocking stages, but have an intense difficulty crossing over the threshold that makes the piece look solidly finessed and finished.  I don't know the terminology for it, but I feel I can get to the stage of where it looks like it's hitting it from afar or when I blur your eyes, but in focus, there are parts that look too ambiguous, blotchy, and need tightening.  I'd provide more examples but my desktop is admittedly a bit of a mess at the moment due to the momentum of final projects, so here is the most recent example.

Once I'm at this stage, I tend to noodle around aimlessly for literal hours until some kind of happy accident occurs and I just run off of that and this has been happening for every assignment this year.  The method is very unpractical, not just for venturing forth into sophomore year, but also because I feel like I have less energy after each assignment to cross that final threshold in order to get the best possible drawing I know I can achieve.  The noodling is the only way I know how to get there, so guess I need to know what to practice over the summer...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Invented Domicile: Mayor Shelbourne

One of our most recent assignments was inventing a room for a pre-existing character: I chose the Mayor from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs!

I wanted mine to look like it belonged from the original source material and it wasn't until halfway through that I realized that the character in particular was really tough to crack design-wise.  Overall, he's a conflicted antagonist within a dull, boring town that's still set in a fun, light-hearted comedic film, so there's a lot of those juxtapositions that made communicating the lighting and color scheme a struggle (also, colors had to be analogous).

The first image is the final and the second is just some of the process work.  At first, I intended to render and sculpt values out and play up the antagonistic side of the character with low key lighting.  However, it started looking way too menacing, alien, and scary for both establishing Swallow Falls (the town in the film) and for this petty of a character.  It wasn't until later in the game that finally had the idea to research the film's original artwork and saw that a lot of it was very flat, graphic, and took inspiration from Miroslav Sasek and The Muppets.  This also required a lot of work with the lasso tool, which I haven't worked with much until this point.

As always, things can definitely be improved, but I'm happy with what I was able to come up with and am ready to move on to the next project.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Jones Progress 2: Character Design

Last week I pitched my Gorilla character from the previous post and realized a few things about his character weren't visually reading based on my intentions of the character.  Here is the final version of Jones: draftsmanship is sort of rough since I need to move on for time's sake, but I'll breakdown the rough passes that lead to the final result.

Final Pass
Intention / Story: "Jones is an urban child gorilla who grew up on 'the block.'  He attends an elementary school with other animals and is the school tough guy, the bully, and is often close-minded.  But, like all bullies, he is secretly insecure.  He loves basketball, his favorite pastime, and is talented at it for his age.  However, he will not hesitate to showoff his skills and rub it in your face."

Original Pass - Balls on head
The balls on his head and cheeks were supposed to be tufts of hair in its most simplest and manageable form for animation, but instead were looking like an Aztec headdress and earrings.  Sweatbands weren't readable, either.  Notable notes of feedback were to  make him more colorful/obnoxoius/add more swag since he's an arrogant, "in your face" character.  Nothing else about his overall figure was really reading "basketball" player either.

Reference - Harlem Globetrotters were the first thing I thought of when I hear "basketball" and "showy"
Made sweatbands bolder, gave them distinguishable color, and made the spheres more organic to look more like tufts of hair.  He looks more like an athlete now, but still not specific enough to basketball.

Note: He's an NBA wannabe, so who else other for him to imitate than Michael Jordan?

 Shoes were a tough choice since the crew on Tarzan mentioned that gorilla feet are just as dexterous as his hands, which opened a lot of unique animation opportunities with him playing basketball.  But, I went with the shoes since, from a character design standpoint, they really help to sell him as both urban and as a basketball player since the two groups are very fixated on them from both from an equipment and fashion standpoint.  To add on, I also tried moving one of his sweatbands closer to his elbows, but removing one of them was a step backwards since it threw him visually off-balance.

There really wasn't anything about Jones that associated him with being urban either and it was another challenge to communicate that aspect without making him look stereotypical.  I thought back to the days when I lived in the south side of Chicago and remembered bandanas being popular at one point with some of my cousins. I wanted to accentuate that side of him and add some asymmetrical interest, so one of the bandana ends was exaggerated but was starting to look too much like an ear.  Desaturated the sweatbands and shoes to match the coolness of his character and the city he lives in.

Enter Tupac
Fixed that bandana ear problem by making the bandana smaller and a little more subtle / Tupac-ish.  

Finalized with some notes from Mike Yates - applied more straights against curves, contours, triangulating the tufts on the cheeks, and made padding ont the chest like other gorillas.  Got a few notes on making the snout protrude more like a gorilla's, but liked it better flat because everything else about his body/shape felt like it communicated gorilla, so it felt ok to take the liberty in favor for a more unique look and appeal.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Junior & Jones: TurnArounds

TurnArounds for invented characters in Traditional Animation and 3D class.

On a side note, I watched Porco Rosso for the first time yesterday and Porco explained that what makes a great pilot isn't so much experience, but intuition.  I compare this to drawing and realized that I tend to think too much; I've had my fair share of nasty wake-up calls in regards to art, but it's still necessary to have more confidence in my own intuition in order to get better.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Been a while since I posted again and it's been a really busy semester.  Here are two misc. from Drawing II and TA for the sake of progress with a few brief notes.
  • Draw BROAD shapes, stop getting caught up in drawing line
  • Focal point is most detailed, tightened area of of composition - pay particular attention there.  Everything surrounding and supporting the focal point can be looser and more suggestive
  • Not enough personal attention given to rendering
  • From the moment the pencil hits the paper, you're establishing the composition
  • Focus on execution rather than getting too caught up in the idea
  • Talk less, practice more