Sunday, February 27, 2011

Love Girls, Hate to Draw Them

I'm almost 32 and still struggling with drawing girls. I'm making some strides, but its just not something I do enough to lock down a specific look. I think part of it is my tendency to draw small, and occasionally re-size for details. When I'm drawing a girl, the pencil lines can be too fat for some of the more delicate areas (mostly the eyes and brows). This morning, I put together some stuff that I liked and plenty that I didn't. Also, I came to the realization that I'm going to have to draw 2 different angles for all of the people that will be carried by the Player. It shouldn't be too hard, considering I'm going to repeat the bottom half of the player's body and the cape animations, but the transition animation when changing directions might prove difficult. I guess it just comes with the territory.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Player Sketches

Went on some what of a drawing binge last night. To get more comfortable, I decided to go through a book I have on comic book poses, Comic Artist's Photo Reference - People & Poses, and draw the player using it as a reference. I'm pretty happy with most of them and finally feel like I'm getting the character down.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Planned on inking and painting this in the computer tonight, but the snow belt is getting hit tonight and my electricity is being unpredictable. So rather than suffer through a night of lost saves, I thought I'd just post the sketches I mocked up today. The idea behind this character was to provide the player with a mentor, someone at the end of their career (possibly past it) that can give some insight into what it is to be a hero. I wanted to create someone with a strong physical stature, but was a nice contrast to the player's thicker, beefier shape. I'm hoping to have them guide the player through the tutorial section and possibly pop up through out the game to offer hints.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Rough Flight Sketches...Very Rough

I know, if this is what I'm posting, I must not have much. Well, these were the sketches that I mentioned earlier in the week showing the positioning for carrying female and male citizens. I'll probably design other ones for criminals and the elderly. Also, I'm right at the end of disk one of my 3D Buzz tutorials and should have that finished by this weekend. With the start of a couple of commissions, I'm hoping I can keep on track with the XNA project.

Also, I came across an interesting video of the animator that creates those toilet paper commercials with the bears. The video shows Joana Quinn's work area and process for animation. I absolutely love this video. Just seeing another person with a disheveled work area, making sound effects as they flip their pages, and concentrating so intently when trying to draw hands, really comforts me. Its nice seeing someone at her level going through the same things as I do. It makes me feel like the gap isn't as far as I thought (if that makes any sense).

I originally got the link at the Academy of Art Animation blog. Definitely check it out if you are a fan of animation.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cannon 1 is done.

Tonight I completed the first of 3 Cannon Game tutorials on the 3D Buzz disc. The whole thing was created withing Visual Studio's "winforms" creator and went pretty smoothly. The ironic thing is that there are really no cannons anywhere in the game. Its basically just a shooter. There are about 5 hours left to the first disc before I'm done. I'm feeling pretty confident in what I've learned so far and really feel like everything is sinking in.

Earlier today, I was sketching some rough ideas for how I will visually represent the player carrying citizens. For the women, I've pretty much stuck to the traditional "flying with the damsel" look so often seen in comics and film. I started working with an "under the armpit" style for picking up men, but realized that I might have to rethink their falling animation. Where as the women can fall facing upward and then naturally transition to the carried position, the men would be flipping over. I'll need make sure that they are falling face down for that positioning to work.

Also, I read an article today showing the early design doc's for Aero-The Acrobat. I'm not sure if I've ever played it, but I distinctly remembered its ad campaign. Either way, it makes for a pretty interesting read and a fascinating glimpse into how some programmers design their games.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Superman Fan Film

Holy crap do I love this! Robb Pratt, a Disney animator, did an amazing job with this Superman fan film. Great old school, Fleischer feel to this and I catch myself re-watching it just to analyze the cape movement. Definitely give it a look.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Back in the Saddle

So life got a little crazy since my last post. Without being too specific, there was a week where I couldn't work on anything (even non game related) and was unable to continue on the game. Things have calmed down a bit and I have been able to continue with the 3D Buzz tutorials. I'm right at the end of the first disc (the 3 cannon tutorials) and things seem to be going well. A lot has been reiterated from the XNA Book I was working on, but that is to be expected. I'm very happy with the way things are going and feel like I'm on the right track.

Also, this weekend, my brother and I finished Batman: The Brave and the Bold. I have to say, I was extremely impressed with the art style and animation in the game. It is definitely inspired me to add a certain visual flare to my game. The studio that created it, Wayforward Studios, also created Justice League Heroes: The Flash, which directly influenced the game I'm working on. Its top notch animation and execution of the whole comic book/superhero feel fueled my urge to create my own game. Finally, continuing my love of high quality, hand drawn animation: Michael Gagne released I HD version of his film "Prelude To Eden" on Youtube. He is the world's premier "effects" animator and I'm sure people will see a direct influence in my game as I aspire to have my destruction match his quality.