Thursday, December 20, 2012

Construct 2 Video Tutorials

Here's another batch of tutorials for you.  This time, its focused on Construct 2.  I've only had a chance to watch a couple so far, but I'm definitely impressed.  It also says a lot that the ConstructDude is putting them out so quickly.  Check them out.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Animation Tutorials

Boy have I been quiet this last week.  Much like everyone else, the holidays are proving to be quite busy.  That definitely doesn't mean that I've stopped working on things, just taking a tiny break.

Now to the embed, thanks to Cold Hard Flash, I've discovered some really wonderful animation tutorials by the creator of Baman Piderman (Alex Small-Butera).  I've really been wanting to learn more and find a more efficient work flow for creating them.  I think this could be the trick.  Check them out.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Flight Needs Some Tweaking

So I went back and tweaked the Up-Diagonal animation I had for the flying.  I wasn't completely happy with the angle he was pointed in before and decided to tweak that a bit.  Plus I added the one arm out to maximize coolness.  The transition animation between this and the Up animation will have him lifting and lowering the second arm.

I'm noticing now that the player is not turning as fast as I would like in Fast Flight Mode (terrible title. must change.) so a little adjusting of the 8-Way movement variables in Construct 2 are definitely in order.  I'll hopefully get to that soon.

Friday, December 7, 2012

No One Creates Like You

If you ever wanted to feel good about being an artist, to get excited about creating, you don't have to look much farther than Neil Gaiman.  Take 2 minutes out of your day to watch this.  Then see how long before you want to start working on something.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

At First You Don't Succeed...

This is so bad, it hurts me.  But I put it here to remind me not to settle.
...try, try again.  And that's exactly what I did.  In fact, I'm kind of proud of myself.  I often catch myself learning to live with art that is subpar.  The above Gif isn't by any means awesome, but its much closer than my original two attempts.  I've even attached my last version to remind myself to not settle.  It's laughably bad and I think that the thought of having to constantly see it was bumming me out to the point that I couldn't bare to live with it.  So I added some more sharp angles, much more definition to the suit, and corrected the shadows and highlights.  With any luck, this will make transitioning through the different flight angles much more pleasing to the eye.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Symmetry Sucks

....and I've spent a large chunk of my artistic life trying to avoid it.  Seems like every book I read says to slightly tilt the head, change your perspective, shift the eyebrows.  Basically, symmetry (if you divide an image in half, it looks the same on both sides) is boring.  They're not wrong, but there's definitely some cases that you need it.  For instance, the roadblock that sits in front of me. The most straight on image I will draw in the whole game is the player flying directly up.  Its important because it is the half way point between the flight animations when they are mirrored.  Basically, if the player is flying North West, then North, then North East they will pass through the above picture.  

The attached sketch is a revision of a test I did this morning that failed pretty miserably.  Basically, the inked and painted version didn't have enough breaking up the costume so it was a big blob of blue with the cape fluttering behind it.  I'm decided to add some shadow and highlights to it.  I can't stand too much negative space and it was irking me.  Also, I think having highlights on the outside and shadows on the inside should help me with the transition animations.  Previously, I just put shadows along the outside and it was too jarring a move.  I'm hoping these adjustments will help.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Flying Up

EDIT: The more I look at this, the more I hate the body.  Rethinking the animation.  Might have come up with something cooler.

I wish I meant that metaphorically, but its really just the quick animation I did.  While I'm happy with the cape animation on this, I'm not loving the body.  Fist off, the torso is too long and the legs a little too short.  Second, where I have the shadow on one side and the highlight on the other, I'm bumping into inconsistencies when the player art is mirroring.  its a little too obvious for my tastes.  I don' think it will be too hard to fix because the body was drawn on its own separate layer in Toonboom.  Hopefully I can get it fixed tonight.

Seeing the art imported into Construct 2 made me realize that I might need a frame of animation to transfer between the flight angles.  Its a little jarring switching between UpRight and Up, but I may be looking too close into to it.  I'll have to see if there's an easy way to fit it into my workflow.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Kickstarter: Tiny Barbarian DX

 Just thought I'd give a quick shout out to Michael Stearns' current Kickstarter for Tiny Barbarian DX.  I played his original Tiny Barbarian and really liked it.  This one seems like an amped up version of that.  It has a nice look and I'd love to play it.  And for $8, its kind of a steal.  Give it a look.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Superhero Gameplay Footage

So I've exported my first Construct 2 test with their Awesomium feature.  It worked out pretty well.  Now I just need to buy a registered version of Fraps (screen capture software) because the free one only gives you 30 seconds at a time.  It kind of bums me out, but its not like I have that much to show.

Click above and subscribe to my channel to see future videos: NeedYourDisease (sman118) Youtube

Friday, November 30, 2012

Superhero Game (Build 11-30-12)

Was tinkering some more with the Superhero Game.  With the help of the Scirra Community, I was able to get the lift mechanic added in.  Also, I added some placeholder art for when the Player is flying in different directions.  Next up, I'll probably add in some placeholder images for when the player is flying their fastest.  After that, I need to get one civilian up and working to make sure everything is doing what I want it to.  Luckily, the "Families" feature in Construct 2 is making it easy to set this up for a multitude of NPC's.  I'm just now trying to think about how I'm going to add some variety.  I'd like to do more than just pallete swap, so I might have a base figure that I draw items onto.

Click the link below to go to the newest build of the game.  I'm setting up a static page that I will update with the newest versions as I update.  Its just easier in the event that someone goes to an old post and sees a link to a file that isn't there anymore.

Click Here To Go To The Most Current Build Of The Superhero Game

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dr. Sketchy Cleveland 11-28-12

Feels like forever since I've done any life drawing.  Hell, it feels like forever since I've drawn without a ballpoint pen, not on a legal pad, and not a superhero.  But, ultimately, I think those daily sketches helped me stay loose.  Normally when I would start drawing, I'd need some warm up time to get myself ready to draw anything serious.  With all of the tooling around on the game, I'm getting to a comfortable point with less and less warm up.  Here are some of my life drawing studies from last night.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Superhero Game: Pick it Up

Odd how I'm more silent on the blog when I'm actually doing more work on the game than normal.  Craziness.  Well, I've begun tackling the on of the most important elements of the game, the carrying mechanic.  I was struggling with how to best get the NPC's (Non Player Character) to stick to a specific image point on the animation.  The idea being that I can use a static body and have the NPC and the player's arms on a separate animation that will overlap the body.  Confused? I don't blame you.  Thankfully, I've attached the above picture.

This technique will also be used when lifting other objects.  I will be setting up a different image point in Construct 2 for objects.  The forums over at were a huge help in figuring this out.  Animmaniac figured out how to use UID's to have the NPC's stick to the image point.  I'm looking into them further.  I think in the long run that I can use a similar system for switching out the player's animation when he's holding specific people or items.  Maybe even slow down the player when he has heavier items.  Who knows?

Forum Posts: Pin to Image Point?
Animmaniac's site: PRR-Art

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gaston vs Jabba The Hutt

Here you can see the preliminary sketches I did for the RBMC's take on Disney vs. Lucas!  See the finished piece here:  Oh What A Guy Is Gaston!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Superhero Game Update 11-18-12

My first building template.  I need to dress it up.
So I've been kind of busy.  I decided to try and throw together some background assets and get away from the yellow-legal-pad BG that I had before.  In doing so, I'm realizing that I'm probably going to need a few template buildings that I can alter and stack to try and limit the amount of work this is going to take.  I'm pretty happy with the base "brick" building that I have.  I think with alternate sign-age, awnings, and other dressing that this type of system will work.  I also put together some clouds, but seeing them in the game, I realized how depressing they look.  I'm probably going to go in and brighten them up.  Also, I added a new default hovering animation.  I have the the week off so I'm hoping to get a good deal of content added in.  Most importantly, the "catch mechanic".

Depressing clouds.  Going to brighten these up.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Video Game Sprites: Is Continuity Important?

So I've been wanting to add in the catch and carry mechanic to the game, and its got me thinking about situations that won't "mirror" correctly.  In case you've stumbled across my blog and are curious about what mirroring is: Basically, you draw your art one time with the character facing one direction.  Then, when the player wants the character to move in the opposite direction, the computer will flip all of the character's art and animation.  It really saves you half the amount of work you'd have to do.  

The only real fallback is that you would want to create characters that look the same no matter what direction they're facing.  You wouldn't want to spell out a word across your chest because when the player went the other way, that word would read backwards.  Street Fighter cleverly played with this on their DJ character.
Right now I'm trying to figure out how to go about having the character carry civilians/criminals and it look right from both directions.  If you're holding a civilian in the classic pose, when you flip the character, it wouldn't make sense (see above).  My question is: do people even care?  I'm probably going to put in that extra effort, but I wonder if anyone would even notice?  
I think I have a system figured out for quickly creating the art needed for both poses.  And, honestly, the legs and cape will be animated so I'm probably not going to animate the carried people (along with the sprites being so small).  So I guess I'll way my options.  Just some food for thought.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tiles and Sketches

Let me just get this out of the way: Making tiles in video games is hard.  What a pain.  After a couple hours of fighting with it, I was able to get a master tile created that I will be able to adjust to create most of the sidewalks I will need for the game.  I got a little cute with the perspective and it made everything challenging. I have a giant picture to serve as the left edge of any sidewalk (where it meets the road) and that will butt up nicely with the repeatable tiles.  It was pretty difficult, but I'm happy to have it out of the way.

Also, I'm working on this round's RBMC theme "Lucas vs Disney".  At the moment I have a very rough sketch of Gaston as Boba Fett.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to lengthen those arms, but I'm pretty happy with the pose so far.  Looking forward to finishing that in the next couple of days.

And finally, I decided to try out the FRAPS program for some gameplay capture based on a fellow developer's suggestion.  You have to work with it a bit to get it to record the desktop, but it works pretty good.  I would have liked to have been able to limit the capture area to the gameplay window, but cropping out the excess screen wasn't too difficult.  Be sure to subscribe to the Youtube channel for more gameplay updates.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Player Sketches 11-12-12

Nothing too exciting today.  Just some poses and thumbnail sketches.  Trying to settle on a leg shape based on a couple of sketches I liked in a previous post.  Hoping to get back on the Buildings tonight.

Monday, November 12, 2012

First Step Towards Backgrounds

The very first steps in creating some backgrounds.  I've got a sky gradient that will sit stagnant in the back and I've created a template for the building and side walk.  Its just a basic block to help me with the perspective.  I started by creating the basic shape in Cinema 4D.  I then created renders of the street level and the building top.  That gave me the basic perspective which I then fudged by flattening out.  It doesn't look great it you are going for something literal, but I'm thinking it will be fine once its zoomed in on.  I've included some work in progress shots below.

At this point, I'm still thinking that I will be creating the buildings as whole pieces, but will try to get away with tiles where I can.  I'm hoping that the large pictures won't eat up too much CPU with my sticking to a 16-bit-ish look and using the Save For Web feature in Photoshop to keep my file sizes down.  We'll have to wait and see.
Here are the two renders created in Cinema 4D to that were used in the Composite.

I then flattened out the front of the building and the sidewalk to create a template that the other  buildings will be drawn from.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Preparing for a Model Sheet

I've put it off long enough.  I need to make a model sheet.  The lack of consistancy in my character's proportions is really bumming me out.  At the same time, I'm starting to get excited about adding some additional animation to him.  I can't be bouncing between different leg shapes and torso sizes.  So I've compiled some of my favorite sketches of him in order to come up with a solid design scheme.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Superhero Game V.0002

I should probably change the ridiculous naming convention, but I really don't know what it should be.  Regardless, I've added some camera transitions between flying and platforming, tweaked some of the speeds and jumping, added a quick lift off when the player starts flying if he is on the ground or falling, and re-positioned the player in the window.

I cannot stress how exciting it is that Construct 2 is letting me achieve the things I had always envisioned in my head.  I really wish I could have spent my time working with it instead of trying to teach myself XNA and C#.  Clearly I wasn't able to wrap my head around coding and this works much better for my simple, artist brain.

Feel free to try it out here: Still Too Early Too Be Showing Superhero Test

Controls:   Arrows to Move, "F" to toggle Flying

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Figuring Out My Flight Poses

So I've already got normal floating around poses kind of figured out, but I wanted to get my poses set for when you are really going fast (IE: holding down the run/speed button).  I keep going back and forth on whether or not to have the fists out forward.  It ultimately boils down to how it looks.  Getting the pose to look right without covering the characters head was proving tricky.  Who knows, I might just have the arms out when he reaches the top speed. 

Also, if I get a chance I may jump into Cinema 4D and model a couple of mock buildings to use as placeholders.  Not because I plan on having CGI buildings, but because I'm pretty annoyed with myself for not having figured out the final perspective on the buildings.  The sketch I'm using now is a little too severe for my tastes and I'd like to try out a few variations before committing.  It might be a good idea to try out Google Sketchup for some quick templates.  Hmmmmm.  So many questions.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Transition Animations

I'm starting to give some thought to transition animations in the game.  Like everything else in the game, my decision to add a cape to my character is is adding a lot of extra work for me.  Luckily, the animation is so small on the screen and everything is moving so fast, that I can probably get away with just a couple of inbetweens for each transition.  I just don't know how many transitions I will need.  As of now, I'd love to have a couple of frames for when you are swiching from from moving left to right while your flying and running.  I'm probably going to also need some for when I'm flying down and and go up.  After I get those done, I'll have a better idea of the kind of things I'll need to flesh out the rest.

Update: A likely solution was provided by Justifun on the forum 

Friday, November 2, 2012

I Need Something To Practice With

So I've been thinking about how to build the system for carrying the different people/civilians/criminals/etc and thought I should make a character to practice with.  I was leaning on making a damsel in distress when it dawned on me that it should be some sort of home made practice dummy.  Plus, it might make for an interesting story point if you used the dummy during a tutorial level.  I would still like to use the Mentor character (pictured below) that I developed below and think this could be a good addition learning process.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Working Out My Poses

Having put together a rough prototype of the movement in the game, I'm starting to think about some of animations I'm going to need.  I have some quick placeholder sketches where I need the jumping and falling, but haven't completely figured out the rest.  Most of the trouble is revolving around transitioning from different cape animations.  At the moment, the character goes from standing still with the cape draped from his back to sticking straight out when he's running.  I need a few transitional frames between to make it look like the cape is catching the wind.  

A few other's to give some thought to:

How far up to have the cape go when falling from jump or dropping out of the sky.
How to compensate for that transition when going from a fall to landing.
How to handle the cape when changing direction.

These extra details are what I'm hoping will set my game apart, but is probably where the more tedious work is going to come from.  I'm starting to think about ways to cut back on the work and maybe include little cheats.  Kind of like figuring out situations where I can reuse assets or take advantage the sprite size.  

I'm hoping the power will be back on by this weekend so I can work on this and implement a timing feature to work in my "float up" idea.  The whole thing was developed and explained to me by fellow indie developer, Bodzio Stawski.  Do yourself a favor and swing by his development blog to see the great stuff he is building in Construct 2: Selection B

Monday, October 29, 2012

Construct 2 Camera Controls

Things are still plugging along pretty well on the Superhero Game.  Yesterday I started implementing more of a dynamic camera system that will zoom out when the player is flying.  I might try and get trickier with it as I remember really liking the system in Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet.  Their's allowed the camera to be placed slightly farther ahead of the player and changed as areas of interest were close.  Its way more complex than the simple in and out I have now, but its something I'd like to keep in mind for the future.

My next step is to add an invisible object that can serve as the camera's "scroll to" sprite and pin it in a more favorable position.  The current camera has the player centered on screen and I'm not loving it.  Guess I need to learn how to use the Pin Tool.

Camera Control Tutorials/Posts:  Zoom Out When Platformer Moving & Limit How Far Down a Camera Can Go

Here is a nice Youtube video explaining Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet's camera system:

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sprite sheets in Adobe Edge: Follow Up

A couple of weeks ago, I had mentioned that I watched a tutorial on Sprite Sheets in Adobe Edge.  Having no success with the plugin for converting them, I was forced to go the manual route.  And boy did that suck. What I hoped would be some simple math and clever use of key frames lead to too much "eyeballing" for my comfort.  While I'm not totally against the use of the Adobe Edge, I would love to see a more straight implementation of the sprite sheets.  You can also import animated gifs.  That might end up being an easier option.  I'm just not sure at this point.

Feel free to check out the Halloween banner I created for the Rust Belt Monsters at the blog.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Thought I would throw some color on my Frankenstein sketch from the other day.  It was a fun little exercise, but reminded me that I really need to calibrate my monitor and Cintiq.  Taking it from my drawing source to the main screen showed me how grossly over-saturated it actually was.  So I'll probably take care of that this weekend.

Be sure to stop by the Rust Belt Monster Collective as we are continuing to fill out the month with Halloween-centric posts through out the month. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Superhero Game V.0001

Here is as basic a functionality as a person could show right now.  I've just got the switching between Platforming and 8-Way moving working, placed some blocks to run on, and threw some rough sketches in for where I will have some of the later animations.  Regardless, it is my character running, jumping, and flying.  In time, I will have his body position change so that he can be in a laying posture as he flies.

The major bug I'm seeing now is the sliding into a new spot when pressing the Flying Button ( F ).  I'm probably going to have to find a way of getting around it here pretty soon.  I'm leaning toward finding the location of the player box when the F button is pressed and then snapping the character to that location.  Not sure if it will work but its the first thing I'll try.

Give it a shot here: Superhero Game Super Early Test
                             Most Current Build

Arrow Keys to Move
F key to Fly
* you can fall of the stage.  Never implemented a restart.  Still very early.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Superhero Game Update: 10-21-12

Screen Capture of the Game in Progress
Hey, an update on the game!  Who would have thunk it?  I was sitting at home on a lazy Sunday and decided to crack open Construct 2 again and see if I could make a little progress on my little game idea.  So I started tinkering away with some rough sketches for flight, jumping, and falling.  I don't have diagonal flight animations implemented, but the default one is working fine for now.

Before I started any of that, though, I downloaded the most current version of Construct 2 (103.2). It had been a while for me.  In fact, I think I was still at 100 or 99.  They seemed to have added quite a bit since I was using the program more regularly, but a couple of things aren't working all.

The main problem is that I used to hit the F key to toggle on the flying (8-way movement) and the character would begin where ever he was when I hit the button.  With the new version, the player will sometimes slide ever so quickly to the left or right a couple dozen pixels.  I kind of feel like this has something to do with adjusting some of the other platform problems.  I'll definitely have to find some work around for it.

I'm uploading a bunch of pictures to Dropbox as of this typing.  I'm hoping to post my (very meager) prototype up tomorrow.

Layout of the level inside of Construct 2.  Really need to commit to an angle of perspective.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Rust Belt Monster Collective: Dracula!

Rust Belt Monster Collective: Dracula!: The very OLD Dracula.  I've had Bram Stoker's Dracula (the movie) on the brain lately and felt like taking a quick stab at it.  Rather th...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Adobe Edge Animate and Sprite Sheets

On the topic of Adobe Flash not working on tablets anymore, I've been looking at Adobe Edge Animate to add a little interactivity and animation to the blog.  From the research I've done, it looks to fun like a limited version of Flash but control more like Adobe Premier (at least as far as the timeline).  That doesn't give me a whole lot of options as far as Animation.  Luckily, Edge Animate has a way of bringing in sprite sheets to use for animated graphics.  The problem is its kind of a cumbersome way of doing it.  Basically, you are creating a clipping mask and then sliding the sprite sheet around to expose each frame.  Its kind of a pain because you have to do it manually.

I've yet to play around with it yet, but Antonio Lirio was nice enough to add captions to his previous tutorial which is a giant help to me.  You can see that video above.

Also, YOSHIOKA Ume on the Adobe Forums created an AIR Utility that will take a JSON sprite sheet and output a format compatible with Edge Animate.  The problem is you have very limited control over the timeline of it.  Mainly, you can't vary the amount of time held on each frame.  

Either way, big thanks for creating it: Sprite Sheet Converter 

So I haven't tried either yet, but plan to very soon.  The game plan is to put something up as the header of this blog and then try something more complex with the RBMC blog.  I'm hoping to have results soon.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Stabbed in the Back!

Not really.  Just felt like drawing that.  Actually, I was looking for something to sketch on my lunch break and decided to pull up my copy of Facial Expressions for some inspiration.  The doodle just happened like that.  I stopped before I screwed it up because I really needed some reference for the foreshortening I wanted to do on the hand.

I'm really trying to get better with my expressions, but in this case I felt like I was drawing the reference.  It's probably best to start with the character I want to draw and then find the expression.  Like anything, it will get easier with time.

PS: If I could give one tip about "Facial Expressions", you might want to get the physical version.  While I like the ability to zoom in on a picture, its just too slow when flipping through the images to find a head shape you like.

Flash Animation and Antler Ghosts

Seems like every Halloween I start itching to do some work in Flash.  Problem is, when you only use Flash once a year, you really don't get any better at it.  Me and the RBMC were thinking of filling out the blog for the rest of October with spooky posts and I thought that this could be a good opportunity to do something different.  So I took one of Erin Schechtman's antler ghosts and tried to give it a bit of movement.  Its pretty easy to tell, but a lot of it is just sliding the parts around to look like its turning.  I'm not great at it, but I'll put this in the "good enough" category.  I'll probably tweak it a bit more before it goes up though.

I'd really like to have at least a functional knowledge of Flash as it might come in handy from time to time.  I know Toonboom pretty well, but Flash is better for moving symbols around and has a decent bone system.  Ultimately, it might end up being all for nothing as HTML5 stakes its claim and tablets continue to disregard Flash.

Either way, I'm thinking of picking up the eBooks by Adam Phillips (Bitey) and keeping them handy.  The guy really seems to know what he's doing and they're only $4.

Flash eBooks at BCA Flash

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Zombies on the Brain and Marching Bands

Walking Dead (TV series) is right around the corner and I've got zombies on the brain.  So that pretty much leads to a decomposing lunch time sketch.

Also, if you have some extra time, click the video below for one of the most phenomenal half time shows I've ever seen with Ohio State giving tribute to video games.  Good stuff.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Gizmoduck WIP and Studio Arrangement

Above is a quick work in progress for this round's RBMC challenge: Disney.  I've always had an affinity for the Disney Afternoon of my youth and had Ducktales on the brain.  Tried out a new technique with a textured brush in Photoshop and trying to limit my lines and pallet.  I think I might explore this way some more in the future.  It turned out better than I thought.  

See the finished product here: RBMC Gizmoduck!

I've also had a chance to get my office finished!  So hip hop hooray for me.  I had been pricing L-shaped desks for a while and happened to see that my parents had a nice one unused in their basement.  They were nice enough to give it to me so now I have a pretty handy work station that can hold both my digital art tools and traditional.  If you look at the picture below, I have my Cintiq -> Monitor & Keyboard -> Scanner -> Animation disc.  It makes it real easy to just turn my chair and work.  And with the Cintiq on the desk at all times, it should make using more flexible.

This is of course all bundled in the excitement of the new set up.  We'll have to see how effective it ultimately is.  Either way, I have high hopes.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Ingenuity Fest 2012 Live Draw Montage

It was with great joy that I woke up to see Ron Caruso had cut together a montage of the 15 hours spent creating our mural for Ingenuity Fest 2012.  I really had a great time with the rest of the Rust Belt Monsters as we toiled away at this monstrosity   There was no topic going in and the whole thing just happened organically.  If you have 4 minutes to spare, feel free to take a look.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Revamping the Art Studio

This week has definitely been sweaty and dusty as I've been moving my new desk into my home office.  I've longed for an L-shaped desk that I divide between my digital and traditional art things for ease of use.  My bottom line theory is that better access leads to more frequent use.  I may use my light table as infrequently, but its a first attempt.  To be honest, this has been the most artistically productive year of my life.  Building on this momentum can only help.

Looking at the picture, I'm probably going to put the scanner in the corner and move the Cintiq to the outside.  I also need to bring the Animation Light Box closer to the inside because of the file cabinet that sits under the desk.  With any luck, I might be able to bring the drafting table back up from the dungeon.  It hardly seems necessary though.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Viking Goodness

Just a quick sketch of some Vikingy Goodness... and, No, I don't know what that's supposed to mean.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Paperman Breakdown

I know I've been extremely quiet on the blog.  Redoing my office/art space is taking longer than I'd like so my creation has been hindered.  Good part is I got a new L-shaped desk that will allow me to have a computer side and an art side.  I'm sure this doesn't sound like a big deal, but I'm hoping that having my Cintiq ready and available will make me more productive.

Besides all that nonsense, I came across this video yesterday showing the breakdown of Disney's new Paperman short that will be playing in front of Wreck It Ralph.  Up until this point, I had only seen stills and assumed that everything was hand drawn.  I couldn't have been more wrong.  its actually completely CG with some clever filters applied.  It seems like such a complicated process to achieve an effect that mimics hand drawn.  Kind of makes me wonder why they didn't just go with traditional animation.  Regardless, its an interesting study of the effect was achieved.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Superhero Sketch, Real Bad Hand

I sure haven't drawn this guy in a while.  The game is still percolating, but I'm jumping between Cinema 4D and Flash with little time to devote to Construct 2.  I still haven't solved the switching layers and collision problem so that's not helping.  Regardless, I still felt like knocking out a quick sketch.  It has a glaringly bad hand that really puts a spotlight on my trouble with hands.  I'm gotten better, but drawing a hand with the thumb facing away still vexes me.  

Playing around with a little Flash animation so hopefully I can show that in the next couple days.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

Gizmoduck Sketch

Trying to get back into the swing of things with the Rust Belt Monsters starting back up on their normal art routine.  This round is a spotlight on Disney.  While I'd normally jump towards a movie from the Beast/Aladdin/Lion era, this time I thought I would delve into the Disney afternoon area.  Its just my humble opinion, but the Disney afternoon of my generation had some strong shows on it.  To this day, I will fight anyone that doesn't think Gummi Bears was a great show.  So here is a quick sketch of Gizmoduck.  I still have to fix the arms, but its a serviceable first step.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pajama Boy

Just a quick sketch for a Halloween idea that I had.  Might try and whip together a quick animation to celebrate the holiday.  Really got the animation bug working on the Ingenuity Fest video.  We'll have to see how this turns out.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sci Fi Fair Video

I can finally show what I've been working on for the last couple of weeks!  Me and the RBMC collaborated with Ingenutiy Fest Cleveland 2012 and Whitney M Young High School to create posters representing ideas for the future.  I took my fellow artists' work and used it to create a fake news reel.  Its 3 minutes that took me a really long time and reawakened a love for doing this sort of thing.  Check it out.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Rust Belt Monster Intro

With the Rust Belt Monster portion of Ingenuity Fest tomorrow, I'm in the final crunch to finish the video.  My computer is knee deep in render times, MP4's, and giant assets.  I'm completely anticipating a hardware failure at any moment.  But until then, I thought I'd share with the blog readers my intro animation that I finished a couple weeks ago.  The whole thing was composited and animated in After Effects.  The crumbling  background was created in Cinema 4D using the Nitroblast plugin.  Super handy once I got it to work.  Check out a weeks worth of hard work that apparently equals 23 seconds.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Some Ron Swanson For Your Face!

Maybe the blog header has a little too much energy for a simple sketch.  Park and Recreation starts back up next week and I'm kind of excited.  I don't draw a lot of caricatures (if any), but I'm pretty happy with this one.  I might take it into Illustrator.  Its probably the program that I have the least experience with out of my Adobe suite.  I should at least get some use out of it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Old School Eye Replacement

It kind of feels like going home when you can head into After Effects and apply one of the earliest things you've ever learned.  When I first started using After Effects, I was constantly in search of tutorials on how to use it.  At the time, video tutorials were pretty new, but I was finding that I learned from them much more easily than any of the books I was purchasing on the subject.  Easily the best place to go to learn how to use the program is Video Copilot.  Andrew Kramer created a site that not only taught the fundamentals, but also showed you how to apply them for some pretty cool practical effects.

So I went back to where I started, re-watched the eye replacement tutorial, and then added my own little twist.  I created a few different pupils, morphed them in Fantamorph, and had it transition in After Effects.  I'm pretty happy with the results even though I have to really push in so you can fully appreciate whats happening.  I'm really getting excited to have this done and all put together.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Ingenuity Fest Video Update

So much going on and so few posts.  Things are coming along at a steady pace for the Ingenuity Fest Science Fair video.  I've gotten the logo video finished, put together a small "synthetic blood cell" bit, and created the title card.  I'm starting to get a little more comfortable with Cinema 4D.  The dynamic physics are interesting, but are exposing how long in the tooth my computer is coming.  Its hard to preview a render when it has to figure out the physics first.

I'm also enjoying the results I'm getting by moving my renders out to After Effects for some color correction. You can get a lot of mileage by overlaying some Magic Bullet Looks filters.  Really softens that CGI look.  I also bought a little stock footage texture to lay over the whole thing.  The deadline is approaching.  I'll post more tests later.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Quick Update

Where did I go?  Well, I've definitely been busy.  Ingenuity Fest is a little over a week away and I've been working on the RBMC's video project that will incorporate the other members' poster ideas.  I've been jumping between different sections of the video and doubling back to the logo intro.  I finally finished the intro once I got Nitro Blast to work.  It wasn't installing properly for me and it (embarrassingly) ended up being my fault.  Go figure.

I've done a little more sketching, but nothing too in depth.  I'm looking forward to working on the game some more.  I sketched this guy yesterday at lunch.  Maybe the city needs a little turmoil in the shape of some steam punk?