Saturday, June 30, 2012

Etch-a-Sketch Animator in Cinema 4D WIP

Last night I decided to brush up on my Cinema 4D skills and remember that  the existence of said "skills" is questionable at best.  I remembered most of the tools, but really need to jump into some extensive tutorials to get a better handle.  There has to be a better way to achieve some of the modeling that I was doing.  After  the modeling, I need to get a better handle on texture.  Everything looks a little too flat for my liking and any of the textures I add seem a bit too harsh.  The one thing I did remember is to get a hold of some lighting rigs.  There are some more full featured ones you can buy (Grey Scale Gorilla: Light Kit Pro), but if you are looking for a perfectly reasonable rig for FREE (I'm cheap), then follow the link below.  It gave the render a very nice diffused look.  In the end, I'll probably run any renders through Magic Bullet to achieve the look I want.  I'm hoping to have more updates soon.

Free Cinema 4D Light Boxes:

And here's the Etch-A-Sketch Animator 2000 so you know what I'm trying to model.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Michael J Ruocco builds an impressive NEST

NEST (2012) from Michael J. Ruocco on Vimeo.

Came across an impressive short by Michael J Ruocco that really deserves your attention.  Great concept with some really nice animation timing and a genuinely funny payoff.  I'm definitely looking forward to more from him.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Blacksploitation Steps

Just thought I would throw up the steps in completing my Blacksploitation piece for the RBMC.  The stages go: Sketch --> Inked in Sketchbook Pro --> Greyscale values over the whole picture then start coloring in on a separate layer in Overlay mode --> Add yellow highlights on a separate layer and then add white highlights on its own layer (on top of the lines).

And there you go.  I'll probably do a video once I get more comfortable with working this way.  I'm still trying to find how to add in some color variation when working in the overlay mode.  It seems to elude me.

See the finished piece here: Rust Belt Monster Collective

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Exploitation Sketch

Wow.  I was feeling pretty good there for a while.  I was posting almost daily, my sketching was far more consistent, and I was keeping up with the RBMC themes.  All of a sudden, I got lazy again.  Well, this is the start of a new day.  I am getting back up on the horse and recommitting myself.  That sounds convincing, right?  Anyways, the top sketch is the start of an exploitation poster for the RBMC.  The bottom is a sketch I drew after hearing the word "hypnotist".  

Friday, June 22, 2012

Character Designs

Still tinkering with some designs for a cartoon short I've been wanting to do (along with a million other things).  These too images represent what would be composited together as the Bear prepares for his parachute drop.  The Turtle is way more realistic than I'm aiming for.  I think I need to work on him some more to push him closer to the stuffed animal look that I'm going for.  Probably do another pass soon.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I Have a Bear, Made Him Move

The Animation Desk app for the iPad is quickly becoming a favorite of mine.  While not being the best thing for cleaning up animation, its perfect for roughing out some movement and exporting to another program.  This one is from a trip to the barber last week.  When it turned out that my idea to get there early was shared by about 4 other people, I decided to pop it open to pass the time.  While the finished animation was really just for him re-positioning a toothpick in his mouth, looping it turned it to a fun chewing animation.  I really wanted to focus on squashing and stretching the mouth while altering the entire shape of the head.  I've been picking up some new tricks from a book called Character Mentor: Learn by Example to Use Expressions, Poses, and Staging to Bring Your Characters to Life.  Its definitely given me some food for thought as I draw and is helping me push my posing and expressions.  I'll probably clean this up in the next few weeks as I still need to work on the Monster List animation to finish first.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monster List Colored

Was looking to do something "artsy" last night and decided to work some more on the monster cycle I had started in Animation Desk.  I've got it all cleaned and colored but I still want to take it into Photoshop and After Effects to tinker with it.  The only downside to that is I realized that the Flash file is only 32kb, which is pretty small compared to what it would be as an animated gif.  Too bad there is some coloring tricks I want to do that I can't pull off in flash.  That's not even taking into consideration Flash's being fazed out do to the mobile and tablet market.  Well, that's just me complaining.  I need to get some sleep.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Review: IndieGame the Movie

Having missed a couple of opportunities to see it in theaters, it was with great anticipation that I waited for the final download of IndieGame the movie from its official site.  I had long enjoyed the small snippets they included in their buildup of the film and was curious as how the final film would come together. Essentially, its indie game development from the perspective of 3 different camps.  The first is Jonathan Blow, sitting comfortably past the success of Braid and contrasting the other developers with a sense of clarity and calm gained by having already released his first major game.  His thoughts on success and dealing with post release feedback is particularly revealing of a person that believes so strongly in his vision that he is willing to debate you in your review's comment section.

The second camp is Team Meat (Edmund McMillan & Tommy Refenes).  The documentary finds them with Super Meat Boy's deadline quickly approaching.  I personally found their section the most interesting because it dealt a lot with the sacrifices they both had to endure within their personal lives and gave a better glimpse into how Edmund grew up and his desire to make video games.  It was a touching story of a man that grew up unable to relate to people and found solitude in game development.

The third camp is Phil Fish as he is finally revealing Fez to the public.  His situation is different from Team Meat in that he seems to have the most pressure sitting on top of him with the fans having waited 3 years for its arrival and legal troubles with his previous partner.  There is a particularly painful scene that involves Phil trying to show a game at PAX-Boston while game-breaking bugs begin to appear soon after a player begins a new game.  Its pretty difficult to watch, but is extremely easy to relate to.

IndieGame: The Movie does a wonderful job of putting a spotlight on those developers that struggle and fight to do it on their own.  While most fans have probably seen one version of the process through developer diaries and extra features, this does a nice job of showing what these people are willing to give up to do what they love.  I highly recommend it to anyone looking for some motivation to complete their own personal project.

Below is an out take from the movie that I particularly enjoyed.  Its an interview with Adam Atomic about Canabalt and is a great example of the tone of the movie.

Adam Atomic Talks Canabalt - IndieGame: The Movie from IndieGame: The Movie on Vimeo.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Teddy Bear Paratrooper

Another lunch time doodle for the blog.  I've been playing with the idea of animating him standing at the back of a plane, ready to jump.  Might model the plane in Cinema 4D first and see how well the Sketch and Toon filter works with hand drawn animation.  I worked a little bit inking the monster animation that I had posted before in Toonboom.  The lines still look a little wobbly.  It might be my own over-analyzing or that I'm not working big enough, but it seems obvious.  Toonboom has a nice "smooth" feature that I might apply.  I just wish that you could apply it to the whole timeline instead of each individual drawing.  I'm also using an old version (4.5) so who knows if its a feature that's been added since then.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lunchtime Dragon

Just a quick sketch today at lunch.  Really can't remember the last time I had drawn a dragon.  Feels like too long.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Indie Game Temptations

While I'm still dead set on working more on animation and video, the indie game monkey has climbed upon my already overburdened shoulders.  Oh, whoa is me.  Not only has Indie Game the Movie been released for dowload/streaming, but the team that created Wizorb (Tribute Games) has released a trailer for their follow up, Mercenary Kings.  Its absolutely slathered in retro gaming goodness and features art by Paul Robertson.  Do yourself a favor and check out his site if you'd like your mind blown.  I wonder if he does all of the animation in a pixel art editor or if he does it traditionally and then transfers it some how.  Hmmmmmm.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Anthropomorphic Goodness

I was tasked with drawing Randy Crider as part animal for last weeks Rust Belt Monster theme.  Really had fun with this one.  I'm getting much better results now that I'm not so terrified to flip my drawings and work in black and white first.  Above is a Sketchbook Pro WIP.

See the finished piece here: Rust Belt Monster Collective

Friday, June 8, 2012

Wreck It Ralph

 Kind of nice to see my love of videogames and animation colliding in such an epic display as "Wreck It Ralph" from Disney.  Its nice to see they made the extra effort of securing the rights to all of those video game characters.  It definitely adds a certain intrigue that I haven't felt since seeing all of the different characters included in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Speaking of animation, I was thinking of the recent Maurice Sendak tribute that me and the rest of the Rust Belt Monster Collective did recently and was reminded of a test Disney did in the early 80's.  It was Disney's first attempt at combining CG backgrounds with hand animated characters.  While the CG looks pretty primitive by today's standards, Glen Keane's animation still blows my mind.  I have enough trouble drawing a simple character turn around let alone all of the angles he achieved in this test.  It boggles the mind.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Intro To Music Composition By Brian Crick

Music has always been an interesting beast to me.  It seems like writing it would be an easy thing to do, right?  I mean, I can hum a tune.  How much harder can it be than that.  Turns out, its a lot harder.  I've dabbled a little by plugging my keyboard into a few programs, but it turns out that I'm terribly unwieldy and everything sounds like crap.  There are a few things that I'd like to work on in the future that I would like to at least have a little tune in the background of, but the process still scares me.  

All of this rambling takes me to the above video.  Through my loose affiliation with The Cleveland Game Developers group, I've happened upon a beginning tutorial on music composition that I rather enjoyed by Brian Crick.  While the math is a little over my head, he breaks music composition down in a way that pulls much of the intimidation out of it.  Its definitely worth watching.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

King Kong/Godzilla Hybrid Sketch

Just a little rough work for the amalgamation theme for the Rust Belt Monsters.  Thought I'd throw together King Kong and Godzilla and see what I came up with.  Wish I would have gone with a more interesting pose, but wasn't sure how to do that and get all the features I wanted.  Oh well.  Just have to try harder on the next one.  See the finished work at the Rust Belt Monster Collective.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

More Construct 2 Video Tutorials: Break Out

While I have taken a hiatus from any type of game design (for the moment), I still check in on Construct 2 from time to time.  Its really amazing to see the leaps and bounds in which that program is developing.  Hopefully resources for learning the program will start popping up.  I came across a new set of tutorials while checking Scirra's Tutorial Section.  If you are looking to learn the program, do yourself a favor and watch the above videos on the creation of a Breakout Clone by Lee Stemkoski.

Find the original tutorial here: Cloning the Classics: Breakout 

And play the game below:

Create HTML5 games

Monday, June 4, 2012

Animation Desk Ipad

On vacation, I was fooling around with the iPad app I bought: Animation Desk.  I had an idea for the Rust Belt Monster blog that it might be cool to have graphical representations for things (buttons) as opposed to the normal things blogger had available to you.  We already set up on our personal blogs an icon for the Monsters that would link to the site.  So why couldn't we do that for linking to different pages within our own site.  The idea now is to take this rough animation and then clean it up in Toonboom.  From there, I'll create an animated GIF in Photoshop and then use it to link to our Topic List page.  Seems like a lot of steps, but could be worth it.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Modern Warrior

Just got back from vacation at Myrtle Beach, and while I had a great time, there is something relaxing about just being home.  Luckily, with all of the vacation relaxation came new drawing: some good and some not so good. Here's one I threw together of a modern type warrior.  Wanted to practice my inking.  While I'm not totally happy with the style I went for, I think I might make an effort to do some more traditional inking.