Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ninja Turtles

Oh what a firm grasp on my mind you have, Ninja Turtles. I've been over come with with an urge to draw while being crippled by the occasional lack of subject. That's when I draw Ninja Turtles.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sketching On The Beach

Enjoying a relaxing week on the beach with some sketching. Here is the first one that I liked odd that nothing I've drawn has been even remotely water related. Guess I just had knights on the brain.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cinema 4D Linear Work Flow

I can't believe its been over 6 months since I've touched Cinema 4d, but I have an upcoming project that could really benefit from some CGI goodness so I'm going to give it another shot.  As the dreams of a 3D workflow began running through my head, I was suddenly taken back to a time when Cinema 4D greatly frustrated me and dashed my dreams.  See, it was giving me some nasty problems with the luma mattes not matching up and a thin white border surrounding some things I wanted composited.  Today I took some of my lunch break and did another search for a way to fix the problem.  It looks like I may have not properly set up the color profiles and linear work space.  I'm hoping these attached tutorials fix the problem, but I won't know for sure until I can re-model the frame I had before to use for the composite.  Once again, wiping my computer to fix the problem bites me in the ass.

Sketches 5-24-12

Just a couple of quickies.  Getting ready for vacation next week and plan on taking a sketchpad with me and fleshing out these characters... or at least that's what I think every time I go no vacation.  The idea of taking this idea I have an forming it into something animated is starting to appeal more and more to me.  I think I'm finally getting close to nailing the look of him, but might have to streamline him a bit to make him easier to animate.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Maurice Sendak Tribute WIP

This week The Rust Belt Monsters are holding a tribute to the life and work of Maurice Sendak.  Above is my work in progress of the final piece sketched in Sketchbook Pro.  Was a nice welcome home for the computer that was so problematic just a week ago.  Turns out it was some faulty RAM.  Fixed now, but what a pain.

See the final piece here: Rust Belt Monster Collective

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Daily Sketch 5-16-12

Just a quick lunchtime sketch today.  Still trying to get comfortable drawing this character.  Odd how I could be so happy with the first sketch and then struggle so thoroughly when trying to recapture that design in other poses.  Oh well.  In other news, there is a possibility that I found out what was wrong with my computer by pulling out 2 of my 4 RAM cards.  I've been downloading my copy of CS6 with no freezes so here's hoping that was the problem.  I'll probably give it another day before I call "bad RAM" the official reason and buy a couple of new sticks.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

No HTML5 Buttons in Flash CS6?

In an act of Cruel Irony, my free updgrade to CS6 Production Premium came through in the midst of my battle with my home computer (at this point I'm leaning towards it being a RAM problem).  With ideas and projects looming, I'm hoping to get everything up and running so I can dive into some of the features.

In researching tutorials on Flash Professional CS6, I found that the conversions to HTML five do not include buttons or any actionscript.  I was looking to create an interactive banner for the top of my blog as well as the Rust Belt Monsters, but now its looking less likely that it will be in HTML5  Ultimately, I will probably just do it in flash as every tablet just pulls up the blog in a reader of some kind.  Sort of a bummer though.  The above HTML5 file was made converting my original Flash file using Google Swiffy.  It supports actionscript 2 so that might be a way to go.

Finally, I got a little sketching in today.  I still have the Snuggletons in the back of my mind.  Hoping to realize that some day soon.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Giantbomb Interviews Dean Dodrill (Elysian Tail)

 Was happy to see that Giantbomb finally posted their interview with Dean Dodrill about his work on Dust: An Elysian Tail for Xbox Live.  I first became aware of Dean's work through a book on Flash animation that I must have picked up over 10 years ago.  At the time, he was working on his own animated film and showed a production quality that rivaled any professionally produced movie being released in theaters.  I remember being blown away that not only was he creating the entire thing by himself, but that creating your own animated film was possible using "off the shelf" software and a home computer.  It really was a milestone in my life and showed that the tools are no longer exclusive to the studios and the "common man" is limited only by their drive.

I was a frequent visitor to Dean's blog and found a nice community of artists all submitting to the site and sharing ideas.  Its been a long time since any footage has been released on the film, but he still has some screen shots up on his site.  I think he's put his film on hold during the creation of his first game, but I'd love to see a glimpse of it.

Good luck to Dean Dodrill on his Dust.  I'm sure we'll all be playing it when it comes out.

Elysian Tail
Dean Dodrill Twitter

The Refresh! It Did Nothing!

Oh how the anger has overcome me.  Computer refresh did not solve my problems.  Aiming a fan directly at the innards of my computer did nothing.  I was just starting to re-install everything when it froze up again.  I'm finally taking the old girl in to someone who knows what they're doing...because clearly I don't.  Frivolous spending is in lock down at the moment, so I'm hoping its not too outrageous.  I'll be typing with my fingers crossed until I get the results.

Also, check out the tumbler for this killer digital artist/animator.  If you go to the second page, you'll see a mermaid piece that I'm kind of obsessed with.  I'd show it here but, I don't know what blog protocol says about this.  Check the tumbler here: DoodleNoodle

Friday, May 11, 2012

Computer Refresh

So I ended up going with a factory refresh on my computer to finally stop the freezing problem.  After consulting my friend, we determined that it might be an over heating issue.  Probably could have saved myself lot of heartache and lost files had I figured that out earlier.  Even still, there was something kind of cathartic about cleaning the slate.  Also, I forgot a computer could load up that fast. 

My first project: I really need to redesign this blog.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Computers Make Me Angry. Mortal Kombat Doesn't

Seeing as it is the perfectly worst time for it to do so, my computer decided to start freezing for absolutely no reason.  At this point I'm thinking it is probably some kind of hard drive failure or mother board problem.  Either way, just a major pain in the ass.  If its the hard drive, maybe it will have a nice cleansing effect to just restart.  What with CS6 being out and my free upgrade codes coming next week (some weird loophole in the deal), starting with a fresh hard drive might be the way to go.  At least that's what I'm telling myself.

Outside of that small catastrophe, I came across an original promo video for Mortal Kombat 1 (above).  I had already seen the videos for 2 and 3 in the past, but this was the first time I'd seen any of the capture footage that was used for the game.  Pretty interesting how they worked out camera positioning and working out the poses.  Also, I had always assumed they probably moved slower to eliminate motion blur.  This was mainly because of any interview I read with the co-creator of the Street Fighter The Movie game where he mentioned that their capture card moved too slow so they had to have all the actors move in slow motion.  Its a pretty interesting read if you have the time.  A lot of good tidbits on how they solved certain problems, which actors were difficult to work with, and the technology they worked with at the time.

Read that interview here (All contained within forum posts): Street Fighter The Movie Broke My Heart

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Incredible Hulk: Free Comic Book Day

Last week was a crazy one for me and the rest of the Rust Belt Monster Collective.  Between Free Comic Book Day and the live drawing for Bal Ingeniex, finding time for sleep and loved ones has proven difficult.  Looks like things aren't slowing down this week as we have two art shows on Friday for the Treemont Art Walk.  I've posted some work in progress shots of the Hulk cover I did for John and Carol's Comic Shop out in Cleveland, Ohio.  It was a real honor to be included with all those other talented artists and I'm hoping it encouraged people to support their local comic shops.

See the final piece here: Rust Belt Monster Collective

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Nurse Appreciation Day and WIP

This has artistically been the busiest week I've had in a long time.  I drew at a live art show with the rest of the Rust Belt Monsters, prepared art for 2 art shows, and threw together a quick drawing for Nurse Appreciation Day (Above).
Currently, I'm struggling to finish up another piece to hang at The Razor's Edge Salon for their upcoming fashion show.  While time is tight, I'm finding my inability to find a proper photo reference for a girl leaning forward to be a major speed bump.  I always seem to get set on some weird pose that no one poses in.  It is both a blessing and a curse.

I'm pretty happy with this, but I flipped it and it didn't look right.  
The Original Pose.  I'm pretty happy with the guy's body language, but wanted the girl in closer.
Original sketch for the Nurse Appreciation Day drawing.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

English Bulldog Digital Painting

Her name is McLovin and she's an English Bulldog.  I hadn't done any real digital painting in quite some time so I was a little scared going into this.  Previously, I'd just worked in monochromatic color schemes, but I wanted to try out some color this time around.  I was talking with my friends at the Rust Belt Monster Collective and they pretty thoroughly drilled into my head to concentrate on my values and then lay my colors over the grey scale image.  I'm happy with the results, but the camera flash as the light source kind of limited what I could do with it.  All and all, I had a pretty good time with this.  It really only took about 5 hours over 2 days.  Makes me wonder why I don't do it more often.  All brushes were from Marta Dahlig's painting tutorial in ImagineFX magazine. Download Here

Couple of things that really helped me this time around:
  1. Start with the values first.  Just keep playing around in the grey scale image until you get all of your form and shadow to where you want it.  The color is pretty easy after that (I like using the Overlay mode in Photoshop).
  2. Flip your drawing horizontally in the middle of working.  For some reason, you will always get comfortable with how the drawing looks and your brain will stop seeing the flaws.  Flip that drawing and you will see everything you did wrong.  Every short arm or uneven eyeball will be screaming at you to be changed.
Original Reference. I made a mirror version to see the mistakes when I flipped my art.
The Original Sketch.  Muzzle was originally too short so I had to stretch it out before painting. (Sketchbook Pro)
Started work in grey scale and flipped to see my mistakes. This makes me laugh because she looks unintentionally goth. (Photoshop)
Starting to add color on a separate layer using "Overlay" as the blend mode. (Photoshop)