Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Disney's Paperman!

I fell in love with this short when I went to see Wreck It Ralph in the theaters.  Now you can enjoy it on Youtube.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


So I had a little time available so I finally got around to working on the jump animation.  I've had the placeholder stuff in there so long that I actually started getting used to it.  I've done some rough animation on it and hope to put it into the computer some time this week.

I still have to figure out my flying system in Construct 2.  I'm leaning towards toggles for when the player is in constant flight as apposed to stopping or starting.  Who knows.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Paranorman Design

I've been more than a little obsessed with Paranorman and found this piece of Behind The Scenes goodness particularly interesting.  It definitely shows some outside of the box thinking.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Drink and Draw Sketch

Just playing around in Sketchbook Pro 6.  I would have liked to actually put the picture up on the blog, but I forgot my laptop's power cord at the bar because I'm a fool.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Superhero Game: Current Build 1-20-13

I've added in a little more animation to the game: idle, flying forward, stop flying, and start flying.  I'm pretty happy with the transition between the regular flying animations, but already see that I'm going to have to rethink how to implement them.  As of now, the start animation is triggered by a button press.  At the end of that animation, the looping flying animation is triggered.  Once the directional button you're holding is released, the looping animation ends and the stop animation is triggered.  This works fine for now, but once I start adding in other animations it will cause problems.

As of now, if the player were to change directions mid flight, the start up animation would be triggered during every directions change.  A toggle to signify to the computer when the player is starting flight and in constant flight should fix it.  Hopefully I can get that in soon.  I'd like to reiterate how easy Construct 2 is making this.  No way would I have gotten this far if I had to program the whole thing myself.

Play the newest build by clicking the link in the upper right section of the blog or by clicking here:
Build 1-20-13

Friday, January 18, 2013

Idle Animation and Dust

Finally changed the static standing animation of the character in my game.  Also, I've added animations to the Right and Left flight scenarios.  I've included animations for stopping flight and starting it when flying left and right, but am having a little trouble triggering it in Construct 2.  I have it working when the player's speed drops, but causes a little bit of trouble when starting to move.  I'm starting to think now that maybe I should trigger it with scenarios where the button is released.

Working on this is really making me realize just how long everything takes.  Its amazing how you automatically assume that the clean up portion of the animation would be the easiest.  Boy was I wrong!  Turns out "tracing" is super hard and annoying.

Regardless, I'm having a good time doing it all on my laptop digitally.  Hopefully I'll get faster in time.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

More Marker Practice

Still dabbling with Sketchbook Pro 6.  Thought I would color in an inked drawing from last year.  Still enjoying the program.  I think next I'll try inking with it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Planning Idle Animations

I'm playing around with some idle animation ideas.  Right now, I have the player standing very straight and its not very interesting.  To be honest, it was the drawing I made to serve as a model sheet jumping off point and just stuck it in there as the default frame.  I'm thinking now that I'd like a little movement in there, but it has to be a heroic pose.  Right now I'm thinking that the idle animation will start with a "ready to jump into action" loop and then switch to a "standing heroically" loop.  

The good news is that I've started using Toonboom on my laptop and with my Bamboo Create tablet.  This should really help to fit in that animation time that I've been missing.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ron Swanson Markers

In my quest to better understand Sketchbook Pro 6's marker features, I decided to color in a Ron Swanson sketch from last year.  I need a better handle on the smudge tool, but I'm really pretty happy with the results. Markers on one layer to build up the rendering and then went over the line work on a separate layer with pencils.  I still have a ways to go, but I'm looking forward to working with it some more.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Bruce Timm's Marker Process

Poison Ivy by Bruce Timm
 So I'm pretty obsessed with Bruce Timm.  Its obvious when you look at any of my drawings.  There is an expressiveness to his animator friendly style that really speaks to me.  Recently, I've been spending time watching Youtube videos of him drawing at conventions and trying to learn more about his process.  Sketchbook Pro 6 has new brushes based on Copic markers.  I've always wanted to attempt coloring that way, but the cost was always a little prohibitive.  Sketchbook Pro is making it easy to experiment while allowing me to lean on my "Undo" button.

While scouring the internet for anything about his process, I came across the following notes.  Original Link

 i never could ink with a brush....or a crowquill or any "respectable" tools...i use crappy cheap felt pens almost exclusively...pilot razor points, bic flairs, sharpies, marksalots, etc...staedtler pigment liners (but mostly just for corrections over white-out)....i LOVE the pentel "presto" white-out pens, don't know how i ever survived without 'em....sometimes i use white gel pens for fine corrections...
tissue paper: 
yep, on top of marker base-coat, lay down some color-erase pencil, then smear it with a tissue or paper's great for that slight "blush" on girls' nose/cheek area, for can blend prismacolor pencil the same way, to a degree, but you gotta REALLY bear down...
prisma on top of markers:
sure...i try to do as much modelling as possible with just the markers, but i usually have to go back in with prisma pencil, to clean up hard edges, hit highlights with white, etc...
you can even reverse the process....base coat of marker, prisma pencil on top, then go over the pencil with more marker...the marker ink melts the pencil, creates a kind-of random blurry/scumbly's really hard to control (and has a tendency to gum up the marker tip), so i don't do it very often (usually by mistake!)...
cheap old xerox paper works best for me...NOT laser-copier paper (too waxy), just plain ol' staples five-bucks-per-ream crap paper... bristol papers and boards soak up the ink too fast, suck the markers dry REAL quick...i tried the bienfang marker paper a LONG time ago, don't remember why i didn't like it....

And Here Is Sketchbook Pro 6 If You Haven't Used It:

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Scary Snowman and The Chain

I recently had the honor of participating in a Live Draw at the Cleveland Exotic Dance Studio.  I still need a lot of practice with painting.  It definitely takes a little while for me to build any momentum up.  I was, however, happy with the Scary Snowman that I painted.  I might pick up a book soon to help with my fundamentals.

The sketching has picked back up for the Superhero game with me rethinking my "old lady" NPC design.  I find the build of this one more interesting and will pursue it further.  I really need to fix the flying animations and the thought of starting over on them is proving to be a little bit of a barrier to me starting again.  I need to spend a little more time figuring out a good workflow and then jumping over that hump.

And finally, I started up my yearly diet again.  I'm using the "chain" method to keep my motivated with my exercise.  An X on every day forms a chain.  And you will eventually dread breaking the chain.  Definitely give it a try if you are looking to get motivated.  Works for keeping up with daily sketches too.

X = Got on the bike. X filled in = Got on bike twice.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hobbit Sketch

Finished my Hobbit piece for Round 33 at the Rust Belt Monster collective.  I'm happy with how it turned out even though its a less polished style than I'm used to working in.  If I have one major regret, its that I didn't force the perspective that I originally wanted.  Its still "straight on" and I was wanting more of a tilted up look.  Originally, I had more background.  I ended up focusing in on the more important area as time marched on.  I probably need to do at least one pure landscape painting here soon just to get good at it.

Head over to the RBMC to see the final piece: The Hobbit

Monday, January 7, 2013

Bring On 2013!!!

I know I got a little quiet there for a while, but I'm slowly starting to build up speed.  I got a laptop and Bamboo Create tablet for Christmas so I'm hoping that my productivity will raise.  The above is a Work In Progress of a Hobbit piece I've been toiling with for the Rust Belt Monster Collective.  I've decided that I can no longer turn in pieces that do not feature at least some kind of background element.  I've dodged it long enough and its holding me back as an artist.

As far as the game goes, I'm excited to jump back in with the same steady pace that I had in November.  Starting has been slow, but I'm expecting to change that soon.  My first step will be fixing some of the flying animation.  After that, figuring out how to visualize carrying a person.  I'd like to create some more background assets hear and there too (if time allows).

Well, I hope this is the beginning of a steady string of updates.  We'll see if I can find something to post for tomorrow.