Thursday, July 31, 2014

Run Cycle Almost Done


Dove into Toon Boom Animate Pro and worked out the run cycle.  In comparison to the last one, it doesn't have that slight shoulder turn that gave it a little something extra.  I'm just not sure if that's a little detail that I'm the only one who notices.  I'm pretty happy with it overall.  Particullarly the way just a couple of drawing swaps can simulate the arm bending across the body.

I threw both of them in Construct 2 just to see them move around.  Its pretty interesting the differences.  The size is the most jarring.  I have a fun filled weekend planned so I probably won't be able to finish it till next week.  At the moment it really just needs the cape and maybe a couple of tweaks.  I'd also like to get into Construct and work in the transition from standing to running.

Till then,

-Ben

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Rethinking The Flight Toggle and Game Controls



I've been doing some rethinking of the game controls as of late.  At the moment, the player presses the F key to toggle flight or platforming.  It works well enough, but I want to set up gamepad support and there's something weird about having a button dedicated to toggling flight.  My idea was to have the player tap the Jump button to jump, but hold it to initiate flight.  Kind of works in my mind, but I'm not sure how intuitive it will be.  Looks like I'm going to have to jump into Construct 2 and bang out a quick test.

I'll keep you posted.

-Ben

Monday, July 28, 2014

Player Turn Around and Key Frames


Finally finished the side view of the player and things seem to be going well.  Its amazing the pace I'm moving at now that I have the pieces broken up.  I thought I would attempt animating the transition from standing to run.  Key Frame animation makes it pretty easy.  This should also clear up the problem of the cape animating from a down position to out and waving.  At least that's the hope.

If I'm lucky, I'll have the cycle completed and maybe start adding some of these into Construct 2.  Fingers crossed.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Turn Arounds In ToonBoom


I really have to thank Cartoon Smart for showing me how to do this.  Ultimately, I wish I would have done the whole thing right the first time, but what can you do.  Anyways, I'm starting on my side view of the character and its actually going a lot more smoothly than I would have thought.  I just have to make sure that I plug the new body parts into their symbols after I draw them.  I'm hoping to get this view finished tonight.  I'll have to fight the urge to animate a run cycle immediately after.

-Ben

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Store Template Done and a Quick Comparison


A long time ago I put my humble little character next to my first building to see how it looked.  I was so proud.  Now that I've decided to redesign everything, I can look back and see how much I've grown as an artist.  Of course, I'll probably hate this in a couple of years too.  Until then, I'm happy with the look of it.  I think I've finally nailed down a size that I'm happy with.

I've also finished a few background assets (new hydrants and parking meters).  I'd really like to start animating again, but I think that the need to do the rest of the "turn around" for my player template is holding me back a bit.  Hopefully I can tackle that head on soon.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Texture Comparison


So I'm still trying to construct a building asset to have in the background.  I'm building the whole thing in a more complex, but ultimately effective, way.  To speed up the process, I thought I would lay a brick texture over the front of the building.  After comparing with or without the texture, I saw that the textured version was 3 times the size of the other.  In all honesty, I actually think the non-textured has more personality.  So I think this is going to inform how I work on the assets and try and keep everything a little more stylized.  It should keep my file sizes down and give it some more personality.  Lets just how I can reuse them enough to help fill out the city.

Monday, July 21, 2014

New Building Assets


I've been on a little roll here cranking out assets for the game.  Nothing mind blowing, but I'm trying to work smarter this time around and build things in a modular fashion.  Not just in "tiles" but in a way that I can build structures in photoshop by copying and pasting.  So I'm rebuilding my first shop.  I'll put up a comparison as soon as its finished.

Also, I put together an animated gif of the new idle animation.  I build the character and cape separate so there isn't a definite loop in the animation.  Look for more frequent updated out of me...hopefully.

-Ben


Friday, July 18, 2014

Idle Animation...Now With Cape!


Animated the cape idle using key frames and morphing in Toon Boom Animate Pro.  I'm pretty happy with the results, but I wanted to have the inside of the cape be darker.  I'll have to go back and re-render it.  To break up the animation of the character, the body and cape are animated separately.  That way you don't get the exact same loop.  I put the character in with the last build to see the size difference.  I'm drawing at about twice the size of the original character and liking the results.  The only thing I see needed real tweaks is that the face becomes inconsistent as it animates.  I'll probably go through the cycle, find a version I like, and just past it onto the rest of the animation.  Hope that isn't too hard to do.

-Ben

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Character Rigging in Toon Boom Animate Pro


Recently I bought a couple of training courses from CartoonSmart.com.  I've really only had a vague understanding of Toon Boom Animate Pro and I wanted to finally be able to take advantage of the cut out animation system.  The videos are working and I've finally rigged my main character.  

I'm hoping to get an idle animation working soon and add in some cape animation.  

More to come.

-Ben

Monday, July 14, 2014

Banner Update 7-14-14


Working away on my new banner...slowly.  I'm currently working on some background elements that can be slid around to give me a nice paralax effect.  At least that's the idea.  I should be putting this into Construct 2 soon to test it out.  However, I might be tweaking the balcony as the line weight is quite a bit thicker.  That probably stands out.  Right?

-Ben

Friday, July 11, 2014

Superhero Buildings and Poses


Game sketches?  It feels like its been forever.  I've decided to really invest myself and learn the ins and outs of Toon Boom Animate Pro.  The hope is that it will help me churn out animation at a much quicker pace.  Hopefully, that will get me back to where I was before in much less time.

Until I've reached shear mastery, I've been sketching out some new art assets.  I pulled some photo reference for store fronts in Cleveland and used them to build a couple new standard models.  I'm hoping to adjust them (signs and other flourishes) to reuse them and fill out the city a bit.  The Taller buildings will all be tiled artwork to try and keep my files down.  That's an entirely different beast.

Below, I have a few more environmental thingies and some character poses.  My previous in game art was kind of stiff and I'm wanting to break them up a bit.  So lets see if I can get some "S" curves in the mix and pretty her up!

Till next time,

Ben




Monday, July 7, 2014

The Monster At The End Of This Book


I was recently asked (months ago) to participate in a gallery show at Bay Arts by my friend Erin Schechtman.  The general theme of the "Old Friends Gallery Show" was to reference a beloved childrens' book.  I immediately knew I wanted to do something for Grover in The Monster At The End Of This Book, I just had no idea what.  Having planned on doing it at the last minute, like all of my projects, I had plenty of time to ponder my approach.  The more I "pondered" the less I thought about the story and more about the title.  "Monster At The End Of This Book" taken out of context sounds much more like a classic pulp novel than a children's book.

And that's sort of what happened.  Here is my Pulp/Film Noire version of Sesame Street.  Work in Progress below.

Till next time,

Ben

Original Grover Sketch

Original Composition