Monday, October 31, 2011

Character Design: Don't Feed the Animals

some of the images I made during a 2 week group project wherein we had to design 7 characters that fit together into a film of which we had to have a loose plot worked out. From there we had to illustrate 3 scene ideas

The film my group came up with was of a young girl who discovers an shady underground "lunchbox cartel" while on a school trip to the zoo. She discovers that not only can the animals talk, but they are all forced into collecting children's lunchboxes for an evil emperor penguin. The penguin once found a RingPop, and has searched his entire life for another, and it just so happens our young heroine is in possession of one.

My contribution was designing a pushover pachyderm, this poor elephant who's bossed around by the penguin. He is paranoid and rarely sleeps. He befriends the girl, thinking she can rescue him from the zoo and get him away from the penguin.

I also pitched a scene where all the animals are attempting to escape the zoo, but are cut off by the zookeeper. The girls only friend (originally), the sparrow, see's some funnel cake on the ground (of which he's become horribly addicted), and flies off towards it, and towards danger


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Design For Media Ron Saks Project, Week 03:

This week for uploading purposes, I switched to Vimeo, so as not to run into audio desynchronization (thanks for nothing, Youtube)

Stand Out Animatic WIP from Tyler Crowley on Vimeo.

Due to time constraints (especially over this past weekend when I normally get alot of work done), I wasn't able to get quite as far along in this revision as I had hoped, but I've mapped out time to work on it, and should hopefully have it done before the end of this coming weekend.

I think that thus far the changes made have been constructive ones, and I'm really happy with how it's turning out.

let me know what you think in the comments, if you'd like!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rough Stuff (Again!)

More sketches/rough WIP type stuff for now!

Some animal sketches for a Character Design assignment:

And another "beach" walk cycle I made today, this one got further along than the last:

Enjoy! Let me know what you think!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rough Stuff

Just some sketches and a pencil test exercise from various classes over the week:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Design For Media, Ron Saks Project Week 02:

After talking with Tom last week, it was decided that I was headed in the wrong direction with the project, in that my second pass wasn't differentiating itself enough from the original, and I was really just muddling things further by adding in superfluous motion to the animatic. Last week was a failure, but we grow from our failures, so this week I went back to the drawing board and re-thumbnailed the story from start to finish, toning down alot of the antics from the first attempt , and the initial emotions of the hero and the villain in particular.

I decided on starting the song later on to give myself some breathing room to give more screen time to each of the principal characters and give a better idea of the roles they play for eachother. The cartoony-ness of the main character has also been softened (now he can't magically make props appear like in the first one). It's not a direction I necessarily like, but I want this animatic to seem new while still following the basic story beats of the first one, and wanted to try it nonetheless.

Here are the thumbnails I finished, forgive my chicken-scratch notes to myself:

From here I'll be looking for ways to better improve the composition of shots, making them more interesting but still clear. Any thoughts or suggestions at this stage of the game would be greatly appreciated.

Hopefully this time next week I'll have a good chunk of the new animatic to show off, once I salvage what I can from last week's attempt.

Character Design: Myriad Expressions

A quick homework assignment from Character design, just doing a bunch of variations of 5 expressions

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Character Design: Redesign a Character! (plus a bit of animation)

An assignment from character design, take a character who's design we're not particularly fond of and try to improve it.

I chose to rework Gwen Tennyson from "Ben 10: Alien Force". Here are my results:

I was really disappointed when the show was revamped in 2008 to age the characters and make them more "angsty" (read:generic). Gwen in particular got a weird design, given that her facial structure is almost identical to her male teammates. I also didn't understand and was put off by her 180 degree shift in personality from a snobbish, feisty, confidant girl with a believable "cousinly" relationship with Ben, to a shrewish "team secretary", boring love-interest to the brooding, "misunderstood" character, Kevin.

My thought process while working on this was trying to evolve the character in the opposite direction of how it actually happened. Basically I wanted her to maintain some of her qualities from the original series, which is why I included a picture of her as a kid as well. I wanted to make her more confidant, a bit feisty looking, and able to hold her own. She does fight in the series, but personally looking at the design they gave her I don't really believe it. I wanted her to look like she would be more comfortable in a fight, so I started to draw inspiration from characters like Kim Possible (a bit too much in one costume design, perhaps) and even Katara from Avatar. Katara in particular, because she fills a similar maternal role, but still works as an action character.

Let me know what you think of the results!

Also, when I was trying to brainstorm from this assignment, I also filled my time starting on a walk cycle. It's going to be a guy at a beach who doesn't particularly care to be there. I want to push his poses a bit further to really get his depression across, maybe even drag his feet some.

enjoy, I guess.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Animation II: Lil' Sludgie's new coat of paint

I'm still not entirely done with this, but all the linework is cleaned (well, more cleaned than before, anyway), and everything has at least temporary colors. I may go back and play around with some of the other tools, such as giving him a pulsing, radioactive glow, or something like that.

what do you think?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Design For Media, Ron Saks Project Week 01:

As I began to discuss with my last DFM post, I made an animatic for a short I'd like to produce called "Stand Out", featuring the song of the same name by Tevin Campbell as the driving force of the story.

As with any story though, an important part of the process is refining what you've already made for the sake of both clarity and entertainment. Over the course of the next few weeks I'll be remaking this animatic to strengthen this story to the best of my ability.

If you'd like to see my completed first pass at it from last year, it's right here:


We follow the tale of a young man leading a dreary and monotonous life in gray-scale world. The girl of his dreams doesn't know he exists and spends her time with a conceited man concerned only with his own self-image. Our hero musters the courage to try and impress this girl, and he finds in himself the power to "stand out", to literally become the color of his emotions. He gets her attention, but the conceited man's influence on the girl is to strong to overcome so easily.

Our hero is not dissuaded, and intensifies his pursuit, trying ever more elaborate ways to "stand out" for this girl. He knows that if he could only get her alone and away from the conceited man, he would be able to prove himself more loyal and affectionate. The conceited man continues to push back, and knowing that he is losing this battle, decides to flee with the girl.

Our hero at this point becomes desperate, wondering just what he has to do to win this girl over. He places his faith in one last gamble, climbing the tallest building in the city and hijacking a blimp so his message can be seen by the entire populous. Upon seeing this, the girl finally frees herself from the conceited man, and discovers that with the support of her new friend, she too has the power to "stand out" from the sea of grayscale faces.


Well how bout that? a lovely 3 "act" structure

I like this story not only because of it's simplistic love story and visual potential/possibilities, but also because of the "Straw Man Fallacy" qualities of the villain character, in that we really don't know much about him other than how our "hero" perceives him.

Thus far, I've only updated the opening of the animatic, about 20 seconds, and I'm trying to play around with the camera a bit more this time to make more interesting shots/transitions. Hopefully you can see some improvements already, but it's still early days yet. Also there are some timing issues with this version because Youtube loves to desync the audio of .mov files, so please bear with me. The audio is a little bit ahead of the visuals, as you'll notice that the girl and the conceited man aren't supposed to react until the singing starts, but the singing starts before we even cut to the shot of them in front of the camera:

as always, any comments or critiques are welcome and appreciated.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Animation II: Little Sludge Creature pencil test

some SFX animation for Animation II, a little sewage turtle thing galloping into a bubbling mudpit. I still need to fix some things, as well as have the little guy leave a trail behind him as he travels, but so far so good.

also, there will be multiple bubbles, but I'll be cheating that and just reusing the frames I already drew.

let me know what you think in the comments!

Character Design: Kingston Face Variants!

The latest Character Design assignment/exercise, we had to take one of the 4 human and rework it. First, we needed to do 12 variations of the face, messing with proportions and placement of all the facial features, structure, and hair:

Then after that we were to pick our favorite/the most intriguing one to us, and refine it three times, changing the graphic style it's presented in:

tell me what you think!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Design For Media, Ron Saks Project Week 00: Iteration is Key!

For this next DFM Project, Biffo and Co are going on the backburner for the time being (though I plan to keep working on it to use it for the final project). What I would like to do is take a story I've already taken at pass at, but want to improve and make stronger. Specifically, this animatic I made last year:

After watching it once I finished, I already knew I could do a better job. I could change camera angles and characters and even story elements to clarify the story as well as make it look more interesting in general/more fun to watch.

So That's what I plan to do, I'll be redrawing/reworking the project from start to finish, including revising the main characters, which I've already started doing:

Let me know what you think in the comments!

Animation II/Character Design: Etchings of a Madman

I started work on some FX animation today, as well as the background for it.

here's the sketch and WIP of the background. I still need to go back in and add more "muckyness", but here's the stage its at as of today:

Also, here's this exercise from Character Design that didn't warrant it's own post.

We had to draw some human character archetypes heads, so I took the opportunity to draw some old characters in a new way. I actually hate how this turned out, but it was fun to do so I'll post it anyway

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Animation II: Ratcliffe (In Technicolor)

Wow, three posts today...

This one is just because I forgot to post this last week, actually.

This was a breakdown/in-between/cleanup/color assignment in my Animation II class, a 1 second loop of some animation from Pocahontas.

Fan Time: "7 Deadly Dragonballs"/ The Lonely Island?

I, like many people, am a fan of things. On occasion, I like to draw these things, but I have less and less time to do so lately. However, today I finished my homework early, so I was finally able to finish this thing I started in August! Huzzah!

"7 Deadly Dragonballs"

Also I started a drawing of Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg's Lonely Island R&B singers for some reason. I finished JT's lineart so here's that too, I guess:

not a necessarily cohesive post, but you already got one of those today, so I don't feel so bad

Character Design: The Final Frontier!

Our latest assignment in character design, do a 3/4 front and back view of 3 character archetypes: hero, comic relief, villain. We were then assigned the genre of SPACE WESTERN for all these characters to fit into.

I started out just coming up with a barebones story to fit the characters into, for my own purposes: Older character finds hero as orphaned baby in space wreckage, raises baby, they're both looking for some legendary mineral/substance, Villain starts traveling with them to find this mineral/substance for his own dark purposes.

Here are some sketches I liked, most of which didn't make the cut along the way (namely the snakeoil salesman being the comic relief, and the older man who found the child actually being the villain) I was also playing around with who would have the cybernetic eyes, the hero or the villain:

and here are the results for the three characters:


I like to listen to certain stuff while working, and when trying to come up with characters or what-have-you, I like to listen to music with the same tone or "genre" as that which I am working on. Luckily for me, I played Bastion over the Summer, with an incredible soundtrack that gives the feel of a space western pretty well. I wanted to include a couple of the tracks I was listening to while sketching ideas:

if you like what you hear, please actually by the soundtrack from them rather than listening on youtube or elsewhere,
It's only $10 here Supergiant Games
(little guy plugging for the slightly bigger, but also little, guy!)