Sunday, April 26, 2009

Captured 2009

Yesterday was the 2009 Character Animation Open Show...and what a show it was! So much fun and a lot of very fantastic films premiered. In total about 7 hours of material! It's going to be a very difficult job of deciding which films will be chosen for the upcoming Producer's Show. Here are some photos:

Some of the crowd--this was about 30 minutes before the show actually started.

The very impressive 20 foot screen the films were projected on. You could see every last pixel--coupled with surround sound---very awesome experience though I was intimidated to have my stuff shown on such a grand scale(so used to just tiny Final Cut Pro computer preview size!)

And finally, a photo of Martha Baxton introducing the show! Woo hoo!
So a great Open Show--didn't finish until close to 1 am. So congrats CalArts' students, we made it!

And now with Open Show out of the way---without further ado, here's my 2nd year film, "Captured!"

Started in June of 2008 and wasn't officially completed until April 20th, 2009. Overall a very eye-opening experience--lots of good times and a fair amount of not so good times. Again an extra special thank you to everyone who helped me get to the finish line and putting up with my relentless revisions, 3D battles, and constant questions. Since the credits are hard to read, here's a list of the people who were right there with me:

John Aquino, Andrew Bac, Kristen Campbell, Shane Corn, Marina Gardner, Dan Hansen, Leo Hobaica, Ben Huff, Jim Hull, Miles Inada, Nicole Josephian, Mike Jones, Michael Rianda, Stephen Silver, Jeff Zikry, and of course my fabulous family.

Here's a photo to give you an idea of how many drawings went into the making of this film:

This is only about 85%--the other scenes were already put away and I didn't get a chance to include them in this photo. This is primarily all of Otis' introduction up until he crawls off screen to chase the gazelle. There are a couple of scenes of the gazelle when he's in the cave, but the really big clips represent all the magazine involved scenes. The pink line indicates the actual stack. The bit below the line is a dialogue assignment and reject drawings I would erase so I could use the paper again.

Alright well now it's time to start putting a portfolio together for the upcoming Job Fair....

Monday, April 20, 2009

Captured is in the Can!

As of 3:27p.m. today, my second year film titled, Captured was turned in....and boy what an adventure that was. Pulled some insane hours(I've gotten about 5 hours of sleep over the past two days) I didn't finish compositing my scenes until 3 am Monday morning. Came to the shocking discovery that my film's running time was verging on 5 minutes, thankfully my roommates came through(they were up working on their own films at this hour as well) and helped point out areas I could shorten and from 3-5a.m. got my time around 4 minutes. Around this time I heard birds starting to sing outside and decided to get a tiny amount of sleep---plus my inner-critic wasn't helping and I was quickly losing motivation to even finish---so once these thoughts were getting out of hand, I called it a night. Woke up at 8:30, felt a little more refreshed/hopeful, and started working on my soundtrack/sound effects. Overall, that went pretty smoothly, just very stressful when dealing with 4 minutes of full-on sound and trying to get everything together by 5pm. Managed to wrap up everything around 2---rendered the beast in its entirety and came onto campus where I witnessed the true image of crunch-time----roughly 60+ people scrambling in a room meant for 15(this is just one lab...the other lab had about 40 people in a room meant for 40)......oh the sights, sounds, and smells to behold---it was also about 90 degrees in the lab due to the large population of people. Servers were crashing, people were running between the two labs, any conversations were always very short--focused on film progress---and then died after that into facial expressions of panic mixed with severe sleep deprivation.....such good times. And now just a short couple of hours later---the campus is a ghost-town. Everyone is out livin' it up after working so hard(also probably sleeping for the next 24 hours)....Saturday is the Open Show and I can't wait---8 hours of animation, shennanigans, etc. Congratulations to everyone--the glimpses of films were really inspiring, seems like the hard work has paid off---should be one rockin' show.

So my epic film is out of my hands now...this has been in the works since last June, so it's such a huge reward seeing this come together after months of constant work---very glad I didn't pay attention to my 3am inner-critic---lol. I'm working on getting a YouTube version up so I can post it all come Sunday---so until then here are some more screenshots and now I'm off to bed to catch up on some sorely missed shut-eye:

Friday, April 17, 2009

Home Stretch

3 days left! Today is my final day tying down my last 50 drawings of my film! By 8 pm tonight everything will be scanned and ready for After Effects! Really excited to see this finally coming together after months of work and only seeing it in pieces instead of a whole scene with everything moving together.

Well back to work, but before I go here are some quick Otis stills...

Should look's the final drawing based on that rejected one I posted a while ago.

This one is one of my favorite drawings of the film...I have a couple others, but this one has lived up to what I set out to convey. Gee whiz, I wonder what has caught his attention....
For laughs---here's the corresponding storyboard for the above image:

Drawn back in like October.

Assuming everything goes smoothly(meaning the computer is working with me---not against me), by 5pm Monday I should have a complete film!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Easter Birdie

Thought I'd hop online and wish my friends and family a very Happy Easter with my very own Easter Birdie:

Someone isn't very pleased with this wardrobe malfunction. A little shout-out to the family members who've been sending me Easter cards...definately appreciated--thanks guys! :) Sorry for the photo-booth quality. Super busy wrapping things up and I lack immediate access to a scanner.

Film status as of right now:
This past week a story issue came up while looking over my completed scenes. This resulted in a new scene being added to my to-do list...actually about 4 new scenes(they're short though). I spent today animating/cleaning these new additions up and am very happy with them.
I now have 4 other scenes(approximately 200+ drawings) to clean-up(hoping to get 2 of these done tomorrow).
4 more scenes to alpha-channel. About 8 scenes to scan into the computer. And over a dozen left to put together in After Effects. I should(fingers crossed) be editing my music/sound effects by Thursday night!

8 days to go and now it's officially time for the---

Friday, April 3, 2009

Cube 20

I was kindly reminded the other day that I've never posted what my cube looks like. Well the time has come. Want to know how to stay motivated and not tempted to slack or doze off?
Fill every corner with anything imaginable! I rotate the artwork out every couple of months, but otherwise this is it. Ranges from Disney/Pixar stuff, pirates/Johnny Depp, drawings my friends have done, childhood stuff, college bears(SOU/RCC represent!), the sticky notes are scene-notes that I need to address in the next week, there's also Warner Bros. artwork, etc. Not every cube is like this, but this kind of environment keeps me fired up. Okay, time to get back to working on that lion scene that's sitting on my disc.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Attempt at keeping the dust at bay...

18 days left! Seriously a lot of "I just need another week!" related thoughts. Here's an update:
  • Animated about 20 scenes over spring break. That has left me with 1 that needs to be done(just opening a door and going inside). However, I've got a lengthy list of fixes that I need to address on all the other scenes(Just got a page of notes on 3 of these scenes). Good news though: Far from discouraged or extremely intimidated---I'm ecstatic over such fixes and can't wait to address them all over the weekend and wrap this up.

  • Scenes in the Computer: 7 scenes scanned. 5 have been alpha-channeled(removing the background, thus making the character completely white.). I need to alpha-channel about 20 scenes out of 43---it's now down to 15 scenes---and this part is REALLY quick and easy so I'm not too worried over this part. Scanning too---very quick and mindless.

  • 2 layouts to draw. Several need to be shaded, but this'll probably be 4 hours of work--tops. I got the rest of my layouts wrapped up in one afternoon.

  • Clean-up: This is what's haunting me. I'm probably going to have nightmares about this. I still have a stack thicker than one's fist to clean-up. I'm going to pulling some nutty hours(no all-nighters, just 8am-1am hours....) to get this stuff polished by Sunday. This area is stressing me out the most because my scenes are rougher than rough and do not read until I do another pass on them(going from vague floating circles to the actual on model characters). So I've got to clean like the wind and whip this stuff out. I was doing really well on Sunday, got 5 scenes cleaned(about 15-20 seconds worth) and ready to scan. Today was horrible....Spent 7 hours in my cube cleaning up and got maybe 30 individual drawings done. I'm really happy with those 30, but it's only halfway into that one scene....I was hoping to have about 8-9 scenes cleaned-up today. Really can't afford anymore days like today. Character spinning in perspective=painfully hard to keep consistent.
That's my update for now. Time for bed, I've got a long, hopefully extremely productive day ahead.

P.S. The drawing above is a reject drawing of Otis. About a million and one things wrong with the particular jumble of lines. The re-worked drawing is much better and what'll be in the final film.