Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Walk cycle

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This past week was all about the classic walk-cycle. So I went back to a character I had developed over the summer(a minion who had just been called away from a relaxing day at the spa by his boss.)....anyways, while the story has been put on the shelf, this charming fellow was too much fun to pass up. Sorry about the flickering paper, I did quite the job of chewing up the paper as I fixed certain areas of his cycle. Lots of furious rolling while trying to make sure things were flowing correctly.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

James Gurney Guest Lecture


On 10/9/09 James Gurney visited CalArts. Overall, it was a very enjoyable and inspiring lecture . Anyways, here are my notes from that night:

Today, most artists strive to convey what they actually see, but as James put it, “What do you do to draw what you can’t see?”

Going back into the history of art, Greek mythology was a popular subject for the masters. Both students and teachers relied on models and rough sketches transferred on tracing paper to move around to create the appropriate arrangement. How James is able to achieve a believable world is based on the same practices, preliminary sketches, photo reference, models, etc.

The first step is always research. This is the most entertaining part of the process. Often when basing the painting off of a fossil, behavioral questions come up and help influence the final piece. Figuring out the shape vocabulary helps define the drawing of an animal. Looking at modern day animals also help. Here's a perfect example. Many different studies/sketches are done before the final. Here the composition is also taken into consideration—how to lead the eye around the painting. At this time, James gave a very interesting lecture on how we view a painting. Here’s a great article on his blog(one of hundreds).

Next, he talked about the use of actually building marquettes of the characters/sets he’s about the paint. By doing this he’s able to capture the nuances of lighting which help to really sell the believability. Cast shadows are also easier to figure out this way. I found another blog post in which he goes into great depth about it.

For pieces featuring human characters, he casts people to the appropriate parts. “Find people who are similar to the person you want to paint.” Get into the character and take control of the forms. We have to be in their shoes—to identify with them. This process leads to a more convincing painting. Photography is great. Especially for subjects that are moving. Go beyond what looks cool. Draw from life but push certain aspects. A great example can be seen right here.


And then here are some key phrases that I jotted down:

Students shouldn’t be married to the first idea. Don’t be happy with the first try.

Be knowledgeable of story---know the structure of story. Also important to understand how to work as a team and collaborate.

The best colors to choose for a painting can be found in food ads because they always have to be appealing.

Got to keep reworking a drawing until it works. Get all the bugs out. When the reject pile is taller than the final pile (accepted work), you’re on the right track.

Anyways, it was a very interesting talk and if anyone is curious, he has a new book out called, “Imaginative Realism” that that goes into great detail about his process--it's also a great read for any aviary artist:



Kiwi, though more of a digital artist, enjoys it too. :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Flour Sack vs. Jack in the Box...

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My recent assignment for traditional animation. Initially we just worked on a flour sack changing emotions. I went with a flour sack playing with a jack in the box, when suddenly things don't go according to plan. The following weekend was overlapping action with either a tail or a cape----so cape it was.

I'm amused by the fact that after my previous test(the elephant on the diving board), I wanted to move away from "flour sack body"....and the following test was an actual flour sack. Very nice timing. haha

Friday, November 13, 2009

November Already!


I've been super busy over the past few weeks. Mainly spending my time on animation homework(tomorrow night I should hopefully be posting what I've been working on), and then battling away with film business. Just a bit burnt out on film related stuff, so I'm taking a couple days to focus on other things before diving back in. It has been turning into one of those situations where I get way too focused on stupid, tiny details and lose sight of the bigger picture---this always winds up with sacrificing good acting choices for my characters, and very poor camera shots in my storyboards. The looming fact that this semester ends in literally 34 days has only made me "freak-out" more and not take the time to really think about what I'm boarding. To sum it up, it's a very "safe" film right now, it works and it's generally entertaining, but it doesn't push the boundaries of anything---so I'm going to fix that over the next few weeks.

Over the next few nights I'll be posting up my notes from the guest lectures and uploading what artwork/animation I've done since Peter Pan. For now, a page of big cats and zebra!