Sunday, December 14, 2008

X-mas gifts

Last week was spent on stuff for a character design audition, wish I could put the designs on.

Here's some paintings I did for a presents. This top one's for my brother. It's unlikely he'll be checking on here anytime soon, so hopefully it's safe to put on; yes, I'm potentially spoiling the surprise so I can have somthing on my blog...

My mother's always bugging me to do a "more realistic" painting for presents, so I thought this time I'd try and do something a bit more naturalistic and see what people thought. It's essentially the same as the photo it's based on, but with the mountains, clouds and the dog rearranged to change the composition...

And this was another present, for a stressed friend in the animation program. I took her name off from the top to avoid embarrassing her. It was meant to be "cool", I just hope it didn't come off as disturbing...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

My 4:00 a.m. rant

Saw bolt Sun night. I must say I was impressed. I'd read good press, but I was suprised how many good lines were in the movie, and while it was a very conventional Disney story and look, it was done extremely well, I thought, which is a step above most of the non-Pixar animated stuff.

So, as much as would have liked to have seen what Chris Sanders would have done, I think John Lasseter deliverred in spades with his descisions, and I hope he does what the cynics say he won't and redeem Disney animation. Now that two of my Capilano friends are working there, I pulling for him all the more.

Another thing I wanted to say was in regard to the designs of the characters. A lot of people call them bland, but the key thing is, from an animators stand point; they work. An animator could turn them around, has a brow, jaw and eyes to act with, and if they have decent draftmanship and knowledge of animal anatomy, they can do pretty much anything with them. And also, when you sketch them out a few times from the CGI trailers, you see that they do in fact have strong contrasting shapes, straights against curves and all the elements of appeal in them. Really, there's nothing going into these designs that wouldn't go into Kung Fu Panda; It's just that Kung Fu Panda took it further. And as much as I loved Chris Sanders early concept art for the dog, it was basically Stitch with more "doggy" details on him. As cool as it is to see designs like Ren and Stimpy, the fact that their a cat and dog is inconsequential to the premise. With Bolt, at least in the final version, it's really about the politics between cats, dogs and humans; so the fact that Bolt moves like a dog and behaves like a dog was quite key, same goes for the cat. And as cool as Sander's dog was, Bolt is more unmistakably a dog. That was what I thought, anyway.

I just hope this movie does well, because I really think Disney becoming succesful in animation again will encourage animation everywhere. I hope anyway. Now lets hope Princess and the Frog turns out as well

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Goblin King

The Goblin king greats his old friend Ovis in the traditional way. Goblin's aren't necessarily malicious, they're just a very tactile species... Ah part of their nature that has made them unpopular with other societies; at least until they learned to be multicultural towards more fragile species. This is why they love their visits with Ovis, because you might as well try punching an anvil wrapped in sheepskin.

Oh, and one other interesting event in San Fran; the squirrel's mean business.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Iria's family

I may have exceeded the bounds of good taste with my SF journal last time, I'm still learning boundaries a bit, I suppose.

Anyway, not much this week, as I'm trying to get back into freelance and start up on some more 2D animation of my own....

Here's Iria's family, whom I've been trying to sort out for months secretly; straight, handsome characters always intimidate me. I hope their not too bland, though technically that is kind of part of them. The idea is elves have amazing magical powers, but have such weak imaginations that they can't do anything fanciful (or malignant) with it. Iria is half human, which waterred her elvin magic so much that all she can do it change colors, but she has the imagination to do breathtaking, and ultimately powerful, things with it. Iria'd almost never wish to be completely elvin, if she hadn't also been deprived of their infuriating inability to gain weight...

Monday, November 10, 2008


Well, my week in San Fransisco was a week of experiences, lets hope it's broadened me; lord knows it has broadened my bank account. Oh well, back to being poor again...

I loved the city so much. So much personality with it's victorian suburbs, cable cars, easy transit and so many good places to eat! Even the grubbier area where my youth hostell was felt cleaner and safer then Vancouver's seedier areas. Loved it despite the fact that rainy, gloomy weather followed me the whole week.

Monday, October 27, 2008

APE sketchbooks

Guess who just got another Digital camera. Lets hope I can hold on to this one for more then a bloody month. Anyway, Just got my sketchbooks put together for APE
this upcoming weekend in San Fransisco; it'll be my first trip there.
Ohboyohboyohboyohboyohboyohboy! I looked through this art book publishers site to compare prices, and I saw lots of books that looked like simple fold-in-halfs like mine for 8 to 5 dollars, so my plan is to sell mine for 4 dollars since I'm a rookie and I didn't get my booklets put together proffesionally, so there are more then a few imperfections. Thanks to the currency exchange I'll be able to make up the cost of making them if I sell most of them. Here's hoping. Of course this'll be my first time at a con, so I have no idea what to expect.... At any rate I'm going to try and squeeze the most out of the other days I'll be spending in San Fran. On week of sightseeing, frivilous spending and, hopefully, a bit of interesting stories for none of the relatives....

Hurray Studio B. They took everyone from a show I worked on there Go-Carting. Lotsa fun. I can see the appeal. Guess who's team came in last...

Due to all the preparations, not much in the way of actual new art was produced. More's the pity. But I wanted to try this; see what'd happen if I just through out a quick sequence of crude story sketches, and see if I should make a habit of it. Anybody get it?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Now we wait....

Well, with any luck the application made it in on Wednesday, cause the deadlines in two days. Now I've just been making the odd new character design to add to my new sketchbook for the APE convention in San Fran at the start of November. My friend and superior Shelly Wan was generous enough to spare room at her and her friend Mindy's table for this rookie's booklets. Thanks Shelly and Mindy.

These sketches are based again on the Geisha story.

As much as I've been trying to move away from the structureless designs, I just couldn't see these guys working any other way. The villain's ninja assassins. These thugs probably wouldn't work in 3D I don't think, they'd have to cheat all the time to sort of "melt" into one big shape or black drifting cloud, with their eyes popping out. And before anyone bothers pointing it out, I realized their exactly the same in concept as the villain's cronies from UPA's only feature film "Gay Purr-ee", which I saw before designing these, and no doubt I subconsciously got the idea. Stone me if you wish.

And, yet again, a cheap bit of fanart; here's the original nightwatch from Pratchett's

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Finished demo.

Welp, here's what i just sent to Disney. I ended up working straight till 7:00 a.m. tidying up lots of the separate frames in photoshop and fixing the odd off arc I noticed. No doubt I'll notice some new ones, even though it'll be in California in a matter of weeks. Assuming it makes it through the gauntlet that is iternational mail on time.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

new animation

More animation in it's intermediate stages. Any feedback would be very helpful.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Well. Here's the final version. Wish I had more to show, but everything I've worked on this week hasn't amounted to anything new. It's gotten colder out this week and I think it's effected me (excuses). Arrgh!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Paul Topolos

Went to some of the Spark Siggraph exhibits that played this week at the Vancouver Theatre. Managed to meet a talented Matte painter from Pixar; Paul Topolos. Responsible for many of the cityscapes for The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille and Wall-e, and most notably he painted most of the beautiful space shot for said Walle. It's suprising how much of it is painted. It was also comforting to hear a Pixar employee talk about the stresses and frustrations and even political problem at the renowned studio, but still say it was the best place he'd ever worked and how proud he was of the films he was a part of. I got him to sign my Wall-e art book, but sadly it got smudged, as you can evidently see...

Saw this guy get at my usual busstop downtown several times, each time holding the same weatherred bicycle wheel, and mumbling the same accusasions. Sometimes I suspect many people are out on the streets because they couldn't get push there was past some single incident in there lives.

Other fellows on the bus I've sketched. Slowly trying to get comfortable with pen.

Having it pointed out that I tend to cheat the construction of my characters too often, I tried to do a lineup of some of my old characters, and try to maintain the shapes and still make them solid and animatiable. If I haven't pulled it off yet, please somebody let me know.

Friday, September 05, 2008


And thiiis is what's been keeping me from uploading anything. That and double shift at work two weeks ago. Excuses excuses. My computers been on the fritz and I only recently managed to sneak it inot tech support at work; I figured I use it for studio work just as often as my office one, so that will no doubt have an impact on posting, among other things. There's a few volumes issues to fix still (a lot actually) but on top of that, any thoughts?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

run cycle, disney's 2D and my abomination

Just a run cycle I did while I was tired of doing poses for a bigger 3D animation. Studied Presto a lot to see how fast a run I could get away with.... Any criticism or advice would be

Here's my version of Tiana and Naveen from Disney's upcoming new 2D movie (hurray). I always pictured her with really sharp, elegant african cheekbones....

And I sketched these guys, probably mostly to try and compensate for how thoroughly girly the previous endeavor was....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"The Tour"

Yet again, a watercolor attempt fails and I'm reduced to doing a peice over digitally (arrrghh).

This scene depicts the narrator of Kimi's tale, showing an ancient castle to a group of western tourists in Kyoto. She will ultimately draw them to Gion, and indirectly assist the preservation of her ancestor's art form.

Hoshi is a history nerd, with overgrown feet, a lisp, and a degree of clumsiness ill-fit for someone who insists on wearing heels. Still, she has a way with words that overpowers her gawky appearance, and a knack for introducing and drawing in international visitors to Japanese culture.

And here's the front of a birthday card for one of my old classmates . A sweet, level headed fellow. At least this watercolor turned out. The large, surrounding negative space was for signatures from other party attendants, which was well-used.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Kimi's poses

Finally finished these poses for Kimi. It's irritating when you finish a bunch of poses, then you go back through some photo reference (Geisha dancing, in this instance) and do much crisper gestures (bottom right) from those after you've just gone through a bunch. Oh well, on my next pass. I've also been doing some 3D animation too, hopefully I'll have something worth putting up eventually.

Just wanted to put these quick gestures up because I thought the one of my dad fishing was quite accurate; I swear if he ever shaved his mustache it would probably be a sign of an approaching apocalypse.

This was done in a few hours, which is why the painting is so slapped-together....


Monday, July 21, 2008

pigs is bloody pigs

Over a week of spare time was blown just trying to work out this bloody pet boar design, and once again any paint jobs had to be reduced to quick and easy; and I didn't finish Kimi's poses either (arrrgghhh). At some point I want to turn my attention back to CG animation again. Anyway, I figured I'd throw in some of the rough study sketches I did (out of reams of others) for Uribo, the Geisha's mascot and home security, if out of self defense if nothing else....

Monday, July 14, 2008

Kimi rotation

Here's her rotation. I wanted to complete the no outline look without losing the construction; I want to keep her solid enough to be able to animate her fully. I'll try to get the poses done for next week.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Kimi expression sheet

Wanted to try a flesh out some of my characters. Got as far as an expression sheet for Kimi; The tricky part with her is that she has no chin.... Because of that and the broad nose bridge, I found it was really important where you spaced things on her to prevent from getting homely. I wanted to get a face you could get some humorous character out of at the same time. I dunno, did I pull it off?

I wasn't that happy with my Father Jack design, in retrospect, so I wanted to take another crack at it. Here's the lovable lecher expressing his more maternal side...

Saw these two while I was sketching at the local coffee shop. I recall I endured my first urban caffinated beverage for similar reasons...