Friday, August 22, 2008

LAST ONE

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I did this animation test using Lightwave about 4 years ago. I was messing around with doing Inverse Kinematics--a term used in 3D animation which just signifies a particular method for animating a character's arms, legs and body. It actually sort of works the same way a marionette works.

SOMETIMES I AM SILLY

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Me being silly...

I ILLUSTRATE. SOMETIMES, I ANIMATE.

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This is a rotoscoped animation I did a few years ago when I was producing a documentary for South Carolina Educational Television about the American Revolution. Wavy Davey, my co-producer, and I had toyed with the idea of doing several rotoscoped animated sequences to serve as visualizations for key points in the story. What we didn't realize was how truly TRULY time consuming it all is. This, coming from an illustrator--not an animator. An animator will tell you, "Well, Duh!" But still. I thought this looked pretty cool--and not bad for about a day's work.
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This was another rotoscoped shot with some particle simulated sparks and smoke courtesy of Lightwave 3D. Crude in some ways but I was learning so much. I would video myself and then import the files into Premiere. I can't remember how I output the files to facilitate drawing on them in photoshop but... Anyway, then I converted the Pshop files into vector images and then colored them in Illustrator. I think I used Flash to animate and then AfterEffects to compose? I can't remember. It's been awhile. Of course the person bears a striking resemblance to me:)
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This is the exact moment where I decided I was losing my mind and had to stop... It was taking way to long to get up to where we needed. Of course I was on another deadline at the time.

Anyway, I'll publish some more as I go through these...

Sunday, June 01, 2008

MORE MOVIE SKETCHES

This was a quick 20 minute photoshop sketch I did of a scene from Last of the Mohichans--one of my all time favorite historical movies. Below is a detail/closeup:


When I say 20 minutes, that is to say I was really screaming fast and didn't even try to capture Wes Studi's likeness. Had I been trying to get a likeness, I would have spent much more time working on the drawing. This is really more of an exercise to try and nail down some lighting and value issues I have been having lately. Being largely self-taught as an artist, I am constantly realizing how little I actually know about color/value/composition. I have been sort of faking it--intuitively feeling my way through. Most of the time it works out but I often find myself struggling with some basic stuff as an illustrator--stuff most artists probably work out in art school.

Of course, the trick is to keep drawing. I am going to plan on doing several of these--as many as I can, a week. We'll see...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

MORE PROJECTS I CAN'T TALK ABOUT

It's frustrating but I can't post anything about the cool stuff I am doing right now. Hopefully, I'll be able to soon. In the meantime, be on the lookout for some sketchbook stuff in the near future! Happy Palm Sunday...

Sunday, March 02, 2008

TOO MANY PROJECTS

It's funny how the old wheel turns around. A little over a month ago, I was ready to swan dive off the nearest overpass due to the SEVERE lack of any meaningful freelance work. As many of you know, my fulltime job is fine, but let's face it, it's not what I want to spend the rest of my professional life doing and I've been doing it for eleven years. Of course, in that time I have been very lucky to branch out here and there with several side projects like the CHASING THE SWAMP FOX documentary and subsequent picturebook... Still, those projects have been few and far between and last fall was terrible. I was considering going back to school--which to me, felt more like an act of desperation than anything else. I mean, what would I study? And I'd be in exactly the same boat when I got out of school, only this time, I'd be in A LOT more debt! It was really starting to scare the ever living holy hell out of me. The idea that I was going to be this sad, bitter 50 year old scraping together one little gig after another... When faced with the alternatives of either shitting or getting off the pot. I chose to get off the pot and get moving. I can shit later...

Now I find myself awash in cool freelance projects and am even turning some down here and there. I am bound by a confisentiality agreement I signed not to publically discuss some of them but they are pretty cool and I am hoping some of these projects grow into something bigger. We'll see. I also submitted some Illustrations to the Spectrum Fantastic Art annual. We'll see if I got in or not... I should know this week whether I made it. I am hoplessly hopeful that I made the cut--but I won't be disappointed if I don't. It's a very presitgious annual and you have to really bring it if you want to make it in. I'll just keep submitting and see what happens...

Anyway, hopefully this trend of business will continue and I'll be able to post some preview images soon!

Monday, February 25, 2008

POLITICS

I am for Obama this November. I think he represents the best hope for our country to break the cycle of destructive "dynasty" politics. I also like the fact that he is, at once, critical of where we've been as a country--and yet is openly and genuinely optimistic about our country's potential. That is a most progressive virtue.

One thing that is getting me riled though is how he is being attacked as being "unpatriotic" for not wearing a flag lapel pin. This is a talking point that originated from the orifices of the right wing media and some of the festering lie suck-holes at CNN. All I have to say is this: If George Bush's little play-time dress-up photo-op on the deck of the aircraft carrier (mission accomplished!) is the measure of a patriot, I think we could all do without that kind of patriotism for awhile. Obama is hadling it very deftly though, by simply refusing to dignify those attacks with any sort of substantive reply.

Here's to Barack rocking on to the nomination...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

OOH ROCK ME AMADEUS!!

Some fellow parents at my wife (and son's) preschool and I are currently reforming our cover band, The WIpes, for a May gig. It's a chance for us to play some cool tunes and generally act silly in front of a bunch of small children--who, in turn, look at us like GODS. For those of us who never played in a band, it's a chance to live out every fantasy we ever had about being a real ROCK STAR. And, by fantasy, I don't mean the ones where you wake up in a vomit caked hotel room with a four day hangover and a vicious case of the clap.

Well, tonight we had our first rehearsal--well, meeting. We didn't play much. We basically just talked about some of the songs and tried to figure out who's playing what and whether we're going to have a bassist and whether the gig is going to be outdoors and whether children will get all of the nuanced sexual innuendo in Pat Benatar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." It should be great. We have a good little set so far. I'll post it later as we get it honed and pared down.

Personally, I would love to do an all country set. It would go like this:

Mama Tried by Merle Haggard
Still Doin' Time by George Jones
Hickory Wind by Graham Parsons
I Walk the Line by Johnny Cash
The Winner by Bobby Bare
Feelin' Better by Hank Jr.
He Stopped Loving Her Today by George Jones
Whiskey River by Wille Nelson
Help Me Make It Through the Night by Kris Kristofferson

Rounding out the set would be Willin' by Little Feat

But, I don't think the kids at the preschool are ready for that. It might be a bit much.

Monday, February 04, 2008

DON MUECK SCULPTURE

A friend sent me a series of images depicting the work of Australian sculptor Don Mueck. I have been a fan of his for awhile now--ever since I saw his sculpture of the Pope being crushed by a meteor. What I love about his work is both its hyper-realism, and how he plays with scale. It's more than just "making it large." It is taking something familiar and removing it from it's familiar space. The above sculpture is just a simple representation of a young boy. Nothing very remarkable about that in and of itself--but when seen with the small viewers in the foreground, the scale creates tension and drama.

I am pretty determined to spend a fair portion of my summer sculpting. It is something that, in truth, feels more natural to me than drawing. I feel better able to let go of the world around me when I am sculpting--more apt to disengage (in a healthy way) from external stimuli. It's the closest I've ever come to true meditation. Sculpting is, to me, much purer. My illustration work seems, at times, to be weighted down by my insecurities and my self conciousness. I don't have any of that with my sculpting work. I am sure that would change if I were to ever sculpt for a living... Maybe that's a can of worms I am happy to leave closed--for now.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

THINGS I CAN'T TALK ABOUT...

Because I signed an NDA, I can't talk about these projects but I did want to post this terrible-quality montage to give folks an idea of what all I have been up to. I have had a couple of good freelance gigs lately--which is great. I also had to turn a couple down, which sort of sucks, though in some ways it doesn't... It's always better to be too busy than to be curled up in the fetal position chewing my toenails--in mental agony because nobody wants to hire me and I'll be lucky to be designing urinal cakes when I'm 40 which is only four years away... Oops, my internal monologue slipped out a little didn't it? Anyway, it's good to be busy!