Saturday, December 22, 2012

Schoolism Week 8

In week 8, our assignment was to combine everything that we had learned over the past few weeks into a full illustration.  We were encouraged to use one of our thumbnails from week 7, but I didn't really like how the backgrounds in my thumbnails turned out.  Instead I decided to do an illustration of an idea that I had last Christmas for a picture for my sister.  She's a big fan of the show Spartacus and anything gladiator related, so I decided to make a slightly more festive version of that by using gingerbread men.  I was a little strapped for time this last week, because I was out of town for CTN but I got as much done as I could.  I generally like how it turned out, but it could still use a lot of polishing.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Schoolism Week 7

For week 7 we had to integrate a character into a background.  We only had to do rough thumbnails of a few different options, mostly to figure out possible colors and lighting.  I wanted to use a new character, so I quickly sketched a french bulldog as a mime.  I like how he turned out, but I still need a lot more practice with lighting.

french bulldog mime bg

Sunday, December 16, 2012


As seems to be tradition, here is a Halloween post almost 2 months after the fact.  I wasn't sure if I was going to have the time or money to make myself a costume this year, so I didn't start planning one until about a week in advance.  My friend Charli was giving me a bunch of ideas, and she mentioned the 'sassy horse' from Tangled.  Tangled is one of my favorite movies and I decided that 'sassy horse' would be a wonderful costume.

I looked up some reference images of Maximus and did a couple of very rough sketches of the costume, and how it would work.  I look very happy in sketch form.



I built the base of the head out of foam.




And then covered it in felt, made the 'harness' part out of fun foam and found some ping pong balls for the eyes.



So sassy.

The front of the body was made out of white felt and then fun foam for the saddle straps.


I painted all of the embellishments gold.


The saddle was actually the first part of the costume that I made.  I had Murder She Wrote on in the background, which made working on it even more fun!  I made the blanket under the saddle out of felt and then the saddle itself out of fun foam.


I gave Maximus a glorious and luxurious yarn mane.


And painted his eyes.





It was very important that I have a wanted sign for Flynn Rider.


And a little Pascal to keep me company.



I wore it to work and put on my best Maximus face.


It was probably the easiest costume I've worn at work seeing as how it didn't have enormous wings or as 3 foot tall head.  People seemed to enjoy it, even when they didn't know exactly who I was.  I'm pretty sure that a lot of the older customers thought that I was just a very disgruntled horse.


My manager really enjoyed it and whinnied at me throughout the day.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Ty Carter

I was at CTN the weekend before last and had the chance to go a great workshop with Ty Carter about becoming a professional student.  He's having a Holiday Giveaway contest right now, so if you're interested in art or animation or just awesome stuff in general you should check it out!

Slothy goodness.

I have been slightly obsessed with sloths lately.  I have my good friend Catherine to thank for that.  She sent me a video of a baby sloth, and I was overcome by how incredibly weird and adorable these little creatures were.  It was Catherine's birthday last month, so I decided that I would make her a sloth of her very own!

I started off with a couple of sketches



And then made the body out of felt



And gave it a wire skeleton so that the legs would be posable.


I covered the toes in fun foam and then made the legs out of felt and attached them


I sewed everything together, stuffed him up a little and gave him a friendly little face.




I got my mom to hold up a paper towel roll branch for him to hang off of.  She was also enjoying a caramel apple sucker...


Schoolism Week 6

In Week 6 we learned all about custom brushes and how to make them.  We covered general painting/sketching brushes, photo brushes, texture brushes, effect brushes and stamp brushes.

Brush Samples

I had always wondered how people created their own brushes and got certain effects in their work, so I was really glad that we got to learn how to make our own custom brushes. I also really enjoyed seeing all of the different ways that you can use them to get awesome effects.  I think that for where I am right now in my digital painting I will mostly just be using the basic brushes though.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Schoolism Week 5

For week 5 we learned how to approach a drawing with a more painterly approach.  I had a hard time coming up with something to draw, so I used a few random word generators and eventually got 'radioactive single minded regenerating crocodiles that throw blasts of energy'.  Andrew had shown us some techniques to create some cool effects, so it ended up working pretty well for me.  I didn't really cover off the 'radioactive single minded regenerating' part, but I did give him a lovely ball  of energy to throw.  I'm decently happy with how it turned out, and I kind of enjoy how it looks like his skin is made of pickles.

I haven't had a chance to make the changes that Andrew mentioned in his critique, but I will hopefully have time to tackle them soon.  The thing that I most need to work on is defining the form more with shadows.  Overall Andrew thought it was pretty good though! :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Schoolism Week 4

We tackled cell shading and coloring this week.  It's a lot closer to how I would normally color things in Photoshop, but Andrew still showed us some things that I had never thought to try before.  My tablet and Photoshop were not getting along very well, so I used a sketch that I had scanned into my computer instead of drawing something directly in Photoshop.  The first image is the one that I submitted and the second one is my revised version after watching my critique.

There weren't a lot of changes to make, mostly just refining the shadows and adding some more highlights to make his tentacles look a bit more shiny.

He caught himself a nice looking spleen!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Schoolism Week 2 and 3

So after watching my critique from Andrew on my week 1 assignment I went back and re-drew the sloth giving it more volume and form and making it looks less like a scary, gangly monster.  I fixed up the arms as well to give the drawing a bit more flow.  We then had to do a pass of the shadows and highlights.  I was still getting used to the pressure sensitivity and drawing with a tablet in general so it turned out a little messy.

Then came the time to COLOR IT!  We learned about all of the blend modes for layers, which are super cool.  He also showed us how to mask off your drawing which makes not coloring outside of the lines a lot easier.

After watching Andrews week 3 critique I went back and toned down the highlights and fixed up the background.  I also brought out the features of his fuzzy little face a bit more.

"There ain't no party like a Sloth Club party."

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Schoolism-Week 1

Well hey there!  I started taking an Intro to Digital Painting class through a week or so ago and I though that I would post what I've done so far.  I had never really painted, let alone sketched in Photoshop before but it always been something that I wanted to learn.  The class is taught by Andrew Hou, and he has some mad digital painting skills.  He's been digital painting for a while and has worked both in comics and as a concept artist.  You can see some of his work here

The first lesson was how to sketch in Photoshop.  I hadn't really worked with a tablet before so it was all pretty new to me.  I decided to draw a sloth having a party.

It definitely could have turned out better, but I'm still kind of getting used to everything.  Andrew recorded a 15 minute critique where he went over my drawing and showed me ways to make it work a little better.  His drawing looked a lot better than mine did, hahaha.  

Friday, September 14, 2012

New Shot-blocking

I've started working on a new shot for my demo reel and I thought that I would share what I've done so far! I chose an audio clip from the ridiculous movie Top Secret and set it in a Mad Scientist lab/dungeon.  I've only done a couple of passes in blocking and haven't done much with the monster or set yet, but this is what I've done so far!

The first blocking pass

 I got some feedback that the monster wasn't reading very clearly lying down on the table, so for the next pass I made him a little easier to see.  I also did some more breakdowns for the scientist.

Any feedback/comments would be very much appreciated!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

25th Anniversary

It was my Mom and Dad's 25th anniversary a couple of weeks ago, so I wanted to make them a special 'card'.  They went to New York for a week to celebrate so I wanted to make them a NY themed paper sculpture thingy!  I tried to incorporate as many of the things that they actually did while in New York as I could. They saw The Lion King and Once on Broadway, saw the statue of liberty, went on a horse drawn carriage ride in central park, went to a BMW store to look at motorcycle jackets for my dad, and ate a super gross looking giant hot dog. (For the record, I thought it looked gross but they really enjoyed it)  I set it in Times Square so that I could make use of all of the signs up on the buildings.  I was going to add an angry cab driver too, but I ran out of room.

Mom and Dad looking super precious, holding hands in Times Square.

The words were a real treat to cut out...

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

AM Graduation

So because I'm so good at posting things like a month after they've's a post about my AM graduation!!! :)

My family and I flew up to San Francisco on July 26th for an Animation Mentor filled weekend.  We headed over to The Cheesecake Factory inside of the Macy's in Union Square because there was an AM diner extravaganza meetup thingy happening that night.  I got to meet a bunch of the people that I have been going to school with for the past two years which was pretty awesome.  AND there was cheesecake involved, which made it even better!

The next day we had the open house at AM headquarters.  You could kind of see bits of it in the video news each week, but seeing it in person was fantastic!  They have a super cool work environment where everyone gets to personalize their own workspace.  There are castle cubicles, crazy lego models, cardboard cut-outs of Austin powers... We got to go on a tour and see all of the different departments.  They also had a mini 'Spike Carnival' set up where you could shoot targets with a nerf gun and win prizes.  Because I'm a stone cold killah I was able to knock a few of them down and win some candy and a lovely AM pin.  My sister is apparently a trained assassin because she was able to get the hardest one down and won me a t-shirt!  Way to go Paige!  They also had snacks for us and a photo booth which I unfortunately missed out on.  And I got to sign the alumni wall which was pretty cool!!!  We went to the Walt Disney Family Museum afterwards which was lovely!

Guess who's inside of Spike?

Sat the 27th was the day of the graduation!  I got to meet the rest of my graduating class and take part in an amazing graduation ceremony!  We also had an incredible commencement speaker...ANDREW STANTON!!!!  He gave a super inspiring speech and said that he could now call us animators.  In the words of Sophia Grace, it was 'SO GOOD'.  I got to walk across the stage and get my diploma from the 3 founders and I think that I surprised them with my 'creative accent'.  They seemed to enjoy it though. :)  There were also some student awards that went to some crazy talented and wonderful people and some great speeches from some of the mentors.  At the end of the ceremony they released a ton of balloons from the ceiling and it was really, really magical.

Post balloon bombing.

With Shaun Kelly!

With Bobby (Boom) Beck!

With Carlos Baena

I was pretty excited about Shaun signing my hat.

Who wears Mickey Mouse gloves to accept her diploma?  THIS GIRL.

Afterwards I got a chance to go and meet all 3 of the founders and take a picture with them.  And I got them and a bunch of my awesome classmates to sign my graduation hat.  My parents took my sister and I out for supper that night because she had also recently graduated from university.  We also went to the Disney store...and it had 2 WHOLE FLOORS.  It was a good day.  

Then on Sunday the 28th we had the AM BBQ which was open to both students and alumni as well as their families.  I got to meet and hang out with a bunch more awesome people.

The people at AM put on an amazing weekend for us and I'm incredibly grateful to them!! It was a fantastic (if slightly overwhelming :) ) weekend and it was great meeting my fellow classmates and finding out that they are actually real live people!  I'm looking forward to seeing a bunch of them again at CTN later this year!