Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sketchbook VIII

"People who can't draw in perspective ... shouldn't. This is what happens kids. This is how lives are ruined and you wind up on the street drawing tricks for crack. So put the three point perspective down and go play outside."

This has been a message from the council of "People who can't draw in perspective ... shouldn't."

P.S. - I have no idea what three point perspective is.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Timing and Spacing and Bears ... Oh My...

Week 4 of AM already, holy crap! So far we've been working on poses and bouncing balls. I'll try and get some of my work up here this weekend (ya ain't missing much so far).

The poses are going pretty well overall for me. It's all about starting with a strong line of action for me. Get the weight right, clear silhouette, express an attitude.

The technical work in a bouncing ball is almost absurd ... but I do have to say it has been good to do these. I'm sure I've done them at some point in the past, but I can't really remember taking this amount of time to just really try and knock them out of the park. All in the timing & spacing baby. My shot ideas are terribly boring, but that's how my mentor wants them, so I'm not trying to add a whole lot. Some other students are just going all out with crazy setups. I guess he has a point, these aren't going to be on any demo reels ... it's still fun to be a little creative if it isn't going to detract from the quality.

Anyway, just to wrap up this rambling ... AM so far is pretty damn cool. Biggest bonuses are 1. the community of friends you make, 2. being able to look at everyone's work and feedback, and 3. having alumni do nightly Q&A sessions where you can join and have a pro look at your work and give feedback. I dropped in on Travis Tohill this week just to watch. How many people get ILM animators to review their work in depth? Damn cool.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sketchbook VII

Here's this weeks AMSketchBlog entry. This week's theme. Worst Case Scenario.

Robot - Bear - Velociraptor Trap

This is pretty much my nightmare. The best I figure, the way to escape is use the Robot & Bear's natural mistrust of each other to my advantage. Perhaps I tell the bear the robot was showing around naked pictures of his wife. With the bear & robot occupied in a battle to the death the only thing left is the Velociraptor. The nice thing about that is I don't have to outrun the raptor, I only have to outrun you. (Always hike with a buddy!)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bon Appetit

AM is in full gear so I had to kinda hurry this one to a close. Could be worse I guess but there are a few parts I'm not totally satisfied with. I didn't want to scrap it or pretend I'll finish it in 18 months so I'm happy to call it done. Now I can shift all focus to AM. Woot.

If you'd like to see a bigger version head over to my main website. Clicky clicky.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sketchbook VI

You may notice this sketchbook post is empty, there's a good reason for that.

Today I went down to the Denver Art Museum with two goals in mind. 1. See the King Tut exhibit and 2. sketch some people for life drawing practice. Seemed like a good plan, go to a cultural learning center full of interesting people and works of art to become a little cultured and do a little light practicing of my own art. WRONG!

Things started a little odd when I was stopped before entering the exhibit and was told my messenger bag was too big and I looked a little too much like a tomb robber. I was asked to check my bag in a locker back downstairs. Ooookay I can do that. I check my bag, grabbing just a pen & sketchbook. Run back upstairs and they let me in ... the first person I see is someone with a bag at least as big as mine. Oh well, I'm in, woohoo!

So I go through the line and get into the exhibit, the doors shut behind us. I wander around just looking for a minute, pen & sketchpad in hand. Soon a guard comes up to me and tells me that I'm not allowed to use a pen and asks if I have a pencil since I look like the type of person who would draw mustaches on priceless works of art (guilty as charged there). "Why yes, yes I do ... it's in the bag I just had to check though." Since I can't leave the exhibit now he gives me a stubby pencil used to keep score in golf. I'm allowed to keep my pen though. Again ... odd.

So there I was walking around with my stubby pencil and sketchpad and I turn a corner and see a wall graphic of an old photograph of an archeologist. He has an interesting pose so I decide to start my day by sketching him quickly. I draw a little circle for his head and am about to continue when another guard walks up to me and informs me that sketching is not allowed. I admit I was a bit dumbfounded here at this point. I just sorta look at him, look at my sketchbook, and look back at him. Really? I can't sketch? I can take notes, I can jot ideas, I can even write out a grocery shopping list, but I can't sketch. So in addition to being a tomb robber and a mustache drawer, I'm also a master forger who's going to make money passing off pencil drawings as centuries old Egyptian relics and artifacts on the black market.

At this point I resign myself to the fact that the very polite DAM folks were going to see to it that no unauthorized creativity took place while they were on duty. I gave up, turned over my pencil, unchecked my bag, went back to my car, paid my parking fee and drove home. Best part of the morning? Parking only cost me $1 buck since I was only in there about 27 minutes total.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sketchbook V

Here's this week's entry for this week's sketch blog. Figured if you have to do a theme around "too much cuteness" ... you may as well make the most of it and throw in one of the best movie deaths of all time. I present you Major Toht vs. The Double Rainbow Unicorn Bear! I could keep going on this but it's been a long week and I need to get animating.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Feed me Seymour

Week 2 of Animation Mentor is underway and I've been getting and giving as much feedback as I can. I could spend hours browsing the site reading all the feedback and watching eCritiques. That's where the real gold of this program lies I think, all of the input on your work. Your input on others' work helps train your eye which in turn makes your work better. Gold Jerry!

Class-wise we got our first assignment relating to creating good poses. I have to say that finding interesting people to draw is hit 'n miss. If I may make a small recommendation: carry a cattle-prod along with your sketchbook in order to ... encourage ... people into more dynamic and interesting poses. Another tip: always sketch with a buddy who can help make your bail.

I'm glad for the hours I put in sketching this summer. You don't have to be an amazing draftsman to be an animator, but it sure doesn't hurt. Being able to sketch an interesting pose that has some sort of attitude to it, a great line of action, and show where the weight is really really helpful though. I'm going to continue to improve my skills by hitting up the Art Museum this weekend. On a related note, the book Simplified Drawing for Planning Animation is great by the way. As are Drawn to Life I & II.