Monday, November 27, 2006


Hey everyone. Here are some thumbnails that I've drawn over the past few days. I figured it would be a good idea to get started on the thumbnailing process since that will be one less thing I'll have to do when class 6 rolls around. I've been reading posts in the forums about class 6 and it sounds like I'll need all the time I can get to animate my short. I had planned on blocking out my short over our three week winter break but I'm starting to change my mind. Since planning is of the utmost importance, I will focus on thumbnailing and shooting as much video reference as I can. That way I'll be fully prepared to start blocking once all of that is finished. Here's what I have so far:

The first two pages are thumbnails for the first scene of the short. It's not finished since they only go up to the part where Taylor wakes up and realized that Twitch is a pathetic monster. The third page is just different poses of Twitch cowering. I don't like the pose I have right now in layout where Twitch is scared by the movie he's watching.Originally he was going to hide behind a pillow/cushion but I couldn't find a 3d couch with removable cushions on it. Right now I like the very last pose the best.

The final page was how I went about trying to solve the clarity issue when Twitch has to make faces in the bathroom mirror. That layout version of that shot isn't reading properly so I've come up with a shot to put before it to show that the characters are in the bathroom and are looking in the mirror. If I go with that idea, I'll have to move Taylor to the other side of the room to avoid staging confusion. The drawings at the bottom of the page are just thumbnails for how Twitch and Taylor will jump out of the closet in the next shot.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

So Far...

Hey guys. I just completed layout for the second third of my short. Here's a look at the whole thing so far:


Please ignore the weird colors on Taylor in the first scene. When I added the frame counter for my mentor his adopted the shot mask's textures for some reason. The second scene portrays him accurately though. I'm not sure about the last activity that Taylor and Twitch do. They're supposed to be making faces in the bathroom mirror and the audience is looking at their reflections. I'm not sure if it's reading like that right now. I'm having trouble getting that to look right. If anyone has any ideas on how I can get it to read, please let me know.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Kitty Cats

Hey guys. I'm in the process of teaching myself how to properly draw cats. Here are last nights sketches. I really like the one of the stretching manx.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Family Dog

Hey everyone! If you haven't seen it, by all means check out Family Dog.

Family Dog

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tomorrow's Activity

Ahhhhhhh, while everyone else is cooking, I'll be playing Twilight Princess on my grandmother's big screen tv. This will be a very happy Thanksgiving indeed. :D

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone else!

Sunday, November 19, 2006


I've got a Wii!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

First Pass

I received a copy of the new Twitch rig today and I'm super happy with it! Everything is 600x's better than my crappy old rig and it's not even done yet! I was able to start and finish a first layout pass with the new rig in just a few hours. Here's what I have so far:

Layout: First Pass

I think some of the first few shots could use a bit more time. I'll add some more key poses tomorrow and see how everything feels after that. I'm using Twitch's proxy version because the skinning isn't finished yet and of course because its faster. It sad though because I'm starting to like the proxy version better than the actual character, lol.

Oh, the reason why it's so short is because we're supposed to work on our short in thirds. This one is the first third. I've also cut out the lamp part per my mentor's suggestion. I really liked it but it made the entire short go from 56 seconds to 49 seconds. One of the upperclassmen at AM has advised us that the longer the short, the lower it's quality. After reading that I considered scrapping the entire middle of the story and going from Taylor's bedroom to him having Twitch scare his sister, lol. I decided against that since it cut out about 90% of the story's charm, not to mention most of the story itself.

Monday, November 13, 2006


OK, technically I am almost finished with this week's assignment already. Layout it supposed to be really rough as far as poses go. The point of it is to focus on staging, roughing in the main actions and shot timing. I've got the staging down and I will tweak the timing tomorrow. Since I have so much time left, I was going to include more information as far as poses go and actions go. I've already started doing that with Taylor. His poses are almost animation ready. I'd like to do that with Twitch but I cant. The rig I made for him is completely awful! The hands are extremely bad. They rotate randomly and the whole forearm area looses and gains volume. If I rotate the arm too much in any direction the hand will start flipping out. There are weighting issues all over the place too. Thankfully one of my friends has offered to fix everything and do the facial set-up also. Hopefully the body rig will be ready soon so I can spruce up Twitch's poses.

The really bad part is the rig problems are making 2d look better and better. The fact that I keep watching CalArts shorts isn't helping either, lol. I really want to do some 2d animation but I know I can't. I know I'll just get frustrated because I dont like drawing directly into the computer and know that I'd do a much better job if I could animate on paper. I hope this will go away once I get the new Twitch rig. I think all of this is because I haven't been able to animate at all during class 5 when previously a day didn't go by where I didn't animate something. Lol, I guess I'm having animation withdrawal symptoms.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Feeling Down

The more I draw him, the more I want to animate Twitch in 2d. It makes me sad since I know I'm not nearly good enough to get the Disney internship with my 2d work. When I get back to SCAD I'll have to work on that. I can't risk the quality of my short though. To compensate, I'll just animate my shots using the grease pencil before blocking with the 3d character. I did that around this time last year with one of my shots with Ballie and liked how it turned out. We'll see, it all depends on how much time I have.


I just found one of the most inspirational blogs of all time! That would be the blog of Matt Williams. He has at least two pencil tests in every month of his blogs archive and all of them are outstanding. Looking at his work really makes me want to do some pencil tests. I'm very tempted to stop watching this week's lecture and have a go at it. Instead, I keep telling myself to remember his blog and try to bring some of the life of 2d animation into my 3d work. When I get back to SCAD I'm definitely going to have to do some 2d animation though! I wish i had my own animation disc and capture station. Right now I have a cheap light box and a scanner that takes forever to scan things. I plan on asking for those things for Christmas. We'll see what happens.

Anyway, here's a link to Matt's blog. I hope you enjoy his work as much I have!

Hand Drawn Nomad

On to the Next Stage

Hey guys. Here's the final version of my story reel.

story reel

I'm finally ready to move on to layout. I started working on layout last night and was quite happy. I realised how close I finally am to the animation stage and i can't wait to get started. I really wanted to do some animation tests during class 5 but I didn't have time. There were days when I wanted to stop working on the 3d Twitch and do a "short" physical animation piece. I never gave in though, I kept telling myself I was getting everything done now so I wouldn't have to worry about that stuff when it's finally time to animate. I'm glad I that I did that because I now have Taylor's bedroom and the hallway for the end of the short finished. I've also customised Bishop to resemble Taylor. The Twitch model is finished and is being rigged by one of my friends. I turned in my story reel early and was told I could start working on layout even though we don't officially start that until 3pm today. So far everything is moving along nicely and I'm finishing things early. Hopefully this will enable me to spend more time focusing on animating when the time comes for that.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Another One

A HUGE congrats goes out to Mike Stern! This recent AM graduate recently accepted a character animator position at Dreamworks! Congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

More Room Renders

I've decided to keep the lighting that I created yesterday morning and simply hide them. It seemed like a waste to delete them only to relight the scene later. I did some renders to see how the rest of the room looked with that lighting and am happy with the results.

Lol, Taylor is the world's neatest 7-10 year old! There isn't a single toy or piece of clothing on the floor, lol. Thats probably because his closet is completely empty. It doesn't even have the pole to hang things from. I might add some things inside of the closet later. It all depends on how it looks when both characters jump out. Anyway, every wall in his room is a different height, lol. I need to adjust that and I need to add a night sky to the outside of his window. I wanted Taylor to have horror posters on his wall. I guess I'll have to draw those, since real ones didn't match the style of his room.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Should Have Gone to Bed

I really should have gone to bed two hours ago. Instead I stayed up messing around in Maya. This is Taylor's room so far. On the other side he has two dressers, a door, and a tv. Across from him is a chair and where the closet will be. The layout is the same as the room in my storyboards, minus the fact that there's now a tv in his room. There's still quite a bit of work to do though. I need to fix his window so you see an image of the moon, I need to make some rough bed covers, and I need to make his closet. The only things I made in this scene are Taylor's hair, his lamp, his window and his pillows. I can model props fairly quickly and created those and a mirror in less than 30 minutes. Once you see the rest of his room, you'll notice that his dressers are a different style than his night stands. That's because I got the other models from turbo squid and liked that particular dresser, lol. If it looks too bad, I'll fix it.

Anyway, it's 1am and I know Taylor's pose is complete garbage. The lighting probably sucks too since I dont know how to light properly. This is basically me fooling around instead of going to bed.

Oh, I wanted Taylor's pajamas to have silly little ghosts on them but I kept getting an error whenever I hit update psd network.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

New Stuff

Hey everyone. I've got three new items to share with you guys. The first thing is my up-dated story reel. I've adjusted the timing on some of the shots in the first half and have added quite a new new shots as well. I also have music to go with my drawings! The song is called Chansons sans paroles and its from Gerard Stamian's album Dry Fig Trees. I got it from, that website is loaded with tons of cool music. They have a wide variety of genres and they let you listen to all of the music for free!

New Story Reel

The second thing I have to post is a render of my 3d versions of Twitch. The purple one is the original and the white one is the revised version. So far everyone likes the revised version better. A tremendous thank you goes out to my friend Kris for the revised version of Twitch!!!!!!!!!! Everyone also likes Twitch's new coat. My only issue is that the white tends to take on the color of the lighting in the scene. I know that happens with all of the characters but it's not nearly as obvious. I'll ask around and see if there's a way to fix this.

Last but not least, is a drawing I did a couple of days ago. I was testing the black and white color scheme and decided to apply it to the 3d model. Sorry about the image quality. My scanner butchered it.