Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Overlap Video Tutorial

Hey guys. I just finished watching Jason Ryan's overlap video tutorial. I'm really looking forward to applying to his tutorial service. Everything is simple, clear, and easy to understand. The fact that he spends more time in the camera view than the graph editor is helpful too. It feels like he's animating almost exactly like he would in 2d, only he's rotating and translating controls instead of drawing. Jason really simplified the concept of overlap and gave a step by step walk through of four different overlap situations in just 12 minutes. I'm really glad I watched it since I know I'd probably have over complicated problems if I had to animate a wagging tail or a really cartoony stagger in 3d. Jason's video made me realise how much I tend to over think concepts and end up spending way more time on a shot than I should have to. I highly recommend everyone to check it out and subscribe to his newsletter.

Here's the video's url:

You'll need the techsmith screen capture codec which can be downloaded here:


On a side note, I just finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows last night. Rowling is in my opinion, one of the best authors in the world. I have never felt for a character in a book as much as I did with the characters in Deathy Hallows. That alone is an achievement since my friends always talk about my supposed lack of empathy for anything. All of the people who wont read the books and are watching for the movie are really missing out. There's no way the Deathly Hallows film will be as gripping as the book, unless they make it at least six hours long lol.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Platinum Edition

AM just launched their platinum membership for the alumni site. It sounds really awesome since we'll have access to lectures, guest speakers, special Q&A sessions, and will be able to view each other's critiques. In fact there's a Ratatouille Q&A coming up soon. The thing is platinum membership costs $100 a year. Normally that wouldn't be a problem but I just found out that my bank account has under $1k. Seeing as how I don't have a job and thus no real source of income it's not easy to get my finances back up again. Lol, I've never even had $2k in my account and I've been saving my money since summer of 2003. XD

I hate to have to turn to my parents (again) and ask them for money, but it seems I don't really have a choice. Luckily my birthday is on Saturday so I can just ask for the platinum membership for my birthday. What could be better than AM platinum membership and the release of the last Harry Potter book for a 21st birthday? Sadly, I will be in Ocean City this weekend and there isn't a Borders anywhere near there. I'll have to wait until I get back to find out what happens to Harry and crew. Until then, I will ban myself from the internet and my friends who will have already gotten/read the book so I dont end up running into any spoilers.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


After a total of about 14 hours I've finally come to a stopping point on my painting. I've learned a TON about digital painting and painting period. I eagerly await the next time I get a chance to paint again. Lol, in fact I think I just found a new hobby. I still want to be able to render fur much more believably so I think my next exercise should be a painting from life. I'll find a picture of a paw or something and try to paint that. I think I'll learn a lot about rendering fur and more about the flow of fur over the animal's body. As far as this picture goes, I think some parts are more successful than others. I really like how I rendered his tongue and feel like that's the best part of the image. I think the weakest part (aside from the lack of background) is the gold earrings. I still suck at rendering metal. That's enough of that though. On to bed and then to animating in the morning! =D

Friday, July 13, 2007

Up date

I worked on my picture some more. I like how its coming out so far. Hopefully I'll be able to finish it today so I can get back to animating. To be honest I'm getting tired of painting right now and I feel like my eyes have blisters on them, lol.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Hey guys,

I decided to take a break from animating today and once again tried to teach myself how to paint. I don't practice digital painting very often now that I know a little bit about animation. I used to color my drawings in photoshop all the time back in high school. I remember looking up tutorials on how to make rain, fire, smoke etc. Needless to say I don't remember anything about making those things. Anyway, I got a copy of Painter IX a while ago and decided to try to learn how to use it as well. I really like the sketch I did of Fetch and figured I might as well take a stab at painting it. After spending about 10 hours doing a lot of Painter research and trail and error, this is what I came up with. It obviously isn't finished and I hope to complete it tomorrow. I need to find a tutorial on painting scales and metal. Lol, I tried to paint his nose ring without the aid of a tutorial and its obvious that I need help.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Being an Almost Graduate

I've been checking around the AM alumni site and looking at my classmate's demo reels and I've realized something. AM produces some seriously nice animators. I've seen a lot of really good work and its hard to believe most of the students were animating for the first time. I've watched my classmates grow and now get jobs/internships at Disney, Dreamworks, Blue Sky, Pixar, ILM, and Rhythm&Hues. I'm really glad to be a part of the AM community and to have had the chance to learn from some of the top animators from various studios. I wish the program was longer, as I still have so much to learn. I've watched people in my class grow from having never animated in their life to working at Disney and such, while I am still sitting here at home collecting rejection letters.

All I can do is tell myself these letters are a good thing since my parents want me to finish my time at SCAD. I don't think I'd feel bad if I got hired before I finished up there. Isn't the whole point in going to college is to learn and develop your skills so you can get a job? I'm going to a couple of events at Siggraph since my graduation from AM is being held there. I've never been there before but I've heard about how great it is. All I wanted to do was go to the animation theater and the job fair. Now I'm debating whether I should bother bringing my reel, since I still have five more quarters to take a SCAD. I'm still working on my short and am working on adding a few shots from it to my reel. We'll see if I'm fast enough to accomplish that by the end of the month.

I would really like to get an internship more so than a job right now because of the SCAD dilemma. That way I can get experience from a bunch of studios and continue to move towards finally being finished so I can apply for jobs for real. I think I should have taken summer classes to push my graduation date closer to the original time. I didn't find out about my acceptance and then rejection from R&H soon enough to apply for summer classes though. This time I'll try calling HR at all the studios I send a reel to when it gets close to registration time. Hopefully then I'll be able to find out whether or not I got in and then register for summer classes based on their answer.

Anyway, watching all of my peers get jobs where I hope to someday work makes me feel like a little kid trying to hang out with the big kids. AM gives us all this information about resumes, reels, interviews, contact info/connection with various studios and says "Now take this information and go get a job! =D". All of the AM grads shout "Yeah!!!!!" and they rush out to get hired at all these cool studios. I see myself trying to run out with them when a teacher grabs me by the shirt and says "Not so fast young lady! You've got to finish your schooling!". The teacher plops me down at a desk in an empty classroom and I sit there like -______- and =(. Then my classmates start streaming in excitedly telling the teacher where they've gotten a job. I get excited each time one of my classmates comes in with news of working at *insert dream studio here*, but a stern look from the omnipresent teacher forces me to sit back down at my desk.

Lol, maybe I could animate a scene like that. I have a really clear vision of how that would look in my head right now and I think it would be rather amusing. The only bad thing is the number of characters I'd have to use and the fact that I have to finish my short first, lol.


I just finished Downfall by Jean Rabe and really wanted to try to draw one of the characters from the story. His name is Ilbreth aka Fetch and he's a kobold thief who is a part of Dhamon Grimwulf's party for most of the book. I tend to like the more creature/animal-like characters of fantasy stories more so than their human/elven/dwarven counterparts. Once I read a description of Fetch I was hooked on him for the rest of the book. Previously all of the descriptions I've read of kobolds presented them as being very lizard-like and I pictured then as being somewhat similar to a race in FFXII and FFTA called bangaa's.

Rabe decided to go another way and made kobolds much more appealing in my opinion. Fetch was described as having a rat like face and tail, bat ears to suggest his goblin ancestry, scale intermingled with his brown fur, small clawed hands and feet, and red beady eyes with small white horns above them. I instantly liked his design better and he quickly became my favorite character in the story. Sadly Rabe thought it would be best to kill him towards the second half of the book. =(

Monday, July 02, 2007

Zoo Sketches

I finally got around to going to the zoo on Friday. I wanted to get there once a week but things kept popping up and preventing me to do so. I hope I'll get to go again this week, as I had a lot of fun once I shook off the shyness of drawing in front of so many people. I stayed for about three hours and got five pages of sketches done. I think I did well with the elephant shrew and the degu. I seem to have gotten their body structure down nicely. I need to work on moneys and reptiles though. I'll probably return to the small mammal house the next time I go since monkeys are really fun.