Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ninja Dinosaur vs. ManBull

Last week my four year old son tried to convince me that he had seen a horror movie. As his father I knew this was not true, however I played along to see how far he'd take his story. He proceeded to tell me all about the horror movie called "Ninja Dinosaur". It's the move where the good Ninja Dinosaur fights the evil half man half bull, or ManBull as he's called. The Ninja Dinosaur fights ManBull to protect the people. Most of the movie is them fighting. Cut to lunch that day and I start sketching because these characters sound fun. So I throw around some shapes and get excited about showing my son his creations. Here is the first pass at Ninja Dinosaur and ManBull:

Ninja Dinosaur


As a proud Dad I show these sketches to my son thinking he's going to be impressed. Nope. He has notes: 
"Daddy, they need weapons. Guns and swords and stuff."
"Oh. They're pretty cool though Dad."

At least I received one compliment. The next day I sit down and start sketching again:

Ninja Dinosaur r02
ManBull r02
ManBull r03 (My favorite so far)

And so I bring these home and show my son. He has to be impressed this time right?
"Daddy, Ninja Dinosaur has the guns... and ten arms. With a gun in each arm."
"ManBull doesn't have guns. He shoots laser balls from between his horns."
"They kind of go like this (He waves his hands over his head wiggling his stubby fingers) and make the laser ball then shoot it out. (Big explosion noise from him)."
"I like ManBull's two guns"

He's going to be a good supervisor if he already knows to end a critique with a compliment. Anyway, on Friday I had a moment to try and draw some laser balls. Not my favorite sketch yet but it's a work in progress:
ManBull r04
Now I'm expecting some notes from my son. Possibly about ManBull's snout being too big or the laser ball not being big enough. 

"Daddy, where's the Ninja Dinosaur?"

Like I said, he's going to be a good supervisor one day.
To be continued...

Baby of Frankenstein

Another challenge over at Drawaholics was to create a Baby Monster. Baby of Frankenstein came to mind. Brush Pen.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Animation Talk with "Tea Time" animation group at AAU

This last Friday night (The 4th of May) I gave a talk to animation students at the Academy of Art University. Lana Bachynski approached me at the last Reel Feedback Reel Review Night and asked if I would talk to her animation group "Tea Time". I assumed it was something like 5 students, but it ended up being over 30. And, I was told that it was during finals week they usually have more people! These are some dedicated students. If you are a student at AAU, I recommend joining "Tea Time" and learning more about animation. They do group critiques, have speakers from the industry, and gatherings to discuss animation. It's a great group and I met a lot of awesome people who are fired up about animation. Next week they are having JD Haas speak. If you don't know JD you should check out his blogs.
 Here are some spots to check them out:

Below you will find the outline to my talk. I figured I'd post it for those at the event in case they missed something. Also for those that just want to check it out. Somethings may not be clear in outline form, but feel free to ask questions in the comments if you so desire. I'll answer what I can.

The main idea of the talk was "What happens after you graduate?".
AAU Animation Talk 5/4
  • How to get a job
·      Good Reel
·      Show people
      Show anyone and everyone. Except your Mom. She’ll love anything you do.
      Give anyone 30 seconds because a good idea can come from anywhere.
·      Only your best stuff
·      Start and end with a good shot
      You want them to be wowed to start and leave remembering something good.
·      Walk cycles scream student
      Give your tests reason
      Think of your shot as part of a bigger scene
     Why is the character doing what it's doing?
·      Be Prepared
·      Know whom you are interviewing with.
·      Know what the company does
·      Story about guy not knowing who Phil Tippett was.
·      Good Attitude
·      Be yourself
·      Nervous is okay
·      Be excited/ enthusiastic. If you are not excited about the opportunity then why would someone else be excited to give you the opportunity.
  • How to keep a job
·      Know your basics
·      Come in knowing your basics and keep up on them.
·      Know your vocabulary
·      Know how the pipeline works
      Who is before and after you? How does their job affect you and vice versa?
·      Break Through Your Road Blocks
·      Never sit idle
·      Have a clear vision
·      Ask Questions
·      Look at reference
·      Show your coworkers your shot
·      Make a to do list “LOS” of your shot’s needs. (LOS means List of Shit, yes I swore a LOT during the talk. I've been working on "Ted" so my language has taken a turn for the worse as of late.)
·      Advance yourself artistically as well as technically.
·      Good Attitude
·      Learn to hear notes
·      Make sure to hit notes hard.
·      No Baby Steps
·      Your goal is to take the client/supervisor notes and implement them as creatively as you can.
·      Does it look good to you?
·      Show someone.
·      Baby steps can be mistaken for being passive aggressive.
·      Write it all down.
·      Develop your own shorthand in order to write faster.
  • How to keep the fire
·      Study, study, study
·      Look at Reference: It is everywhere!
·      Books: Animator’s Survival Kit, Cartoon Animation by Preston Blair, Character Animation Crash Course
·      Blogs
     Never stop being a student!!
·      Personal work
·      Exercises/Tests
·      Caveat's: Keeping it simple. Try new things. Don’t have to be good or show anyone.
·      Draw even if you can't. It will help you see.
·      Other outlets
·      It's your love of life that will inspire you to keep learning. Make sure you have a life to love.