Wednesday, October 10, 2007

suit season

Do you know, I actually completely blanked when I started drawing this. I wanted a boy in a bulky Halloween costume, went with the shark idea, and thought nothing of it. It wasn't until I explained it to my brother and said "shark suit" out loud that I realized that I was perhaps influenced by fellow NYU animator Stephen Neary's short (Shark Suit: The Musical). I trust you see the connection. So this is my unwitting homage to that delightful piece - just in time for the ultimate Suit Season, aka All Hallows' Eve.

And seeing as I will more than likely be stationed here in Texas on that festive night, I've decided to go with the family to collect candies of my own. It's been four years (yes, it was college broke my sweets streak) but I feel I can pass myself off as a tall teen if I wear a mask and my poor animator's posture will help to diminish my thoroughly un-childlike height, especially if I wear a cloak of sorts. Besides, San Antonio folk are a kind and generous people and understand that big kids need candy too. What's the point of living at home if you can't enjoy life's simple pleasures?


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

storyboard teaser

I'm digitally cleaning up some of my storyboard endeavors so I can show 'em off on my brand spankin' new website (coming soon). They would've been fine, except that all of my school papers suffered massive water damage last summer due to the carelessness of a certain college moving/storage service I would not care to mention on this, my cheerful blog. So I present to you some more pre-show entertainment with these doofy frames in all their black-and-white glory.

From an exercise in my Storyboarding class titled "Frog Prince":

Work I did for a friend's film project titled "3 Blind Dates":

Friday, August 31, 2007

the taming of the mouse

My younger bro Sam drew this picture of me in my bunny hat (it is a great hat). He experiments with manga and anime styles, so as you can see my nose is very flatteringly portrayed as naught but a tiny fleck.

Ho. Ly. Cow. This website I'm creating is really throwing me for a loop. I've always struggled with layout design, you see. As most of my work recently is tied up in this unholy behemoth of an undertaking, I fear the only things to show at this present time are a few pieces of Graffiti (a limited drawing application from dear old Facebook - tool options include only color, brush size and opacity). Naturally these creations are based on inside jokes, but I admit I am proud of my mousing ability enough to show them here. Having never used a Cintiq tablet, I've been forced, like so many out there, to develop a steady mouse hand. Still, what I wouldn't give for a Cintiq...

In honor of Nightcrawler, my champion of choice, while playing a video game with some pals (portrayed here as Iceman and Mr. Fantastic).

So that my friend will not forget the hilarity of Orson Welles' drunken attempt at acting in a wine commercial. Youtube it for a laugh.

Johnny Depp as an edible delicacy, of course.

Ah yes, the Lindsay Lohan music video featuring a tearful bathroom moment steeped in super-pop-princess-drama. A must for Facebook Graffiti.

Monday, June 25, 2007

it's time to do stuff with the ideas in my head

Doing a lot of thinking lately. That's not as good as doing, I know, but I think I've found my inspiration again. For a couple of months now, I've been really getting into the Flight books: three (soon to be four) compilations of stories by various animators/artists. Some great, some not as great, but each has its own style that I find fascinating to the point where I'm lying in bed at night trying to absorb the movement of lines and colors within certain panels for long stretches at a time. I have so much to learn. Sigh. My head is so full of projects, and I have to release them! Onward and upward, and all that.

And I just wanted to share this delightful short animation by Vera Brosgol called Snow-Bo. It's short, it's sweet, it's funny, and it's free so watch it already! I have a link to her website in, well, my links section to the right if you're interested in more.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I am afraid of E.T. It's been a long-standing fear (I first saw it on my cousin's big-screen TV when I was an impressionable and ever-imaginative child), and I'd like to share some early work from grade school depicting this sausage-fiend in a spot of trouble. It's a wonder I could even stand to draw him! Click to enlarge this notebook paper creation (makes it somewhat easier to read my atrocious handwriting):

(to be read in comic-fashion from left to right, then down)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

coming to a www near you

Working on putting up a website for my work.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

life after graduation

I'm back home in Texas for the summer, trying to organize my things. I especially delight in rediscovering my old works of art. Or, in many cases, old works of attempted art. There are a few jewels, including my old high school notebook-cartoons which gave birth to such characters as Tuppy, Boot Boot, and others too random to mention. I drew a lot of sloths and outlandish attacks on the dreaded E.T., that foul, loathsome sausage-fingered bane of my existence. Maybe I'll post some of that old stuff later, if it doesn't embarrass me too much.

And then there's the job hunt. We'll not talk about that. I'm giving myself a month off to get a tan. Oh, and to continue working on STUFFED.

Instead, some old Post-it art:

Thursday, May 03, 2007

stage two: the silver surfer

Mad dash. I'm still working hard on my projects. The one due yesterday was (and is, for I'm going to make this look good for my own sake sooner or later)...really giving me a hard time. Mostly because the two software programs required are kicking it to me hard. I don't know how to use them and they know it. I blame it on Windows and its affinity for crashing. So my motion-capture project showing today won't be as cool as I imagined, but at this point I just want to have something presentable. The performer, my friend Christine, wanted the body of a fat woman, and I just couldn't deliver. Instead, she's a Silver Surfer wannabe minus the 'board. So here's the middle stage of my project in all its messed-up glory:

Thursday, April 26, 2007

vicon iq

Just some screen shots from my motion-capture project while it's in the cleaning stage. Really, they're only part of the Range of Motion, a separate part that's only used to prep the actual footage. I have a video, too, but it's only a silly arm wiggle thing and not that special. Well, it's special to me... Fine, I might as well:

Monday, April 16, 2007

in the zone

Sometimes I forget what it's like to be outdoors. I worked my butt off this entire week to finish this one shot. One shot! At least it looks good. Floppy bear is on the rise! I've still got a long way to go, but I'm in a pretty good working state of mind and have been for the last three weeks. I am really counting on it to keep me on target so I can finish this baby.

I would like to thank Peanut M&M's, Pepsi, Girl Scout Samoas, and fried pork dumplings. They are my fuel and my inspiration. They are also very tasty, which helps.

This may make me sound like a doofus, but I just now learned how to render out sequences of Maya animation. Below is one of my first projects from earlier in the semester, the rare and highly original beginner's bouncing ball. I call him Orlando.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

like a promotion, only geekier

Not only do I have screen cred, but I'm on imdb!! (And what a bleak profile it is now, that's for sure.) For those of you who don't watch Moral Orel credits, or at all, here's a freeze of the TV at that crucial moment:

Monday, March 26, 2007


Three more weeks left until all submissions are due for NYU's Animation Showcase, and I've never had so much on my plate: fixing my roughs and trying to get picture lock (it may look like I'm coloring, but it's all a clever lie), planning my motion-capture project, and various 3-D assignments.

At this pace, I can't possibly keep up with my Netflix!

Did I ever mention I have the most ghetto work desk? My "lightbox" is comprised of a pegbar taped to a pane of glass I removed from a K-Mart picture frame. It uses the light from an upturned lamp that sits between my feet on the floor. The strange thing is I haven't burned anything with it yet. My chair and pants are singe-free. I did, however, kneel on and shatter my first "work table"*, but thankfully frames come cheap. Cheap like a fox.

* EDIT: Well, I did it again. I elbowed my pane in two. K-Mart, here I come.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

in the absence of any personal progress

The Frog Princess, Disney's 2009 release, is a traditionally-animated musical piece (trying to get back into the groove, eh?) set in New Orleans in the jazzy 1920s. Maddy will be the studio's first African-American princess. The directors of Aladdin and The Little Mermaid (Ron Clements and JohnMusker) will be writing/directing this fairy tale, with music by Randy Newman. I'm really looking forward to this with renewed hope. Still, it's too bad composer Alan Menken was already busy working on another of Disney's films, Enchanted.

As for Enchanted, it's difficult to tell right now whether I'm a fan. I'd like to be, but I'm wary because it switches from 2-D to live action. I like the cast (Amy Adams, Susan Sarandon, Idina Menzel), head animator James Baxter, and the composer and lyricist team, but ... a poofy princess cast in the midst of NYC chaos? Fun hi-jinx or old hat? It sounds like another cheesy pre-teen flick to me.

Monday, March 05, 2007


I just now heard about Paprika, the new Satoshi Kon film due out May 25th. It looks to be some kind of trippy, and I'm excited. Except for Perfect Blue, which really gave me the heebie jeebies, I have enjoyed his other works, in particular Millennium Actress. This article of praise was pulled from the trailer:

"Evidence that Japanese animators are reaching for the moon, while most of their American counterparts remain stuck in the kiddie sandbox." -Manohla Dargis of The New York Times

So true, lady. While we're recycling old material and feeding cheap sequels to our kids, it's not hard to make us look bad. We do it to ourselves. By "we" I mean our pathetic big-shot American studios who rush through the writing process to get to effects. Pixar is excluded from this, naturally. You've heard about John Lasseter's changes within Disney, right? Pulling this, re-writing that...opening a new studio for its hopefully glorious (and long-awaited) return to hand-drawn 2-D masterpieces. If they can't revive traditional animation in the US, I might have to move to Japan. とても悲しいです。

In other Japanese animation news, I heard Studio Ghibli's latest release, Tales from Earthsea, won't come to the US any time before 2009 because the SciFi Channel's live-action version has the rights. Booo. And though it's no Hayao Miyazaki masterpiece (directed instead by his eldest son, Goro) the Ghibli stamp holds more sway with me than say, Dreamworks. And so I wait.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

in love with a show

Do any of you remember the short-lived show Family Dog, that 1993 cartoon with a supremely stellar crew: Brad Bird, Steven Spielberg, Tim Burton, and Danny Elfman to name a few. This show was a major inspiration to me growing up and I was constantly renting Hollywood Video's VHS copies to immerse myself in its glory. I was so overjoyed to find someone had posted a few. (Believe it or not, they're not on DVD yet. Bah!!) So because I'm a nice person, and because everyone should see these, I've decided to share them with you directly.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

unbridled uni's

Anti-cute experiment #3. I coulda done better with this one. It's not a fully evilized unicorn, just a little frothy. [shrug] I've never been good at horses, but this was a request and it's done, so hurrah.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

it's a slow day

Here's a site that lets you doodle with the bonus of watching the entire process from start to finish in varying speeds. My brother showed it to me, and so I made a quick doodle for him. If you click on it, you can see its progression, or make your own. Brought to you by

I've also got my stop-mo piece uploaded, but beware! it's not finished. By that I mean I want to add a few shots here and there, tweak others, eliminate the wire stand in the "flight" scene, and add titles and credits. Oh, and sound. Even the file itself is screwy as I exported it with lots of empty space at the end. Who knows when I'll get around to fixing it, so I've decided to just dump it here for now.

My Pet

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

just working

Pluuh...took the day off to work some more on my big project. I was doing really well until I ran out of peanut M&Ms. Now I'm just distracted and hungry.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

and she probably has lice

For our second assignment in class, we made a bowl of fruit in Maya. Did I mention I hate fruit? Yes, all fruit. I may actually turn out to be a damn good 3-D modeler (and with all the effort I put into creating a bunch of lousy grapes, I would expect no less). Plus, I'm good at sitting for hours in front of a computer. I've already got the poor posture of an animator, so all I need now is some more training and I'm in business.

Here's the result of my second undertaking to deviate from my regular habit of "cuteness". I will continue my endeavor to make progressively more gruesome and fearful drawings to, you know, just see how far I can morph things.

Friday, January 26, 2007

i'm bringing sexy back

Scribbling, scribbling, scribbling. I'm trying to get over my super-freak perfectionist ways so I can churn out the rough animation for my 3-minute piece. It's harder for me to think in terms of shapes than it is for me to draw what's in my mind's eye. On the one hand, I have less mess to clean up later, but on the other hand the going is slow. Maybe I should try working without an eraser to keep the form loose and bring out the gestures.

I'm taking some new courses, and by "new" I mean "3-D". And a motion-capture course. This might not be the easiest direction for me, but by golly that's what all the big-time animation companies like to see on resumes. It seems anyone can vomit this stuff out nowadays, so I gotta get with the program.

Also, take this:

Saturday, January 20, 2007

simple has never looked so good

Heehee, this short by Pendleton Ward is to die for. It's called Adventure Time and it aired on Nickelodeon's Random Cartoons show (visit his AT blog for doodles). Ah, I can't get enough of it. "Algebraic!"