Monday, December 14, 2009

Winter Drawings.

According to my calculations, I'm drawing at .011 of full capacity. Please, enjoy these images while go over to this corner and CRY MY EYES OUT.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Rockabots Now An Official Site

Because of NDA's and the like, I didn't talk much about my work 2 years ago on a little project called Rockabots. I developed character designs and animatics (with filmmaker Steve Marra of Adrenaline Motion Pictures) for the animated series, and from that development Canadian studio Neezo has created a website showcasing this marketable idea, including the final 3D animation.
It was funny, I thought Rockabots was long over, hadn't heard anything, then the day before my Heartland presentation.. there it is! The website hadn't been finished at the time, so it's a pleasure to hook you guys up with it now.
Adrenaline has also just finished producing the film "Amanda" - check that out while you're at it!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'm still working.

I know this is a vague image - hopefully you can't tell what's going on there.

Trust me - I am working, and as soon as NDAs will allow, I'll post the fun and exciting work I get to do.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Vectren Site Up and Operational!

Here's hoping that you'll enjoy the 13-month long project known as Vectren. Judge the game on how addictive and repeat-playable it is. That would make our day (and not in a Clint-Eastwood-kind-of-way)!

Hats off to the Vectren folk (Maelynn Hudson, Tracy Bryant, et. al)for being quite innovative in their pursuit of a better, original game in a time where most corporations fear such things. I mean really, HATS OFF! Looking at how many people it took to make this work - well, it's just staggering. Here's the short list:

Jennifer Stewart - Concept and Head of the Whole Enchilada! (She would be the executive producer, but in academia it's called something different)
Chris Basham - Website Design, programming, and layout

Matt Powers - Concept and Programming Lead. (Matt was our "X factor"!)
Don Mitchell - programming consultant
Kyle McKnight - head programmer
Corey Callahan - programming
Zach Carr - programming

Skip Comer - Database Lead

Me - Concept and Art Direction
Trevor Barger - animation
Sean Winburn - illustration
Jackie Crofts - illustration
Linda Vang - concepting
Ryan Stone - production

Ricardo Laranja - sound direction

In fact, feel free to leave a comment right here, on this blog, giving us your thoughts.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I've a new place to visit!

I'm rather excited about this new blog, Pencil Test Depot

Also, the Vectren Project is temporarily posted, but will soon have a permanent residence. Check it out, play the games, and post some feedback (cause we DO need troubleshooting help).

Thursday, August 27, 2009

My Long Project is Over, Pt. 3

This is the opening cinematic I directed for the Gas Safety game. Trever lent his fantastic animation of Therm and the computer interface, I painted and animated the other backgrounds. The intent was high adventure with a tablespoon of cute, and it really feels right. The Gas Safety game takes almost a half an hour to play (which is kind of epic for a Flash game) whereas playtesting for the Electric Safety game below takes about 5 minutes.

My Long Project is Over, Pt. 2

So, we'd already built the huge and near-seam-splitting gargantuan-ness of the Gas Safety game, so the Electric game was much, much easier. We based the visuals on 1950s animation art. I've seen the latest incarnation of the game, and Volt's animation is perfect walking through these sets. Additionally, we got a small jazz ensemble to provide soundtrack, and this is, without a doubt, my favorite game.

This is level 1:

Level 2, complete with lounge and kitchen.

Level 3 contains a kind of "boss" room from the intro animation (gonna post that later!):

Level 4 takes Volt outside and the hazards that threaten us all... like big, green pad mount transformers:

And as if you haven't had enough, here's the cinematic that opens the game. This particular version was designed for Power Point presentations, so you may find the type a little small in places, but it's essentially the same as in the game, except there's no card at the end - that's where the game begins.
Volt is just a little nuts - you get to see it in the game, but you get a little taste of it here, too. Our animator, Trever Barger, really captured the flavor I wanted from the character model (posted below). The backgrounds were created by the rest of the team and myself.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Zealot-Crazy-Talking in Public

If you get a chance, come out and see me ramble on what little I know about storytelling in animation. I've spoken at SIGGRAPH twice - and always get enthusiastic feedback. If you're bopping around Indianapolis on September 10th... do stop by! And don't forget to register!

Friday, July 31, 2009

My Long Project is Over, Pt. 1

Programming is still going on, but art for the long and winding Vectren Project is finished. My star team of three artists included Trevor Barger (animation), Sean Winburn (painting), and Jackie Crofts (painting). They stuck it out like real pros, enduring 5 am shifts, repeated art direction from me, 13 hours of Enigma albums, and courage in the face of retainer boredom! Stand and Salute... BROTHAAAAAA!
Here's a sample of the first game teaching Gas Safety(with more to come soon):

Concrete World "Healed":

Concrete World Broken:

Grass World:

Grass World Broken:

Dirt World:

Dirt World Broken:

And finally, Water World - which, in terms of design, production, and budget was not unlike Kevin Costner's Water World:

Water World Broken:

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Every day you don't get better is a day wasted. I expressed this on the fly (and whole-heartedly) to one of our fine artists working on the Vectren project, which concludes this coming Tuesday. On the downside, I put a little too much pressure on myself. But it's the kind of pressure I like. I'm looking for my own ability to see and conceptualize - I'm not looking for a freaking checkbox in a program that will be obsolete in 6 months...
We were trying to figure out backgrounds for an opening cinematic, and had settled on something relatively simple, when I started painting and getting some results that I liked. Though it's going to make us push our deadline to the last second, we're changing to the style posted above, or something like it. I hope it's worth it.
We still have thick woods to get through!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

Late Night Bulldogs

It is late night, and I was trying to get a fix on some simple bulldog shapes. So with an image search and pencil in hand, I went to work.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Feels Like the First Time

I was working with the Vectren team tonight, when I tried to describe for them how good my collaborator, the Illustration Brothel, is. I go to the blog and see that many of the pages I drew are in gorgeous color. I mean, I can only say I was... in awe. The reason I work with the "Brothel" so much is that I actually feel compelled to better myself. I feel lazy, and I immediately crack open my sketchbook and dig my pen tip in.

There's been so much going on. Since March, I've finished drawing the book that you can see (in much more impressive display) over at the Brothel. Here's my contribution:

I like this page because of the interaction of the girls. They're doing the kinds of things my sisters used to do to me, messing in my stuff and generally interrupting my nerd buzz. I love them.

This one took some thought - the most important being the sleeping bags, then the wide-open area. I know this will sound pretentious, but I did think of Hitchcock. The largest object having the most story importance. I also got a lot of inspiration from James Joyce's "Ulysses". Not!

I'm really proud of this one. I really tried to send home a sense of doom - albeit a humorous one. The Brothel followed up with color choices exceeding these decisions.

This one I'm happy with the expressions and body language of the girls, but the foreground stuff was rushed in at the last moment. It was a... well, it was all about the flashlight.

On the Vectren front, the electricity game hero had to be developed. They had an older character design already,

that simply needed a little adaptation. So it wasn't like I was starting from scratch.

Volt, or "Plughead" as we like to call him, has to be happy. I mean, he is dealing with electricity! And he has to be a good example to his son,

which, depending on which one we pick could be named "Volt Jr." or "Lil Volt". Our Project Lead, Jennifer Stewart really seemed to like Lil Volt. We'll see what happens.
Anyways, the expressions are the Lil Volt Happy Meter. Everytime Volt successfully disarms an electric hazard, lil Volt gets happier until he's about to explode in a prozaic-ridden ecstasy.

Finally, I just started on this space background for the Node World game (which you've been seeing sketches of below). Here, the ship (based on a propane tank; Our main character, Thermy, is emitted by a bunson-burner-style-pilot's seat)

floats in front of this space vista which takes too much memory to move, so we had to find something that made sense being stationary. A galaxy seemed good enough.

I've been working on other projects as well. But they're not as visually interesting as the stuff I showed you. Nevertheless, enjoy this parting shot:

Monday, April 20, 2009

If Only.

It's been a most harrowing semester - and it's just 2 weeks short of being over. I just got finished grading some projects not too long ago, and I'm in a bit of a bad mood from seeing all the "not-trying". Another wasted moment in their college life. They should cry.
I've got big plans for the summer (not telling just now) and the hope is that I'll improve my digital painting skills. Something else I'd really like to do, but not sure if I will, is guitar lessons. We'll see.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Many Thanks the folks keeping me real on this blog. When I finish some concept work, I want it to stand up to public flogging, and if that flogging is complimentary - well, then I'm workin' it right.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

More Vectren. But You Knew It was Coming.

Lots of medical problems for my family, and my wife's family. Amongst all this, there's so much work to be done. I'm doing a third mouse book (which I legally can't post on this blog; only the rejected stuff), the Vectren game which includes the images above, and possibly further character design for Steampunk if I can squeeze it in.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


It is nice to be busy. It is also nice to relax once in a while! I've been working on Vectren, which you're sure to hear about for the next few months. This is Gaustin, our Gas-flame Astronaut, traveling the Galaxy in search of... Gas Leaks. Insert flatulence.
I also did a more heroic version - but I like the one above much more.

Friday, January 23, 2009

My Current Top 10.

Yep, it's always changing.
But my top 10 movies of all time
currently stand like this:

1) The Iron Giant
2) All About Eve
3) Amelie
4) The Passion of the Christ
5) V for Vendetta
6) The Fifth Element
7) The Incredibles
8) Gattaca
9) Casablanca

Now, there's a lot of other movies I could put on there that are nothing less than brilliant: Notorious, Munich, Spiderman 2, Ironman, Kung Fu Panda, Ratatoille, The Third Man, Terminator 2, Anything from Pixar, Saving Private Ryan, Bladerunner, The Good The Bad and the Ugly, the list goes on. I placed these movies here because of their repeat watchability, their worldview, and their stance against time. "V for Vendetta" I just put on there 2 weekends ago, because since it's release in 2005 I've watched it 5 times. It remains potent. My suspension of disbelief is solid through it. That's just my way of doing things. I loved "Schindler's List", but it tore me up inside to watch it. So it may be awesome, but it's hard to watch more than a couple of times.