Wednesday, April 22, 2009


It's film making time! I'm both excited and nervous at the same time. Here is a schedule that I will do my best to adhere to over the next few weeks:

Sat. Apr 25th- Fri. May 1st
- Assemble necessary cut outs for such segments
-Shoot photography/augment frames for pixelation animation
-Further solidify design elements for piece
-Find a sound designer

Sat May 2nd- Fri. May 8th
-Research movements of falling paper
-Begin to assemble cut out/ scenes
-Tweak pixelation animation
-Test transitions in After Effects

Sat. May 9th- Fri. May 15th
-Rough animate frame-by-frame animations
-Test transitions once again

Sat. May 16th- Tues May 26th
-Clean up previous animations
-Further tweak, test and compile.

Well, looks like I have my work cut out for me, but I'm definitely looking forward to it.

Monday, April 20, 2009


A few weeks ago, we were asked to search through this site, Mojizu, as a means of finding inspiration for character designs. Being that my final project is a loose bit of stream of consciousness, lacking in definite characterizations, I couldn't seem to derive particular inspiration from that site.
I have, since then, gone back, and glanced through the characters, as a means of studying their construction, and have found one who I find to be pretty fun. I still have to complete one of the assigned tutorials, and will most likely use a shape similar to his for that exercise.

Without further adieu, here's a look at Plasmatic Boy, designed by an artist, who goes by the internet name of exitman.

Plasmatic Boy

This artist has other characters that I consider to be creative and appealing. While we're on the subject, take a look at this one too:

les yeux dans les yeux

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Walk Cycle Tribute

Creating a lip sync piece to Monty Python lines made me want more, so I decided to incorporate some of their humor into our walk cycle exercise. The assignment sheet said to "be creative," so that's just what I did. Paying homage to the animation style of Terry Gilliam, I collaged together different pieces from Victorian era imagery, and made a rather large-headed hybrid cut-out character in Photoshop. Apparently, she doesn't like Spam.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lip Syncing - Monty Python Style

For our lip syncing assignment, I referred to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and the words of John Cleese as the French Guard. These lines never fail to make me laugh:

I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries...Now, go away, or I shall taunt you a second time.

Surprisingly, I couldn't find the clip in it's uncut entirety, so pieced my own sound byte together from smaller ones. As a result, it's not 100% true to the script, and the noise levels fluctuate. As you can probably tell by now, I am not a sound designer. Perhaps, I should take a class. Hmmm.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


This is a single page pencil illustration produced as part of a texturing assignment in John Larison's Materials and Techniques for Sequential Art class. I am posting it to convey the idea that the conception of one's work should not only be derived from personal experience and the stream of one's consciousness and/or conscience. Sometimes, you're given an assignment, and just have to think of something as quickly as possible. The criteria was as such:

Two detectives are standing over a dead body in an urban setting. A crowd has begun to form. There must be at least twelve people on the page, and the manner of death must be evident.

I referenced the city of Asheville, NC for the backgrounds, and decided that the characters would take on the appearance of contemporary hobos. My ultimate goal with this assignment was to see how much detail I could fit in a 10" x 15" surface area. I believe, at final count, I placed 15 people, a dog, multiple buildings, mountains, a dumpster, lettering, bricks, a hat and a rucksack. I made some edits in the final version, which involved the appearance of the blood, the tones on some of the clothing, and a few sizing issues.

Monday, April 13, 2009


In just under 2 weeks, I will begin full production on the piece seen in this animatic. As of now, the working title is Base-Communicate. Though quirky and pretentiously poetic, it doesn't sit right with me. Hopefully, I'll come up with a title that does - fast.
Please feel free to chuckle at my sound job. I recorded it on a little Canon Powershot, then proceeded to chop up the clip in Adobe Premiere.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Every year, the Contemporary Animation Society at SCAD sponsors a contest called Savanijam. Basically, you form a group, are given a theme, then have 24 hours to create a short animation. This year's concept was Power. Dave Hale, Fay Helfer and myself concocted this little piece entitled Collective Brain Explosion. We received an Honorable Mention for Style.

"Style is the answer to everything. A fresh way to approach a dull or dangerous thing."
-Charles Bukowski

More Rotoscoping

So, as you can now see, I posted that Capoeira video for a reason. I really saw this assignment as an opportunity to study dynamic movement, and get comfortable with drawing on a Cintiq screen. The sound clip is taken from this song "Hey, Magdalena," by Sergio Mendes. I have to fix the sizing and compression on the video, but it'll work for the time being. I seriously had A LOT of fun doing this. A lot. I wanted to roto the whole clip, but had to stop because of time restraints.

Friday, April 10, 2009


To illustrate my fascination with beat, rhyme and movement, I have posted this video of Capoeira fighters. For those of you unfamiliar with the art, it's a form of "fight dancing" from Brazil, generally set to percussive music. The fighters do not try to hit one another, rather it appears that they simply play off of one another's movements as dancers would.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


As part of an assignment, we were provided with some of Eadweard Muybridge's footage from the 19th Century. Originally animated at 30 fps, I posted it at 15 fps to make viewing easier.
Muybridge's name is quite frequently mentioned amongst artists and animators, and somewhere in my subconscious, he's definitely on a pedestal. Apparently, in 1874, he shot and killed his wife's lover, and then his lawyer pleaded insanity, claiming that Muybridge's rash behavior was a result of head injuries sustained by the photographer in a stagecoach accident 20 years prior. Muybridge was acquitted.
Sorry, I can't resist factoids.
Anyway, I decided to use this man's footage as an exercise in free hand fun. Black and white photography creates such distinct shadow patterns, and I felt that rotoscoping was a great opportunity to incorporate that into animation.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Currently, I am in the midst of tightening up the designs for my short film, and I am hoping to be done with that over the weekend. Everything that was laid out in the initial animatic is definitely at sketch level. I will be integrating pixilation into this primarily Flash-driven project, and if all goes well with my schedule, I'll be able to capture that footage in the coming week. I'll also be using cut-out animation to represent certain aspects of the film, in particular the fire and the variety of street and highway signs that make appearances. I am still undecided about whether or not I would like to frame-by-frame animate the hands, or animate them using highly illustrated cut-outs. I feel that, due to the time restrictions, I will keep them as cut-outs for the time being, then further animate them at a later date.
I will post the tutorial exercises when I feel that they are good enough for submission. I like to keep silly things such as blogs organized.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Shooting Script for "Base-Communicate"

Shot #01: ECU-Zoom in/Dissolve

A number 5 is set within a shape-oriented design. Zoom into the center of the 5, and dissolve

Shot #02: MS; low- Pan down/Tracking

Narration: I used to think that new area codes equaled new existences…

A clock radio is positioned on an elevated surface. It’s time face says “516.” A hand appears from outside of the frame, pushes a button on the radio, changing the numbers first to “617,” then to “828.” All three number sequences are representations of United States area codes. Sheets of paper fall downward from the top of the frame. The camera follows this motion.

Shot #03: MCU- Pan down/Tracking

The sheets of paper continue to fall. The radio is no longer in the shot.

Shot #04: CU-Dissolve

Narration: …but everyone still has my contact information. There are no new highways when they all have rest stops.

Focus on a single piece of paper, which has fallen to the ground. A hand holding a rubber stamp reaches in, and contacts the sheet of paper. It leaves the frame, and the paper is left with a mark on it. Three rows of symbols of street signs appear, forming one-by-one in a horizontal direction.

Shot #05: ECU; Animated Transition

Narration: When everyone you know is just a thumbnail representation of…

The three horizontal rows of street signs are replaced with three horizontal stripes, alternating black-white-black. They leave the screen in opposing directions.

Shot #06: CU; x/lo

Narration: …every gesture you’ve ever made; every lie you’ve been told; every secret you’ve kept…

Open with a cracked sidewalk. A woman walks down the street, and we see only her shoes and ankles. Three words appear as she walks: gesture, lie and secret.

*Note: This whole shot is executed utilizing pixelation

Shot #07: CU

Narration: (continued) every secret you’ve kept…

The word “secret” is left alone on the otherwise blank surface. It shrinks, until it is only a line, which then travels across the screen, transforming into the contour of a male figure.

Shot #08: CU; eye level-zoom in

Narration: …every sad, lanky bartender, who wanted to run away with you in an air-conditioned car.

We see only the man’s face. Camera zooms in to his left eye.

Shot #09: ECU

Narration: We’ll laugh at nothing, and use the bathrooms in under-stocked, dirty gas stations.

The man’s eye is the only aspect in view. Lines shoot from out of and around the contours, creating a map. A car rides over the lines, as symbols for United States Interstates appear.

Shot #10: CU

Narration: Admire the crackle of burning cigarettes in the dry Texas air.

A fire appears as the road map fades. A hand holding a cigarette comes into frame. The cigarette is lit, and smoke appears. The hand moves out of frame.

Shot #11: MS-Animated Transition

Narration: No one will find us; no one will care-except for the debt collectors. They always have a friend’s phone number in case you conveniently disappear.

The fire fades, leaving only a smoke trail, which creates the form of a man and woman embracing. A wad of paper drops from off screen, and the woman opens her hand to catch it. She tosses it to the side. As it bounces off the side of the frame, it leaves a solid sheet which covers the screen.

Shot #12: CU-Animated Transition

Narration: (cont.) –except for the debt collectors. They always have a friend’s phone number in case you conveniently disappear.

Upon the solid-colored screen appears the image of Benjamin Franklin on the one hundred dollar bill. He blinks. The bill peels from the corner, covering his image, and leaving a solid-colored screen.

Shot #13: LS-Fade-out

Narration: He still lives in that city. I wonder if he’s still sad. He’d probably be much less attractive if he isn’t.

Lines form on the screen, creating a cityscape. They merge into one another, leaving only a single line, which shrinks to the ground.