Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Cross-mas and a Happy New Year

In June 2009 I saw an ad on Fox for a holiday animation contest thru aniboom and spent 2+ months on this clip. It was the first time I'd done an original character animation since college and my first big flash.

The characters come from a years old concept about people in animal/plant costumes, and most of them show up in a comic strip I posted back in 2007. It pulls from stories like A Christmas Carol and the Nutcracker. I never finished it all, just took out a couple shots and stuck a "to be continued" on it, but it's finished enough.

It was years after I graduated before I actually felt comfortable enough with flash to try something this ambitious. I was only interested in hand drawn animation then, but to tweak and color hand drawn frames was a very time consuming process. I learned the basics of Flash 5 in one class for one semester and that was it. Then I bought Flash MX 2004 for myself before I finished school in 2005. I didn't like Flash back then and didn't do much of anything with it until 2008. I had lost hope and drive over the years because I still hadn't gotten a job in the art or animation industry, just wasting my life away behind a cash register and continuing to draw for personal amusement and occasionally for money. One day I decided, dagnabbit I'm gonna animate whether I ever get a job or not. I'm gonna make a cartoon even if I have to do it all myself. 

And so armed with an optical computer mouse and a now 6 year old version of Flash, I started doing little short projects, animating video game characters to music and things of that nature. I kept improving from there, practicing and discovering new techniques on my own to make Flash work for me. I started becoming more confident, confident enough to enter contests. I didn't plan on winning anything, but at least it gave me something to add to my reel. The latest original character flash was one about the number 8 for a Sesame Street contest.

These characters and the music in the background have been kicking around in my head for years now, so it was nice to see them finally in motion.

Even though most of my flash doesn't involve original characters and is only a few short seconds, with each project I do some aspect of animation is a little bit better. Maybe I've tried a new technique or gotten better at an old one, or maybe the animation is smoother with less of a jump between key frames.

Here's to animation in the New Year, Flash and traditional. Here's to learning new techniques and creating quality work. When I finished school I didn't feel prepared. I didn't feel like I learned enough, but now I think I'm finally going in the right direction. I only wish it had happened sooner.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

More Bears and Commissions

Bear anatomy is still kicking my arse. Let's face it. If I really want to get bears into my system I'm gonna have to watch clips from Brother Bear, which ranks near the top of my least favorite Disney movies. I also hated Robin Hood when I was little, but now I want to see it just so I can understand why. I don't remember, but I'm guessing I just thought it was boring.

I've gotten a few commission requests since I did the big 3-parter, but only one told me the character, so I did the picture, he did the payment, and I posted, all during the course of today. Here's Tiny Kong, the older version, as asked for by tehninjabunneh.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Eat At Grizzlebees

I just came across a stock site webpage full of real bear photos. I've looked at the notes on four legged animals compared to humans. I still don't have a full understanding of the bear body. I sketched this as just a little something, not serious, just mama bear mad that you're staring at her round behind, and it beats out the body sketches I did when when I actually was trying. Ain't that a beach? It may not be right, but it's something.

I should watch the Jungle Book tonight, if I don't fall asleep first.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

You're Just a Silly Man in a Fur Coat

Here are my first bear sketches, well not all of them. It's one thing for someone's style to be apparent within a character and it's another to be just plain off model. I've started googling bears, trying to get the gist of their anatomy and how they move and whatnot as well as trying to stay true to the original drawings. Then I should be able to do something more dynamic with them.

Is it healthy to think that you're so old when you're still in your twenties?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Rich Arons

I'm filling this blog up with entries tonight on purpose. I got a message from Rich Arons about subscribing to his youtube channel. The name seemed a little familiar. Check out his IMDB page and his Youtube Channel for yourself. Oh yeah, and his website.

Birthday Surprise

KougaWuvs from devart was kind enough to do this picture of four characters she pulled out of my 3H gallery. My birthday's tomorrow. We also had a double birthday celebration at work for me and a co-worker who's birthday was Monday. 2 cakes.

It Doesn't Matter

Here's a request from Bingohighway. I didn't want to work on it until after my commissions were done. It wouldn't be fair. I was paid in advance.

Line art courtesy of Adobe Illustrator. I used a similar stage setup for two of my commissions even though I sketched this Sonic picture out first. Maybe that's why I did it. It was fresh on my mind and I was anxious to finish this image.

I printed it out as an Artist Trading Card. Of course it looks better on the computer.

On the Spot, the Blogspot

Look at me with my fancy new blogspot account for art and crap like I don't have 2 website blogs and a live journal account already. "Oxygen Kills" is also my portfolio and LJ titles and below that are my on-line aliases. However "thweatted" on twitter is NOT me.

I recently finished the 3rd of 3 commissions for bnbuelher. Thanks so kindly. Big money. The character in the center is his, but the others are mine, and they're all dressed alike and are good friends, I guess. And now I'm free to work on other things.