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Monday, November 10, 2008

process : animation compositing (video)

Part of compiling my new demo reel has involved construction of a series of short process-oriented vignettes that will later fill out the new video.

The first video is a culmination of the series of posts I've made over the last couple of weeks.

It details the end-to-end process from video capture through animation and the final composited sequence.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

animation : what's old is new again, 2 short student projects

Two student projects.

First, the inevitable luxo lamp animation.


, 3 bouncing balls, emphasizing the difference in physical properties between each.

process : animation compositing (video)

Unfortunately, I can't embed the video directly, but here's a link to the final animation.

process : animation compositing

The process will be clear if you click on the embedded image.

The workflow, in a nutshell, illustrates the compositing process followed in After Effects; a series of background plates and animated overlays (from bottom to top of image) were adjusted individually and then combined to produce the final render.

All of the images were initially rendered in Maya.
The animation was produced as a rotoscoping/match-moving project that began with video capture of myself moving as the character.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

WIP: animation/compositing project

This is another in a series of process-oriented projects I'm developing for the new demo reel.

This particular one started its life as a rotoscoping/match-moving animation project (the original animation can be found here). I decided to expand the scope to include compositing, lighting and texturing; although the primary focus is rendering the character and background separately and combining in post.

As this develops further, I'll be posting the other portions of the process.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

process : virtual prototype : modeling and rendering (2)

process : virtual prototype : modeling and rendering (1)

process : virtual prototype : compositing

As I work back through my material I will be documenting the processes involved in creating the final product.

The first of these deals with the most recent post : compositing Maya render layers in Photoshop to produce the final virtual prototype.

freelance : virtual prototyping : final rendering

Renders from a virtual prototyping project I worked on at the beginning of this year.
The company I was working through was tasked with quickly turning around a line of concept cookware that could be run through test marketing focus groups around the country.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

my booth from the AI portfolio show, 2007

Sort of a Japanese tea house theme going on here.
These are two photos of my booth just after getting everything ready.
Despite the minimalist layout, the setup definitely wasn't.

A belated thanks to Ash and Faith for all of their support and help!

Monday, August 18, 2008


Just returned from vacation, so I'm a bit overdue for an update here.

During the downtime I've been getting back to work with Zbrush 3 and experimenting with a trial version of CrazyBump.

I've also been hitting the digital camera and I've created a parallel Flickr blog to contain some of my recent side work.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


A few modifications to the site over the last couple of days.

The links area now contains 3 modeling/lighting projects (lighthouse, spa and temple) and several examples of storyboarding work I've done in the past.

Also, the character concepts area has been updated with new material.

UPDATE (7/9) : two additional renders have been added to the Temple gallery.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

textures/modeling samples

Another example illustrating some texture work making use of combination of procedural and photoshop-generated materials.

The surface was specifically manipulated to enhance the aged/weathered appearance of the surfaces.

textures/modeling samples

An example illustrating some texture work making use of combination of procedural and photoshop-generated materials.

The surface was specifically manipulated to enhance the aged/weathered appearance of the surfaces.

modeling, texturing

A close up of some of the books I modeled for various shots of the lighthouse scene interior.

an apple a day: rendering experiment

This rendering test employed a more traditional three-point lighting technique.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

link: 'big buck bunny' :: 2nd open source Blender movie

Big Buck Bunny from Blender Foundation on Vimeo.

From the Big Buck Bunny site

How it started

As a follow-up to the successful project Orange’s “Elephants Dream”, the Blender Foundation initiated another open movie project. Again a small team (7) of the best 3D artists and developers in the Blender community have been invited to come together to work in Amsterdam from October 2007 until April 2008 on completing a short 3D animation movie. The team members will get a great studio facility and housing in Amsterdam, all travel costs reimbursed, and a fee sufficient to cover all expenses during the period.

The creative concept of “Peach” was completely different as for “Orange”. This time it is “funny and furry”!

The Blender Foundation and Blender community have been the main financiers for Peach. As for the previous open movie, a pre-sale campaign to purchase the DVD set in advance will be organized.

Additional support from sponsors and subsidy funds has been realized as well.

Peach also was the first Open Project hosted by the new Blender Institute in Amsterdam. This will make the project more independent, without much involvement of production partners, and also will ensure continuity.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

(link) The Control Master

The video:

The background:

A film by Veer & Run Wrake featuring CSA Images

Halftone City, USA. A peaceful metropolis of family values and space-age dreams. Mild-mannered blonde Dorothy Gayne secretly protects its citizens from harm. But dangerous new technologies abound. What happens when a powerful device falls into the hands of scientist-turned-villain Doctor Moire? Who will rescue Halftone City from this oversized creep? Watch The Control Master and find out!

About Run Wrake

Run Wrake is an animator and illustrator. His work includes the widely acclaimed short film Rabbit, music visuals for U2 and Howie B, and commercials for Coca-Cola and Natwest. He lives in London, England.

About CSA Images

CSA Images, a separate stock art affiliate of the Charles S. Anderson Design Company, creates images inspired by the highs and lows of art and printed culture: 20th-century advertising cuts, the tactile look of ink on paper, pulp and vintage themes, and American modernism. Available for license from Veer.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

link(s) : the uncanny valley - lectures

I stumbled across this 7-part series of mini-lectures on the nature
and aspects of the 'uncanny valley,' that dip in acceptance of
androids and virtual representations just short of complete life-like

Presented in easily-digestible, 2-3 minute chunks.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

Part 7

Friday, April 11, 2008

link(s): Pixar, Studio 4°C, ghibli

There's been a bit of backlog of items I've wanted to post, so I'm going to roll them all into one large entry.

First off, Disney-Pixar has released their slate of upcoming movies, along with an announcement of 3D enhanced releases.

On the Pixar side we have : 'WALL-E', 'UP', 'TOY STORY 3', 'NEWT' and the theatrical re-releases of TOY STORYs 1 and 2.
( for a good summary - and potential spoilers - for each, see : AICN )

WALL-E looks cute, endearing and filled with the usual Pixar-standard level of rendering

Up - honestly, when I first read the plot synopsis I wasn't sold on the story; but when I realized there was a potential for Jules Verne-style/steam punk adventures I started thinking, "this just got a 100x better"

Toy Story - All I'll say about this is : "There can be only one"

Ghibli! Miyazaki!
News of another film from Studio Ghibli is always like finding just one more of your favorite cookie when you thought the box was empty. The latest,Gake no ue no Ponyo (崖の上のポニョ, Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea), is nearing completion.

Production notes and other information on the release can be found on the Studio Ghibli site.

Studio 4°C

'Genius Party - 5 impacts/5 directors'
( site )

One of the great studios that contributed to the Animtrix, Studio 4°C has a new compilation of conceptual animation. I love the rough, stylized pieces. It almost makes me hopeful for 'Gotham Knight.' I'm keeping my fingers crossed on that one. I'll be the first to say that I'm hoping to be proved wrong.

Monday, March 24, 2008

link: 'comics britannia' (BBC)

I just stumbled across this little treasure trove over at the BBC featuring articles and documentaries on British comics, including an interview with Alan Moore.

Main site.

Small article from BBC news about Moore.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

WIP: temple complex (2)

Another project that I've been tweaking for a while. It's undergone several evolutionary incarnations since I first began, but here are some more of the most current renderings.

WIP: temple complex (1)

Another project that I've been tweaking for a while. It's undergone several evolutionary incarnations since I first began, but here are a few of the most current renderings.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

WIP: concept sketches

I've wanted to do something in a steampunk vein for a bit now.

Some quick character work and concept sketches.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

link: 'horses on mars' (2001)

I'm on a 'retro' animation kick, so here's another favorite from the early days of computer animation.

From Eric Anderson's site

"Three billion years ago, a microbe blasts off from his home planet propelled by a meteor impact and embarks on a journey across the solar system.
Horses on Mars is a 7 1/2 minute computer animated 35mm CINEMASCOPE film produced at the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television.
Horses on Mars was modeled and animated using Maya 2.5 (keyframe animation), and composited with Maya Composer (on an SGI O2), courtesy of Alias|Wavefront. It was the first student film at USC to use RenderMan, the groundbreaking rendering software developed by PIXAR. "

IMDB entry

Video [horses on mars site]
Video [alternate - MySpaceTV]

Monday, February 25, 2008

link: 'kiwi' (2006)

It's an old one, but a brilliant little short created by Dony Permedi.

imdb link.


link: 'Howls moving castle' papercraft

OK, this is only obliquely animation related, but how can you turn down something based on the masterful works of Studio Ghibli?

This link showed up recently of the efforts of Ron Rementilla to assemble a paper model of Howl's moving castle. And another effort by Ben Millet, up on Flickr.

Instructions (in English) can be downloaded here.

Some more art from Howl's Moving Castle.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

link: Batman Gotham Knights (preview)

Similar to the Animatrix, Warner Bros., Studio 4°c, Production IG and Madhouse are teaming up again to do a series of shorts related to the Dark Knight.

Anime-inspired direct-to-DVD anthology film. Comprised of six short stories, from diverse creators, including Academy Award-nominated Josh Olsen (A History of Violence), Batman Begins writer David S. Goyer, and comics scribe Brian Azzarello. It's planned for a release window of two to four weeks prior to the release of The Dark Knight, and would bridge the gap between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

IMDB entry

I couldn't agree more with the sentiments expressed in the featurette; Batman is a character rife with potential for exploration, particularly in the anime aesthetic. And like the short-format anthology collection of the Animatrix offers the best potential for realizing this potential in its purest form, stripped of camp and free of action-bloat.

The production designs look impeccable and incredibly varied. I have to admit a bit of nostalgia for the old super-sized anthology issues of back in day, where artists and writers out of the mainstream were invited to cast a character through the prism of re-interpretation.

I'm still holding my breath on the actual animation here. There is precious little of it to go by, but there are quite a few moments in the clips that worry me: halting, mechanical action; awkward movement; still silhouettes moved across the frame without motion. It does beg the question whether anime as a whole abides by Disney's rules of animation (particularly since Japanese animation shares a spiritual lineage with it). If they deviate substantially, this could be why the animation seems odd; it's simply because the iconography of behavior is different. It'll be interesting to revisit this once the movie has been released.

Still, I really would have liked to have seen a segment from the likes of Gonzo ('Afro Samurai') or Manglobe ('Samurai Champloo')

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

link: Tutli Putli

More of that Canadian brand of madness courtesy of the CFB.

What strikes me in particular about Tutli Putli
- aside from the stunningly detailed stop motion work - is the attempt to realize a novel approach in emotive connection with puppeteering.
Jason Walker has developed an integrative technique which blends human eyes with the puppets through post compositing. The effect isn't nearly as creepy or off-putting as one might think from the description. Aside from a matter of scale, the eyes are remarkably unobtrusive. I'd been concerned that they would stand out so much relative to the props, both in character and movement, but a great deal of pre-production work has been put into striking that right balance.

A description of the process can be found here and here.

A discussion from a great indie-animation blog, hydrocephalic bunny, can be found here.

Film site


Madame Tutli-Putli boards the night train, weighed down with all her earthly possessions and the ghosts of her past.

She travels alone, facing both the kindness and menace of strangers. As day descends into dark, she finds herself caught up in a desperate metaphysical adventure. Adrift between real and imagined worlds, Madame Tutli-Putli confronts her demons and is drawn into an undertow of mystery and suspense.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

link: surreal landscape

...made from food

great imagination and composition. 'tastefully' done as it were.


possibly done by Carl Warner

Monday, January 28, 2008

personal update

I finally bit the bullet and began the long and tedious process of converting all of my oversize artwork into digital form. Over the next month or so I should have all of the material organized and uploaded.

Already, I have quite a bit available through a new set of links on the side bar of the main page. They all point to my Picasa web album account, so bear with me as I begin the process of finding a more permanent gallery option. In the meantime, though, feel free to browse in the slide show mode; I've attached captions where appropriate.

[ Artwork - life drawing ; Artwork - still life ; Character Design ; Concepts : exteriors ; Concepts : temple complex ]

Friday, January 11, 2008

links : chasseurs de dragons (animation)

Yet another reason to work with the French... I love the style of their animation.

Movie site

Plot synopsis ( imdb )

Dragon Hunters is a fantastic tale telling the adventures of two dragon hunters: the world has become a vast conglomerate of islands of varying size and shape...

Full IMDB link

G. Ivernel
Arthur Qwak

If you appreciate the series of 2D animation French "Hunters Dragons", any adaptation 3D film released next year. The project has just returned to production, the animation will be provided by the studios Mac Guff Ligne (France), LuxAnimation (Luxembourg) and Trixter (Germany), all produced by Futurikon with a budget of 12 million euros, also with as partners France 3 Cinema, RTL TVi, Canal + and TPS. There are Arthur and William Ivernel Qwak to achieve, and he should know that this project is not because a recent pilot nice little 3D was produced in 2001 at Sparx, well before the series.
[ translated via Google ]

2d concepts

Thursday, January 10, 2008

freelance gallery update (2)

I now have a more complete version of the Rube Goldberg comp : "Changes, The Rube Goldberg Variations"

The other freelance pieces I've done since graduation can be found here.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

freelance gallery update

I've added 4 pieces to the gallery, though keep in mind that the first slide is still a work in progress. Once I receive the completed composition I'll swap it in for the existing one.

[ updated 1/11 :: a more current slide show of freelance pieces can be found in the next post ]