Saturday, September 22, 2012

Spilling the Beans

Well, these last couple of weeks I have been working in complete secrecy, in the dark, damp underground cartooning lair that I call home. Slaving away day after day on a new animated short that I want to make. Right now I have it storyboarded, and timed out on barsheets (explanation to come in another post).

Lets start off from the beginning though. Where it all started. I wanted to start with an incredibly simple premise.
     - Two guys have trouble getting into a club, and then once they are inside, they find a girl and have trouble inside the club.-

Stay tuned for more titillating images to come.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Failed Concept and Doodles

First up is my concept that I scrapped that was going to be for my buddies magazine. I just didn't think it read well at first glance, and you shouldn't have to figure out what is going on in a cartoon. It should be easily recognizable and understandable. That being said, what do you think it is?

 The rest are doodles from watching tv with my buddies. Some are my of my friends, others are what was on the TV and the rest are from my imagination. The shaded drawing at the bottom was done earlier yesterday.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Landscape Painting

Not that I think this is particularly good, but it was my first try at a landscape. This is something that I will definitely have to work on.

Prob took me about 2 hours from start to finish, from a picture. Man, doing these makes me admire people who can whip out awesome speed drawings in like a half hour. This one isn't even polished and it took me a long time.

Business Card

It's official, I am now for hire. Now that I have my newly designed business cards, I am ready to do business. I didn't think that I would need a business card so soon, but my boss has been talking me up to an acquaintance of hers that deals with publishing. She asked for my card, so I made one up. I didn't want to pay for 250 business cards, that were double-sided and full color, because the cheapest place in town was $40, and vistaprint would still be about $17-20. I decided to do it the old fashioned way, and print it out on nice cardstock at FedEx Printing just a couple blocks away. The end result looks awesome, but it took a little bit of trial and error though.

Here are a couple of unused designs that I came up with, but decided not to use.

 Pencil sketched in ArtRage with rotated and transformed stencils for the blocks of color, I really like the feel of this one with the construction lines beneath.

 The finished product in a couple different examples. Done in Inkscape (which is an awesome free program. Very powerful) I decided it was too heavy though and scrapped it.

Pretty much the final design. After my first printing though, I decided to enlarge my phone number and email to make it more legible.

After the first printing I learned a couple of things that I hadn't thought of. First, printers can't print white, so anything white will show up as the color of the paper being used. That is what I did for my final card. I picked a paper that was tan like my design and printed on that. Second, I saved my images as 8.5 x 11, but I forgot that printers needed around a 1/8-1/4 margins around the absolute edges. So, my first print was automatically scaled down a little bit to fit into the printable area. For my next printing I exported my image at like 10.6 x 8.2 so that it didn't get scaled down.

 Here is the full-sized sheet that went to the printer.

Then I also realized I needed a backside, which wasn't too much trouble to do. Here is my first design.

Here is the full-sized sheet that was used. There was a lot of variation in this design but unfortunately, I didn't save jpgs of all of the variations.

Finally, here is some photos of my card in all of its glory. I then got out my ruler and my exacto knife and sliced them into perfect rectangles.

Overall, it cost less than $2, which is right up my alley. $0.53 per side plus $0.12 per piece of cardstock.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Well Here's Another One

Man these are fun, value studies in ArtRage. This one was done with the oil brush, preset "thin and dry". I'm feeling more confident in my tones and values already. I'm also less afraid to rework areas if they need it because I know what I need to do to easily lay the right values down. Maybe next time, I'll spend a little bit more time on the rough sketch so that it comes out a little bit better proportioned.

Value Studies

Whenever I try and do digital paintings, I always read people telling me to start in grey-scale. Most of the time they skip from their rough pencil drawing to their full tonal and value image, ready to be colored. Well, that was the step I always failed at, getting my value down. So, In failing again, I decided to paint from a picture instead of from my head. It is a lot easier for me to paint traditionally rather than digitally, so I am going to do some still life paintings to get better digitally (not that I am a very good painter traditionally on canvas either though).

First up is an egg, and it probably took me about an hour. Done in ArtRage, with the felt pen set to the preset "hard tip".

With border and initial sketch


Sunday, September 2, 2012

ArtRage Demo

I've been writing up a story so that I can animate a new short, so that has been occupying my spare time. This time though, I'm going to do it right and take my time. Drawing is coming to me a lot easier than it ever has before and after taking those special effects animation lessons for Adam Philips my animation and timing is much better. Now, I need to focus on everything else, mostly story, music and sounds and backgrounds (my weakest points).

I'm planning on composing my own music, and just making it a very simple jazz tune, but one that correlates perfectly with my story. Then once I have the basic timing and structure down, hopefully one of my buddies can elaborate on the tune. This post by Stephen Worth at animation resources has been my biggest inspiration for composting my own music. I played piano as a kid so reading and writing music is coming back pretty quickly. To write the music I am using a tiny keyboard, but it works well enough. I've been doing gag sessions by myself, which doesn't work very good, but as long as I take some time away from the drawing board, once i get back to it, ideas flow out for a while. It's pretty hard to change an idea about how the scene will go that you are already envisioning, but for some things I'm glad I was able to brainstorm some better ideas.

I have also been wondering about what program to paint my backgrounds in, seeing as how I'm not the best painter. I just downloaded the demo for ArtRage Studio Pro, and this program is sweet. The learning curve is small, and it mostly just mimics traditional drawing and painting mediums. And it only costs 59$ right now!

Here's my second painting I did with the program.

Not the style that I plan on doing the backgrounds, but I gotta play around with it more.

Right now I am scanning the rough story sketches and the my gag/idea secessions, so I will be posting those shortly. Next up will be storyboarding, then composing the music. Also, I have no time goal for this project, meaning who knows when it will be done. I should be able to work on it though, because I am only taking 6 credits starting on 9/24.