Thursday, August 29, 2013
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Things have been pretty good lately at my school The Animation Academy in Burbank. For some reason the past few weeks it seems like the world is catching on to us. After many years of dedicated service to the industry and community we're being widely referred to and getting increased activity and enrollment.
The momentum keeps building as one of my students made a surprise appearance on local television in Los Angeles on the venerable 9:00 Sunday Morning News on KTLA. I started getting phone calls from friends who told me their kids saw someone on the air who said he was my student and mentioned my school.
Turns out Carlos Del Castillo and his father were on the program. Carlos is a very talented young artist who started with me a few months ago at age 12. He's among our youngest students as he's recently turned 13. We take on young artists who exhibit exceptional talent. During the broadcast he mentions my name and acknowledges The Animation Academy in Burbank. Check it out...
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Here's a little gem. While teaching at California State North University Northridge in 2010 I gave a quick demonstration on a simple coloring technique in Photoshop. I was working on a Cintiq which is essentially a monitor that you can draw on and is commonly used in animation today. Standard equipment at most studios. I took the opportunity to sketch out a drawing of Spyro. Here's the initial image in line...
Then I introduce color in two phases. The local color and a unifying tonal tint in gray...
Next I established a light source by adding shadows to help describe the illusion of form...
Lastly I touch it up with some key highlights...
Notice what's missing? If you said Spyro's wings you're right! I don't know what I was thinking of at the time but I inadvertently left out Spyro's wings when creating this. Anyway, if anybody ever wanted to see what Spyro would look like as a wingless dragon here you have it!
Monday, August 26, 2013
Sorry for the lapse in posting content the past couple of days. Things are picking up and I find myself busier than usual. It's all good I'm happy to say and I look forward to be getting back to the routine of daily blog entries again.
Here's somethings special for Crash fans. I found this recently along with a few other rarities which I'll be following up with in days ahead. These rotations of Crash Bandicoot and his sister Coco were created in 1998 I think. As I recall they were done as reference for Naughty Dog as they and Universal were preparing to make toys out of the Crash line. I did these drawings so the toy designers would have an idea as to how to model the characters. I don't think they've been published before. I'm pretty sure this may be another first in featuring never before seen art from the Crash. These are photocopies of the originals which were left with ND.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Here's more concept designs of Cuddly from the Game Developers Conference panel in 2003. At this point in the project I'm still experimenting with possibilities as to what he would look like. I was researching puffer fish and realized how varied they were in nature so I tried to get some of that variety in the development of the character's potential appearance.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Monday, August 19, 2013
In this installment of the brown paper drawings I was creating as class demos at Cal State Northridge in 2007 I added something extra to the series of black marker head sketches. Namely white coloring pencil for the hair topped off with white-out. Remember typewriters? Those contraptions in the days before word processing on computers? When there was a typing error a little white-out was dabbed on the page and the error was corrected by typing over it. Not only was it handy for those annoying mishaps it's also great as white paint in certain situations. Once down I smeared it with my finger to get the desired effect. These characters are somewhat reminiscent of the movie The Time Machine from the 1960s. There were characters called Morlocks whose looks were influential in my approach to these images.
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Hello there everyone. Well I got a pleasant surprise today. The Animation Students League at Cal State Northridge sent this over. I taught at the university from 2007 to 2011. The league was founded during the time I was there and it's good to know I'm still remembered. Thank you CSUN.
A video went on YouTube today. It's has 73,333 views already. It features the history of how the Spyro the Dragon franchise came to be. At 1:35 of the video is where I get a mention and a view of some of the development art I did in 1997. And they almost pronounced my name right!
Thursday, August 15, 2013
By request I've dug up some obscure concept design work featuring Tiny Tiger from the Crash Bandicoot franchise. In this case the character was portrayed as a Roman gladiator. These development drawings are dated March 26 1998 and were created at Naughty Dog's facilities at the Universal Studio lot. These are photocopies of the original art. That's why some of the images are cut off slightly. I don't know if they've been published before. If not then this is the first time they've been shown.
Tiny Tiger was conceived for the first Crash game by Joe Pearson. he was primarily responsible for the design. I did my best to make the character look his best and work as something that would be animated. Tiny was originally called The Tasmanian Tiger but his name was changed later on.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
It's been a while since I've had a chance to so something creative. Busier than usual plus spending lots of class time helping students with their art. Many times I have so many people in class I give up my seat so someone can work. Tonight things were light so I took advantage of the situation and spent some time drawing with everyone. Here's what I came up with. Feels good to be conjuring new stuff.
Monday, August 12, 2013
When working on the Cuddly presentation for the Game Developers Conference in 2003 I waited until very late to get started. It came down to an almost last minute attempt at getting things together so I would have something to show. Reason being the great deal of attention I had to pay to my school and other projects at the time. Here's the next phase of concept sketches I created as design possibilities for the pufferfish.
Sunday, August 11, 2013
Ooops! There's one more picture of Crash and Coco and their pets that I passed over without realizing it. Am posting this to complete the exhibition. It's another foreshortened composition very similar in nature to the previous one in the line up only Pura's and Baby T's bodies are more visible. Dated February 26 1998. Photocopy from the original created at Naughty Dog's facilities at the Universal Studio lot.
Friday, August 09, 2013
This is a class demonstration I created in 2003 at my school. I was teaching students some basics about watercolor painting for character concepts. Started out with a loose blue pencil sketch to define the image. Then I added waterproof black line and followed up with pigment. This was a fun demo as they all are. Be methodical and confident when you paint with watercolors and chances are you'll wind up with a good result.
Thursday, August 08, 2013
Here's a few more concept sketches from the development of Jak and Daxter in 2000. These drawings are for the librarian character that was in progress following up entries in Part 4 of this subject. I tried to combine sexiness with geekiness with a matronly dress sensibility in the manner of the style of the characters that had emerged by the time of these drawings.
Looking back on the volume of art I created for J&D if I were to publish one page a day it would take about one year and nine months to go through the inventory.
Wednesday, August 07, 2013
Continuing with the brown paper drawings I came up with in 2007 while teaching at Cal State Northridge. These sketches were a lot of fun to create. I used a wide tip chisel point black marker to spontaneously come up with menacing and mysterious character images. I supplemented the effect by introducing a light source with blue Prismacolor pencil and also emphasize the eyes with white Prismacolor. Many times I'm attempting to creatively inspire my students as well as give them knowledge of artistic principles. These demos helped achieve that. Everyone had a good time.
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Hi everyone. Here's a first that I'd like to share with you. The first time this material is seeing the light of day by being published on my blog.
In 2003 on the heels of Daxter winning Best New Character of the Year at the Game Developers Awards in San Jose, California the year before, I was asked by the publisher of Animation Magazine to participate in a unique event for the upcoming Game Developers Conference. Several artists were asked to develop a concept along a common theme and share their work at a panel at the Con. I was one of them.
The concept was for a character called Cuddly the Mad Pufferfish. I created an extended body of work for this event and in early March 2003 I had my chance to show it to a standing room only crowd at the GDC. It was great fun! A very memorable time. From my impression of the audience reaction I think I did pretty darn good compared to the other guest artists on the panel with all due respect of course.
Aside from a few students whom I've shared the work with over the past decade, I've never published these drawings until now. Here's the first installment of Cuddly. I hope you enjoy this special feature as more art from the project is forthcoming. Let's start with the first set of concept sketches...
Sunday, August 04, 2013
Here's the final installment on the collection of images of Crash and Coco Bandicoot with Pura and Baby T from Crash 3. Drawings are dated February 26 1998. As with the entries before they were created at Universal Studios while working with Naughty Dog at their penthouse facility. The last drawing is an attempt at extreme foreshortening. These are photocopies of the originals. I don't think they've been publicly displayed before so this may be another first. The Crash experts out there will know.
Saturday, August 03, 2013
Friday, August 02, 2013
I was cleaning up my studio office today and found these drawings that I forgot I did. They were quick sketch demos from class dated February 2007. Funny how something that you don't think much of at the time turns out to be more interesting a few years later. That's how it goes it seems. As modest as they are I'm glad to have rediscovered these images.
Thursday, August 01, 2013
Hi everyone! The past few days have been kind of crazy for me in a good way. Lots happening and I fell out of my normal schedule of updating my blog on a daily basis. The activity involves expanding my school. I'm getting back into the normal pattern of things. Thanks very much for your patience during this time!
I had a chance to sketch a picture of Crash Bandicoot while I was caught up in the week's action. Maybe he's reflecting my outlook on things. I was going to color him before posting but I can always follow up once I finish.