Sunday, December 2, 2007

sam keith & read...

...are rigged and ready to go~! They've been weighted to the tasks that will be needed of them and so that helped to make things quicker though I did face quite a few obstacles. The blendshapes for their expressions are also completed (I am so happy Read just needs eyebrow movements... that's all there is to it)! Here's just a little snapshot of them in poses. Unfortunately, you can't see from just this that Read has eyebrows (they're completely invisible here... that'll need shaders to help out) and if you notice, Sam's chewin' on a toothpick.

After I complete a rig I usually will show it to Dave and he'll test it out and pose it to see what works well or doesn't work well while having fun with the character. It's really cool being able to get feedback on the rigs like that. The first two neat poses there are actually his playing around with the rig... and then there is my wonderfully uninspired Read pose... haha. Hope you're liking the progress- I will do my best to animate the shots that have these "civilian" versions in them and get those completed.

In other news, thanks to Dae I finally got to see all of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagan! Its such a mind blowing anime and its been a great big help in inspiring me for thesis. I'd really like to use some techniques for explosions, speed lines, backgrounds, and dust clouds that I've seen in the show, and maybe even convey a similar energy the show gives off in my final thesis through the fight scene that will take place. I already wanted to have a lot of dynamic energy in my thesis to begin with, and then there came along Gurren Lagan and it's now challenged me to push everything further!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Hello Earth

I watched Tekkonkinkreet after I got it and I really love it! What a treat and what a great way to get more inspired. I also watched the extras, and the extras on the Paprika dvd and both have helped a lot in firing me up. So today in response to this positive energy I worked on some tests. I tried out some textures with the buildings, and also had fun experimenting with compositing- to give myself a feel for how the character may look with the painterly background. From the tests I've determined that the painted textures route is a really good route to go. This image isn't a cg painting. The background is a render, and the character is also a render but from a separate scene, and I comped the two together. The only painting that was done was additional clouds and dust, some post lighting and color treatments, and I lightened Keith's mustache a bit. For a test I'm very pleased with the results, and I look forward to getting to the official stuff! Note once again, this is just a w.i.p. test, so things will definitely change~ cool!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Am I going forwards or backwards? Progress is slow these days. Really all that's going on is UVing... lots of UVing... fixing models up and adding final things... so I don't got any render shots for ya- but I'm looking forward to rigging them, that's what I really want to get to... Also, gotta get to more environment models and further the "set". I want to make the time period more modern (what I had blocked in first was really old western...). I'm thinking of using a lot of patterns and colors if I can to make the world interesting and maybe even bizarre.

Want to know some random news? I recently bought Paprika (just came out recently to DVD here in US!) and Tekkonkinkreet! Weeee! I love the creativity these films exude. It was Mind Game that really helped set me on a new direction for thesis, so I'm excited about Tekkonkinkreet multiplying that inspiration and drive and solidifying the goal for a crazy cool visual style.

The artist Taiyo Matsumoto, whose manga Tekkonkinkreet is based off of, also did a comic called "No.5" which I saw 5 or 6 years ago. I read the first volume and was really immersed and really wanted to know what happened next, but it was only till last year that I saw vol.2. Unfortunately by then I forgot the specifics of vol.1, but that didn't stop me from getting the 2nd one since I didn't want that one to disappear too. The art is really fun and funky. I want to be uninhibited like that art...

Friday, November 2, 2007

action figures!

Howdy folks. I've been working on blocking in the environment and doing texture + lighting tests with it. I also finished UVing Keith and tried seeing what giving him a painted texture look would be like (thank you Will for the link to Ben Fiquet which inspired the painterly style... although mine isn't on his level haha). I tried out this "SSS fake" as well and the results are pretty neat although I haven't played with it much.

There in the middle is all the characters just thrown in together so I could take this pic. There's Read (the girl). Yay. This reminds me of looking at a shelf of toys. Oh, and Sam's poncho is up like that cuz it's the default pose before it gets nClothed.

Last weekend I reworked the fight scene so I'll have to storyboard out the newer and better version. Much thanks to Dave for helping me out with the choreography and camera shot ideas, brainstorming with me and helping me make sure the fight becomes more polished. Reworking the fight scene also has cut down on some of the scary tough animations I would have had to do... whew!

Well that's all for now~ hope you like the new shots!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Let's enjoy cake!

Went back and touched up the previous models I've worked on for thesis... although, I'll need to do some final-ok-stop-now-its-just-right things before I can rest easy about them... and then the new stuff: Sam (the lanky emo kid) and Keith (construction worker...). I made Keith first and then with his topology being way better than his hero form, I adjusted the hero too. Today's work was Sam... still got things to tweak as well but this is it for now. I'm pretty happy with the way they've come out... but I'm also very sleepy right now. G'morning...

Also, Thank you Team Fortress 2 for being a great inspiration and an awesome visual reference... and a really super crazy fun game! Now I have a glowing orange-box sitting there screaming at me... but no-! I musn't!... must resist for the moment! Got much too much work to do~!

p.p.s - Portal is so way trippy cool. :O

Thursday, October 11, 2007


So a while ago I came up with a lil story called "Tenants" after I was doodling some random characters. Here's three that I made at once, and I hope to keep making more sometime. It's a really nice way to get some busy mental energy focused into something fun and not work related- haha. I imagine this could be a comic of some sort. I have the basic plot outlined but I won't bog ya down with it here- ask me about it sometime if you're interested. ;) Or, maybe as more developments come up I'll go more into detail... but this is all stuff that can only be done in the little spare time there is after thesis takes up most of it (or... should... uhm).

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Finished making the leader character, Sam, in his hero form on Tuesday. It's really exciting to see the characters transform from 2D to 3D. Like the librarian, there are still things to be tweaked and done, but here is a preview shot! Also, he's not rigged yet, I just did a quick temp one for posing for the pictures. Dave played around with it and made that cool reclining pose, tanks man! Then I used a set from an old homework assignment to place him in. Looks like Sam is taking a long needed break from fighting villains and monsters.

Hope he looks cool to ya'll~ later!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Librarian Henshin

Yatta~! My first model is on its way. Still have to do some final touches, and then get to UVing. I dunno if I'll be painting many atlas map textures or relying more on shaders, and I'd also like to mudbox this for some cloth wrinkles and all those extra lil' details to polish it off. I still have so much to learn about things like that...

Even so, I couldn't help but do some quick test renders with some freeware shaders and make some fun comps. Oh yeah, and I just tried out nCloth for the first time today (just a tip of the iceberg play), that's how I got the scarf flowing! I didn't paint those folds into the scarf, they just came out naturally in maya. I'm so amazed at the awsome-ness of this vast program of which I am an ant.

Well, Hope you like 'em!
...I need to learn more!!!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Coloring heroes

I colored two illustrations today for some relaxation and concentration. It's fun to draw these guys as if I was doing fanart or something... but- they're my own super heroes! In the thesis itself, I need to concentrate on the specific story + action there... but when it comes to these drawings, I can just have fun and play with the characters and their personalities come out even more... let's just hope all that character will really show through in the thesis!

What's that blue thing? Well- you'll see soon! Enjoy!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Heroes GO !

So I wanted my thesis to be composed of action and comedy. Action for the fast shots, dynamic camera angles, and character animations; comedy for a fun atmosphere and for any humor that will hopefully stick in viewers' minds better than action which is harder to remember. On top of that I really would like to experiment, having interesting and diverse visual styles and effects for this thesis. With all that in mind I decided I'd go for the good ol' super hero genre- specifically the super sentai type. "Henshin a go go baby!" ~ Viewtiful Joe.

The main characters are a construction worker, a skinny emo guy, and a librarian. Just wanted to go the other way than have all fit youngsters. Below are their hero forms! These are all concept arts, so colors and designs may adjust, but they are for the most part the final designs as I already went through a thorough conceptual phase (I may post some of the past sketches sometime). Hope ya like 'em! I've grown quite fond of these guys!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Press Start !

Hi all! I'm looking forward to posting thesis progress and art stuff here. Hope you folks enjoy what you see- so leave a comment now and then if ya like, I'd really appreciate it. So for a first post, we begin with some heart warmin' oekaki drawings I did of some of my characters this past summer. The last image is a single colored still of a small 2d animation project I was working on just for fun.