Tuesday, January 31, 2012

11 Second Club January 2012 Entry

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I have made a submission to the 11 Second Club. I hope it will do well despite the fact that I couldn't finish completely. I did work very hard on this animation, but there is only so much one person can do in a month with 2D animation. Perhaps I should have dedicated more time than I did, or perhaps it would have been easier if I had waited for an easier audio clip to work with.

In the end, I am glad for the experience. I learned quite a bit about animating a fight scene from this contest. I am going to finish this animation and post it on my portfolio page. Since it will be my animation, I am free to add other sounds to this video.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Dance Games

I've been working very hard on finishing this animation for the 11 Second Club contest for this month since I only have one day left, so I have to keep this post short.

The new dancing games for motion control video games just seem weird to me. I saw people using "Dance Workout" for the Wii, and it was slow. As they began the game, it didn't even appear to have different settings of difficulty. I would think that would be built into the game.

It just seemed slow compared to DDR. I had been a fan of Dance Dance Revolution for quite some time, I even had a copy for the previous X-Box system. I could never do the hardest setting, but I was able to get quite good at it. Maybe they were able to make it faster because you are only moving your feet and not your arms for DDR.

I also didn't care for the music for this new dance game. It is all pop music from the past few years that I didn't like at that time either. Granted, I usually don't care for dance club music, but the songs the creators of DDR choose are epic. There are even some remakes like "We Will Rock You." Maybe I am just part of an older generation.

What these games had in common were the dancing figures in 3D graphics and the rating system if you get the marks or not.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Flora in Winter


(This image was provided by the Worcester Art Museum's website.)

For the past two days the Worcester Art Museum has held it's tenth annual fundraising event called "Flora," mostly surrounding this bust of an ancient goddess of flowers. It is an event where professional and new-coming florists come and make floral decorations that will last for four days throughout the museum. The professional florists create flower arrangements that are spread all over the place with their cards. The newcomer florists are each given a piece of artwork their flower arrangement has to be based on. It is amazing what creative arrangements these people can make.

The museum has even had special night events that have lasted past 8:00 PM with food and drinks. There are still two days left of this event, so I urge people to come.

Most of the audience this appeals to are older women, but there have been many people of many ages who have also come to see the flower arrangements.

Even for someone like myself who prefers sci-fi and fantasy artwork, this does appeal to me. There are some flowers and plants that inspire some crazy fantasy creations. Think about it, artists who draw fantasy backgrounds or backgrounds from alternate worlds that have vivid, bright colors must be based a little on real life plants for inspiration. Believe me, there are all sorts of foreign plants that I have seen at this event. I never seen a real lotus plant until last year at Flora.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Main Cast Cards

Here are some cards of the main cast from my Zheph Skyre series. They are at least the main cast from the first book. Behind them are huge tablets on the wall of the city.


Here is Zheph Skyre, as a young boy and as a teenager. I want to start the series off with him as a teenager and end with him as a 25 year old. His younger form will only be seen in flashbacks. You can see that he has allowed his bangs to grow out. I'm thinking of having him change his hairstyles a little bit from time to time since he will be traveling all over the world.


Here is Vanessa, with and without the goth dress, hair up, and makeup on. She will be seen in both appearances from time to time due to when she actually is available to get the goth clothes on.


Here is Jahovac with a humungous sword and a sword of a more reasonable size. There is a reason he discards an incredibly large sword, even though he can wield it easily, for a smaller one.


Here is Jacques when Zheph first met him and as he is when we meet him the the story. He has gone through drastic changes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Evil Creature Cards

Here are a series of 5 cards I made for Anime Boston one year from my Zheph Skyre series. They are all evil creatures with unnatural abilities. Keep in mind, I drew these with Graphite Pencils and colored them in Photoshop. The borders were done in Illustrator.


Here is a Thunder Dragon. It is an evil dragon of lightning.






Here are some orcs. I hope I am not copying too much from "The Lord of the Rings." There are plenty of different types of orcs in many stories or medium.


This is a swamp rat. These are much larger than normal rats, stay in large groups, and float in swamp water. They have features of dead trees which make them appear as floating logs, and when you least expect it, they will attack you. They carry horrible diseases most people would die from in a matter of hours.





This is a Leviathan. At first I was going to call it a Kraken, but I discovered that most versions of Kraken are giant octopus/squid monsters that live in the sea. This is more of a composite of multiple water animals that lives in ponds and rivers. It is the combination of a shark, squid, and lobster.





These are moon panthers. The more they are exposed to moonlight at night, the more powerful they become. Their first form resembles a panther with a crescent moon on it's forehead. Their second form has features of a bobcat with a half moon on it's forehead. The third form resembles a lion with a 3/4 moon on it's forehead. The final form resembles a cheetah with a full moon on it's forehead. It's abilities changes with each form. Only when it dies does the moon on the forehead turns to black.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Netheus II


This is a drawing I made of Netheus a while ago. I inked it by hand and colored it in Photoshop, but this was before I knew how to use the tablet properly.

Unfortunately I could not make it clear about how his blades work by this picture. His blades come out, but can also turn so that he can fight "Wolverine style" with two blades or he can slash sideways as if the two blades were one. I realize now that I would have to show this feature on both arms by a specific viewpoint. There are other things I desire to change about this character's armored design. I decided at least to keep the armor off when he is in normal state. The armor can magically appear as if it is coming out of his body.





This was a card design I made of Netheus. I had printed out a whole bunch of characters from the first book and printed them onto these cards that I sold at Anime Boston. I know I can make better artwork the next time around.

Here are some head and arm sketches of Netheus. I am still debating to myself how this character is going to look. For a while I had this very complex idea for his armor, but now I believe I should simplify it.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Minotaur


Here is my version of a mythical beast, the minotaur. I was thinking that I wanted this creature to stand out from other versions, so I decided that I would not simply make it half man, half bull. This creature is half bull, half gorilla. I think that making these creatures part gorilla is a big improvement over being part man. A single man is not that strong. A man is weak, fragile, and slow compared to most animals on this planet. The only reason our species has become this dominant is because of our ability to make and use tools in order to survive. Without tools or the thumbs we need in order to use the tools, our species would most likely have died off over a millennial ago.

I know in the earliest of Roman legends, the minotaur was just a man with the head of a bull that ate people who entered the labyrinth. In much more recent years, the designs for this creature have evolved. People have began to give this creature bull's legs and a tail. I am just bringing it one step closer. Many designs show minotaurs as these strong hulks compared to man, but why should I base these creatures on the features of fragile man? A gorilla has stronger arms, can run faster using its enormous forearms, naturally has fur to cover it's body, and has fangs that would help suggest that these creatures would be able to eat men.

I wanted to bring out some features of both gorilla and bull throughout the entire form. I gave the creature hybrid legs with the combination of hooves and toes, tried to work in the gorilla's wide eye sockets, the hump like form of the gorilla's neck, and a few other features. I was thinking of giving this creature a thicker, stronger tail.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Updates To My Portfolio Site



I just want to clarify, not everything I wanted to update to my portfolio site has been done, but I have it updated anyways. I know that there is still a lot more that can be done, but I have been busy lately and I know what I have improved so far is much better than what I had there before.

I was able to improve quite a few of the animated buttons, I have two pages for my still pictures, I have changed the wing designs around the star, I have put a skip button on the welcome page just in case people want to skip the intro, I have improved the intro, and I have put up two new animations in the storyboard section and the animation section.

I still have to improve some of the intro animations, put up some more pictures in the animation section, update the references section, and post a video of my 11 second animation when it is done.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

SOPA

Sorry I hadn't posted a blog yesterday, but I was among the many people protesting SOPA, the "Stop Online Piracy Act." I have seen and read quite a bit about the Act, and I have to say, it seems to do more harm than good. It is a problem that many people are downloading illegally and hackers are uploading viruses to the Internet, but from what I understand, this Bill won't stop any of it really. People will still easily be able to bypass this.

What this will do is censor sites that are just entertainment yet are doing no real harm. I know of a bunch of websites with videos that contain content from other sources, but I know that they always get permission from these sources to use that content. This Act will just limit free speech on the Internet and that is a violation of the 1st Amendment. Do we really want the government to be in control of what we can or can not see on the Internet? Granted, there are sites that are inappropriate for children under a certain age, but just like watching inappropriate movies, the parents are the ones responsible for what their children watch.

I would hate to have my portfolio site or my web comic site censored for no particular reason. Granted, all my content is originally mine, but this Act could still hurt my site.

Here is an email I was sent:

Message body

Tomorrow, January 18th, 2012, will be the largest internet protest in history. Thousands of sites across the internet, including some of the biggest in the world, will be blacking out and directing people to contact Congress to kill the web censorship bill, SOPA and PIPA. We want to get you involved.
Join us on the historic day by blacking out your site. Copy the code below and paste it into the header of your theme (Wordpress users: use the SOPA Strike plugin) to black your site out in protest of SOPA/PIPA. It will activate automatically on Jan. 18th, displaying this page and directing visitors to contact Congress, and will deactivate at the end of the day.
<script type="text/javascript">var a=new Date,b=a.getHours()+a.getTimezoneOffset()/60;if(18==a.getDate()&&0==a.getMonth()&&2012==a.getFullYear()&&13<=b&&24>=b)window.location="http://sopastrike.com/strike";</script>
In just 7 days, the Senate will vote on forever altering the free and open internet by instituting a new regime of extra-judicial, corporate-led website takedowns. This is a fundamental fight about who has power in society -- the people with the means to communicate freely or the governments and corporations that feel threatened.
For the full state of play on the censorship bills, take a look at this infographic we've put together. Click here. The clock is ticking, and we're still 35 senators short of the number we need to kill the bill.
If you're on Facebook or Twitter, please use these links to spread the word about the protest:

Share on Twitter Share on FB

Thank You!
-Donny, Tiffiniy, Holmes, CJ, Phil, Josh, Douglas
Fight for the Future is a non-profit organization fighting for people's freedoms in a new digital age

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dark Wizard


Here's another sketch from my Zheph Skyre series, and this time it is human! Sure he is wearing a helm that covers his entire face, but it is important for him to hide his identity. He is one of the main antagonists from my story, and he is a powerful wizard. I was thinking of portraying his mask with a single eye to represent an eye that sees all. The smile was just something I thought that would make him seem interesting as well as mysterious. I had help with the feet, but everything else was done entirely by me.

In the world of Terra Geaya, the world of which my story takes place, humans can use magic. Each person has their own magical element out of the ten that they were born with and can use at ease. With that specific element, that person could master very powerful spells of that specific element. In order to use other elements, people have to use special stones, written scrolls, or weapons that can transform their magic into other elements. Supposedly, no one can master the other elements of magic other than their own.

This wizard has somehow mastered powerful spells of all of the elements. That is revealed in the story when he first makes his appearance, but what isn't revealed is his true element. Based on these facts, everyone can only assume the spells he can cast by his own element are on a level beyond anyone's comprehension.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Jake and Riley


I used the photograph I have in my Flickr account to paint this acrylic painting for my sister's birthday that was the 11th. She will keep the original in a nice frame, but I am going to edit this scanned copy, edit it, and post it on my portfolio website. This is one of the better acrylic paintings that I have made.


These two cats are Riley and Jake (Riley is the one on the left and Jake is the one on the right with white on his face). My family has had these cats for nearly 11 years. We got them from a shelter in Sterling not long after 911. We were looking over the cats they had and found these two in a cage together, about 6 months old at the time. The shelter claimed they weren't from the same litter, but these two seemed like they belong together. We also got these cats together because we wanted them to help keep each other company when we were gone for hours on end. My mom was the one to give them names, which is weird since she had allergies to cats and prefers dogs.

Riley was considered the "fat cat." He always acted like he was king of the house. He usually meowed more for attention because when it came to food, he'd eat from his bowl and Jake's. If he really liked you, he would jump onto your lap, but he would have to be laying along your leg with his head at your knee. He would often dig his claws into your leg despite the fact that you are giving him affection he really likes. Forget about carrying him because he would melt right out of your grasp. Riley would also climb onto the bookshelf downstairs, and when the panel to the ceiling was open he would climb up into the ceiling and run about like a rat. Unfortunately in recent months, Riley had a urinary infection. He got outside and never came home like he had always before. It was devastating to lose him since these two pets were the longest lasting pets we have ever had. We hope Riley is in a better place now.

Jake is still with us thankfully. He has never quite grown to a full sized cat and remains a more petite size. Jake was always the cute, shy, petite one. He didn't meow for attention, he always wanted food because he was always hungry He often puked because of his small intestines being too small for his hairballs. For a while, we gave him hairball medicine that he loved. Jake would sometimes tap you with your paw when you are eating something he thinks smells really good, but he hasn't done that much anymore. He even jumped onto my lap sometimes because there was enough room and tried to climb onto the table. It was so funny to see Jake's head pop up from under the table and he would try to climb towards my food so anxiously. When he does want attention, he'll act cute, but he doesn't do that with everyone. I seem to be the only one who can pick him up and he won't panic. Jake has always been the fragile one, but he does love to play with something small and bouncy like a twist tie.

Together these cats played rough, snuggled, and cleaned each other. So if you ever decide to get a cat, I suggest getting two young ones so that they can become close friends.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Evil Earth Dragon Sketch #2


Here's a sketch page I had started of an evil earth dragon from my Zheph Skyre series. Most of the same features are in this sketch as from the previous one, though I have already made a sketch revising it even further. I tried the short stubby claws like a rhino or an elephant, but I think I should go with longer claws like an armadillo or a mole because I want this creature to be more capable of digging. I am going to give this dragon a slightly longer neck than this sketch since it just looks too weird short. I am keeping the hard, spiked end of the tail though.

The sketches at the top are of a good and evil dragon's full body. For the most part, I want to keep a traditional Western dragon body. Their tails will both have hard ends each one of a different shape. I decided against bat wings or even bird wings for these dragons. For these dragons that I picture living in dry areas, I think insect wings would do them justice. They will each have armored plates on their backs that open up like beetles' wings, but their actual wings will be more reminiscent of dragonfly wings.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

ConceptArt.org

I recall talking about how DeviantArt is not quite up to par as a professional art website. I am now recalling a different website that has much better quality work, better quality for showcasing artist's artwork in today's world, listing art jobs, and blogging about certain art criteria. I am talking about ConceptArt.org.

I first heard of this website from a fellow classmate in my illustration class at UMass Dartmouth. I myself have become a member of this website, though so far I don't have much in my gallery. I had found the writer of the manga series I have been working on through this website. I suggest checking it out if you want to see some original concepts and good illustrations.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Callinor Imperator


I have shown pictures of all the dragons from my Zheph Skyre series... except for one...

This is an early sketch of Callinor Imperator, the Dragon Empress. She is one of the main antagonists in the story. She has all of the abilities of the other dragons because she is their mother. Their was a father dragon, but she absorbed him and became far more powerful. There's a lot more I am thinking about for her back story, but I'd rather not go into it right now. Her magic element is a secret for now...

This is the 1st dragon I actually based on dinosaur skulls. Considering dinosaurs are extinct, I couldn't base it on dinosaurs with flesh obviously. At 1st, I wanted to try to incorporate a whale's head into this sketch just because it is a large animal in real life and it might have been interesting, but after sketching a T-Rex and a Triceratops skull, there didn't appear to be any room to incorporate it at all that would look right.

The main antagonists are exceptionally strong and have formed a council of ten. For the most part they toy around with the protagonists and refrain from killing them off. I have an exceptionally good reason for that...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Feelings and Art

Today I went to have acupuncture done at Eastern and Western Medicine: Jade Acupuncture. It was considered necessary in my situation because the pain I have been going through is constant and I can't live in such pain. I have tried pain pills and another procedure but neither of them worked that well for me. Acupuncture is the safest, more reliable way for me to deal with this constant pain. It might be expensive, but it is worth it. The pain might be caused by my job as a gallery attendant since I didn't use to have to walk around in a suit and dress shoes before I started to have this pain.

It is very important to have positive feeling before trying to make art of any kind, even if there is physical pain. Such negative feelings can hinder your art making to the point where you don't want to do it anymore. I am afraid that starts to happen when I feel this pain and don't have it treated.

I suggest to everyone to resolve your issues before attempting to make whatever artwork you create. Sometimes you are able to let out some steam when you create gestural artwork, but if you have lingering negative feelings, it will only get in the way.

Friday, January 6, 2012

11 Second Club Sketch #2

video

This is a more detailed storyboard for the 11 Second Club animation. I changed the subtitles a little bit to make more sense and to go along with the sound of the voice. I have already began to animate the face of the character who speaks, but I still have a long way to go.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Walk Cycle



I have recently completed a walk cycle in flash with 2 characters in two completely different directions. For some reason I can't figure out why I can't export this file the way I want to, but it will be posted in my portfolio site when that site is ready. For now I'll just have to show you this image.

These are just test animations I completed of a man walking from left to right and a woman walking straight at the camera. From the animation, you will clearly see that these two characters have completely different walking styles. I wanted to do that. The next walk cycles I plan to do are of a 4 legged animal and a character with a thick body and thick limbs.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ballet

I was thinking of the ballet performance last Saturday for New Year's Eve at the Worcester Art Museum. It was a group of girls of various ages who performed the same dances and songs an hour from one another. Again, it was just a thought of a challenge for animation.



There are plenty of examples of great animated ballet performances. Two of which I can think of is the Anime show "Princess Tutu" and various animations from Disney's Fantasia that used various shapes, animals, and other beings to portray such graceful dances of a ballerina. Most people just recall Fantasia as an interpretation of music into animation, but it is so much more than that.

I saw this AMV (Anime Music Video) at Anime Boston when it won Best in Show. I was surprised at first when I saw that best in show was about an Anime based on ballet, but as you can see it turned out to be very cool.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

11 Second Club Sketch


video

Here is a storyboard sketch for an eleven second animation for the 11 Second Club. So far it is far from complete, but I have a month to do it.

I can't understand the language the character is speaking, so I inserted subtitles of my own. I am still wondering if I should try to be serious or just funny with the subtitles. I can always go with the other choice later on. The scene I decided to make it is a sword fight.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Spirit Dragons

Here are sketches of spirit dragons from my Zheph Skyre series. I had been trying to find an appropriate name for this element. It is more of animals, germs, and plants than spirits, but "Life" would be confusing with "Light" so I went with "Spirit." I don't want it to be "Heart" and copy Captain Planet.

The top dragon is a Venom Dragon, composed of a bear and a moose.

The bottom dragon is a Howling Dragon, composed of a deer and a hawk.

I went with creatures with antlers because I wanted to incorporate the plant side of "Spirit" and the antlers will be made of wood for these dragons.