Thursday, December 20, 2012

Vanilla flavored exercise

Today I started and finished this little walk-cycle at the request of some friends. I compared it to the work I was doing for Animation Mentor as was really proud of the growth. In a few months I hope that this animation makes me sick, even for a quick one day exercise.

There will always be room for improvement, always be things I can learn, always new perspectives to challenges. Also, I will never grow without pushing my own boundaries for quality and effectiveness. Let's get pushing!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Demo Reel Updated

Hey amigos, while I can't post up any of the great television or freelance animation work I've been involved in, I thought I'd share some "Reel" reworking and refining in my latest demoreel. Keep learning, keep creating. A higher res version is available at

Monday, October 29, 2012

Game Attack Animation - making it better!

Aloha compadres! This post epitomizes what I love about working in the entertainment industry - constant development and an environment that thrives on giving and receiving criticism. Refining toward clarity and appeal. I had done a quick animation exercise a while back and was pretty happy with the results. It's a quick video game style animation that can pose blend at either end.

With all animation I was trying to keep in mind clear posing, anticipation, overlapping action, weight, character, compressions, timing and spacing among a myriad of other things

Earlier version: (the videos are better on youtube since they don't crop the widescreen format)

After showing it to a few animator friends (Thanks Allen, Scott and Stephanie) it became apparent that although I had learned a lot creating the shot, there was still more I could be taught by revising the shot.
I revised the shot paying particular attention to spacing. Spacing is everything!!! Spacing imbues animation with weight in the relationships between 3 frames, every frame has to matter. Taking the time to learn again from the feedback led to more and more learning in a shot that I was satisfied with earlier. Growth isn't only making more of something, but realizing where correction is possible and applying it wherever needed (past, present and future).

I also took a stab at compositing the Maya renders with multiple layers of painted backgrounds to create a richer environment.

Here's to forever learning, forever growing.

Friday, October 12, 2012

 Gifted is a "mini short" I've had some fun on lately. How many of you have received a great gift like this little guy? What was it?

After doing sketches I filmed my son opening a mystery box. There were so many fun little things he did; I also learned that a 4yr old can't open a present in under 30 seconds but they can make a mess in less than 5.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Animation WIP - I ain't wearing that

Whoah, in the past few month I have literally been from coast to coast in the US, from the northern and southern edges as well. I've been involved in some exciting new technologies in film and worked with some great people.

In between all of fun work and family adventures, I've been working on a few side projects. This work in progress animation is one of those.  I took an audio clip from Hancock and have had a blast re-envisioning it with a few rigs from Animation Mentor.

Here is a rough block pass on the whole sequence from a couple weeks ago.
I hope you enjoy. Any feedback is welcome.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Buccaneer Bravado

I saw a few great images by Don Flores and wanted to draw something along his style. Here's what came out... a little Buccaneer Bravado.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bop It!

Bop It was game that spent the longest time in development, but it is also one that has the most depth in user experience. The changes went back and forth trying to find engaging gameplay and visuals to reinforce that gameplay; it was tight since we developed the whole game in about eight months. 

I want to include a little bit of the process here to emphasize how fluid the development process is- it's awesome- good ideas get exchanged for better ideas, weak ideas are left behind, and there is a lot of listening and responding to other. A lot of listening goes a long way. 

At first, the game hid the avatars in a capsule of sorts and you could see it rocking out. Cool to see, but not experience. The second version was a big screen the avatar stood in front of...that seemed redundant and removed the experience away from the toy interaction. The third or fourth version brought in a ring on the floor around the avatar, followed by the idea to nix the avatar and create a circular construct to play with.

Lastly, tie the good aspects of all those ideas together and add richer visual cues through the, you've got BopIt! Below is a lighting color script for gameflow, to reduce scope and improve stage consistency we dropped the set entrance. I know FGN isn't a AAA title, but it was great to work on for it's fast pace, open direction, and the folks at Wahoo Studios can't be beat. Cheers.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sorry Sliders and Yahtzee

As promised here is more of the concept art I did for FGN: The Game Show. All images copyrighted by EA and Hasbro.

There are two games that occur in the same stage space in the game- Yahtzee and Sorry Sliders. It was fun to make sure each game had it's own flavor but not feel like the player was being transported to a different space.

 You may have noticed the changing colors of the pillars and spotlights. For each of the games I created a mini-color script to give variety and unity, that was fun. I was also asked to design in a Mr Potato Head statue that was never used. We were going to have a figure skating MPH figure, but we were asked not to have a cross-dressing potato. Go figure!

Kudos to the programmers on this one, they did some great work with the Kinect system to recognize all the different ways you could push a 6.5ft bowling ball and giant Sorry Slider.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Junk Fu= Whack-a-mole+Guitar Hero+Fruit Ninja

My latest game to be released, Junk Fu for the Kinect Fun Labs, was amazing to see being developed. What started out as an "urban ninja training ground" shifted to a "retail rampage," then "cosmic karate." The game solidified as a "martial arts trash smash-athon".  Everything was meant to look distressed and worn out, a futuristic junkyard with outrageous props for destruction. Here are some of my pieces from the game.

The paintings below were quick concept painting, no more than a few hrs. that show possible gameplay environments. I even painted donuts for one of the concepts! Note that the final and purple/pink one use strict 1 point perspective. It was decided to fake 3D and have either the world or the objects advance. In the end we did a little of both.

In gaming and animation you truly check your egos at the door, everyone is willing let their contributions be discarded/ molded to help make the whole better. Even though there were some wonderful ideas, we worked together to get the best option for out scope, team, and time. Casey D. and Shawn worked on the art with me (Shawn concepted the items to be destroyed and Casey made them look amazing as well as do the final UI elements)

All work it copyrighted by Microsoft. So don't be a hosehead and steal stuff that's not yours.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Face It!

Being observant is one of the greatest gifts of being an artist. I had the joy of seeing this guys face in a training meeting. He has a beautifully cliff of a nose with a concave mouth... no joke a concave mouth! Seeing the shapes was pure bliss.

So last night as I was installing gruelling software, I decided to try to paint in some lighting as an exercise.I wanted to give form to the rest of the head even though it wasn't in the drawing. Oooh it's so fun.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Family Game Night: The Game Show

Last year Wahoo Studios contracted me to develop and animate for Family Game Night: The Game Show a multi-console video game. The studio put a lot of trust in me letting me take first crack at developing it. I ended up doing all of the target art for development for each game. Here's the first concept I did for ScrabbleFlash.

All a concepts had to reflect the Family Game Night TV show on the HUB Network that features a variety of Hasbro games in a larger than life setting. Since the game was targeted to feature Xbox Kinect gameplay, I worked closely with our designers and programmers to get interface to work for both controllers and Kinect.

Connect 4 was my favorite game in terms of the Kinect gameplay.

Shawn Boyles and I did work on character design for Mr. Potato Head. I had so much fun working with his drawings and doing some design of my own for each game. These were the concepts I helped design that made  it through approval. For the record, nobody can as much draw personality into a potato as Shawn; a shame we can't show those here.

There are several versions of the concepts that got released online. If you google any of the games- Sorry Sliders, Connect 4, Scrabble Flash, Yahtzee Bowling, or BopIt one itteration or another pops up.I'll post about the other games soon.

All artwork copyright belongs to Electronic Arts.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Caricature of Shawn Boyles

This past week we had an art challenge at work to caricature a coworker. I was assigned to one of my great friends, concept artist Shawn Boyles. He is one of the great creatives I know; his sketchbooking explorations are prolific! Shawn's love with his work shows in every beastie, beauty, bug, and accessories he creates.

He's got huge appeal embedded in every line that makes me jealous every time he draws, and he draws a lot!

Thursday, February 16, 2012, sweetheart

I had a lot of fun doing this Valentines illustration for my wife. It's always a fun challenge to keep the design super simple and keep an purposefully active surface.

Simplicity is the thing that's really hard to pull off. There are already things I want to  adjust but they'll have to wait for next Valentines Day.

I hope you enjoy; my wife sure was surprised by the new desktop.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My apologies for having been so long absent. I'll be giving you an visual update on work done in the last year.Since my last post, I joined Wahoo /NinjaBee Studios and have been developing and animating games. I'm finishing my 3rd title and working on my 4th currently. It has been great in so many ways.

We had a little character design workshop at work from Shawn. This is what I came up with... just trying to have some fun.


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