Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Kung Fu Panda World is Alive!

I've been animating for the past 9 months on this game.
www.kungfupandaworld.com
It's a massive multiplayer online (MMO) game for kids based on the Kung Fu Panda movie from Dreamworks.  It has been a lot of fun and I'm excited to see it up and running.  Our in-house animation team got to animate a huge variety of characters on this game(mostly in-world): Characters with 2 legs, 4 legs, no legs, wings, huge gorillas and tiny chopsticks fighting over a dumpling. Great experience and great game. If you have some free time, go there and check it out. Wander around, practice some kung fu, fight some croc minions or play some mini games.

One of the animators that I work with developed some really useful tools for the 'flash character animation pipeline'.  He's now allowing anyone to download and try them out for free. I can't say enough about how helpful his tools were while working on the game. 
Autotweener
Art Brushes in Flash (new)

I'll try to put together some of my work from the game so I can post it here on the blog.   You can, of course, see the finished animations in the game, but I also have lots of thumbnail sketches and roughed out animations that I'd like to post.

By the way, I snapped this photo a couple of weekends ago at Dreamworks while checking out a special screening for "How To Train Your Dragon". I wasn't sure what to think from the watching trailer, but I must say it was really well done with top-notch animation.  I recommend.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A House

I found this drawing in an old sketchbook and really liked it, specially since I don't do a lot building/structural drawings.  I remember wanting to develop it further, maybe recreate it in 3D, or something.  Anyway, it's just a quick doodle, so I decided to add some color for now. 

It's funny how you can look back on something with fresh eyes and have a completely different appreciation for it.  It's like I don't remember drawing it, so I'm looking at it completely objectively.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Life

"Life" just started on the Discovery Channel.  The most bizarre and interesting animals out there, all in HD slow-mo footage.  Amazing.  Here are some quick sketches I did while watching the other night.  The bird on the left does this strange courtship ritual with their significant other where they run across the surface of the water together in perfect synchronization. Watch it!

Sidenote: Next Monday, I finally get to show what I've been animating on for the past 9 months...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Busy

Thank you for the great comments everyone has been leaving lately.  There have been some questions about my materials I use to draw or software to animate.  So, I'd like to answer some of them.  I animate in Flash for 2D and Maya for 3D, with the exception of the occasional animation in After Effects or Nuke.  I almost always draw quick, people, observational sketches with a pen. I have a nice Faber Castell 'S' PITT pen.  If I'm drawing from my imagination, then I almost always use a medium-hard pencil  H's or F's.  If I like the drawing, I will sometimes refine it with a soft 4-6B pencil.  If I add color, I usually scan in my drawing, set the drawing layer (in Photoshop or Illustrator) to 'multiply' blend mode and add color on layers below that.

This is an illustration I made for an insurance company a few years ago.  I was going through some old files and stumbled on it. It seems to give the sense of busy, which is what I am right now.  It's an animated gif that I created in photoshop.  Basically you feed 5 or 6 versions of a drawing into photoshop and it loops them.