Monday, March 24, 2008

Bottom Feeders ...

Who knew drawing starfish could be so fun?

In my video for "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi," there will be starfish in the background moving to the music. I'm not sure if the designs for the final animation will have so much detail. It might make more sense for them to be simplified shapes. The song very much describes a dream, or an escape to another plane, so appropriately, I want the visuals to be more abstract. I'm aiming for life that comes from the "Id." I want everything to look like the product of someone's imagination, or how the protagonist will perceive things in another existence.

Still, I enjoyed drawing them. Starfish always had a creepy quality for me. They're so quiet and unassuming, but they're predators. I wanted to explore a "deadly beauty" design for them.

I'd like to have shellfish scurrying along the bottom at some point. Again, I don't think these are strange enough. I really want them to look different, but getting some ideas down on in my sketchbook lets me see what works.

Now, if I can stay awake, I'm gonna watch "Paprika" and see if it gives me any ideas.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Weird Fishes ... My New Project

I've decided to enter's In Rainbows Music Video Contest, in which you pick any song from Radiohead's new album and make a music video for it. The band is involved in the judging, which is pretty awesome. Doing a project like this by yourself is a little daunting, but I'm an animator, and Radiohead is my favorite band ever, so how big of a loser would I be if I didn't at least try?

The great thing about this contest is that the first entry is a storyboard submission, after which you submit a minute-long animation to the song you choose. The winner of that phase get $10,000 to make the entire video.

So I've started some ideas in my sketchbook, and hopefully soon I'll have a rough storyboard together. The song I've chosen is the excellent "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi."

My initial ideas for the lead character were very non-specific. I didn't really know what I wanted him to look like, just how I wanted him to move ...

I then tried a robot design who has some of the characteristics of Thom Yorke, since I'd like the character to exhibit some of his movements ...

I finally decided to use a more realistic character ... based on a homeless guy that lives in my neighborhood. I plan on using a more abstract design in the final animation, but I like starting with something grounded in reality, so now the character automatically has a history and story behind him.

Here are some ideas for "worms and weird fishes," which are described in the song. I think my final fish designs will be more "weird" than "fish," but I drew these without looking at any real fish. I'd like them to look like they came out of someone's imagination, but these don't look strange enough to me ...

Below are some quick compositions of what the scene might look like. I still need to put down a lot more ideas as there needs to be much more going on in this scene, but for now, this helps me get an idea of the direction I need to follow.

Saturday Life Drawing ... blah

It was one long pose during Saturday's life drawing session. Below is my second try ... not too happy with it. I made her head a little too big, and her face should be thinner. Her facial features look a little funky to me. Better luck next week ...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Saturday Life Drawing ... Second Week

The more I look at these, the less I like them ...

I like parts of this one, but one thing I'm struggling with is getting the whole figure rendered. I'm not drawing fast enough, and I find myself concentrating on details before I get the whole figure drawn. Still, I kinda like the lower half ... feet can be fun to draw.

Again, I like parts of this ... I finally did a decent job on a hand, but it's not fully rendered. I think there are some funky things going on in the left leg, and I would have liked to get the head in there, but again, I took too much time focusing on little bits instead of getting the whole figure. Same story with the one below.

I think part of my problem lies in just getting my hand skills sharp. I need to practice more at home just drawing myself. But at least I'm drawing regularly now. I'd like to be posting stuff at least twice a week though.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

No Dollar Signs

So I dug out my old piece of shit computer and scanned the stuff from yesterday and today. Feels like I've got a long way to go, but it's a start.

Page from yesterday ... with dollar signs

Here's a page from the coffee shop yesterday. The only thing I dare post as the rest was complete garbage. My old scanner isn't compatible with Vista, so I had to download this scanner software that puts watermarks all over your images unless you buy it. I might need to hook up my old computer as this laptop has none of the software I need.

I'll post some stuff from today's life drawing session at the Art/Not Terminal Gallery when I figure out the scanner situation.

Friday, March 7, 2008

First Drawing Day

Back to the drawing board ... fucking literally.

Today I walked to my neighborhood Caffe Ladro and drew in my sketchbook ... and fucking yikes.

I knew the first day wasn't going to be pretty, and holy shit, was it ever rough. I've got a lot of work to do. It really hurts seeing the crap I'm currently capable of, but I'm determined to get back to where I was.

The good news is that the shit state I'm in has forced me to come up with a real plan to climb out of this funk.

I hope by maintaining this blog and posting my progress, I'll be forced to set some time aside everyday to just sit and draw. I'll be posting life drawing, self-portraits, concepts for an indie video game project and original cartoons for a comic I want to develop.

It'll be basic and low-tech ... no digital paintings, maybe some animations later down the road, but for now just pencils and pen and ink on paper. Hopefully after I've worked on this blog a while, I'll be able to get a revamped online portfolio up. Until then, my portfolio presence online is kaput.

So ... I gotta dig my scanner out and hope I can find a Vista driver for it. If not, I'll do my scanning from work.

I'm gonna try to go the Art/Not Terminal drawing session tomorrow morning. I'm ready for the pain.