Friday, October 26, 2018

Visionaries: Leoric Transformation WIP

Had to start with Leoric's lion transformation! Just so many fun ways to go with it!

I've still got a lot more to draw and animate with this one, but this work-in-progress shows where I'm going with it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Knights Of The Magical Light

I like doing pixel art and animation. I've decided to take a short break from animating in Maya to do some new pixel pushing.

I've chosen The Visionaries toy/cartoon from the 1980s as my inspiration since it's pretty obscure and had a ton of unrealized potential. My goal: Pretend I'm working on an officiallly licensed Super NES game adaptation and do animation sets for a few of the characters, along with whatever else I come up with.

Here's what I've got so far:

Leoric. Just standing there to establish the look I want.
Starting with Leoric there, I'd like to do run, jump, attack, transformation and totem spell animations for a couple Spectral Knights and Darkling Lords. Doing a vehicle or environment would be fun, too.

My dream Visionaries game for the Super NES would be a classic, side-scrolling action game in the vein of X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse or Captain America and The Avengers (see images below).

X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse (Super NES)
Captain America and The Avengers (Arcade)

Character Design Challenge

I started submitting to the Character Design Challenge on Facebook back in August. I haven't done October's yet, but here's what I've done so far.

August's theme: Insect Warrior

September's theme: Candy People
My honest opinion: No matter how well I do on these, I'll never get more than 30 likes. There's a lot of great work submitted, but there's also a lot of garbage that barely meets the posted guidelines and still gets 500 likes. So it's mostly bullshit, but it's a good excuse for me to draw characters the way I want to draw them.

Unemployed: The Sequel

My last post was in Spring 2016. I had just been interviewed at Wargaming Seattle and was about to be hired as a professional video game animator again following a tumultuous year in my life and career.

It is now Autumn 2018. Wargaming Seattle has been closed since May, and I'm an unemployed video game animator yet again. I've written of the event in detail privately, because as we know, video game people don't like it when you write about the goings-on at video game studios, so I'll keep it to myself for now.

Not that the details matter much. What matters is I received a decent severance out of the deal, which not everyone got in a summer of high-profile studio closures, so count me among the lucky unlucky ones.

What also matters: It's not the end of the world.

Of course it's good to be working and making money to pay those bills and progressing forward as a gainfully employed adult with a real job title and a neato little business card.

But it's also not such a bad thing to to step away from the fray for a while and be able to manage it without the lives of you and your little family being affected by it too much. Not that it's been easy, but as far as Dom's concerned everything's peachy, so that counts for something.

Mt. St. Helens - Aug. 2018
So it's been a summer of applying for jobs I probably didn't want but felt like I should try for. Have written many a cover letter -- actually several revisions of the same cover letter. Along the way, I've signed more NDAs than I care to count.

Animation tests: Assignments studios give to job candidates. I've done 7 or 8 of them since May. Some were done over a weekend. Others gave me a week or two. No matter how much time you have to complete it, you end up spending every waking moment making it as good as you can. A dedicated post about this will be coming from me soon I think. Until then, I'm working on putting together a reel of the highlights -- NDAs be damned.

So I've been drawing more. Sharing my work more. Making whatever art I can. Being Dom's Dad and making sure I always fucking rock at that. Keeping my dreams alive and finding the time to spread my wings. It feels good to spread your wings. Why don't I do it more, and why has it taken me so long?

Why don't I get my bike tuned up and start riding it again?