Saturday, April 14, 2007

fundamentals

Whether we're drawing Slugz, cavemen or silly e-cards, we feel strongly about keeping in touch with the traditional fundamentals of the animation process. While living in NY, we've been able to attend an ASIFA figure drawing session once a week. Here are some of my most recent drawings. (I've been on a pen and marker spurt lately.)


a fresh eye

The development of our personal, Bluefoot projects has a slow-motion, "back and forth" flow to it. About 95% of our artistic efforts are thrown to the wolves that are our PAYING gigs. When we get the chance, though, we rummage through our catalogue of personal properties and push the development one stage further.

One of our oldest projects is the short, "Caveman." When I say "oldest," I mean pre-Bluefoot Studios (early 2004, I believe). Fawn and I collaborated on the visuals of a script she wrote. At that time we were still animating on paper, not even aware of this amazingly powerful program called Flash. We made it about 3/4 of the way through the rough animation when our first, big, paying project came to us. We founded Bluefoot Studios and spent the next couple of months pumping out the opening credits for the children's feature film, Career Day. From that point forward, work just kept coming our way. When we finally got the opportunity to go back to Caveman again, our artwork had evolved so much that we felt it'd be better to scratch all of the pencil animation and start fresh. This image shows a new approach to the character...cutifying him by making his proportions more childlike. We also pulled his design back toward the human end of the evolutionary scale. Our old design was much more ape-like.

"Slugz" has been around for a long time, as well (started in 2003). Oddly enough, even before I grasped what Flash could do for animation, I played with the program and the Slugz characters. I invented these simple, yet structurally squishy beings just to abuse while I experimented with the program. These poor, mushy mollusks were flattened by rocks and sprinkled with salt. Since these early tests, I was able to develop a story and bible for the series with Tom Davis through Topic Design Group. The property was submitted to a major network, but the story wasn't picked up. Under Bluefoot Studios, Fawn and I took another stab at the premise, giving it a more personal, fresh feel. This image shows some more recent character studies.

So what's the next Bluefoot project that will reach completion? We can't say yet. As our company has grown, we've craved the chance to display our own voice more and more. Doing work for a client has many rewards, but there's nothing like having the opportunity to tell your OWN story once in a while. Hopefully you'll get to hear one soon.

Friday, April 13, 2007

character experimentation

I finally got the chance to present my batch of designs. This first page was inspired by the movie, Pan's Labyrinth. I played with varied body types and for the finished figure, pushed my style to something more graphic than I usually design.

This second set was inspired by Pierre Alary's French comic "Belladone." Pierre's art is very Disney-like (as he worked for Disney France when they were in production), so I tried to create a more Cartoon Network/Nickelodeon-styled look for a fencing female.

Lastly, I did some character design brainstorming for one of our new Bluefoot productions (working title of "Sam vs. Nature") that we've been developing. This is one of the designs of Sam that I turned into a full page of poses. Honestly, though, he will probably appear completely different after he's refined and pushed into a less Disney-looking feel.

Monday, April 02, 2007

latest character sheets!

Last week, we hung out at the office after work to do some character studies. I've been doing a lot of doodling during the day (anytime that I was waiting for Flash libraries to load.) Ryan and I think it'll be helpful for both of us to pick couple characters from our random sketches and draw character sheet for each of them since we're trying to come with a style for our new short. Although these characters are not really related to the story we have in mind, it's a good exercise to explore different drawing styles.

Here we go.



A while back, a friend of mine was looking to buy Japanese school girl leg warmers online. I helped her search the internet and I came across tons of different styles and patterns of leg/arm warmers. I never own a pair of these, but I think they make the girls look really cute.



I had a really good time drawing this big guy. He's like a water balloon. When I first moved here, I told my family that NYC forced people to walk a lot and that's why there weren't that many overweight people. Well, that's not so true. I found that out after spending enough time watching people on the subway trains.


I started each of these drawings with a few curves, trying to get it to be as streamline as could. It's a nice break from the high detailed anime character I work on during the day.


And finally, a character set :D The production team at AC photoshoped their faces onto Little Miss Sunshine poster. That inspired me to draw a weird brother with cute little sister.


Ryan's drawings are coming up next.

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