Saturday, June 14, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
There's a cool little web application called "stripgenerator". Like with a lot of other web applications, you're very limited in what you can do with it. Which sparks up creativity like nothing else! You can start a comics blog, or just play around and make standalone strips.
Here's my first attempt (direct link here).
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Yesterday I went out to sketch some architecture. I was thinking of going to Neve Tzedek, an area famous for its unique and beautiful architecture. On the way there, however, I noticed a shabby old building. I've seen it many times, but this time I was really looking. The wealth of texture in form and detail was truly fascinating. Drawing some fancy "straight" house suddenly seemed boring.
So I stopped and sketched it. I drew two versions in my sketchbook, then went home and did a more relaxed Wacom sketch, which is the one I'm posting.
A guy working in a nearby garage told me that 60 years ago, it had been a boiler factory.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Very few people get to really make a difference in the world. Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston (I can't really separate these names) made it twice: once by giving us some of the greatest animation ever made, and again by telling us how to do it. These people helped transform animation from silly curiosity, to perhaps the world's most complex, refined and deep art form.
If you think about it, very few people can take that sort of credit.
To them, to the rest of the nine old men, and to Walt Disney himself - all now gone - I take off my hat and bow.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
A long time ago I promised to tell y'all about Springboard, a small but powerful storyboarding software I'm using. I love this software, and here is why.
- Basic drawing tools: the drawing tools are good enough for getting the point across, but they're too simple for beautifully executed artwork. This makes it easier for me to stay focused on storytelling.
- Zoom: you can zoom in and out. It's great to be able to take a step back and "watch the film", then go in again and draw. These screenshots show my 'story pass' for "catch!".
- Export/Import: When I was happy with my story pass, I did a 'drawing pass' - exported the panels, re-drew them in a different program, and imported them back in. You can even do this automatically, using an "external editing" feature.
- Presentation: Once the stuff is ready, Springboard offers an amazing variety of presentation outputs - you can pretty much arrange the panels into every storyboard format known to man. You can export them to HTML, as I've done in my previous post. The presentation can include text (there's a text box for each panel), timing (you can time it inside Springboard, play it, and even export it as AVI), headers, footers, filename, date - you name it.
- It's CHEAP!
Check it out! The trial version is fully operational except for printing (at least, that's the way it was when I first tried it).
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Poor guy...note to self: get a good night's sleep before my next gameshow appearance.
What I find so interesting here, is the switch from self confidence, almost to the point of being cocky, to complete embarrassment and humility. BUT even though the change happens in a single moment, the reaction is gradual and goes through several different beats.
First Beat (1:00) - he realizes something is wrong. This is also gradual - you can actually see realization dawning on him, in slow motion (I'm guessing the transition would have been a bit quicker, had he not been so tired)Second beat: he stares at the monitor, dumbfounded. There's a very subtle transition here - starting with a vague shadow of his former confident smile, then no no smile at all, and finally - a first trace of an embarrassed smile. It's interesting that the change is so subtle that I can hardly see any movement at all - and yet, the change of expression is very clear.
Look carefully at the corner of his mouth throughout this beat. This is what texture is all about: layering very slight variations on top of a very strong pose or transition. It's a great way of making your animation feel rich, without loosing clarity.
Third beat: the embarrassed smile is his brave attempt to hide his frustration and shame.
I like thinking of emotional changes in terms of weight and inertia (something we animators know about). Just like a moving object takes time to change direction (AKA motion arc), so mood and attitude take time to change. I think this clip shows a great example of such an "emotional arc".
Well, I tried to be optimistic and trust the goodness of human kind, but spamming got the best of me. Lately I've had to delete a spam comment almost every day (that's double spam - my Email AND the blog!). So, as much as I wanted to avoid it, I've had to add the standard Blogger password protection thingy. I hope it won't discourage anyone from commenting.
Which is a good place to say again, that I love getting your feedback! Comments are a big part of what motivates me to keep the blog alive. So talk to me - I'm listening :)
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
Unfortunate circumstances have brought me to spend some hours in the hospital.
I hate hospitals. They stress me out. The neon lighting, the bland colors, the constant humming, the still quietness with the occasional cough. I saw a doctor; for the life of me, I can't understand how anyone would be willing to go through years of hard training, only to end up spending most of his waking hours in such a bleak environment. Yes, I know they're helping people and all. Perhaps I'm just not enough of an altruist.
You know what I really missed in there? Something to focus on, some points of interest for the eye to rest upon. It's all so damn repetitive! A small colorful picture here and there, an occasional plant, perhaps a cheerful decoration hanging from the ceiling – why not? It's not expensive, and I think it can do so much for the wellbeing of both patients and staff.
Or maybe I don't understand anything.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Monday, March 03, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
Behold the art of William Whitaker. Very romantic stuff, very classic, beautifully executed. As a bonus - it's not very often that you see a non-digital artist taking the time to show his process. This guy does. Look under demonstration.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Hello boys and girls,
I've already shared this post in my "Google Reader Shared Items" page, however I think it's such a valuable resource, I decided to share it more "aggressively".
In his blog "Flip", Cameron Fielding shared not only a cool reel of his animation for "Turok" (a computer game), but also an amazingly detailed account of his process for making it. It's a long and demanding read (at least when English is not your native language), but it's SO worth the effort. If you're interested in getting the hang of making clear, appealing, effective action-packed animation, take the time and READ IT. Twice.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
I'm currently illustrating a children book - a very interesting adventure for me. I'll post more details, including some of the working process, when the time comes. In the meanwhile, here are 3 sketches trying to capture "mom". The writer wanted her to be very beautiful; I wanted her to feel "real", not too perfect. So I was trying to walk this fine line of attractiveness without perfection. None of these really hit the mark - but between them, they give me a pretty solid direction.
As always, comments are more than welcome.