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CGMA Character design week 01

Posted on May 11, 2012 
Filed Under Character design, Drawings, Education, Painting, Portfolio | 4 Comments

This is my assignment for the CGMA Character Design workshop. We were to design a monster based on a basic circle, triangle or square shape. It is a similar exercise to what we did at the Animation Collaborative. Those three shapes are the basic foundations, the building blocks of strong character design.

Here is what I came up with. The line work and painting job are a bit poor for the moment. Nate will help us with those in the next few weeks so expect a new version soon. The bottom picture are explorations that I first did with pen and paper then cleaned up in Sketchbook pro.

Aardman’s “Pirates” behind the scenes

Posted on December 5, 2011 
Filed Under Animation, Character design | 1 Comment

I think we need to thank Sony for backing up Aardman on their next stop motion feature and allowing them to come up with such a great looking movie! The environment, the props, the character design, THE BOAT!!! Man this must have cost a fortune!!! I hope the quirky British humour gets a good response from the broader audience and not only animation fans. “Napoleon Blownapart” ;-)

Pirates movies, who doesn’t like them anyway??

Related post:
Aardman “The Pirates” trailers

Scarecrow model packet

Posted on November 29, 2011 
Filed Under Character design, Drawings, Education, Painting, Portfolio | 5 Comments

Today we had one more amazing Animation Collaborative Character Design class.

This time, Albert and Chris brought Jason Deamer to give us a talk on Model Packeting. According to Al and Chris, Jason is the best artist for that kind of work at Pixar. Jason shared with us some of his Model sheets from Finding Nemo and we also saw some more from Up and the character Muntz in particular.

Here was the assignment I turned.

This is a rough “model packet” for one of the characters from my take on the “Wizard of Oz”. A “Wizard of Oz” that would take place in Siberia.

A model packet is a document that gets handed to the 3d modelers so they can take a design and turn it into a full 3d model. It can range from 5 to 18 pages depending on the complexity of the character or how much direction the modelers need.

There is nothing too complicated for that one but that was still pretty challenging. It is still very rough for the time being, I will post a cleaned up version very soon. Right now the arms and nose are not detailed enough for the modelers to do their job. The eyes also need to be worked out as they wouldn’t communicate eye direction. I will probably go for cartoony eyes like the last drawing.

I hope you like it!

Related posts:
Snowman walk

Pixar “Brave” new pictures before trailer release

Posted on November 14, 2011 
Filed Under Animation, Character design | 1 Comment

A new “Brave” trailer should be hitting the theatres and our computer screens tomorrow. In the meantime, here is a series of shots from the movie.

Hit the following links for higher resolution pictures:

via Empire online
Via Bleeding cool

On a side note, I wasn’t too far off with my modeling and the hair on Lord Macintosh is looking really fun.

Related posts:
Low polygon modeling
Pixar “Brave” D23 concept art part 2
Pixar “Brave” D23 concept art part 1
“Brave” Concept art and teaser

Bobby Chiu new free painting tutorial

Posted on November 2, 2011 
Filed Under Character design, Drawings, Education, Painting | 2 Comments

Bobby Chiu is a very good artist, a very good businessman and still a very generous guy.

I hadn’t followed him for a year or two and while looking for Photoshop painting tutorials for a friend I found that “new” video he posted well … last year.

Unlike his old painting videos, in that 190 minutes long tutorial (9 parts video) he explains his whole painting process from the original scanned sketch to fully rendered. This is probably similar to the paid videos you can get when attending his online art school

Since this is a free video, I am also posting my notes, feel free to add comments to these.

Water creature fishing

1. Bring the scanned sketch onto a layer in multiply mode, Bobby work at 33% of the final res
2. Open a second window not the navigator in a corner at about 12% to get an overview
3. Create a backgrond layer in dark grey
4. Add a new layer inbetween sketch and background and work on the tonal values of the character, we establish the base tone.
5. We create a new layer for the cast shadows
6. We create a new layer for the Colors in Color mode

Part 4 Lets bring the lights in:
1. We have been roughing out until now but it is time to zoom in, to add more detail in normal mode
2. Upmost layer in Normal mode we add the light so the sketch disappears

Part 7 Adding a secondary rim light

Part 8 Make an overal Levels change to make the painting much lighter. I would actually do the exact opposite so the dark area would have more details rather than creating flat dark areas… strange workflow

Ah and while I was getting ready to post this….. I just received a notification that Bobby Chiu posted an other AWESOME video interview with Pixar story artist Alex Woo. Alex was Tom Gately’s substitute teacher at AnimC last week and the class had a really fun time with him. Alex is a gesture drawing teacher in San Francisco and his class is usually sold out month in advance, he also holds a very popular class at Bobby Chiu’s Schoolism

As a side note, using the 75qs0 promo code when registering on the Schoolism website, you should get a nice discount and it will also help to fund my Philz coffee addiction ;-)

Related posts:
Dice Tsutsumi interview
Bobby Chiu interview

Aardman “Pythagasaurus”

Posted on October 26, 2011 
Filed Under Animation, Character design | Leave a Comment

Check out that great and probably new Aardman CG shortfilm, it is so funny! Great visuals, funny quirky dialogues and sounds (cavemen with zippers, who would have thought!). I hope they do more like that one.

“Outside a volcano has happened!”

This reminds me a bit of an old but great shorfilm by an other British studio “Studio AKA”, for the Natwest campaign.

I can’t stand Flash websites…. how am I supposed to embed anything?

Here is a link then… very sexy…:

Marc Craste’s “Mr Lucky”

Related posts:
Studio AKA keyword search

Spare parts cute designs

Posted on October 15, 2011 
Filed Under Animation, Character design, EA | Leave a Comment

My ex-coworker Ross Burt posted some of the character designs he created for Spare Parts.

The cute robots weren’t selected for the final game but I really loved them. We did model one of them and I got lucky to animate the green one with spray can nozzle head on the far right. Those who know me will rightaway understand why I fell in love with that little fellow ;-)

Spare Parts Heroes and Villains

Related posts:
BAFTA Young game designers
EA (category)

Pixar Brave, more concept art

Posted on August 30, 2011 
Filed Under Animation, Character design | 3 Comments

Some more concept and visual development work for next year’s Pixar Brave has been shown to the public at Disney D23 last week.

I would have liked to see some Lord Macintosh designs just to finish the model I started a while back :-( The Wise woman is looking really cool.

Related post:
Brave concept art and teaser

Brave concept art and teaser

Posted on June 29, 2011 
Filed Under Animation, Character design, Modeling | 9 Comments

Pixar just released a teaser for next years feature Brave (previously titled The Bear and the Bow) along with some character designs.

Those designs have definitely a Pixar feel to them as they immediately remind us of The Incredibles or Up. Some commentators compared Lord Macintosh to Muntz and the Wise Woman to a Carl Fredericksen in drag :-)

My favourite are actually Lord Macintosh and the Wise Woman as they are much more graphic than the other character. As a matter of fact I have decided to model those two in order to better understand the Pixar style and improve my modeling skills.

Updated version after the release of the movie

I modelled Lord Macintosh in Maya starting from a plane and using the edge extrusion technique in order to quickly create some edge loops then refined the base shape by cutting faces, merging and moving vertices around. Nothing too fancy. I have some experience with that type of modelling but I think I will try the Zbrush approach for the Wise Woman. My friend Richie just showed me the work of Tom Parker, an incredible Zbrush modeler that can knock out a piece in less than two hours.

Here is the timelapse, I only recorded the first few hours as the final “vertex cleaning/edge rerouting” pass is too tedious to watch. I hope you will find this interesting, the video is a sequence of automated screenshots hence the choppiness.


Related posts:
Lord Macintosh update
Modeling blog category

Smallriders is finally online

Posted on May 11, 2011 
Filed Under Animation, Character design, Friends | 5 Comments

Few month ago I was telling you about a short film made by two of my Chico Chica Boumba uber talented coworkers.

Smallriders, Chloe Blocktaels and Joan Delmont’s short film is finally online and I am loving the final product.

The short was finished in Octobre and we have had to wait a loooong time but this was really well worth it. Joan is not interested in 3d anymore but I would love to see this as an animated feature or a TV series. The animation is really good and the character designs are very appealing. Ah I should also congratulate Benjamin Meyer who was in charge of the rendering or he will kick my butt ;-)

Really nice work guys, you can be really proud of it!

Related posts:
Smallriders, first teaser
Chico Chica Boumba pilot
Back from Angouleme

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