Since Facebook has decided to widen the use of their awful Ranking system to Newsfeed, I have decided to refocus my efforts on updating this blog more often than I have done in the past few month.
I would also encourage other “content makers” to do the same as you don’t want a third party to interfere in your communication with your audience and in a way, “censor” your posts by applying a silly celebrity ranking system. Getting statistics of your website’s usage is also much easier with a blog than on Facebook and I am not even talking about the immense improvement on searching your blog.
I would also suggest smart readers to use a RSS reader like Feedly and its mobile equivalent (Phonly for Windows Mobile users) just so they can get all their favorite content from an organised central location (GTD) on their phone/tablet or desktop.
And to start those new year’s resolutions, here is a rare interview with one of the top Matte Painters and Vis dev guy in the industry, Paul Lasaine. Thanks Schoolism and Bobby Chiu for a great interview again.
By the way, I just logged onto the Schoolism website and realised I still have access to all the courses with Video Feedback I took.. Really cool!!! I look forward to watching Nathan Fowkes lectures again next year.
For this first week, our teacher Nathan Fowkes asked us to do 12 under one hour studies of photographs, paintings or any reference that we found interesting.
I have been collecting color scripts and movies screenshots for quite a while so finding references wasn’t difficult. Painting was an other story… I have a whole set of clean-up brushes for character designs but when it comes to painting, I realised all my brushes were of no use and had to find some new ones more appropriate for that kind of exercise. I also had no clue how to go about painting in Photoshop but my knowledge in oil painting and lighting came pretty handy.
Here is what I submitted for this week. The first one took me a very long time to do and I didn’t have time to adjust the colours but luckily I became much faster after having done several and the last ones were more enjoyable. You should try, it is a fun exercise. For each study I tried to work on something different, SSS, backlighting, color scheme…
Credits: Aurélien Prédal (1/2/5), Joaquin Sorolla , Roger Deakins (3/4)), Robert Richardson (7/9/10/11)
[update] Well the class sold out in probably less than two hours, this should give some ideas to other online schools like CGMA/CGMW (I can never remember the name, but I highly recommend the storyboard and character design class). CGMA has a 2 hours live class with the mentor every week, Schoolism doesn’t. Come on CGMA, there are plenty of great Feature Animation Vis Dev artist out there.
Check this out, Bobby Chiu’s Schoolism just announced a pretty awesome online class titled “Designing with Color and Light with Nathan Fowkes”.
I have been following Dreamworks visual dev artist Nathan Fowkes for a bit and I had to rush to book the course, granted I will have a slight issue compared to other students, I am slightly colour blind. This shouldn’t be too much of an issue, some people say Van Gogh was also colour blind and this is why the palette he used seems so vibrant to non-colour blind people.
Schoolism has also a bunch of other great classes from Zbrush to Storyboarding (with Kris Pearn) I would encourage you to check out
If you enroll to one of the courses and you want to support Animation with a Moustache, please give them the following promo code 75qs0
I should use this opportunity to thanks the two people who refereed me and I would like to hear which courses you took and how you found them.
I just found a 12 minutes introduction video to an other workshop he helds in L.A. that should give an idea to what to expect from his course.
Alright I cheated a bit this week. The poses were supposed to be 1 minutes which I respected BUT I spent some additional time cleaning up the poses and fixing proportions. Without a very good understanding of anatomy and proportions, it is really really hard to draw a pose in less than a minute, especially when you have to turn the model around so the silhouette reads clearer. It must be possible with experience but I am not quite there yet. Give me few more weeks ;-)
I haven’t had much time for Schoolism this week so I only managed to do the video lecture assignment which involved drawing the same pose in two passes. In the first pass we were asked to only concentrate on the shape for 30 seconds then concentrate on the line work for 30 seconds again. Pretty hardcore I must say, this will require a lot of training!!!!
Here is my work for this week, click to zoom in.
Schoolism Gesture Drawing Week 01
Sorry for those waiting to hear from “Pick my Brain” but I am pretty busy with other things at the moment.
One of those is the fact that I enrolled to the Alex Woo and Louis Gonzales Schoolism Gesture drawing class.
It is only the first week so I am not too sure how the class works yet or even who my classsmates are (except my buddy Maciek)
Our first week we were asked to focus on the line of action,. For the sketches I couldn’t find a spot with people showing interesting line of action so I did some regular sketches instead. Here are my assignments:
I am one of those art snobs whose goal is nothing less than to be able to draw like the late Kim Jung Gi and only rely on my imagination to create work.
It doesn’t have to be that way!
If like me, you are only at the start of your artistic journey, this mindset can hinder your efforts and be detrimental to your progress.
We take for granted that all the best work is created from imagination and undermine how much research and references can participate to the creation of the most exciting artwork.
Kim Jung Gi himself was not creating art out a vacuum, instead he was digging into a mental library he crafted over years of studies. Years of looking at and analyzing references.
Few weeks ago, my fellow Basque Vis Dev artist extraordinaire Sylvain Marc, unveiled his new Schoolism class and looking at the trailer, I was once again in awe at his very distinctive work characterized by simple bold shapes as statements and intricate details … as whispers. I am feeling poetic this morning. As you can see on the trailer, Sylvain gathered a very large collection of buildings and clocks references before opening Photoshop and this is certainly what makes his work stand out compared to artists using formulaic and generic assumptions.
An other example I would like to mention for the use of references to give more umpf to your work is the character design of 10 years best selling manga: Once Piece.
I am not an avid One Piece reader but I can’t help going back to Eiichiro Oda’s best seller and marvel at his striking character designs.
For a very long time I simply admired the bold designs and once again assumed they were created out of thin air when in reality, real characters and caricatures of those real characters are what the world of One Piece is populated with.
Had I not came across this fantastic post on Quora, I would have never thought about it and just assumed Oda was just gifted by god-like abilities.
There are a ton of examples on the thread so make sure you check out the article :
That’s it for today, I hope this article will incite you to look at references for inspiration and stop behaving like an artist snob!
What, wait! Three Ringling students made this?!?!! How the hell is this possible !
I just love it, especially the character design. Really good work guys! I want to see a sequel to this!
and here is a link to the artist’s blogs where you will find a great making of video:
While I am posting, here are some news for you. I am currently attending Nate Wragg’s “character design for production” class and it is awesome. I always manage to screw up and not respect the deadlines but the character I am working on is developing really nicely. I will be posting all my work when the class finishes but here is a little work in progress for you. We are not supposed to do any rendering but I felt I needed to shade this guy for this week’s turnaround.
I will probably share my Photoshop brushes at the end of the class. Here is that work in progress, the mouth is completely out of whack but I think it is a fun painting.
Francesco Giroldini, lighting tutorials
Sorry for the lack of updates lately but believe me, I was REALLY BUSY. As a side note, I cut down my Facebook use DRAMATICALLY, as in, I only open Facebook to check my mails twice a week and I am way more productive now.
Anyway so, after few weeks attending the Schoolism Gesture class, I grew more confident about my drawing skills and when a friend told me about the CGMWA Character design and Story classes, I knew I couldn’t pass on those rare opportunities, especially seeing who the mentors are.
AnimC has a great character design class with Chris Sasaki this term and an awesome Storyboard class with Louis Gonzales but moving back to San Francisco for three month is not doable at the moment, and summer coming, I am better off being on the French sunny sea side rather than cloudy/cold SF.
I have been following Steven Mc Leod’s blog since he was at CalArts and always found it inspiring, the class is said to be for beginners but we are already creating some solid portfolios.
As for Nate, I discovered his blog by Googling the Ratatouille End Credits and immediately bought his first video lecture when it came out. I love the way he paints digitally as it looks like real brushes.
When he announced he was starting a Character design class, I loved his first video so much that I HAD to enroll. Now, I get to pick his brain and watch him work every week.
The CGMWA classes are only 8 weeks but they are pretty cheap compared to whatever is out there and certainly cheaper than CalArt that both mentors graduated from.
For the Story class, we had to submit few pages of sketches on the first week and this week was about creating one picture gags. I was busy moving house so I only did one which I used for both Character Design and Story. Clever hey!
This week’s Character Design assignment was to design a Templar. I am never really short of gag ideas, let’s see if that one makes sense!
Forgive the rough line work, I am very new to Photoshop for clean up and still have to find a good brush. I am getting there though. I will post something more worked out in few days.
Thanks to the Schoolism gesture drawing class, I am feeling inspired to do a bit more work on my, many years ongoing comic strip, or Bédé (Bandes Dessinées), as they are called in France.
I have a whole series about my rediscovery of France and the French town of Angoulême two years ago, an other one about my addiction to coffee and Moka coffee makers, and a third one about my life in San Francisco.
I will be starting slowly with a bunch of random stories as a warm up and to try different worklfows.
As a teaser, here is a rough drawing from the first story I will be publishing. The story is well fleshed out but I started drawing on newsprint paper and I got stuck when I wanted to import this into the computer. Good thing a friend asked me to clean his Tablet PC last week. I also had one laying around and realised it would be a very handy tool for my comics!