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Madagascar “Gloria” wip

Posted on June 28, 2012 
Filed Under Education, Modeling, Portfolio | 2 Comments

Here is where I am. I haven’t worked on the feet yet. Two days into it, I just need to adjust some edge loops, get rid of triangles then it will be done. Next is Vitaly then some Brave characters, just because modeling characters is fun!

Ah and some wireframes. The arms are still pretty low polygon.

Related post:
37 degrees celcius

Valve’s “Source Filmmaker” (SFM)

Posted on June 28, 2012 
Filed Under Video Games | 1 Comment

SFM logo

I went to see Madagascar 3 in 3d few days ago and I was struck by how efficiently they used the 3d.

Like most purist I don’t usually care about 3d and would usually go for the cheaper and flatter 2d version when/if available but this made me realize that we are living in a very exciting time.

As soon as I got out of the cinema I wanted to do some modeling and animation. Not because the movie was so good (you can swim from Tanzania to Monaco in 5 minutes, but can’t reach New York in 10? right….) but I am guessing because I had been sharing 90 minutes with CG puppets made alive, and, thanks to the use of 3d, those puppets were simply made real.

For the past few years we have merely tried to replicate in CG what had been done for 100 years with traditional 2d animation when we actually have the tools to take storytelling and cinematography to greater heights.

Let’s have a look at what video game company, Valve, just presented in a very compelling video today.

Non other than Gollum’s creator, Bay Raitt, is introducing Valve’s “Source filmmaker” (SFM).

From what I understand, they basically give you the best tool to create your own Machinimas.

We will be able to to use Valve’s realtime VFX, lighting, animation engine to create our own realtime shortfilms… for free? ;-)

On top of that, we can already imagine that animation, props, VFX creators could sell the fruits of their labour on the Valve marketplace or Steam, for everyone to enjoy. Got some crazy walk/run cycles? Sell them! You missed out on the Iphone App market? This is your chance!

Those guys are definitely thinking outside the box and created a really fresh ecosystem and business model. I look forward to hearing more about it and seeing how the wider audience will react to it.

Hit to following link for loads of tutorials.

While we are at it, check out that “Meet the Pyro” video I hadn’t seen before.

Related posts:
Bay Raitt
Design outside the box
Things change, new opportunities ariseB

37 degrees Celsius

Posted on June 27, 2012 
Filed Under Drawings, Modeling | 5 Comments

Today was a really hot day. 37C or 100 Farenheit… HOT!

Nothing like going to the café down the road and sketch some of the patrons by such temperature! I have also started using a new 0.1 Uni Pen. I was recommended a similar Staedler felt pen but they don’t do that brand at my local art store.

There is no messing around with such tool, you got to be have a clear idea where you are going as each line counts.

If you are wondering, we are in delayed pre-production at work which means no work … or income. It sucks so I’d better make the most of it and keep myself busy.

[update] Well well well… I was reading James Robertson’s blog this evening and said to myself. What about if I added some colours in Photoshop?! Learning watercolours is a big struggle for me and once you put the paints on the paper, it is too late for corrections.

Crazy I never thought about using digital paints! I was probably in the mindset that retouching sketches afterwards is cheating. At the end of the day, it is only about the final product isn’t it? And the learning obviously ;-)

And here is something I am working on if you are not following me on Vimeo

Blue Sky “Epic”

Posted on June 26, 2012 
Filed Under Animation | Leave a Comment

Well well well…. no farting or burping jokes, no pop culture references, fairly realistic look …. this definitely seems different! The trailer reminds us a bit of “Arthur and the invisibles” but it is obviously too early to know what this is about.

At a time where most Animated Features look alike, it is nice to see Blue Sky is trying something different. Let’s hope it works out.

Pixar Brave Wireframes

Posted on June 26, 2012 
Filed Under Education, Modeling | 4 Comments

Ever wondered how dense those Pixar meshes are? I have!

You are in luck, Pixar just released some video footage where we can see the wireframe mesh of both Queen Elinor and King Fergus!

Except the helmet, hair and moustache the mesh is pretty dense. I wonder whether they add one more pass of smoothing at render time though.

Those are probably not the low poly meshes anyway but we can already notice an E pole on the cheeks. This could possibly means Pixar doesn’t use Nurbs surfaces anymore.

Click to zoom in.

And here is the Behind the Scenes video with, 2 minutes into it, Animation Collaborative‘s Michal Makarewicz. (a great school to attend if you are in the San Francisco area or crazy enough to relocate for three month ;-) )

via Keith Ribbons

Related posts:
3d modeling portfolio
Low polygon modeling
Brave concept art and teaser

Sony’s “Hotel Transylvania” June trailer

Posted on June 24, 2012 
Filed Under Animation | Leave a Comment

Compared to “Brave”, “Cloudy with a chance of Meatbals”, “Open Season”, the character designs feel really uninspired and pretty generic to me. Could this be because Sony finally settled for a TV Series director?

Some TV shows like “Samurai Jack” have great artistic direction but unlike most Genndy Tartakovsky fans, I can’t watch more than one episode of a TV series.

This looks like an interesting movie though and I am sure Kris Pearn and his team added a lot of magic to the script.

Since I have a thing for animated vampires and most Sony’s Animated Features were good surprises for me, I will probably go and see that one.

CGMA Character Design Week 06

Posted on June 18, 2012 
Filed Under Drawings, Portfolio, Tablet PC | 2 Comments

In week 06, Nate asked us to design an animal by focusing on its iconic features.

I went for my favourite animal, the elephant, and decided to give it a Ronald Searle treatment, just to show that I could draw in a different style. Character Design is not just about designing things in your own manner, in production you need to be able to adapt to other people’s style.

This little guy was done in Sketchbook pro with custom brushes on my poor man’s Cintiq aka Tablet PC (hence the small size). I tried real hard to obtain a nice line quality with my Intuos 3 but I feel it is not going to happen.

Related posts:
CGMA Character Design Week 05

Jamaal Bradley “Tangled” (Raiponce)

Posted on June 18, 2012 
Filed Under Animation | Leave a Comment

Let’s take a break from Storyboarding today.

Jamaal just posted a awesome shot walkthrough. Really lovely work.

I am not a Disney Princesses fanboy but if you still haven’t watched Tangled, rush to the DVD rental place near your house immediately, Disney made a magical timeless movie that instantly outdated a lot of its 2d production. The acting of Rapunzel is one of the most genuine ever seen in Animated Features.

Related posts:
Tangled new official trailer
Tangled crew
Jamaal Bradley, acting shot walkthrough

‘Pressing matters’ 03 rough first pass

Posted on June 15, 2012 
Filed Under Drawings, Short film, Story | 1 Comment

This is part 03. I started to use a more classic Photoshop brush, I am still not sure which one looks best, not that I am fluent with any of them though ;-)

Ah Toby Shelton just updated his blog with some awesome Kung Fu Panda boards. I really like his Sharpie looking brush… might try that one! (Thanks Nolwenn for the heads up)

‘Pressing matters’ 02 rough first pass

Posted on June 14, 2012 
Filed Under Drawings, Portfolio, Short film, Story | 3 Comments

This is the second panel, you read it from left to right.

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