Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bots need a place to hang out, I guess...

Some quick thumbnails for the memory project, more later...
...Which one do you like?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Making Characters From Figures and Messing With Your Head

Howdy folks.
Here we are on the stretch as far as this semester is concerned. This week, both classes had a model come in to take poses and the students drew their characters, what a treat!. I love to draw the figure and getting to have two great models in two of my classes is almost as good as chocolate cake with ice cream on the side. Okay maybe not that good, but still fun just the same. For me this is the fun part of the semester. I have my students draw their characters for the WOZ project using the gestures from the poses. This is an method I practiced down in LA and I loved it. What's in it for me? I get to try to draw what they have come up with to help them along a tiny bit. I gave away a lot of the drawings I did but here are some that I kept and and thought it would be fun to post. So the session basically went like this; model hits a pose for a minute to give students time to capture the gesture. There isn't enough time for details here . Then the model steps down and the construction and details are filled in using the gesture and your imagination for two minutes. They play with shapes and proportions and so on. Getsure starts it below and then off to character ...(if you're from the bay area you may recognize the model just from the poses).

While we were working on construction the head, I did something similar on the white board (I hate drawing on the whiteboard but you gotta do what you gotta do). I drew generic head construction shapes and the had students tell me what to add or change to better fit their characters, these are quick drawings and look like crap. I'm blaming the thing on the dreaded whiteboard. This is a lot of fun, though, and we tend to get to get carried away in the process (thus the baby with a Mohawk) Special thanks to Lilly for the whiteboard pix 1-3.

We seem to have spent a lot of time on the head this semester in both classes. I don't mind, because it's so darned important, but it is a little hard to fit everything in. Here's a sample of planes of the head a student asked me to post a while back...he probably doesn't even remember now. Really character drawing starts with a willingness to push and pull the limits of what your learn conventionally. Below We start with a generic head and slope or change the medial lines to get more ethnic or aged or variations of faces.

Really the best place to "shop" for characters is by drawing those around you. Here's some recent faces from the train. Play with shapes and keep trying.
Have fun drawing...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Goodbye Ollie...

I am very sad to type that one of my heroes, Oliver Johnston, the last surviving member of Disney's nine old men died yesterday. I don’t know what else to say, some of my favorite animation moments were created by his hand. This is one guy whose name I demand my students to learn and know. At least it’s good to know that somewhere the amazing talent factory known as “Frank and Ollie” has be reunited.

Go watch some of their work. Or better yet watch Frank and Ollie.

Oliver Johnston

10.31.1912 - 4.14.08

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Memory Bots Final Finally


After many rounds we finally came up with something we could continue with for the book. We are only behind schedule by a lot (it was supposed to be due March 28...so much for that, deadline looms…)

Anyway, here are some spots for the book. Some are more ruff than others. I’m posting because you can see where we’ve started, did some revisions, did more revisions (many aren't shown), and ended up with these. Biggest difference are the episodic bots. They are easier to use now, but who would have thought there would have be so many? They sort of trans-mutated into my concept of the Fact bots and visa versa and I'm liking the Fact characters now though. I mean, there’s tons of room to play with a bunch a dog-like characters dontcha’ think? They represent different senses if you can't tell already. Procedural bots are fun now too; they all have drawers or cabinets (lockers) which they reach into to grab out a process. One's sporty taking care of those memories that involve an activity (riding a bike etc.), the baker handles the making food and when you eat it and what it tastes like category, Tiny handles the heavy operations and Bot takes care of the thinking processes. I had to name them something, there are too many to refer too now with out names.

Funny, usually the character design portion is fun and the rest is just work but this really feels, happily, backward. When I get a chance, I’ll tell you about the meeting ill-effected by a Starbuck’s mocha. This is fun now because they want it more comic book-y and I can employ a more storyboarded feeling. Now I just have to work up five more chapters, lay it out, and I'm done with this one. More to come.