My character design class and I went to the California Academy of Sciences on the school’s dime last week. I of course had a tremendous time.
How I love the animals! I opted to visit the aquarium first, as I am a fan of the live versus the stuffed versions of animals (although the stuffed ones, for obvious reasons, are good models.)
Drawing from life though is more fun – you get the personality of the creatures based on how they move.
Today was a most excellent day in the world of Character Design because I learned more about my new favorite artist – Peter de Seve. The man can DRAW. He is a character designer known for his work on “Finding Nemo,” “Ice Age,” “Robots,” and his numerous New Yorker covers. We also drew in the style of caricaturist Al Hirschfeld and Nico Marlet, best known for his work on “Kung Fu Panda” and “How to Train Your Dragon.” Much fun was had by all.
A Hunter seeks out a Mammoth with unusual results.
Thus begins my animated short “Kesu.” Why do a 15 second animated short for class when you can create an entire thesis-film like project for the Spring Show? Sounds like a plan to me. The first 15 seconds are my class assignment, then next minute and 25 seconds are the rest of the film.
One day I will create a short subject. But I love fully fleshed out stories. It’s why I write screenplays instead of short stories and novellas.
Our professor gave us excellent advice – create 10 to 20 story ideas with 5 unexpected outcomes and 5 reactions to each of those outcomes. That led Alice down the rabbit hole of discovery. I planned on filming “The Fighter.” I had created preliminary storyboards, character designs and was ready to go. But something did not feel right. So I followed my professors assignment and started writing ideas last Saturday at Chipotle. And then the 11th idea came to me.
So don’t listen to anyone who tells you wait around for inspiration. Get out there and churn out as many ideas as possible. That’s how you come up with something. Blood and sweat. (And good food – that helps.)
Here’s the set up of the storyboard that I pitched in class:
Found a great animation/illustration blog on Sunday from Cedric Studio that you should all check out. Cedric has deemed March “Sketchbook Month” and has invited everyone and anyone to post their sketches onto their blogs, then email him and he’ll post the sketches on his blog. Brilliant idea. I have tons of sketches that I’ve been working on for my upcoming webcomic “Welcome to Oceanside” so now I have a good reason to start uploading them onto the blog.
Here is one of my main characters – she’s actually rather shy but according to these sketches she’s doped up on sugar cereal. She has her moments.
I am the ML for Script Frenzy again this year. AWESOME. Herding cats is my specialty.
This year I am writing a graphic novel entitled Dragonriders. Not those kind of dragons – dragonflies. The protagonists of the story are groundlings – sort of like a cross between a hobbit and a gnome – who fight against the Wasp Queen and her evil cohorts for control of their homeland.
I discovered yesterday that two of my characters are named after people in shows created by Joss Whedon. Firefly was meant as a homage to one of my favorite programs. But having two characters named after his creations now looks like cheating, even though the second, Echo, was not intentional. I’m debating whether to change both names or keep them. Because frankly, having the same idea as Whedon for a character name is wicked sweet.
Echo The leader of the dragonriders who is only 20 years old.
Firefly A fifteen year old who joins the team to avenge the death of her brother.
Juniper Firefly’s best friend who is not so certain of her buddy’s vocation.
One of the portfolio requirements for Sheridan is to create your own character and use them in turnarounds. I created this creature – the Malgrith, but he was a little too complicated for what I was trying to accomplish. He’s awfully cool though so I’m posting him up here. The backstory that went into creating him is that he is a fourth line soldier for a horrific army. After the first few waves of cronies bash through the front lines this one would come in – stealth-like ninja style – and take out the stragglers and fast runners with his ax.
For fun I’m including the process of how I made him – since the process is the most fun of all for me.
I drew him on a piece of paper way too big for my little scanner, so I scanned it in sections.
Then I combine the two into one whole.
Clean it up some.
Ink it digitally on a separate layer.
Delete the original layer, add some shadows and voila! Insta-creature.