Sunday, August 31, 2008

'Love Your Enemies'

So, this is my most recent 'master piece'. This was created for today's service at Genesis the Church in Royal Oak, MI. I used Photoshop CS3 and my Cintiq for drawing,Digital Juice Stack Tracks Ambient Stacks 2 - 'The 5th Dimension' with all procussion removed for the music, Final Cut for mix down and final export, and iDVD for burning the final deliverable. I also used MPEG Streamclip to create the web ready files for posting.

This would be considered 'cell' animation, though I do everything in Photoshop, so there's no actual cellulose used. I would call it 'frame' animation, as each frame is individually drawn as seperate layers. A 'frame' is drawn, duplicated, then the duplication is adjusted. The duplication is itself duplicated with the adjustment, and additional adjustment is made to the drawing, and so on until the project is completed.

I usually import the layered Photoshop file into After Effects to create the sequencing, but this time I tried a different process for the sake of time. With CS3, from the 'Animations' window, you can create the frameing sequence, and then export directly to a Quick Time file. I imported the qt file into Final Cut which already contained my music bed from the animatic. The process was about an hour, to 30 min. faster than AE, however there were a few timing situations that I was unable to alter because of this export process. It's faster, but you compramise timing flexability.

I received the assignment on Wed., the 27th, and spent a cumulative 8 hours on it from Wed. to Fri. evening. On Saturday, I spent another 8.5 hours to completion, however I didn't START until 7:00 pm! Which means an all-nighter. I guess I like it because I pull 'all nighters' every Saturday before I have an animation for church.

I feel that this piece is successful for the context in which it was used, and the production quality is pretty good. I was surprised to see how well the emotion of the 'thrower' was translated in the last throwing sequence. It wasn't a conscious decision to make it so violent, (this is the most violent piece I've ever done!) it just sort of turned out that way.

There were quite a few 'accidental' successes, actually. I was pleased with the theatrical results of the secondary movements - the 'victim' missing a rock, the 'attacker' taking steps back at the 'victim' crosses the bridge - however those motions were instituted purely as utilitarian work-arounds. I left a rock off to the side as a 'safety' for continuity - I kept loosing count as they passed from the thrower to the catcher. The 'attacker' had to move back a few steps to accomodate the 'victim' crossing the bridge, because the bridge changed length twice during the course of production. Again, because I kept loosing count of those silly rocks.

I didn't really 'risk' anything in this piece, and I'm still working in only black and white. Again, it's a confidence issue. And a need to work through procrastination - waiting until the last minute means I have to keep everything as simple as possible to work quickly. Part of my procrastination may be a artistic 'self preservation' - waiting until the last minute means performance pressure is replaced by deadline pressure. If I don't have time to make it fancy, then expectations are lowered, protecting my 'artistic ego'. I need to stop chaining up my creativity for the sake of protecting it. Because I haven't given myself the freedom to risk, I am extreamly underdevloped in my talent.

I think I have the story for my next experimental piece.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

People In Glass Houses

Here are a couple frames from the current project for church on Sunday. We're talking about 'Love Your Neighbor' and the idea was to have a guy throwing stones at another guy, and the other guy uses the stones to build a bridge.

I'm still in my B&W phase, and still not courageous enough to risk anything but stick figures. Though the stick men do have a certain 'emo' honesty about them.

(Look for the final animation on Facebook, YouTube, or MySpace on Monday)

(frame 01)
(frame 26)
(frame 38)
(frame 42)
(frame 64)

Friday, August 22, 2008


Sometimes it's just fun to throw down and just draw for the sheer joy of it.

But no matter what it is, you still have to show people. Even if it's dorky.

Because art without public is just therapy.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Colonel's Car

Here's another drawing from the animation project. It's the car driven by the 'bad guy'. It's supposed to be old, but bad ass - like The Blues Brothers.

I guess living in Detroit does have it's benefits.


Here is a recent creation using the cintiq. I'm actually picking up some interesting drawing and painting techniques from the other artists in the Academy project. It's fun to learn other tools to bring my artwork to a higher level. Still have a way to go, but I'm working on it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pin the Tail on the Peanut

This is the dog I drew for my niece's birthday party. We played pin the tail on the dog, among other things like tug of war, and 'find the dogs' (I put different small plastic dogs in brightly colored boxes and hid them all around the house. The child that found the dachshund or greyhound won a prize.)

We had a dog theme party because it was also Peanut's birthday as well.

I've added the tail in for this illustration.