Sunday, December 1, 2013

PROJECT: Testing out ToonBoom

The work in progress below (ToonBoom):

Version with clean up in Photoshop:

I cleaned up the frames in Photoshop without referencing the next or previous shot. Obviously a stupid thing to do (more info below).

Cleanup was the phase where it fell apart, I planned to use Photoshop but .....
this is how things look when trying to scrub between drawings in Photoshop..on top of that it needs to load the image each time...nearly impossible to clean up properly!

So instead I just cleaned up the individual frames without referencing the previous and next shots...I'm surprised it even looks half as good as it does :P Next animation I'll do from start to finish in ToonBoom!

Here's a still:

BBC Harry Hill's Take on Me

Forgot to post it here, this is the video I did rotoscoping for (together with 3 other artists) during my break from work:

Making off video :

The full video :

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Been playing Street Fighter IV again and have the blister on my thumb to prove it!

Walkcycle Set Up

I will animate this in toonboom:

Breaking the character down into simple shapes:

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

Animation : Style Tests

The layout was drawn by Claudia Bucek (LINK), I played around with some textures and color edits:

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Afro Grannies

Don't even ask how this came about :P

This is the actual final drawing, but safe to safe granny #2 wasn't as successful...

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Animation : Work in Progress

OK, so phase 2 of the scene is to get the character on model and start the clean up. There will be a second pass on the clean up where I'll work on the head and secondary actions.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tutorial Time: Handdrawn animation in Flash + Paint + Composition in Aftereffects

Stumbled on some great tutorials that show you how to go about doing handdrawn animation in Flash, paint your lineart in flash and finally composite in aftereffects (add shadow, background and layering).

I did not create these tutorials, I am just sharing these because they are useful, for more info check out their website:

1) Handdrawn animation in Flash:
This is the exact same process I use for my animations (except that I am a better animator - I kid...not really :P)

2) Paint your Lineart in Flash

This is not how I work, I actually take an extra step where I clean up my lineart in Photoshop, and paint in Photoshop. But it's a nice tutorial nonetheless:

3) Aftereffects

This was most useful to me, this is how to import your linework into Aftereffects, apply a shadow and use layering effects for extra depth.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Test Scene: Rough Animation

I went to sleep at 2am and I couldn't fall asleep...what the hell! So I got up, made a tea and started animating! So I kinda finished the very rough animation for the test scene I am doing.

It'll be a pain in the butt to clean this up and get all characters on model, but at least I think the timing is working. I could make it easy on myself and do the clean up in Photoshop but I will do it in Flash to improve my drawing skills in that cursed program :P

Also did some sort of "clean up" drawing flash, what I really want though is to have a line that feels sketchy (pencil) but still clean enough to look good on screen.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Creating an Animatic in FLASH Tutorial

I'm working on a group project and thought it was a good idea to do a test animation first. I picked a scene from one of my favorite movies: Kung Fu Hustle. The reason I did this was so we already had voice and sound sorted, so we only really needed to focus on character design and animation.

The team was started on character concepts, the designs that were picked were done by Michelle Henderson:

I then did a rough animatic of the scene :

For anybody who wants to know how I put it together, here's a step by step:

1. I opened up a document in Photoshop with the youtube aspect ration (16:9), I then drew every frame on a separate layer. The Background has it's own layer and any additional characters as well.

2. Sticking to the source material footage from Kung Fu Hustle, I made a drawing for every change in pose. This is how things are done for tv animation, because everything needs to be done fast. The director approves the poses of the storyboard, the animator needs to stick to this. This is different in feature, where animators will design their own keys.

3. Every time the camera changes, we start a new "scene". I have labelled the scene numbers in the top right corner. The supervisor on animation can then hand out the scenes to his animators. In tv animation, the animator will draw all the characters and props in the scene. In feature it is possible that different characters in the scene are animated by different animators.

4. When I finished, I saved all the images by number (01, 02, 03, 04, etc..) so that when I import these to the stage in Flash, Flash will open up all images and put them on their own frame.

Flash > open a new document
File>Import>Import to stage

5. I then added the audio file (wav file in this case), and timed the images to match the audio.

6. Ready to export the animatic as a mov. file, so I could upload to youtube.
File>Export>Export movie


- Exporting to a mov. clip (Quicktime) with Flash isn't always working, in 3 of my exports there was some screen tearing. I need to find a good swf > mov/avi converter for mac.

I then started my rough animation in Flash (honestly I don't draw well in flash but if I keep drawing in Flash I am bound to get better :P). And that's one of my motto's, don't do things the way you know how to do them, do it the hard way..learn, evolve!

I also created some notes about how my workspace is set up when animating in flash: download the image here)

And finally a quick test on how I'd do clean up in Photoshop:

Sunday, October 13, 2013

STUDY: Color Thumbnails from Kiru/Kill (2008) II

The reason I actually started this was because I wanted to analyse how the fightsequence was filmed, but it's been so much fun to try to mimic the colors in these little thumbnails :P

 Probably will continue with this but might switch up to linedrawings, so I can focus on the movement of the characters and the angles they are shot.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Submission for the Animation Art Show Auction

So the guys at Boulder organize an Art Auction every year for charity ( . Last year I submitted a zombie sketch from my sketchbook and this year I did a slightly more elaborate drawing.

I always like doing something traditional because it's easier to mess up, so it also adds a sense of personality to it.

My idea was to draw a kid who's sketchbook spills out into the creations he thought up. All the characters are characters I've drawn at some stage during the last couple of years. If I'd need to name the piece I'd name it "Dream Big". Cheesy as it sounds, you need to keep dreaming, keep being a kid, keep being unrealistic..

The final pencils:

The original digital sketch:

The pencil work in progress:

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Analysing "out of Sight" with the Pixar Storyguide + Bill Plympton

I'm digging into storytelling lately, so I am deviating perhaps from posting up sketches and instead decided to use the Pixar storytelling method on one of the shorts I really liked.

The shortfilm is called "Out of Sight":

Once upon a time…There was a blind girl and her guide dog
And every day…She took her dog out for a walk Until one day…Her purse got stolen
Because of this…the dog ran after the thief and disappeared into a crack in a fence
Because of this…the girl went into this dark place looking for her dog
Because of this…she had to rely on her other senses like touch, sound, smell to navigate on her own through the world.
Until finally…..she finds her dog again.
And ever since…well, nothing has changed..this wasn't a character development piece

I think the ...and because...part is really important, actions by characters need to be a reaction to a situation. Can't remember where I heard this, but if the story is told by...and then...and then...and's a bad story. We can also see in this story that there is no character development, instead of the character learning something, we learned something directly as an audience.

And also want to share the work of Bill Plympton, you can have a look on youtube for some of his shorts. But here is a really great presentation with Bill who gives out some advice and insight on producing independent films:

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Story of the Box Lady


 So let me tell you what the inspiration is for this story:

I was walking on one of the busiest streets in Dublin (Ireland) O'Connel Street, as everyday there are 100s of people streaming up and down. In the midst of these people stands on old lady..she looked she was about 170 years old...she was barely moving forward...but more concerning was that she was wearing a carton box on her head (pears to be exact). I couldn't see her eyes, and it certainly was no nobody was with her. It was a weird image that stuck with me...I wanted to know why, and what! When I came home I drew this really quick sketch of her: Boxlady

I then started to think...what could be under that box? Maybe she being controlled by cats, maybe she is an alien, maybe she is one of those conjoint twin kinda people....

For the story, I took the image of the box as a symbol of the ladies' life experiences, stories she has to tell and imagination. We have to look into the box to find out more about her. Living in a city where you can walk on the street with a box on your head without anybody stopping to ask if you are ok, really makes me think we should stop and take some time to get to know each other again! Here's my initial story treatment...


 Once upon a time… There was a guy who didn't care about anything else besides himself, he had very long hair covering his eyes and walks around with his head down looking at his feet. The world was a grey place and he was just living out the rest of his days.

 And every day…. He walked the same street on his way to the bar filled with beggars and tourists asking for directions. He steps on the feet of people, kicks over the collection jars of the bums, bumps into people flicking them off. But never looks anybody in the eyes.

 Until one day…. He bumps into an old lady wearing a carton box on her head (hiding her features). He is about to curse at her. but seeing this strange image makes him hesitate. He walks on, but still processing what he saw, he turns around and sees the lady is trying to cross the road while the traffic light is red. Cars are going at her at full speed. Every body just walks as normal, nobody paying attention to this danger.

 Because of this… He does something he normally never does, instead of ignoring everything around him, he jumps to the rescue of this lady. A car is about to knock her over, but he runs across the road like a rugby player and jumps into the lady to clear her from danger of being hit. she lies unconscious on the road. He is looking around to see if anybody is running over to help the lady, but everybody just keep walking on with their head facing the ground, not even acknowledging anything special has happened.

 Because of this… He needs to help her. First thing he tries to do is to remove the box from her head so he can perform first aid. As he tried to remove the box, we see a bunch of cats that are wrapped around her head, holding the box.

Like a spring the box recoils back on her head and the guy is totally surprised. He laughs out loud and we see him thinking "screw this man, I'm out of here". As he walks off, he looks back and the box is walking along dragging the body of this woman behind it.

He can't resists and follows the box lady. It disappears in a dark alley. He enters the dark alley carefully. The woman's' body is nowhere to be seen, but the box is lying there. He approach and tries to look in the box, which appears shallow from the outside but infinitely deep from the inside. He peeks inside and gets sucked into the box.

 (Here's where some fun stuff can happen)

Until finally….. He escapes from the weird world of the box , let's say he exits through a toilet. he shakes his head like a dog trying to dry his fur. He looks in the mirror and puts his hair on a ponytail revealing his facial features to us for the first time. He goes out the men's room and walks into what seems to be a cafe.

He takes seat next to an old lady who's face we can't see, but she looks like the lady with the box on her face. They are having coffee. Ever since that day…. Our hero walks with his head up, talking to strangers and engaging in the wonderful tales people have to tell enriching his own life.

 Below some more sketches I did :

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Saturday, September 28, 2013

STUDY: ERGO PROXY - Backgrounds

In the first one I didn't draw the toilet because it was clearly a 3D model, so I would probably have to gather a picture of a toilet to get a similar effect... and I am not that desperate :P

The second one I just slapped on that character and merged the layers before I noticed it looked like crap. Ergo Proxy is a cool show, but man..when you study those backgrounds they are out of focus, overexposed tricks. It certainly wouldn't hold up as art on it's own I think but it really works with the story. I've learned quite a bit copying these backgrounds (poor as my attempts may be).

Main tools used:
 - Radial Gradient
- Very soft brush at 4% (for the bed and highlights on that metal table.
- Texture for the wall in the bathroom
- Lots of shape drawing with the lassoo tool and >Gaussian blur.

STUDY: Tekkonkinkreet comp + color

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ryu & Camy from Street FIghter and more random stuff

Sketch on request for my facebook page:

Character concept I am working on for

Another sketch:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

STUDY #3: Seven Samurai - Akira Kurosawa

STUDY #2: Seven Samurai - Akira Kurosawa

I decided to go about these studies a bit differently..because I am not a painter, and neither do I have any ambition to be one. So I decided to do line drawings of the movies I study in my own style, and then paint the value study or color study underneath that layer. Copying work otherwise is just boring and I'd be giving it up soon enough.

So I picked 2 shots of the first half of the movie, both character based:

#1: There is great despair in the village, but Kikuchiyo (Toshiro Mifune) managed to get the entire village in a laugh. I love his character a lot, but I chose thos shot because the laughs seemed to genuine and seeing these old ladies crack up really put a smile on my face:

#2: The farmers in general make me laugh, they are cowardly, weak, whiny excuses of men. This shot they really looked like a dog that has done something wrong and they know it...Anyway, on to part 2! :P