Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I am against rules but these are helpful/

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don't Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don't Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

The Four Agreements®

What do you think you can bring to the group?

I feel like I can affect a good section of our industry and other closely related industries. I have a foundation in drawing that has helped my become a digital artist who works in any given medium and loves a new challenge.

As a whole "an Animator" has a skill set and certain talents that give them the power affect large groups of people through the medium of animated moving pictures. These visualization skills by in large as a community are under utilized due to industry standards and practices.

I think the biggest need in our industry is a need for share ware approach to animation as well as some solidarity. My career in the vancouver animation scene has seen large studios exploit the advance of technology and eagerness of workers to the tune of a car manufacturing style industry. Granted we all want to earn a living doing what we love, but great animation comes from the connection that the artist has with his audience not the footage.

Animation needs to be based on the artists, not the guy holding the money.The technology combined with the education of the artists in these industries has potential that will shape the culture of the world.

The last 6 years has seen the process of generating content in our business shift from an analogue to digital form. With this change of technology the process of creating audio visual content has made potential movie directors out each and everyone of us. The difference being a matter of taste. I think that every artist represents a certain sub section of the the population of the world...the marketing guys call em niches.

The traditional problem is the ability to get an artists work out far and wide enough to have effect on enough people to survive on your artistic means.

I have recently worked in the building industries. The thing that I noticed most in the 'Business' of the building trades is the respect that one has for another in a similar trade. Contra, freelancing and
prestige are all reasonable forms of work. We are actually all builders of stories, just following the zany blueprints in our heads.

Some people I have expressed that thought to were like, oh this guy wants to start a union. It's not at all like that because it becomes a lifestyle when you are truly doing you something you truly love, you can put your passion into "it", as opposed to just working for some man upstairs. If we all share our lil nickel dime ways to make money and give credit to those that help us along we have the start of new business model.

I am honestly quite turned off the animation/entertainment industries that cater to the mass media and hope that we can develop a new set of standards in our passions turned careers.

I look back and I think I'm spouting off again but then I see so
much potential in my peers, compared to so much crap in our mass media culture, I think changes are needed. the only way I have found to do this is speak with integrity, and don't take things personally. Asking questions and trying my best fills in the gaps.
good to met you electronically and look forward a meeting in person.


the Electric Universe

We're all connected yo!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I have recently seen video and read articles online about chemtrails....No one wants to own up to them.

I've heard they are microbes that make you more open to a disease.

I was doing a pitch for RADAR and i needed a bg for a mood board. So i go digging through an old hard drive of pictures of some buildings when I find a huge pan photo I took because of the beautiful sky, I look at it now and think it might be a chemtrail. WTF?

Music Video Pitch Art

Monday, June 2, 2008

How to Make a Flash storyboard, Gonzo style.

1. Agree on budget, Rates, revisions and delivery dates and formats.
Some would call this a contract.
I prefer verbal, I get scared of all them there big words those lawyer folk use.

2. Read script, check sample reference or design pack.Have a beer while reading.Traditionally this is a directors job. An extremely large quota makes it impossible for a series director to board anything but an odd sequence or opening sequence. In the Vancity anim scene this translation from words to 2d visual is done by a production board artist on a full production you will have a rotation of 3-8 board artists depending on schedule and budget.

Weekly rate for storyboarding in 2001 $15,000 a week
weekly rate for storyboarding in 2008 $11,000 a week

3.File setup.
a] Open your board template in photoshop and crop image size to one frame size using the Crop tool.check the remaining image size.my last board was 503 by 274.
"My scene" a Barbie spin off that got pushed through the No Dice studios door back in 2004 as a concept board, and comes back as a production series with a feature Dvd behind it.
b] Open flash and set your scene size to match your board size.
In flash build a rectangular field guide overlay for panels.
Import all art into a guide folder layer. Symbolize your lineup and drop the opacity to 30-50% to act as your permanent model sheet. Always drawing your characters at the same size will help you gain the feel of the characters faster.

4.Read Script. take Thumbnails.From this point on I will not use paper or ink or pencils. I will draw in flash with the brush tool at a very small size. I use this to block in the pacing, and capture key moments.
the smaller, the faster, the better.

The best feature of flash is the ability to scroll easily through scenes. As each frame is an actual keyframe instead of production art that is only seen by the crew but no one else.Do not make pretty pictures that aren't moving unless you have a still.Your objective is to block in the action in a first pass. no details.

If you have voice or music track you are working from, import the audio file into Flash.Again being able to scroll the sound is invaluable. 2 options for your flash board here.

a.Actually drawing timed out keyframes (the flash file becomes a cartoon)
b.Use Flash as a tool to manufacture still frames for print on paper as a blueprint.

5.First pass.I will figure out how many panels, general staging and where the 'dial' goes in this satge. Block in each frame as fast as possible setting a basic scene.If you have backgrounds lay them into scenes early. I find it easier to draw the character's IN the scene asap. Lounging on a chair, playing a video game, text messaging, what ever, give your characters something to do. This is called character development...alot to think about sometimes. Even though this is supposed to be quick, I often will stare at a script for 15 mins trying to stage a scene. If you're empty at this point, Have a beer, look at something cool for a new perspective to shake up your thinking.

Add keyframes for breaks in the dial and each new pose. depending on show style and design factors you should have 30 frames per script page which is about a minute of screen time.More or less is often the case.
I try to break the scripts into sequence flash files under 1 min or 90 frames(large file....flash no likey.)

6.Congrats if you got through your script or audio track.

That's 95% of the thinking done.

Unfortunately 95% more line mileage and 900%(give or take) more man-hours to go before a cartoon is magically appears.

7. Clean up.
At this point on,it turns into a game, comparing how many panels left to clean with how much time is left on the deadline.
I will now choose one character in the sequence and start with one super-tight traced off the model key frame. I will copy and paste this key from frame to frame to block in each scene's staging. This helps you act through the characters in the scene and see how your cutting and pacing is working...or not.

Flash techno bizness coming up.I love flash for the simple drawing tools paired with
my cintiq. I hate alias sketch book because you can't paint bucket fill.
I think one of the most important thing about the board stage is filled in shapes and blocked in tones.It makes the cartoon real. Weight always makes anything we see believable. Either through tones, colour, texture or timing we feel heavy things more.
I work with 5-6 layers in flash.

1 Layer-scene mask
1 Layer-Board template
1 Layer-text
1 Layer sound
1 Layer roughINK
up to 3 or 4 character layers.
1 Layer bg softener(white overlay 20-30% opacity)
2 Layers bgs
1 folder-models

These are the steps for each panel.I will batch sequences of panels together and rotate through the tasks to prevent the evil Storyclaw..aka tendinitis, aka carple tunnel.

1. rough black Ink.
2. Change to light grey colour if Ink is too rough to clean up without redrawing.
3. Start cleanup layer In black.Always pay attention to closing all your gaps. It makes the Ink hold colour and will give you a fuller scene sooner.
4. Cut the clean Ink out. make a light coloured rectangle with no lines larger than your cut image. Paste in place the cleanup art. select the excess outside the characters outline and delete. you have a layered Cel like image now.
5.Adjust composition, character layers, hook ups, and background for maximum sexiness.
6.next panel.
7. Reuse....I will try to reuse any part of the previous drawing. (Another huge step forward for modern animators.....COPY,PASTE n' Tweak.!!!!!! pick and choose thing s that animate. you do notneed a full scene of animation all the time...simple is always better.

* this is way better explained with visuals. So, I will spend tomorrow working on a new 15 sec board for a music video pitch and post examples in the days after.(the pitch is due on the 4th.

**Editor's note, as opposed to popular belief the best way to make animation is as a whole. Not broken down and assemble line style. The sooner you see your scenes playing back to back, working together,the sooner you will truly realize the power of visualization that storyboarding is.