Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Fall 2013... Epic!

In a nutshell, this was my Fall 2013 semester.

-Lead animator for the Dave Yee directed short film "Jimmy Loves Juice" which premieres this Wed, Dec 18 at University Theater, SJSU at 10am.

Jimmy Loves Juice Trailer:

-Attended my first CTN expo and was amazed by the awesome talent that is out there.  Went to informative lectures and demos and finally met one of my favorite inspirations in person, Ryan Woodward.  He gave a great talk about how to stay motivated in this profession and the importance of personal work to one's creative potential.  I also had a chance to show my reel to various studios who were so tremendously kind in taking the time to not only take the time to go through my entire reel, but pick each shot apart and give me constructive feedback on them all.  Big thanks to the guys at Reel FX and Sony Animation especially!

My 2013 Demo Reel:

-In Raquel's advanced 3d animation class, we had the opportunity to do not one but TWO collaborative projects which I enjoyed immensely.  Dave Yee brought up the old adage and I echo his sentiment completely in that "the whole is almost always greater than the sum of its parts."  We had a group of three for our first collaboration and then a group of six for the final.

"Cheese, Please"
Animators: Michael Claus, Julio Diaz, Edric Yamamoto

Narrator: Ryan Eways
Animators: Michael Claus, Melissa Palacios, Jessica Reilly, Daniel Sambrano, Casey Straka, Edric Yamamoto

-All in all, this would've been an epic semester all on its own.  But on the last day of class I received a call from Dreamworks Animation letting me know that my application had been selected to come in for an interview for an internship.  Today I got the call back from DW offering me the position for the upcoming spring semester!  Surfing on cloud 9 and so excited for the new year.  Gotta represent the Shrunkenheadman Club and do them proud!  Fire it up!

- And last but not least, I started up my speed animations again =)  Hoping to keep it up over the winter break.

Ball Bounce, Stewart - 3 hours (2 nights)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Speed Animation #3 - 51 Great Animation Exercises to Master

Winter break is here!! Semester was freakin' epic but I'll write a longer post this week regarding all that.

It's time to get back on the horse in terms of personal work.  Among the many things I want to accomplish are starting up the speed animations that I barely got into before the end of semester crunch got underway.  My friend Samia forwarded me this link about 51 great animation tests that one should try and master to really work the fundamentals, so together this break, we're going to see how many we can get through.


Our plan is to do a two night pass on the first couple.  First night is getting as far as we can get through it but minimally, have a nice blocking set up. Second night is polish.

The first one, a ball bounce, seemed rather simple so we decided to spice it up a bit.  I wanted to try out Animation Mentor's free rig, Stewart, as well so this was as good as time as any.

First pass is here. Took about and hour and a half to set up, mess with the controls and get some blocking in.  After looking at it, I really need to push the squash and stretch far more.  Tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Speed animation 2 - Slapshot

About 45 minutes, 10 of it was spent watching reference on YouTube. :-)
Definitely could push the timing on the windup I think to add a bit of antic and also push the final pose to really feel the tension.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Speed animation 1 - ninja hop

Inspired by the infamous Jason Wong, I've decided to start doing speed animations as well! Today was familiarizing myself with the app "animation desk" and playing with the tools. Spent about an hour messing around and made a little ninja man hop in and roll. Being able to draw and animate straight into the iPad is kinds crazy cool. :-)

Also updating this with the blogger app I just downloaded. ^_^

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

2013 Fall Semester *GIANT SIZED* Update

Been a long while since the last update!  In fact, seems like the last time I updated was before the end of last semester before summer.... woops!

So the artistic highlight of the summer was spending 2 weeks at CSU Summer Arts taking the Dreamworks Animation course under the tutelage of PDI Dreamworks's animating director, Rex Grignon, and SJSU's irrepressible David Chai.  It was incredibly intense, with the 20 of us working 15 hour days for our entire 14 day stay.  Our goal was to come out with a 6-8 second professional level shot that we can use in our demo reel.  We learned acting tips from professional actor, Todd Warring who spent the first two days with us, helping iron out our story and then it was game on.  We also played a lot of frisbee and frisbee golf.

And here's the shot that I came out with titled, " I Need a Bigger Drink."

The other art piece I worked on during the summer was a cake topper for my good friend Jei and his beautiful bride Yen.  I love magicsculpt!  =)

The rest of the summer was filled with lots of family time and rest.  It was a pretty epic 3 months. =)

Now onto school!
It's been a really busy semester so far, filled with lots of animating!  I'm taking advanced 3d animation, a physics of animation class and a short film course.

These are the two shots I've done in 3d animation thus far. =)

What I've been most excited about is the short film that we've been working on called "Jimmy Loves Juice" which was conceptualized and being directed by Dave Yee.  I landed lead animator for this film so I help oversee the other animators' shots and give advice and tips on how to get everyone's animations to feel like one cohesive project.  All in all, our team is kicking much ass and I'm so excited to see this film done!  Currently all our pencil animation is done and we are now in the cleanup stage.

Some of my pencil animations for JLJ:

And just for fun:

And last but not least! =)  Grey loves Jimmy Loves Juice too!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Evolution of a simple animation test .... and spaaaaceships.

Been working on a short animation test the past 3 weeks where a character that we developed from scratch simply puts on a coat/jacket.

All told, 3 weeks later, several work sessions where I saw the sun set and then rise (shouldn't it be the other way around?) and almost 1000 drawings later... I have 26 seconds of animation to show for it. Worth it?  Most definitely.  This was probably my most complex animation to date with lots of movement and technical mumbo jumbo such as overlapping action, easing in and outs, timing, texture, etc. etc.

First off, we had to develop our character.  We had two parameters.  It had to be our dachshund's owner (from our dachshund animation) and it had to be an adult.  Some of my classmates had already done this for the "waving" animation, but for that past animation, my character was a child based on my son.

So instead of starting at square one, I decided to age him 20 years.  This was a pretty fun little process.  It's not like I don't imagine the man that my son will grow up to be every single day. ^_^

Once we had a character down, we shot some reference (reference is king!) and from that we built out our key poses.

Then it was animation time!  324 drawings later... whalah!

Wish I had pushed the poses more in the beginning, but I learned a great deal from this project.  Ready for the final! =)

And some spaceships I doodled, inspired by Scott Robertson.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Another mid-semester update...

It's been all animation this semester!  I honestly thought the combination of 113B and 114 last semester would be the killer workload but ANI 115 singularly has caused me a great deal of pain. =)  It's a good pain though.  Like being thrown in a fire only to emerge forged into something stronger and better.

129B however has been nothing but pure fun.  I definitely have found my niche I think.  Maya as a whole is joy.  I enjoy modeling and I absolutely adore animating in 3d.  The graph editor is my playground!

Our most recent project in 2d animation I enjoyed a great deal.  The theme was "waving".  I had this whole convoluted story concocted with a lot of subtle acting which I did not go with because it simply was too complicated.  A week before it was due, my family and I went to Happy Hollow and my son was on the fire truck/police car carousel.  I had the camera rolling and we tried everything to get his attention and like the little bugger he is, he would not look at the camera. =)  An idea spawned and I rolled with it.  No pun intended.

I really wanted to use the carousel, but how to animate it in 2d?  Simple feat in 3d, but moving an object in perspective through space on paper is no easy task.  So I decided to follow in the steps of Futurama and loads of other animations and modeled it in 3d and then rotoscoped it into 2d.

The finished pencil test is below:

Our next project over spring break was laundry hanging on a clothesline and to be perfectly honest, I was uninspired.  But I had an excellent, restful break with family and friends so looking forward to the next project with renewed vigor.  

And last but not least, my work in 3d animation!  I have my midterm reel with my work up until now and the next scene we're working on which is a simple object pick up which demonstrates spine reversals.  

Midterm Reel:

Object Pick Up - Blocking Stage:
I plan on adding more antic to the beginning (him scratching his chin and shifting his weight from one foot to the other), changing the actual pickup to make him do it a little more gingerly, and then adding story to the end.  

And then more emotion poses:

This was a collaboration with Jessica Tong and myself.  Hers is the top and mine is the bottom. ^_^

Fear Pose: Switched to a new rig for the rest of the semester, the Malcolm rig.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Halfway there!

6 weeks into the semester and haven't posted since the beginning! =)  Taking two animation courses and just finished a 3 week group animation which I learned from tremendously.  They were teams of 3, and I was grouped with two other amazing artists which make the experience nothing but a joy.  We worked our behinds off, pulled several 12-14 hour animating sessions and ate a lot of pizza.

The theme was pretty free form; it just had to involve three dachshunds and they had to bark.  The goal was to keep it simple, focus on observing dog behavior and have good "ruff" animation. :-D

Here's what we came up with and I am super pleased in how it turned out.  Special thanks to Team Hawt Dogs for an amazing ride.

My second class is my intermediate 3d animation class.  We're currently polishing a baseball pitch but we also have week to week poses that we do which have a theme or mood to convey.  Here's some from the past couple of weeks.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

from Concept to Finish: Part 2

My friends Jon and Colleen's cake topper was a fun one for sure.  They requested a koala bear and panda bear since they kinda look like their chosen animals.  They met during a christmas party where there was champagne tasting and Jon wanted his two cats to be a part of the piece.  Mortimer, the chubby one, isn't a huge fan of Colleen... or anyone for that matter.  Roxanne, the one perched on Jon's head is holding mistletoe as a subtle hint to their beginnings. ^_^


Sculpting process: I use an epoxy clay called MagicSculpt.  It's a two part epoxy, a resin/hardener that you mix together in even parts and you're left with a nice clay that you have about an hour of working time.  I quickly learned in the beginning to make the sculpt in small batches, otherwise you're left with a lot of clay that becomes unworkable quickly. =)  When it fully cures, the clay becomes a rock hard resin which can be sanded/drilled/carved.  Really cool stuff.


Finished product!  I'm pretty happy with how this piece turned out and I hope Jon and Colleen liked it as much as I had fun making it. ^_^

For my buddy Jon; so happy that you found the love of your life and all my best to you and Colleen in the wonderful journey you've embarked on together.  ^_^  Thanks for letting me make this small token of my esteem for you guys.  May it be a small reminder of your love for each other and in the words of Jon and echoed by Colleen.... all the "mirth and merriment" that the future has to offer you guys =)

from Concept to Finish: Part 1

One of my closest friends from high school got married this past Saturday and he and his beautiful bride requested that I make a cake topper for them.  It had been awhile since I've made my last one but I was especially excited and honored to make this one. ^_^

Before I get to this most recent topper, just a quick look at the ones I've done before so I can get them all consolidated in one place. =)

My very first topper was for my friends Aimee and Kong.  Aimee wanted to incorporate their little pug Spike into the piece.  Part of the fun of making these is all the little personalized touches you can add. ^_^  I remember doing a couple of sketches.. various ideas on how to suit Spike's playful personality.  We had him peeking out from under her dress, perched on their shoulder, but ultimately settled on him tugging on her dress as they were walking down the aisle. =)

My second topper was for Tenh and Derek.  They met through volleyball, she loves penguins and gerber daisies. ^_^

Another high school buddy of mine asked for a cake topper for his wedding as well. ^_^  
Dan and Linda are a fun loving couple who enjoy traveling.

And two others for some hockey friends of mine. ^_^

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

#11 - First speed painting of 2013

1 hour - Digital

Gonna try and knock out one a night for a year. =)  We'll see how THAT goes... but at least setting a goal will get me to try and reach it ^_^