I’m baaack!

Well, I wasn’t really ‘gone’ – but its the same old excuse – busy, busy, busy. Anyway, first things first… what happened to September? Me thinks it just sort of zipped by without stopping in for a visit. Oh well. On to October. Lots of irons in the fire. Some are heating up, and others… well, they are on the back burner. In the last three months I have finished animation for about 6 tv commercials… talk about an animation marathon. When animation has to be created at that rate you know you can’t spend ‘Pixar’ quality time on getting it finessed. Basically you have to abandon it in a sort of ‘advanced’ blocking stage. But those were the requirements and you roll with the punches. Maybe I’ll post a link to one later on.

I have also been in serious learning mode for the last few months – really pushing my drawing and painting skills. I’m totally enjoying it. I’ve now taken two of Don Seegmiller’s painting workshops and now I’m midway through Bobby Chiu’s digital painting class over at Schoolism.com. I’m also enrolled in Stephen Silver’s Character Design class that starts in January (I’m totally looking forward to that one… I don’t think there is a similar course on the net – if you know of any other character design courses, please let me know!). I also have a bunch of Gnomon DVDs that I’m burning through (Matte Painting, Digital Sets Lighting and Texturing, Digital Maquette, and Practical Light and Color – to name a few). Some of them contain review material, some have new concepts, some are better than others, but all have been worth it.

The creative engine needs food… so all those things help feed it. Hopefully it will help me to improve and enable me to make a better final product for my clients. I’m finding that everything informs your creativity – so if you are in ‘3d’ make sure you play around in the 2d world. You will be amazed at what you can learn and apply in the 3d world.

When I have a spare minute (har har), I enjoy watching films. A couple of flicks stand out in my mind that I have watched recently. The first one I wasn’t expecting to watch, but based on a recommendation I gave it a chance – and I’m glad I did:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2007 movie)… that’s right, you heard me. Now, you have to understand I’m not a TMNT fan (after all I’m 45… so Daffy Duck is more my hero type). When it originally aired on tv I wasn’t a fan. But I was impressed by the movie. The visuals, the animation, they all worked together to tell a story… a rather predictable story, but a fun one nonetheless. IMDB votes gave the movie a 6.9 out of 10, but I think I would rate it a little bit higher. I think the producers spent the right time on the right things. Anyway, Feng Zhu (concept artist extrodinaire) has credits in the movie and I can definitely see some of his influence in the designs.

The other movie that I really enjoyed was “Surf’s Up”. If you have kept up with the blog you know that I’ve given up watching movies at the theater, so I’m always behind in these things. I’m eagerly anticipating Ratatouille (no I haven’t seen it yet). The animation in Surf’s up was quite good. There wasn’t a single moment where I was pulled out of the movie because of bad animation or boredom. I liked this movie on a lot of levels. It is definitely my penguin movie of choice. They even spoofed that ‘other’ so called animated Penguin movie at the very beginning. Brilliant. Chicken Joe was soo cool.

Thanks for stopping by! Ok, back to work now…. lots more to do!