Friday, February 29, 2008

Daily Sketch


Today did not go as planned :O. The good news is that I got my preemptive promotion!! Hired by the same company twice in a week.. wizard :D. (On that note, go see Juno..great movie.) I got absolutely no work done on photorealistic texturing or modeling for that matter. I did however, go on a job interview, get hired (again), get my car back from the shop and registered, found my scanner, and drew a picture to scan and paint. Go me. Daily sketch upload is the order for the weekend. We'll see how it goes once I start my new job.

Congratulations to my brother Drew on getting your learning permit to drive. Thanks for making me feel old.. er. Good job though really.

I also corrected a few editing mistakes in my demo reel - Thank you Thad for the suggestions.

Real stuff

I've never done any sort of photo-realistic work in digital 3d before (sculpture has the benefit of being photo-realistic naturally). I want to try my hand at some visual effects work so highly detailed modeling and realistic texturing ahead. I'm going to take today to expanding my knowledge of mental ray materials and texturing techniques. Hopefully, I'll have some examples to post later.

I'm thinking about making some basic animation tutorials - not only will it be helpful to others (hopefully), I think it will a nice exercise for me. Anyone interested? Ohh! If you read this, please send me a link to your blog or website at smcelf@gmail.com. I want to see what is going on in all of your lives as well.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

And it's oh so good, and it's oh so fine.

Boom shaka lahka!!
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Demo reel.. done.

Well.. for now that is. I've already started working on designs for 'Appliance Wars' robots. Oh crap! Maybe the war is my fault and I shouldn't work on these drawings... nah.. Dade has got my back.

Anyways.. demo reel. I'm feeling happy. Ooh.. the job I just interviewed for called me back to interview for a different position than the one I was hired for. Preemptive promotion..sweet. Hopefully, it is something that I want to do.

Now to just get a job as an animator - my goal is to achieve this by September. I want to make a couple more animations for my reel. My early idea was the zombie supermarket (which I really like), but there are quite a few things that I want in the animation that isn't really in that concept.

Lets see whats in store for phase epsilon of my demo reel:
  • I want to see action.. characters being physical - moving, fighting, rolling, jumping, or running. Something that really shows great body mechanics and timing.
  • I want to see weight.. characters lifting, throwing, catching, or carrying.
  • Character interaction!! Multiple characters on screen (most likely two..lets not get crazy..). This adds work but interaction without dialog makes for a good acting challenge
  • Detailed props and/or environments. I've been dressing my sets pretty light and simple. I can model out props just fine. It takes time away from the animation but definitely adds polish to a scene.
  • Planning - character sketches, storyboarding, animatics, diagrams. This is generally a loose process for me and I work a lot of things out in my head and while I'm animating. Not really the best method, so I want to clean up the process.
So I know what needs to be involved in the scene, but my options are widespread. Brainstorming and storyboarding is going to be important. Also, I'm not sure if I want to make and model my own characters or use my stock Animation Mentor models. Ohh..and if you're reading this and have any aspirations of becoming an animator, I highly recommend Animation Mentor.com. The curriculum is great and the teachers amazing. Despite not being able to finish my full term with them (life happens at the worst of times), I can say enough positive things about them.

I'm drawing now - having my drawing workspace set up next to my workstation is great. The negative side effect to all this creative productivity is that most of the home is still in boxes. A heroes work is never done.. and I'm busy too.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Happy Birthday!!!

Today at 8:59 PM, Dade Krause came into this world (like a Roman ruler) at a weight of 8 lbs. 6oz. and a height of 20 inches. His mother is all hopped up on the feel good drugs so she is doing just fine. Good work Cassie!! You'll be happy to know that Dade will lead the resistance versus the machines in the Appliance Wars of 2043 - without you mankind would have been screwed.

All kinds of good news today.

I got a job today as a Front Desk Service Rep with Thousand Hills Golf Resort today. So, hooray for income and employment in our new city. My best man has a new little man. As of a minute ago, the rendering of my old animations is complete. Life is looking up! And look.. I started drawing again. I really need to start working on some characters for KNRPG Productions but I'm warming up. I'm going to make some character model sheets.. get my draw on. (sadly no scanner hooked up yet.. and the webcam just isn't doing the trick.. I'll post some later on).

Here be some more animation.. double woot... I'm really pleased with how this turned out.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Goblins R' Great


Sarah and I saw Spiderwick Chronicles today - it made me feel like a kid again. Faerie folk and bullfrog looking goblins.. fun stuff. The animation was incredibly well done and all the kids in the movie got hurt by goblins. I'm not sure why characters getting bloody in movies (see Harry Potter) makes me so satisfied but I think that an added sense of a peril comes from pain. At my core, I can relate to pain and blood but not necessarily being attacked by a horde of goblins. I really think the movie would have been better if it has less story and more faerie folk and goblin fighting..the film makers wanted everything to resolve nicely and in a timely manner. I'm not going to grip too much about a movie adaptation of young reader books (especially because I enjoyed it), but boy.. the main villain ogre (he had a name that isn't too rememberable) just wasn't cutting it in the villain department. Apparently he is evil, wants power, and killed some hobgoblins in the past. Not really doing anything for me as a monster.

In contrast, I love G'mork from the Neverending Story. He is a big, scary wolf, who stalks the film's hero Atreyu in the hopes of spreading oblivion. He is the servant of the Nothing.. the ultimate nihilist. Now there is a monster. If Voldemort had an evil wolf sidekick (oh wait.. he did.. kinda..) he would have been even greater.

Lots of rendering and compositing going on today. I'm digging this wide format. Things are coming along nicely.

Riverhop and robots

My riverhop animation is looking nice and sexy now. Despite that, if anyone reading ever has any comments, suggestions, or criticism, please feel free to post or email me.

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And on the topic of sexy: Ashley Wood's work is amazing.
I am completely envious and amazed by his talent and work.. and he has a cool blog -If you like things that are awesome, I highly recommend looking at his work. Androids fighting... forbidden planet.. fantastic work. Ashley's work really makes me want to get back into painting. I'm going to focus on drawing and animating everyday, just as soon as I get a job down here. Tuesday interview, here I come.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

One down, more to go.

This animation is done. It feels done right now.

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- Here it is in full format -

Damn dogs

I love my dogs oooh so very much. But after a lot of hard work, Bella has reverted to peeing on the carpet. I think that it is because of the move but it is so frustrating.. she is our problem child from a troubled past.

Oooh so fluffy, cute, and cuddly; full of piss and vinegar.

The job fair was a bit of a bust. I was expecting an expo and instead it was like a large bake sale. Lots of 'We're looking for dishwashers and housekeeping'. I felt over dressed but Sarah assured me that I wasn't. The good news is that I have an interview on Tuesday with a resort hotel. Hopefully I'll have good news to post on Tuesday.

On the Cg front, things are coming along smoothly. Thad showed me some old animations that I did -

Things look like this now..


When before, they looked like this.

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Hooray for improvement!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lip syncin

More progress on the reel.



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Friday, February 22, 2008

24# Linen and neck popping action

My résumés are now corrected, proofed (thanks Cas), and printed. Off to the job fair tommarow to buy a fat pig..of a job.. jiggity jig. Stay tuned for more from the job front.

I went to the chiropractor today for the first time. I have a straight neck due to a turned pelvis and a double 6 degree S-curve in my spine. It is strange to have someone snap bones into place on you and then enjoy medieval style entertainment on rack inspired furniture. The worst part is, after you have all this fun, they stab you again in the wallet. That hurts.

Just 45 frames of lip syncing left to fix. That is just under 2 seconds. Things are coming along well. What gets me is; why couldn't I do this right the first time? My friend Clint (www.clintkrause.com) chatted with me on the phone today and as usual struck some chords of greatness. I have been afraid of being bad at what I do and thereby unwilling to move on. Improvement is natural, but only if you keep doing whatever it is that you're doing. So now I'm going to try and just accept my work for what it is, take a step back, and then work to improve.

Do not despise the rungs of the ladder of success so much that you fail to climb it.

.. sandwich time...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Snow day

And then the ice fell.. again. I haven't found my camera yet, but then again, I haven't unpacked all the boxes yet. I'm finishing up the lipsyncing today and tommarow.. résumés! That is typed a lot happier than I feel about updating and making résumés but it must be done. Job fair this Saturday: time to get employed again.

I have a sexy new haircut. Sadly..no cam to show off my sexy new haircut. You'll just have to trust in my sexy new haircut. Sexy new haircut.

Icy cold hands...

Clint: Read Mark Frost's 'The List of Seven'. It is a Cthulhu style story about the adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle. I'm working on it. I think you'll enjoy it.

Cassie: How's the unborn? I'll call tonight to check up on you.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lip Syncin'

Alrighty.. I'm in to the thick of things again. This weekend I'm going to a job fair and I'm dusting off the old demo reel. Right now I'm tightening up the lip sync on an old animation. Here is a playblast of my progress. I've got another 125 frames to go but it is coming along.


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I've haven't eaten today so I'm going to go fix my self a Dagwood style sandwich.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hooray!

My lovely and talented friend Cassie Krause is about to pop out a little person. Wow! Hooray for new life. She is on bed rest at the moment which means she is currently bored and waiting for a baby to doing his best prairie dog impression. Sarah and I have already bought him a little hat.. because Missouri is cold.

Moving is going on like moving does.. at a retarded snails pace.

While taking the doggies out today, Sarah found a cuddly lost puppy. She looked like the RCA dog.. I think a smooth Fox Terrier.. with a bandit style eye patch and everything. I feel in love with her and wanted to keep her. Luckily a neighbor came by and decided to add a puppy to their family. So..happy ending.

Sarah and I saw Jumper tonight. Great popcorn movie. I think it would make a fantastic Sci-Fi tv series. Hope someone is working on that. As a movie, it was enjoyable. I didn't really care for the main character though. As a protagonist, he is kind of flat. They show that he is self serving and really doesn't change though the whole film. I wanted a kind of Jason Bourne or Simon Templar character but instead got a shallow pretty boy. I think the writer had a lot more going on with the story than what actually made it into the film. All in all it was a great effects movie that made me wish I could teleport.

On the BLTCG front: I fixed some lip sync on an early animation that I was never happy with. I'm still fixing it..more mushy dialog to clean up. I'm post it just as soon as I'm finished. Man I'm fired up about animation.. I feel a burning passion in my soul. I think I had given up hope and faith in my dreams and myself and now I'm regaining it. It feels good.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Headcold?

All this thinking about zombies and moving heavy boxes in the cold has me feeling a bit zombie-ish. Zombies aren't evil: they're just really irritated that they're head hurts so much. Saying "Brains" so much is just them expressing their great discomfort. My head hurts.. and I'm hungry.

On another note, The Daily Affirmation with Kris Straub (halfpixel.com)and Scott Kurtz (pvponline.com) for about 3 days straight now. It is great. I think they are partially responsible for me pursing my dream of becoming a professional animator. They talk shop about webcomics, wax over great tv shows, random sillyness, and also express feeling of doubt and fears about their own creations and process. Its genuine and inspirational. Plus.. crazy awesome. Soon I shall be up to date with it and probably sad.

Ikea is great. But disassembling and reassembling their furniture sucks big time. My fnordi shelves like to collapse while I'm assembling it. Its almost done, but I fear with the last shelve, the middle pegs will somehow evaporate. **

** I want to be positive about unpacking and moving.. new start, live in the now.. new start...but my head hurts though**

More assembling sturdi forkendur furniture.

What am I writing this for if no one reads it? I know.. its textual masturbation. I like writing it and it makes me feel good. I should start the posts "Dear Web Diary".

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Moving.. it sucks..

Moving.. boxes.. taking over the apartment.. :|

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Brains

Drawing brains is fun. I've decided that brains have three distinct parts (per hemisphere). They have a big dome, a sidecar, and a baseball. As long as you draw these parts, and lots of wrinkles, you get a brain. Otherwise you draw strange potatoes and manatee embryos. Not a highly scientific analysis of brains but good for drawing.

Drawings/Pictures to come.. scanner still away.

Cleaning in Narnia

Everything is covered in ice and snow. Nature gets pissed when we move.. why is it always so damn cold and icy when we move? Fate conspires against us moving.. even in Texas, it snowed on the day we moved. Nature is being extra tricksy this year.. I moved half our stuff down.. then an ice storm sprang into attack. Now I need to fight my way back to home and clean and load in the cold..again. I wish I had my camera but sadly its at old home.

This is more diary than blog I guess. I'm good with that.

Project update: Tonight I'm working on prop design. I want them to be nice and clean. I keep thinking of Gary Whitta's Death Junior, The Goon by Eric Powell, and Mignola's work. If I could channel an ounce of what I see in there work into my own, this animation will be great.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Bransontastic

We just moved to Branson. It pisses Sarah off when I say that it is small.. but the city is comprised of 4 streets packed with country music performers, hokey comedy, and magic shows *abracadabra.. rabbit *. Now the my goal is to become employed as an animator by September 1st. Branson motivates me.. to leave it. Its a nifty place to visit... but now I live here.

Sooo.. time to get employed, follow my dreams, head to California, get some mulah, make some babies, start a hillarious sit com with my buddy Thaddeus and generally rock out.

I this all this is possible though zombies. Zombies are the key to my future. This I know.. zombies are a staple in modern culture. Who doesn't love the undead? More to come on this..