Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas, With Some Help From Woody and Buzz

Like Buzz says, "...all those toys you get for Christmas, treat 'em nice." Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

SIGGRAPH Asia 2009: My Favorite Short Animations

I mentioned the Computer Animation Festival in my previous post and feel like I need to share some of the best animations of SIGGRAPH Asia 2009 with everybody who wasn't able to make it. So, without further a-due I present a list of some of my favorite short animations from the Animation Festival this year. The reason I say "some" is because I can't find them online. Boo!

Enjoy and make sure to share this with anyone who also had to miss out in Yokohama, Japan!

[Best in Show]
by Lindsey Olivares

Pigeon: Impossible
by Martell Animation

by Alli Sadegiani

by Luke Randall

Our Wonderful Nature
by Tomer Eshed

Friday, December 18, 2009

SIGGRAPH Asia 2009: The Last Day

Hopefully some of you have been keeping up with my photo album on Facebook and my Twitter updates because I unfortunately haven't had any down time to write a full blog. If you haven't, go now! There's just so much to do in Japan and at SIGGRAPH that the time for other stuff just goes down the drain.

I can't really sum up everything I've seen. It's just too much! From highly detailed talks on the making of UP, to learning all about story development, the electronic theater screening (which is the best of the best animations and technical papers here at SIGGRAPH), emerging technologies, the art gallery, job fair, how to plan a short film, patch-based image vectorization with automatic curvilinear feature alignment and approximating subdivision surfaces with Gregory patches for hardware tessellation. Just kidding about those last two! I have no idea what they are, but those are some of the extremely advanced technical paper's names. Intense!

Anywho, I'll just let the pictures do the talking from here. Enjoy and if you have a question about one, just ask!

Monday, December 14, 2009

SIGGRAPH Asia 2009: The Arrival

Whelp, I finally arrived safely in Yokohama. It wasn't as smooth as expected, to say the least, but it was an experience I'll definitely remember for the rest of my days. Plus the other people waiting for me to arrive had a good laugh when I showed up at the hotel. I don't blame them!

Japan is beautiful, clean and modern. All things I thoroughly enjoy...a lot. Sounds like my kind of country! Everything is pretty small though. The rumors are true. My hotel room is tiny! 2 of us are staying in here and barely have walking room. Plus almost have to duck to go in and out of the door, which is saying something because I'm not that tall. Like the famous shirts say: "I'm big in Japan."

It was fun walking around the town all day and getting familiar with the culture. To better learn the ways of Yokohama, we went ahead and rode a roller coaster at the local theme park and went ice skating outdoors near the pier. It was a lot of fun teaching some of the other student volunteers how to ice skate. I'm pretty sure all of them were pros by the end of the day. I have that effect on people! Anyways, I'll let the picture speak for themselves.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of my forst shift as a team leader, so I'm really stoked about that! It's great working with such a diverse, yet amazing group of people so closely for the entire conference. These people are some of the best in the world; just know that. I guess you could say SIGGRAPH just attracts that sort of crowd and the student volunteer program makes it that much better.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Adventure To Yokohama! (Take 2)

Unfortunately, it's just not my day today. Earlier I posted the story of missing my first flight. Overall and epic tale of me completely screwing up. Or should I say sleeping up? Either way, it's definitely worth the read. So here's part 2 of my journey to Japan.

I'd just like to start off by saying that I am still very grateful that I actually have the chance to visit Japan and be a team leader at SIGGRAPH Asia 2009. It's a real dream come true! But, hiccups like this happen and you just have to take the experiences as they come, whether they are convenient or not. After, you just need to figure it out and do the best you can to make the best out of it. That's what I'm doing now — enjoying the time and staying optimistic about everything.

In my case, I am able to hang out here in Chicago and stay in a really nice hotel (Crowne Plaza Hotel) for a discounted price, thanks to the distressed passenger discount with my airline! Not to mention, I can catch up on all that sleep I've lost the past few days. Like I said, though, it's not my day. Of course the hotel room I get has a broken heater, so the temperature is a whopping 63 degrees! Here's a sneaky picture I took of the Romanian dude attempting to fix it.

In the end, I had to switch rooms, which is pretty inconvenient. One plus to this is that I can complain in the morning when I check out and probably get an even bigger discount on this room! I better or else Crowne Plaza Hotels will not be getting this guy's business ever again. I'd like to thank a fellow blogger, Ricky Potts, for inspiring me to complain more on my blog in order to voice my opinion. Ricky has gotten corperate attention numerous times! Let's see if I can't get as lucky as him.

So, tomorrow will be my second chance to get to Japan. Let's just hope I get a good nights rest and don't sleep through the boarding process again! This king size bed and mountain of pillows will probably take care of that for me.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Tale of My First Missed Flight

So today starts the adventure of yet another SIGGRAPH conference. This year, SIGGRAPH Asia is in Yokohama, Japan — last year it was in Singapore. I'll be student volunteering as a team leader, which I was honored to have gotten accepted for.

I write to you now still from the Indianapolis airport. "Why?" you ask. "Didn't your flight from Indy leave at 6am?" Yes it did. Without me on it though! Yep, I missed my first flight. But this was more epic than your normal scenario of missing planes. I was completely on time and waiting in the terminal 30 minutes before the plane departed, so I took a nap. 7:30am finally roles around and my body finally decides to wake itself. Confused as hell, I consult the front desk.

"Um, yeah sir, you missed your flight. It left an hour and a half ago," the lady said. I couldn't believe it! I had slept through every announcement telling me to board my plane. Now, let me explain myself. I know there are no excuses, but I'll defend what's left of my honor. The past 2 days I have gotten a solid 2.5 hours of sleep total because I have been finishing final projects early so I wouldn't have to even worry about them while in Japan. I finished them, but that left me no time to sleep! Hence, my looking and feeling like a zombie right now and waiting on the next flight to Chicago.

So now I play the waiting game. My plane arrives in Chicago just 10 minutes before my international flight for Tokyo departs. That means I'm going to be that guy who is running with his luggage, scrambling to make a plane. Stay tuned to find out what happens to me.

Moral of the story: Don't fall asleep in the airport terminal when you've only had very little sleep recently. You WILL miss your flight!

Monday, December 7, 2009

@Animationators -The Newest Twitter Feed

I'd like to be the first to introduce a new Twitter feed that will become very popular over the coming months: @Animationators! "The #1 animation & film resource brought to you by the animators of Indianapolis!"

I created this to be a very popular and large Twitter feed, eventually putting Indianapolis, Indiana animation and film on the map. It will be completely run and authored by Indianapolis animators and film enthusiasts. I think this will definitely help the Indy area as far as computer graphics, web, interactive and film studios are concerned. Everyone's on Twitter now, so what a great resource to use! Plus this could eventually lead to really good advertising possibilities depending on the amount of followers we gain and publicity it gets.

The overall goal within the next 6 months is to launch a sister website that will emulate that of Smashing Magazine and Web Designer Depot, which just simply give inspiration and write outstanding articles about the world of design and development.

Interested in being an author? Contact me via Twitter either through @animationators or @joshcorken. Here are the criteria:

1. You must have your own Twitter account.
2. You must have experience in "tweeting."
3. You need to be able to find really helpful and awesome links, quotes, resources, etc and write about them enticingly within 140 characters.
4. It is preffered you are good at advertising and writing well-phrased tweets to reach a lot of people and get retweeted.
5. You must live in the Indianapolis, IN area.
6. You must be passionate and willing to sacrifice time to this feed.

Please follow us and spread the word to your friends, classmates, colleagues, professors and anyone else who may be interested. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact me!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Artist Spotlight: Ward Jenkins

In light of a recent school project assignment, I got the idea to have artist spotlights to show off some of the talented artists I have come across over the years. There are always a handful that stand out from the crowd, so it's only fair to study their work and recognize them for their accomplishments.

Today's artist spotlight: Ward Jenkins

Stay at home illustrator and animator from Portland, Oregon, Ward Jenkins has created a style I personally am obsessed with. He runs a blog called The Ward-O-Matic. There, he writes about “art, animation, and anything aesthetically pleasing to the eye." I've been following for quite some time and can attest that everything he writes is really interesting and informative.

All around, a solid artist with a true passion and talent. His style is truly original and his characters are super catchy, which is wonderful to see among the plethora of work out there. Let's take a look at some of his work below (His self portrait is the first illustration). You can check out more of his work and contact him via his new website.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Kronk's Shoulder Angels: Kinetic Typography

Busy, busy, busy! Yep, that's definitely how I've been the past few weeks. Projects are piling up just around the same time I take more hours at work. But, busy is good, right? Absolutely!

My latest project is this kinetic typography animation you see below. Oh yeah, nothin' but type down there. I chose dialogue from one of my favorite movies of all time, The Emperor's New Groove.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pixar Celebrates Halloween!

Yet another reason I would love to work at Pixar! These guys really know how to go all out for their parties. I would also like to say that this past Thursday I attempted to learn the Michael Jackson Thriller dance myself. It didn't go so well.

Thanks to Nate Moody and Cartoon brew for this!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

3D Poses with LoMax

This semester I have been diving head first into animation. It's great and I'm learning to love the challenge. Lately, I have been animating my brains out and just blowing through tons of different assignments to make myself better at the art form. Improvements are showing, so you should see some animation in the next few posts.

For now, you can see a really helpful exercise I did to help develop a keen eye for correct balance and line of action within character poses. Pose Maniacs is a great place to find tons and tons of great poses, which you can rotate to see a 360 view. That's where I grabbed all the reference pictures you see outlined in red. This seems simple, but it's actually quite challenging to make sure all aspects of the character are correct and appear natural. Hence, the extremely tough part to accomplish in animation: the illusion of life.

Below are 5 poses I chose for this project and the respective reference image. LoMax is a free rig to use for Autodesk 3DsMax and can be downloaded here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Emerson Theater Website Re-Design Final Comps

Whelp, I finished the 3 website designs! Overall I'm pretty happy with them. From my inspiration, I was able to veer away from traditional layouts a bit more and come up with some contemporary designs. This seems to fit for a music venue such as this one. I do think that they are a bit busy, but that seems like something we could get away with on this sort of project. I'll let you decide that one.

If you've missed what's going on, visit my last post explaining the project and displaying my pre visualization sketches.

Comments and critiques are most welcome, as always. Maybe someone affiliated with The Emerson Theater will stumble across these and make me some money... *hint hint*

Sunday, October 18, 2009

SIGGRAPH Asia 2009 Computer Animation Festival Trailer

It's here! The SIGGRAPH Asia 2009 Computer Animation Festival Trailer makes the conference look really promising. For those of you who don't know, last year SIGGRAPH decided to branch out of North America and devote an entire new conference, SIGGRAPH Asia, every year somewhere throughout Asia. It's first year was in Singapore and this year it will be in Yokohama, Japan.

Did I mention I was going? Oh yeah! I'll be student volunteering as a Team Leader for the conference, which I am extremely grateful for being accepted. My experiences in Singapore were amazing and I believe that this year will be even better! The trailer below is just snippets from several animations that were submitted to SIGGRAPH Asia this year. Only the best of the best student and professional films from around the world are chosen to be screened, so you know that these are coming from very talented artists.

Congrats to everyone who submitted this year. I can't wait to see your animations in Japan this December!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Emerson Theater Website Re-Design Sketches

First, I'd like to announce that this is the 200th post on my blog! Thanks to everyone who has been following along the journey and learning with me. It's been quite a ride!

So, for the next assignment in one of my design classes we all voted on a website to re-design. They aren't actually a client, but who knows, maybe one of us could pitch our designs to them and get a job from it. Either way it will be a nice exercise. I do this at my current job right now actually, so I'm a bit seasoned. The website we will be changing is Emerson Theater in Indianapolis.

The Emerson is an all ages music venue with a capacity of 400. It hosts all original local music acts as well as the occasional nationals. As you can see, they are in need of a new design. I used to go here every once in a while, back in the day, and never thought that so many famous bands came and played there. But, looking at this list impresses me!

So, you can imagine that these designs will be full of grungy, textured graphics and layouts that try to push the limits of traditional grids. My goal is to do that while keeping the user experience very easy and usable. Stay tuned for my next post with the final mockups! Here are the extremely quick sketches and the corresponding inspiration next to each.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pixar's Official Toy Story 3 Trailer!

I'm not sure how long you guys have been waiting for this, but let me tell you, it's felt like ages on my end. One thing that didn't help out with the long wait is that one of my good friends and recent graduate of my school, Frank Tai, is actually working on this film. A while ago he told me that when they showed just the storyboards of Toy Story 3 to the crew it made most of them break out into tears! Maybe tears of excitement and joy or a sad part to the story

Last night I had the pleasure of watching the Toy Story 1 & 2 double feature in 3D. Let's just say it was beautiful seeing such aged films hold up to the high standards of today's film critics. It just goes to show that story is king!

Know that I plan to be one of the many people camping out in front of the movie theater on June 18. Enjoy the trailer!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Illustration Friday: Pattern

Illustration Friday is a great website where artists can go and get a new inspirational topic each week. Artists then submit their illustrations via their blog and hopefully are chosen as the winner for that week. No prizes, just respect here, folks! My last assignment for a design class of mine was to base an illustration off of this weeks topic — pattern. My professor added another word for further direction. My word: reduce.

So, I had to make an illustration based around the words pattern and reduce. Can you say random?!

Now, my illustration has a very subtle pattern in it. The paint daubs are the that element. The reason it's subtle is because I wanted the entire piece to read subtly. That was a lot of subtles. This is more abstract than what I'm used to, which is nice to delve into once and a while. But, as a designer, you can't get too crazy. As always, comments and critiques are highly encouraged. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

xiik Interactive Marketing Picks Me Up

I'm not sure how many of you know this, but recently I took a job opportunity at a little place called xiik Interactive Marketing (pronounced zeek). I guess they liked me or something. Weird, I know. Go ahead and click on that link. I'll wait for you to browse the website.

Impressive? I think so.

I wasn't hired on for one, but two jobs. My role(s): Assistant Art Director and Account Coordinator. Those are two things I've gotten pretty good at over the years, so I'm fitting right in. I was even part of the inspiration that made my boss decide and get a new office space. Read all out that funny story here. Trust me, it's worth that read. I wrote it!

What do we do you ask?

We freakin' rock, that's what! On top of rockin' your socks off, we effectively take your brand and make it amazing through interactive marketing, custom websites, print design and advertising. The nice thing about us is that we have Account Managers (and Account Coordinators) keeping the client in the "loop" throughout our entire design and development phases. There isn't miscommunication because there is only one source to go to — me!

My other role as Assistant Art Director may sound fancy because it is. At least I think so. Underneath the Art Director, I am the go to guy for all things design related, whether it be conceptualizing website interfaces or revising them.

The adjustment has been really smooth and I couldn't enjoy the people I work with more. They are good peoples! Yeah, I said "peoples." Didn't they used to say that back in the day?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sarah Fisher's Helmet Design: Final

It was a tight deadline, but I finally finished Sarah Fisher's helmet illustration with 2 hours to spare! I just gave myself a pat on the back. It's not easy coming up with a design in a matter of 5 days, especially with tons of other stuff on your plate.

Thanks for all the critiques on my previous post. A lot of them helped me tweak the design into this. Although I wasn't able to make huge changes, I still think it's a decent piece. I'd wear the helmet...if I was a girl.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sarah Fisher's Helmet Design: First Draft

As you can imagine, the projects just keep rolling in. I've literally never been busier in my life! Enough about me though — more about Sarah Fisher! And no, unfortunately I was not hired by Sarah Fisher for this.

Now, I'm not sure if I should be telling you this or not, but I will anyway. Sarah Fisher announced a unique opportunity for her fans to play a role in her upcoming race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. She wants them to design a helmet to match the pink firesuit she'll be wearing in support of Susan G. Komen For the Cure's promise to save lives and end breast cancer forever. The winner of the design contest will have their artwork displayed in front of national media and thousands of race fans, as well as receive a replica painted helmet as a memento. How cool!

So, for our first illustration project, we were assigned this task. Design her freakin' helmet and win! No joke. My professor really wants one of our designs to be chosen. Here is my first draft. From comments and critiques, I'll make some changes and post my final by Friday. And no, I won't provide the link to the competition! Have you ever hear of Google?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mac and Ball

This is my second animation assignment for my CGT 341 class, which many of you don't even know what that means, but it's just the class number. Who cares, right? We were given storyboards and the scene and had to do the rest. As you can see, lighting and texturing aren't my strong points, but I'm fairly pleased with my animation.

I would definitely like to go back once I'm a better animator and see how many mistakes I've made. I'm sure many of you can help me with that. Comments and critiques are most welcome, as always. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Favorite Twitter Tweets #6

This is a post in a series of my favorite tweets from the several people I follow on the wonderful world of Twitter. I've chosen ones that are very inspirational and have great resources for you, the graphic designer, artist, animator, and 3D enthusiast!

Enjoy the tweets, follow the authors of the ones you like, share this post, respond with some of your favorite tweets, and become inspired.

Oh, before we begin, go follow me on Twitter!

@joshcorken Poll results are finally in! The rumors were true: I am, in fact, awesome.

@TFLN Things to remember: Girls don't appreciate it when you yell "Beast Mode!" when switching to doggy style.

@shoemoney iphone i am t-pain app is the best ever

@amusingsexfacts Sex is the safest tranquilizer in the world

@AnirudhBhalotia "If you are too busy to laugh, you are too busy."

@funnyordie Can't afford Beatles Rock Band? Buy a cheap guitar and just learn to play and sing the damn songs.

@FreelanceSw How Simplicity Can Help Creativity, Briefly

@jasonsantamaria Quality typefaces cost money. Accept it.

@lmgold21 Always hoping and wishing for the best, but always ready for the worst.

@comptgraphicdes 21 more items all design geeks must have! / eightyone design ...

@AnirudhBhalotia "Any artist that wants to be the best he can be, animation is what's going to test you the most". - Glen Keane

@jakrose "You don't need a parachute to to skydive. You need one to skydive twice" Overheard

@smashingmag Typographic Design Patterns and Best Practices -

@webdesign_news How To Find Time For… Everything!

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Branding Process: Final Logo Variations

After critiques from my class and professor, I decided to make a few variations of how these logos could be used. Sometimes, when you design a logo and the layout is a bit unconventional, you run into problems with using it in different mediums (ie. letterheads, web, email signatures, icons, etc). I think you catch my drift.

Thanks to everyone for their comments and suggestions, they really helped me come to these final logos. Let's just cross our fingers that mine are the ones chosen by my school to be used for their branding. How cool would that be!? And a wonderful portfolio piece at that. Enjoy!