Friday, July 31, 2009

SIGGRAPH 2009 in New Orleans

It's that time of the year again, when everyone packs their nerdiest shirts, sketchbooks, demo reels, resumes, and computers for a week full of computer graphics and interactive techniques! And let me just say, this is probably my favorite time of the year. You could call it my Christmas. I'm talking about a little conference called SIGGRAPH!

Well, to be honest it's not small at all. The Special Interest Group on GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques, shortened to SIGGRAPH for obvious reasons, got its start in 1974 and has grown to see attendance numbers rise to 40,000 people. That's a lot of computer geeks! This year, the city of New Orleans, LA will be hosting the 36th international conference.

But we couldn't be more proud of what we do. Yes, we may be a geek in your mind, but we fit right in at SIGGRAPH! But why go to this? What do you learn and how can you spend an entire week there?

So, why attend SIGGRAPH?

SIGGRAPH has a long standing history of being a showcase for cutting edge displays of the newest animation, architectural, illustrative, editing and design software and much more. In addition to an extremely impressive roster of industry-leading exhibitors such as Pixar, Lucas Film, Autodesk, Disney Animation, Google, Sony, and ILM, to name a few, it consistently brings the audience engaging programming and events.

So, let me ask you this: Why the hell not?!

What is Josh doing at SIGGRAPH?

I will be a student volunteer at the conference, the lifeblood and driving force that keeps SIGGRAPH going year to year! I'm proud to say this is my third SIGGRAPH and my second time volunteering. Take my word for it, my fellow student volunteers are some of the greatest, most talented, generous, kind-hearted, and downright awesome people you and I will ever meet! Trust me, I don't say that often.

What next?

As the week progresses, I'll be updating my blog with the best stuff and experiences from SIGGRAPH. And let me tell you a little secret. Come closer so you can hear me. Ok, that's good. Some of the stuff shared at this conference is never shown again or open to the public! On top of that, I will be writing a few posts for the well-known Computer Graphics World, so make sure to stay tuned there, even though I will probably be stealing information from this blog. Shhh! They don't need to know that.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Favorite Twitter Tweets #3

This is a post 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!

@AnirudhBhalotia If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do no harm - Les Brown (One of the best quotes I heard in a long time) #inspirational

@DesignerDepot 25 High Quality Free Fonts for Professional Designs:

@whereivebeen In Japan, 2 traffic lights simultaneously flashed green for 30 years due to error. No-one noticed til recent accident

@AnirudhBhalotia "A good deed is never lost: he who sows courtesy reaps friendship; and he who plants kindness gathers love."

@U_Creative Random thought. Twitter is not for sissies. U may quote me on that.

@kurtroswell There is a rarity of courage in the world. Be bold, be brave, and be creative. You might not get rich, but you would've really lived life.

@joshcorken Blizzard's Starcraft 2 Official Cinematic Trailer is absolutely brilliant and beautiful. Thank me later.

@scottmccloud Raisins: You can always pick them out. #honestslogans

@TomZiglar Where you start is not as important as where you finish. Zig Ziglar

@whereivebeen "Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.” - Seneca #travel

@BirdmanAndersen RT @Fake_Ron_Artest If you want to say Lance Armstrong is crazy do you call him 'nuts' or 'nut?'

@webdesign_news Design Checklist

@TomZiglar Real Joy is when you encourage someone who then makes a difference in someone elses life. Zig Ziglar. (Today in our company meeting)

@joshcorken It's the story that matters. It can make or break a film.

@uilcrw Jazz and SIGGRAPH 2009

@reactorkc RT @nishanjoomun: Nice comparison between Pepsi and Coke logo evolution

@TFLN (416): Definitely still drunk while signing the 'responsible adult' form at the hospital

@joshcorken There is no point in having millions of polygons, the latest technology available and countless hours of rendering if the story fails.

@nikibrown RT @justcreative: Imagine Pot Was Legal. How Would You Brand It? - (via @logomotives @FastCompany)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pick-Up Lines to Use on Graphic Designers

I couldn't resist! If you're looking to schmooze that special graphic designer that you've a crush on, this is a way to get your foot in the door and maybe more. Feel free to add more in the comments section for everyone else to read. We all need some pointers, don't we?
  1. I wish I had an Eyedropper to capture the color of your eyes.
  2. Has anybody ever told you that your teeth have perfect kerning?
  3. If you were a logo, it would be for a really premium brand.
  4. I’m just like a global nav; I love to be on top.
  5. Come back to my place and I’ll show you a really naughty way to fill up some negative space.
  6. Would you like to lorem ipsum dolor sit on my lap?
  7. If I went to a stock photography site and typed in the keyword: “sexy”, I bet there’d be a picture of you.
  8. I couldn’t help but notice your eye path went right to my smudge stick.
  9. If I hit Shift + [ will it increase the hardness of your brush?
  10. Just looking at you from across the bar, I could tell you display high Brightness and Vibrance, and have multiple Layers.
  11. You look perfectly put together. Do you display this well in IE?
  12. I like my fonts sans-serif, and you sans-pants.
  13. If you bring the tool, I’ll bring the color palette.
  14. I dig your look and feel.
  15. If you like what you see now, wait’ll you look below the fold.
  16. Let’s “Skip Intro” and just go find a hotel room right now.
  17. When I serve you breakfast in bed tomorrow, would you like your coffee with cream and sugar, or do you prefer it #000?
  18. Do you want to touch my Bézier curves?
  19. What if I told you the fly on my legs opens quicker than a 500kb JPEG file?
  20. Mind if I take you for a usability test?
  21. Let's go to bed and do the baseline shift.
  22. Adobe should've called it InDesire.
  23. I hate Comic Sans too... wanna dance?
  24. I'm sorry, is my div tag open?
  25. You are one hot Firefox... how about some Private Browsing?
  26. I wouldn't hit Ctrl+Z after a night with you.
  27. You're so fine, you must be 1px.
  28. I'll make your clothes 0% opacity.
  29. Can I select your area with my magic wand?
  30. Show me your .tiffs
Thanks to the Crestock Blog for the inspiration!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The SIGGRAPH 2009 CGTalk Meetup Details

With SIGGRAPH only 8 days around the corner, the party, user groups, and meetups are starting to be finalized. Computer graphics enthusiasts are getting more excited by the second and can't wait to be bombarded with the mind-blowing events it has to offer.

One of the meetups that happen every year is called the CGTalk Meetup. Since online forums really don't let you communicate personally, this allows the members of CGSociety to get together and actually meet each other (without the computer).

Here are the details:

Date: Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Time: 8pm
Location: Acme Oyster House
724 Iberville Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 522-5973

I hope to meet all of you there. That is, if you are attending SIGGRAPH this year. If you aren't, let me just say you are going to miss out. Don't worry, you can follow all the action and read about highlights live from this blog!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Everything Changes. Nothing Remains Without Change

The title of the post is actually a quote by Buddha. Not bad in my opinion. The image of Josh Corken (me) is changing. BoldHeart Design is being phased out and the name of Josh Corken is taking over.

Why? There are further endeavors on the back burner and the name Josh Corken needs to be the focus rather than another company name. Ya dig? Well, you better because it's about to get bigger and juicier than ever! Should I have used the word juicy for that? Oh well, you get my drift.

So check out all that is NEW!

Blog: (You are here)

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Digital Room Poster Giveaway

What? More free stuff! You know it. This time Digital Room online printing is hosting the giveaway, so thanks to them.

At Digital Room, they love photos as much as you do. And we all have plenty of them lying around, right? Well, now is your chance to enlarge that special photo you’ve been wanting to display. The photo can be of anything you want, as long it will make you happy to see it enlarged! They can do normal poster printing as well as custom poster printing. Whatever you need!

So, how do you enter? Easy. It will take you less than 3 minutes, I guarantee it!

Just leave a comment below saying what you are planning on printing and I will choose one person at random to take home a free high-gloss or semi-gloss 18x24" digitally printed poster!

I told you it was easy! Oh, and it wouldn't hurt your chances to share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, blah blah blah. You know the drill. As for me, I will be printing a poster that speaks to my heart now. I ride a motorcycle and am proud of it. To be more specific, I ride a BMW. Talk about amazing engineering. So, why wouldn't I print this amazing poster!?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Closer Look at Character Design

In the previous post, we took A First Look at Character Design. If you haven't read that, you should before you continue on with this. I'll wait for you so you can catch up.

Alright, I've waited long enough. So last time, we asked questions like what makes a character so appealing and lovable? How can Disney and other masters of the art actually create such lasting personalities? Well, in this post, we will learn about the fundamental steps it takes to develop a strong character. So, what are they?

1. Define your character.

In this first step, we will find out who are character is and define is qualities. Here are some simple questions to think about:

  • What is the life purpose of your character?
  • Where is it from?
  • What is your character afraid off?
  • What does it think about?
  • What is their main obstacle in life?
  • What is its strengths and weaknesses?
  • What type of friends does it have?
2. Make it human.

This doesn't mean to make your character look like a human. It just means to try and give it qualities in which the audience can relate to and understand. You can use common themes to bring your character to life such as sadness, joy, happiness, love, compassion, success, failure, etc. These will all relate your character to the audience. The less human-like you make it, the harder it will be to make that connection with the viewer.

3. Symbolism adds depth.

Do you want to add yet another level of depth to your character? Of course you do! In this step, you can really add subtle features to your character by adding symbolic traits to indirectly cue the viewer to learn more about it. For example, a small man may drive a very large truck around because he feels like he has to compensate for his height or a lady wears a ton of makeup to hide her real face because she thinks she's not beautiful enough. There are all kinds of ways to achieve this step, but that should get you started.

4. Add some humor.

Or you could add a lot of humor. It's really up to your vision of who this character is. But, you can never go wrong with adding some silly qualities to a character such as size, intelligence, misfortune, parts of the body being misplaced, or even just a funny tone to them.

5. Use reference to start creating.

If you are graphic artist or traditional artist, you will always use reference or find things that inspire you to make that next masterpiece. The same goes for creating a character. By this point, you should know who your character is. Now it is time to create it. If it is a male who is a bodybuilder, you can find pictures of body builders, weightlifters, Olympians, what they wear, how they act, etc. This research will help you further visualize what you want your character to look like.

6. Start sketching!

There are no boundaries at this stage. All you need to do is let your imagination take you to what your character should be. The only limitations are following the qualities, features, and traits of that you decided on in the first few steps. Start finding that certain style you have been looking for in this character and how it appeals to the audience. How will your character be pleasing to look at? Unless you are creating a monster, you may want to achieve harmonious shapes, good draftsmanship and simplicity.

7. Support with an environment.

Lastly, you will want to create a world in which your character lives in to further support the storytelling aspect of this character. That means focusing on design complexity, color, light and staging. The main idea behind this stage is to create an environment that completely supports and illustrates who your main character is.

So, now what do you do? My suggestion is to dive right in. Try your hand at character design and follow these steps to creating your vision. If you decide to make a character after reading this post, go ahead and link the picture in the comments section so we can all see it and give feedback.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Favorite Twitter Tweets #2

This is a post 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 artist. Since there is so much good stuff out there, it seems like this will be a normal thing for me to do. It just keeps getting better and better!

Enjoy the tweets, follow the authors of the ones you like, share this post, respond with some of your favorite tweets, and become inspired. After all, that's the whole point of this thing, isn't it?

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

@joshcorken “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” -St. Augustine

@upcomingpixar Blog Post: Behind the Voices Behind Up! Our thoughts on an interview with Amera Rizk, editor behind the stars:

@joshcorken The 50 Greatest Trailers of All Time: (This could take a while!)

@joshcorken "A man does not own anything but the courage and the loyalty in his heart. That's where his power comes from." -Vamsi V.

@AnimationMentor New tips and tricks! Advice from mentor Chris Chua on walk cycles He says watch a video ref and thumbnail simultaneously!

@AnimationCosmic Advice for anyone who's tried writing a short animated film: "Them shits is hard."

@SusanCosmos “Avoid problems, and you'll never be the one who overcame them.” -Richard Bach #quote

@smashingmag 'The Roadmap To Becoming A Professional Freelance Web Designer'

@johncmayer If you have to tell someone how bad you want it, then you haven't shown them how hard you already work for it.

@Iconic88 One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

@mtheoryx Really well done, and a very cool effect | RT @petapixel: Epic tutorial! 7 Steps to Taking Clone Photographs:

@Iconic88 Information is learned. Knowledge is practiced. Wisdom is knowing. PLS RT

@AnirudhBhalotia "Never see failure as failure but only as the negative feedback that I need to change course in my direction”

@FreelanceSw 10 Ways to Beat the Hell Out of Creative Block

@Iconic88 I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that don't work.- Thomas Alva Edison

@aaronmarshmusic The car in front of us just threw a banana peel out the window. We ran over it but didn't slip! I don't know what to believe anymore.

Friday, July 10, 2009

You Know You're an Internet Addict When...

This was just way too funny not to post. I did a similar one while back called You Know You're a Graphic Designer When... and have always wanted to find more of these. Well here it is! I know I'm an Internet addict. I spend usually half my day on the computer because it's my job, but the Internets and Googles are always chillaxin' in the background.

Are you an internet addict? Count how many of these apply to you and post that number in the comment section. Highest number wins! Be honest.

1. You didn't know that Firefox was also a movie starring Clint Eastwood.
2. Your bookmark takes 15 minutes to scroll from top to bottom.
3. There's a permanent ass-groove in your computer chair, but you haven't noticed.
4. You've said "no" to a real date in order to chat on eHarmony.
5. You've rationalized installing a mini-fridge, microwave, and port-a-potty at your workstation.
6. You go shopping every week, but you've never been inside a mall.
7. You don't believe anything you read in a newspaper unless you verify it on a news site.
8. You think that 404 is the number of the beast.
9. You refuse to go outside because of the sun: "it burns! IT BURNS!!"
10. Your eyeglasses have a web site burned in on them.
11. You find yourself typing "com" after every period when using a word
12. You refer to going to the bathroom as downloading. And you have an ethernet connection right next to the toilet paper.
13. You step out of your room and realize that your parents have moved and you don't have a clue when it happened.
14. You crank up your surround-sound whenever leaving the room so you can hear if new e-mail arrives.
15. All of your friends have an @ in their names.
16. When looking at a pageful of someone else's links, you notice all of them are already highlighted in purple.
17. You've already visited all the links at Yahoo and you're halfway through Lycos.
18. You can't call your mother...she doesn't have Skype or Instant Messaging.
19. You check your mail. It says "no new messages." So you check it again.
20. You have commandeered your teenager's phone line for a secondary net connection in case your ADSL goes down, and even his friends know not to call on his line anymore.
21. Your phone bill comes to your doorstep in a box.
22. You code your homework in HTML and give your instructor the URL.
23. You don't know the sex of three of your closest friends, because they have gender-neutral nicknames and you never bothered to ask.
24. You name your children Eudora, Mozilla and Dotcom.
25. Your husband tells you he's had the beard for 2 months.
26. You wake up at 3 a.m. to go to the bathroom and stop and check your e-mail on the way back to bed.
27. You tell the cab driver you live at http://123.elm.street/house/bluetrim.html
28. You actually try that 123.elm.street address.
29. You tell the kids they can't use the computer because "Daddy's got work to do" and you don't even have a job.
30. Your wife makes a new rule: "The computer cannot come to bed.". So you file for a
31. You are so familiar with the WWW that you find the search engines useless.
32. You get a tattoo that says "This body best viewed with Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher."
33. You forget what year it is.
34. To find out what year it is, you search Google.
35. You start tilting your head sideways to smile.
36. You begin to wonder how on earth your service provider is allowed to call 200 hours per month "unlimited."
37. You turn on your computer and turn off your wife.
38. Your wife says communication is important in a you buy another computer and add her to the network so the two of you can chat.
39. You refuse to go on vacation where there's no electricity, phone lines, or hotspots.
40. You finally do take that vacation, but only after buying a data-enabled cel-phone, and a wi-fi PDA.
41. You spend half of the plane trip with your laptop on your lap...and your child in the overhead compartment.

Thanks to Geek of the Day for the inspiration.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Inspirational 3D Stills #1

CGSociety is one of the greatest online communities on the face of the interwebs. It really has any for of computer graphics niche on it, allows you to network with other students and professionals, and gives you an overwhelming amount of work produced by these talented artists. Just today my user title went from "veteran" to "frequenter." And as a frequenter now, I feel I must start incorporating the amazing work on CGTalk into the blog.

Today's topic: Inspiration from 3D Stills. The variety of style and creativity between these renders goes to show that this community really hosts every kind of artist out there. I hope these can spark some ideas or inspire you to make some of your own awesome works in 3D.

(Click on each picture to navigate to the artist's original post.)

Jack Zhang

Viki Yeo
Balázs Pápay
Andre McGrail
Alessandro Baldasseroni

Yu Cheng Qu
Olivier Defaye
Quentin Mabille

Monday, July 6, 2009

Favorite Twitter Tweets #1

I'm trying to be creative, so give me a break! This post is exactly what the title says: a list of some 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 artist. This actually came in handy for myself, so I hope it does for you!

Enjoy the tweets, follow the authors of the ones you like, share this post, respond with some of your favorite tweets, and become inspired. After all, that's the whole point of this thing, isn't it?

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

@AnirudhBhalotia "In Hollywood a marriage is a success if it outlasts milk." -Rita Rudner

@SenJohnMcCain America has been and remains the greatest force for good in history.

@smashingmag People are quick to forget good things you've done, but once you failed, really failed, they'll remember it for the rest of your life.

@upcomingpixar Pixar Quote: "Quality is the best business plan." -John Lasseter (Chief Creative Officer WDAS & Pixar) So true!

@AnirudhBhalotia "One person caring about another represents life's greatest value."

@joshcorken The Brainstormer created to help writers, designers, and anyone else come up with ideas: http://www.distractionbeast...

@joshcorken "Never give up on something you can't go a day without thinking about" -Russ Shanafelt

@funnyordie OMG, this chocolate cake is like crack! Oh, wait a second. Nope. This is actually just crack. I thought it was weird I was smoking cake.

@joshcorken RT @mashable RunPee: iPhone App Tells Moviegoers When it’s Safe to Pee (via @tweetmeme)

@Iconic88 "Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart." -Gibran

@Iconic88 "All things are difficult before they are easy."

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Composing for Characters: Disney/Pixar's UP Soundtrack

First off, if you haven't seen UP, you must go right now! No, I mean now. Stop reading this blog post, check the movie times, bookmark this page for reading after you get back from the film, and go experience one of the greatest animated films ever created!

Thanks to Upcoming Pixar, I am able to stay updated on everything that happens with the feature films, toys, employees, and the entire world in which they live in. This happens to be one of my favorite blogs to follow. And trust me, that's saying something because I follow well over 50 others.

Well, recently they posted this video, which is about the music behind the film UP and how Michael Giacchino composed for the characters. It makes me admire Pixar and just how much effort they put into every aspect of the film.

After watching the above video, I immediately opened iTunes, browsed to Pixar soundtracks, and purchased the entire UP soundtrack. The score literally bring tears to my eyes. It's astonishing how just 8 simple notes can bring out so much emotion!

I'm listening to the soundtrack as I type this and am more than happy with myself for buying the album. It is taking me through the exact same emotions I felt during the movie and I'm not even watching it. Talk about great composition! I promise you that the money you spend on watching UP in theaters and buying the soundtrack is well worth it.

Friday, July 3, 2009

A First Look at Character Design

The wonderful world of Twitter decided the destiny of this post. Yes, you heard right. How does Twitter decide what I write about in here? Well, it's quite simple actually. I posted a small snippet about how I was trying to think of new blog post ideas and within minutes had 3 prompt responses with all good ideas. These were from people I had never heard of, but it's nice to know there are people out there willing to help.

I ended up choosing an idea from @gilabot. His recommendation was based on his most recent post called Top Character Design #001. This won't be focusing too much on Darth Maul, but he is one intimidating dude if you ask me.

Now, since this is just the first look at character design, most of the characters I will show are extremely well known. You have to love Disney and the other big name creators for providing us with our many childhood cartoons and movies. How did they do it though? Just how did they think up and develop such strong characters that moved and influenced us so much?

Let's take a look at some of the well known characters that we have been introduced to throughout our years. Notice the time it takes you to recognize who it is and how they are feeling. Not long at all! Hence, great design and development.

I could really go on for days with the pictures. There are countless characters that are so distinguishable because they are created so well. That is the power of animation in general. The ability to put life and emotion into a drawing and make the audience believe it has a mind is something that will be cherished forever.

Stay tuned for more posts on this topic, including comic book character design, movie characters, and the steps to developing a lasting character.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

500 Free Business Cards! How?

The title may be a bit misleading, but I'll assure you it's for a good cause. In this case, I will be receiving 500 free business cards of my choosing in the next month. You see, I keep posting about this stuff and you keep getting more chances to win free printing! It's a win win situation, and finally I get to reap the benefits. But how?

Well, UPrinting sponsors blogs. It's as simple as that. The BoldHeart blog is sponsored because it rocks and because I asked. Easy as that. This has probably been my best move yet, considering this helps drive traffic to my site through all of the free giveaways. Who doesn't like free stuff? I mean come on, really?

Why isn't your average printing company:

1. Blog Sponsorships:

If you are looking to find a sponsor for your blog, is definitely interested. We
offer giveaways, advertising and more for qualified bloggers.

2. Non-Profit Sponsorships:

The U-Community Program sponsors hundreds of non-profits and education to improve our
local communities.

3. Social Justice Projects:

The UPrinting Kiva account promotes small business growth in developing countries.

4. Green Printing:

UPrinting supports a sustainable future by recycling, using non-toxic inks, and offering eco-friendly recycled paper stocks for business cards and postcard printing.

Pretty cool stuff, I must say! Even though they are a business, which seeks to make money, it is so impressive how much they give back to the community. It goes to show that with any sort of company, there are ways to give back, sponsor, mentor, and help guide the next generation to success. That's a bit mushy, but I think you get the point.