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?