Saturday, December 29, 2007

Suitcase Present

I promised I would post these up. I thought my Christmas present for Shandel wasn't personal enough, so to make up for it, I wanted to wrap it in something more personal. She loves vintage suitcases so there I found my idea. Of course, like any good artist, I started with thumbnail plans:

Here's what it looked like still under construction. You can see how it's built (cardboard and stick glue!):

Here it is ready for paint, still cardboard (and some illustration board for the trim!):

I coated it with gesso to give me a more uniform paint surface and then got to work painting:

Here's the paint all done, you can really see how much of a mess my room is (is that the IT book?!):

Of course, the actual present inside (inside was lined with tissue paper):

Presentation is everything:

In the end Shandel said the present was personal, so I guess I didn't need to do this after all! But I'm glad I did, I had fun doing it and it was well recieved.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Bountiful Birds, Barren Birch, Beautiful Beach

I was trying to help my brother come up with an art-deco concept painting for something he wanted to paint. I grabbed some things off google images and got to work. Long story short, I got carried away and totally missed the mark on what he was looking for, but I ended up with something pretty cool. I put the images that I used below the sketch.

Friday, December 21, 2007

EA Concept Workshop

I just completed a 5 week concept workshop with EA Games with 11 of my peers. It's been while since I had the chance to do some visual development, but I had a blast! I learned some great photoshop techniques and it was really interesting learning about the games process as opposed to the feature or tv industry. Things move at a different pace, and a lot of the work tends to be "photochopped" where painting is combined with photographic elements. In the end, the message is that it's all about visual communication and getting that point across. I wanted to post all the work I did good and bad, just to see what strengths I have and what weaknesses I need to work on.

The overall project was that each of us would create one level of our own video game concept based on certain character mechanic constraints. I really enjoyed the creative freedom of creating my own game and world regardless of how it would sell in the real world.

My game was called "Anna and the Queen" and was based in Victorian Era London. Queen V has become sick with power and has let the industrial revolution take over her country and her life. She employs the use of industial robots to patrol and control her people. She intends to rule the nation forever and is slowly becoming more machine than human in order to do so. Meanwhile, the main character Anna learns that she is the rightful heir to the throne. With royal blood, she is able to control the 4 elements of nature through the use of an ancient amulet. With the great power, she realizes that it is her duty to save London from the evil despot and restore honor to the throne and the country that once held such high and righteous ideals.

Week One was about establishing the look and world of our game and capturing it in a single photoshop concept piece. Here, the robot minions spot Anna as she enters Westminster Abbey which has been converted into am industrial factory.
Week Two was about characters. We had to design the hero, the boss and the boss' minions. My main character was basically an answer to most video games today which either have a male hero or a big-chested uber-heroine. I chose a strong willed young girl as my hero character. My minions are broken down into the Bobbies which are drone-like and easy to dispense, and the Queen's Guard who are more difficult to bring down. My one regret was that I never got to fully develop my main boss character, Queen V.

Week Three was about the space within the level. Here we see a cutaway view of a cathedral that acts as a gate to the inner-kingdom. The cathedral is based loosly off of Westminster Abbey and works within the original concept piece from week one. The red lines indicate the "Alpha Path" which is unique to the game industry. An "Alpha Path" can be thought of as an ideal path for the main character within a level.
Week Four was about storyboarding out a IGC sequence to introduce a boss character. IGC stands for "In Game Cinematic" and is a short movie that usually advances plot within a game where the player stops controlling the main character. This sequence introduces a mid-boss Big Ben and occurs after you get through the cathedral gate into the inner kingdom.
In class, we worked on creating an environment using photographic elements.
Week Five was about creating an object within the world of the game. I chose my amulet as my object since it plays such an important role for Anna. I wanted something that looked solid but somewhat natural and mystical. I used a technique they showed us involving 3D. I modeled a rough version of the amulet in maya, and then painted over the top to get the final result.
That's it! Next semester, EA Games has invited us all back to enter into an internship, and I'm really looking forward to improving my overall skill set.

Monday, September 10, 2007


This isn't an art post, but it is (sort of) art related and I just had to write about it. I went to the local Apple store today and played around with an iPhone for the first time. I thought I would test it out and look at my new online portfolio. Let me tell you, there's nothing like seeing your work on an iPhone! Everyone should try it!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Gamma Quadrant 2

Ok ok, so here's the real design I did for the Space Cowboy blog:

Dash Cavalier - Dash is a brazen, headstrong space cowboy whose righteousness knows no bounds. Either do right by the law or get out of Gamma Quadrant 2. However, Dash's intentions are greater than his ability to realize those intentions. This is due to his one true weakness: pride. It is pride which clouds his mind and lets enemies gain advantage over him. Luckily, a chance meeting at the local Hometown Buffet put him in contact with a certain Chalmers Butterfield.

Chalmers Butterfield - You may be thinking Chalmers Butterfield...the mid-century photographer? No, not that Chalmers Butterfield. This Chalmers Butterfield comes from a race of turban wearing space monkeys, whose goal in life is to bring good upon the Universe. They are humble to a fault and will take no credit for being a hero. Chalmers Butterfield helps Dash beat the wrongdoers of the Universe, although Dash is unwilling to accept that a monkey is saving his butt day in and day out. Without Chalmers Butterfield, Dash would not be able to beat his greatest nemesis, Vincent Billingsley.

Vincent Billingsley - Vincent was born into a wealthy family who provided for all he could ever want...except love. Because of this, Vincent never understood real love, and displaced these feelings and desires towards material posessions and wealth. And so, Vincent grew to be a shrewd and calculating businessman who is always looking to profit through any means necessary. No amount of wealth will ever be enough to fill the void in his heart.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Woody Lightyear

My friends and I decided to design a Space Cowboy for a blog, so I though I'd do both in one!...and it's an original creation, like Rickey Rouse, or Monald Muck!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Nature and Films

I went sketching with my friend Chris Palmer in his hometown of Morgan Hill. We took a little drive and went hiking up in the hills. It was nice to get out in nature again and I could have hiked all day. We stopped at one point and sketched by a bridge. Later on we met up with some friends at Borders in Santana Row. I decided to try and capture some of the faces I was seeing around me.

The next day we all went to TGIF to celebrate the wrap and sending off of two of our films to the Ottawa International Animation Festival. We always have fun working together to make films and these were no exception. So keep a lookout for "T.N.E.I.T." and "The Princess and the P."

Friday, June 15, 2007

Wild Sushi and More!

Instead of drawing underwater creatures, I went scuba diving and brought along my underwater polaroid camera. I went in search of the real rarities, things you don't see in science journals, encyclopaedias, or any other kind of reputable source. Here's a list:

1. Whuppy - You might think whales are easy to spot, but not when they're the size of guppies! A Whuppy is a cross between a whale and a guppy making them the smallest whale species.

2. Armored Shark - A shark with lobster armor! It has, like, 4 fins! Cool!

3. Wild Sushi - Just slice and serve fresh!

4. Cela (see-lah) - The Cela are simlar to mermaids, but with a squid-like tentacle instead of a fish tail. Unlike their mermaid cousins, the Cela are not spiteful but instead a curious and inquisitive race.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The 'Zoo

About a month ago, myself and four friends got a chance to go to Kalamzoo to compete in the Kalamazoo Animation Festival International (KAFI) Cartoon Challenge. The challenge is to produce an animated 30 second PSA in only 3 days!!. It was a blast! We didn't take home the prize but we were extremely happy with our end result and more importantly we exceeded our own goal to have fun! We met some great friends and competitors and KAFI took really good care of us. We also ran into our old friends from Pratt that we met out in Ottawa last year and our ACME peers in southern California from Laguna. It was nice to see some familiar faces. Here's just a few pages from that trip.

The sketch on the left was a lot of fun. It was at a place called Bell's Bar where a live band was playing. I decided to do some blind contour of the band and I loved how it came out. I've been trying to work in some blind contour to practice my line quality and really get that genuine feel. The sketch on the right was of the SJSU team before we left. You can see out five faces and the airplane on the bottom (more blind contour).

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Cave Troll!

Well the semester's over and for our intermediate 3D class we got to model the Cave Troll from Lord of the Rings. I spent the semester honing my modeling skills, learning how to texture better, learning the basics of rigging, and capping it off with animation! At the beginning of the semester it would have been hard to believe that I would be able to get to this stage in 3D. But with great teaching and hard work I was able to get here. To showcase it, I have both a posed model (based on a WETA maquette) and a walk cycle. (I'll try to get better resolution videos up soon, right now they're pixely)

I've learned so much and have been asked to teach the intro Maya class this Summer! (It's funny how much you learn by teaching!)

Saturday, June 02, 2007

London Sketches

Over Spring Break I was able to go to London through the school. It was a total blast! We visited all sorts of museums and small studios. It's great seeing a differet type of working environment in the smaller studios (Double Negative, AKA, and others!). I have a few sketches from the V&A Museum that I found in my sketchbook (and a sketch from the Royal Academy of Arts on the bottom right) The center sketch was from a sculpture called "Athelete Struggling with a Python" by Lord Leighton Fredric. It was one of the most intense sculptures I've ever seen, and was very much masuline. In contrast, the museum had feminine sculptures nearby. The sketches at the top right are from the sculpture "The Bather" by Toft (i think). The sketches at left are from one of the most beautiful and feminine sculptures I've ever seen, calles "Eve" by Thomas Brock.