Friday, October 09, 2009

One More I Forgot To Add

I did this over a week ago for Creation Engines, but I forgot to post it up here. I knew I wanted to do this character simply because I thought the name and visuals would be funny. I also wanted to attempt to create a comic book feel, as if you were reading a page from a longer story. I'm not a color expert, so it's a little gaudy there, and the layout feels a bit 90's but in the end I had fun.

You wouldn't like him when he's hungry...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Two More


Captain Hookmerica

Monday, September 14, 2009

Marvel + Disney

I've been pretty busy settling in to my new home and environment, that I haven't posted any art in a while. I've been having a lot of fun over at my friend's group blog Creation Engines where we've been combining Disney and Marvel characters because of the Disney aquisition of Marvel. Here's some of my stuff:

Ghost Jack

Pinocchio + Human Torch

Beasty and the Beast

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

In Progress

I've decided to start the slow process of bringing all my new blog posts back to this blogspot. My other work and website will still be up and running, but the blog portion will stay here.
I appreicate your patience.


Saturday, June 06, 2009

First Week

The traffic isn’t so bad...

I don’t know why we’re green, but maybe Januel’s shirt has something to do with it...

I walk this path Monday through Friday

I still can’t believe I’m here. If someone would have said a year ago that I would be living in Los Angeles and working at DreamWorks, I would have laughed. Don’t get me wrong, I work very hard at what I do, I just didn’t think that I would be in the industry so soon. This first week has been exciting, amazing, and at times a little intimidating. Who wouldn’t be with all the talent around here? But everyone here has been so fantastic. I’m still in training and have a lot to learn, and I’m itching to get animating, but I know from experience that I have to be patient and good things will come from it. It’s been really helpful having an old friend here. Januel has always been welcoming and helpful in showing me around the beautiful campus and the surrounding city. The only thing left to do is to find permanent housing. Then I can settle in and start exploring the area some more. Wish me luck!

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Well that’s it! This is a picture with the people who made my graduation possible. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today and I owe them much more than I can ever give them. If I ever find my way back up to the bay area, I will be sure to knock on their door and see if they need my teaching services so I can give back to the students some of what I was able to get from them. Thank you to all my professors and peers throughout my college career. Fire it up!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It’s Official!

So I know it’s the worst kept secret out there, but I can officially say that I got a job at DreamWorks Animation!!! I don’t think it’s totally sunk in yet. It’s a truly amazing opportunity and I’m more than excited to be starting a new path in my life. Along with it, I will be moving to Glendale, CA to start the new job. I will keep everyone updated as things get underway!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Last Day of School

Hangin' them up

Part way through my college career at San Jose State, I told my friend Januel that when I was done I would hang up my shoes in the lab. Today that became reality. The shoes I hung up were well loved and well worn and proudly bore the Shrunkenheadman logo. Before I hung them up I inscribed some words of wisdom that I want to pass on to future generations of Shrunkenheadman. On the left shoe, it says “Expect the best, but don’t expect it to come easy” and “Remember to have fun and sleep!”. On the right shoe it says “It’s all about the mileage”, “Squint!”, and “Remember your audience!” I should add one more, but we all know this one...Fire it up!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I didn’t know how my “awesometastic” day could be topped, but it just was by today. Details to follow. All I can say is AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

“Awesometastic” Day

In a term coined by my friend, Scott “Guy” LaFleur, I had an “awesometastic” day. Just to be discrete about it, I had an interview with a major animation studio today and it went really well! In the end it amounted to three interviews with 7 amazing artists. This would be an “awesometastic” opportunity. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Hippie Test Starting on Curves

I’m just getting into curves now and I’ve been focusing on the timing of hippie’s entrance. I’d like to give the whole test a little more texture, and the entrance contrasting with the moment of pause will help with that.
I also want to make sure my hand poses and facial expressions are nailed down by this point, and those still need work before I get too far ahead.
The businessman has some minor but important tweaks giving him more focus during the test.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Revised Blocking Hippie Test

So I spent yesterday reshooting some reference for the businessman because from others’ notes, he was attracting too much attention. The idea now is to get him offstage quickly and keep him within a single though process during that time. Before I was trying to add several changes in thought and it was killing the overall flow. Now I think it works better, but there’s still work to be done! I also roughed in the lip sync on the hippie, which I tried to play up since it’s quite small on the screen. I think it will be fun to play with the mouthshapes of this hippie as they will be very “surfer-bum like” with very exaggerated and relaxed shapes.

I also added the same test but with a photo background. I wanted to know how that would look or if it would be too distracting. I personally like the park background, but we’ll see what others say.


That’s right, I dressed up.

I can’t get over how entertaining this movie was! From the opening scene which had me close to tears, to the Enterprise blazing phasers coming out of hyperspace, it was an all around blast!! The casting was great, and I especially loved the way Karl Urban interpreted McCoy...“Are you our of your Vulcan mind?!” The integration of the alternate timeline into the plot did not seem manufactured at all, and it left the franchise open for interpretation down the road. And how cool is Red Matter?!
As you can see I wore my Spock costume that I had lying around from a few halloweens ago. I ended up being the only one dressed up! (yeah I know, nerdy!) But it’s ok, despite being made fun of by high school kids, it was worth it to spend time with friends and have a great time!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Amazing Acting Moment

I love hockey. And I love animation. So when I happened across this clip I couldn’t help but smile. I smile every time I play it. The acting is so genuine and amazing, and the contrast set up by the hockey players and their actions is just inherently funny. I love all the little moments throughout this piece and I would love to get this honesty out of my acting and animation. It makes me wonder “why didn’t I think of that!” Enjoy!

I’m in the Paper!

I found out I was in the paper the other day. It was part of an article for D-Day and this was the teaser photo they put on the front page! Good times with Spock ears. Now I’m debating whether to wear the costume for Thursday :)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Good News at the BFA Gallery Show!

Too many smiles: Paul Abadilla, Don Ta, Rebbaz Royee, Corey Tom

The BFA Gallery Show this year looks amazing. Not only is the work amazing from all the students, but my good buddies Rebbaz Royee and Chris Palmer really put together a great show. While I was at the Gallery Opening night, I received some fantastic news! I don’t want to jinx anything, so I’ll share if and when the time is right...but trust me it’s good news :)

Sunday, May 03, 2009

My New Website

I started a new web site with my newest 3D animation reel on it. It's still a work in progress, but please check it out. I won't be updating this blog anymore, so all my newest stuff should be on my new site.

Update (2009.09.02): I've decided to start the slow process of bringing all my new blog posts back to this blogspot. My other work and website will still be up and running, but the blog portion will stay here.

Sarcastic Surgeon Revision

So I took a break from the hippie test, and I went back to my “Sarcastic Surgeon” dialogue piece. It’s one of the tests that I think needs the most work to get it to polish. My main goal this time around was to get a better sense of mass and weight in the the movements, and to clean up actions. I think it’s getting better, but like any test, it still needs work.

Friday, May 01, 2009


photo by Anne Utter

Another year, another D-Day. This will be my last though, but it’s been fun. This year, I was Spock in Star Trek vs. Darth Vader. I recycled my Halloween costume from two years ago. Of course I cut my hair and wore the ears! I even did some last minute makeup in the setup room. Here’s a rundown of the D-Day skits I’ve been in:

2009 Star Trek Crew vs. Darth Vader
Kirk - Steve Hirt
Spock - Me
McCoy - Colin King-Bailey
Uhura - Renee Carty
Sulu - Michael Fong
Scotty - Craig Kitzman
Red Shirts - Jake Panian, Paul Nguyen, Jake Baker
Darth Vader - Phil Wanardi

2008 My Futurama Head vs Micah Sibert;s Futurama Head

2007 My Muppet Self and Januel Mercado’s Muppet Self vs. Jennifer Corker and Lauren Andrews’ Muppet Selves

2006 Brokeback Mountain with Januel Mercado vs. Andrea Rhodes (country girlfriend/wife) and Paul Abadilla (cow)

2005 Magician vs. Rabbit (Fumi Nakamura)

Professional Project Finished!

We finished the opening sequence for the “Imagination Station” PBS Show today. It still needs some minor tweaks, but for all intents and purposes, it’s done! It was such an amazing experience getting to work on a professional project before even leaving school, and it was a truly special experience getting to direct my first project. I learned a lot about management and I hope to apply it to future projects. All of this couldn’t have been done without a lot of hard work from my classmates. My friend and fellow animator extraordinaire, Corey Tom, was a trooper in getting all the animation done, and stayed up countless nights making sure it all went smoothly during the many, many renders. I wish I could show you the work, but for now, you’ll have to catch it on your local PBS station when it airs!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New Blocking Pass

This is my latest blocking pass for the Hippie/Businessman pass. I wanted to clarify the characters a little bit more. One of my main concerns which I also tried to address was in keeping the characters’ actions distinct enough so as not to distract from one another. For that I tried to play with pacing and timing of the overall scene. I think I still have a ways to go in playing up the business man’s frustration. I will go back and reshoot reference for that soon. I hope to get this portfolio ready in the next few weeks (if not sooner!)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

DreamWorks Q&A, Gallery Show

Yesterday I had a once in a lifetime opportunity thanks to my professors. DreamWorks is having a gallery show at school called “DreamWorlds: The Inspired Concept Art of DreamWorks Animation”. Tuesday night was the opening and I was given the chance to interview Production Designer Kendal Cronkhite and Head of Character Animation Rex Grignon from PDI/DreamWorks. It was so amazing! The interview took place in front of almost 500 people in a filled auditorium. I have to admit I was nervous, but I felt comfortable knowing that my friends were in the audience as well. I asked Kendal and Rex about their past and present in the industry and touched on their trip to Africa to research Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. Overall it went well and I will never forget my experience.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Hippie and Businessman - Updated Pose Test

So I got some great feedback on the last pass of my pose test and reshot some reference before going back to posing. I think it’s stronger but I know I can push it more. I was recently watching the Spline Doctors “Bale Contest” tests and I really saw the power of pushing poses. I would like to get that into this test before I move on. At the same time I’m also gearing up to work on my demo reel to polish up my current tests. With all the other projects going on it’s getting busy but also exciting!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Hippie and Businessman - New Pose Test

Back from London and back to work. After getting some good advice, I reshot some reference, and reblocked my characters (I’m also now using referenced characters which will make modification much easier later). I like the direction this is going in now. The businessman’s attitude is now in line with what I originally intended, and the hippie is more fleshed out. Right now I need to take step back and get more eyes to look at it to tell me if it’s going in the right direction.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Back Home

Me looking serious in London

London was amazing! I just got back home I can’t wait to go back someday. I’m always amazed at how old London is and how much history and art are present in everyday life. They have everything figured out because it’s been there so long. Take the Tube for instance. You never wait more than 5 minutes for the next train and you’re always within a few minutes of a station by foot. Amazing. There’s so much to tell, but I won’t go into all the boring details. If you’d like to know, come talk to me.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pose Tests - Hippie and Businessman

So I thought before I head out to London, I would post an update on my new shot. These are a few early pose tests just trying to get the right timing and entertainment out of it. Right now the biggest note is that I’m playing the businessman out of character. He needs to be more angry and resistant to the hippie’s help. I have some video reference that my classmates and I shot which will help me play that up convincingly.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

New Shot - Hippie and Businessman

This new test is really exciting for me. I often gravitate toward more controlled acting in my animation, and I now have a chance to really amp up the physicality, as well as practice my dialogue. I’ve thumbnailed out my basic idea, and cut it to time. So far I think this could be a good character study, but I’d really like to make it more entertaining. There’s a chance to get some classic physical comedy here, and right now I’m just scratching the surface.

It’s pretty impossible to tell from the rough sketches, but the young man running up is a hippie, and the man in the foreground is a businessman who has just been stunned by the hippie’s frisbee (the ellipse in the foreground). I have to give credit to my friend Scott for coming up with this one.

One of my own self-imposed constraints is to keep from having too much dead air before and after the dialogue. I’d like to jump right in without wasting time at either end. Other than that, I’m all ears on amping this up!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Bar Scene - Curves Pass

Here’s an update of the test I’ve been working on for BFA. All previous passes can be found on my old blogspot sketchblog here. This latest pass is at the curves stage, and I’m starting to get into polishing, with some areas working better than others. The man in the scene still needs a lot of work, as I’ve really been concentrating more on the girl. I got some great notes from ACME Transmission and of course from Rex and my classmates. In the coming weeks I’ll be fixing up this as well as some other tests to update my reel. Only two months left!


Hey Everyone, this is my first real blog post on my new web site (not counting the link to the old blog)! I’m excited to start it off with a life event.

On Wednesday, I’ll be going to London for 9 days! I’m going with the school, and we’ll get to visit several commercial production houses there that specialize in animation. I was able to go on the trip a few years ago and I’m so excited to be able to go again.

Last time we were able to visit Framestore CFC, Double Negative, and Studio AKA among other studios. It was so fantastic to see smaller studios producing such great work! I’m so ready to go again...well besides the packing...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Bar Scene

So I've been working on a new shot this semester, and I wanted to show my progress so far. I won't get into any of the details, other than I'm really trying to nail the emotion and keep the personality consistent within the girl. I'm having fun with this test, and it's really pushing me to know my characters. Here's some video showing my latest pass, along with some videos of my progress up til now:

Here's my latest pass, where I've taken it into curves (it's still rough):

An earlier refined blocking pass:

An even earlier blocking pass:

One of my initial posing passes: