Thursday, September 27, 2012

Art - Sculpting

I've never sculpted a character before so I was really excited to be in Simon Lee's sculpting class. We had a week long class over at my work. (Part of why I love my job is that I get to learn all the time!) Simon started his business only a few years ago, but since he's a webmaster, he was very good at networking and got his work out. He made one sculpture every day for 20 days and shared it on the web. Now he's successful and doing what he is passionate about.

This is what he sculpted the first day with super sculpey, taking his time to show us every step:

He starts out by making a simple armature, then he adds the rib and pelvis, more bones, then muscles, then poses it, then stabilizes it, then details it. Very effective process. 

Me, trying to sculpt a head... so hard:

You know what's amazing? Simon can somehow make a tiny, perfect hand or skull with just a few magical squeezes. 

Here's what he made in an hour and a half:

Unbelievable!!! What a valuable talent to have. If I could sculpt that fast I would model every single one of my characters. 

I'm not going to show you my sculpture yet--since it's uh, it needs work, but I will show you how it looks in the passenger seat of my car... I drove home carefully:

I'm looking forward to practicing more. I think it's a valuable design tool. You get to test your design out on gravity--see if it's balanced. 

Also, I noticed I was drawing better after sculpting--I think it's because sculpting forces you to accept a little chaos and be more flexible to change the design.

Check out more of Simon's incredible work here, and if you ever get the chance, take his workshop!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Book Parties

Reading is viewed as a thing of solitude, but I really love book parties. Books aren't just static things that sits on the shelf and stays in your mind. You share it, talk about it, and even read together. Books can be a social thing, and it's a social thing that's quite different from movie night, game night, or sport night.

So, how can you throw a book party?

I went to a silent reading party. It was on a lovely, sunny evening. Everyone sat on the grassy field and read. There was a musician playing cello as we read. Some brought picnic baskets. It was so serene! I heard that there will be another party coming up in a vintage bar with a roaring fireplace. (Good idea for winter!)

Another party I went to was a literary cocktail party. Everyone had to carry around a book he/she was currently reading. So you have a drink and talk about books. I loved meeting new people and asking about the book he/she is holding.

I encourage more book parties! What are your ideas for a book party? If you have a cool idea, please share.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Andreas Deja

On Friday, I had the honor of attending Andreas Deja's lecture. Andreas is a prolific Disney animator, having animated King Triton from Little Mermaid, Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, Jafar from Aladdin, and Scar from Lion King. (And many more!) It was amazing to see someone behind some of my favorite childhood films. I think if I was an animator, I would want to work on villains too.

For King Triton, he said he fleshed out his character by thinking of him as a father rather than a king. Remember that scene when King Triton destroyed all of Ariel's treasures? That broke my heart--it's done so well. 

Gaston was very challenging for Andreas because Gaston had to be both handsome and a monster on the inside. He would draw him handsome for the most part, but with flashes of monstrous expressions.
Andreas noted that a lot of the characters in Aladdin were very active and moving a lot, particularly Genie. So to contrast it, he made Jafar calm and still. 

The voice actor, Jeremy Irons, drove a lot of the animation for Scar. Some great touches Andreas added was a "slicked back" mane for Scar and a little scar on his face.

Andreas even drew the characters in front of us. If you're interested in more of his work, check out his blog!


Monday, September 24, 2012

Some V-Game Stuff...

Earlier last week, I tweeted that I helped unbox a turret... so here is a vid of us opening the box containing the very realistic Turret:

Laughing Squid also linked the vid.

Huge thanks to Weta for building the turret! 

In other news, a friend told me that I've been featured on Kotaku. Thanks, Kotaku!


Monday, September 10, 2012

Art Jury 2012

Friday three judges and I - Rich, Pat, and Jeremy - joined together to look over the Digital Art Festival competition submission. There were some nice pieces of illustrations, and lots of great animations. Though we had a ton of awesome stuff to go through, it was a really efficient meeting--we had similar line of thinking about each piece.

Here are some pics from the meeting:

Jeremy lives far away, so he had to phone in--here's Jeremy:

 Here is the organized Kamal, going through every file patiently:

Stay tuned to hear about the winners! Also, hope you make it to the Digital Art Festival, if you're in the area!