Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Steven v.1.0

This is my new StevenRig, a multi rig I've been working on. Thanks Joe for the pose. Its taking a bit of time to set up since I don't have much free time after work. Oh I forgot to mention. I have a job. I am working at Crystal Dynamics in Menlo Park, Ca as a technical artist for their next game.

Anyways, I'm trying to get it to an acceptable stage by the new year so I can start to do some Character Animation. This rig will be set up with multiple heads/hair/acessories/body types so that you can mix and match and even creat new assets.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Test Face

I've been working on a new type of rig for a face that is faster to set up and gives more control. This is a test lipsync


Also as added fun and to demonstrate what is driving this face I made two videos the FIRST is the controlers of the face which drive free floating clusters which in turn drive the curves of the face you see there. The SECOND is just of the free floating clusters.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Taking on the United States

It's been a while since my last post but as you can see I've been very busy. At the end of Sept. Brittney and I started our journey across the United States to start the next chapter of our life in SanFrancisco, CA!! Here is a the story (pictures included) of our trip.


On our way!!! We stopped briefly in Columbus, OH for some ice cream that we couldn't finish - but what a delicious start to a trip.


Our first overnight stop was to see friends of Brittney and her family in Ninevah, IN. It was a very beautiful lakeside cottage although the cot I slept on was a little small.


Isn't that a beautiful arch??


Unfortunately our second night, Brittney decided to get really sick. It was a sleepless night for both of us due to coughing, barking dogs, and uncomfortable crappy motel beds.

We then went on to travel through Oklahoma - perhaps the most boring state in the world. Nothing to report there.

???, TX

I nearly ran out gas in Texas. We were in the middle of nowhere without a gas station to be found. We finally just went down a long, endless dirt road until we found a little gas station with one of those pumps that you pull down the lever to reset the dials. It was great. I wish I had a picture.


Stopping for a bite to eat at the Red Rock museum.

Proof that she DOES eat!!
Then we went up to the Four Corner Monument - the only place in the US where 4 states share a border. It was out in the middle of the desert where no radio stations picked up on my dial.

Brittney look! I'm in four states at the same time!!!



We stayed the night at Brittney's cousin's 2nd house for the night and then were on the road again.


We made it to Brittney's cousin's primary house. Jan and Chuck put us up for the night. Two very wonderful and kind people. I was glad we got to see familiar faces along the way.

We decided it would be a good idea to try to hike a mountain that day.....in 106*F weather.

Feeling rather bored of the hike we decided to make it extreme and turn it into rock climing without harnests. Look how high up we are. "How ya doin' over there Brittney??"

Amazing! Holding on with only one hand!


We swung over to San Diego to get an idea of what Souther Cali was like. That night we would going over to Brittney's other cousin's house. Brandon and Janine. Brandon is Chuck's son.

We had some time to check out the beach.


What a great little surfing town. Beautiful. We traveled a bit more north and stopped early for the night.


Now entering EMERYVILLE!!!!!

WE MADE IT!!! OUR NEW HOME!!!! Got there and unpacked and are still unpacking slowly. But when its all cleaned up we will be taking pictures and blogging them. We'll also be ready to house friends who are stopping by.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Thesis is Finished

Chloe Gets a Pet on Vimeo

May I present to you my thesis film: Chloe Gets a Pet. This film took me 30 weeks to create from concept to render. Josh Piejko was a big help. He modeled the characters and props, Brittney Lee designed the characters. I learned a lot about rigging and lighting on this film. I used a broken rig technique in the bird to get it to stretch and squash when needed. Let me tell you that certainly helps a lot in 3d. It doesn't limit you like a normal rig does. If I need the bird to reach across the table and grab something, I can do that without having to worry about it not going the distance. Thanks to Greg Smith for teaching me about utility nodes.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Broad and Subtle or How I Learned to Stop Being Stubborn and Listen to Audience Response

I have been taking a class for the past 5 weeks called "Acting for Animators". It is quite a useul addition to the R.I.T. animation curriculum. Today we reviewed an assignment. We were all supposed to take 24 pictures of ourselves performing different emotions. Twelve of those were to be close ups on the face and the rest were to be full body poses. Most of my classmates (self included) have grown up in an age of animations where it is more impressive to be able to pull off subtle acting in a character. Therefore most of our own emotions were an attempt at subtle. Many faces were very readable: happy, sad, angry, surprised. But there were a few emotions that repeatedly got muddled up together: disgust, jealousy, confusion. One picture got all of these responses from the rest of the class.
It is my belief that my responsibility as an animator is to be clear with my acting so that every emotion reads to the audience. If some people in the audience are reading "confused" and others are reading "disgusted" and I was intending embarrassment, then I fail. I unfortunately don't have the right to say "well im sorry you didn't get it but the character was embarrassed". That is not an option. The audience has to understand what the character is feeling if they are going to care for he/she, and so therefore sometimes sacrificing subtle to add a broad stereotypical action ain't such a bad thing now is it? I was surprised after much reflection on how some of my favorite animated films do great subtle work when appropriate, but then give you some over the top emotions to really drive it home. Now I will keep that in mind the next time I get a critique that says "This isn't working for me"

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

With the joint help of Josh Piejko and Joe Daniels (because I have no idea what im doing with lighting or texturing) Chloe has been made ready for render. Josh is hard at work with other characters and props from my film and I will be attempting to take a more active role with lighting, all the while continuing to polish animation. How exciting.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Illustration Friday - Tatoo

Yay, another one. My attempt at drawing something badass.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Illustration Friday - Insect

My first Illustration Friday post. I need to do these more often. They are a good source of ideas which can be the hardest part of drawing. Hope you like it. I'll try to color it sometime soon.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Drake Denson

Boy, I'm on a roll. I was watching Sin City last night with my roomates and just started letting the sketches fly. The film noir style has been the topic of conversation here in the film school as of late. I saw a few freshman films trying to emulate that style at this terms screening, and now my roomates want to make a film of their own to show the youngins how its done. They also want one of the main characters to be a muppet which I think has a lot of potential to be fun. As an animator I think operating a puppet would be hella fun.

Rough Cut

View this clip on Vimeo

You need Quicktime 7 to view this file, but this is the rough cut for R.I.T.'s winter trimester screening. There is still quite a bit of animation to be tweaked to really bring out the performance in the characters, and the colors and textures and lights need to be added as well. But hopefully the story comes across clear. Any feedback is appreciated.


I sat myself down and forced myself to draw things that had volume. That is one thing that my drawings have been lacking. I'm not sure where this guy came from but I'm pretty pleased with him. Color is not my forte so I was just trying to use interesting colors that weren't skin tones. Any feedback on if that works would be helpful, or what it needs.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Thesis Update

The thesis is moving along and almost done enough to screen for the winter. This will be an untweaked and unrendered cut. I have been talking to Joe Daniels about lighting and texturing and I have high hopes that I will get the soft and pleasing look I want. To view any progress I have finished on the thesis you can travel to the Thesis Blog and leave any critique or compliments you'd like.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Previous Films and Demo Reel

Last year I collaborated with two other very talented students to make this project in 20 weeks. It was done using Maya, Photoshop, Premiere and After Effects.

This is a demo reel containing my best work as of last year. Previously on this blog I have posted "Dance of the Seasons" as a more recent film I've worked on and I am in the process of animating my Thesis titled "Chloe Gets a Pet". Early stages of the Character can be seen below