Elsinore - Wooden Houses - Animated Music Video

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Moving Out

note: I did not make the video below. I just wanted to include the song in this post and found this video amusing. enjoy.

This blog is movin' on over to, some of their features lend themselves to creating a more full-featured, blog-centric website.

check it out

Head on over:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Puppies and Kitties and Sycamore Trees

So a few weeks ago, K-Corn and I celebrated our two-year anniversary. So I created a small project for myself: creating a digital painting of our lovely cat perry:

And then I decided while I was at it I should also go ahead and make a painting of Walter (b-hole pictured above)

So I came up with these two images. I spent a lot more time on the one of Perry than Walter:

As the photo lab tech at Walgreen's pointed out when I picked up the * X 10's I had made, Walter's the perfect cat. no mouth means you save a lot of money on cat food and cat litter. Of course he's always running into things because he has no eyes. I may still go back in and those in.

So beyond the fact that I knew she would enjoy having some interesting pictures of our kitties, my other motivation for doing these was to experiment with some features of Photoshop CS5 and refamiliarize myself with the program. Most of my photoshop experience has been in photo editing and correction, rather than painting anyway. I had also at this point just finished making this tree in photoshop and had a lot of fun doing it and was ready to make some more stuff:

The motivation for all of this ultimately is related to my interest in 3D modeling. I saw a couple of animated shorts called Meet Buck and Salesman Pete and the Amazing Stone From Outer Space ! and I was really impressed by the painterly textures of the characters and environments. They worked so well at fitting the style of the characters and distinguishing them from more mainstream 3D characters. So I wanted to spend a little time working in photoshop to experiment with making textures that had that sort of feel.

Anyway, I enjoyed making the perry and Walter paintings so much that I decided to keep going with it for a little while. I moved on to my sister's dog Frances:

and my big fat friend Dr. Furious Xavier Toots:

With this one of Toots I played with using a lot of very dark color values to give the black cat a little more texture and make it a little bit more interesting.

With these completed I decided to set up an Etsy shop to offer the custom pet painting service to anyone who's interested. We'll see if anyone bites, or barks or meows (sorry)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Update: 3D Animation

Over the past couple of months I've been throwing myself into a variety of projects. The foremost task as I see it is to learn a 3d animation package. I have begun learning Maya and aready have a pretty good grasp on the basics of modeling, rigging and animation. Using A tutorial series from I created this Star Wars-style pod racer animation:

While it would not have been my first choice for subject matter it did lend itself very well to the project-based learning path and provided an instantly recognizable product. I also learned a thing or two about how  demanding 3d animation is on a computer. The above animation is just over 8 seconds long, 198 frames to be exact and it took a full 48 hours to render. The settings I used for the output included a lot of motion blur  which adds dramatically to the render time. The smoke effect for the engines' exhaust also bogged things down a bit. In the future, I plan to use output settings that may not look as polished, but will give me a little more flexibility.

I am currently going through another Series from Digital Tutors on how to model a cartoon character in an animation friendly way and then how to rig and animate the character. The finished product of this series will be a chubby cartoony police officer. I have plans to start on an anthropomorphic tree after that.

I've been looking at this for ideas. I particularly like the idea of an animal being a tree's tongue. I think I might use an owl instead of a lizard if I use that idea.