Lots of things have changed this year. Changing jobs, moving across the midwest back home, transitioning to my first place to call my own. I don’t want to give some sappy post-mortem on my time spent at Neo-Pangea, but I think it’d be disrespectful to not mention my Reading family when they were all I really had for the past two and a half years. I had a blast in PA, worked on just about the coolest projects I could ever fathom being a part of (one of which recently earned a Webby Award for the animation!!), and in addition, I met amazing, respectable people that helped me grow into the artist I am today. They’re pretty sweet folks, and I still communicate with them today. I chose to leave Neo-Pangea in order to start a new chapter in my life. Being away from Cincinnati for nearly 8 years straight just made me appreciate everyone from back home that much more. By golly, it’s been an adventure. A thrilling one at that. I’ll miss you, PA~
With this transition it has also brought a lot of sweet going-ons that aren’t typically reported on here. Mourou as a team is still together, and we’re making a lot of headway on our horror RPG epic, Shaded Chasm. There isn’t a whole lot we can show right now, but I wanted to make this post to draw attention to the other locations that you can find us on the interwebs. Consider this somewhat of a shameless plug. We are trying to gain support for the game on Patreon. Basically it’s just a monthly donation that will award spectator access to our development as it happens. We don’t have any patrons yet, but hopefully that will change. Any money donated will go towards keeping us accountable on our development and show us that there’s an interest for this project! You can find our Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/mourou
Lastly, if you want to stay up to date with the day-by-day life that I broadcast on twitter, feel free to follow. It is mostly artwork, Shaded Chasm plugs, and casual conversation with the folks I enjoy communicating with. There’s no shortage of indie game development talk, anime references, and butchered Japanese (I’m studying every day!). To follow, simply click any of these images to follow their respective links. That’s all for now!
Look at all the dust! I haven’t touched this site for over a year now. It’s really crazy how time has flown by over these months. Everyone must think I haven’t been up to anything. In truth, things have been quiet here. Work continues at Neo-Pangea as per usual, however, I feel I have been working on so many things that I do not know what to post on my site. Because of most of my work being under the umbrella of Neo-Pangea, it doesn’t feel right having all of my updates being an echo of the Neo-Pangea updates. And so, with not much personal work going on, I haven’t made an update yet during the calendar year of 2014.
Alas, the last time I posted I was working on Shaded Chasm and competing in video game jams. Not much has changed in a year, as I am still doing that same thing! Just this month Mourou competed in the 2014 Develteam Halloween Jam (there was no summer jam this year). You can see my animation atlas and concept art for our entry, Rook, above. I’m not sure if we will win first place, but regardless if we do, it was a blast. We are only going up against one other team this year as compared to last year when we were one of ten teams competing. Also this year, we only had a week to complete our game, rather than two, and our team was half the size that it was last year. I am still proud of the work we accomplished, and I think I’ve improved greatly in my animation technique, speed, and efficiency. I still can’t believe we accomplished so much in a such a short amount of time outside of our fulltime schedules. My style is evolving, which is exciting to see side-by-side with what I did last year on V∆MPSP!RE. Check out the playthrough below! The game can be downloaded here: Rook v1.0
So a few weeks ago Mourou had the privilege of participating in the Develteam Summer Game Jam. It went kind of like the previous 49 hour animaion competitions that we’ve participated in. We were given a theme to work with in order for it to qualify and the theme was “Dual Mode Retro”. This meant that the game had to be either 2D or 2.5D (retro) and had to have two completely separate modes of gameplay (not minigames). Well, we came together and ultimately settled on my idea for a reverse shooter mixed with stealth platformer. The result was rather awesome (with quite a few bugs and things that didn’t make it into the build we submitted). Regardless, our game, V∆MPSP!RE, made it to the top and was voted 1st Place by the Develteam community! We have defeated the competition and taken home a gold (and some Steam games).
This marks Mourou’s first foray into indie game development. Watch the video of me playing it below and see what you think. We all work fulltime jobs while doing this completely in our spare time over the course of two weeks. Enjoy!
Follow the link on YouTube in order to download and play the game for yourself. In the coming months we will be tweaking it in order to release a mobile version to the Windows Phone 8 store. If it does well there, we may even port it over to other platforms as well.
Doomsday Castle Defender
It feels like ages since I worked on this game, but alas, I’m finally making a post about it! Really cool seeing the commercials on TV about the game, gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. Neo-Pangea was in charge of creating this video game for the new Doomsday Castle show on National Geographic. While other team members took care of the programming, UI, music, and more, I was able to have a large role creating all of the in-game animations, matte painting, and isometric sprites. Very fun. The game is an isometric tower defense game where you build your own castle, defend against the hordes of the apocalypse while getting the Doomsday Castle family members to work together the best they can! The more bandits you defeat, the more weapons you unlock.
Give it a whirl here! Even Machinima had a good time playing it:
Soldier of Steel
I’ve been waiting what seems like forever to make a post about this. Back before the new Superman film was released, we at Neo-Pangea were given the incredible opportunity to build a whole web experience marrying both the National Guard and the film Man of Steel. Our result? http://www.soldierofsteel.com/
I haven’t been able to post my involvement until only recently, and sadly the website will be taken down this week. It’s run its course and may only creep up again when the DVDs for the movie arrive in stores. So be sure to check out, specifically the Soldier of Steel video game. Not only was I given the task to conceptualize the rifle range game and aviation challenge, I also had the opportunity to animate most of the in-game effects such as the rifle, explosions, drones, helicopter, soldiers, dust clouds, zoom reticle, Superman’s heat vision, and more. How cool is that? Be sure to check it out here before it’s too late!
Ultimate Survivor Alaska’s Interactive Maps
Recently, I had the tremendous opportunity at Neo-Pangea to refresh my hands at 3D sculpting and pseudo-realistic illustration. My poison of choice? Mudbox and Photoshop. I sculpted Alaska’s terrain for a new series on the National Geographic Channel – Ultimate Survivor Alaska. There are eleven maps in total and they live on their interactive website located here: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/ultimate-survival-alaska/interactives/interactive-map/
They upload a new map each week when a new episode airs (Sunday night) so stay tuned to see them all!
HTML5 Animation in Edge Animate
Hey all! Been working really hard this past month and boy do I have something to finally show! (cue the “woops” from the crowd) Working at Neo-Pangea has opened up the opportunity to get my hands on some HTML5 animation. The entire concept of animating with code is all pretty foreign, yet slowly, and surely, winning me over. Because of Adobe Edge Animate’s familiar interface (looks/feels pretty similar to After Effects), I was able to do some HTML5 animation for a pretty darn cool interactive for Statoil / National Geographic Maps. Knowing that there are some limitations to what this still primitive program can do, I made sure to design the illustrations as simple as possible while still getting the point across. Click the image to check out the final result:
Hey all. Been meaning to overhaul Clock-Sketch, as over the past two years I’ve steadily gained close to 1500 subscribers. I figure it is worth building off of and improving, so stay tuned for updates on that front. For now I’ve gone ahead and uploaded three real-time “lessons” where the viewer can watch me draw the gestures in real-time. I figure this might be useful to some struggling with the idea of gesture drawing or if they feel their artwork doesn’t muster up. I know I was very self-conscious about speed drawings when I first started and know it can be kind of nerve-racking when things aren’t working for you in such a short amount of time. I draw straightforward and don’t erase, keep my mistakes visible, and post them shamelessly. Gestures are all about doing warmup exercises and so this is very important for beginning your day of drawing or trying to learn the style of a new character. You will notice towards the end of some of these sketches I move extremely fast. This is because I’ve gotten down the design of the character I’m drawing and begin to migrate away from even looking at the photo. When this happens you know you’re in a good place to start creating original work with that same character. But enough talking, more drawing! Please enjoy:
A Virus Named TOM + PS Vita = Holy Matrimony
A long awaited confirmation for my dreams to come true is here: A Virus Named TOM will be making its way onto the Playstation Vita later this year. I am utterly stoked for this as I own a Vita and can see our game just making perfect sense on the device. The amount of games out for the Vita is still rather slim (allbeit only in its second year of existence), so AVNT will be nothing short of a healthy addition to the device’s roster. In order to celebrate this madness, AVNT will be going on sale at 50% off for the entire 28th week of its run, (Feb 15th – 21st). So, if you haven’t already purchased the game, hop on over to avirusnamedtom.com or boot up your Steam software to grab a copy today.
Kuiper’s Sail – Silver ADDY Award
Great news everyone. My Senior project at Huntington University – Mourou’s first film, Kuiper’s Sail, has just won a Silver ADDY Award for Animation / Special Effects in the Fort Wayne, Indiana chapter of the American Advertising Federation. Super stoked about the award, but I wasn’t the only recipient. It seems Huntington University has brought in quite a bounty of awards this year – over a dozen! Congrats on all the students and their fine work. It’s great to see our little program gaining more and more recognition every year. Click the link below for the full list of awards including their respective films.
List of Huntington University winners: http://foresterfilms.com/addys/
SXSW Finalist: Intern Abuser
So, if you haven’t been up in the news with Neo-Pangea via their Facebook or Twitter, INTERN ABUSER is a finalist for South x Southwest! SXSW will be held later this year in Austin and until then there is time for you to vote for Intern Abuser as SXSW’s People’s Choice. Please head on over to here: http://sxsw.com/interactive/news/sxsw-interactive-awards-peoples-choice-voting-now-open The more votes the merrier! It’s pretty crazy that this project is going up against big namers like Contre Jour. If you do not know what the Intern Abuser was because you missed it, check out the video below. It’s a wrap-up video that I worked on showcasing what the event was about and just what all went down on those two crazy days.
Masked Thane of Phantasmia
Well, after many months I am back for an update. Typically when there is no internet-based artwork flowing from the depths of my dome it is because I am preoccupied with much more pressing and dire work… such as getting hired as a full-time animator and illustrator for design boutique, Neo-Pangea. This may come as old news to some of you, but I figured it was about time to make a post about it on my site. I started out as a subcontractor back near the end of September and have recently been signed on to full-time work! Because of this, I have moved on over close to the studio in West Reading, PA. Moving, holidays, work, all that jazz… man this site is dusty – look at all the cobwebs!
To check out Neo-Pangea’s website simply go here: http://www.neo-pangea.com/ I’m stoked to be working daily as a 2D-Animator on the team. Keeping with Neo’s theme of having “characters” instead of simple titles (i.e. “Baron of Pixels”, “Jack of all Portrayed”), I have donned the title of the “Masked Thane of Phantasmia”. (photos to come mid-January) So just what work have I done in the past few months? TONS! We’re talking about multiple handfuls of projects for AAA clients in America’s TV and medical industries. However, things are pretty hush-hush right now and so this is currently the only video I am allowed to post: Faceblam!
In addition to work for Neo-Pangea, I have completed some freelance gigs. One of those was with Misfit’s Attic’s buddy studio, Team 2-Bit. I animated an in-game cut-scene for their upcoming game, Fist Puncher. Head on over to their website to get all the deets: http://www.team2bit.com/ They are incredible guys rockin’ it on the indie scene. Their game has some awesome characters and gameplay as well. My personal fave is “The Beekeeper” – be sure to check it out!
Timelapse Artwork and Animation
Hey everyone. In lieu of posting new artwork, I have decided to post a special treat. I found these long recordings on my hard drive of me drawing various artworks for Livestream, as well as a stream for one of my Pincho sprites. I decided to speed them up crazy fast and fit them into short 3-minute time spans so that you can see my process from start to finish. I particularly enjoy the animation video, as there are not too many out there going from the beginning to end of an animation. Please take a look at that one and maybe peruse some of the illustration ones as well. Crazy fun stuff! Let me know if you like these and I will make it a point to record any future illustrations like I did on these. Enjoy!
(playlist for the 6 timelapse videos should be attached to this video)
Something I’ve been wanting to post for the past month. Rather enjoyed this illustration. Should have some new work up soon.
GRAB Super Editors
Something I animated over the past month and a half. I had no control over art direction or anything – simply illustrated and animated based on style guide. Everything was very “Superfriends”-esque even with the color halftone texturing. It was fun to do character animation and quick action movements for once instead of “floaty” work. Anyways, it’s an explainer video so I hope you enjoy despite it being an ad. Onwards to the next animation project!
Kat – Gravity Rush
Quick little sketch I did this evening. I love this game! Makes my Playstation Vita even that more amazing.
Had this odd urge to draw Batgirl this evening, so I acted on it. Tried a couple new things in this illustration, mixed some cel-shading with some cutout overlays and such. Thought it gave the image a sort of “print” feel off of a press rather than something digital. Regardless, I had fun. Good to draw something for the first time in the past week or so.
A Virus Named TOM Debut!!
It’s finally here!! AVNT is coming to Steam on August 1st!
Just look at that shnazzy new trailer, look at all that co-op footage goodness. VS mode looks like so much fun too! Congratulations to the team for creating our very first game. I am so totally grateful for being a part of such a stellar group of individuals. We can finally say we’ve shipped a title! (and a quality one, at that!)
Kudos Misfits Attic!
Demo Reel 2012
This demo reel highlights my experience with character animation, effects, and motion graphics inside of Adobe After Effects created in the past year.
1. A Virus Named TOM Intro – Animation, FX, storyboards
2. Doodle Promo – Animation, assets, illustration
3. A Virus Named TOM Hydrator – Animation, FX
4. A Virus Named TOM Teleporter – Animation, FX, animatic
5. Shaded Chasm – Everything
6. Blessing White Promo – Animation, assets, illustration
7. A Virus Named TOM Sidewalk – Animation, FX, storyboards
8. Kuiper’s Sail – Everything
A Virus Named TOM assets by Travis Koller: http://travisleekoller.carbonmade.com/projects/4272382#1
Marius Libman (Copy) gave me the rights to use the song, Closet Face, for this reel.
To see more of my work, including hand-drawn animation and animated sprites used in video games I’ve taken part in, please click the Demo Reels tab above to see their respective reels. Thank you!
Sir Didymus – The Labyrinth
Today’s challenge was to draw our favorite Jim Henson character. I was originally distraught as I assumed it was just a challenge to draw a muppet character, but then realized that The Labyrinth was directed by Jim Henson and he created all the awesome characters. Sir Didymus is a boss and I just had to draw him. Definitely my favorite character. I would’ve done Ambrosius as well, however, he’s just a dog, and not really part of the challenge. I hope you enjoy!