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
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:
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)
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!
Eureka – Eureka Seven: AO
Just had to do another Eureka Seven: AO illustration. After all, it was the original series that gave me the confidence to go into animation in the first place. Here is Eureka, the heroine of the original series, instead in a flight suit from the current production. Had a lot of fun with this. It took around 3 hours to complete and came from nothing. Think I’m back into my groove. Had very little trouble getting down any of the forms tonight aside from her feet. I hate feet. I’ll be posting my new demo reel next!
Maggie Kwan – Eureka Seven: AO
A little out of practice, but still managed to pull off a new illustration tonight in just under 3 hours. Here is Maggie Kwan, a cool character from Eureka Seven: Astral Ocean. I found her character design to be top notch. I personally really dig big fat arms / gauntlet type of glove things on skinny characters. Maybe that’s why I chose to draw her. Who knows? Hope you enjoy. In other unrelated news, I have a new demo reel out, going to post it soon. Stay tuned!
49-Hour Animation Competition 2012
Our second year entering into the 49-hour film competition hosted by the MG Collective. This year we got it in on time, had a lot of fun, and did it all with just 4 people instead of 5. Not only that, but other than myself, the group was entirely made of sophomores. Really proud of them. I think we all got a total of 9-11 hours of sleep each over the span of the weekend, but man, it was exhilarating for us creatively! Put our skills to the test in a small timeframe! This year’s theme was more open to interpretation, which I think is why it was so fun for all the Huntington University groups. This my group’s take on “panic”. Enjoy!
Prototype Shaded Chasm!
So, today I discovered StencylWorks, a visual game creation software and decided to attempt putting my sprites into a game. It took a lot longer than I expected since some of the code was being evil. Here’s a prototype of this puppy in action! The movement keys are A and D for left and right. If you hold down Shift, you will sprint, and if you try to go the opposite direction while sprinting you will have a slide/halt animation play. Pretty cool! The generic backgrounds were part of the kit, and I don’t own them.
I’ll probably be adding on to this to get jumps and attack animations in there just to shop it around to people and REAL programmers since I don’t think we can port this straight to a Windows Phone game. Exciting stuff! Can’t wait to get Chris/Jay’s official backgrounds in for the test and make it look cohesive of what we’re going for. Cool thing is we can add dialogue and all sorts of stuff in the prototype so it looks like my free time will be eaten by this in the coming days. Awesome!
A Virus Named Tom
Hey everyone! So, as most of you probably already know, I’ve been working for Misfits Attic since August, working on this sci-fi puzzle game. Well, it turns out I’ve been pretty much the only animator for the game since November while still being a student at Huntington University! Pretty crazy. It’s been a crazy ton of responsibility and a lot of work. You can imagine me being excited to you the big news! A Virus Named Tom is now available for pre-order, which get’s you into the open beta!
Those that go this route will get their high scores permanently baked into the full game. So, say you get like gold on one of the levels and beat the developers’ scores, well your name will be on the scores list for the final product. And there are more incentives for pre-ordering – order before Valentine’s day basically gets you a second copy for a friend/Valentine. Pretty sweet! It’s only 5 bucks so if you’d like to support me, Huntington University, and the Misfits Attic team, order away! The final game will be 10 bucks, I believe, so ordering now is basically getting you a 50% off discount!
Currently it’s just available on PC, but will hopefully be coming to Steam, Mac, and Linux in a future release.
If you’d like to find out more or sign up for the beta, head on over to http://www.avirusnamedtom.com/ Thanks everyone!
Hello hand-drawn animation. It’s been awhile.
I felt inspired this morning.
Going to do a run sprite for Aikaterine. Right now it’s just sketchy without the arms, but in the end it will be full color, with proper proportions and better timing. Just calling it quits for today. Hopefully I can complete it in my freetime. Going to bring it into Photoshop and make her a high quality pixel sprite like the illustration at the top of my website. If anyone is wondering, the sketchy run in the upper right hand corner was my stick-figure version of the run that I made as a blueprint for her. You will see the intended arm pose there.
Aikaterine – Misfits Attic Update
Continuing with my drawings of Kolevis this past week. It feels good to draw my character again, and for some reason this happens every fall around Halloween and before Christmas. Perhaps this is because she reminds me so much of Halloween with her costume and color scheme. One of these days I’ll have to bring it to life. In my previous post I did an ultra-painterly realistic version of Kat using a new technique. While it was fun and produced a cool result, it was too much work and not the style I enjoy. In this illustration I went back to my roots – video games and tested her out in some old-fashioned pixel art. I definitely like the look of this better and makes me think that one day she’ll have her own video game!
While on the topic of such, Misfits Attic released a monthly update yesterday detailing the progress made in the game and how far we’ve come over the past few months. One of my animations got highlighted! On top of that, there is some cool music brewing for it as well, so check it out: http://misfitsattic.blogspot.com/2011/11/monthly-update-november-11.html If you’d rather not go to their website and read the article, you can just watch the animation above. I did not create the art, simply animated it and brought it to life. My only creations were the explosions, particle effects, and blood splatter. Everything else was hand-animated in After Effects. Enjoy!
Hey guys. I’m not dead, just extremely busy working full-time remotely between multiple companies! I’m blessed to have these jobs and I’m doing my best to rock them and not slack. However, I’ve been getting really burnt out lately. Need some personal work to keep my creative mind alive. So here, had some fun with this little explosion animation I did today in After effects. Had a lot of fun with the colors, blurs, particles, just everything! I was inspired by the effects used by characters in DC Universe that use Ice Beams. It is a vis-dev assignment for Misfits, but I have no idea if it’s going to be used or not. Figured it wouldn’t hurt to post an itty-bitty something after months of silence. Here it is:
New York Chapter
Comes to a close. A little over a month ago I came onto Motion Capture NYC’s team as an intern. I worked on their Whiteboard Animation side of things, doing heavy work in motion graphics using After Effects and Photoshop. Because of this opportunity, it lead me to more contacts and expanded my network. I gained a lot of experience and cool stuff to put on my reel! It was a lot of fun, but now it will be good to go back home and turn the next page on my life’s book. I’ve picked up a remote-work contract position at Misfits Attic and am very excited to finish my projects going on over there. Right now, things are very hush-hush, but you can check out the company and get an idea of what I’m working on here: Misfits Attic
Now that I’ve finished my work at MoCapNYC, I want to show you the projects I completed there. The promotions have gone public so feel free to check out Doodle and after you watch what they’re about. Pretty cool company if I say so myself! I did about 90% of the animation on the first spot, and on the second I did it entirely by myself. Let me know what you think!
Unicorn Boys Jump
Well, having a good experience with that animation last night led me to continue onto it a bit. I gave Pincho a leap as well. This was a little more time-consuming than the run cycle since I couldn’t copy frames or anything. Lots of fun animating the smears in the star and shoes, the overlaps in the ears and keychain. Let me know what you think!
Unicorn Boys Run
Hey all. Been doing some visual development work for Shaded Chasm, a series hopefully coming soon from Mourou! I had Keff up here for my birthday this past week and we started writing episodes, getting the plot and character development down. Now it’s up to me to direct the visual look for our series. So, I was doodling around in Toon-Boom last night and decided to do an old exercise from school – the walk cycle. Since Pincho is a little more action-based, I decided to give him a run. This was a lot of fun and helpful in deciding what to do next. Comments on the style would be appreciated! Is this something you’d like to see more of? Would you rather it be puppet animation instead of hand-drawn? Let me know! Thanks guys.
June 11SC Progress
So, what have I been up to these last few weeks? I’ll tell you – the 11-Second Club for June. I started working on it on Thursday, and this is what I managed to come up with in that time. Right now I am working on getting the rough skeletal animation down before I go over it with the clean-lined characters. I find it much easier to animate these simple shapes rather than just going straight into the characters. Let me know what you think! If you have an account on the 11-Second Club forums, you can keep track of my progress here: Ru / 2D Animation / June It’s fun to watch all the steps as I go along!
It’s really exciting to be doing this animation. I like the community there and I’ve met a lot of cool animators just like me. I’d still love a job, but I have no problem refining my animation skills while I wait to hear back from potential employers.
Kuiper’s Sail Remix
New addition to Mourou, Stephen Yonkin, as sound designer and composer, came up with a new soundtrack for Kuiper’s Sail so that it may be submitted to festivals and shown publicly with full rights. I think he did a fantastic job. The song is completely different than the Junior Boys’ piece, and still manages to give the film a very complimentary feel. I personally liked his work with an atmospheric ending, high tension for the climax of the film, and other cool transitions. Check it out for yourself! I recommend some bassy headphones for full enjoyment. Currently, this film has been entered into the Ottawa International Animation Festival. Let’s hope it does well.
Stephen and I are excited to work on more collaborations in the future. Stay tuned!
Visit his soundcloud for more of his electronic beats: http://soundcloud.com/stephenyonkin
Well, that day has finally arrived. I have finished my Senior Project and the showing went pretty well tonight in the showcase. I received some nice compliments and it really felt great to finally finish this thing! Jeez, it took me forever! Over 30+GB of assets, 25 different After Effects Compositions, and over 300 layers, it feels great to finally complete it. So much work went into this little film and it somehow feels like it could be better. There are some shots that are really bugging me, but perhaps it’s just hind-sight speaking and my OCD. I will put this film in the books and put it behind me. I need something fresh and something new to work on. The future is bright! I have posted the video below, however it will only be public until May 26th for personal reasons. You will need a password to access the film afterwards.
The working title for the film was “Nowhere to Go”, however, I had always meant to change it. I settled on “Kuiper’s Sail”, because I want the focus to be on the story, rather than the lyrics of the song. It’s about this dude’s journey across the solar system to find earth and find peace. He’s flying in a ship, sailing per-say, inside the depth of the Kuiper Belt. I like to think of him as the lost explorer, perhaps Kuiper himself. Hence, Kuiper’s Sail.
With that, I begin work on my stop-motion final. It’s ironic, because at the showcase my puppet won Best Stop Motion Puppet – Foam in the show. And, I haven’t even animated that final stop motion film yet! Awesome! I’m looking forward to it, especially since it’s tangible.
Give me feedback on my senior project if you can. I’d love to know what you think!
Just uploading some new shots from my senior film. I’m getting excited! Here’s to hoping I finish my project this week!