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
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:
Something I’ve been wanting to post for the past month. Rather enjoyed this illustration. Should have some new work up soon.
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.
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!
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!
Skullgirls – Cerebella
Decided to finally do a personal piece for a change. Man, it’s been what? Almost 4 whole months since my last one? Time sure flies!! Here is Cerebella, one of the characters in the upcoming fighter game, Skullgirls. I did this piece in Photoshop with my new Intuos 5 tablet. I wanted to put it to work on something special all week! So here we are. Skullgirls is a groundbreaking game – it’s all hand drawn, HD sprites, unpixelated, shaded with 3D lighting inside of the engine, and it just goes on and on from there. I had the opportunity to try out for Skullgirls as a clean-up artist, but sadly didn’t make the cut 2 years ago. I wonder if things would have been different had I been at this level back then instead of where I was. Oh well! Skullgirls drops on Tuesday this week on the PSN and Wednesday for XBLA. I’m going to definitely pick up a copy for my PS3 – will you?
PS – if you’re curious about my progress for this image, check it out on my facebook!
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!
Cloak of the Deep
I have been going through Folkflore on the PS3. It’s such a classic! The art is phenomenal and I just had to draw Ellen in my personal favorite costume – the Cloak of the Deep. The design for the costume is flawless in my opinion so I had to attempt to do it justice. This piece took about 4.5 hours from start to finish. Time sure flies when you’re having fun! If anyone wants to see the process, I’ll be posting it on facebook. Laters!
Just a speedpaint I was really happy with. Love doing spurt-of-the-moment un-refined drawings of video game characters. Hope you enjoy!
Katherine is (c) Atlus from their 2011 title “Catherine”
My friend Jay and I decided to do an art trade for Christmas. He requested an illustration of Florrie in my pixelated style. Hope you enjoy it!
Really exciting stuff coming up from Misfits Attic! I’m working on an animation that will be at the forefront of my demo reel and I’m super stoked for it. Hopefully I’ll be able to link it or post it in the coming month!
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!
Weekend marker pinup. Had fun with this. I don’t have a scanner here in NYC so I have to use my cell camera to capture my drawings. Sucks. Click image above to see full marker drawing. Let me know what you think! Feels really good to be drawing my muse again!
Aikaterine Kolevis Illustrations
Decided to draw a bunch of Kolevis this week. Didn’t use any references, basically just sketching here after feeling inspired by all of the graphic novels I’ve been reading. I need to publish a real graphic novel of her story. It would be perfect. But, until I’m able to I will have to just keep on drawing her until I get her look down just right. I think my favorite was drawn back in November of last year. I need to keep trying to mimic that look. But hey, this is what you get with markers and a half hour of free time.
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.
My marker died, and so now I need a new one.
Click the inverted images for the real drawings! Trying something new with my theme, sorta like a blackboard and chalk!
Some clock work to keep in practice. Possible client wanted me to work on baseball poses, primarily a pitcher’s extreme poses. I didn’t make a Clock-Sketch video for these, but rather just did them on my own. Enjoy.
Click inverted image for real sketches! Trying out new theme sort of deal akin to a blackboard and chalk!
Little Ruiner Concepts
I just wanted to post some more of the concept artwork I did for this past weekend’s competition. This was the official character sheet for our “little ruiner” of the speech. I thought you might enjoy it.
Good day today. I think Mourou is going to move into production over the summer for “This Chilling Air” if time permits. If I get an internship we probably won’t start until the fall, but I just wanted to put it out there. This competition has given me a renewed sense of self as an animator/art director starting out his career. The bigger challenge will be to finish the Teach Me How to Fight film I’ve been working on.
As for now, I’ll be cutting a new demo-reel and applying for more internships for the summer. Here’s to hoping I land a good opportunity!
49-Hour Animation Competition 2011
Well, my team put up a good fight. We got a lot of work done! I felt privileged to direct and lead this fantastic group of individuals to getting a film done in just a weekend. Fantastic experience. While we did not get our film rendered out in time for the deadline, we did get a film out of our hard work. File management bit us in the end when we accidentally overwrote four hours of work – two, complex, fully-animated shots. We just couldn’t get caught up after the setback. But alas, it wasn’t about winning, it was about competing. Take a look at our film!
Be sure to crank up the sound! Keff worked his butt off to give it some amazing sound effects. I consider this a success and had about 20 seconds of animation that I would consider putting on my 2011 demo reel. Let me know what you think!