Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Little Under the Weather Lately, But Still Animating...

Hey there everyone, I apologize for my lack of posting in the last few days. There really hasn't been much to say other than I'm recently recovering from a nearly 10-day-long stretch of chronic coughing, nose blowing, tea drinking, nap taking, and medicine dosing. I usually get sick around this time of year so I can't say that I'm surprised by this. But all in all, I kept up on the animating (at a slightly slowed pace) and had a lot of fun working on the shots of the acrobats. I'll have some videos posted as soon as I shoot all the animations. Thanks for all the well-wishing and care taking, my friends.

This is how I felt. True Story.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Work Reel with Colored Backgrounds and 'Little Bang Theory' Music!

The clock is counting down and there is much to do. So let's get crackin'!

Also present in my current real is the musical stylings of 'Little Bang Theory' who specialize in composing and playing songs on toys and childrens instruments. For my film they gave me premission to use "Garden Party", "Dada boy Overture", and "Toy Suite #3" in that order from their 'Elementary' CD. The three members of Little Bang Theory are Frank Pahl, Terri Sarris, and Doug Shimmin.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Man, I have really come to appreciate what an amazing tool photoshop is. There is no way I would have been able to color so many of these things by hand and still have a full head of majority brunette hair. I've been putting my foot pedal to the metal on finishing these backgrounds since the start of winter break and now they finally are done! I know that I might have to go back and change a color here or tweak a gradient there but there is sometime so amazingly satisfying about scrolling through your entire work reel and every bit has a colored background. it really juices it up. but most importantly, now my time can be focused towards forging out the animation!

Something about passing another milestone in film production makes you feel like a Thunder Cat!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Backgrounds Are Almost Done!!

There is still a small handful of background left to be worked on. Some I'll have to draw from scratch and some I just need to make some tweaks to an existing background for a new shot. Either way, the final has become a lot more colorful since the end of the fall semester. I have a lot of fun coloring the backgrounds and I'm pleased with the progress I've made over the months.

I had been pulling a lot of inspiration from the background illustrations for the anime film, 5 Centimeters Per Second by Makoto Shinkai. The movie is gorgeously realized with astounding artwork. Definitely look it up if you want to be pulled into a breath-taking visual experience.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Backgrounds in the Witch's Den

As the end of winter break draws closer, the background coloring process is also going to be coming to a end as well. These are some of the backgrounds from the climax of the film in the Witch's den. So far, these have been the only backgrounds that required the additional assistance of Adobe Illustrator.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Inside the Dark Circus: Watercolor Background Process

Tutorial time!

As I mentioned a few posts ago my very helpful background assistant, Homin Jang, painted up a collection of custom watercolor textures for me to use the backgrounds for inside the circus tent. I went with the idea of a simple textured background because I didn't want to draw too much attention away from the acrobats' performance with any overly detailed and heavily saturated backgrounds. These watercolor backgrounds are just interesting enough to lightly compliment the animation of the the acrobats without being too distracting. Another plus is that I can make them really fast and easily so they're a great time saver. Let's get started!

This is the watercolor painting I start off with.

I bring it into Photoshop but I decide not to mess with levels or saturation. The colors and textures are just fine the way they are.

For these backgrounds, I'll be using my all time favorite tool, the gradient tool. I LOVE using gradients to shade and render images so it's what I'll be using to add values and colors to our painting.

Make a new layer overtop the original painting and select the color black with your color picker. Make sure to have the color-to-transparency setting selected and also don't forget to play around with the opacity. Use both the linear and radial gradient tools for varying looks.

Now just drop in some random gradient values anywhere you fancy. Be careful not to go overboard and lose all those beautiful textures.

There we go. Now our painting has some ominous shadows. But keep in mind, it is better than these backgrounds are too light rather than too dark, and it's always better to assume that more screens will show things darker than your work screen.

Next it's time to drop some more colors into our backgrounds. To keep with the slightly creepy theme, I'm going to add some more dark reds, pinks, and purples. Feel free to turn off your black layer for this.

Make another layer below the one you just did. Repeat the same process as with the shadow layer by dabbing in some globby gradients of color. Just don't overdo it.

Now for the final adjustments. Since we want to make the black layer a shadow value layer, set the mode to Multiply. This means that the darker the color, the more opaque it is sinks into the image while lighter values become more transparent. That way, is it's too dark, you can lighten it up a little with some gray gradients. You can also toggle the opacity to achieve the desired darkness for this layer. The color layer we just did needs to stay below the value layer and keep it set to Normal. And don't forget to label your layers! Organization is key!!

And there you have it! The original painting has been Dark Circus-ified. This process is easy to repeat so a lot of these can be done in a jiffy.

Progress Chart (update 2)

It's getting more colorful! It makes me excited to keep working and continue making steady progress. The more blue, the better!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Still Going Strong on Background Coloring

It might still be winter break and the temptations to be lazy are formidable but I will not go down without a fight! Here's a small selection of backgrounds I've completed so far during the break. As long as my tablet works and my coffee mug is full then I shall continue my victorious coloring!

Shot 62

Shot 38

Shot 23

Shot 52

Watercolor Textures

Thanks to my background production assistant, Homin Jang, I now have six custom watercolor textures to work with for the circus backgrounds. Thanks to these, I've been saved several hours of work.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Real Nippen! (and She's for Adoption)

I would have never guessed that I would have found a beautiful white maine coon so close to home. This is Harmony. She is 3 years old and is looking for a loving home. I met Harmony while picking up my own cat from the local animal hospital. She is a sweet and loving critter but sadly, she is completely deaf, and is also a little nervous around other cats and dogs. If you or someone that you know is willing to give a home to this special needs cat, please contact the Heritage Animal Hospital at (734)-529-9177. She is fixed, has all her up to date vaccinations, and is litter-box trained at the adoption price of $85.