Sunday, August 5, 2012

Busy Busy

So I'm absolute junk at posting, mostly because all my free time gets consumed working on my thesis project. As it stands, I have 48 seconds pencil tested (just a little more than half), and 20 seconds in color (about a fourth). I've got so much to do between now and December, but to keep myself from going crazy, I've squeezed in some tangentially related pieces.

Dreadbeasts are made for punching!
First off, this ended up being my Timeline banner on Facebook. Dreadbeasts (the little black demon thing running away from its imminent punching-out) have become somewhat of a running joke amongst my friends and I. It has, in part, to do with the fact that I made almost all of them stand around in the Powell lab and act the scene out. The wide variety of takes created a lot of laughs, and thanks to their help, the scene ended up winning 2nd place in the Academy of Art 2012 Spring Show. So naturally, my claim to fame around AAU became these little black monsters. That, and circus afros (don' ask).

Here's the scene in question:

As part of the process of animating a trailer, I've spent a lot of time thinking about who the other people in this hypothetical film are. Thomas and Fel (the two on the left) are the two characters who actually show up in the trailer. But it's my belief that no film that is on as epic of a scale as this one would be can survive without a cast of sidekicks and villains, I went ahead and culled some buddies and foes for Thomas and Fel out of the recesses of my imagination. Eligius (the dude in the middle) is the resident mage, and the son of the Earl of Verdis, one of the locations Thomas and Fel travel to on their quest. He is quite a fop, and doesn't like getting his hands dirty, which is why he elected to be a wizard. That being said, he is also a dragon - on the world the story takes place in, dragons are born looking human, but the more they use their draconian powers (flight, firebreathing, etc), the more dragon-like they become, until they're honking great lizards with an insatiable desire for large amounts of shiny things. This might be foreshadowing. Celeste, the cat girl on the right, is a sky pirate. I haven't come up with much story for her yet, but she has a French accent and is extremely feisty.

And then lastly, on the far right, is the villain, who I'm quite proud of. In February, I went to see the musical "Mamma Mia" with my mom, and I kind of fell in love with the ridiculous disco outfits. Who could I possibly put into tight sparkly pants and a codpiece? And then it occurred to me that no parody of a JRPG could possibly be complete with an over-the-top effeminate villain with questionable bondage taste.And so Orpheus was born. He'd always been intended to be a reflection of Thomas somehow, but when I struck upon the idea of "Sparkle Disco Jareth Thomas", he was very easy to give life. Color wise, his outfit is the complete inverse of Thomas's, and the rest of his palette is a very desaturated version of Thomas - this is to allude to the fact that he basically wants to take over Thomas's life, and is an evil manifestation of all of Thomas's disappointments.

Lastly, a redraw. In 2010, when I took character design, one of the assignments was to pick a movie and draw the hero, heroine, sidekick and villain. "Serenity" was a first choice for me, and, well, the original assignment was... ehhhhh. Recently, however, I was invited by the same teacher (the awesome Michael Buffington) to redraw the assignment and present it to his current class.

While Mal could look a little more like Nathan Fillion, I would say it's an over-all success. I know that my understanding of volume and structure has improved 1000% .

School and side projects continue to go strong - the few moments I get to hang with friends and family are precious, but very soon I'm going to have to click-clack into my little hole and just put my head down to work. I've only got 20 weeks before it's over. Yikes.

Here's the current (ish) version of my reel. I'll leave that here and probably see you guys in several months.

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