Wednesday, February 28, 2007

More Tweens; Moving on from baseball

Here are two roughs from my latest tween practices. I just finished the mouse sequence which is from the same animated spot as the baseball pitcher. Now I'm working on the bird sequence from an old Hershey's commercial (see the commercial at My first three sequences have all been related to baseball; it's refreshing to do something different...makes me think of chocolate syrup.

I always have Bruce (director/key artist) check my breakdown drawings before doing rest of the tweens. It's really helpful to see him correct my roughs--putting down the red marks of shame--as I like to call it. It's also easier to see the motion when someone else is flipping the drawings for you, ya!

I'm getting a lot faster and my line quality ain't bad.
Still so much to learn though.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Illustration Friday: Communication

Here's a quick doodle for this week's IF topic. I wanted to try some cutout designs but I didn't have any textures ready and just overall ran out of time. So here's the drawing as it is.

I just realized the hawaii drawing also has my contact info on there, OOOPS. So please don't stalk me either...

Hawaii Here We Are!

Here's a sketch from Hawaii. This is the Kona airport (Jan 7th). It's the first open air airport I'd ever been to. I couldn't believe the weather when I first got out of the plane; it was the perfect mixture of humidity, wind, and sun--quite different from the dry freezing Minnesotan air.

I drew this while waiting for our flight to Oahu; we flew to the Big Island then had a connection flight to Honolulu. Marivic is a Philipina girl whom I sat next to on our flight to Oahu. In the half hour flight she told me everything about her marriage and social life. Please don't stalk her--or rather, just don't let her know you got her info from me :P. Seriously though, leave the sweet girl alone or I'll kung fu chop you into pieces>:)

Monday, February 19, 2007

Other Stuff

Some 1min gestures from drawing lab tonight (vine charcoal on brown paper):

Here are some character designs for an upcoming project at Reelworks.

Some Tweens

Here's a frame from my first tweening experience. This is a character from a previous project at Reelworks. The blue pencil is a rough tween. You can see the searching lines I've made. Here's the cleaned-up final:Doing clean-ups is so hard on my eyes. At the end of the day my eyes feel like they are focused in opposite directions and I probably walk around like I'm drunk.

I tested the roughs using a regular flatbed scanner and AfterEffects. The finals were ran through the animation scanner (?) then cleaned and colored (like a cell) in US Animations. USA is so much faster but it's great learning different ways of testing. People at the studio are teaching me so much!

Pretty cool seeing my drawings colored and animated!

Here's the next tween; a sequence from 28 years ago. The keys are so old the paper has turned yellow. Bruce says it was his first tweening assignment. Anyway, here's one of my roughs:
Baseball seems to be a theme for my training :P

Thursday, February 15, 2007

"Animators are the bottom feeders, so the inbetweener is the lowest of the low."

Ek training at Reelworks while keeping up with my regular work and figure drawing schedule is not simple. I'm at Reelworks from 9ish-4ish and then go straight to work or figure drawing until 9ish pm. It's not leaving much room for other things like scanning drawings for this blog. I suppose I should just make random words bold to keep some aesthetic interest in this blog...

I'm learning so much from Reelworks. I finished my tween sequence today and tested it with AfterEffects. Bruce the director thought it looked pretty good and asked me to move on to clean up. I thought I've been drawing for ever but it turned out only to be 16 frames (including the keys) which is less than a second and a half (on twos). At any rate I did good work and it was cool to see the drawings in much better than that Dig animation I made with tracing paper and a camera (I'll put it online someday).

Todd, my unofficial teacher, gave me a crash course in AfterEffects today and now I feel like an AfterEffects guru (just don't ask me to demonstrate anything yet). But seriously, Todd was great at teaching me; he gave me a thorough introduction and now I feel pretty comfortable getting into it. I just need to practice and play around until I realize how sophisticated AE really is and become intimidated by it again.

Reelworks is a great environment to work in. It's a small company so everyone is pretty casual and familiar with each other. Though I'm not being paid for training, I still can't believe I can just spend the whole day drawing and doodling's been great.

Aght, dat b et fo now. I'll post some drawings this weekend.
(The bold looks terrible, what a bad idea...)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

First Tween

Today was my first day and it was very sloooooooooooooooowwww. I was tweening a baseball pitcher. It took me about three hours to do three drawings. Well that also includes the time I spent listening to other's suggestions and instructions. I hear 1 hour per drawing is normal for Tweening and that a beginner could take up to 3-4 hrs on one. Nonetheless it seems I was pretty unproductive.

I had to get used to the light table. It's pretty neat drawing with the right equipment but since I had to draw with a sheet placed on top of two key frames, the key drawings just over lapped and it was a little hard to decide where exactly the middle drawing should be. I had to constantly flip the three sheets of paper, which, I guess, is the way it's suppose to be done.

Spoken like a true newbie.

It's also a little awkward to picture the motion of the images verses focus on one drawing. I had to imagine how each movement will take place, how the volume of an object or body part distorts with the foreshortening, and things like that.

Overall it was a really good first day, though my performance could probably have been better. People at the studio were every helpful and friendly. The studio is located in uptown and has a staff of only 5-6 people. It's pretty amazing how such a small group can pump out such great work!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Tweening Training

"Good news everyone!"

I will start training as an inbetween artist starting tomorrow at Reelworks (, an animation studio located in Minneapolis. They specialize in traditional character animation. From their site you can view some of their digital and hand drawn commercials for Mall of America, Hershey's, Bestbuy, United Way, and many more.

I am really lucky to have this opportunity and am definitely excited to start training. Since I've never had inbetween experience, I've got to give it all I've got. For those of you who don't know what 'Inbetweening' is, Wikipedia it.

I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Illustration Friday: Sprout!

Here's my entry for this week's IF theme. I wish I had a better scanner but this will have to do for now.

I'm just sent out my application to USC which means I am done with all of my applications! Woo! Now it's just financial aid stuff and waiting. Ringling will give me a decision by the mid-end of this month--so not that far away. Then I'll hear from CalArts and USC mid-end March.

In other news:
  • I was in Hawaii for 8 days from Jan 7th-14th
  • I turned 21 on the 8th of Jan, had great time(s) celebrating with family and friends.
  • I took the GRE, got high enough of a score for USC, but nothing high enough I want to mention :-/
  • I don't think I'll be going to China in the spring, due to many issues and complications that make it inconvenient to go right now.
  • Now that the apps are done, it's time to get back to the drawing board!