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Friday, December 28, 2012

A method to the madness. Now that I'm painting a few things in the new Photoshop, I'm beginning to feel my way around again. It's not that it was so different, but different enough. I will say I'm liking it just fine now, and look forward to becoming more familiar with other features.

It's imperative if you want to make good work you are at home with not only the process, but the materials.  And technology is no different. I'm posting a couple of details of the drawing I'm working on. Now why take the time away from learning how to animate? If the drawings aren't good, then not only will it be harder to make an effective animation, it won't be clear.

The concepts of size and color, contrast and temperature I think will play a big part in how decent my images will be. By taking the little bit of time to reacquaint myself with the concepts and put them into action, I can fully concentrate on the animation, because most of this was in the background for me. By bringing it into the foreground, it will help with creative decision and flow of the work. I love that with the Photoshop I can get in there and make the detail sound. I should have this drawing done in the next few days. I think I need to work a few things on my billabong back ground, and then I will do more detailed comps (Will went into great detail on how he works out the designs for his drawings, so I think I will take a page from his book and freehand the illos then consult Margot. Still have character designs to finish, but not as worried or obsesses as I was with that.  Going to be busy next few weeks!




Wednesday, December 26, 2012

When does learning become procrastination? I know I'm borderline at the moment, so within the next couple of days I will be getting right back on the horse. The first problem was banging my head against new technology. Usually I don't mind a good whack or two upside, because it often loosens things I hadn't thought of, and after a good sinus cleaning, I "get it". The second there are enough other things that I felt wonky about, on a professional level and it interfered with my processing the info. The insecurity fed the infernal editor.

With holidays and other events (that are not quite over), the decision for me was to zag. Instead of immersing myself in the new technology, I reviewed things from art school, thirty years ago, and a lot of it was overlooked. Ah such was the education of a prodigy and a renegade. Often times the core was skimmed or left out entirely. There's a lot you can do with raw talent, but it really only goes so far.

I finished the snake painting, did a caricature entirely from scrap on the Wacom and though it wasn't a best effort, it was decent for a first time and more importantly I did something new and something I didn't hate. Heck I wanted that feather boa. I presently have a couple of past drawings I want to rework in Photoshop, before I reengage Oscars project. The reason again is two fold. I need to feel comfortable and conscious of what I got from the two tutorials (Designing a Drawing and Working with color, Folio Academy). Yes I knew most of it, but I hadn't actually been DOING it, and a lot of it's easier said than done. I can see a couple of things happening within the exercises, as well as getting more adept. I tend to work busy, so more than likely it'll not only make me more considered, but simplify. I think one of things I also really like about Will's tutorials, we come from similar aesthetics. I think it's about the story and communicating first.
THEN it's about the art, which isn't to say art is secondary, it's just that if it doesn't fulfill it's purpose, doesn't matter how pretty or colorful it is.

I hadn't realized as well, as autocratic, dictatorial as I am (come on! I have to write, draw and sometimes even calligraph, and now I'm publishing?! Course my caveat and Achilles is I want to do it all well enough so no one will ever pooh-pooh it with well she did DO it by herself, sniff, sniff!) I'd not really given myself permission to design my drawings. It was a strange thing to come to me, because I get images that pop in my head all the time. What happened was Will completed some of the thoughts and questions I had and it just zinged, connected.

The other reason to take the time to be comfortable with the process, Margot's book is a bit "more". Adding action as well as the considerations, of image, color, value, line, space, form, etc. to a story, and the challenge of different sized devices ranging from 7-8 inches down to about 3.5 inches, having those concerns not be a misunderstood distraction, I'm most definitely glad for the review.

In doing,I gain bits of confidence I misplaced along the way of my life as well. I have a short story in adult land that needs to be published this week and will be visiting a friend for a few days. The holidays are pretty much over, and I'm knee deep into trying to figure out how to make the animated GIF. I know once I master that I'm finest kind for a while. Then the only other hurdle will be the actually publishing of the project. Who knows what skill I'll renew or learn then?

Anyhow, this is the very rough reworking of Beauty Shop, the beginning. Will post this redone here, and if I do the two drawings from my Whateverafter, will post those as well.

The bottom will be the reworked one. The upper one , I liked the concept, but couldn't render very well, and was playing with materials-- the plastic-y paper that others make look delicious, I made caca-de-poopoo on. It will be interesting to see the differences, when done, I think.


Monday, December 3, 2012

So I will share my "other" art for the next few months as most of the character assets will be under wraps at least until we publish the app. But I have other quick art to share along the way and I can still talk about the process and provide the resources and journey textually, right?

So the next couple of days I'm looking at PERSPECTIVE. I need to nail it down for my Duke Day For Annie as well as for the other projects (Whateverafter, Becoming and Lytee).  As a matter of fact as soon as I finish the post I'll be sitting through this one: Four point perspective, and later on review some videos on animating in FLASH.

When I say nail it down, that means at one point I'm going to have to get obnoxious about drawing everything I see. I've found if you do it so much you don't have to "think" about, have a REAL grasp, it has an immediacy and power and you become fearless. I had actually learned this in artschool. I had avoided hands and feet as a kid, because they were too "hard". Granted my then-drawing teacher Ed Douglas had the modernist mantra droning in my ear, but it was still a joke enough that when I would draw it I would also label it: "This is not a CHAIR!".

Even then with the text and image.

But we were to draw hands and feet for a week, and a strange thing happened. After a few days of frustration, I not only started concentrating on the relationships, but fell in love with creating their image. I did compulsively, obsessively, can't-sit-my-butt-down-without-drawing-hands-and-feet for a month. Now I understand their forms so well, I can "draw" a hand from memory, because I understand how their forms work and relate. Which doesn't take away from the best way to draw, LOOKING at what you're drawing. It all just adds to the image, I think.

I did the same thing with the letters "r" and "s", when studying calligraphy. They were my problem letters. So I did them ad nauseum with the same process. By gummy my "r"  have rhythm and my "s"es are downright springy!

In other words, embrace what you avoid, often times you do it because you KNOW you lack. So give yourself that spontaneity and power.

Last night watching a bit of the tube, I could only allow it if I were drawing. To my surprise, I'd drawn Oscar enough he fell off the tip of my Sharpie. Which is fabulous because it will be easy to create a number of images of him and more naturally animate him.  Probably to get a little freer with him as well. Now to give myself the rest of the characters this week. Today I think will be kingfisher, koala and if I have the time, Duckbilled Platypus, because I keep "seeing" him.

Till then, this is my current "Agy" project for my Cafe Press Store, Imagyne. I have another one that is more calligraphy and writer, oriented, Agy Shtuff. My sister had suggested doing a series of "eyes". I had thought about play on words (this means Snake Eyes, in case it's not clear, lol).




Sunday, December 2, 2012

It's been too long. I know. Some of it has been personal stuff. Life's disarray can creep up and it must be addressed. That's happened to me all year, and it finally caught up. That being said, I will say the really great thing that came out of the turmoil. I really LOVE what I do. If I can go through the crapola of life and deal with it, then I most certainly can wrap my mind around this new thing.

The secrets, take it in small bites, find good sources of information and BELIEVE in myself.

One of the best things I've done has been availing myself to Will Terry's and Wayne Andreason's Folio Academy. When I haven't been learning something, what I know was being reinforced, which led to more confidence. By no means do I know it all, or even yet, how to put it together, but I have this notion that I shall put it together in it's time. The turmoil oddly enough helped with that one too. You do what you got to do. So now I'm ready to get back to it.

I will share this part of my art process because I'm not sure if it'll VISUALLY work, until I have the characters. Thinking about OSCAR and KOBI and most of the other characters, they are black white and gray, so I think it will, but at this point it's an intellectual thing. I love the painting of the billabong, to refresh your memory:

 The idea is to crop in different places, so the backgrounds look different, but they are all consistent. I may have to redo a few of them at different perspectives, but I think for the most part it'll work. And the grays of the the characters, which will be animated will "POP". I'll have to remember the words, haven't decided if they will be a part of over the image or if the text will read underneath the images. Lots of decisions to make along the way, so I'm happy for this first project of mine, I will have Margot helping with all the decisions, because these "assets" (as the characters to be animated are called) are her babies first of all.



I really can see them frolicing and grousing, and adventuring in this place. I hope I do justice to the project and kids (and maybe the old kids) will enjoy this book app. And like Will has said in his video the most important thing is to FINISH. So this week's timeline is to nail down the characters (perhaps with Margot's and one of the characters I will show you one of them, perhaps not, an air of mystery can be a good thing....
next week I hope to be animating characters and text. Wish me luck!