Thursday, October 27, 2011

7th Week - ( Oct 24-26 )

I'm thinking of updating this blog every 2 or 3 days so I don't have to pile up all of my artworks and write a long entry by the end of the week. So here comes the first few updates !

Character Design
The assignment was to come up with either designs of bears,apes or gorillas. I was meaning to design bears, but It didn't work out that well for me, so I designed the gorillas instead.

Here are the few that I did, I really liked how they turned out ! It was a fun process overall ! :)

This is definitely my favorite piece of all ! I wanted to take it into another direction, something more personal. :)

I remember talking to Steve Brown on my first day of Orientation week at CalArts, and he gave me a very useful piece of advice. He told me, " Whenever you're stuck and you can't draw, think of a story and your drawings will come naturally ".

Many times I've wasted my hours away trying to figure out ways to create beautiful and appealing designs that I get caught up in fancy design elements which has no relation to any story telling at all. Rik Maki said, " No matter what you design, it has to have a story. A beautiful character standing in space doing nothing ain't gonna work".

Research is another vital element you don't wanna lack in whatever you do. Abraham Lincoln once said, " If I have 8 hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend 6 hours sharpening the axe". That makes me think twice before I start putting my pen down on my paper trying to ace for the perfect drawing or design. Spending 6 hours researching on your character is better than wasting 24 hours searching for the right design without prior research or knowledge of your subject.

I find more solidity in my artwork often when I have both research and story contextualized in my work !

Digital Methods
Another Monday class ! I'm learning so much about TV Paint now and there's so much it can do with it ! Fran has been showing us so many cool stuff we can do with it ! TV Paint rocks.

We learned to play around with the camera the other day. It's pretty cool cuz it has a multi-plane camera option. Here's a test I did with a single-plane camera option during Fran's class.

I'm experimenting on my first year film's style right now, and I want to be able to catch up with TV Paint before the end of this term so I don't get bogged down by technical issues when working on my short film !

2D Animation
Ok, so 2D Animation has been really fun ! The assignments have been pretty forgiving so far and I can't wait to start animating the real deal, but at the same time, I'm really honing my animation skills to prepare myself for my first year film.

So here's the head turn assignment which I turned in for class today.

I had fun working on this assignment and it was really challenging. Most of the challenges came from the graphical design that I have in my character. Matt Williames, who's our instructor mentioned how some cartoon characters weren't meant to be seen from certain angles due to the design. Daffy duck, for instance.

I've been learning a lot in Matt's class from the videos he's been showing us. Matt has been stressing on how important acting is in animation, or in any film at all, and that we should really watch and study more films. I have to get started on watching more films! I really don't know enough films out there! I downloaded an iPad program called "Film Study" which comes with a list of films in it of different genres ranging from the 1910's to contemporary films. The coolest thing about this software is that it allows me to pause at a certain frame of the movie, and analyze it with some cool features available in that software.

So, more research, more film study, more hard work !

I'll be updating pretty soon again before the end of this week !

See ya !!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

6th Week - ( Oct 13 - 23 )

So, life has been really good ! I've done 2 storyboards for my story class so far and I'm really glad that we're finally getting started on this !

The first storyboard assignment was to come up with a 40 panel max storyboard with no camera cuts or movements. It was really challenging because a lot of thoughts and considerations went into the composition of the settings and the overall size and designs of the character and props in order to avoid cropping the character out or limiting the action of the character. And to make it even harder, we can only have one character in it. The hardest part of this assignment for me was the attempt of keeping the size of the character consistent in every panel !

It was the first storyboard and pitch I did at CalArts, so it was really one of the most important moment and day of my life ! And I even got my own retractable pointer from Chong !

I did a capture of every panel for my first storyboard with my iPad using iMotionHD, but the panels are jumping all around so forgive me for not doing a better job at that !! But anyway, here it is ! :)

The next assignment was to come up with a 30 seconds storyboard and again with no camera cuts. The jumping point given was the idea of a mailman trying to deliver a mail but a dog gets in his way. Again I had LOADS of fun with this ! I'll upload the board up here pretty soon, I promise !

Character Design
So for Character design, we were told to design a horse based on Chen Yi's style. If you haven't figured out who Chen Yi is, he's the awesome guy who designed 'Khan' in Mulan. It's a shame I haven't heard of him not till Rik Maki showed us some model sheets he did of Khan. Here's a interview of him by Character Design, check it out cuz it's pretty cool.

So here are the horses that I did !

Rik Maki actually favored this one, which turned out to be my least favorite of all. I even thought of setting this aside not showing this to Rik cuz I thought it was bad. What I've learned so far here is that, sometimes you're just not the best judge of your work and the best thing to do is really showing your work to people around you and get feedbacks. Your crappiest work might turn out to be the winning work that'll get you somewhere, you never know. ( He brought up a good point on how making the man smaller would strengthen the whole piece though )

My classmate, Paula, pointed out that it'd be good to have a ground plane in a drawing like this to tell the relation from character to ground which makes a more solid composition than to have them floating in the air.

This is my favorite of all !

Color & Design

Okay so I have to admit that Color & Design is a real tedious class, but I enjoyed most of my working process. To goal is to come up with a CD cover design based off your thumb print.

So I came up with a whole set of Matryoshka dolls ! It's a Russian Folk Instrumental CD !

The idea behind this concept is based on the Russian Folk Tale, Baba Yaga.
This was done with Gouache on Illustration Boards. I'm starting to love Gouach !

The next assignment was the silhouette project and basically what we were told is to come up with a proposal of a silhouette design that we plan to install on the wall of any part of the school. I picked the main gallery so I had to get a permission from the art school. I filed a request form and on the next day I got a call from the art school informing me on my permission to install my work up on the wall in the main gallery ! It was great news, but then we got a little meeting with Leo, out instructor, and we were told that the deadline will be pushed one week ahead due to the halloween party that'll take place in that same week, and that we were given the choice to either work with the walls, or on a smaller scale project. I chose to stick to the wall but my permission to install my silhouette design in the main gallery was then denied because they had a plan on setting up an exhibition from the art school on the same week the deadline of my silhouette design was pushed to. I was disappointed cuz I was really excited and I was looking forward to this project and I liked my idea. But the good side is that I don't have to work on such a huge scale project anymore, which could save me more time so that I can focus on my other assignments !! So anyway, here's the proposal I did for the Silhouette Project !

Time to hunt for another wall ! Or not !

Thursday, October 13, 2011

5th Week - Oct 13th

Phew ! So it's my 5th week here at CalArts & California ! Things are going pretty well ! It's autumn here and it's starting to get chilly. Classes are awesome as usual and workload's gotten heavier, but I like where this is heading to !! I got a lot of help from my instructors,classmates and upperclassmen over here and it's amazing how much I've gotten out of their advice !

There are a lot of assignments over here that I've worked on which I really like and I'm proud of ! But when I showed them to some people for critique, I noticed how much more I could've improved them ! It's gonna be a long road, but I know I'm gonna get better and better !

Some of the upperclassmen that I made friends with introduced me to David Pimentel last week, who was a guest lecturer in their story class! It was AWESOME ! It just didn't occur to me that I would've the chance to see David Pimentel in person, not to mention talking to him ! I've been following his blog for quite some time and I've read about him and seen some of his works in Walt Stanchfield's Drawn to life ! If you don't know who David Pimentel is, check out his blog cuz I promise you'll be blown away by his work. Here's the link to his blog And oh, he's really nice too !!! Friendly guy !

CalArts invited Nathan Stanton, John Musker & James Baxter to CalArts over the last 4 weeks ! It was superb ! They were all so down to earth and I even got the chance to speak to John Musker ! I remember how I used to watch "The Little Mermaid" over and over again when I was a kid, and it still doesn't get any older now, it's just plain awesome. It remains to be my favorite Disney animated film.

Anyway, here are some of the assignments that I did so far which I really like !

Character Design

Goal: To design a Bacchus.
So I came up with with a few designs !!


Goal : To come up with 4 characters and give them personalities, then put them all in a movie-like scene and make them interact with each other.
I had lots of fun with this assignment ! It was fun thinking of how they'd look like and all, and then in the end putting them in a scene. It really made me think a lot on how to design them and place them next to each other and how would they react to one another based on who they are and what they're doing ! I learned so much from this assignment ! My brain had to work so hard for this, but that's where all the fun came from !

So yeah, that's all for today ! More updates to come ! :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Class Finally Starts !!!!!

Okay, so lets see.. It's been 23 days since I last posted.

After all the endless waiting, CLASS HAS FINALLY STARTED AT CALARTS !!!!!!

I've been really busy with all the assignments since the first day of class on September 12th and this place has been really amazing !! I can't believe how much my art and design skills has improved so much over the course of only 4 weeks !!! The instructors, faculty members and people that I've met here so far are just wonderful ! Also, not to mention all the great guest speakers and free pizzas that we have so far !

So here are the classes that I have for this semester (Fall 2011)

Digital Methods I- Fran Krause
Character Design I - Rik Maki
Color & Design - Leo Hobaica
CG Foundation I - Andrew Bac
Writing Arts - Andrea Fontenot
CG Animation I - Lee Gramling
2D Animation I - Matt Williames
Screenwriting For Animators - Nicole Panter
Story I - Chong Lee
Life Drawing I - Steve Brown
Institute Voice - Kirsten Weist

I'm really happy with most of the classes that I'm taking now but I wanna get over with Writing Arts and most of my critical study classes in my first year so I can have more time to really work on my stuff in my later years. Most of the classes that I have now are real fun and my favorite classes so far has to be Story,Character Design & 2D Animation !

It's only been four weeks but we've been getting tons of assignments weekly and it's building up every week, but again, it's all worth it ! The assignments are really interesting and there are so many talented people here that's so inspiring and motivating!

Our first Character design assignment was to design elephants ! I was really excited about it cuz it was my first Character Design assignment at CalArts ! I designed 16 elephants and there were about 10 that I really liked ! I brought it over to class the following week and I happily pinned them up to the wall since that's what we were told to do. That's how they do it in the professional industry so the supervisor can look at the designs and give some feedbacks. To my surprise, Rik Maki didn't like any of the 16 elephants that I did ! I was disappointed of course. I worked really hard on getting the designs of the elephants down, worked for days and I thought they looked great ! But then, Rik pointed out some serious problem that I had in my elephant drawings, which are :
- designs were too funky
- silhouettes didn't read well and they weren't readable from far.
- lack of research

I looked at my elephant drawings and I thought it was pretty spot-on. I noticed how I got carried away in trying to make the designs look good and appealing but I neglected the importance of silhouette and research.

So here's a picture of the elephant designs that I pinned up to my cube walls. It didn't went well but it'll always be important to me cuz it's my first assignment at CalArts :)

A quote from Rik Maki " The more you do, the more you CAN do. "

So yeah, that's all I have to say for today. I'll be uploading more pictures of my more recent assignments pretty soon. Gonna go to bed now so I can get up early in the morning tomorrow to catch breakfast with some of my friends and then come back and work on my stuff !

Stay tuned !