Friday, November 11, 2016

Fall Updates!

HELLO~! It's a little unfortunate that I've only recently been able to find the time to update this blog ... but there's some great news!

Since mid - September, I've been enjoying an amazing 3D Animator internship at Zynga, off in San Francisco.

The city itself doesn't feel all that different from Orlando. Though, there's so much to do here! My favorite trip has been to the Walt Disney Family Museum, for obvious reasons. There's currently an exhibit at the museum on the makings of Pinocchio, featuring a LOT of original animation tests, animation cels, and other props. Some of Milt Khal's original tests for Pinocchio were there (loaned out by his family) and I got to flip through them. This comes after spending almost a year learning and studying these tests too! It was amazing and inspiring to see the original work of the animators that Jonathan was teaching us about. ♥

As for the internship itself ... FIEA did a tremendous job at simulating the gaming industry in its program. The transition was rather seamless. Coming off of the high - intensity pace and workload that was FIEA, the pace at Zynga feels moderate even when my workload is heavy. It's likely because I'm used to coming in before 9am in the morning and leaving by 10pm or 11pm at FIEA ... and still managing to get behind on one or two of my projects.

Nonetheless, I'm learning so much at Zynga! I'm more heavily involved in rigging, keyframe animation, and even VFX in the Unity Engine. I'm not sure about the lengths and details I can discuss about my internship at the moment, so I'll keep it general. :D There was a major learning curve at first ... and one where I constantly pestered other people to show me how to do a thing in the engine, but now I'm very comfortable with it! Granted, I feel like learning coding might definitely save me some headaches in the future, and keep me from having to rely as heavily on others for minor changes.

I've been working with some amazing people over at Zynga. The time's actually been passing ridiculously quickly ... a huge part of me is wishing that this internship was far longer than 12 weeks. ♥♥

I haven't had too much time to focus on my own personal portfolio .... but I've taken the time to tweak, render, and compile some of my already-existing animations! For rendering ... I didn't realize just HOW much of a difference AO maps made until I gave them a whirl this week. The AO maps definitely made everything pop out way more, and look far more detailed.  BUT here's the shot progression of these two animations! Hopefully, I'll be finishing my third very soon and be getting to working on cycles and another VFX.

And if you're curious at all ... this was the end result from Common Core a little while back! There's some things we would have liked to do to go back and polish it some more, but this is pretty great after spending the last few days collecting our efforts, revamping, and putting it all together. : D 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Summer Updates Continue ...

Sooo ... now there's time for some updates on my personal work!

I've been working on some new animations during the Summer semester, along with trying to work out the kinks of old animations from last semester. Essentially, much of my time has been dedicated to correcting every one of my mistakes from before. Admittedly, I didn't begin to seriously animate until I began at FIEA in August.

 Though, when I look back to how terrible some of my earlier animations were, I see how far I have come during this entire experience! Because Cohort 12 only has three animators, we each got a lot of individualized attention from Jonathan on how we could strengthen our pieces. That, and we do our fair share of harassing during his office hours. Hehe. In between all of that, we do our best to help each other by giving one another feedback on our animations and showing each other new tools & tricks to help the process along.

When you're here at FIEA for so long, you can really start depending on your fellow artists to help you along and show you new skills, and vice versa. One of the most important things you can develop during this program is a solidarity among the members of your track. Having that support and openness is one of the most valuable things you can have, and it's great having that sense of security. 


You probably recognize this dude by now. It's likely that I'll never be done with him. LOL. His lip flaps are finalized now, and what I have left to do is to smooth out some of his actions & his graph editor. THEN HE'LL FINALLY BE COMPLETE.

Now that Ley Lines has reached their art freeze, I've been working a lot more on this animation in the last few days. This isn't the current version, but it's still a lot better than how it used to be. Likewise, the graph editor has to be cleaned further & her motions refined. That's currently in progress.

This animation is proving to me how WONDERFUL the Malcolm rig truly is and how the animation picker has already spoiled me. It's wonderful. omg. This is also one of my smoothest animations so far! Some areas are still blocked in, though, so it's a matter of finding the time to refine the existing movement and build on it some more.

For my demo reel, I needed a piece of dialogue where there was an obvious change of emotion. Originally, I wanted to do a line from Persona 4 Arena: Ultimax that had a shift between happy to annoyed, buuut ... Atlus' sound mixing isn't the best and I couldn't get rid of the BG music. So! I still kept to my inner weeb and did a line from Persona 4: The Animation. This is it in its blocked in phase, sO DON'T JUDGE ME.

As for Common Core ... soon, I'll be able to get to work on that too. We had to revamp the project and seriously decrease on scope. It was more of a matter of what was feasible for each of us to work on in the time we had left. Capstone clearly was the most important thing for us to dedicate the majority of our time to, then Specialization, so we had to just be realistic with the amount of hours we had to work with. We promise, though, it's going to be great! We're gonna aim for something that's pretty close to the opening credits of Deadpool, where the poses are freeze-framed/slow-motion and the camera's dynamic as heckie. With all the talented artists we have on our team, it's gonna look nothing short of awesome. :3c

For this project, did Miria's body rig! Here's one of the earlier version of her. She was updated a little while ago, so I'll show that video off another time.

Aaaand that's it, for now. : D 

WOWIE. Summer Updates!

... because this term has been so busy that there honestly hasn't been the time to regularly update.

Summertime has been a testament of trying to balance Capstone and my specialization. Clearly, Capstone's important because it's ... well, Capstone. It's the biggest project that anyone will be working on during the FIEA program and accounts for the majority of your experience developing a full-scale game. As an artist, your specialty is also important because it accounts for the majority of your portfolio pieces. There comes the difficulty of having to devote equal amounts of time to both of these things, and trying to squeeze in work for Common Core Art because that requires an almost equal amount of love.

Some weeks, Capstone had to be the focus and my Animation tests suffered - and vice versa. About halfway into the semester, I found this balance in spending my Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday exclusively for Capstone work, and the other four days divided up between Specialization and Common Core (usually Specialization gets almost all the attention, though ...). In any case! There's a lot of things to update on! This post is going to be about the majority of my Capstone work, and another post will be about my Specialization & Common Core. Hehe.

All of my animation for the Ley Ls game (save for one or two last - minute assets) have been completed for Capstone! Vala, the Minion (we call her "Morty"), and the Boss (we named her "Brittney", lol) are done for the game! Implementation is still going on for Brittney ... along with some tweaking with her programatically - animated body (it's really cool!). Overall, though, things are done for these characters right now.

Along with being the 3D animator for the Ley Lines game, I've also become one of the 2D artists for the game. In an effort to add in more context / story into our game, I drew the bookend cinematics for Ley Lines. They were written & voiced by our Project Lead, Matt. The overall wording for this is subject to be tweaked within the next week or two, but the images aren't going to change!

Since we wanted to avoid the previous hell of implementing video into the Unreal engine, I ended up rigging up up separate planes for each section of the cinematic and animating these sections in Maya. This results in a Motion Graphic that is more cost - effective and saves us any headaches with implementation. The only cost is the absence of nifty transitions between the images.

I've also been in charge of much of the UI for Ley Lines. I've been working on each of the needed screens for the game, and some minor elements for the in-game display.

Along with all of this, I've been working on some of our promotional materials. That mostly included building our website & making business cards to pass out at play testing. :B

The good news of this all? During this whole process, Ley Lines has been greenlit on Steam! We're hoping to release the game once we get our legal ducks in order. ♥ PLZ PLAY OUR GAME. OKAY.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

what do you know about caring

Since the middle of April, the animators have been working on some dialogue tests! 

Going into this assignment, my only real objectives were to animate a man and to do something that was more tame, given that my natural inclination is to head for things that're more lively and energetic. That also happens to be part of the reason why I change my mind on what I'm going to be doing at least two times before or during the assignment. 

My initial choice was to do a line from I Love Lucy or The Golden Girls but then that wouldn't have given me the opportunity to work with male characters. In wanting to do something more vintage, lines from Psycho were eventually chosen. Little did I realize how difficult that would be. The thing with Norman Bates is that he's so reserved. His delivery of his dialogue is stiff, deadpan, and calm. Even when angry, his voice barely raises in volume. So this results in an animation that's dependent on the subtitles of behavior and more reserved motions, all while trying to keep this remotely interesting to watch. 

A little while back, Kelly introduced me to Flipbook. For this assignment, I finally got around to using it so I could storyboard out everything I intended to do! Until this semester, I was extremely guilty of not giving much thought into layouts & blocking in my poses. I just sort of winged it and it showed. This was the opportunity to knock myself out of those bad habits and put the effort into making something better than before! Storyboarding this animation really helped me this go around by keeping me from changing my mind 20 times into the process, getting a better hang of timing, and considering what the layout may look like. So, here's a look into the very early stages! 

After I storyboarded everything, I brought this video into Maya (which was something I got to learn how to do just for this, it was really helpful) and blocked in every  key pose. Theeeeen it was decided that I had to scale back some of the actions because they were far too expressive & hammy in juxtaposition to the audio. 

As things went on, I took the advice to mute some of the poses and work more on my transitions. I also took the opportunity to focus more on staging than I did before, I found some free-to-use furniture models on various 3D sites, slapped them into the scene, and added some mood lighting. It really helped to sell the entire thing.

In the middle of this all, I realized that I had to take some  time to look into a very important part of the assignment: the lip flaps. Yeah. I didn't give that all that much consideration since I was way more preoccupied with how the body moved around. Luckily enough, I found a great tutorial on how to do them! Though, like anything else, I just need a lot of practice to be able to refine this. I'm working on it though!

I did a 30min dialogue pass using this tutorial's methods with another piece of dialogue from Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, specifically from the character Sho because he's so ridiculously expressive in his voice that it made things much easier to play with.

After messing with this, I found that I had to work a lot more on my timing & exaggerating the mouth shapes. The mouth motions for the phonemes end up coming out a little late in the playblast and it throws everything else off. Even so, if I exaggerated the mouth shapes a little more, you'd still be able to read the character's lips and guess what they were saying!

After that test a few days ago, I've spent a lot of my time trying to refine this dialogue test. It's not there yet, but it's already come a long way from what it used to be just a few weeks ago. I'm hoping to get this finished during the course of Summer Break so it'll be something nifty to place on the demo reel. 

As for other things? On Friday, there was a visit to the upstairs Character Animation program from Walt Disney Feature Animation. Who visited us? The Director of Talent & Outreach, a Visual Developer, a Look Developer, and a Producer. We got a look into the inside of the Disney Feature pipeline! That was especially exciting. They went over the process of concept art, animation, technical considerations, visual effects, and management. Each of the speakers there covered their own journeys that led them to the Disney company and the work they have done there! We got to see a lot of their contributions to Zootopia and Big Hero 6. With those two being some of my favorite Disney films, that was especially exciting. They were even awesome enough to show us some of the demo reels & current projects from their interns and apprentices (while filling us in about some details about that program :3c). We got to see the level of quality we have to compete with in regards to animation, layout, concept art, and rigging. I left that talk feeling super inspired and geared to apply for next year's apprenticeships. ♥♥ And also there was a desire to explore the world of layouts & storyboarding much more than I have been. It's apparently an under-considered career, but something that I could use my animation knowledge along with 2D & 3D skills. It's something to think about!

Sooo, that day ... I wasn't all that productive. So, I decided to finally draw a little thing for me after over a month of not doing that. :3c And I wanted to draw some Hispanic women in traditional dancing costumes.~ So the first three on that last were from Mexico (Jalisco dancing), Colombia (Cumbia dancing), and Puerto Rico (Bomba dancing). When there's time, I'd like to either refine these or add in some more from other countries. 

Until next time. :3c


We had our last Game Lab class just this past Thursday! The entirety of Cohort 12 debuted so many well thought-out and well-executed educational games. Given how difficult it was for everyone to juggle yet another project during this semester, it was amazing to see just how intricate some of these games were! It was extremely gratifying to see everyone's hard work come through and receive the spotlight it deserved.

I'm happy to say that Dinopedia was a resounding success! I really enjoyed working with everyone on my team. It was a pretty neat, relaxed, and fun atmosphere to be in despite all the stresses of Capstone happening around us. Working on this game was always pretty fun and a nice breakaway from everything else. Also dinosaurs. That makes everything better. SO. If you ever want to check out Dinopedia, the entire playthrough is up above!  For anything else (including a download link where you can play the game!), you can check out the link below.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Applications at the Speed of Light

It's been a little challenging updating this blog on a regular basis! A lot of things have been happening in the last few weeks!

Last week in particular was especially busy. Electronic Arts opened up an animation internship for the Fall that was previously only available for the Summer. It's been quite the venture trying to get together a demo reel to showcase everything I wanted to show them. Normally, my process is just to shove everything I can (that I still like) into a portfolio and call it a day. For both of my reels, I've been adhering to Jonathan's advice to begin and end with some of your strongest works. My primary goal was to show that I can conduct a Motion Capture session, clean the data, integrate that data into Motion Builder, and clean the animations before I finally bring them into engine. Motion Capture is becoming more and more of a passion of mine and something that I wish to keep exploring during my time at FIEA. In the Summer semester, I'll definitely be trying to do some more MoCap projects! In any case, here's the final demo reel that's being sent off to EA:

Fortunately, I was able to get some feedback from Jonathan about my reel and apply that just in time for the final version. It was definitely an awesome way to get a lot of animations for Ley Lines almost completed while simultaneously learning more about the entire application process for an artist. Another good thing about this whole process was that it enabled me to speed up tremendously with Motionbuilder! That, in itself, is pretty darn neat. I think that I'm finally beginning to overcome this gigantic learning curve to the whole program.

I was able to whip together a video that gives you guys a peek into the MoCap process! We had some brief snippets of our Project Lead Matt whacking our actress Taylor with a plastic sword to simulate being hit in-game by Shellek. It's pretty nifty! The data's been coming out pretty well. 

There's some other animations I've been working on lately! For instance, there was a pendulum animation, we're currently working on some dialogue, and I'm still doing Vala's animations! This week, I also hope to get more into rigging. Stay tuned for my posts all about that. ♥

As for other things? In Common Core Art, I've mostly been working on storyboarding. I personally want to get some more experience with that. As animators, we need to know how to set the scene and make dynamic poses. Fortunately, I've had the joy of getting to work with some other artists in this venture!

So. Storyboards. I did 1/3 of the ones you see above! I got to work with Ashley and Alex on these for our original cinematic pitch. This narrative was going to display Vala's final struggle with the Grand Centipede  with her, of course, reigning victorious over this creature. In this iteration, however, her fate is left ambiguous and up to interpretation for the viewer.

But then a restructuring to the entire narrative process happened - which turned out to be for the better! Now, we're changing up what exactly we're going to do so everyone a part of our team will be able to focus on their specialized interests, along with any skills they hope to develop along the way.  I, myself, will have the opportunity to learn rigging from our awesome team of Technical Artists (and maybe the faculty along the way :B). One of my goals leaving FIEA is to graduate as a "technical animator". I've learned how to set-up and handle a Motion Capture shoot, operate Vicon Blade, edit in Motion Builder, and how to integrate my animations in Unreal and Unity (along with learning the many, many pitfalls that could happen along the way ...). What's primarily left for me is to learn rigging far more intimately! I'm looking forward to this happening in the coming weeks. ♥

I got to work with Ashley and Samantha on the roughed out storyboard for the new sequence! We currently have everything almost mapped out like it should be. As we speak, Ashley and Katie are working together and utilizing some of the feedback we received from Ryo today to make these boards more readable and include some of the "beats" we were missing. Our character artists have brought in their concepts for their creatures too, and we have taken scale into consideration. For the next set of storyboards (moving on to the animatic phase), we will be able to make something far more refined and capture every beat we're hoping to! All the while, we're hoping to showcase every artists' hard work for the end project. With how this set currently stands? We're aiming for a length around 30 seconds.

Stay tuned for other updates on animations & game lab!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

anamershun iz mah pashun

It's safe to say that the week of our return to school was essentially the week filled with meetings upon meetings so the Ley Lines team could achieve a speedy and efficient trajectory towards our end goal of shipping by early June. Essentially, this means that "art freeze" should occur sometime in the middle of May. This task seems daunting in and of itself. With that deadline in mind, that's precisely why we have scaled back on a few enemies (now we only have the main boss and one extra Shellek), our master asset list, and we are simplifying our art style to match something closer to Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and Necropolis. The heart of our visual style is still there, it will just be present in the game in a more ... simplified manner. And it gives us the opportunity to make some more tweaks to the design after a large chunk of the non-art faculty wasn't really feeling it. It's small set-back at the current moment, since we were unable to start on actual asset production ... but it's something that will speed everything else in the long run, and make our end goal that much more feasible. 

In any case, these were some of my passes at Vala! I was messing with some different simplified art styles and some costume changes while keeping to the heart of her initial design. Also the polygon lasso tool is so much fun for concepting. :B 

We had our first MoCap session towards the end of GDC week and will be having our second one this coming Tuesday. We recorded most of Vala's actions to get our actress used to the entire process. Afterwards, I took it upon myself to clean the data in Vicon Blade, then  begin the editing process in MotionBuilder. In the latter program, I was able to successfully loop each animation with the Story editor and fix a large chunk of the imperfections present in the data transfer. Animating the fingers will be done in Maya - along with parenting Vala's bow to the rig when we get to the point of having our own character mesh, rather than the filler one I'm using now.

Anyway. Here's some animations that I was able to work on between everything else we were working on this week.

An idle cycle.

A walk cycle.

The walk cycle was the first animation that I finished a first pass for, so I chucked that in the unreal engine to see if it worked properly. Good news? It does! YAY.

As for homework on the animation front ... I've almost finished the chair animation. Thank. This assignment has been particularly difficult for me simply because I don't like looking at it. If I had the time to start over and try something else (which is probably what I should have done weeeeeeeks ago) then I'd feel much more positively about it. It's not as bad as I'm making it out to be but, hey, you're your own worst critic. :3

Things to do? Still, clean up transitions, fix poses, and end at the beginning pose so it can loop.


Our new assignment is one that focuses on overlap (something I need a lot more work on!). For this homework, we're using a pendulum - BUT DON'T BE FOOLED, this assignment deceives you by APPEARING easy when it's hardly that! You have to be very mindful about overlap, physics, and what to push so it looks good rather than purely go for realism. This go around, I aimed for something a lot more simplistic so I can focus on the topic itself. I didn't want to make something long and purposely difficult just for the sake of it when uh ... I've been in desperate need of bettering my overlap. Like a lot. I need to get away from that "mechanical" feel that's BEEN PLAGUING ME FOR A WHILE.

 In any case, this is my first pass at this assignment! The base of the motions are there. For my next pass, I'll be able to add in some finer details to pull it all together. :3c

That's it for this week~

Monday, March 21, 2016

Dinosaurs Agogo


Remember that? That's still in the thing.

A chunk of my break went into getting more work done for Game Lab when there was still enough of a window of time to actually accomplish that. It's been a lot of fun to work on Dinopedia! It really has a fun theme and a game mechanic that reminds me a lot of Pokemon Snap from waaaay back when I was a kid, which makes it even more awesome. With the Spring semester finishing up around the end of April, our work on Dinopedia will be ending then too. On the artist side, we just have a few more models and animations to make, along with some UI elements, and our work will be finished for this awesome thing here. It's really starting to come together into something really nifty! 


Looking Back

Hey there! We have reached the end of Spring Break and GDC week, so it's about time that I update this blog with something. The good news? Ley Lines made it past Vertical Slice two weeks ago! Yippee! I've used some of my break to prepare for the hecticness of Capstone that is to come. That preparation was mostly me familiarizing myself with Motion Builder and how to properly edit MoCap data and loop it. That's a post for another time, though.

AHEM.  Given that our last semester at FIEA is an internship or Venture Track ... it's safe to say that everyone in the Cohort is halfway finished with their time here.  In thinking about that, I looked back to my portfolio that (somehow) got me into FIEA.

Applying to come to this school was a last minute decision on my part. My school had this career fair for seniors in February and FIEA had a booth there (nifty!). I was particularly interested because I've been playing with the idea of attending FIEA since 2012 (time sure flies!). Sooo, sometime in March, I was just sort of "WELL THAT WOULD BE COOL" towards the idea of graduate school. After finishing my undergraduate senior project and a FIEA tour later, then I went through the hell of speed applying. Then the rest is history. SO. AFTER THAT LITTLE BIT OF STORY TIEM, I figured that I would place my admissions portfolio here so I can look back to later and cringe at even more than I am right now. 

In my last semester, I took a screenwriting class and the thing I wrote was called "Progeny". Whiiiich was just an intergalactic story about imperialism and keeping your heritage alive. These were some character and environment designs for that! My protagonist was a Sioux girl nicknamed Mana.

If you wondered if I get any lamer than I already am: the answer is yes. Proudly yes.


And these were some of my assignments from the 3D Modeling & Animation classes I took with Stephen Ellis. I used to think that these were so AWESOOOOOOME but now the animation makes me cringe so hard when I look back to it.

With the emphasis on "ANATOMY" in FIEA's admission videos, I felt like I had to include some of that, especially after taking enough drawing classes where we did nothing but that. With how nitpicky I was about my existing work, these two were made specifically for my portfolio.

For my senior project at Stetson University, I made an 8-minute animated storybook with an accompanying art/story book. It somehow won Third Place in Video & Audience Choice at my school's Digital Media Festival. ( ≧Д≦)

You can see the art book here: [ LINK ]

Looking back at your old stuff can be pretty painful. Though, it's also pretty cool when you know how much you've improved since then. :] 

Saturday, February 27, 2016


HEY THERE. How's it going?

Spring break is slowly etching upon us and boy does everyone in the Cohort need it. Everything has been pretty hectic this semester and the stress of it all has probably been the cause of some bubbling tensions. Everyone could use those two weeks of break / GDC and just focus on their own thing for a little while. Me included. As much as I like being kept busy, it's all starting to wear me out a little bit. Fortunately, the finalized art style guides for Ley Lines will be due by the end of the week. Creating a style guide is a very time-intensive process. It's safe to say that about 90% of my time at FIEA these last few weeks has been dedicated to Capstone alone, and the rest of the 10% to my other classes. orz. Creating an art style guide revolves around so many rounds of iteration so you could just get just the right look, the right silhouette, and the right overall mood. That, in itself, wouldn't be too much of a problem. Along the way, our team experienced the difficulties of personalities clashing and the challenge of uniting our art styles. Those two things tended to set us back often. Somehow, though, things are working out for us as we gear towards the finish line. Getting some time to myself (and with my doge) sounds so great right now. :3c


This chair animation is still a thing for us. I'm not too thrilled with how mine looks so far because there's still so much to fix until it becomes something worth showing off. We were lucky enough to get an extension on this assignment because the animators of this Cohort are a bunch of overachievers (teehee). So, I'm going to be working to get this even better! I'm starting to see the improvements each week. I've definitely come a long way since my first go with animating anything.

The first pass was teeeerrible.

The second pass ... >w>;;

It's slowly coming together! We're all definitely getting better.

As for Ley Lines ... a recent chunk of my work has been working on in-game mock-ups. We're having that problem that the faculty still aren't quite sure what our game is even going to look like by the end. Frankly, I don't blame them. As a team, we weren't entirely sure ourselves for longer than we'd like to admit and it's chiefly our fault for not asking the design team sooner. The good news? We're working on that now and the end products are turning out pretty good!

Roselyn and I had a great meeting with Ryo over our mock-ups & environment. We ended up rendering a frame on Keyshot with him and he showed us some ways to paint over it. I took that and worked on it to try to get the feel we were aiming for. There's still plenty more to be done to this, though, until it's finished! But it's looking great so far. ♥ 

For this mock-up, I took one of Andrew's screenshots and redrew it to make it look pretty spiffy. We've been using adobe architecture as inspiration lately so I just took that and rolled with it. Fortunately, this reads a lot easier than our previous mock-up! There's probably some more edits I'd like to make to this as well since I really don't know when to stop.

One of my title logo designs was chosen! o: Which is pretty rad, if I do say so myself. I've been working on finalizing that so we can obnoxiously slap it on everything we use to promote the game. I'm going to be working on recoloring this, though, so it can fit far better with every kind of media. I found that the title clashed a little too much with more colorful backgrounds with patterns to it (our art style guide). I'm liking it so far, though! :3

On Thursday ... I got a chunk of free time so I was finally able to draw something for myself. :'D And it just happened to be one of my characters. hehe. Aaaand that's it for this update!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Got Me Begging for MERCY

It's the middle of February already! Vertical Slice will be upon is in a little more than two weeks.
It's relieving knowing that the work for the art style guide is going to be set in stone very soon and we won't have to worry about major foreseeable art style changes. Because of the work that's been going into Capstone, there hasn't been too much time to focus on anything else. My non-Capstone centered classes (which amounts to Game Lab and Animation) ended up taking a second priority. It was stressed to the artists that past students were made to choose between their specialization classes and Capstone. Something had to give because we (unfortunately) don't have the power to stop time so we could give both the attention it deserves. 

So far, I've managed to force some kind of balance between the two. Most weeks, I can still put my best effort into my Animation assignments and maybe manage an extra one or two. This week, I underestimated the amount of time I had on my hands to devote to my Animation homework. As a result, my second pass at this is not refined nearly as early as I initially planned. Ironically, this was after the guest speaker on Friday told us about managing time, scheduling, and anticipating how long you'd take on tasks. Hurrhurr. Definitely not gonna allow this to happen again. 

Any which way! Here's the animation. For having simple as hell movements, it ended up becoming pretty long. o:

You can read that awesome Ley Lines development blog of ours to see all the details about how that game is coming so far. We've experienced some hiccups in team dynamics and whatnot, but we've rallied so we could become far more focused this week. Managing to finish these tasks early to have enough time for iteration (and not ignoring specialization classes) is definitely a feat. Definitely. NONETHELESS. Here's some things I'm currently working on!

Goooooooood shit. 👀 👌👌👌👌👌

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Smells Like Capstone

Sooo ... updating. That's been getting pretty slow recently because of all the time that's been devoted to working on the Capstone project. If you want to check out the development of Ley Lines - or any of the other Capstone games Cohort 12 has been working so hard on - check out the links in the new side gadget. You really won't be disappointed.

This is the first taste of creating a large scale video game for most of us. Last semester, we managed to create five rapid prototypes of games with different themes. Well, they were meant to be prototypes. Most of those video games ended up being finished mini games and that's fantastic. The Cohort is taking that same drive and applying it to their Capstone projects and the results thus far are amazing. As artists, there's currently the existing challenge of uniting our art styles while not being entirely sure what our end goal even is because the art style is still developing. Nonetheless, we're all doing extremely well and are already close to achieving professional quality in our work. The perfectionist in me is determined to push it each and every week until we get nothing but raving reviews.

So! What else has been happening? Game Lab. That's a thing. We're going to be making a small-scale educational game for that class over the course of the semester. The game I'm involved in is currently titled Dinopedia. As you can probably guess, this will be a game that focuses on teaching middle school students about dinosaurs, their different time periods, eating habits, physical attributes, and evolution. Dinopedia is inspired by that one awesome Nintendo 64 game: Pokemon Snap.

As the player character, apprentice to the Dino Professor, you get to travel through time to find different types of dinosaurs in the Jurassic, Triassic, and Cretaceous periods. You can lure out these dinosaurs with certain food so you can take a picture of them and record the information about the photoed dinosaur. There's more features to this game, but that may definitely undergo iteration once we truly begin work on it. For now, there's some concept art I've done for the game while practicing on some new digital painting techniques we learned from Ryoma Tazi. Also, I have a mighty love for the Cintiq. So mighty. Wow.

Other things? Animations! We're still making iterations on our quadruped walks and runs. Fortunately, we're all down to the stage where we just have minute details we have to fix. Jonathan's done a pretty good job at training us to have a hyper critical eye to our own animations! Especially with that blessing of each of us getting 20 minutes in class to truly dissect each and every thing we do. The perks of there just being three animators in that class. Teehee.  I'm currently working on finalized versions of my quadruped run and my take animation. Though, here are the last iterations of those!

Quadruped run. G2G FAST.

"OH SHIT". Pass number two.

I've begun on a side animation just to explore more avenues for Ley Lines. This is just a half-finished first pass at a dance for Vala's Prisima Tribe. During my iterations of design for those nomads, I've been heavily inspired by indigenous people - this time around, the Sami people and Ainu people in particular. This animation is being based on the Ainu's "Dance of Black Hair". It'll look muuuch better when I can put more time into it! But it's a decent base so far.

On the topic of Ley Lines, I've also been practicing merging the styles of Lara Croft Go and Moebius - our chief inspirations. After talking to Ryoma more about designs and whatnot, these are some current iterations of the Temple Guard designs. I've been taking the silhouettes I made last week and really trying to focus on that polygonal look we're aiming for.  

That's it for general updates! CHECK OUT THE CAPSTONE BLOGS FOR MORE STUFF.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Happy New Year!


2016 is finally here! With that comes the beginning of the Spring semester. Thiiis time around, I'm going to be devoting much more of my time entirely into Animation, learning motion capture, and the Capstone process! These are skills I'm definitely going to need to refine much better before we get deep into working on our video games (and everything becomes more hectic).

On that subject, we have continued working on our quadruped animations! We have been refining our walks and starting up on quadruped runs. Already, I've gotten a little overzealous and finished up my second pass of the run before the first one was even due. The good news? This leaves me a lot more opportunity to refine all of my other animations and begin some passes/practice for Leyline's main character.

For the quadruped run, I chose to do a rotary gait. When attempting to work on a transverse gait, the steps (as I was posing them) looked extremely bizarre and random. So that gait would probably have to be something I work up to for extra practice. In any case, the rotary gait isn't looking half bad right now!

This would be the fixed up walking animation! It's not quite finished, though.

For some more practice, I did a rest animation. My pup Nanna serves as the best sort of inspiration! 


The first eight weeks of Common Core art is going to focus primarily on crafting our Capstone project's artist style guide. The first step of that is picking three artist influences and making some mood concept drawings based off of their styles. For Leylines, our first two (confirmed) artistic influences are Jean Giraud (our main inspiration) and Hayao Miyazaki. Our third influence is more up in the air. Because I had issues animating today, I chose to do a drawing based off of Lara Croft Go's artistic style. For each individual drawing, I attempted to use every conception style Ryo showed us during our Digital Painting workshop. It turned out pretty neat! Though, these'll be techniques I'm definitely going to work more on developing.

A great thing is that open Motion Capture workshops have begun! Hopefully soon I'll be able to do it all without aid ... I'm gonna need to review Vicon Blade a lot better. orz. In any case, I made a current in-progress chart that details the motion capture markers. Some things are likely off, so I'm gonna need to go back and this graphic after a few more workshops. teehee.

In Technical Art, we have been working on some animation tips and tricks. I had a lot of fun learning how to use the auto-rigger (that's definitely going to come in handy later), which would give us a proxy rigged character in our game character's proportions. It's pretty nifty! Up until those classes, I was concerned with how animators would be able to work before anything we even close to being made. It'll definitely come in handy. Soon, we're moving on to classes about more refined rigging! I can't wait,. :3 

It's feeling good to be back.