Production Update 90

It has been a couple weeks since I posted to the site. I took some time off to wrap up a quick turnaround freelance project and then I spent some time with family that traveled to South Dakota to visit and also started to show my girlfriend around the city since she recently moved across the country to South Dakota this past week as well. So all in all a pretty exciting last couple weeks.

In the previous post I mentioned that I applied for an artist alley table at a convention. Well, I heard back and I have been accepted ūüėČ you can check out the new page to the site, Con Appearances, for more information, but later this fall I will be making my artist alley debut at AnimeFargo.¬†I am really excited for the opportunity to talk to other artists and share my artwork and get feedback from fans.

As for production this last week, I wrapped up a new shot. Check it out below.


I also imported more artwork into the animation program I use, After Effects, so there are a few other shots that have been lightly started.

As for this week’s agenda, I want to get several more shots done. Towards next weekend, I would like to start 3D modeling another environment. I also have a few side projects I want to get done this week as well, such as recording another animation tutorial for my other website and also our first animation group meet up in Sioux Falls is Thursday! Very exciting week ahead of me.

Production Update 89

Production Update time is here again. This week I was able to finish up the 3 shots I was doing pre-work on last week. Here is a piece of production art from this weeks batch.

Match Faceoff

I did have a render issue with one of the shots that I discovered early in the week so I had to re-render that over the course of the week. It was a simple matter of adjusting the anti-aliasing. When you have the setting too low on certain materials it looks “noisy” or pixels will look like they are flickering between frames.

I also received some new audio files from my sound partner, Looking forward to compiling a few shots and getting them added into the test story file. Speaking of test story file, I was experimenting with some animation for the type and have found that none of the available solutions are working the way I want. I might look into coding something that will work the way I need it to. I need to talk to someone more experienced in the code department to see if it is something I can make or if it is too complex. Should be fun!

I will be starting the first shots of the actual fight scene soon too. I might dabble in that area this week but I have also started prepping some things for the next scene, which means 3D models and things like that. The reason for this, is that I can get 3D files rendering at night while I sleep and after work I can work on the fight scenes since the environment is already created.

A couple quick side notes. I applied for my first artist alley and panels at a con this fall. I should know soon if I will be accepted and I am very excited for the potential opportunity to share my work and hopefully help aspiring artists. I also have everything in order for the first animation meet up in my city in a couple weeks. Very excited to meet other local artists and can’t wait to share animation tips, software, etc with all of them. Just some of the behind the scenes stuff going on!


Behind the Scenes: 3D environments

I have been planning on writing this post for a while and now I have the artwork to show for it. One of the reasons I chose this workflow for Cosmic Rage, was that I could model environments in 3D and position cameras around to capture different backgrounds that I need. For instance, the image below is one of how my 3D environment is set up.

Environment wireframeYou can see several views, all wireframes, of the ring, lighting and notable scene items such as; the ring, entrance ramp and the large entrance display. The 2 green outlined cameras, allow me different shots of the scenes.

production arena0500The above image is a rough render from a camera. This will give you an idea of the textures for each item in the scene. The large gray panel, can be replaced in another program (After Effects) to provide graphics for the characters entrances.

4-3 Fenix Entrance

In this shot, I repositioned the camera to frame up on the entrance ramp. You can see same blue barrels (with flames) in this shot as in the shot above. All of the objects retain their 3 dimensional space, so you need to reference a couple angles when laying out objects.

Zeth_fanfareThis is a recent image from earlier this week, again with a new camera angle. Again, all of the texturing, lighting and such stay the same to keep scenes looking consistent.

Fenix titleThe above image shows that I modeled the entire back wall that you couldn’t see in previous images, so I have all 360 degrees of the environment covered.

More in Depth

In the 3D scene, I was able to make things called “object buffers” they would allow me to essentially cut out certain objects so I can place things around them to make them blend into the scene. I’m trying not to get too technical. In each new shot, I can remove these “passes” or object buffers and I don’t need to continually set those up for each shot.

I can position artwork around in the scenes by placing “null objects” in the scenes and exporting them out. By doing this, I can track my illustrations into the scene and not have them float around in 3D space.

Production Update 88

It’s a late post up time, but I hope it is worth the wait for everyone! This last week I had a really productive few days of working on Cosmic Rage. I completed 4 shots and have started prepping another 3 shots for this week. I was hoping to get to them over the weekend but I forgot my laptop cord at home when I visited my parents so I was unplugged all weekend, which is a good thing, it was a nice weekend and I got a chance to get outside and enjoy the weather.

I do owe everyone some production art so here it is!


There have been a few moving parts to Zeth’s intro for the first episode so it was easier to do all of the shots together. The next three are all before the battle begins. If everything goes according to plan, I should get a chance to work on those shots Tuesday night and hopefully start working on a new area.

I am really excited about the amount of progress that was made, and really hoping I can keep things moving along. Thanks for checking out the update!

Recent Reading: Summer Wars Material Book

I took a break in between The Flowers of Evil¬†to read the¬†Summer Wars Material Book¬†from ¬†Udon Entertainment. It isn’t so much a reading book as it is an art book. My art book collection is quite a variety and when I saw a Summer Wars book, I had to add it to my collection. If you haven’t seen¬†Summer Wars,¬†first off where have you been? Seconly, if you haven’t seen it, go watch it now. Check out the trailer below for what you can expect.


After checking out the trailer, you are probably wondering what a material book is. The Summer Wars Material Book covers all kinds of art assets from the movie. As you know, animation is a very time consuming process that involves many artists from a variety of backgrounds and specialties.

With that many people working on the same project, there needs to be a definitive guide for all of the artists to reference so characters are wearing the same clothes, hairstyles and more in each of the shots for continuity.

The book includes all of the character designs from the main characters to the characters that are only involved in a few shots. We have character model sheets and brief descriptions of some of the characters and what they were inspired by.

My personal favorite chapter, involves the designs of the world of Oz. It includes designs of character avatars, typography and even element designs. The book also includes a chapter on the designs, floor plans and more of the house and surrounding area where the majority of the movie takes place.

There is an interview with director Mamoru Hosoda as well. The interview provides some good insight to the start of the film and the retreats they took when they were designing characters and the story. I am always very fascinated to hear how others work and if there is anything I can add into my workflow. It is worth checking out if you are into anime production or the artwork. Hosoda is being regarded as the next Miyazaki too after his latest film¬†Wolf Children.¬†Whether you agree with that assessment, there is no doubting Hosoda’s talent.