Production Update 174: Off Week

I spent some time this past week unwinding and getting ready for the gardening season. It was an enjoyable week to be out in nature. I even hit a nearby park with one of my friends and we had a pleasant mod morning hike, enjoyed some iced coffee and of course we talked creative endeavors. This week I spent some time reflecting on things that was probably long overdue since it has been a hectic past few months with wrapping up class, finishing up episode 1 and launching the Patreon page and more.


While I did take a break from actual production this week, all was not lost. I have been working on some behind the scenes things. One of them, I am going to keep under wraps for now. The other task was gathering some reference images for some designs for the e-book cover, which will be one of the next items I will be working on.

I will be sharing some of the things I have been reflecting on over the course of the next few weeks. It has been nice return to normalcy since school has wrapped up. Looking forward to sharing some of the content I have in mind for future posts.

Recap of Start Up Weekend

If you recall, I didn’t get much work done this past weekend because I was participating in my first Start-Up Weekend Sioux Falls. Here’s how it works.

On Friday evening all of the attendees have the opportunity to pitch ideas in one minute of something they would like to build over the weekend. After all of the pitches are made, everyone in attendance gets the chance to vote on ideas they would like to work on. At this point some of the ideas are cut. After that, everyone has the opportunity to actually join a team and some of the ideas that passed the initial cut have to condense down to fill out teams. Before we ended the night on Friday, we set a direction of our project and what we aim to get done each day.

Saturday we put in a long day and started work on our project. I worked on design and animating and other members of the team worked on development and on the business side of things. At moments in the day, all of the teams met back together and would briefly go over the progress they made, problems and what we planned on getting accomplished after the break. At the end of Saturday we were sitting pretty well off with assets and direction.

Sunday I got an early start and worked on some more visuals. We practiced rehearsing our presentation and we put together final assets that we would need for our pitch. The afternoon was spent polishing the presentation and being there in case the presenters needed anything.

In the early evening, each team gave their presentations and the judges voted who the winner was. While the team I was on didn’t win, it was a very exciting experience. I felt we created a strong product in the time we had and hope we can maybe explore it a bit more.  Maybe at a later day I can share more about the project.

It was a great experience to challenge myself and to meet new people as well. Of course the challenge of creative thinking and building something in that short of a period of time is something that I will always enjoy. I would encourage all of you to try one at least once!

Rage Session 7: Tips for Character Design

I haven’t wrote a “rage session” for a while and I had this topic on my mind for a while now. It started one night on a Facebook discussion with one of my friends who was struggling with some character designing for a character in an animation he was working on. So I thought I would share some thoughts and more on it and also some process behind what I do for character design, such as; choosing hair (color, style, etc), clothing, distinguished marks and more.

One of the main things that potentially gets overlooked when designing characters is functionality. What I mean by that is, does what the character wear, use and even hairstyle match what the character is doing. Let’s look at the below example, Tomb Raider.

0078868740008_500X500If you are not familiar with Tomb Raider (Lara Croft), she usually is out in the wild looking for treasures and solving puzzles. The places she explores range from the jungle to ancient ruins and more. She often gets into danger, hence why she is carrying weapons. Do you see where this is going? Her shorts and tight shirt are to help not only keep her cool in the jungle climates, but they also won’t interfere with her as she is performing all of the jumps and running throughout the world. If her clothes were baggy, long and not tight fitting, they could get in her way if she has climbing or other maneuvers to perform. She has a little pack to carry items in that she finds on her journey. Notice her hair? It’s in a ponytail, otherwise her hair would be in her face as she was running, jumping and tomb-raiding. Her design is practical for the world she will be living and interacting in.

Let’s take a look at a couple more characters.

Rurouni+Kenshin_wallpapers_89These two characters are Kenshin (left with red hair) and ShiShio (Blue and on the right). The characters are set in historic Japan, which is why the two characters are wearing traditional clothing. The main points of these characters are ways of converting their history into their character design. For instance, Kenshin has a scar on his face. In the story, Kenshin was an assassin and killed many people. The scar is a way to show the viewer constantly his past. If you were flipping through channels, and came across this show and saw Kenshin, without knowing any of the story, you would immediately tell he had a rough past.

Shishio on the other hand, you get the same vibe of a troubled past. However, the bandages are a little more mysterious because we don’t know why he is covered in them. This uneasy and mysterious vibe help play into his role of the bad guy. We eventually find out they are covering his burns, but he could have easily been scarred like Kenshin from a blade or he could have some kind of deformation, skin disease or more.

So let’s take one last character, Light from Deathnote.



Light is a high school student that discovers a notebook in which he can use to kill people. However, the majority of the story is based heavily in the real world which means his outfit needs to be the same.

Light is a smart kid, the smartest in his class and a master at planning. To reflect his high IQ, his school uniform needs to portray that it is a higher end school. The tie and jacket give his uniform that extra boost of prestigiousness. His pants appear pressed, he is sporting dress shoes and the shirt is tucked in as well. You could argue that all of this is pretty normal, which it is, the show is based in the real world with some other worldly aspects. But we are overlooking one key area to Light’s character, his hair. His longer hair reflects his darker mischievous side.

When Light is distressed, his hair and tie are used to reflect his inner emotions and become frazzled and unkept. So it is important to see how you can use these supporting design elements to help convey emotions if need be.

If you have your own favorite characters, look at their design and see how it fits and supports their role in the universe and if it is functional as well.



Announcement: New Site Launch

Sorry for the late post today, it’s been a busy day. The big news I wanted to share with everyone today was the launching of my new site Reanimated Fallout a site where I can give back to the animation and motion graphics community by helping designers with software and WHY we make the decisions we do.

I have always been interested in teaching, I have taken teaching courses in high school and college and wanted to combine two of my passions. I am also doing a lot of experimenting with programs and techniques for Cosmic Rage, and I want to be able to share those and discuss them with other designers and animators. We all can learn things from one another.

It also allowed me to start putting my website coding and design skills to work as I look to expand my abilities into those areas. A mobile site will be in the works after I get a better understanding of javascript and jquery. The javascript and jquery will come in handy as I am looking to build out the cosmicrage website as well to make it more interactive and also for the episodes as well.

I have some great ideas for the cosmic rage site and I am very excited to start developing it sometime in 2013 and making it a unique user experience. Stay Tuned!