Production Update 205: Script Draft is Complete!

The first script draft for episode 2 is wrapped up. I am passing the script off to a couple other script-writers and film-makers for them to take a look over it and try to poke some holes in it in case I missed something or if I need to clarify areas that pop up. I am very excited to be sharing it with people and having them taking their first look at it.

I am going to give them some time to look over the script, so in the mean time, starting this weekend, I am going to be laying out files for an art show in May at a local coffee shop. It’ll be the first time that Cosmic Rage artwork will be hanging up for people to see and also see the process and behind-the-scenes type work for the project. Everything will be ready to go after the weekend to take to the printer.

I am going to do some behind-the-scenes content on the art show and the preparations, so I will have some new video content coming up next week. Thank you for your support! Good things are coming 😀

Production Update 120: Final Project Complete!

What a week, lots of exciting news and even a project to share with all of you. On a personal note, I actually spent some time apartment hunting this week. Found a new apartment and hopefully will get some paperwork done this week to get it wrapped up and official! I already got a sweet spot picked out for the desk and all the toys that need to go with it!

Now the moment you have all been waiting for… FINALS UPDATE. So around two months ago I decided to take a 6 week intensive course (didn’t know the final project would take 2 weeks). I took it for a variety of reasons. One being it really pushed a tool in After Effects called the curve editor. It was something I never really utilized since I spent a lot of time in the sports graphics world with tight turnarounds and tight deadlines. It was something that got looked over unfortunately.

The second reason was seeing how this class would be taught. I have always had an interest in education and art education so I wanted to see the style of the class just out of curiosity. I can say that I learned a lot in this course and I really enjoyed meeting new animators.

So without further delay, my final project!

I hope you enjoyed it, I certainly had a blast working on it.

With Cosmic Rage back on top of my priority list, I am looking forward to spearheading the current scene I am working on. I was able to get some final backgrounds rendered for the next few shots I want to work on. I am setting the goal of Valentines day weekend of having this scene wrapped up. I currently have 9 more shots to do.

Finally, I am working towards getting things gathered up to apply for an art grant for the project. I looked over all of the paperwork today and have some questions I need to get answered before going forward with that. It needs to be in by the end of the month.

More conventions, panels and artist allies may be in the works as well. I will keep you all up to speed on this front as news comes in!

Looking forward to getting back on Cosmic Rage! Let’s get shit done this month!


Production Update 116 Let’s Get Started!

I hope everyone had a good holiday break, got to spend some time with family and also got all the Christmas goodies you asked for! Personally, I enjoyed some time with some family but we didn’t celebrate Christmas yet, since we are waiting for my sister to travel up here to actually open gifts and such. I did get some good stuff I ordered from RightStuf to tide me over; titles such as Persona 4 and Blast of Tempest. At some point in 2015 I will be able to provide reviews of them. Let’s get down to business though.

I have reached the halfway point of the online animation class I have been taking, it is a 6 week intensive with lots of homework but I can see the course already paying off and I know it will be fine tuned from work and also on the Cosmic Rage project. I did finish up framing the remaining shots for the current scene I am starting. The next step is an animatic, which I aim to get done before next week’s production update. This will depend on the homework assignments through the week and also some travel time, but I feel I should be able to get this completed since I have the compositions laid out and also have the assets pieced together, leaving me with laying some keyframes down this week for timing purposes.

Next time I post it will be 2015!

Production Update 115 Slow and Steady

This week I started working on roughing out a new scene comprised of ten different shots. Currently I am laying out the cameras to get the framing and composition of the shots correct. Admittedly I didn’t get as much as I wanted done this weekend as I intended due to the short online course I am taking. However, the things I am learning in the course will be worth the short term lack of updates. If you want to check out one of the animation assignments from the course, check out the Cosmic Rage Facebook page.

Audio has also been approved for 4 scenes and is all caught up with what I have animated. The goal for the holiday week is to wrap up the framing and composition of the remaining shots and get started piecing things together and getting animation started. With the holiday I won’t be posting up any entries on Thursday this week, so we will see you next week with a new Production Update!

Production Update 112 Test Renders

With all of the late hours and work from Start-Up Weekend here in Sioux Falls, I skipped the production update last night, getting to it tonight. Last week I sent off a scene to get audio done. I also found out I have one of the shots complete for the upcoming scene I am working on. Over the past week I have been doing some test renders on another shot. I have been having some texturing issues that I have been working through, still plugging away on getting the right setting and tags set up. I am hoping to get them resolved tonight  so I can get things rendering and work on more shots this weekend, in which I need the 3D backgrounds rendered out. My goal of getting this scene done over the weekend is in jeopardy.

On deck for this week is getting the 3D environment fixed for this scene. I also am going to be taking my test e-book to a local art critique tomorrow night and getting some more feedback from fellow artists.


Planning for 2015

With the big announcement earlier this week, I wanted to share a little bit of what the future holds for 2015 and Cosmic Rage. I mentioned about aiming to have the e-book version out by the end of winter and then hope to flesh it out to a full animated episode.

I have been working on recruiting potential people to help the Cosmic Rage project in a variety of ways, mostly in an effort to speed up production on episode 2.

I have also been looking into the con schedule for 2015 and have several picked out. Of the cons I have picked out, I plan on doing a couple artist alleys and applying for panel presentations at all of them as well. Most of the cons I have picked out are in the midwest area, so if you know of any or have any suggestions, feel free to contact me. Looking forward to seeing you all in 2015!

Production Update 109

Admittedly, I didn’t get the week off to the aggressive start I wanted to. I had some thing I had to prepare for the retreat that took a bit more time than I originally thought. However, I did make some good progress on the retreat and in the car on the way home.

The retreat went well, spent some quality time with co-workers and learned more about our team. In the meantime, I was able to wrap up one shot, and get another prepared on the car ride. That shot will be wrapped up this week. I have three shots this week I am confident I can finish up, and 2 more shots that might take a little bit longer. Now down to 5 shots before finishing up this scene.

I have a 3D render to set up tomorrow night for one of the upcoming shots, that should take about 2 nights to render out.

I might have some travel at the end of the week, I should know more later this week. Next week I will aim to get up some new production art again for you!


Recent Reading: Flowers of Evil Volume 11

The day has finally come, the release date for the final volume of Flowers of Evil by Shuzo Oshimi. For the duration of the series, I have been long praising it as a model for character development and emotional artwork. Volume 11 added a new reason to read the series, Oshimi’s amazing ability to tell a story without relying on dialogue. There is a phrase in the comic and manga world “Show, don’t tell” and the final installment of Flowers of Evil does just that.

There are chunks of pages where the character expressions and environments tell the story so well that words are not needed. Truly amazing and strongly suggested as a series from me.

I got into the manga series after I watched the anime series and since the series wasn’t getting an ending, I needed to dig into the manga to get a resolution. I will admit, there were a couple volumes that had me a little concerned with how the story was going to play out, but the resolution was solid and didn’t leave me with any regrets or empty hands.

Volume 11 of Flowers of Evil has a chapter with some fantastic artwork that is very stylized. The stylization of the artwork works well since it is the way of a character telling a story.

After wrapping up the Flowers of Evil, I can whole-heartedly recommend this title to anyone, volume 11 did nothing to change my feelings on the piece. You can pick up all the volumes from Vertical.

Production Update 108

Recap time for the week, here we go. I revised some of the shots from last week, completing some small edits. I wanted to adjust a couple things that were bothering me, such as some of the animation timing and animation curves which control how smooth things play, happier with the revisions.

I had a shot where I was experimenting with some particles to get a desired effect during a fight scene, wanting to replicate some blood splatters. I decided to use a vector splatter and animate the different layers instead.

It’s been a while since I went to an art critique and since I recently found out about a local group meet-up, I introduced some of the my fellow local artists to the Cosmic Rage universe. I had time for some Q/A to explain my process a bit and touch on some inspiration. For the next critique I am going to be taking my test e-book in and get feedback on that.

I finished up another shot as well. This one had some character animation on Zeth so it was nice getting back into the swing of things and rigging the characters. I continue to learn more about layering and building the characters as I go.

For this upcoming week, it will be a short one. I have a work retreat towards the end of the week so travel will be involved. I am aiming to have an aggressive start of the week to make up for it since I am hoping to get the first episode out at the end of winter. Looks like I have about 6 more shots before I finish this first fight scene.

Recent Viewing: A Good Day to Die Hard

Action movies have a special place in my movie realm, after all, I grew up on action movies as a kid. When we would go visit family we would watch whatever action movie my uncle had on tape, which mostly was made up of a collection of Lethal Weapons and Die Hards. I recently watched all of those films in the last month or so while I was working on Cosmic Rage. Of course every time I finish watching a franchise like that I have to go online and see when the next in the franchise is going to be released. For instance, rumors online are that Lethal Weapon will be rebooted in the coming years. However, I haven’t seen the latest film in the Die Hard franchise so I decided to remedy that.

The film has the premise of John McClane (Bruce Willis) goes to Moscow to rescue his son who is in prison, only to find out that his son is a spy and is protecting a political prisoner. While the premise of the film sounds like it could potentially be solid, there were certain things in the film that didn’t fit the series and it felt out of place. My main complaints with A Good Day to Die Hard had too much CGI and it really felt like bruce Willis was handing the franchise over to his son Jack character, Jai Courtney.

The film followed around the 2 McClane’s as they argue about what to do and past history that we never get a glimpse of. The two characters have a rift between them and we get nothing as a member of the audience and only get a resolution at the end that feels predictable. As they venture through Moscow and eventually out of the city, Willis’s character seems to pass on his knowledge to his son, which is why the film feels like they are introducing a new character to lead the franchise.

Bruce Willis’s character relies so much on knowledge of the previous films. This hurts the film in two areas. The first being character development; since his character is already developed and has been in the previous 4 films, there isn’t much left at this point for them to do considering the character’s age. The second is the character’s karma. We know his luck in situations and we know how his brain works, so when he has a gut reaction to certain situations, it really foreshadows the film because he is never wrong. The premise of the movie felt better suited for another franchise, not one with a well established character.