Thursday, June 02, 2016

Heavy Metallurgy

I was asked to do a music video that featured heavy metal music.  I've stopped foaming at the mouth but my ears are still bleeding.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Retouching Younger Days

I had the pleasure of restoring an old photo for a friend.  His wife only had this one picture of herself as a teen and it was badly damaged.  This was kind of a tricky restoration because of the back lighting wanting to turn her face into a dark puddle, but my friend was happy with the results, so yahoo.


Dream Project

While my children were growing up, I came across the book "The Boy Who Could Sing Pictures" by Seymour Leichman.  I thought it would make a wonderful animated film and pitched the idea to the studio I was working for at the time.  It's a simple story of a kingdom lead by an inattentive ruler who is kept in the dark by his advisers. The overall atmosphere and mood are excellently captured by the illustrations and I wanted to keep the anthropomorphic sadness the architecture of the peasant township intact.   There are some changes I think would make the story stronger and more dramatic but I still think the book would make a magical animated musical.

Here are my interpretations of the kings advisers Pomp and Circumstance.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Home Grown in 3D

Here's my composite picture called "Home Grown" I did in 3D using vintage photos.  There's a free-view, version where you cross your eyes and focus on the image that forms in the middle.  I've also made an anaglyph version for those with 3D glasses.

You can click on the images to make them bigger.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Happiest Dogs in the World

The client just picked up their oil portraits of Jessy (little girl dog), and Maverick (big Dane guy), and were glad to get it for the Christmas giving.  This was an almost life sized painting and very fun to work on.  I love Jessie's sweet smile and Mavericks goofy grin!   

I hope the owners enjoy this painting for years to come, and that you all have a Very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Maggie and Her Painting

I just received a lovely notice that Maggie MacLean is well pleased with her portrait and so is her owner Kevin. I'm so pleased they both are too. Kevin is a Disney animator now and has many screen credits under his belt. I first met him at the Will Vinton Studios where he was the youngest animator barely out of High school. Go Kevin, go Maggie!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pet Portraits

Yep, I'm doing oil portraits of our best friends.  My introductory prices are set low to grow the business so you may want to take advantage now before Christmas!

Working off of your favorite picture or photo session.  Prices based on one head, and 50% on each additional head.

Canvas Sizes

8 x 10    $175
11 x 14   $275
16 x 20   $375
20 x 24   $475

(503) 659-2872 or (503) 839-9235

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Limited Animation

I’m not ashamed to say I’ve been around awhile, and I’m proud to say I’ve worked in animation professionally for most of that time.  I share a time period similar with legendary animator Eric Goldberg who has repeatedly said his influences were early television which used the best of theatrical shorts to fill it’s ravenous maw with screen time.   Every Hollywood studio had a shorts division, and specifically an animation studio, turning out on average, 12 seven-minute animated cartoons a year.  These cartoons were made by adults and aimed at a general audience who might find them equally as funny as the people who made them. 

Television gave these old shorts a new audience, (they even played the silent cartoons with piano music added), and created a special arena for new cartoons made especially for this media.  Hanna Barbera, who incidentally gave us the wonderful, noisy, and hilarious original “Tom and Jerry” cartoons, made a reputation with their limited animation series and dominated the Saturday morning time slots, and even broke into prime time, with original material.

I was able to watch and learn from it all.  Now, I’ve been given a chance to do some limited animation myself.  The term once was a derogatory slur and called ‘Illustrated Radio’, because of it’s reliance on heavily dialogue driven scripts. Admittedly the over use of dialogue is still a problem with today’s animation, but I digress. 

One technique, used to fill copious screen time with the least amount of animation, is the wide establishing scene, or a master shot.  From this wide perspective all the characters are shown, and then cuts to individual characters in close-up or isolated groups are used to bring focus to who ever is speaking and should be the center of our attention.  Cutting around this main group of people can bring life to a static stage setting and the reuse of mouth shapes and simple gestures used to fill minutes of screen time.

I used this "master shot' method  to pitch an idea for my New Bremen Town Musicians, or BTM to a studio I was working for at the time who wanted to look into web-animation.  Made in Flash before it was thought of as an animation platform, I did two master shots and cut around inside them.  Remember this was done  for a pitch session in-house and never meant to be seen by the public so the sound is awful but I wanted to show it could be done quickly.

I used the same technique for my talented friend, Jim Hardison.   Jim is the creator and writer for “The Helm”, a popular comic book published by Dark Horse.  Jim wanted to keep cost down, and we agreed on a kind of “Scooby Doo” approach.  This is what I came up with for him, ‘limited animation’, using one long panning background; the same recycled animation and a few camera cuts.

It was quite fun and a second one is waiting to have music scored for it.  I hope you enjoy it and you really should check out the comic book, which has some great artwork and very clever writing.