Saturday, September 24, 2016

Acrylic Painting Number One

I've expressed my frustration with the drying time oil paints take, and many fellow painters recommend acrylics.  If you paint, you know the expense involved. You really should keep your brushes separate for each media and not cross over from water color to oils, or oils to acrylics.  I already have an extensive oils set and didn't want to buy something I may not use.  Fortunately I was blessed with acrylic supplies by a friend who was giving up painting.  Now I had no excuse and did this painting for my daughter.

I need to do more to really get a technique down and do better blends.  I may have to do a finished past over the top in oils to get what I want, but this is a start.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Stop Motion in the Digital Age #5: The Hybrid Film

           "Kubo and the Two Strings", Laika's latest film, is about to be released.  It looks fantastic.

In past postings on this blog about stop motion in general, and in the digital age, (type Stop Motion in the search bar to see all the posts), I’ve personally wrestled with the reasoning behind this hybrid style because it seemed as though everything could have been done with computers.  Now, I think the penny has finally dropped, and I’m beginning to understand the logic behind it.

Personally, as an animator who has done both stop-mo and c.g., if I were given a puppet that was well built and allowed me to get the gestures I wanted, and having the same character built as c.g., I would choose the puppet anytime.  Let me explain.  The interface of a  c.g. character is not as immediate or intuitive as touching and moving a puppet.  I could move much faster, and keep my focus on performance by not having to pick through menus and processes that are found in computer animation.  Somewhere in this blog are posts about input devices that would allow a person to manipulate a puppet that moves a c.g. figure, so you can see the idea of 'if only I could just grab this thing and move it around', has been thought about in computer animation.

True, the computer allows you to embellish and improve the animation through a process of refinements, but with the new frame grabbing software programs like Dragon Stop Motion, you can see your scene as you are animating, and play it back at real time, and make changes to your animation without re-shooting your whole scene, similar to the computers allowing refinements.  Both styles of animation are time consuming and take great skill, so where's the advantage?

Here’s the logic:  By building your character as a stop motion puppet you have the speed and intimacy of stop motion, plus the new power of digital assistance while animating, in rig removal, facial replacements. And by building a c.g. character, it can be manipulated with no restrictions, (armatures, support rigs,) for facial animation, special effects, populating crowd scenes, and it would interface with particle programs and other c.g. dynamics making the best of both worlds.

We’ve already talked about computers used to export or rapid proto type printing of props and full color replacement heads, and we talked about computers for sets and environments where characters are added into it through green screen. 

The computer has changed the way films are made in every way. Live action movies are loaded with effects no one would know were there until shown.  Computers have change the way animated films are made, people no longer using paper and pencil, paint or even film. So, I think I finally get it.

Kudos to Laika and “Kubo and the Two Strings”.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Smallest Portraits Received

Finished 14"X11" Portraits
Framed Painting

I just received word that the 14"X11" double portrait arrived safely and also a picture of it framed.  Nice choice! 

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Smallest Portraits to Date (Work in Progress)

I'm just about done with this 14"x11" commissioned oil painting.  It's been a challenge not only because of the small size, but also because the source photo given to me for reference was aged and color faded.  The client is happy with the likenesses so now I can finish this up soon!  
14"x11" Full Figure Portraits

Detail to Show Scale (Need to clean up areas around brides head)

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!