Wednesday, February 26, 2014

VFX Workers protest at Oscars 2014

After the "Life of Pi"/Rhythm and Hues fallout last year, the strife goes on...

                        ("Modern Times" copyright Roy Export SAS)

Of course, the police are concerned with any potential outbreaks of violence. As though a bunch of computer art geeks are going to cause another L.A. riot...

Undercutting to get film deals, and maybe due to not developing original properties? And the "big" studios squeezing every penny they can to get those blockbusters...

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Space Jam 2 - update

Too much up in the air. No one can confirm if LeBron is in or out. If it means jobs in Los Angeles, that's fine. But there must be a way to give Bugs and Daffy relevant exposure without turning them into second bananas to celebrities who will become quickly outdated.

(My cleanup of Taz for a Kool-Aid commercial, Taz copyright Time/Warner)

Story ideas: Have Bugs take on world hunger, organic foods and factory farming? Put Daffy Duck on Wall Street? (He should have gone there years ago after Chuck Jones turned him into a whiny, greedy, little backstabber). Have Elmer Fudd confront the NRA? The sky's the limit, but remember the grief Brad Bird went through with the Iron Giant.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Space Jam 2

Back in the 1990's, I was still new to animation. My days working at Warner Brothers Classic Animation were some of my happiest and proudest times of my life. (Although some folks there thought I was a naive fool for believing that. That's their problem.)

                     (Foghorn Leghorn copyright Time-Warner)

Here's one of my cleanups of Foghorn Leghorn in a Space Jam uniform. It's actually from a McDonald's TV ad we did at Warner Classics, although I did freelance on the film.

But the news of a Space Jam sequel leaves me with mixed feelings. Will it be hand drawn? Will the work be done in the U.S.? Will it be a dud like Looney Tunes-back in Action? (Although I appreciate the work in LT-BIA. I even sort of like it, especially the scenes on the Warner backlots, and the plot device of Daffy Duck getting "fired" to go on an adventure with Brendon Frasier.)

At the time, I was glad to be working on another animated feature. Then a friend pointed out that a star like Bugs Bunny (yeah, he's a fictitious character) should NEVER play second banana to any live action actor or sports celebrity. After taking her to see a private screening at the Warner lot, she nearly clawed my eyes out. It seems I helped write a big corporate love letter to Micheal Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Oi vey.

I admit, the excitement and hoopla at the time completely carried me away. I wanted to show my devotion to animation, and the success of the project. Live and learn I guess.

Just recently, there was a rumor that LeBron James might be in the sequel. But now the news is he is out already. Being a Cleveland area native, it's even harder these days to root for my home teams, especially after LeBron abandoned the Cavaliers. Hey, it's just business right?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014

Ric Heitzman at Curve Line Space gallery

Made it to the opening reception back on Saturday, February. 15th to see Ric Heitzman's illustrations at the Curve Line Space gallery in Eagle Rock. Ric is an Emmy award winning designer, and has worked over seven years on painstaking ink drawings of the various palms growing around southern California. His use of fine line work along with brush and washes make each plant a complex design, and into illustrated characters as well.

Ric's work will be on display till March 8th. There was a good turnout at the Curve Line Space gallery, just the right amount of space for this exhibit. (I especially liked the Felix the Cat faces on one palm tree.)

Tue-Fri 10-6pm . Sat 12-4pm
323.478.9874 .
1577 Colorado Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90041

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day: The secret love life of Herman Bear

This sketch has been sitting around since 2010, and I don't think I'm ever going to finish it. In this fantasy world, Herman Bear has had some relationships, believe it or not. (He's holding some candy and flowers!) Each would-be mate has amazing abilities and backgrounds, so Herman is never sure if the fault lies with him, the lady, or just the species-gap. Who can say?

Starting at the top going clockwise is "Boffette", the high tech jet puffin girl, then Azure, a gazelle lady. Next is Cubcake, the squirrel, kitty, whatever girl. Herman and Cubcake are just friends, they even get on each others nerves like brother and sister.

Heading up again is Sapphire, a horse-lady from his college days. Nuff said! At 9 o'clock is a vixen, her name is unknown. There are a lot of lovely vixens running around in this world, but being a bear made it hard for Herman to keep up with them. Last but not least is Lady Cobra, who is actually quite a sweetheart. They met when Herman Bear saved her life but that's another story.

To Life, Liberty and the happiness of pursuit. Happy Valentines Day!

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Gustavo Duarte graphic novel and comics!

Someone brought in a copy of Gustavo Duarte's graphic novel "Monsters! and Other Stories" to the lab today. All I can say is-watch out Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes), Ben Balistreri (Seaweed) and Jeff Smith (Bone)! Bold, yet subtle inking on ironic characters and brilliant visual storytelling without any dialog. Very clever sense of humor.

Little bit of Michel Gagne or even some Vaughn Bode' in there too. Hurry up and get a copy soon!

                           (Artwork copyright Gustavo Duarte)

UPDATE: There is some disturbing (but still cool) imagery in "Monsters! and Other Stories. Just in case the little ones are curious. (Now all the Bart Simpsons will want to see it.)

Sunday, February 02, 2014

3d Printer World Expo in Burbank

Got to see some interesting machines; got to get the stereo lithography plugin to work in Maya!

Creating Glass Shatter Effect using Maya nCloth

Very handy tutorial on breaking stuff in Maya! This may save the day for the project Woodbury is animating for the Bob Hope airport in Burbank.

Copyright Azhagu Raj Pandian

Hey, it can't all be doodles and sketches, right? Besides, the Super Bowl isn't holding my attention. Not that I'm a Denver fan, but the game is no fun when when one side gets steamrollered.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Year of the Horse 2014

Happy New Year folks, late again. Spoiler Alert! Obsidian, the Pegasus, meets Herman Bear. I don't know if I'll ever finish this comic, but I'm proud of this splash page.
I didn't want just another horse-guy with a super hero body, so I gave Obsidian a deeper backstory. However, I haven't settled on how he lost his legs, and how he gained his wings. Visually, I think he stands out more, and he's not just another "petting zoo person".