Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hard Times Animation Process

I really enjoyed working on The Hard Times of RJ Berger. The main challenge was to create 25 different styles of animation over 2 seasons of the show. The way the styles were decided usually depended on the context of what the animation meant to each episode. For example in episode 1 of season 2, RJ has the classic dilemma of choosing between two loves; his long time friend Lily or his dream girl Jenny Swanson. RJ's pal Miles is trying to get RJ to see the gravity of his choices. Going with Lily is a sentence to a life of white trash livin' while on the other hand if RJ went with Jenny Swanson, he'd be living the life of a suave playboy.

Both situations that Miles describes are spectrally opposing, so what we wanted to do with this episode was find the styles that epitomize each of these situations.  So we went with a Fox Primetime sort of style, referencing The Simpsons and King of the Hill for the Lily sequence and a Shag/Tiki style for the Jenny Swanson Sequence.

Budget and deadlines being what the were on the show, I tried to impliment a solid base level of design in the boards and then cut an animatic from those boards to get the timing of each cut right. Once the animatic was created and approved, we went into a final design stage where a crew of mega talented people created the elements: Characters, Backgrounds, and Layouts. From there the animation process began. Once the first takes of animation came in, we'd cut it into a rough edit to see how it flowed. If any adjustments were needed, they would be handled in the retake stage. Once we locked picture, it would be sent to MTV for final audio and color adjustments. 

Below are the boards with my direction and the final animation from the show.


Until next time...


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wolverine #178 Pencils

It's hard to believe that it's been almost 10 years since I pencilled these pages. I had the fortunate opportunity to work with the incomparable Matt Nixon on this issue. The reason I'm posting these pages is because this was the issue that I was working on when I paid a visit to my pals Lee Bermejo and Carlos D'Anda down at Wildstorm. Why is that the reason? Well because on that trip I got some of the most important drawing tips from Carlos that have completely reshaped how I think about drawing. I saw in his sketchbooks works of genius that completely blew my mind. I'm not exaggerating when I say it was some next-level kind of stuff. There was a sense of form and mechanics that I couldn't fathom at the time. I asked him so many questions. He was able to break down the ideas in his sketchbook in terms that I could grasp, more importantly, apply. If you EVER get a chance to meet Carlos, take the time to ask him for advice on your art. You won't be sorry. 

Here are the pages to Wolverine #178

I hope you enjoyed this post. Happy imagining, creating and sketching.
Until next time...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Convention Sketches

I have to be honest, in the early part of my career in comics, I did some really bad convention sketches; characters in profile or random parts of angry faces. I probably did hundreds of them.They were less than spectacular. I didn't really like doing them. So to remedy that, I decided that I would only do one or two pieces a day, so I could actually do some pieces that I was proud of. Here's something that most people don't know: I didn't charge for them. Why? Well, because I enjoyed doing them more when it was just for the sake of doing them as opposed to the pressure of IF someone liked it or not with their money on the line. Crazy thing is, all of the crappy ones I did early in my career, I see them on ebay. The ones I've done for free and taken my time on, I haven't seen for sale. I rarely go to conventions these days, let alone go as a guest. That said, there's not a lot of these. I thought I'd share.

There you have it.
Until next time...

Couch Doodles

Couch doodles are the little meanderings of my pen while I watch TV. By definition, they are completely freeform, done straight to paper from the pen. No planning, or preliminary sketching. They just come out. Sometimes I get surprised by what comes out. 

Enjoy the madness.
Until next time...