27 October 2020
This time I tried something with more dimension to it than a leaf. Painted mostly in Krita with some touching up in Affinity Photo. The actual pumpkin had more bumpiness to its skin, much more than I did here.I don't have the skills to pull that kind of detail off. It looks like what it is supposed to be so that's something. It just doesn't look exactly like the actual object I panted it from. I should not judge it on that criteria maybe since photorealistic is not what I'm trying to do. Still I would like to learn how to paint the sort of highly textured detail as I go along.
22 October 2020
Been working on this on my iPad for a couple weeks. I started and restarted it a couple times and it's OK now, I think. I didn't want to use and shading tricks other than pencil and pen lines. Drawn in Sketchbook Pro.
19 October 2020
This time I painted it in Krita to see what those tools were like. I have to say the paint brushes were so much more natural than Affinity Photo which makes sense since one is more for photos and another is made to really try and give that natural materials feel. The mixing of the paint colours over each other really felt like a real brush. leaves are very forgiving a subject so i don't fool myself that I am suddenly a painter, but I see improvement from the first one.
18 October 2020
I picked up a couple more leaves, to see if I could paint them in a way you can see they are 2 different leaves but the same type of leaf. They look too flat to me as did the last one. I did add a lot more detail into the veins and tried for more variations in the red of the leaves adding yellows, greens and oranges here and there to keep it from look too monochrome. I also added a background to compliment and accentuate the reds. A step ahead? Maybe I should switch to something else and see how that goes.
15 October 2020
I wanted to go far from my comfort zone with this experiment. I am not really happy with my latest drawings so I tried using the water-colour brushes in Affinity Photo instead of drawing brushes. I didn't really capture the detail of the real leaf. I simply don't have the painting skills for that. I used multiple layers to build up colours and mixed them now and then with a mixing brush so they would bleed into each other more. In short, I really have no idea what I'm doing and thought this might loosen me up more and maybe give me some confidence to move into some areas of art I have been hesitant to try.
07 October 2020
01 October 2020
I was hoping to have many pencil drawings done after I got 2 drawing pads in January. I want to go back to the pencil and paper basics more often because I think it helps me draw better and takes me off the computer for a while. This is only my second sheet drawn on since then so it's not going so well but at least it's going.
The puppy dragged this leaf in with him and I threw it on the drawing table and gave myself 15 minutes to draw it. I am not sure that ebony pencils, which I've used since I was a teenager work so well for me anymore. they are nice and dark but really smudge and lose sharpness quickly.
27 September 2020
It's not been easy getting out to take photos since I still can't really go many places and the areas near me seem all photo'd out. I did see a wonderful sunrise one day on my bike ride and didn't have a camera with me, but took one the next day which was not as spectacular but still very nice.
So this is a building going up on the other side of the Saint Lawrence River. It was a challenge to get it looking right with the back lighting and to get that - I want to say metal look of the structure.
05 September 2020
So the SF indie fest/Another Hole in the Head has selected my animation "Cask of Amontillado" for their online Mr. Holehead's Warped Dimension Film Fest!
The festival is the 24th-29th of September 2020 and films will be streamed to a registered Zoom audience. I may also be there in a window for a post screening Q&A live in ZOOM. The link about will have all the pertinent information if I miss posting anything here.
Tickets are now available! Click to see the link and buy tickets. My movie is being shown on Saturday, September 26 9 a.m. PDT. It costs 10$ for a day pass to the festival so you cna see other things as well! Which is noon eastern Standard time - I think.
21 August 2020
12 August 2020
This was not the funnest drawing. the subject kept finding ways to reach my Apple Pencil, no matter where it was and chew on it. this happened 4 times. the third time he seriously damaged the pen and I could use it but barely. the 4th time he just mangled it and I had to switch from the iPad and Procreate to the iMac and Sketchbook pro to finish it.
The eyes and ears had to be redrawn a couple times to get something I liked and get an expression I thought looked natural. It is detailed but I sued a thicker pen size than normal and didn't use my typical technical pen setting but a more fluid pen nib.
I thought this would be a nice compagnon piece to the the 4 month, pre-haircut portrait as he looks like a different dog now.
05 August 2020
30 July 2020
18 July 2020
14 July 2020
30 June 2020
23 June 2020
After about two years of preparation and animation my animated "The Cask of Amontillado" is finished. Mike Luce is the voice of Montresor and Michael Z. Keamy is Fortunato. I tried to be the voice of Montresor at first but I was beyond terrible and Mike Luce kindly redid that audio for me. I went with human like animal characters this time instead of cartoon humans. I thought it might work better and give me more options with the animation plus added some symbolism.
10 June 2020
Here is a test for a Star Trek series of posters like the others. If I go on with it, it will have more info, the Desilu logo and some other poster stuff. The shuttlecraft I made form scratch but the enterprise is a simple 3D model I found online and will likely replace with one I make myself. I like the colour scheme... it's sort of something you might see for toys and it less somber than the 2001 and Star Wars posters. These 60s Trek ships have more details than I remembered. I might try making new one sin Blender as part of my "learn Blender" effort.
The logos and Shuttle art was all drawn in Affinity Designer and exported to the appropriate format for texturing if needed.
The Klingon ship was just one I found and seems a little more detailed than in the first series but looks nice. Could end up making this myself and a Romulan as well.
03 June 2020
As mentioned before, the 2001 models I had found were lacking in some ways. Some had issues with the texture maps which was where most the of the details were and other just lacked details. While I am still not trying to be super faithful to every details, it did bother me that a couple of the images were just too simple and slapping on a bump map did not really get the images t where I wanted them. So I kept some elements and made over from scratch others. On the Discovery it was mostly changing the textures and making the main control sphere and the reactor and engines myself. With he Moonbus, it was a matter of adding a ton of details that were lacking. I watched the film again and it then could not just let my fun project stay as it was.
The top image you can see I added a ton to the rear of the sip, there was almost nothing there before which was why I opted to show only the front. For the front - here is a before and after, I think it's improved. It could probably still use some details from inside the cockpit but I think the blue light is better than the yellow.
The Moonbus had many more details than I remembered and so I added a lot more into the existing model. Not sure anyone would notice but me but since these were for me, that was enough to get motivated to do the extra work.
27 May 2020
17 May 2020
I couldn't help myself. The Aries shuttle, the round spaceship, I sent three days building myself. I had a model of it in my folder of collected 3D models, but I really didn't like it. It is still not all it could be and I might go back to it and maybe a few of the others and improve them as sort of a hobby.
MY idea was to get a striking image of each ship and I rendered a few options for each and hopefully picked the best ones.
14 May 2020
I had an itch to do something with 2001, one of my favourite films but didn't think doing one of my icon drawings would work. Instead I imagined a new set of posters and used information from the original posters such as the studio logos and the credits. I decided not to use the two tag lines on the 60's posters... too wordy. I wanted to really highlight one element and make it front and centre. I used 3D models - positioned and lit them instead of trying to find and alter images from the film. This way I was able to get exactly what I needed. I felt they needed an insane amount of detail. The star field is real, I took it in Colorado a few years ago.
Not all of these work as well as the others but I decided to show all 4 just for comparison. The first two are my preferred images. The second are sort of runner ups, but I like them and put a good amount of effort into all of them.
10 May 2020
I was inspired to draw this after listening to the Forbidden Planet episode of Max, Mike, Movies! awhile back and finally got around to doing it. It actually came together much more quickly than I thought. It took a few hours to draw Robby the Robot but the rest of the elements had less details than I remembered. This was all done in Affinity Designer so it's all vector illustrations. I looked at some hand drawn pencil drawings used for the ID monster animation (done by Disney Studios) and added some extra attention to the eyes. I drew it in pencil in Affinity Photo and then vectorized it to keep the rougher look it had in the film. Robby is mostly just a series of basic shapes, but tons of them with gradient fills to make them look 3D.
05 May 2020
Sets for this were made over a year ago and some of dialog was recorded last November. Then I prioritized making "28 Young Men" and "25 years Later". I did the voice of Montresor but it was pretty terrible so I asked Mike Luce to re-do it and he graciously agreed.
Unlike my last 9 gothic horror animations, I decided to shake things up and go with animal characters instead of human. I think this will work better and as I got a little better making these types of characters the last couple of years it made the rigging and texturing go easier and work nicer. That said, I keep finding little corrections to make in the final models each clip so by the end, they should be perfect!
The image is of Fortunato, who will not end well in this story. The other, Montresor, is a raven based character. The setting is very dark and sombre so I added a coloured fill light to each character to keep them visible and colour coded those lights to match their roles in the story. Fortunato is warm light and Montresor is a cool blue.
30 April 2020
After Effects is the last of the Adobe products I have yet to find a workable replacement for, until maybe now. Motion is sort of the red-headed stepchild of the Final Cut suite, Apple does not give it much love and never really has. I bought it right after it came out and it's been through a few iterations over the years but now it is sort of an add on for Final Cut X, in fact a version of Motion is hidden inside Final Cut so it can be used to make interactive templates.
It is an odd duck of a program, the interface and very different from After Effects in many ways but it has and always has had the advantage of being much more "live". In other words you can work on it with a lot less lag and hear sound playing as you scrub which makes syncing to sound really easy without have to wait constantly for RAM previews. I don't know why, but Apple had and still has the opportunity to make it into a real After Effects competitor by simply adding some features borrowed from the AE feature set. It's almost gets there, but never quite makes it.
Boris Effects Blur and Sharpen is something I have had my eye on for years now. In After Effects I use a great plugin to add motion blur in post to my 3D animations but even though it's available fro Motion I never bought it. The Boris set of plugins has a motion blur and a depth map blur which lets me add depth of field to animations, again in post. The plugins recently went on sale so I finally ordered them. Motion now has everything I use on a regular basis in AE with the exception of the puppet tool for animation with still photos. Enter the new MPuppet plugin, which was also on sale which does all that and a little more. Both were more money than I wanted to pay even with the discounts but Motion is completely functional for my needs now. There is a 15$ puppet tool add on for Final Cut, but not Motion which limits the use in a 3D space and the kinds of interpolation you can use. A great deal but I would run into problems if I suddenly got work on an episode of "American Experience" again. (Please hire me more! I love working on that show!)
So right now I am using the Motion app for my latest animation. So far so good. The interface takes some getting used to after decades of AE under my belt but I like it and some of the features, like adding grain I like much better in I did in AE. I find it faster and the live sound really saves time and take away a ton of aggravation. I find even when I have lower the resolution for more complex scenes, 1/2 res is almost as clear as full res in many ways and can be used for everything but super precise colour adjustments.
Feature I have not been able to replace are the retouching and paint features in After Effects. When I was de-rigging and retouching stop motion commercials having this feature was invaluable. While t's not as important, I do still use it to fix small issues with renders so I odn't have to serenader a complex scene over again so finding a plugin that can clone and paint like AE will be the next thing to look for. Until then I'll have to keep AE and hope Apple finally decides to actually put some effort into it's Motion app.
If you never tried Motion, maybe now is the time with everyone being stuck indoors for eternity. Its 50$ on the Apple store.
25 April 2020
My nephew in Northern Quebec is building a house for himself and this will be his house warming gift. I had to source a few images of moose and combine them input something I wanted instead of taking photos myself for reference as moose are hard to come by in the gay village these days. I exaggerated the shows and highlights to give more dimension to the image. Even with being stuck indoors all day with no work, this took three days to draw, mostly because fo all the fur.
22 April 2020
He wasn't really falling; in real life he was holding onto a pole with his legs. As I got into the drawing, I started to think that without the pole it was much more interesting and that the pole took away from his silhouette and robbed the composition of movement. This is all on one layer and almost all stipple work with the notable exception of his hair and a thin, solid line along his arms, shoulders and right side to balance the solid blacks in his shoes and pants on the top of the drawing a little.
This is the fourth illustration I have done of this same performer. Sure he was hot and cute but he has a charisma about him and was really accessible looking for some reason. All in my head I'm sure but that's where most art happens, non?
16 April 2020
Since we are all inside for the rest of our lives, I decided to test Krita, the free open source drawing program. I have had it for a while but never tried a real project on it and if there ever was a time - this is it.
The subject is a toy from my childhood I managed to hold on to all these years. Spot. The dog toy I received because I couldn't have a real dog at the time. Even though he has been loved to death... there is almost no fur left on him, he still seems real enough to me. Oddly having him still has helped me get through the death of my first dog and more recently it's nice to see him on my desk now that my dog Watson has passed away as well.
Krita performed fairly well, a few bugs and a few weird conventions to get used to. It does animation as well and I might try that out too some day. The brushes are really good! I don't paint so much but the drawing and inking tools were better than Affinity Photo but not quite as good as Sketchbook Pro. I did take it into Affinity photo to add some noise text because I was frankly too lazy to see if I could do it in Krita alone.
The software is one of the open source softwares that seems to be in high gear to get better these days. Here is a sample of the new brushes they are going to implement soon... pretty amazing.
Because this was a test and of a beloved toy, I put a ton of detail into the drawing. It was a challenge to try and show the areas the furs had been rubbed off from years of being held and petted. I am not sure I succeeded in that but the it wasn't because the app was lacking.