27 October 2020

Jack-O- Lantern (Citrouille) digital painting


 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

Nautilus @ 8 months



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

Ok, one more leaf....


 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

Another leaf illustration



 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

Leaf - watercolour - Affinity photo


 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

Phare - canal Lachine

 Procreate practice. Just wanted to draw something simple. 

01 October 2020

Leaf pencil sketch


 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

Still taking photos

 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

Cask of Amontillado Selected for a festival you all can watch!

 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. 

My trailer for the festival:

Cask of Amontillado trailer from Vincent-louis Apruzzese on Vimeo.

21 August 2020

Volcanoes of Io _mini doc 2020



A second mini space doc. I allowed myself to be a little more lax with the images and use my imagination more, but not to an extent that anyone might really notice. I also added some particle and liquid effects which was fun. 

12 August 2020

Nautilus first haircut at 5 months - illustration

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

dessin/drawing: acrobat en repose



This was all done on the iPad, the first try to do a colour drawing all on the device. It was not all done in one app, however. I started in Procreate but had to move over to Affinity Photo to do the doing and burning of the greyscale sections before colourizing them for the final look. Procreate can't do that. There was a lag with the Apple pencil as I went along, some of that was an Affinity update in the middle of the drawing process and seems to have worked itself out after a day. It gave me a good excuse to get into the very different interface on the iPad version of Photo and I have much better grasp of it now. 

This was maybe not the most exciting of my acrobat drawings but  beggars can't be choosers and there were no free shows for me to get new references from this year. 

30 July 2020

Moons of Mars - short doc project




 

I have been working on this slowly for a long while, collecting textures from NASA and information to make an under 2 minute doc about the moons that go around the planet Mars. I posted this earlier with narration by me and then couldn't live with my voice on it so changed the narration to text which works much better.  Third times the charm? I redid the shot of the three moons since the proportions I had were very far from the actual ones. 

I might make series of these about different space subjects that interest me and can be boiled down to under two minutes. 

18 July 2020

New(wish) tech and updates



I recently was sent a 2015 iPad pro from my brother after he bought a top end 2020 version. I had been very curious about how close they were to letting me replace my laptop, at least on most trips away with something lighter and easier to use while away. Transferring the data from my iPad 6th generation which was still pretty new went really well except for some reason, my PDF files in the Book App are not aviable or even recognized on the new device. For the most part, I plan to draw on it and after using Sketchbook Pro and Procreate on it, it excels for that. I also am waiting for the iPad version of Affinity Publisher to get released so all my design, illustration and photo work can all be done on the go with no loss of functions or quality. the only thing I will not be able to do is my 3D work, which is something I rarely do while away but do it enough to keep the laptop for now. It's sort of ginormous so it's less handy as a purely mobile device. It's basically the same size as my laptop but with a better screen and actually a little faster.

I sold my iPad 6th generation and it's accessories like the keyboard cover, bag etc for enough money to get a new bag for the new Ipad Pro and to fill a need or two that a huge Pro model can't be used for - I bought an iPod touch. Yes, they still make them even though you have to hunt for long time on the Apple site to find them. It's pretty much like it's been for years but that is not a bad thing. I can put it in my bike riding shirt pocket and stream podcasts to my wi-fi riding glasses as I do my longer rides with no problem and without have to drag a suitcase with a large iPad in it behind me. 

I also updated my post blur effect plugin of choice, Reel Motion Blur, for Apple's Motion app and it works great, faster than in After Effects it seems. X -Particles plugin for Cinema 4D also updated this past week with some very cool new features I really could have used on some of my past projects. I know, these are all technical things no one but me knows anything about as a rule, but I find it exciting. 

Once Affinity Publisher comes out for the tablet, I'll be in a place I rarely get to these days... I'll feel like I have all I need to get what I want to do for work and my personal projects. Nothing I have is the most powerful anything, but it'll good for me to get things done. 


14 July 2020

Goslings - drawing



Drawn in Procreate on the iPad Pro.  Referenced from several photos I took on my standard 65 km ride along the river and canal one morning. Lots of white space at the top to hopefully emphasize how small they were. 

30 June 2020

dessin/drawing: Nautilus at 2 months



My new puppy, Nautilus - named after the Submarine in Jules Verne's classic novel 20 000 Leagues Under the Sea. This was drawn on the 12.9" 2015 iPad Pro my brother gave after the upgraded to the newer model. I used Sketchbook Pro but Procreate would have done just fine. 

The new iPad is pretty amazing in terms of speed, power and screen size/quality. Much better to draw on than the smaller base model I had and just sold. I will saw it's so large as to be ungainly. It's not easy to set on your lap and draw, it is pretty much the same size as my laptop. Next photo trip somewhere it will be amazing to have. Normally I have to bring the iPad to get around with and my laptop to process and store the photos taken. I can do all the photo stuff on this and just take my iPod touch with me walking around which will be a lot easier. I can also just sit and draw something when I'm away easily and in great detail as I think this image shows if you click on it to see it larger... I didn't skimp on details. 

It will take a while to get used to the new device... and the rotten pest who is eating something he shouldn't at the moment. 

23 June 2020

Animation: The Cask of Amontillado 2020 6 minutes 14 seconds


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. 

I used Cinema 4D as I am not ready for something like this in Blender yet. It was edited in Final Cut X and I did not use After effects for the compositing but used Apple's underrated and often ignored Motion software instead and it worked out great. The animation still has some issues I am having trouble with, such as decent walk cycles and some of the movements were not as smooth as I would have liked but overallI am very happy with the results. Nothing is ever perfect, is it? The settings were a long haul to make as the upper and lower catacombs are huge and cavernous and lit by torches. The sound was a little more complex as I had to record a bunch of foley and sound effects to flesh out the sound and add more atmosphere and detail to the short. 

During the final edit, I noticed a bunch of things I had somehow missed, one was the wrong source files were used for a sequence which made the image looked pixelated and another was a terrible clicking noise during a dialog scene I can't believe I had not heard during the editing process. My excuse is that the noise here is non stop between the construction and the fact I am not in glorious isolation but home with my spouse which does not give me the solitude I need to work efficiently. Constant distraction is death to a project like this so I am glad I was able to get it done and be happy with the end result. 

I have two posters ready in case I decide to enter it in some festivals. I have had the luck to be in one or another over the last 6 years so having promotional stuff ready is a fun way to tie up a project in a nice bow. 

If you like the animation, tell me! Like it on Youtube and pass it around so maybe it can get some attention and love! 



10 June 2020

Star trek poster series - maybe.


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

2001 poster series fixes


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.

   

*Star Wars got a little love as well.


27 May 2020

Star Wars posters series


Well... why not?  Click to see larger versions.

The Star Wars models I downloaded from the internet over the years are a much higher quality than the 2001 models. I think that has a lot to do with the fans being so numerous and picky about  authenticity. Another factor has to be the age difference between the two properties. I have a feeling many of the 2001 models were made closer to the beginning of the home computer revolution while the Star Wars models are more recent. The models based on the Kubrick film seem to be super simple as if they were made for less powerful processors and with older 3D software. So there was some playing with textures but the overall geometry and details were spot on in most cases making the poster process much faster. 



17 May 2020

More 2001 posters



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.

Click on images to see more details.

  

14 May 2020

2001: A space Odyssey poster series


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.

Click any image to see more detail.




  

10 May 2020

Icon Illustration: Forbidden Planet


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

In Production: Cask of Amontilado


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

Replacing After Effects with Apple Motion - after getting Boris FX and Mpuppet


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

dessin: Orignal (drawing: moose)


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.

Sketchbook Pro.

22 April 2020

Dessin: Acrobat_Chute / Drawing: Acrobat falling


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

Spot: drawing/dessin (Krita test)


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.