Monday, November 30, 2009

One Month Later...

Technically two? Did I really not post a single thing in November? Ah, well, Finals does that to you. I actually did do some stuff for Production Design that came out...well, I think it's okay, but my professor thought it was stunningly awesome. Here are my costume designs for a hypothetical remake of Romeo and Juliet, set in Gothic, medieval England (c. 1300). Tybalt and Friar Lawrence meet to converse about Juliet's marriage, shortly after Lawrence marries Romeo and Juliet to each other...only Tybalt thinks the marriage they're going to discuss is Juliet's pending marriage to Paris.

Long story short, Friar Lawrence tries to convince Tybalt not to kill Romeo for marrying Juliet. Hilarity ensues. Okay, not really...more like death, actually. You probably know the story.

So...uh...yeah. Friar Lawrence has been upgraded to a Catholic bishop. I jacked the Montagues' and Capulets' social status to royalty in rival kingdoms, so I figured Romeo wouldn't be chatting up just any old monk.

I had more fun with Tybalt--I mean, Catholic Clerical Garb hasn't changed much in the past thousand years--but now that I look at this again his one visible leg looks waaaaaaay too small. Face, meet desk.

EDIT: Blogger thinks I'm in Pacific time for some reason. Trust me, it's really December.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Back at Monty

The Performing Arts Midterms Madness is officially over. Apparently I've got the right stuff for production design. What she doesn't know is that I learned it all in animation. In Character Design and Layout.

Personally I can't understand why so many production designers come in not knowing how to draw.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Campy Green Cowboy Hats Still Rock

I'm still yanking hair out over my production design project, but at least the campy green cowboy hat with the tiara on it boosted my sadistic professor's morale during Production Design's tech week. And rightfully so. That hat is fabulous and it's only logical that the citizens of Crites should give it such amazing reception. Colin thought it was cool too.

If that entire building starts wearing absurd lucky Midterms Week hats, I am going to giggle incessantly. I swear, everything that Monty finds annoying and redundant about me, Crites really gets a kick out of. And vice versa.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I wish I were animating right now

I am never taking another quarter without animation classes again, ever. This week got so midterms-crazy that I can't even drop by Monty to animate, just write up a slew of journal entries for Production Design. I mean, production design is great and all, and I'm actually doing REALLY well in that class, but it's so much work. My professor works us so hard she makes Troy look harmless, which should say it all. She's having us come in on Friday morning to present a project two classes after another project. Which Troy totally did, just not on a Friday. Okay, there was one time in Animation I but that was only at 8AM because my class was actually at 8AM, this class is at 2. You'd think we'd be meeting at 2. This isn't the first time I've had to present on a Friday morning for this class, either.

I mean, I know I shouldn't be whining about work, but it is seriously cutting into my animating time! I have got to finish Jacquestar before I get too much better than I was to keep the style consistent, and this department is entirely oblivious to the fact that I don't relegate my animation to my classwork.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thirteen Days

I made it thirteen days without drinking any caffeine. That's a new record. I probably should've saved that bottle of cherry coke for my 8AM tomorrow though. Caffeine deprivation impairs your thinking a bit.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I Wish I could Quit Vault

Debber actually showed up at the CAS Meeting where I was screening Pasta Perils. He didn't come to watch the short films though, so he missed it entirely. It would have been absolutely hilarious if he'd seen it there, with sixtysomething people in the room laughing maniacally. He was even wearing the exact same outfit I drew him in. And the craziest thing? I had no idea he was going to show up at all.

If he had been there for the screening, it would have been GLORIOUS. I would have totally killed to have seen my facial expression once I'd found out he was there the whole time.

-Jacquestar: Roughly 60% animated
-Bit: 95% animated, Needs cleanup and sound/music
-April: Waiting on John for the shot briefings
-Monty! The Musical: The EFX Song: Live action. Must wait till at least November 1 for full costuming/choreography.
-Musical Misadventures: 10% Animated
-Foiled Again: Visual Redevelopment stage, because I sucked two years ago.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pasta Perils: The End Result

Well, two months of off-again-on-again painstaking labor later and it's finally done. Compressed and edited on September 29, 2009. Not in that order. Courtney, I hope you're happy.

Actually, it's better with the sound. I got so sick of looking at it and quite frankly thought it sucked for a while and then I put the sound in. It's amazing what a well-timed eraser squeak can do for a piece. And I really like how the end credits turned out. It timed itself pretty well for some stock musical piece that I yanked off of sounddogs.

The big-screen premiere is going to be at tomorrow night's CAS meeting!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wish You Were Here

Darling Montgomery,

Salutations from scenic Crites Hall! I'm taking all Minor courses this quarter, so I won't be seeing you as much as usual, especially once Practicum starts up. I can actually see the water tower from the fourth floor girls' bathroom window. Yes, Crites has them! Lots, in fact. I could honestly get used to it.

Don't cry over that deficiency thing. You'll short-circuit the Cintiqs and Anthony will explode again. There's always CAS, and until I have to begin Practicum you can bet your water tower I will be visiting. Constantly. After all, I have a projects I want to get done. Pasta Perils is coming along nicely. It's nearly all rough-inbetweened now. Expect a finished product about the same length as Finals Week.

Poor Troy doesn't get even half the screen time Debber does. A Timely Warning clocked in at 18 seconds. But on the other hand, it's actually done. And Jacquestar is going to be epic once that goes through.

I will be seeing you soon, and do I mean soon.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A la Prochaine, O Great and Powerful Television

Tomorrow morning I have to give John his TV back. I'm fairly certain there will be an empty hole in my heart for the next few days, as I am now going to have to walk about ten feet from my apartment to borrow it if I feel like playing Final Fantasy II again. OH TELLY I'M GONNA MISS YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU....

Eh, if anything the lack of a television will probably mean I'll be drawing more. Or I'll just be at John's all the time playing video games there.

And speaking of games, everyone who's anyone should play the Professor Layton series. It gives you all the fun of a good game without that feeling of slackerishness that usually comes with it. Plus the color, art style, and animation aren't half bad for a DS game either.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Last Pencil Test of the Summer

The cuts need work. I should've known better than to try and live up to Goofy. And even Goofy could use some improvement.


Monday, August 31, 2009

His Name is Tonio

Got the new computer back inside the old casing. Funny thing is, this time it's a boy computer. I've decided to call him Tonio. Patrick from the apartment upstairs went off to visit his family, like EVERYONE ELSE, so I can't leech his internet anymore. Nice and convenient that it should happen the day before I get a hold of a computer, eh? So now instead of having internet but no computer, I have a computer but no internet.

At least Jen Library's open, and not picky about how long you spend on a computer.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More Character Sheets

These were for Orey's senior project, Imperfect Serenity. The kid with the perspective queries earlier in the holiday season. Character designs aren't mine, art is. It's going to be 3D in the end but Jason required character turnarounds and his original artist bailed. Both were done in the dead of morning with roughly four hours of sleep to support my fragile sanity. Happy finals week!

Oh, and speaking of finals week, some moron tried to gutturally cram, shove, and stuff about fifty sheets of animation paper into the good hole punch in 321. The only good hole punch in Monty. Anthony was hopping mad when he found out. I hope he goes through the security footage and disembowels whoever did it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

One Scene to go, and Lemrex character concept

Only one scene till "Bit" is fully animated (sans top-secret final scene Papa doesn't know about). Yay!

I finished the concept work on Lemrex for John's project, "April," yesterday evening.

He should be fun to animate next quarter. Tons and tons of special effects and I haven't even TAKEN that class yet.

And speaking of effects, Professor Troy totally graffiti'd the whiteboard this afternoon. Welcome to the 321 Whiteboard Tag Force, Mr. Ninja. We salute you.

I'm also going to try my hardest to overhaul Foiled Again if I can get my computer back. Plus Jacquestar and Pasta Perils. And Monty!. That's six things if you toss Bit into the mix. I'm excited!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

How I wasted my Finals Weekend

(To the tune of "The Jet Song" from West Side Story)

When you're EFX, you're EFX all the way
From your first in-between to retirement day!
When you're in EFX let 'em do what they can
You draw fire, smoke, water, and dust on command!
You're never alone
You're never disconnected
You're blowing things up
When character's affected
You aren't neglected!
Then you are set with a capital "E"
Which you'll never forget till they switch to CG
When you're EFX,

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I just realized I have absolutely nothing posted about my senior project. Oops? I mean, I've only been working on the thing for what, a quarter? Two quarters if you count Concept Development? In any case it's been keeping me from finishing Jacquestar and Pasta Perils.

I did it in Flash, frame by frame like "Finals Week," only the quality is going to be noticeably higher. And it's actually shorter, too. A little bit shorter. It clocked out at 40:16ish in the animatic. And I have twice as long to do it. Four times as long, really, because I knew what I was doing from the start of the first week of this quarter.

The story revolves around this bucket of bolts...

His name is Ignatius. Just kidding. It's Bit. He works inside a computer transporting files in little crates to different chutes that lead to different computer drives. Courtney Brooke Vaughan is doing the backgrounds and totally rocks hardcore for it. Expect the floor to be greener and the rest of the scenery to be grayer, though the coloring on Bit himself is pretty accurate. He also has a supervisor who is very much in charge.

The story focuses on a specific incident in which his boss expects him to deliver a virus to the C drive. So far production's been a smash but cleanup is seriously tedious work. I have been deleting vectors for the past week and still have two and a half more scenes to inbetween. Pop seems pretty confident that I'll get it done but he doesn't know I still have Debber's final, a short story to write, and my friend John's character turnaround to finish.

I've taken a pretty lighthearted discourse in dealing with a *gasp* potentially serious subject matter (one of those "You can't control me" sort of deals that's cropped up in my own life as of late) and a couple of weeks ago I thought it was dumb. Especially the vector cleanup part. But last weekend after blitzing through Jason's concept class in a vampire cape on a quest for dry-erase markers, I wound up helping a guy out with perspective drawing and got some perspective of my own. His wasn't funny at all. It was craptastically serious and filled with symbological mumbo-jumbo. Every shot was carefully and deliberately planned even though he couldn't quite draw them out because he cared a ton about what he was doing.

I found more meaning in my conveniently brief project and might have to add an extra scene at the end. As closure. But don't tell Pop!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Monty: The Musical (Reprise)

So Chair Moorshead found "Finals Week" after asking me to show a small tour group an example of some Flash work I'd done. I'd never even spoken to the guy before, aside from one brief time earlier in the quarter when he caught me snoozing on the fourth floor landing out in the stairwell.

I have now been summoned to appear in court before Paula Wallace to defend myself against expulsion on the grounds of the defamation of a SCAD building without prior consent of the school executives.

Just kidding. He liked it a lot and wants to see more.

I have been thinking about expansion so far and I have been doodling, too, but if I'm going to do anything about it, it's going to be a big endeavor getting a full-length musical at all. The title's been changed to Monty! The Musical and it now revolves around the heartwrenching tale of a building who wants to become a traditional 2D animator but doesn't have any arms or legs. Not quite sure how "Finals Week" would fit into it just yet, but I'll think of something.

What I'd really like to do is think up a musical number that would feature Monty himself. I did have something in mind about two years ago--an angsty emo song where Monty decides to throw a massive tantrum and crash all of the computers, one of those "NOBODY UNDERSTANDS ME" deals. Now, at least, he has some kind of motive behind the madness. I'll be employing the goofy face from Montgomery Hall's facebook profile to do most of the singing. It should be hilarious, especially if I get him smashing stuff with his rafters and locking people inside and whacking people in the head with projectors.

Shoot, I'd need a male singing voice too.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

RIP, Nessa

The good news? The hard drive was backed up and she was still under warranty.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I sucked it up and biked to Weston at about eight this morning with two overstuffed traffic-cone-orange pillowcases full of laundry gutturally crammed into the basket in the back. That's gotta be at least twenty blocks one way.

On top of that, I was dressed in pajama pants, one blue striped sock, one gray sock, a new yellow effeminate-looking jeep cap I got for my brother, and the top from my vampire costume (sans cape). All in 90+ degree, pre-thunderstorm weather, with my ID shoved into my mouth and my keys dangling around my neck on a Bud Light lanyard due to a severe lack of pockets.

All to spend two dollars to get a semi-moist yet still clean load of laundry.

I think if I were a celebrity, this would have made tabloids.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

No Clean Laundry

Tomorrow I may just have to come into class wearing my vampire outfit again because I have no clean clothes left. I'm even running low on socks.

This, of course, is the fault of the local handyman, who was supposed to have installed a washer/dryer at my apartment building months ago. I would go to the laundromat but that even is highly difficult seeing as my only mode of transportation is a bike, and it's quite a long ride.

On top of this I'm doing my senior project, some character animation, a creative writing class, and still finding time to make goofy cartoons about every professor in the department. AND my birthday is on Sunday.

I don't want to have to spend that in a two-year-old discount vampire costume. Not without a decent set of plastic fangs.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Current Conundrum

I have been living with my invisible friend, Suzanne "Suzie" Ponderosa, for nearly my entire college career and we are moving into a new apartment on Saturday, just like nearly everyone else living in Monty. She came into my life sometime in spring two years ago when I accidentally bumped into her in my dorm and since then she's followed me everywhere because I am apparently the only one who believes she exists.

She became invisible in 2005 when she was on an experimental drug kick.

She's plagued my life with her invisible booze-guzzling and pot-smoking and often has blind guys over for one-night-stands. She even followed me to France. I suppose calling her my invisible friend isn't entirely accurate, though she has grown on me. Luckily she's anorexic so I don't have to worry about buying her any food.

But friend or otherwise, Suzie Ponderosa is undeniably quite real. She's invisible, not imaginary...which brings me to the juicy part.

You see, I caught her referring to me as her imaginary friend. Please bear in mind that visibility and realness aren't necessarily corelated, and even if they were, corelation doesn't by any means prove causation. If Suzie's drug-addled words hold any truth then I am the imaginary friend of an invisible person, and she is the invisible friend of an imaginary person.

I know I come into direct contact with real people every day, but then again so do a lot of imaginary phenomena. Like Santa Claus. He hangs out at malls around Christmastime, doesn't he? And the Pizza Fairy shows up on the Sunday of Finals Week without fail. At least during the normal school year.

My proof lies within my conscience. If I am imaginary that means that my internalized conscience is also imaginary. It isn't there. Ergo, I outsource Lauren Rasmussen, who is very real, as my proxy conscience. If I need to outsource in order to have a real conscience, that proves that I must be a figment of Suzie's--or SOMEBODY'S--imagination.

And anyone who knows me can vouch that a lot of the crazy stunts I do are too insane to possibly be real. It's why I get away with as much as I do. Maybe if I prove to the Blue Fairy that I can be brave, loyal, trustworthy, and all that jazz, I can become a real boy someday.

If this entry has thoroughly confused anyone, then clearly I'm doing my job right.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Enter Goofy.

I finally present to uncharacteristically morose rendition of Goofy, listening in on a conversation between Mickey and Donald. Apparently they think he's really, REALLY stupid. Amazingly enough the entire conversation comes as a shock, but hey, this is Goofy we're talking about...and not the uncharacteristically profound Goofy from Kingdom Hearts.

It went over well in class, and despite that I think I only went to test the final product once after nailing the keys down...*coughwithabitofextensivehelpfromDebbercough* and really just pulled an "animate-till-you-drop-and-put-your-heart-into-it" sort of deal. At the risk of sounding like some kind of whack-job anime-style mentor character, putting your heart into your work shows.

Now to go take crack shots at my senior project...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Computer: 4,150,782...Me: 0

Seriously. I had a bajillion animation clips uploaded and without even clicking anything Blogger navigated away from the page. Now I have to upload them AGAIN. Ugh. Anyway, here's a recap of 2D Character Animation I, taught by the lovely and talented John (Debber) Webber.

I fixed the Mushu head turn. Not quite so slow but the perfectionist in me still thinks it's got a long way to go. Part of me wants to rap it upside the head and tell it to stick it. I didn't even POST my take assignment because it needs so much work in my opinion. I'm so self-conscious about my animation. I need to stop doing that.

Ah, who am I kidding? Jiminy needs slow-ins and slow-outs.

I really liked this one and definitely worked a ton to get it to the point it's at now. I've been saying that very line of dialogue ever since. Nobody really gets it anymore but Tyler and Debber.

This one actually freaked Debber out a LOT. Does the voice clip sound familiar? It's Jacques Khouri. The moral of this story is "Be careful what you record, because Zelda will probably animate it."

And that was Character I. I am now in Character II and working on new ways to harass and embarrass Debber. He's funny when he gets flustered.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Gawrsh, I'm such a ditz.

I keep forgetting to update this thing.

Jacquestar Scene 1 is officially finished save for the sound. The second part's going to be a royal pain, and I wish I could stop getting these uncontrollable urges to animate things that have nothing to do with my schoolwork. If I only had a team of juniors I could ship the instructions off to, just so I could do my homework and be on my merry way. Or I could just ship them the homework and animate my ridiculous shorts instead.

I like the second one better, even if it is cheating. XD

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Back for a second to do stuff!

Here you can see a rather slow Mushu Head-turn. Yay.

Now I'm working on making Jiminy Cricket yank his umbrella out of a rock.

I sold my soul to John Webber and now he laughs at all of my jokes, even when I'm not even joking. Not a bad trade-off if I do say so myself.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Looks like my spring break's over.

Dang, new quarter already and I still haven't finished animating Jacquestar. It's that ooooooone scene in the very beginning of the second sequence that just doesn't want to leave that very-very-very-rough animatic stage. I really should have finished the thing back in France. Darn those final projects getting in the way of the funnies!

I want to finish it before I get to the point where I've been doing so much animating that it tumbles into that "old stuff that is so old it's embarrassing to look at" category. I lose so many projects that way.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Process in a Nutshell

Oh sweet Oz, where to begin? During this project I found that I work best in Montgomery Hall...or really, anywhere except my residence, which I learned the hard way. It helps to surround myself with people who are working just as hard as I am. I would have definitely spent more weekends at Monty, though two of those lost weekends, I had personal matters to attend to that I honestly couldn't avoid.

And although everyone says not to wait until the last minute to do your work, there is definitely something about that Finals Weekend atmosphere that just pumps you with adrenaline. The clicking of keys reverberating down the screen-lit halls as somehow people find the time to wander about and see what everyone else is just don't get that during the regular season.

I pretty much did everything, and I mean everything, directly in Flash. My layouts are in the flash document that eventually progressed into my final project. Because computers have this overwhelming tendency to corrupt my files for no good reason whatsoever, I saved versions (the latest of which is in the dropbox). I had about six, luckily I didn't run into much trouble.

I also think it was smart of me to break my production schedule down into hours instead of weeks. It helped alleviate the stress a bit and allowed for more flexibility. If it had been week-by-week, I would have mentally beaten myself up every time I missed a deadline...which would have been inevitable.

Flash is sooooooo much nicer than Maya.

D-Day Has Arrived

Dang. There were a metric ton of cuts and I still managed to keep the song intact.

Even if the final product doesn't fare too well grade-wise, and even if I randomly change keys in the middle of the song in that nasal prelude to what I think might have been a disease, that little video made a lot of people laugh at the pinnacle of Finals Weekend even in its half-finished state, which has got to count for something. If anything, I know my audience.

In fact, while I was animating this...I kind of formulated a parody of Alan Jackson's Midnight in Montgomery...

EDIT: Crap, this upload quality just plain sucks.
If anyone knows how to make it less sucky, please let me know asap!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Coffee Break

My performing arts class rocks. I doubt any of them will even see this, but they've all done wonders for morale-boosting in terms of this project and are definitely going in the "Special Thanks" part of my credits. I strongly advise everyone in animation to take at least one performing arts class with Martin Noyes, just because you learn a lot there.

And there are weapons. Lots and lots of weapons. Mark Tymchyshyn's class was fun too even if there were noticeably less weapons involved.

Either way I am kind of glad my production schedule was measured in hours and not specific dates because I sort of knew I'd be floundering about the last few days in a state of panic. In retrospect I should have allowed about three hours for "caffeine consumption, self-doubt, and sheer panic." And I think I severely underestimated the amount of time it would take to do the backgrounds, especially the really simple ones, though most of the time it took for those was really more like "stare at blank flash screen and mentally spaz."

Wait. I don't think I ever scanned in my schedule. Ampersand-pound-percent!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Do You Hear the People Sing?

Of course not, there is no singing in Montgomery! :P

The backgrounds are done. My recording has a cruddy microphoneish quality to it and my first line's totally flat but it's better than anything I can possibly do now. My voice is completely shot. I'm probably still sick.

Right now I'm setting the backgrounds into a new flash file so all I have to do is plop in the characters...which means that yes, I am done with scene four. This is going to be the most epic Finals Week card EVER.

Monday, March 2, 2009

One Day More!

Okay, okay, enough is enough!

I tried for another Vault again today but the same deal was going down with the machine. The Vault was there but the apparatus kept telling me it was sold out. That thing is clever, I'll give it that...hoarding the drinks all for itself. I doubt it even realizes it doesn't have a mouth.

So Byte wasn't even OPEN. There was this immense line just waiting by the entrance. They finally let us in at 7:40, which is completely ridiculous, and THEY didn't even have Vault. They had Mello Yello, but it just doesn't feel the same so I got a Coke. Besides, a name like 'Mello Yello' doesn't sound particularly caffeinated, even though it probably does have more than Coke. I guess I just wasn't in the mood for citrus. By that time I just stopped caring and didn't want to have to risk getting a coke out of that machine, the way it keeps telling everyone it's sold out. The guy at the counter let me cut and get my Coke because I was getting nothing else, so at least they're doing something right.

And to top it off the file on my USB drive got corrupted when Monty got mad at me for making fun of him. I lost everything I did in Flash this weekend, which thankfully wasn't much, no thanks to that disease I can't quite seem to shake, yet non-thankfully wasn't much, simply because it...well...wasn't much. The song is still there. Backgrounds 1-7 are still there. I'll live.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I am glad I recorded that track when I did. Now my voice is in no condition to be singing anything. Hopefully it'll be at least in shape enough to announce Mary Lou Davis for tomorrow for CAS. I keep listening to the music as I'm keying the scenes in and there are some points where I'm all like, "Yeah, I can definitely hear the sickishness creeping in there." It may be my perfectionist nature but I think I did like seven takes before I got something that sounded (in my opinion) okay.

Heck, I'll refrain from posting the song on this blog at all, because if I have learned anything, it's that stuff like karaoke starts out cool until you start forcing people to listen to it...over...and over...and over again. Then they start getting really, really annoyed, kind of like when you find a new song you like and play it nonstop for hours on end.

Monday, February 23, 2009

i luv anemashun

It's only expected that I'd forget the coffee the day the soda machine died and I haven't enough change in my pockets to compensate for the price-jack Byte's imposed on their own sacred stash of soft drinks. O sweet and glorious Vault, thou mockest me in thy caffeinated glory! Sold out, it says...sold out your face. Whosoever had that ingenious idea to put only one vending machine in a building where people often go upward of two days without sleep, it was--by far--a really lousy one considering the rate at which those things malfunction. And somehow this always seems to occur at the worst possible time (like 8 in the morning).

If I collapse at my desk, it's caffeine withdrawal. If this didn't make sense, it's caffeine withdrawal. If anyone has a quarter, I'll pay you back on Wednesday because I'm really only a quarter short of a soda from Byte. Does Byte charge tax?

I'm just about finished with the backgrounds. This one even comes with complimentary blue pencil shavings and eraser bits at the bottom of the light table, just like in the real Monty. I've also recorded the song, which I conveniently left in my other computer. Just like I left the coffee at my apartment.

I love Mondays.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Background Work

Here are some more Monty shots.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Enter Monty

And here we have the star of the show...the one, the only, MONTGOMERY HALL!

Okay, I get to engorge myself on Valentine's Day chocolate this weekend after all (really, those chalky heart candies are just not the same). Otherwise, it's background time.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Happy Midterms Week!

You know it's that time of the quarter when you're so sluggishly wiped out that all you can do is draw minor characters who are just as wiped out as you are. On the bright side I am passing 20th Century Art and Movement for Performance. Though some of those zonked out animators look awfully familiar (don't feel bad if you don't recognize them).

This was just one of those weekends that went by so quickly that Sunday felt like Saturday and Saturday felt like Friday, only it was one of those high school Fridays where you have to go to class. So today I will churn out even more characters and finalize my lead. And if I haven't, I will not eat chocolate for an entire week.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Walk Cycle and Lip Sync

I finished the tutorials. *Collapses in triumph*

If I had the time I would have definitely reworked this thing like I did with the clown puppet. His steps are too big and his lateral movement is too fast. Yes, that is a trowel on his left hand, they were all out of pirate hooks. Mike Trowelenheimer was a fabulous television extra before he became a pirate anyway, and he still thinks anyone who talks to him wants an autograph.

Ah lip sync...serious proof that Voice for Performance wasn't a waste of my time and that I really do always get cast as a blonde kid. Plus, making the goofy facial expressions is priceless and scared the cheese whiz out of my flatmate.

Monday, February 2, 2009

I like it better at 16fps

Long Live the Green Cowboy Hat with the Tiara on it!

The One Where I Post the Script

Note: This file is a working copy and thus highly subject to change

Long shot on a typical animation classroom. Our lovely and talented singer walks up to a long microphone inexplicably placed between several rows of computers and light tables. A spotlight lights up the area around the mic
SFX: That reverberating clunk that happens when someone turns on a spotlight in a large theatre

She picks up the mic.
SFX: Little bit of mic static. Then the song starts and plays for the duration of the animation. You know, that song from the fourth or so post? Yes, that one.

SCENE 02: "...Files rendering for three days straight..."
Profile CU on the diva. Behind her, a static row of exhausted animators are working on computers. One of them, however, is not a background element.

...Blue screens flicker into sight..."
The animated computer screen flickers blue, insinuating a Blue Screen of Death. The student sitting at the computer yanks at his hair and collapses onto the desk, trembling as though he'd forgotten to save.

SCENE 03: "...Zombielike students with red, bloodshot eyes..."
Pan across rows of stationary,
monstrous-looking, sleep-deprived students, all slack-jawed and numb-looking as the screen rests on the star of our show in the background, still illuminated by the spotlight, as she makes her way stage right.

SCENE 04: "...Will find it hard to sleep tonight..."
The Animation Diva approaches a boy half-dozing at a light table and pokes him for a laugh. He spazzes out a bit and glares at her as she scuttles off before he can do anything evil in return.

SCENE 05: "...They know exams are on their way..."
A.D. slides back into the spotlight in a dazzling display of showmanship as she leans back into the musical phrase to belt the lyrics out for the rest of the animators.

"...And they'll all scramble, rush..."
Another boy scribbles furiously on another light table with a grin, clearly rushing.

SCENE 07: "...And try to get an A..."
OTS on the kid. His work is utter rubbish. He notices it's a monstrosity and sighs.

SCENE 08/09: "...And their professors sigh because they know that those assignments were assigned weeks ago..."
Not sure what to put here. Rain check?

CENE 10: "Everybody knows that finals week is really tough"
As the star of the show keeps on singing (Medium-Long shot), another student rushes by in a panic. Her gaze follows the speeding blur with a hint of a cringe.

SCENE 11: "Although it's obvious, it's true."
Medium CU on the singer shrugging and smirking as she keeps on singing.

SCENE 12: "And though you'll be pulling..."
Mid-shot on a girl at a computer. She downs a cup of coffee.

SCENE 13: "All nighters..."
ECU as she slips into unconsciousness

SCENE 14: "...for days..."
She collapses onto the desk

SCENE 15: " your homework. Try to finish."
Back to a CU on the AD, who nervously glances around.

SCENE 16: "...don't forget when it's due"
Returns to that initial setup with the singer between the rows of students, in the spotlight, belting out her grand finale.

Cut to a profile view of AD grinning as the house lights come up. Then, one of the kids in front of her turns around and asks, "Hey, don't YOU have homework?" AD deadpans, then curtains.

And by curtains, I mean blackout. Curtains is just one of those theatrical idioms I've been slinging lately. Might be nice if I did use a real curtain graphic...

Puttin' on the Ritz

Fiiiiiiinally finished the rotoscoping. Here's the glitchy Muybridge guy looking semi-swank in something vaguely resembling a top hat, tie, cummerbund, and an oddly skintight tux. Seriously, he needed pants and a hat, because everyone just looks better in a hat. Though if Muybridge were around now I'd probably chuck something large and heavy at him for stopping the walk cycle at fifteen frames, because that's what's making it glitch up. That is, assuming I'd be able to lift something large enough and heavy enough to do any damage, which I'm probably not.

And I got carried away here. Yes, that's me prancing about like a booftard and wearing a cowboy hat. If you've ever seen me in queue, then you've probably seen some sort of "subtle" variation thereof. And yes, it took me the better part of this weekend to trace it AND figure out how to chop up the film so I could get the part I wanted to export. Choreography credits go to Nate Taylor, though he probably doesn't remember ever teaching me this ridiculous dance in the first place.

That hat is cooler than yours.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Monday and Tuesday

I haven't had very much time to do anything for this class between yesterday and the day before, as I was finishing up a research assignment for 20th Century Art, which took up most of Monday and Tuesday. And this weekend, as you may or may not have heard last post.

Aside from browsing about for ideas for my hypothetical animated lounge singer dress on Google. I have a very strong suspicion it's going to be one of those black tie sort of outfits, with a standard-issue, straightened updo. One of those outfits that would be strange to see in Monty even with my crazy dress standards.

Oh, ampersand-pound-percent...I have rehearsal during the Hallmark presentation...both of them. I guess that's what happens when you're starring in three films and an animation.

Oh yeah, and I finally made a puppet animation that seems to work. And it WAS a lot easier when I figured out to animate the head first, then the foot, and then the spring. It made the spring seem to animate itself almost.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Power of USB

So after a grueling weekend of "fun" at the library doing 20th century research, I made the puppet for my second puppet jump (still haven't done enough of this research despite everything, which is making me concerned). It may actually look very familiar if you've known me for a while.

This thing is an Algebot...a moderately adorable little robot programmed to save money on math teachers. At one point an evil warlord ordered several thousand of the little guys to enslave a rival city, only to find that all they can do is teach math, and that he just wasted a ton of money.

They also happen to jump.

So ja...I have about ten or so plot concepts I've been developing just sort of jumping around in my mind at any given moment, most of which are absolutely ridiculous in what I hope is a good way. Though I'm still going to settle on my own singing for this class, as it is far too good of an opportunity to pass up.

Friday, January 23, 2009


I just decided to set the ease slider and the ease graph aside because they weren't doing what I wanted them to, and do the timing myself. NOW I'm getting something that looks more like a clown puppet jumping, though he's getting a bit more air than he needs to. It's far from perfect but it's closer than I'd been getting.

I hope the rotoscoping goes a bit easier than this did. Three posts within one class period seems a bit excessive. And I still need to make a puppet of my own...

And as for my concept for the final, I'm definitely going to do something with that song, and some idiot prancing around the building singing it while other people are trying to finish their finals, like some kind of Montgomery Hall Lounge Singer. If I could get a pianist to accompany me that'd be swank.

Eh, Getting There, I think. Maybe.

This time I made the head a symbol and used a guide, though I'm still not quite sure what turning it into a symbol did...or what I can do with it when it's a symbol. Then after tweaking the ease-in/out slider with the head, I tried to match up the feet with a motion tween and more incessant keying.

The result was something that looked more like jumping and less like tweening but still seemed to lack a sense of weight.

Okay, so I don't know what I'm doing.

I should have known that bouncing ball would be deceptively cooperative. Flash, don't go all Maya on me. Please.

It's the puppet. I can't get the layers to parent to each other, or whatever the Flash equivalent thereof happens to be. It must have something to do with symbols. I put the head on a guide like the ball, but then I had to animate the spring and the foot Clearly I am doing something very wrong because I'm making too much work for myself and coming up with rubbish like this.

This is not a submission of any sort. This is me not knowing what the heck I am doing.

I' back.

On an unrelated note, I have rehearsal today. Yay!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Bouncing Ball and This Weekend's Progress

Flash, I've decided, is a lot less temperamental than Maya ever was.

^ This is the one I created with the ease slider, which gave me a ton of trouble until I actually found out how to access the ease slider.

^ And this is the one I used the graph for. Surprisingly enough that graph wasn't particularly difficult to find on the interface.

As for what I did this ridiculously long weekend, I was quite a bit preoccupied and couldn't accomplish very much in terms of this class, as I was taking care of some rubbish outside of town.

I did, however, unearth a rather cheesy Finals Week song I'd been writing back when I was toting Finals Week as a holiday...which I'm still doing, by the way. It was set to the tune of "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" and some of the lyrics are a little whacked, but I would totally animate something to my own voice singing that. It went something like this...

Files rendering for three days straight,
Blue screens flicker into sight,
Zombielike students with red, bloodshot eyes
Will find it hard to sleep tonight.

They know exams are on their way,
And they'll all scramble, rush, and try to get an A.
And their professors sigh, because they know
That those assignments were assigned weeks ago.

Everybody knows that finals week is really tough.
Although it's obvious, it's true.
And though you'll be pulling all nighters for days...
Do your homework.
Try to finish.
Don't forget when it's due.

EDIT: Inserted Suitable Second Line 7h30 EST, 22.01.09

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dang, I'm Getting Ahead of Myself

So now I'm really supposed to be posting illustrations in this post. Very well then, I'll start off with some more of Nicolas Sure's artwork.

I also really like Enrique Fernandez's work quite a bit, and I'm uberly-jealous of my friend Jon, who managed to find all of the "Le Magicien d'Oz" books he illustrated during the France trip.

I also really like the way David Lillie works with lighting and setting the mood for his work.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Favorite Animations

As far as animation goes, like I've said before, I'm more into 2D than 3D. Looking at a lot of my favorites, I tend to look at content more than form, and a bunch of them seem to reflect my music background (six years of school choir, including honors choir, and two years of musical theatre).

I've always liked Warner Bros.' old-school exaggerations, and while this clearly isn't their broadest, most exaggerated short, the reason it stuck with me through my life was the notion that I'd always known I could sing better than that little owl could, and his dilemma was something that a lot of artists could relate to--the notion of being able to do our own thing versus the standards that our employers, peers, and pretty much everyone around us expect.

The thing that really impressed me with Pipe Dream was the way that everything synced up so well with the music that it gave the sense that all these balls were actually causing the music. Not so big on the lack of a tangible plot, though.

I don't think I can fairly discuss my favorite animations without inserting an episode of Rocko's Modern Life. This show was what got me into animation in the first place--more specifically the "Wacky Delly" episode, which literally had me trying to make my own cels out of watercolors and saran wrap at the age of about ten. Sadly I couldn't find a clip of the actual episode, at least not at a normal speed, but the whole series' brand of humor--hilarious, yet not so ridiculous that it just wound up gross, like Ren & Stimpy did, so I put up what I could.

I actually really like the sort of animations that give you a peek into the animator's world, as they're quite a bit more entertaining than just watching documentary, behind-the-scenes bits on DVDs. Tiny Toon Adventures did this a lot, too. Granted, those are interesting in moderation...I just find these more entertaining, even though they're not quite so informative. The stick figure also has nice weight, especially when he's swinging off the cursor.

And...even though this isn't an animation, ever since reading this in France my character designs have been influenced by this comic, Neverland, illustrated by Nicolas Sure. The little guy on the left in the rightmost bottom panel keeps lending himself to my own characters.

Actually, thinking about this harder, I should probably be writing "Animation: The Musical." If only I knew how to compose music.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Ladies and Gentlemen, May I Have your Attention, Please?

My name is Zelda Vinciguerra. I am a third-year animation major at the Savannah College of Art and Design with a minor in performing arts. I enjoy 2D animation and voice acting immensely...and I can sing and learn accents. I also sound roughly like a ten-year-old boy and am more than willing to voice act whenever the opportunity presents itself. In fact, if you ever hear some girl belting showtunes around the third floor of Montgomery Hall in the dead of night, there is a 90% chance it's me. Unless, of course, it sounds horrible.

I just got back from spending a quarter at the Lacoste campus. My favorite colors are yellow and pink. I don't like animals at all, but if I had to own one I'd get a cat. I'm really good at grilling and frying things. My favorite food changes constantly. I also like puzzles and logic problems. I'm not very good with computers, so I anticipate needing a lot of help over the quarter with the software. I've had experience with frame-by-frame animation in Flash, but I don't know anything else. Scripting confounds me. I want to change this by the end of the quarter.

Thank you, thank you, no autographs please. *Bows*