Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A Little Yogi

May brings birthdays! I had a nice one, and on the same day, Ben's daughter is born! Cool, huh? That will make it easy for me to remember! Also, according to Cold Hard Flash, it's Flash's birthday too!
Exciting, ain't it?
Other than that, I am officially done at Free Range. All contracts do come to an end, and my time is over. I found out that only 1000 kids are using it, which is a bit of a bummer, since it was supposed to be global, but maybe they are the unofficial 'Beta' testers?
For fun, I was drawing Yogi Bear. The one in color was done in Flash with the Cintiq. Not exactly 'on model' but still fun.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A.P.E. Escape!!

April 2006's Alternative Press Expo has come and gone. This year I met up with Alan Lau, Kenn Navarro and Jon Faraci for a late breakfast before we the eventual "Grand Nerding" of buying comics and such. The Breakfast was really good! We ate cornmeal pancakes (which I've been informed are called "Jonnycakes") and had coffee. For the life of me, I can't recall the name of the place.
APE was really cool. It's small, so you can get through it pretty quickly. The show itself is meant to be a venue for indepedent artists and small companies. You won't see Spiderman or Batman there! Too corporate! Although speaking of corporate, we got to hang out with Rhode Montijo, who was there with his fresh-off-the-presses chidren's book, Cloud Boy. He has totally sold out! He was the only artist there with a bodyguard! Who does he think he is!? HA HA! All kidding aside, we hung out with Rhode and Jamie Baker for awhile, and they gave me the scoop on stuff going on.
Speaking of cool stuff, here are a few things I bought:
Zeet and Nightmares & Fairytales both by the artist FSC. What can I say? Creepy & fun! Lately I've been obsessing over what a challenge it would be to bring the horror genre to animation. Needless to say, that influence the purchase a bit. Good stuff~!
And speaking of horror, you gotta throw in H.P. Lovecraft! Here is the comic Lovecraft by Adam Byrne and Jeff Blitz with Mac Carter doing the writing. It was premiered last year, and now I have the ash-can teaser. You can't really call it a comic, as there were just a few pages. Looks promising, but I need more to really pass judgment.
I also picked up Caught Creatures by Daniel M. Davis. This is a cute children's book about a house of strange monsters. Kids like monsters and so do I!
Finally, I grabbed a copy of Peng! by Corey "Rey" Lewis and had him sign it. Just like his previous book Sharknife, this book is a hoot and a pleasure to the eyes. Really fun times!

That's about it. I do want to make mention that my friend Jon Wright just recently got his game Mecha vs. Kaiju published! Big congratulations go to him on that and all his future projects!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Sexy Beast!!

I've been incredibly busy. I am still working on Adventure Ecology and Mondo's Happy Tree Friends, but for awhile I was also doing work for Symantec in company work videos. Three jobs is waay too much! Now I'm back to two and pretty content. Just recently finished Adventure C & Checkpoint C and am now working on Adventure G.
So why did I title this post "Sexy Beast"? Two reasons. Adventure C had a scene called "The Beast". It was supposed to show the embodiment of pollution menacing the Earth. It wasn't an easy scene, as the producer was a bit vague on what he wanted to be depicted and there wasn't much art provided by the English designer. So what do you do? Throw electricity and make things glow! There you have it... the Beast.
For you Flash users out there, you can only imagine the file bloat I had with all the alpha and FX going on. The entire Fla. size was 60 megs! and the Swf. file was around 10! Needless to say, I had to reduce it, which meant going in and removing unneeded art, vector 'ink' lines and making sure extra audio was removed. A new trick I learned was to convert my graphic based animation symbols into movie based symbols. While it didn't reduce the fla. size it dropped the Swf. file to a manageable 3 megs! Not sure why, and if any Flash heads want to explain it to me, feel free.
After this, I rewarded myself by getting a new Wacom Cintiq http://www.wacom.com/lcdtablets/index_21UX.cfm . This is a special computer screen that allows you to draw directly on the monitor and transmit it to the program you are using. It is fantastic!! Up until I bought it, I was using a mouse to draw vectors, work Photoshop and animate with. Using a mouse is a bit like drawing with a block of soap that's turned into charcoal. My hand and wrist were really killing me, but not anymore!! If you are serious about CG art, be it 2D or 3D, this is a must have item. I haven't tried using Maya with it yet, but can only imagine that it will make modeling so much easier. Since the Cintiq ia bigger than my old computer table, I made a trip to Ikea and bought a new desk. http://www.ikea.com/ I really don't like Ikea. Shopping there is overwhelming. I have lots of weird mix feelings about it. There is just so much crap! Some of it is good, some bad, some priced good and some terrible. I ended up getting a computer table called "Jerker". It's probably pronounced "Yerqua" but who knows? So far, I like it. No pain! No pain equals happy worker!

Before I leave, I gotta mention a few more things. My friends introduced me to a new game called "Diamati"! It's great! The phrase "Tunnel Madness" has entered my vocabulary! Also, been watching TV (as always) and my two favorite shows as of lately: Battlestar Galactica and Justice League Unlimited. JLU is in it's last season and will be going out with a triumphant bang! Try to see the last episode if you can! Galactica had it's season finale last week. Wow! The show really went into a radical direction. Has it jumped the shark or is it going into new amazing heights? Time will tell!

Friday, February 24, 2006

When Blogs Ruled The Earth!

So here it is. I'm finally setting up an online prescience. I have been meaning to set up my own web-page for my animation portfolio for a long time but just can't seem to get around to it. Instead, I'll do this. That way I can post about work and whatever and then can refer to this page to feel important.
A quick thanks to Jamie Baker for suggesting/convincing me to do this. I'll have a link to his website momentarily. He's a great artist and an all around good guy!

So why did I choose the name "Ambush Blog"?
Part of this was due to a college incident that happened to my ex-roommate Rob Clarke (link to his site soon!). It was a very terrible incident, and I'm glad it didn't happen to me. I won't go into details on that story, now or ever, so the alternate story is that there was a comic book called "Ambush Bug" by DC done in the 80's. I really didn't read it, but the jist of the comic was that the superhero was aware of the fact that he existed in a comic book, and so could defy the laws of his universe. Since I will be referring to geek culture, animation and comics here, I may as well give the name a slight nod to that segment of pop culture. Also, with the term "Ambush", I hope to make this a place that showcases somewhat unexpected bits of info, work, creative junk and daily crap that is my life.

Here's my current status: Been working on animation for a website called http://www.adventureecology.com/ . This project is being funded by David De Rothschild of the famous Rothschild Family. I've also been working on the side for http://www.mondomedia.com/ , doing animatics for Happy Tree Friends. I really enjoy working on something like that! Quick thanks to my good friend Kenn Navarro for being the guy who introduced me to the world of Flash Animation. If I was still doing traditional 2D animation, I'd be unemployed, broke and living in a cardboard box in a vacant lot.

I figure this has got to be a somewhat descent start for my blog. Stick around, as I plan to post more websites, links and personal bits of wisdom and artwork. Here's a panel from my storyboard from the upcoming "Checkpoint C" episode for Adventure Ecology. It's supposed to be Martin, in arctic gear, but doesn't quite look like him. Still, I like it.