Friday, December 24, 2010

More Fire Work

I have the fire layer completed. Worked well enough using entirely computer generated fire although next time I would probably use filmed fire elements as well to add variety-but manipulating real flame footage to match the movement of walking figures is tedious.

I also added a fire light layer--at first I wasnt going to worry about shadows as I assumed that the light from one fire would obscure the shadows generated by another fire source as there are several on the figure but after running a test it looks better with some shadow.
I didnt bother animating the lights so they would not only flicker but move as well.

Getting close so I hope to have this finished by the end of the year.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Return to the Firing Line

I started to experiment with computer generated fire again. This was the first thing I tried out when I was introduced to computer graphics some years back.
At the time I was amazed by the default fire-but assumed it wouldnt look so good when rendered as an animation-especially on fast moving objects.

While looking at using real fire and filming it for another animation project, I revisited my Lava Demon test animation from early 2009 and started to add fluid fire to it.
The results havent been bad so I am working on that, and hopefully will have it finished by new year or earlier.

Here is a photo of the fire (building it flame by flame) on the figure(with it rendered invisible).

You can just see the outline of the mouth and eyes and fingers.

It will be layered onto the animation of the figure I did almost 2 years ago.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Digital Update

I didnt care for the results I was getting with my comic so I am going to use computer generated elements to assist in creating panels-which means putting it aside..again.

But I have my walk complete for an animation project and now I concentrate on the next phase-which is animating fire. It will be my first cg animated fire skeleton.
You can find stills from my experiments in older posts--this is a bit more complicated and I hope to get better results.
Doesnt really serve a purpose other than to look neat.

Happy Halloween.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Comic sketches

Working on a comic.
Here is a sample drawing. I use 8 x 11 paper to do the roughs then will use an 11 x 17 for the final one, assuming I dont get distracted and shelve it. I want to have continuity between faces so the final versions would use some kind of reference--perhaps even a cg model since I can turn them in different angles or alter facial expressions.

Monday, August 30, 2010

More walk cycles

No image this month.
Still working on walk cycles in computer graphics for a particular project I hope I will take to completion. I hate leaving this blog with no entries each month so this is my sorry attempt at fulfilling my goal.

I believe more interesting entries will be coming.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Walk practice

WIP: creating a walk in animation using motion capture and altering it to climb a slope.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Book Art

When I wrote a novel some years ago I painted a cover for it. I was unsure about my painting abilities so I did things in an unorthodox way--I made sculptures of certain painting elements-photographed them-had them made into slides-and then painted over the projection onto cardboard. I think i could have just used photographs without needing to project them.
The painting ultimately was ok but kind of crude. I was looking to imitated 1970s movie posters but I didnt have the painting experience for it. However, with CGI I can come closer to that, or even make photorealistic elements. A case in point is this depiction shown-notice the claws matching the ones on the cover.. This was a self published book--it is now pretty much out of circulation and few copies exist. Trying to find a traditional publisher for it but Arabian Nights is a hard sell, at least among unagented channels.

I may eventually do a complete new cover with all cg elements.

Friday, April 30, 2010


Almost 20 years ago I was experimenting with stop motion animation, and planned a film project inspired by 1920s German cinema. The story featured an inventor who creates a large robot named Demogorgon (pictured). Never did much with it, but did animate a short walking sequence of the robot--which was made from cardboard and illuminated with a couple of grains of wheat light bulbs.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Perseus sculpture revisited

Been a long time since I took photos of my Perseus sculpture. I did this in polymer clay in 1997.
If I had known how brittle polymer clay was-I probably wouldnt have made it.
I have to keep it under glass because it is so delicate-and I cannot transport it easily.

It was my attempt to do a classical-style work--with influences from Michaelangelo and Cellini.

Perseus is holding a curved sword and the blood has transformed into serpents as found in the mythological stories.
He is also running across ground that is comprised of the broken shattered remains of precious Gorgon victims.
Although Medusa cannot be seen as the head is inside a bag, the idea was to be closer to traditional interpretations-which suggested a large bulky creature with tusks. I made the snakes much larger and varied-an eel is depicted among them--and they are eyeless.

Might revisit mythology again one day but for now its back to "normal" figures.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Digital sculpting

I have done some digital sculpting as it pertains to computer graphics work. In the early days one had to do box modelling which was like picking at hexagonal mesh or wire--very different from real life sculpting.

But programs advanced so one could use a pen or mouse as if it were pushing a soft surface on the screen.
It isnt like real sculpting either but has some advantages over box modelling.

I have mostly used it for creating texture maps(the surface detail for cg characters) and for experimenting with extreme facial expressions. But I would prefer transferring that to real life sculpting rather than trying to get prints made (taking the digital sculpture and having it printed out as a real object).

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Painting odds and ends

I have done a few paintings over the years. I never had formal training and practiced much less with it than sculpting. I find it relaxing and would like to do more,
but never find the time.
I worked with acrylics mainly, but started with oil but only did one painting which I didnt care for so I may try recycling the canvas for something else.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Of Sculptures, Swords and Sorcery

I did not become interested in sculpture from a fine art background. I was fascinated by miniatures and special effects that employed puppets and scale models designed for tricking the viewer through photography. This interest developed my sculpting ability until I was able to experiment with ways of making miniature figures that looked realistic when photographed under certain conditions. Frankenstein sculpture done for a photography contest. Got an honorable mention.

The angel sculpture was done for a special effects photography experiment. I was frequently asked if the sculpture still existed-and after hearing disappointment when i explained that the sculpture was recycled after it was photographed I started to look at ways to preserve it.

I did some fine art style decorative sculptures as experiments and as freelance work. Mostly hated it. Non-narrative art is very boring to me.

Classical statues, birdbath designs etc.

For my own personal work, the subjects were often based upon sword and sorcery--either Arabian Nights, or Conan inspired, or historical figures like Robin Hood. And a little bit of futuristic/outer space fantasy.
Usually because costume was tedious to sculpt and I was interested in improving the sculpting of bodies-so the more naked the better.

I started by using hydrostone as a casting material--but as I found molds difficult to make-I eventually turned to polymer clay-and made a few pieces with it. But this was not a satisfactory material for a few reasons so I looked into epoxy clay-which was much stronger but harder to work with. I spend a lot of time making the figure faces realistic by adding a transparent eye effect and also miniature eyelashes. A small detail and difficult to add but I like doing it.

Perseus Fleeing the Gorgons' Lair. Ray Harryhausen liked it.

Eventually I used a combination of hydrostone(for heads) and polymer clay or epoxy clay for bodies.
I did some costume sewing but doubt I will try it again.

Now I am experimenting with using all epoxy clay--pressing it into molds made from clay originals.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Blemmyes are a head below the rest

Blemmyes were a race of headless creatures said to live somewhere around Ethiopia or other parts of North Africa in Ancient times. They had no heads, but had faces in the middle of their chest. They are fairly obscure mythological figures. In the late 90s I included them in an Arabian Nights themed novel as guardians of a mysterious treasure located in Northeast Africa. I did a small clay version of them and used the design in a cover painting for the book. In 2007 I did a computer generated version as a learning project. I altered the design when I realized the face couldnt be too big if it were to be even remotely possible, anatomically speaking (the mouth in the previous version would run right into the spine).
The photo with the fiery skeleton illustrates a scene from the novel.