Thursday, May 30, 2013

"I'm a Bad Motivator" - Piece Breakdown

So for this blog post, I wanted to do something different, and breakdown my latest piece step-by-step. This is a piece that I call "I'm a Bad Motivator" and it's making fun of the Motivational/Demotivational posters that are so popular on the internet and the scene in Star Wars: A New Hope where R5-D4 blows a motivator. To begin the very first thing I did was sketch out R5. I have a custom chalk brush that I use, that I've found when I use it at 60% opacity, it makes the PERFECT sketching brush.

Now for this piece I tried something different. In the past I've had a very hard time turning my rough and loose sketches, into clean, crisp, line art. I've always stayed away from Illustrator, as frankly I don't know how to use it, which means I've stayed away from the pen tool in Photoshop as well. That changed after I watched this tutorial, which showed me a way to use the pen tool that I didn't previously know about.

Now that I've finished my line art, I went back in and blocked out the basic colors I would be using. In the case of this piece they were; white, red, and blue.

 After I had my color blocked in, I went back and roughly painted in some light shadows, highlights, and details. Nothing too noticeable, just enough so that the picture no longer looked flat and boring.

 The next step was to add in the teardrop and the spot light effect. The way I made the spot light was using a custom shape I made and filling it with a custom gradient of mine (one I learned from watching one of Chris Oatley's videos. I then made a second shape, this time filling it with a radial version of that previous gradient. After applying a Gaussian blur to it, and adding a black background, I got this.

 One of the last steps I did was to go back in and add a lighting layer to the whole piece. I typically make an overlay layer above everything, fill it in with 50% gray, and then use the Burn and Dodge tools to add in shadows and highlights. The final step I did was add a shadow to R5 by duplicating the color layer, filling it in with black, and then warping it so that way it looked like it was laying on the ground. I then when over that layer with a low opacity eraser, so that it faded away, much like a real shadow.

 The final step was to make a "Motivational Poster" template, add in my text and the finished painting, and TAH-DAH!

Well I really hope you liked this breakdown! In the future I might do some more of these. Please feel free to share this post with anyone you know if you think they might get something out of it. Personally, as a beginner in digital art, I love watching an artists process, so posts like these have really helped me out in the past.

Thanks and I'll see you next time!


Monday, May 13, 2013

Digital Painting Progression

So I have had at tablet for the past 8 or so years, that being said I didn't start using it until my first semester in the Character Animation program. One of the seniors in the program, Trey Buongiorno, is a FANTASTIC painter and would have weekly tablet classes (he just graduated so make sure to check out his site!) In the very first class we ended up painting a floating  mountain scene.

I was pretty impressed with how it turned out, considering I had never used my tablet before. The other thing you should know, is that I don't traditionally paint. I have tried in the past but I've just had so many issues, that I decided to stick with drawing. So I really liked digital painting because it fixed all of the issues that I had with traditional painting.

Well two semesters have passed since I started painting and in addition to getting better equipment (going from an 8 year old Wacom Graphire to my baby, a Medium Intuos 5), my skills have gotten significantly better. I decided that for this blog post, it would be cool to do an updated version of that first painting.

I wanted to do another floating mountain piece, but I wanted to have a mountain range involved this time, as opposed to the rock columns I had in my last piece. In addition I wanted to go for a more arctic feel to this piece. Most floating mountain pieces are more tropical (ala Avatar) so I wanted something to set mine apart.

Overall I'm pretty pleased with this piece. I like how it turned out, and I think it definitely shows a progression of my skills as a digital painter.



Tuesday, May 7, 2013

My Intermediate Animation Demo Reel

So as I mentioned in my previous blog post, I recently just completed my first year in the Character Animation program at UCF. One thing I was a bit nervous about when I got into the program, was what it would be like to actually animate in 3D. I had never used any 3D programs before, or did any type of animation, so honestly I was a bit worried that I wouldn't be able to pick it up. Much to my surprise, and my pleasure, I turned out to be a natural! There wasn't a single animation class where you didn't hear someone calling my name to help them out with an animation, which is something I'm honestly quite proud of. For our final animation assignment we had to make up a demo reel containing all of the work we had done in our Intermediate Animation class. I went back and redid all four assignments, in addition to rendering them out in HD. I also decided to do one more animation, just to show everyone, and more importantly the professor, how much I care about animation. With that being said here is my final Intermediate Animation demo reel!


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Allow me to Introduce Myself!

So I decided to start this blog after talking with my good friend Chelsea. She suggested that I make a blog to show off my art, since I'm always posting it on facebook.

I'll start off this blog with a little bit of an introduction. Hi! I'm Josh, nice to meet you! I'm an aspiring 3D animator currently enrolled in the Character Animation program at UCF. I've wanted to be an animator since I was five years old and the more I learn about the field, the more excited I get to work in it.

While I've always wanted to be an animator, I wasn't really sure if I wanted to pursue traditional 2D animation, or work towards becoming a 3D Animator. That all changed my senior year of high school when I read the book The Pixar Touch. This book legitimately changed my life, because from that moment on I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life .

The Character Animation program at UCF is quite an experience. I was lucky enough to be selected to join the program, after a grueling application process, along with 24 amazing artists. This past year has been eye opening as we've gotten to experience what it would be like to work in a real studio setting.

During the time we've been in the program, we went through the process of coming up with stories for us to animate, before finally narrowing it down to two films; Celestial and Yours, Mime, and Ours. I had been a part of Celestial since midterms, so I was quite excited when we found out we were selected as one of the two films.

We just finished up our first year of pre-production, and over the course of the next year we will go through the process of modeling, rigging, texturing, lighting, animating, and rendering our short film. From time to time I will update this blog on the progress of our film.

On this blog I plan to post any drawings, paintings, or Animations I've done. Occasionally I might do a breakdown of a certain piece.