Sunday, February 26, 2012

Link of the Week!

Hey guys! I got you something, it's really awesome, really special, and just for you, it's the LINK OF THE WEEK!!!

The Link of the Week this week is a link to the blog of Andreas Deja!

Now, you may be asking yourself...
"But Rico, who is he, and whats makes him so special?"

WELL! I'M HAPPY YOU ASKED! He studied under the 9 Old Men around the same time as other animation top dogs Tim Burton & John Lasseter! In short, he's one of the legends! He's animated some of the most famous villains such as Jafar, Gaston, AND Scar!  He packs his blog full of original Disney art, concepts and character sketches, from Madam Medusa to Mamma Odie! So be sure to check it out!!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Links of the Week!

Hey all, it's Tyler's turn for links this week!

First one is probably familiar (I think we've talked about it on Facebook before), but I wanted to make sure we made mention of it on our "official blog" as well, and that's the  Animator Letters Project. It makes for some extremely uplifting reading for those times when you feel like your not making as much progress with your work as you'd like, or that you'll never compare to how you feel you should.

An artist I'd like to draw attention to this week is Jeff Agala, a creative director at the independent game studio Klei Entertainment.

Jeff's work ranges from the very cartoony to very graphic and comic-booky, and is always eye-catching and dynamic. Jeff is probably most familiar for his work on Atomic Betty, and lately the Shank series of games.

you can see all his work at his blog!:

Meeting Overview, 2/17/12

Hey again, all!
Just a brief recap of this week's meeting, which was pretty low-key:

We watched Cats Don't Dance!

and a few shorts afterwards...and that was about it!

We would like to mention that Don Hertzfeldt, creator of "Rejected", "Billy's Balloon" and many otheres, is going to be at the Wexner Center at 7:00 pm on Wednesday the 22nd, for those interested. For all the information about the event, you can visit here:

Wexner Center Events

See you all next week for Bethany Craig's tutorial on how to draw feet.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Meeting Overview, 2/10/12

Hey everyone! Sorry for a late recap, but we're having some technical difficulties with the video we shot of Wes' demo. As soon as we figure them out, we'll post it, hopefully in nice, digestible chunks for you. Going forward we should have a better handle on the logistics of video stuff.

Anywho, we began our meeting in the traditional way: talking about various "administrative" stuff:
  •  We covered our plans for an Internship Calendar in the entrance to the labs, as well as here on the blog
  • We talked about the our ideas for an end of year "show" focusing on the Art of Animation (storyboards, character designs, models, etc.), and the various locations we've scoped out for it thus far.
  • We talked briefly about further networking tips, and Rico suggested using "the buddy system" when networking. Basically, have someone you can rely on to hype you to other people, as well as you do the same for them/someone. In essence, have someone else to say how great you are, so as not to appear egotistical
After all that, we moved in to the lab, where Rico introduced Wes Talbott, who gave us all a demonstration of his workflow while digital painting, as well as tips along the way:

To Make Linework from a scanned sketch:
  • select outside sketch with wand tool
  • inverse
  • In "channels", choose "blue", then fill with black
  • set to soft light or overlay (instead of multiply, use OVERLAY / SOFT LIGHT – doesn't muddy the colours)
This way, you have just your linework on its own, seperate layer.

Put in FLAT COLORS FIRST – basically in the order of how you would “dress” someone. Skin, hair, shirt, pants, shoes, etc.
  • flats = select and fill with pen tool (like illustrator)
  • free lasso for organic shapes (bushes, rocks)
  • flats are darker, usually

If you select and fill, you get nice clean lines for your flats, and not the fuzzy edges a brush can leave.

Break everything up into layers – every new element on a new layer – Skin, Hair, Clothes, Trees, Grass, etc.

Make a clipping mask over your flat shape (ie, skin) and paint only over your shape (new layer, create clipping mask).

Figure out your light source!! Super important!

  • Start emphasizing areas with a lighter colour than the flats. Not technically highlights, but start building form/contrast

COLORS – paint from cool to warm
- start with medium (in between), add warm highlight, then cool shadow

Change things as you go! Step back and look at the whole piece every so often and adjust hue and saturation.

Lower the opacity on the lines, or turn them off all together – this way you are not dependent on them!!

Protip: Don't make the eyes white. Eyes are not usually as white as people thing they are. Your eyelids cast shadows, etc.

Figure drawing classes will absolutely help you learn anatomy/how the light hits the form, etc

Darks should be on a separate layer than the lights. Layer breakdown will be: Skin (flats), darks, lights, facial features.

After you've added your darks and lights, add “effects” – overlay, multiply, etc. soft touches of color to emphasize. Like red glows on the nose, cheeks, ears. Add cool spots in the shadows.

A finished piece can have something like 100-200 layers.

NOSES – contrast, sharp edges

  • download brushes from the net! Lots of resources!
  • Stipply brush
  • the key to metal is a ton of contrast
  • start vague/big, then add harder shapes


Paint in huge areas and then erase away.

High contrast of value and high contrast of temperature.

Have reference! Even if it's something you've painted before. Until you get completely comfortable with it.

Common mistakes: not enough contrast/sharpness (fuzzy paintings), using textures in the wrong way.

Brushes – set to touch sensitivity and initial direction

Textures - don't do it wrong. Paint your own textures then put an actual texture over top of it to enhance it. Be subtle with textures – don't rely on them. Textures show in light, textures don't show in shadow. Paint accordingly.

Layers for textures – overlay, 30% opacity

Straight lines – draw with rulers, pen tool, clipping planes

Edge quality – if you paint with flats, you're going to get a lot of sharp edges, on a new layer, pick a medium colour and SOFTEN THOSE EDGES. Personal preference – metal can be sharp, for instance


ZATRANSIS @ DeviantArt, Justin Gerard, Sam Burley, Brian Matyes – resource for digital painting. Lots of tutorials, and talks about technology and it's ALL FREE. There's a community for where you can post your sketch book and people can look at it/talk to you about it (this is a resource Bethany uses, ask her)

WATCH TUTORIALS, mess around, make mistakes, practice

LEXICON – PENSSYLVANIA CON – had portfolio reviewed. Limited to artists, students, art teachers, art buyers, etc.

Message from Wes: “People can come into the Learning Resource Center on Thursday from 3:30-5:30 and Friday from 1:30 to 3:30. I can answer any painting questions they have, give critiques, etc.”

Here's a link to the painting Wes worked on, if you'd like to fool around with it, as well as some of the brushes he used:

Next week's meeting is a Movie Night, and we'll be watching Cats Don't Dance. See you then!

Link Of The Week

Hi everyone, It's Bethany here with your link of the week. What I have to offer you this week are two blogs that I adore. They are a huge inspiration to me, have influenced my work, and have sparked my creativity. I hope they do the same for you if not more.

The first artist is Melissa van der Paardt. She went to Calarts and has a passion for animation and character design.

The second artist is Floriane Marchix. She went to Gobelins and is now working for Dreamworks. Not to mention that she was the leading concept artist for the very recently released Rayman Origins for PS3. Her work is truly breathtaking.
Enjoy everyone!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Link of the Week!

Hey ASC! Bekah here, with a handy Link of the Week:

This is a super cool reference for drawing facial expressions - there are some nice exaggerated expressions, and the coolest part is the camera angles. Each facial expression has a 360 degree view, the ability to zoom in and out, and the choice of high, level, or low camera angles.

Really awesome for expanding perspective in your drawings! :)

Meeting Overview, 2/03/12

Hello all! This is a long post, so just be prepared. :)

A reminder:

- Keep an eye out for the Internship Deadlines Calender that we'll be posting on the bulletin board in the Media Labs. Feel free to add any other deadlines you know about! We'll also make a version of this calendar available on the blog as soon as it's finished.

We had a really great evening full of tips on how to network and manage your online presence, given by our fearless leader: Rico Jackson. Here are some notes from the presentation:


First of all, GET A BLOG – Blogger, preferably, just because of the amount of people in the industry who use it. Then, follow other blogs! Find artists whose work you respect and enjoy. Build a network of inspiration!

If possible, be number one on google when you search for your name. You want people searching for you to find your work as easily as possible. You can do this by giving yourself pageviews!

Make posts! Keep up with posting! REGULARLY. Post like once a week. People who don't post in years can look bad.

Also, get a banner! You've got to keep people's attention and advertise yourself as an artist. This is the age of people too lazy to google things. You have a couple of seconds to capture your audience. People will associate your banner with your blog/you.

Set a profile picture. An illustrated one! Change your picture frequently. Or not. Decide whether or not you want people to associate a single image with you, or if you'd rather change things up and keep them on their toes.

Unfollow, re-follow. Seems silly, but it works. It gets your picture back up at the top.This could be important for big-name blogs who only look at their first 10 followers or so.

Comment back on other people's blogs, to make sure they see it.

Tag things with key words! Like, Pixar, Brave, etc, when relevant. People searching Blogspot for these key phrases will find your blog.

  • Have style variation. Show that you can do a variety of styles.
  • Show personality in the MOMENT. Something should be happening to that character in that moment.
  • Show lots of perspective, different views – not just turn-arounds, but turn-arounds with different camera angles.
  • Have recurring characters in multiple posts. Talk about them more than once!
  • Show your process. Have sketches all the way to finished pieces. Show raw work that hasn't been edited.
  • 40+ pages


Facebook CAN be a good networking tool. You want as many people looking at your work as possible. You never know where new roads will lead.

When you post updates to blogs, POST TO YOUR FACEBOOK. People will see it, like it, comment on it, and this will result in more page views. Tag people that are relevant to your posts! Or if you just want them to see something.


Have one! Follow big studios on twitter. They often post about up-and-coming projects, as well as seek positions for said projects through social media like Twitter! Tweet to them and they may follow you back! Post links to your blog posts. The More eyes on your work the better!


Like Facebook, but for professionals!

You can easily find connections to industry professionals through other members (like professors).

Look at "Recent Activity" for big companies, like Pixar. Look for new interns, for example. You can email them, and it's much less intimidating! They may be very forthcoming with advice.

Try emails! Who knows whether or not it will work?


Rico - "Networking is just like being in a nightclub. You see a fine cutie across the floor, you gotta go after them! They're not gonna come after you."

Be personable! Have a business card. Yes, it's going to be awkward. Play that up! Make it funny, it'll be fine.

IMPORTANT ADVICE: Never gossip in the industry, or talk bad about co-workers or previous employers. The industry IS a small place. It WILL get back to your higher-ups and may result in not getting a certain job, losing a job, or even getting blacklisted.

And that's about it! We hope it was helpful, and that everyone learned something.

Here's a schedule for the rest of February:

Friday, February 10th - Digital Painting Demo with Wes Talbott
Friday, February 17th - Movie Night - Cats Don't Dance!
Friday, February 24th - Tutorial on How to Draw Feet with Bethany Craig

See you there! :)