Thursday, 24 April 2014

Demo Reel Year 1


PHEW. That was exhausting.

Here's my demo reel/a look back at some of the work I did in first year:

It's been one week since I finished school and I already miss it so very much, I want September to arrive already!

 What I enjoyed the most of my first year was the people. They made me enjoy every day at school and made me want to go there nearly every single day. With summer break here there's been people that returned to their respective provinces and countries and it was a pretty sad to go to school the other day to clean out my locker and not see people in the studios. Familiar faces you expect to see right around the corner/station weren't there and it was somewhat crushing.

It's only been a week and I already can't bear this 4 month long hiatus, this will be a very long summer and I'm actually not looking forward to it.

Apart from that I enjoyed year 1 immensely. It was everything that I hoped it would be and much much more. I enjoyed all the classes even ones that I didn't like much (electives don't count) because it was always animation related anyway! There were several instances in the middle of any class where I realize, "Geez, I'm drawing cartoons for school. This is going to be my career." It's literally a dream come true. It was such a surreal feeling to experience, learn and apply knowledge gained from the entertainment that I grew up on.


Anyone that knows me knows how much of a big deal that is, it's my all time favourite film and to watch it and learn from it is something from my dreams.

Overall I enjoyed it and I most definitely improved A LOT in drawing and I'm proud to be where I'm at skill-wise, even though I'm known for not being confident enough with my work. I have 3 more years of school ahead of me and a lifetime more in improving. This summer I've already got a few film plans with some friends and an idea for my own. Hopefully they get finished and completed and I hope my own idea works out. I'm also taking an animation course starting May so maybe that might make my summer go by quicker, although it's only until June.

Now I must get back to preparing for next year and getting some well deserved sleep and rest.

Animated Character In Sequence (Hula Hippo)

We got to animate part of our in sequence assignment we did for character design earlier in the semester. I had a bit of difficulty with it at first but once I got into animating it, I got really into it. It required that we animate 2-3 seconds of our in sequence and for such a short time, it was a ton of work and paper. 

It was so fulfilling in the end to see my character come to life, even if it is for just for a couple of seconds. That moment when you animate something and see it come to life is the most rewarding part of this art form and it is one of the reasons why I love it so much.

Enjoy 2 seconds of Hula Hippo!

Here's a looping gif for your easy viewing pleasure but it looks just a tad quicker:

Marco & Sarah's Epic Short Film

For our final digital tools assignment we had to make a short film, so I collaborated with Sarah Kieley to create this silly little short. We stuffed it with as much cliches as we could:

We animated our own character's transformation/weapon sequences, you'll probably be able to tell with the clash of styles haha. I also animated the beginning with the distant shot of the girl jumping.

Since I'm not particularly good at layout, we agreed that I handle the transformation sequence backgrounds. For references I looked into typical anime transformation sequences such as in Sailor Moon and mostly from one of my favourite ads: the Fratellis Flathead Ipod Commercial. I wish we had more time because I enjoyed animating these design-oriented backgrounds and they could use a little bit more polish.

Concept Art

Sarah's original drawing of her character.

My redesign of Sarah's character. She's nameless but I kept referring to her as "Pointy" even in file names or when I talked about certain scenes. So she's unofficially named Pointy. Only request I had with her character was to colour her jacket yellow, I just thought it looked like a badass raincoat and it would make her stand out from the backgrounds.

The character I designed based off the style of Sarah's concept and my redesign of her character. I named him Bino (Bye-no) because of the binoculars he uses. In the end you don't even see him using it haha.

There was an up to date colour test but I can't find it, so you'll have to settle for an earlier one that's missing the back of his jacket. 

Storyboards, here you can see a deleted scene that involved Bino.

A background I designed for a scene that got deleted because we didn't have time. It's the part where Bino is looking through his binoculars behind a rock and walks away in the storyboards.

For the final freeze frame we wanted a ton more detail on our characters and drew them in the most badass pose possible. Sarah and I drew our own characters but Sarah coloured both of them in.

Life Drawing Dump

So my instructor drew on most of the drawings I liked to show corrections, unfortunately none of those will be posted. I managed to pick out the ones he didn't draw on because he liked them and ones that I didn't put into any of the portfolios this past semester:





We had a clothed model after portfolios were done, I haven't drawn clothed figures in so long I need to restudy clothing folds for next year!


I started to lean towards cartooning as the session went on.



I waited all year for caricature day, I was excited! We went into groups and drew each other for 10 minutes each it was super fun! I liked the one I drew of Leah and Sarah the most:

I've had pink pastel in my conte case since last year, it finally came in handy again when I had to draw Sarah's hair.

Zoo Trip

Also here are remnants of that godawful zoo trip we had to do, I could go on about how much of a bad idea that field trip was. Regardless of its ridiculousness, I still managed to get a few drawings I liked which were mostly done with ballpoint pen.

Warning, incoming rant.

Life drawing's over and for a subject that I absolutely adored before, I can't say I liked it nor disliked it this time around. Don't get me wrong I learned a lot of new things, changed my technique a bit, and improved, but at the same time I feel like I've improved only a little. The only way you could have succeeded in that class was to draw from the books. There was no room for any other style, there wasn't any encouragement to improve the way you draw if you draw differently nor was there any support to find a way to make a different style work.

It was disheartening to be told to draw like everybody else when at the same time I'm being complimented by my lines and how its expressive from the exact same person. A mixed message of "stop what you're doing" and "keep doing what you're doing" but not any assistance to make my style work. I've seen some animators and illustrators that life draw similar to me (and significantly better! I wish I was at their level) and they found a way to make their style work. Whenever I was given actual drawing technique advice the majority of it was to convert my style, something that I did try several times until I stopped because it was censoring myself and it was significantly slowing and ruining my workflow. It's not the way I think and its not how I express myself. Telling me to draw differently is telling me to not draw for myself, its robbing the very thing every artist holds dear to them: self expression. 

I hear second year is better and I've seen people who never really enjoyed life drawing improve a lot and actually create some awesome work they never thought they could. There's also the horse drawings next year! I'm excited and nervous at the same time. In the meantime I'm going go study some anatomy to prepare for next year.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Seahorse Jazz - Character in Setting

Final painting assignment involved making a scene with a character in it. We were allowed to do it with any medium and even take it farther by using cut outs and make it more of a conceptual piece. 

At first I couldn't decide whether or I wanted to make it a painting with an acetate overlay or cut out due to time constraints. With a last minute decision I decided to do it as a cut out because I knew I would regret not trying it.

So here it is done with watercolour paper, watercolour, and gouache:

Seahorse Jazz

I really like how the seahorses turned out in terms of design and construction, I like the silhouettes the most. I really enjoyed going back, cutting out and painting more details on it. I also made sure that in order to give it some 3 dimensional feel to it, I curled the tips of the paper just a bit so that they stick up a tad and only glued small areas so that gaps were still present. The seaweed in the foreground is elevated a bit using small pieces of foam core. Foam core was also used for the border. I knew hoarding extra foam core from previous projects in VCA would come in handy!

Some close ups:

Inspiration obviously from Brittney Lee and Mary Blair, I wish I could be at their level...someday...someday...

Monday, 14 April 2014

Flour Sack Animation

We had to pick an object and animate a flour sack and give it some personality while interacting with the object. I picked a mushroom and thought of Mario games and how some mushrooms act like jumping pads even in Mario Kart. So I made it like a trampoline...with a twist... I like the jumps the most in this. I drew a bunch of poses that the flour sack could have done at the height of his jump and chose the best ones with good silhouettes.

This is dedicated to the tramp champ, may he watch over us all from above and guide us towards ascension:

Friday, 11 April 2014

Mac - Character Design Package

For our final character design assignment we had to design a character and create 8 poses and 8 expressions, I had a fun time designing and creating the personality for this character. I was even laughing while drawing some of the poses, especially for the one where he's pretending to be an airplane while spitting. 

For the final assignment I noticed a pattern in my previous characters and tried to avoid 2 things: cute and fat. I only managed to avoid fat. I originally had an insane coyote/fox  character that was heavily simplistic in style who had a companion bird named Mac. After several attempts to make an insane, ugly, and mangy coyote and only be told again by a few people (without knowing what I was trying to avoid) that it was "cute", I gave up on it.

I embraced the cuteness of my character designs instead. I ended up scribbling a bird and liked the shape a lot and decided to transform my original Mac character design into this final one. I made sure he was cross eyed as often as possible.

I think the clean up could have been better but the lack of time required me to work with what I had. I also wanted to colour him, I'll probably do it when school's over. Eek, just typing that out felt weird. I don't want this school year to end, even though I'm desperate for a break.

Anyway meet Mac!

Rough work!

The drawing at the top is the first drawing of Mac. I drew it after making a cylinder shape connected to half a circle and then made something out of it. I ended up liking the shapes and silhouette. Also bonus drawing of Lucas "Maffixville" eating soup in the bottom right by Sarah Kieley

Here you can see a remnant of the coyote character design I had in mind..

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Galaxy Gal - A 24 Hour Film by Studio Mongoose

I present to you Studio Mongoose's second 24 Hour Film!

I extremely enjoyed working on this one with the team. It another exhausting event and the premier for it at the 24 Film Festival went spectacular.

I will try and post some behind the scenes stuff sometime at the end of this week but work is piling up in these last 2 weeks. So I can't make any promises for this week, but I will post some of the process work and talk about what I worked on sometime soon.

Stay tuned!

And don't forget to check out our tumblr:

And our podcast tumblr where you can find the rest of the films that were submitted for the 24 Hour Film Festival with a whopping 14 films this semester!