iPhone Videos - Brushes

Good Things Come in Small Packages Nomad Contest

The team at Nomad Brush was kind enough to ask me to test-drive their new Mini 2 retractable brush, and make a piece of art for their new themed content. Though the competition is pretty stiff, I think I have a chance at this! If you like my illustration, 'Small Wonder', please vote for me here.


Verge video about Squarespace

Since I am using Squarespace right now, I am biased, but I enjoyed this video interview with the service's founder. The discussion on team building, and knowing what to look for in leaders I found refreshing. We have this idea that successful companies do most things right; but that is usually because they have the ability to improve after they fail. 

Mobile Art Presentation at TekServe in NYC Nov 11

Last night at TekServe in NYC, I assisted David Scott Leibowitz in a presentation about creating art on mobile devices, in support of his book on the same topic that collects the work and working methods of dozens of mobile artists from around the globe. I drew, mashed, and 3d sculpted on my iPad during the presentations using a variety of different apps. Please let me know if you have any questions about any of the artwork or apps that I showed during the presentation. David's website can be found in the link below:



Ellie's Rescue painted on an iPad using Procreate

Glaze is allowing me to experiment directly with extruded paint effects, though the effect 
is a bit on the heavy side

Collider 2013 Conference in NYC June 10th and 11th

sessions so far from the Collider NYC Conference, June 9-11:

After day one of the Collider event, so far it's a bit of mixed bag- a conference that hasn't quite decided whether it wants to be a community of like-minded artists swapping stories and techniques, a jobfair, or a place to hawk your soft and hardwares. It could be all three successfully, like a mini East Coast version of SIGGRAPH, but it's not quite there yet. There have been some excellent, well-crafted presentations about specific ad or feature projects and entire career paths, as well as a few presentations that feel like they were written on a bar napkin and then left under the dregs of an overpriced glass of single malt scotch last night (or early this morning following the red-eye from LA, where half of the presenters hail from). As someone who has given his fair share of conference presentations, I am usually slow to criticize anyone who gets up and describes their process in front of their peers, but I also believe that good work that is well documented should be presented lovingly. Some artists feel that self-deprecation and presenting themselves as 'quirky' and/or extemporaneous is endearing to a crowd. Sadly, they are wrong. If you love what you do and respect your teams that make content with you, represent them well with forethought and tested presentation content. They'll be honored and proud, and you won't appear as much of an ogre when you need them to work late due to a client's new creative need. 

Day one of the conference highlights would have to include director John Kahrs and his talk about Innovation detailing the development process and ideation behind the genius short Paperman at Disney, which used a pioneering proprietary Disney tool called Meander.
This software, created independent of the need that Kahrs encountered on Paperman (an uncanny 'happy accident' greenlit by John Lasseter),  allows 2d animators to hand-animate vector-based organic linework sequences over 3d animation. The result is both startlingly refreshing and a romantic classic at the same time, and you have to tip your hat to work of this high caliber.


Watch it again, and take notice of the way that shadow and light are used in every frame- the female character starts in the light, and brightens every shot with her presence, while the male character is in shadow until the very end. It's done in a way that is subtle and masterful, that leads you want to watch the animation again and again. 

Disney and Kahrs clearly treated this as a labor of love, an homage to an older style of animation that is fading from the public consciousness, and has already largely disappeared from all production pipelines. Kahrs showed clips similar to this one to detail his process, and explain this marriage of cell and digital techniques. 
For an even deeper dive, check out this clip of Kahrs discussing Paperman:
Though they had a small booth and no one actually describing the reel, the new company started by Guillermo del Toro, Mirada, had some very interesting work and methodology and plans to open a New York facility soon.
Patrick Boivin, the YouTube partner and sensation, gave an interesting 30 minute talk on his background and directing style. http://woolflapin.com/talents/patrick-boivin/
Patrick's videos are pretty hilarious, and it's hard to resist their charm, even when some of the pieces don't come together perfectly. AT-AT afternoon was one of the earlier pieces that went viral, and is easily my favorite, with some great attention to canine mannerisms and dog-lover would spot immediately. 
Joshua Harvey revealed some of the process used at his LA-based studio, Buck, when they were presented with a pretty amazing brief by Good Books which imagined Hunter S. Thompson searhing for a copy of Kafka's Metamorphosis. Buck used a blend of different animation styles, in some cases using 3d to get the basic blocking before over-drawing in Photoshop before comping the finals together. The entire project took about 6 months, though about 3 months in earnest. 
Though the other parts of the series were not made by Buck, they are definitely worth a look. This one was done by the Mill and String Theory:
My order is a little off in the posts above, but the day started with a presentation by Angus Kneale and Toygar Bazarkaya from the Mill and BBDO NY on a spot for PETA that they made called "98% Human", which was intended to convey to the effects industries for commercials and features that the use and mistreatment of animals has become unnecessary due to digital techniques. The spot is amazing in its detail, especially since there was no motion capture, and mainly to prove PETA's point, no direct access to any live primates at all to make the piece. This lack of direct information was a challenge for the Mill, though through many iterations, they were able to push through the Uncanny Valley to a natural and emotive likeness. 
I can't remember whether they talk about it in the video below, but their workflow was Arnold and Nuke...Nuke came up a lot as the compositor of choice; I asked a few of the techs on projects about their preferences, and it always seemed to depend on the project specifics, though there was a lot of love for Nuke, Softimage, and Houdini.

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