Wow, it's been a while since I've updated. May? Really?
By the way, I took a leap and tried to apply to be a clean up artist at Reverge Labs just for the sake of it. I seriously doubt I passed (I can already see some problems) but I had a blast.
What better way to make yourself feel motivated than by wrecking your own sanity attempting to imitate one of your idols (Alex Ahad) in a field you know absolutely nothing about? WITH PRESSURE ON TOP!
I had no clue what the hell I was doing when I started. Plus I'm an absolute slug with digital work and I constantly backtrack when I feel even the slightest hint of pressure. I started over at least 4 times before I felt I could turn something in.
Just the sense of elation from sitting there, agonizing over the most minute detail, hands cramping up and your ego whittling away as you contemplate over one of your idols once you realize just how much further you need to push yourself after falling into a complacent slump. I can't get over how good it feels.
Best time spent this entire summer. I'm serious. Best kick in the ass I've had in a long time and WAY overdue.
Last edited by Psychotime; August 21st, 2011 at 01:48 AM.
Kudos to you for doing something so terrifying and awesome!
Still loving the figures: I don't think your faces suck, they're just less realistic than their bodies in your anatomy/gesture studies but hey, they're more expressive for it and fit your overall style better.
Don't wait so long before updating again!
I'm more than a little late saying this, but I actually passed their test and was put on board for clean up duty! It's an interesting learning experience, and I wish I had a time machine so I could tell my 16 year old self "Hey, you'll actually be able to take a small part in that project!"
We just finished one character that's just recently been announced, and the current one we're working on is especially fun because it was my favorite out of the original cast Alex designed (with some design tweaks over the years, of course). Some parts are a little frustrating, but my supervisor Richard Suh is keeping me in line. Cool guy. I wonder what new characters are coming through the pipeline that Alex Ahad fans don't already know about? My contract doesn't allow me to look at anything I'm not assigned to take, so even I don't know.
Anyway, finished my first threshold! 10th sketchbook filled! Infinite to go!
Congratulations! Sounds like you're living your dream.
Woah, now. It's nothing major and being an indy developer the pay is kinda eh (9 bucks a frame). It's more or less a side job that I spend my weekends on for a little extra cash. Being full time is out of the question when I live on the opposite side of the country from their office (and I still have school).
It's still cool to have the job and all for my own personal reasons given the art director is one of my influences, but it's nothing really spectacular.
Last edited by Psychotime; September 27th, 2011 at 11:08 PM.
Very entertaining sketchbook! Your character reminds me Oswald ^_^! Lively!
Sketchbook Help me improve! Animations
“To be an animator you have to have a sense of the dramatic, a feel for acting. You have to be a storyteller.”-Marc Davis
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.” ― Mark Twain
My peeps OghrenCare Lakai Etern
I wander through here fairly often, im ashamed for never leaving a comment though D: So much fun stuff abound in here, I really enjoyed seeing your classic cartoon studies sneak in throughout this SB, but they're really gaining a life of their own over this past year. Your little mascot is hilarious, what kind of critter is he? ( a bat wielding bat?) Also.., Kid Dracula, hell yeah!~ Have you read any of Walt Kelly's comic-strip Pogo? Right up your alley.
Anyway, Great stylization duder, its been said before, but update more often will ya? Keep it up!
Last edited by AustenFM; October 1st, 2011 at 06:42 PM.
I'm trying to come up with a comic out of him and a bunch of other characters (I'm not even sure if he'd be the protagonist), but I need to do more research on alot of things (and get better) before I really start.
I know I NEED to read Pogo, but I just haven't gotten to it yet.
Skullgirls has dropped, and I've already yapped a bit about a few of the things I did elsewhere, so why not here? It's been a good while since I've uploaded anything.
I like to yap about this sort of stuff, so I thought I'd give a rundown on how the process I went through worked.
Remember, I only did clean up. I am certainly no animator yet.
Here's the rough animation for Painwheel's front wakeup. It's 9 frames that serve as a link between two animations (Front KO to Idle Stand)
With that, I go over it with new line art and add any details required by the model sheet.
From there I create a shade layer that utilizes predetermined 5 values with a small amount of variation if necessary.
And with that done I create a new layer that maps out the colors. These are VERY specific and are done in an aliased (NOT anti-aliased) bitmap, as it's the only way the engine can read them. These colors are made to be switched around into any palette the engine chooses for them
Some colors are only utilized in certain palletes, and are ignored otherwise. Painwheel's veins (which have three separate colors depending on which part of the body her veins are on: Arms, Legs, or Feet) work the same way, and characters like Parasoul have specfic color mapping that only becomes utilized by certain palletes (I wasn't around to do any Parasoul, but her color map uses a pair of glasses that's only visible in certain palettes.) Valentine has things like blood splatter on her clothes.
Ms Fortune (the character that was being worked on when I joined) was the most AGONIZING of these, because EVERY SINGLE BODY PART had a seperate color on it's own. Painwheel and the rest from that point on were much more simple in comparison. Double actually had the simplest palette out of all of the characters.
But even then I guarantee you that my boss (Clean Up Director Richard Suh) and the rest of the in-house clean up people would need to fix my mistakes on top of what I sent to him. They've done it more than once (I remember my first Ms. Fortune assignment as well as one Valentine one as well). They're great.
I'm basically just the grunt that the in house folks can build off of. What I give them is more or less a base that they can quickly fix up if need be. Here's a frame from Valentine's Air Weak Punch. This was made near the end of the graphics side's run in production and things were getting hectic (I also had finals to worry about.) I had dropped the ball a bit with this one, completely forgetting things like the cast shadow from the arm. My boss told me that because of the rush the in-house people were the ones to fix it. Thankfully he explained everything to me and sent me the new file so that I didn't repeat the same mistakes.
Sometimes I have files that get sent back to me to fix (more value, stronger line weight, colors are off, ect), sometimes more than once (My first assignment with Ms Fortune had like 3 redos). This one was a bit of an exception due to time.
On the left you see the rough frame I had to work from. In the middle you see the frame I sent in. And to the right you see the final frame that was tweaked off of mine. The shadows were beefed up and the lineweight on the one bang was widened. The changes aren't drastic or anything, but you can see the parts I did right and the parts that needed fixing.
We also used Otter UI with a custom script loaded up to compile the files to test out the final look under the game's engine before turning it in (it points out issues with the color bitmap and the like), but my computer had issues running it. Didn't prevent me from working, but still.
I never did find out who's animation I was doing clean up on. There were times when I had unclear roughs to go from or ones that had strange smearing that I wanted to be sure I got correct by the animator's intentions, but any back and forth would be done through my boss who served as mediator.
Doesn't matter too much, but it would have been nice to know who the animator was.
I wonder if anyone can find out what my real name is.
I messed up when the producers were asking for how I wanted my name written on the credits. They wanted to make sure if any of us wanted to use screen names or the like, but I declined to comment because I assumed they would put my full name on it (First, Middle, Last, Suffix) because they bothered to write my full name like that on the checks. I realize now how dumb it was to expect them to do that. Shame, because having my full name on there would have been funny.
I guess some other project, then. Won't make that mistake again.
Last edited by Psychotime; April 11th, 2012 at 12:05 AM.
Wow, night and day comparison from the first page to now! I love the clean-up work on the Skullgirls stuff. I think one of my friends works over there...not sure though, I'd have to double check, but it sounds like you only dealt with one or two people anyhow, so it's probably moot
I love the clean-up work on the Skullgirls stuff. I think one of my friends works over there...not sure though, I'd have to double check, but it sounds like you only dealt with one or two people anyhow, so it's probably moot.
Yeah, I was an outside contractor (I'm on the opposite side of the country from their office), so the only people I'd ever directly contact were the producers and the clean-up director. There wasn't much reason for me to contact anyone else in regards to my assignments; (I'd never even find out who the animator even was!) but I did find a handful of more experienced clean up artists through the Google Groups page that was used to send out important information en masse (model sheet updates, common mistakes to look out for, changes in deadlines, the next character to prepare for, ect).
I did find the animator for that Valentine (the ninja nurse) animation that gave me trouble, but that was by accident and it was long after the game had released anyway. Not much past that.
I can understand the reasoning as to WHY I was never told who's drawings I was cleaning up; (Any questions would be done through the director who'd relay everything back and forth, which would keep him 100% in the loop.) But I would have liked to know regardless. Ah well.
I'm thinking Vet's nose might be too big, not sure if I'll stick with it or not. But truth be told she's the one character that constantly keeps being redone more than any other.
Going slowly but surely with this. The issue of Joplin's clothing has been a big problem for a good while. I've bought a bunch of fashion books, but I'm still at a loss as to the kind of clothes he'd normally wear.
Anyway, I'd like to hear some input if anyone has any.
Last edited by Psychotime; August 9th, 2012 at 09:15 AM.
The very last sketchbook image is something I did for a freshmen who bothered to ask.
Ok, might give a go at explaining what I'm thinking here with a copy paste.
The bottom line is that I'm thinking of taking a 1930's cartoon backdrop (particularly the works of Fleischer and Mintz) and twist it into the vein of a shonen comic. But not just any shonen, Jump-style shonen, REAL shonen: Friendship (友情), Endeavor/Struggle (努力),Victory (勝利). Really goofy, huh?
The story takes place in Great Depression Chicago, about a bunch of inexplicably battle suited weirdos who get mixed up with the Mafia, and subsequently an underground anarchist cult that plotted the murder of the mayor.
Last edited by Psychotime; October 13th, 2012 at 06:00 PM.