Skip to content

Trek Fan Shirt

I made up a fan shirt in time for the new Star Trek movie that came out a month ago.

ST Fan Shirt

I ended up canning this image; or the slogan, anyway.  It just felt too insider-ish. First you had to get the reference to Shepard Fairey’s Obama Hope Poster. But even if you got that reference, unless you were a hard core trekkie, you were left scratching your head at the IDIC slogan.

So, instead I went to print with this image, instead.

Spock Fan Shirt Final

I wanted to do a Kirk shirt as well, but I didn’t have the right one-word slogan. Yet.

Peanut Spidey

Here’s another shot at inking and coloring a peanut Spidey in Freehand.

First the sketch.

Then the inked and colored version.

The linework feels more lively than my previous example, but I don’t know if Spidey feels very peanut-y anymore, though.

Just finished reading:

This is the first Tintin story I’ve ever read; and it really blew my hair back. Though this collection is black and white, I’ve seen color samples of Herge’s strip and they’re just beautiful.

In fact, don’t this;

and this;

seem to have a lot in common? (You can check out my previous post on this piece here.)

And so far, this link is the best look at Herge‘s process that I’ve found.

screentone out

Speedruns or Speed Runs?

Well, there it is. I finished up MGS3 this weekend. It took 81/2 pages of notes, 24 days, with 25 hours of recorded game time. (Actual game time was probably somewhere around 50, I would guess, since I would have to restart if I was spotted, or died during a boss battle.)

I only shot 56 of the 64 Kerotan frogs; but I did collect all of the food items, got all of the boss camos, and received the stealth camo. I counted 60 areas of gameplay.

Of course, all of this is amateur stuff compared to speedruns like these:

Adnan Kauser’s MGS3 run:

http://www.archive.org/details/MetalGearSolid3_EuExtreme_FoxHound_12946

Takeshi’s MGS2 run:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSJguEjH6mA&feature=related

and Matt Powell’s MGS run:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EU8Yws8XY7I

I’ve only just discovered that these even existed, but I can’t believe the planning and execution that would have to go into a speed run (or speedrun, I’ve seen it both ways) like this.

Now, after watching these speed runs, here’s what I would love to see. Let’s take MGS, the 1998 Playstation version; get all of the cutscenes, all of the codec conversations that are vital to the plot, and a speed run like Powells; then cut them together so that you could watch it like a (really long) movie. And do it for each of the games in the series. I would buy those on DVD.

That’s my million dollar idea for the day.

Oh, and if I were Konami, I would create a tour, so that you could go see these guys live, in-person, when they’re making a record breaking run.

Look at that. Two million dollar ideas in one day. Not too shabby.

screentone out.

Peanut Preview

Here’s a look at a sketch done in preparation for my piece for an upcoming art show. Be warned: “Thar’ be crazies on that link!”

The theme I’m participating in is Peanut People; right now the name of my piece is Peanut Gallery. I’m going to draw gobs of characters from fact and fiction.

Here’s a color version of Peanut Spidey.

As always, you can click on the image for a closer look.

The inks are too heavy; too lifeless; no thicks and thins; no line variety in general. (Inks were done in Macromedia Freehand, by the way. I used the variable stroke pen tool. If I had it to do again, I’d use the Bezier pen tool. More control.)

I’m fairly happy with the color job. Also done in Freehand.

More on the way!

screentone out

Jellyfish Work Scribble

Most frustrating at work is the lack of actual design time. It’s a lot of busy work, and it gets particularly bad during the fall.

So, any chance I get to draw at work, I try to scoop it up. Here’s a few jellyfish I scribbled in photoshop. I try to draw fast to stay loose; so I end up with a lot of unnecessary “pencil” marks.

jellyfish-sketch

 

Jellyfish have such great shapes; so flowingly elegant and alien all at the same time. For comparison, Here’s the photo I found online for reference.

You can tell I wasn’t terribly successful at capturing their tentacles, conveying the light and darks, or their translucence. And I should have pushed more from realism into caricature.

screentone out

The River

I spent the day at the river with my dad. (That’s him on the left holding the stick.)

Went fishing with live bait. Just look at the size of this monster!

Can you spot the frog in this photo? Click on the image for a closer look.

Krikey! A lizard lost its tail. (That’s it just to the left of the shadow.) It was still wiggling when I took this photo, but the lizard was nowhere to be found.

screentone out

MGS 2, MGS 3, MGS 4, and Me

Why I haven’t been updating; told in a single image:

I picked it up the day after my birthday, but, to be fair, I haven’t been playing it very much. What I have been playing are MGS 2 and 3, and I’m glad I did, because I didn’t remember half of the story. (You can download the Metal Gear Database onto your PS3 to catch you up, story-wise, and I did, and it’s well done, but it’s been a lot of fun going back into these games.)

I breezed through MGS 2 in about 15 hours, but I’ve been taking my time going through Metal Gear 3, which is simply a flawless game. It’s so immersive; the sounds of the jungle, the slow deliberate gait of the KGB soldiers scattered throughout the game, the rustle of movement from nearby jungle creatures, and that’s even playing it on my old RCA (so old I needed to buy a video converter to plug the PS3 into it) with just the one little buit-in speaker in the corner. I can only imagine playing on a system with surround sound.

The reason I’ve been taking my time with MGS 3 is that, with the help of 3 guides from gamefaqs, I’m attempting to capture all of the food items, snipe all of the Kerotan Frogs, and make it through the entire game without raising an alert. As such, it’s been taking awhile, and I’ve been keeping copious notes, so that I don’t lose track of what I need to do. Here’s a look at a typical page:

Once again, my geekdom knows no bounds. (There’s a T-shirt there, somewhere.)

So, I’ve had the Metal Gear 4 PS3 Bundle Pack for a month now and haven’t even touched MGS4. My friends are astonished.

Unfortunately, taking such intense care with MGS3 has made it seem a little like work of late, so I’ve been distracted this past week with another birthday present, “The Pixar Touch” by David A. Price.

It’s terrific. As a Pixar wannabe, I’ve gleaned a lot about Pixar’s process from watching the DVDs (which at their best are loaded with extras and therefore kind of a home film school, and at their worst, they’re the Cars DVD), but a lot, and I mean a lot of it, I didn’t know;particularly about Pixar’s early days (Ed Catmull is an extraordinary genius), the circumstances which led to Lasseter’s hiring (Lasseter is a staggering blend of talent and ambition), and the copyright infringement trials surrounding Monster’s, Inc. (I was completey unaware of the two separate trials at the time).

But ignoring my web log posting duties has been just a byproduct of the real procrastination at hand. There’s another big art show coming up on 8/8/08: The Crazy Eights and the Eighty-Eight Lesser Themes. My theme is one of the Crazy Eights, “Peanut People.”

That’s right, peanut people. You know, like the monocled, top-hatted Planters mascot. And I’ve decided to draw a lot of peanut people, so I’ve got a lot of work to do.

Better get to it.
screentone out

Art Show Photos

Here are a couple of crowd shots from the show. We had a great turnout; an incredible number of people really. I also have a bunch of shots of the show that my friend Binh took. I’ll be trying to post those in some fashion as well; the image files are huge, but I’d like to post as many as possible. Maybe it’s time to research flickr?

Binh’s a better photog, so I’ll bet he’s got better shots. Here’s another one, though. It was great to have so many people; and so many people buying tshirts, especially since the proceeds went to charity.

And what the heck. Here’s one more. This guy really loved his tshirt. And why not? It’s a sweet T. I bought one, myself.

More photos tomorrow; as soon as I figure out the best way to post them.

I also added a little bit of Herocaps behind the scenes. There’s a link on the sidebar.

And, remember, more tomorrow!

Herocaps Debut

Here it is, the final product, in box.

On the left is the Hulk Herocap and on the right is the Eggman Herocap.

They really look great. Thanks again, Don, Ryan, Binh and my mom, too, for all of the help. The Herocaps debuted tonight, at the art show at Hot Shops.

The show was a great success. Thanks to all who attended, thanks to all who participated and thanks to all who organized. I think we sold quite a few tshirts and all of the proceeds are going to charity, so it was really a great event. I’ll post some pictures tomorrow; when I have time for a lengthier post.

I took these photos with a camera I just received for my birthday. It is the HP Photosmart R847. You can read about the camera, here. It’s not a very good review, but I suspect that the camera will be fine for my purposes.

At any rate check back tomorrow, or rather later in the day today, for photos from the art show; and an added behind-the-scenes look at Herocaps.

Adios.

Eggcap Decals

The lack of posts has been due to the heavy workload trying to get Herocaps launched for the art show on Saturday.

I’m going to keep today’s post short; it’s late at night and I’m fried from the string of late nights spent scrambling to finish.

Both Don and Binh have both pitched in during crunch time with a huge amount of help. I wouldn’t have made it otherwise. Thanks, guys. Much appreciated.

Here’s a peek at the decals I’m using for the Eggcap; if I had more time; they look really turned out beautiful. The colors are rich and deep, and the glossy finish really looks snazzy. Click to enlarge.

I printed off two sets of his features just in case anything happened to the first set.

You can see the paper mock up I did before printing on the adhesive paper. There’s also the sketch I did on a sheet of paper that I curled around the cap to get a sense of the design and placement of the stickers.

You also might have noticed the Marvel sticker on the decal sheet. That’s for the Hulkcap box.

More to come.

Adios for now.

The Mysterious Connection between Indy 4 and Back to the Future!

But first, here’s a look at the finished Indy 4 Fan Shirt. Indy 4 the Movie was a disappointing failure on a variety of levels, but the Indy 4 Fan Shirt looks terrific!

Merry, my printer on these shirts, once again did an incredible job; and she’s great to work with. It seems I’m always on a tight deadline, I always have last minute changes; and she is always there to get me through it. Thanks Merry! And even though the movie wasn’t very good, you can still get the wallpaper version of my Indy Fan Shirt. You’ll find it on the sidebar under the pages heading.

Now, for the Mysterious Connection Between the flaw-filled Indy 4 and the flawless Back to the Future.

If you’ve seen Indy 4, then you remember the sequence of the film where Indy found himself in the fake town set up at the heart of the nuclear testing and has to hide in a lead lined refrigerator to shield himself from the blast?

Well, about five or so years ago, I read an early draft of the screenplay for Back to the Future, back before the Bobs, Zemeckis and Gale, had conjured up the storytelling solution of the lightning bolt, the clock tower and the 1.21 gigawatts of electricity to power the DeLorean.

In fact, the time machine wasn’t even a DeLorean in this version. It was a refrigerator and it was nuclear powered. Doc and Marty have to get the refrigerator to the only place where nuclear power is available back in 1952; the nuclear testing site out in the middle of the desert, where the military has set up…you guessed it, a fake town; complete with mannequins, to study the effects of an atomic blast. Marty has to climb into the refrigerator/time machine to get sent back to the future. There’s even a moment when Doc Brown is worried that it won’t work and hopes that the leadlined fridge will be enough to protect Marty from the blast…sound familiar?

Zemeckis and Spielberg are buddies, so I’m sure that it’s no coincidence, and it’s interesting to see an idea that wasn’t used get recycled twenty years later. And as I’m writing this, it occurs to me that they may have talked about this previous version in the behind-the-scenes extras on the DVD set…

Of course the clock tower and bolt of lightning are a much more elegant solution for Back to the Future. The clock tower, after all, gives them a visual representation of time; as abstract a concept as there ever was, and since Back to the Future is one of my favorite movies, it’s good to know that it wasn’t formed whole; that the Bobs had to write and write and rewrite to pound out such a beautifully flawless flick.

I wonder if there’s any other cinematic examples out there of unused ideas getting recycled into later films? I seem to remember a dream sequence that went unused in the first Toy Story, only to be revived for the sequel. That’s the beauty of working on a project, you soon have more ideas than you can use; allowing you to recycle your own stuff…

Anybody else have any examples of creators recycling their own ideas, cinematic or otherwise?

Adios.

Hokusai

This post is for my buddy Binh, who a few weeks ago, noticed this print while we were eating sushi at Ichiban one night. (As always, you can click on the image for a closer look.)

Binh asked me if I knew who did it and I had no idea; I assumed it was anonymous. You see it everywhere, so it’s not even something you think about.

It turns out, that this painting was done by the incredibly talented (and prolific) Japanese painter Hokusai, pronounced “Hawkseye.” The name of the print is, “The Great Wave off Kanagawa.”

The only reason I know any of this is because of Cartoon Brew, where they had a post about the short film, “Hokusai-An Animated Sketchbook” done by animator Tony White. White is a British Academy Award winner and the film is terrific; be sure to check it out.

And you know, I must have seen this image a thousand times and never noticed the boats before. And, just look at that sea spray. Do you see Mt. Fuji in the background? It took this Wikipedia article to point it out to me.

If you’re half as geeky as I am, you can continue to delve even deeper into Hokusai, here.

I love the internet.

Adios.

Work Doodle

Well, I reread the previous post, Hellboy Behind the Scenes Doodles, and it is not up to par. I should delete it, but I’m going to leave it up as a reminder to myself not to post late at night.

So, in today’s post I’m going to keep things short. Here’s a sketch I doodled in Photoshop during the last 15 minutes of my day at work. It’s one of the trees outside the window.

It felt really good to squeeze this drawing in today. I haven’t really been using the Wacom tablet for pure drawing; and I’m kind of marveling at how good it really feels.

Adios.

Hellboy Behind the Scenes Doodles

Hellboy: Behind the Scenes > Hellboy: The Movie. Look of the flick? Fantastic. Perlman and company? Terrific. Abe Sapien? Beautiful. The movie lacked creepiness and subtley. Kronen should have perfectly fit that bill. He should have been in the shadows the whole flick. And when you hear the ticking of the clock, you know that you’ll never see the killing stroke. Since the rules for sequels is bigger and louder, I can’t imagine Hellboy 2 will solve the problems.)

Anyway, here are a couple of doodles I made while watching the BTS last week:

I really like the little guy in the upper right hand corner of the second photo. It was worth a lot of crappy drawings just for him. Weirdly shaped head dudes are ok on the first one.

This latest header image, the monk, is my favorite so far, so I’m going to leave it up.

Epiphany

Coupla weeks ago. The comic book store; after a few pints. It’s the last place you’d expect an epiphany.

Buddy Don is scoping out the Star Wars action figures; I’m whining about work.

Don picks up an action figure based on the Ralph McQuarrie concept art. The toys themselves look pretty chintsy, but most toys do. The packages, however; loaded with McQuarrie’s artwork, look terrific.

“The trouble with working at a tshirt shop,” I say, “all I ever get to design is tshirts. I don’t get to learn anything else. I’d like to try some package design.”

Don looks at me like I’m an idiot.

“Then design an action figure tshirt,” he says.

Epiphany: I am an idiot.

It’s up to me to learn what I want to learn.

Because I’m an idiot, a week goes by before I realize I need to scrap my idea for the upcoming art show and instead design a package for my Hulk Herocap, (Herocap origin for another day) and enter that in the show.

I start to take a closer look at the construction of boxes. I make a trip to Wal-Mart and pick up a Spider-Man Mighty Muggs. (The colors on the Mighty Muggs boxes are appealing; if a little flat. I love the top panel, with the close up of Spidey’s Eyes, but overall, the boxes are a little boring. Why have a static image of the exact same thing that’s in the box? The box design should be more than appealing; it should be exciting. But the packages do feel very solid, not at all flimsy, which I like.)

I do a little package design research online: to try and learn techniques for cutting the boxes so i get a nice smooth line; if I have to worry about the ink bleeding, where I can get a plastic mold insert to secure my Herocap in the middle of the box. I find a couple of interesting sites: The Dieline and Package Design Magazine, but I find little on the nuts and bolts of making your own boxes.

I am on my own.

I start drawing up templates for the box on graph paper.

You saw some of the artwork for the Hulk box last week.

I learn a lot from the box of a Dashboard Monk that Don’s brother Les gave me.

I learn even more from finally putting together a mock up of my own box.

Here’s the artwork. If you take a closer look ( by clicking on it), you can see that I don’t have flaps on the side panels, and you can see that I ran out of room on my graph paper; so I didn’t have a back panel, which was going to be fine, because I would cut it out when I cut out the cardboard backer.

Only, when I cut out the panel, I cut it out an inch shorter than it needs to be; so I end up with a, what, parallelogram? With the front panel one inch wider than the back panel.

After I put it all together, I color in Spidey’s mask with a magic marker so that it’s brighter. The cross shape is the graph paper glued onto a cardboard backer. What you can’t see is the giant glue glob resulting from my clumsiness. What you can see is that the box is just too big for the Hulk Herocap prototype. Don’t worry, I will be making up a Spidey Herocap.

The cardboard interior felt dark, so I added a sheet of paper to brighten things up:

You can see here where I had to trim the top of the box to run (semi) flush with the side panels.

I kind of like the box shape. I think I’m going to use it; just flip it around so that the small panel is in front…Failure is the perfect teacher and I learn a lot.

Design a smaller box. Set up a cutting and gluing station separate from your drawing table. Be sure of measurements.