May 26, 2012

An Officer and an Alien - Thumbnails

Either because I love storyboarding so much or because I have a death wish (I'll leave the speculation up to you), I have been taking an online story class from the great Sherm Cohen on top of finishing up my work from the semester, preparing a portfolio, etc.  Sherm is a pure delight and his class carries the mark of it's creator.  We have been given a script and character designs to work from and are creating a storyboard sequence from them.  It sure does feel good to work off of someone else's story and characters for a change!  This past week was working on our thumbnails.  Next will be roughs, followed by the clean-up, both under Sherm's personal guidance.  Pretty nifty.  For now, I offer my thumbs and a few character sketches.

Story and Characters ©2012 Sherm Cohen.

May 20, 2012

Spaceman Do - Storyboards

Spaceman Do is a character I've been playing around with for awhile now.  He is, obviously, a space man.  But as a character, I've got a lot of deeper things in mind I'd like to explore.  I've been toying around with many ideas and have even posted some character design work that I did in other classes, but I have yet to find the time to do something with it all.  As part of my final for my Storyboarding and Animatics class, I was finally able to put together a script and bring Spaceman Do to life.  It was a highly exciting thrill ride the whole way through...right up to the all-nighter I spent cleaning up the boards to get them done in time!  I am truly pleased with the way they turned out!! (even if they are over-rendered for boards)  Still so much more to explore in this world, but hopefully you enjoy this first adventure.
Spaceman Do Storyboards
I plan on putting together an animatic for this (need to for my thesis, anyway) that I shall post when it's finished (and not a moment sooner).  I will also post my character design work soon.  Long-term goals for the character include a comic, cause that's just been something I've wanted to create for far too long.  In the mean time, here are the original thumbnail sketches for the sequence:

May 19, 2012

The Briefcase Briefing - Final Storyboards

Picking up where I left off on my thesis work, the latter half of this semester has been spent working on my live-action storyboard sequence, The Briefcase Briefing.  I always assumed this would be the easiest of my thesis concepts, since live-action requires no character design and fairly minimal set/vehicle/prop design.  But we all know what happens when you assume.

This one ended up being very demanding for several reasons.  For starters, live-action boards require a more realistic rendering to the characters and environment, which ultimately boils down to more time and pencil mileage.  I also wasn't sure if I should go traditional or digital with them, so I did an odd hybrid of both worlds (traditional thumbnails, digital roughs, back to traditional for drawing, back to digital for clean-up).  I also had to stage three characters (a hero, a villain, and an unfortunate victim of circumstance) in a way that they all intertwined at the right moments, avoided each other at other times, but you always knew where they were and where they were going.  It was chaos.  Additionally, I decided to stage the entire sequence on a bridge!  So almost every shot was a never-ending perspective shot.  It was pretty laborious.  94 shots, 130 boards total.  As always on this blog, you get what you paid for:
The Briefcase Briefing Storyboards
As I was thumbnailing the sequence, I thought it'd be fun to pin up my drawings on one of my quark boards to better see the ever-evolving sequence.  Here's a picture I took of that during an earlier version.  Can you spot the differences???

May 18, 2012

Fuzzy Fury Rescue Friends: The Great Spring Show Adventure

I am truly honored and pleased to announce that the storyboards for my Fuzzy Fury Rescue Friends: The Great Unicorn Rescue thesis story have been selected for the Academy of Art's annual Spring Show*!!!  If you haven't seen them yet, check them out here.  You'll be able to view them in glorious print form on not one but two 24 x 36" posters starting Wednesday, May 23rd at The Cannery here in San Francisco!  They'll be there until August 11th; more info here.

I was asked to create a "movie poster" to help catch the eye and break-up the space on these posters, since apparently a 24 x 36" rectangle with 229 smaller rectangles on it isn't appealing to some folks.  Being it finals week, I didn't exactly have the time for such an endeavor, so I had to keep it simple and couldn't give anything a second thought.  I came up with the following, which I'm okay with, all things considered:
The character-in-rectangle concept was taken from an Avengers article I saw in a magazine, digital roughs, 2-hour pencils, then a few hours in Photoshop to color and add the awe-inspiring Lens Flare effect (*heavens open*).  Really wanted to get my Drew Struzan on, but what can ya do?
*UPDATE: Not only were they selected to be in the show, but they won First Place for the Storyboarding category!  Highly honored. :^)

May 17, 2012

NERDs Boards & Sketches

Spring Semester has finally come to a close here at the Academy of Art, so it's time to post all my final projects.  First up is my Advanced Storyboarding class, and this is how I feel about it:
After working on my NERDs concept since spring break (5 weeks), I never really got it to a place that feels right.  My concept was still a bit raw when I first pitched it, so when my instructor and classmates started offering other ideas and comments, I feel my "voice" for the project got a bit washed out.  Perhaps that led to me never feeling fully passionate about the story, which lies in stark contrast to my Spaceman Do story for my other class.  In any case, now that I've crossed the finish line, I'm okay with what I've got, but I know it could've been much better.

So, NERDs is a television series concept that I developed revolving around three super smart, "nerdy"  middle schoolers who have been enlisted by a secret government agency, NERD (Nimble & Enlightened Research Division), to help defend America and save the world and such things.  Originally, I had titled it "The Three Four-Eyed Musketeers", but I think NERDs is just easier to say.  As I previously posted, there was originally some debate about their ages, based on my initial character designs.  My choices in clothing styles also lead to great debate about personality and time period for the show.  Some good came out of it, though, as I feel a "Mad Men"-era show actually makes for stronger story situations.  Also more research, which I had no time for.  Having to press on, I created a simple pilot idea that, through hour-long class discussion, lead me to write a different story involving our characters competing in the International Mathematical Olympiad.  I didn't have the time (or desire, frankly) to completely clean-up the boards, but here's what my final story ended up looking like:
NERDs Storyboard Boards were done using ToonBoom Storyboard Pro on my Cintiq.  And here are some of the final character sketches I did, once the script was written:

I still like the concept and the design ideas.  Hopefully I can someday revisit this, as I feel it would be good for my portfolio.  Time shall tell.

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