Friday, November 28, 2008

Joker/Batman Face-off

Here's a scene from Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe that I worked on at Midway Games. Joker has some newfound abilities and decides to "call out" the Batman.

I did the facial animation for Joker and Batman. I also had to go in and heavily handkey Joker's motion, exaggerate his timing, poses and add a lot of flourishing movements to his hands and fingers (which were non-existent in the mocap data).

Variety magazine even gave props to Joker's performance. Click here for the article.

Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe is available now for the PS3, X360 and Wii. Do check it out. If anything, it is a fun game to play.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe

I just recently completed cinematics work for Midway's upcoming fighter "Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe." I mostly did keyframed facial animation on The Joker, as well as motion editing for several characters. Definitely not my best work, but some of the latest screens I saw showed promise.

The game is definitely fun to play, so hopefully it does well when it comes out for the PS3 and X360. Supposed to be due out in November 2008, but I was told just recently that it's been postponed to be released after christmas... yes, people will be crunching until it ships.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Old Character Design

I haven't drawn anything new... so here's something I did a long time ago. At the time, I was into cartoony, urban chick designs, that's why I made this one. Was just starting to really get into coloring in photoshop too. I'm thinkin' I might revisit this design... maybe when I finally stop crunching at Midway and have a life again...

Stay tuned!

Animation, Class Of 1998

Oh my lord... My friend and former roomate had compiled and posted on youtube a collection of stop-motion reels that we did way back in the days of 2nd year animation class at The Joe Kubert School Of Cartoon And Graphic Art. Courtesy of Tony Tabtong. The instructor of the class was Sal Malimo.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Ralp Bakshi: Surviving In Tough Times

Some profound insight from Ralph Bakshi during an interview at the San Diego ComiCon (Click on title to view).

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Ferd Reel 2008

Here's a compilation of my most current animation work. I generally avoid including motion editing samples in my reel because I prefer to showcase my keyframing skills. However, I may edit it in if I were to apply at a studio that do motion capture work to demonstrate my experience with it.

Although I have worked with motion capture, I've never considered it to be animation - motion capture is a tool where you're given data to manipulate that was provided by another performer or actor, whereas in animation the animator IS the performer and actor.

Me personally, I find doing keyframe character animation provides the most rewarding experience and more often than not, much better results.

Verizon: A Thoughtful

This the full version of the Gorilla animation I worked on at Charlex for a Verizon commercial spot. The character was set-up by an incredible rigger, Steve Mann. The animation is about 3 seconds long, but only small segments of it were used in the actual spot.

Def Jam X-Video

This is the first cinematic I worked on (at EA Chicago) involving motion capture editing - A promo video for Def Jam: ICON. The first draft of was started by another animator and when he was pulled away, I took over all animation resposibilities, often with little or no direction... because there was no animation director until halfway in production.

I had to heavily keyframe this mocap data because the actors' performances were awful and "floaty" - ironic, since mocap is supposed to capture the "realism" of motion. Somewhere in the middle of this production, it was decided that these characters will talk and have facial expressions... so a rudimentary facial rig with 25 bones was created. We did what we could given the extreme limitations.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Animation Mentor: Spring Semester 2008, Class 01

My first semester of Animation Mentor just concluded. I learned more in 12 weeks than 2 years in art school as far as character animation goes. My mentor was Nicole Herr, an animator from Sony Imageworks and have worked on such films as Stuart Little, Surf's Up, and Speed Racer.

I plan to attend in the second semester, but I'll need to take a break from it this summer seeing how we may be in crunch mode at work.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Life Drawing 04-29-2008

20 minute pose. The only one out of all the drawings from this week's session that I felt turned out ok.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Life Drawing 04-15-2008

These are from this week's life drawing class. The head study is my first, real attempt at portrait drawing from a live model. Both are 25 minute poses.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Character Sketch

Just another sketch done while waiting for a long playblast.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Street Sketches 1

As part of my effort to "return" to my artistic roots, I've started doing sketches on top of life drawing classes. Here's this weekend's sketches from around my neighborhood in Lakeview, Chicago. I'll be doing a series of these and posting them every week.

Suits Of Iron Man

I totally geeked out on these images of the Iron Man suits for the new movie and videogame. I had to grab them and make a wallpaper. This one is 1280x1024.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Back To Life Drawing

I'm pretty happy to be doing life drawing again. It's been more than two years since I've drawn from a live model. Unfortunately there's not a lot of walk-in type places in Chicago, where you can just come in, pay your 10 bucks and draw for a couple of hours. Luckily I found Tojo Gallery, which does exactly that.
Here's a couple of 25 min poses I did on my second week there;
I hope I can keep attending. As an animator, I believe it's an essential skill to have for any artist. I'll post more after the next session.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Verizon Gorilla

Mean looking, yah? This is that psycho gorilla I animated for a verizon commercial spot. The animation itself was about 3 seconds long, but you barely see it on the actual spot. Oh well. This character was modeled and rigged by the talented artists at Charlex, who is responsible for a lot of the verizon spots currently being aired.

The sequence is basically, he's on top of a mountain peak (I guess after spending a whole day wreaking havoc on the now ablaze village in the background) roaring and blasting his flame throwers in the air... I dunno, he's either really pissed that there's no one left to barbecue... or 'cause he can't get himself down from that mountain.

The peeps at Charlex are some of the most hardcore, talented folks I've ever worked with. A lot of my friends are there and many I've known since I first got into the business, so it was all good times. The Gorilla was conceptualized by Todd Winter.

The Adventure Of Walker And Ping Ping

I'm proud to announce that The Adventures of Walker & Ping Ping is now available on DVD! I was the character designer on this debut learning series about Walker, a young American boy and his friend Ping Ping, a young Chinese girl, as they embark on adventures learning about the world around them. Exerpt from the website;

The Adventures of Walker & Ping Ping is set in China, one of the world’s most dynamic and rapidly growing economies and a significant source of source of cultural and economic exchange with the West. Western interest in Chinese language and culture is growing by leaps and bounds, particularly for the next generation, as the century of China begins to unfold. In the U.S., Chinese language and history is being introduced in an increasing number of secondary schools, Chinese teachers are in short supply, and early learning classes are frequently oversubscribed. The series was developed to give early primary school kids a head start in learning about Chinese culture, language and history.

If you wanna give your kids a fun headstart in learning some basic mandarin chinese, please purchase the DVD at either the website or at (a few customers already left very positive reviews).

The series is the first, original concept and creation of Little Emperor LLC.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bull King

A character I designed a while back, based on the bull demon character from the Chinese folktale A Journey To The West. Probably the ultimate demon badass in the story. Not even the powerful Monkey King could take him down without finally resorting to trickery.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Best anime series of all times!!

These are some of my favorite anime series of all time. Not listed in any particular order, 'cause they're all awesome (click on the images to link to websites and trailers);

Samurai Champloo
Hip hop in feudal Japan... Sounds pretty out there, but the show works... and it is pretty out there in concept. Either way, it's really enjoyable to watch. The English voice over is really well done and fit the characters. Lots of kinetic action and funny situations, but it also knows to slow down the pace for more intimate moments.
Last Exile
This one caught me by surprise. The overall visual direction of the show was just stunningly beautiful. It's a story about two air couriers ,who get mixed up with two warring nations and later discover the secret of where their people were really from. The time period looks like an alternate 1920's era, on a planet similar to Earth. Highly recommended.
Cowboy Bebop: Remix
A classic, can't miss sci-fi series. All the characters have interesting backstories that slowly come to light as the show progresses. They always seem unable to make ends meet even after collecting a large bounty. The remix version of this series have been remastered in picture and audio. It's been aired on cartoon network on late nites along with Ghost In the shell: Stand Alone Complex and Samurai Champloo.
Ghost In The Shell:Stand Alone Complex
Another great anime sci-fi series from the movie of the same name. The series focuses on Major Kusanagi and her elite oranization called Section 9, which mainly combats cyber terrorism and other anti-government factions. The English voiceover is pretty decent and the musical score is spectacular. After the success of the 1st series, they released S.A.C. 2nd Gig and a new movie called G.I.T.S: Solid State Society. I can only hope they continue making the series.

Def Jam: ICON

So... this is totally random. I happen to find one of the screen shots I made when I was working on Def Jam: ICON; I was able to, thru create a player mode, create my own likeness within the game.

The game sucked though... I got friends still pissed at me 'cause they bought the game that yours truly worked on... still, I thought the create a player part was kinda cool... hehe...

Bloggin' like a fiend yo

...That's what happens when the IT dept. half-asses your machine set-up... You can't move on to your new assignments. Missing software, plug-ins that don't work, etc. I could load up Team fortress 2 and just play all day... no can't do that, when everyone else is busy with tons of work. I could help other animators out with their stuff... no can't do that, 'cause I'm missing the software and plug-ins required to do the work anyway. I could practice on my own animations... no can't do that, I left my sexy laptop at home.

Rant rant rant...Hey! check out this revamped design of a character I created way back when I was attending art school. Click on it and it'll take you to my CG Society portfolio page;

Here's another one I designed for a Chinese animation and fx company;