Saturday, December 31, 2011

28 :: Conga Princess Conquers the Aliens

Spring may appear timid, but when alone in her home, she's a CONGA PRINCESS. No one can exceed the beauty of her powerful dance moves. And sadly, no one knows it. But her talent cannot remain hidden for long.

Location : Earth
Event : Alien Invasion
Who will save us? : Spring and her Epically royal conga.

I just had this short film idea the other day shortly after I saw our cousin Spring Guymon at wedding pictures. I thought it would be catchy and thrilling to watch a character who's dance moves are so thrilling they can boot a flying saucer back to outer space. Yes, this film would be a musical, but epic "battles" never looked so good!

27 :: Even More Shape Fun!

I had such a great response from yesterday's "playful" sketches that
I thought I'd play around some more:

Thursday, December 29, 2011

25 :: Many Regrets

Clark Hanks is retired, lonely, and miserable. His successful career was built by stepping on others and his personal life was completely unsuccessful. As our story begins, Clark Hanks has just begun his attempt to reverse his dark past - to make everything right and somehow undo his own misery.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

24 :: Fun With Shapes

I just decided to have fun and play around with shapes ... so there are no character descriptions for these ones ... unless any of you care to make some. Any ideas for names and personalities?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

23 :: Carousel Clock

On day 14, we introduced Monsieur Revieu and his magic clock. And I had no time to explore the clock as a character but I do now. Here it is. As the clock face opens each day, the group of critics will begin their assesments. I first envisioned them as a group as depicted above. I've later thought it would be cool to have a carousel inside the clock, where each critic would ride a different animal and the carousel would stop as each critic gives their personal critique. Since the clock is magical, it would be fun to have the carousel be larger than there is actual room in the clock.

I picture the critics being quite unpredictable at first and as the story progresses, we as an audience can relate to them more as we observe Monsier Revieu's reactions and review him ourselves.

Thanks everyone for their enthusiasm over this idea. I'm beginning to think there may be something special here.

Monday, December 26, 2011

22 :: Commerical Claus


           I love the story of Santa Claus. He is a symbol of the gift of Jesus Christ - of the true meaning of Christmas. But that Commercial Claus, I hear good people complaining about him all the time. Yeah, he's a cool dude - pretty flashy, pretty attractive. But he can be very distracting and almost overpowering. He convinces us to buy more in order to love more ... and if we receive less some of us find we might feel upset and unloved. Though Commercial Claus is stopping by my doorstep this season, he's not invited for dinner.

           Of course, Santa Claus is in my story, as the defender or good tiding, kind deads, and belief in the true meaning of Christmas.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

21 :: The Worshipper

My 3d design teacher once told us that religious connotation in our art would not yield any deep meaning.   But perhaps she is confused ... perhaps her observation is evidence of varied meanings, confusion which occurs because of varying interpretations on scriptures and doctrine. But Jesus Christ is one of those rare figures at least acknowledged by most of the world. And among Christian people, one of the things we have most common is our feelings about the Savior ... some feel more deeply than others, but the feelings are the same.

I would love to do a story that could somehow portray my deep feelings of joy and gratitude that have come from my interactions with the Savior of the world. Today the world celebrates his birth, although distractions cause us to forget that. Even the Worshipper is told over and over in the scriptures to remember, remember. That would be one of my character's big weaknesses.

This story would be about the worshipper, about his life. What if we could see every answered prayer? every healed wound? Every prompting given to the heart. We would be overwhelmed by the magnificience. The story would end around Christmas - at the end of his life - as he remembers.

Of course this story is autobiographic in many senses. On this day, I think about that tiny baby Jesus and what he came to mean to the world. His birth was a miracle and so was every day of his life. The greatest of the miracles happened in the garden of Gethsemane where he suffered all our sins and pains to the point of bleeding from every pore. Because of his sacrifice, he has healed me, led me to participate in his miracles, taught me, purified me, carried me when I cannot walk. It has pained me to think that during my everyday business, I am slow to remember the Savior. I sometimes forget to pray always and I make mistakes, but he is full of grace and forgiveness. This grace transforms me and will someday save me. After all I can do, I can never pay him back, nor earn the reward nor pay him back. In the end, I want his grace and love to remain my source of true happiness.

I would feel ungrateful for address any other character today, so Happy Birthday, baby Jesus. We love you and hope to remain true till the end of our lives.

Friday, December 23, 2011

20 :: Sassy Frassy

Once upon a time, I had the most wonderful boss in a land called Smiles - and she had the cutest granddaughter who brought the graphic designers joy. Sharon took some fun pictures of Brooklyn Lilly and we decided to do a collaboration on this one...

Brooklyn Lilly is the average girl going to an average school, which has a super fun playground and great kids...mostly. The bullies aren't that great, but fortunately Brooklyn's fancy fedora, which once on her head, makes her Sassy Frassy - hero of the wild wild playground.

So ... every great character has a huge weakness. But I'm so fond of Brooklyn I can't decide on one ... messy room, temper tantrums (haven't seen them), way too curious.... What do you think?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

19 :: The Perfector

Her superpower :: she can stand along side anyone and do everything better than them. Her superweakness :: she is constantly dissatisfied and needs to find better and better people to be better than, so she can leech off of their abilities and somehow improve. She is so appealing and people want to be around her ... but her "friends" quickly feel drained of their energy and they become lethargic.

Every met someone who seems to do everything better than you? Ever wish you were them?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

18 :: Angry and the ChipperMonks

Ever wished you could stand out from the crowd? Angre (pronounced "On+Glee") does.  He could have been a brilliant fashion designer. But no, he was chosen to be a monk and to wear the same robes every day. He's tried to play with just the color of the fabric or add an accessory, but every time the chipper leader monks says through a teethy smile, "You so funny ... orange is better ... change back now." But this will not last much longer ... Angre has a dark, sinister plan.

Here's the facebook thread that inspired this idea ...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

17 :: Skinny Eats

Who is this super skinny girl holding a giant hamburger? She's commonly called the "Skinny Eater" as her day long mission is to eat and eat in attempt to someday reach a healthy weight.

I created this idea to kind of flip the "eat less to lose weight" mantra on its head. Though underdeveloped, there is alot of fascinating psychology lurking underneath this idea. There are all types of eating disorders: and they aren't exclusive to gender, I've found. There are many men with anorexia and even "bulking up" with muscle can be a disorder.  I feel a great social responsibility when exploring an idea such as this, as these disorders cause real suffering and my approach is quite light-hearted.  But maybe that's not a bad thing ... hmm ...

So how would this disorder affect a person's day to day? What if a person could actually never reach a healthy weight ... what if their metabolism was their worst memory and their worst fear was that they may whither away? What do you think about this idea...could it work as a comedy, flourish better as a drama, or combine a bit of both?

Monday, December 19, 2011

16 :: Apotheterra Seedling

This character is inspired by my good friend, Nate Stout - by his new company, actually.  Nate and I have dreamed together since I first began my animation adventure (he also fixed my toilet), and while he is going into business and phamacy ... he has been searching for a way to get more animation and story telling into his career.  This may be the day that happens.

Citrina is has spent thousands of years hiding in flower buds and avoiding those who would use her powers for evil.  She has the abilities to improve a person's health in stamina in multiple ways, she removes facial wrinkles and blemishes, helps us run faster, feel better, and sparkle when we stand in the sunlight (wait...maybe not). She has had many owners and successfully escaped from all of them. But her search for a worthy owner has just come to an end. Nathan Stout of Apotheterra is a perfect match. He guards her as his precious secret, sharing her healing power with those who seek youth and stamina for only noble reasons. And if any reading this desire her assistance, you need only journey to Apotheterra, a land of beauty and healing.

For any interested, his company has already created an anti-wrinkle cream and they have many developments to come. What ailment would you like to have healed?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

15 :: Trash vs Nature

What if nature could fight back and stop the trash invasion. In this story they can (if you can't tell, that's a pine cone leading the nature group. This is an idea with MUCH to be developed. Comments Welcome!

To beef up my post, here's a quote from Chris Oatley, which I saw on Twitter :

"Take your story. Chop off the beginning and the end. Is it still interesting? 
The middle should have it's own beginning, middle & end." -Chris Oatley

Friday, December 16, 2011

14 :: Monsieur Revieu

Every morning, Monsieur Revieu, sits on a stool and nervously waits for the antique clock to strike 7am. As the bell tolls, the clock face opens to reveal rows of mechanical figurines who spring to life, giving poor Monsieur Revieu a rating for his previous day : one to five stars and words of praise or disdain, depending on all the variables. These reviews burn in his psyche and cause him both pleasure and pain. Resulting are the many moods, transformations, and adventures of Monsieur Revieu. As the reviews for Chipwrecked now fluctuate around 10% on the Tomato-meter, I am passing through a new experience. In the past, as I've read reviews on a "Rotten" movie, I've thought little on the fantastic artists that could possibly be working on a film. Having worked on Chipwrecked, I won't advocate for the film as a great work of art, but I see past the critical disdain as I remember a great group of artists and a fun experience.

For those of you who see the film, this still is from the sequence I worked on. 
My work comes a few shots before this moment -the three shots before the final note.

Last night, we watched a Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium - one of my favorites - who scored a higher-but-still-rotten rating on the Tomatometer. When looking past it's obvious flaws, I see a raw, emotional, fresh, beautiful film that could have been refined further and become a magnificent film. Great stories are difficult to tell, great films are difficult to make, and great men are difficult to foresee. Thus a new character is born in my mind ... he may be flawed and undeveloped, but one day he may become ... The Magnificent Monsieur Revieu.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

13 :: Junk Collector, In Memory Of

 It's the fate of the Junk Collector's only grandson, to clean up the mess left behind. It seems an impossible task, as all the room left in that house is a narrow pathway leading to an empty bed. One of the towering walls falls on top of his head, which causes hallucinations of his junk collecting grandpa, convincing him not to part with the junk (and making a good case too).

This grandpa is like so many others who lived through the great depression and know the value of being prepared. I think it would be a fun twist to have the grandson become convinced by his hallucination, only to turn around and see his grandpa as an angel, telling him, "Get rid of it, I need it no more."

Do you have a junk collecting grandparent? What is your favorite thing they kept around? The most puzzling thing?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

12 :: Siggs Thinks in Pink Ink.

                 Create the most interesting character, give them a fascinating obstacle 
                                 set in an amazing location; the rest writes itself. 
-Dan Scanlon, Pixar Director              

I found that quote on Twitter yesterday and was inspired to revisit some characters I felt short on in the past. I'm actually going to combine two characters, because I feel one led to the other. The first is "Think Pink Ink" which was just a concept that I really found fascinating, which I quickly created for The Paper Wings Podcast contest. The second was a character I really wanted to create to draw my signature on my demo reel. I realized late in the game that both characters were just created for looks and neither had a well rounded personality...until now.

"There are builders : eagles who rise meet the future. And there are wallowers :: pigs who trudge about in the past."

Interesting Character : Siggs (design on the left), a man who treads the line between builder and wallower. He rose to a small fame as a magician, but his "magic" quickly faded as criticism of all types came into play. He loved entertaining audiences only when they loved him. All his choices are generally self serving. He now lives off of unemployment and sits around practicing magic tricks. His only fulfillment is his athletic pursuits at night. He is strong and fast and extremely agile. And don't be deceived by the design on the right. He does not like to doodle.

Amazing Location : A world drawn by those who came before ... literally DRAWN with large magic pens which have been hidden away for ages. But most believe is folklore and the only trace of belief in the "Myth" are the large pens you'll see propped up in the corners of many homes. These pens are not magic, but came from a time when people were inspired by the stories and wanted to make pens of their own. The world appears normal to most people (who live there ... it is dazzling to us) and it requires special sight to see through the facade to the line drawings which hold their world together.

Facinating Obstacle : Many of the lines drawn at the foundation of this world are fading away ... QUICKLY. Siggs's home dissappears one day and he finds one of the ancient Magic Pens in his quest to get his home back. His redrawing of his home is quite shabby and he soon realizes the world is doomed to dissappear unless he has more help to redraw it. The odds are stacked against him:

1. Most people are accustomed to owning large pens and don't believe the pen is significant. You have to touch the pen to see the lines the world is made of.
2. The Pen writes in Pink Ink - embarassing.
3. People remember Siggs as a magician, illusionist, and untrustworthy.
4. His artistic skills are undeveloped.

So here's my question ... how do you think he convinced the people to redraw the world? I'll give you a hint that it has to do with the world's maker.

11 :: The Easter Burglar

The Easter Burglar steals our precious possession and leaves candy-filled eggs in their place. What is his motivation? He needs money to feed ALL of his children ... but couldn't he find a better way than theiving? I don't know...when was the last time you saw a bunny get hired at McDonalds?

I had this idea while brainstorming on yesterday's idea. It was just too good to write as part of her description. These drawings are brief and I always wish I had more time to get something unique and fresh visually. As far as the quality of ideas go, what do you think of this marathon so far. What types of characters would you like to see as my marathon continues?

Monday, December 12, 2011

10 :: Amelia Mythos

500 years old, face of a 14 year old, curly white hair, uses a wheelchair only because she thinks it's fun and comfortable ... Amelia Mythos is a rare treasure. She's seen so many fads come an go, that her only interest nowadays is to find anyone who will listen and impart her knowledge. Some of her sayings are a mix of silly superstitions and forgotten wisdom. It takes a bit of patience to sort through and find these nuggets of wisdom, but they are so valuable that if mankind ignores her completely we may be doomed to self destruction. And in the age of ipods, pleasure quests, fast cars, and tight schedules, she is about to be forgotten forever ... which means her years will come to an end ... not by a usual death, but by vanishing.

So what wisdom does she possess, which will save humanity? I don't know if I'll ever reveal it if I explore the story because I don't want to be preachy, just poderous. What do you think?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

09 :: Invisible Villain

So who is the villain in the land of lenses? Who must the misfit supers vanquish? His name is Invizy - sure his name is cutesy, but his shades are rocking! His grand desire is to rid the world of anyone cooler, faster, or stronger than he. As only his glasses are visible, he is difficult to detect and his secret weapon he uses to lure his victims ... he smells AMAZING. If you smell a titillating smell your nose can't help but follow, chances are Invizy is near.  His latest plan has been to shrink all superheroes to antsize and store them in an antfarm (made of lost contact lenses, of course). On most days, the misfit supers would be no match for his superiority ... but today is Monday and his glasses got scratched ... his image is scarred for life.

So what do you think Invizy would look like if we could see him?

Friday, December 9, 2011

08 :: Misfit Supers

In a world, made of lost contact lenses ... where the best a brightest superheroes have been de-magnified (shrunk) and trapped between glass ... the only hope remaining is a band of misfit supers.

1. Can Fly and hear pretty well, but he's blind.
2. Has Laser vision, super strength and no legs.
3. Reads and speeks in others' minds, super stretchy, but arthritis in his joints.
4. Super, booming speech, but he never stops talking.
5. A deaf wizard. His powers are random and unpredictable.

Only together can they do anything super. Good thing they like each other most of the time.

This is an idea I had a long time ago and luckily I wrote it down in my sketchbook. I have no names, no developed personalities, and the cast is subject to change (The designs especially).

What's your superpower? Super weakness?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

07 :: The Tree Braider

The Tree Braider is an invisible artist. He's a kind man, but few people ever meet him and less ever hear him speak. Although he seems fully capable, he has a rare speech impediment and can only speak 5 words a day. This has driven him since he was a child to find some purpose in life - some way to tell the world who he is. 

To give some background, I took my son to a park yesterday and we were playing on this really old tree (couldn't find my sketchbook or I could have sketched it) and parts of the tree appeared as if someone had braided them and grafted them together. I couldn't decided whether this had occurred naturally or by the hand of a very patient human being. I imagined how many years this could have taken and what kind of person would invest that kind of time. I then wondered if this would be the sort of person who traveled and braided many trees ... so his handiwork could be seen across America.  

For any who want to participate, what is this guy's favorite food and what does he smell like?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

06 :: Clown For Governor

I'm not usually one for Satire, but I had 5 minutes to sketch this and another 5 minutes to post so....
Chuck is a clown who, because of his fame, feels he is now equipped to run for the Panic State Governor. Ironically, he would be talentless if it weren't for his magic flower which somehow turns all of Chuck's dull visual gags into hilarious epic fun.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

05 :: Yes, Yetzl

Shunned by the wealthy Absoletly family for her witchcraft dabblings, an ex-servant cast a curse on the toddler she had been hired to care for. Unfortunately, before she was able to gloat by presenting the terms of the curse to the Absoletly family, she drank too much of her latest potion and died. So truthfully, we traditionally blame this specific witch for the curse, but we don't really know for sure because if the secret was hers, it died with her. But we definitely know the results of the curse.

Since the curse, Yetzl Absoletly has never been told "NO" - not ever. When to the boy who once annoyed her (although she secretly had a crush on the dimple-face) she said, "leave me alone!" she never saw him again. She hoped to see him in a crowd and thought she had possibly seen him, she was never able to reach him. He was gone from her forever.

I'm excited to explore the psychology of such a character. What would that do to a person, to never have option of the answer "No"? How could that person avoid becoming wretched and selfish. If evil people discovered her powers of persuasion, how could she escape them and the fate of becoming evil herself. Would she become silent and never speak? Would she be lazy? And how would she ever become an accepted member of the society? I don't know, but it's fun to think about.

If you could ask for anything, and you knew the answer would be yes (NO MATTER WHAT), what would you ask for?

Monday, December 5, 2011

04 :: No Shadow Man

Have you ever had a spasm when you inexplicably poke yourself in the eye? When you trip over your own foot? When your head bobbles to an annoying song? It may be safe to say you've been duped by the
Having no shadow himself, our shadows are his puppetstrings. Chances are, if you've inexplicably poked yourself in the eye, he has his grasp on your shadow's arm.
I must say : He must be stopped : We must muster our courage and muster his shadow back. When we bring back his shadow, to our delight, he'll cower, shiver, and become consumed again with the passion he pursued most of his life - getting rid of his dreadful shadow.

A special thanks to Matt Bell who suggested these two separate ideas that worked together in creating an interesting, well rounded villian. I fully reserve the right to change the character design above ... we can definitely do better! Any suggestions on a name?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

04 :: Coming Monday

Just as a reminder, I get Sundays off during this marathon....this means that some of my last stretch will run into January so I can reach 30 days. I'm excited for Monday, though. It will be a fun idea. See you tomorrow!

03 :: Minature Cozman

He rids the world of sidewalk gum, misplaced keys, and bad parking..but little Cozman is so involved in miniature causes that he often fails at making a big difference. This idea offers plenty of comedic opportunities to see someone in great need, hoping to be rescued, left in confusion as Cozman only removes the lesser annoyance. Any ideas of fun situations?

Edit : An hour after I drew this, I realized it would be a better, clearer pose if he were holding the ladies foot in his hand. Here is that version :

Thursday, December 1, 2011

02 :: Lovely Lady To The Rescue

This character originates from a true story years ago while I often rode the bus. When I was fortunate, I had the opportunity to observe this lovely lady who carried classic romance novels and a picnic in her dainty cart. She seemed so cultured and educated and paradoxically lonely. I could picture this woman in a crowd of people, reading her classics, carried away in her romantic imagination. She fits perfectly in the story of the solitary man.

One day, she rides the bus into the mountains and hikes the short distance to her favorite glen. When the energetic cat discovers this Lovely Lady hiking through his woods, he immediately sees her as the solution to his problems ... and lures her to meet his master. When the Solitary Man first sees this Lovely Lady, his pace quickens and his face comes to life ...

And to end this short film idea, I picture the couple sitting together on a log, slowly and deliberately in love. In front of them lays the poor, bored cat - tapping his paw rapidly and swishing his tail back and forth. The Lovely lady reaches down to pick the cat up, verrrryy slowwwwly. The impatient cat pops up, takes a few steps back, runs and rams the lovely lady back to sitting position where the Solitary Man and Lovely Lady lovingly pet their cat, verrrry slowwwwly.

At least, that's the story and cast of characters for now. We'll see how it evolves from here.

01 :: Solitary Man & Energetic Cat

Ready....Get Set Go!

A Solitary Gentleman, once a wealthy entrepreneur. He retired to a shack in the woods, were he could peacefully ponder the mysteries of life. He gardens, sews, and reads, slowly and deliberately, often pausing mid action to process his deep thoughts. His meals are simple and his other assets basic. He owns nothing unnecessary or distracting, except for his cat. Opposite of his master, this ball of unbridled energy lives solely to play with his master and spends most of the day frustrated as his master shuffles on, slower and slower as the day spins on. His master loves him well occasionally (at turtle pace) but for the most part, the energetic cat is ignored.

Of course, there will be a resolution to this story - a character who will rescue the cat from misery. But she won't show up until tomorrow. Thanks for your time and feedback. See you soon!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Good Morning Animation

My character marathon begins tomorrow. As a teaser, here are two characters who's personalities I created along with voice talents Aimee Geddes and Chuck Gilmore. This animation is currently in the blocking phase will progress along with the character marathon. Thanks for your support and be sure to check back every day.

The Morpheus rig was created by Josh Burton.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Marathon Begins December 1

My plan is to post 1 new character a day for the month of December. The objective of this "marathon" is to generate ideas for character driven stories I will then animate and storyboard as I progress in my animation career. I'd love your support and even participation. More details coming soon.