Monday, July 8, 2013

Landscape paintings in New Jersey.


I just got back from a trip to the east coast to visit my RISD peeps. I went all over the place in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Connecticut, and New Jersey. While I was in New Jersey, I was lucky enough to get some landscape painting in. I haven't been consistently landscape painting in a while, and it was slow going at first, but I'm pretty happy with the way these came out.

Skylanders Storyboards!

Skylanders Storyboards!

Skylanders Storyboards!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Skylanders Storyboards! My GOO!

Skylanders Storyboards!

After the start of the project, we received an updated design for Grimshanks. Still a sarcastic pushover, but taller and more gangly.

Skylanders storyboards!

More Kaos and Grimshanks! There was a large battle sequence at the beginning, but most of the cinematics we worked on for Skylanders were much more dialogue heavy and involved Kaos and Grimshanks plotting to rule the universe in his portal room.

Skylanders Storyboards!

Taking a break from posting concept work, I thought I'd post some storyboards. For a long time, my work consisted mostly of action stuff, but I got an opportunity to work on some cartoonier stuff for Activision's Skylanders game. While, there's plenty of action in the game, the majority of the cinematics are composed primarily of dialogue scenes. We pretty much only received dialogue with very little direction for the acting and were really lucky that the clients actually wanted our input on how to push the character interaction. The best scenes were with with the main villain KAOS and his henchman, GRIMSHANKS. 

Bratz Animated Movie Pitch

The Leader
The most difficult and complex of all the hairstyles I worked with. This is my favorite design though.
With a little love from Larry.
 The Troublemaker (my version)
The trouble maker was very tricky. I liked this version, but it needed something more to push the glamour. Again, Larry saved my bacon and brought in the glitter shoes, the sequin skirt, and the bedazzlement. Way to go Larry!

A last minute request to add to our designs, I'm afraid Meygan primarily just needed to be "styled" to fit  with our final product.
 The Lawyer
The lawyer character went through some changes. Originally, a creepy homeless guy, he still retained his Grinch/Wormtongue persona, but as the story demanded an increasing amount of scheming and a girl band angle, a more powerful occupation was needed.

 The Momager
The overbearing mom who tries to manage her daughter's life.
Mom + Manager = Momager.
Basically, this a Bratz girl gone bad. 

 The Protagonist - before and after
The Protagonist was one of the easiest and hardest characters to make. Making the "ugly duckling" stage was fun and came pretty naturally, but once I had to design the stylish "swan" version, it became much more difficult. For one thing, there were three of us working on the project, so we were constantly looking at each other's work to make sure each character was unique, but fit into the same world. On top of that, the protagonist needed to remain unique outside of the other four characters. Stylish, but new to being stylish. Above, is where I left off, as we were three guys in uncharted territory, we started a round robin paintover session every couple of hours to keep things fresh. Larry dialed in the Swan just right. You can see his finished version here.

While we didn't get to pursue this pitch beyond this preliminary inspiration round, we tried a few things to push the style of the concepts by mixing  graphic clarity with realistic textures. While the outfits have always been the selling points for the Bratz, we also spent a lot of time photocollaging and styling the hair to have unique shapes. The outfits tend to have many layers and directly using photoreference added a level of detail that kept the hair as interesting and as glamorous as the outfits.

 North High
Chic Street
Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills was the basis for Chic Street, the main drag in the town of the Bratz world.

A couple years back, I was asked to work on a pitch for a Bratz animated movie. Bratz had been below the radar for a little while during the legal battles with Mattel, and this was one avenue that was being explored to bring the franchise back. The story idea was centered on the makeover genre. The protagonist would start out as the "ugly duckling", but after becoming friends with the Bratz girls, she would find her own unique style and emerge as a stylish and confident "swan." Together, with Jack Sy and Larry Quach, we were able to create a fair amount of work in a very short amount of time.