Thursday, December 31, 2009

Zoo Animal Drawings

I was lucky enough to make a tip to the zoo for some animal drawing! Here's the results:




Sunday, December 27, 2009

Cat Concept Art





Some stuff for my film. This was one of the possible concepts for my cat design, but it's still not quite right. He looks way too much like O'Malley from the Aristocats.

I haven't updated in a while and I apologize. There's a lot that's going to be happening within the next few months - my film obviously and just classes in general. Bear with me, I'll try to post more things from my film as they come.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Character Design blog

Hey guys!

Just wanted to say that I created a blog specifically for character design. It's linked here if you would like to have a look:

http://vanderpaardtdesigns.blogspot.com/

I have a lot to update on which I will get to eventually. CTN was amazing, I've never seen so many of my idols under one roof. I'll be back with photos soon!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Henry Selick, Fat Cats, and Dragons

I can't believe October is already gone.

Anyways, updates! I have exciting news, about a week ago I met Henry Selick. Yes, THE Henry Selick. The guy that directed Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, and Coraline. And I got to sit down and talk with him, even for only a few minutes.

Basically I attended the event at Arclight where Henry Selick talked about creating the movie Coraline. He answered technical questions, and explained the process of creating the visuals and such. He even answered the question of why Coraline's hair is blue!

So yeah. After the talk there was an after party where you could sit down with him for about 4 minutes and ask him questions or even just chat. I asked him about the process of creating a movie out of a book, how to know what elements to include in the plot, etc. He basically said figure out what makes you enjoy the book the most, and include those elements.











But yes, that was an amazing night.


---

Next up, my film. I've landed on a good design for the fat cat. I'm still playing around with the plot, once I've ironed something out I'll make sure to post storyboards or something. For now here's his final design.



CalArts has kept me quite busy with assignments, so I haven't spent much time on my film. I'm hoping that'll change soon, I really need to storyboard this out. I think that once it's been storyboarded, a lot of issues will be cleared up or at least laid out and dealt with.

---

Lastly,

Lately the trailer for "How to Train Your Dragon" was released. I watched it and am not really sure what to think.



I actually think I like it more than dislike it. It's a bit of a tricky reaction- I really love the dragon part of the trailer(I've also got a soft spot for dragons in general), and I love Hiccup. But there were things in this trailer that turned me off.

For example, the shot of the girl walking towards us in slow motion towards the beginning of the trailer. A completely overdone joke that's getting thrown at the audience once again. Dreamworks has that *sarcasm* fantastic *sarcasm* way of including jokes every 10-15 seconds. I also don't like her design very much, I'm not really sure why.

There are certain elements of the dragon's design that I enjoy, such as his color. His head design is basically a dragon version of Stitch though(go ahead and pause the frame where the dragon opens his mouth to eat the fish, and then google Stitch, you'll see it). I love Chris Sanders' style, but I don't know if I agree with the dragon's head being so, well, Stitch-like.

I enjoy Hiccup's design. He looks and acts like a normal human being, and I really liked the voice acting.

I dunno what to think. I guess I'll see in March.

Well that's all for now!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Vulpix!





Pokemon fanart! Woot!

Film concept ideas




Some concept art for my final film! I've got the story roughed out in my head, I need to really review it a few times and maybe do some sample boards before I have a clear definition of what's going to happen in my film. I've got the basic plot roughed out though, so I'm pleased. :)

Anyways, this guy is going through a bit of a makeover until I can find a design that works well for motion and animation. It should be fun animating him. :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Go back to the source!

Figure it's time for an update.

Things have been going smoothly. I've gotten used to having a huge pile of work at any given moment, which is great because of the content of the assignments. Why else would I be going here? I really feel like I'm improving by being around so many different artists, all talented in different areas and passionate about the same thing, all under the same pressure. Pretty exciting. :)

Tonight, Shane Acker, the director of "9", and Joe Ksander, the animation director, are coming as visiting artists and giving a lecture. This should be awesome - I really enjoyed the visual look of "9", so it'll be cool to hear the process.

So far, the visiting artists at CalArts have been:

James Gurney, creator of Dinotopia
Birgitta Hosea, program director of Character Animation at Central St. Martin's
Mark Andrews, storyboard artist at Pixar
Tina Price, host of the 2009 Creative Talent Network Expo

Rumored visiting artists in the future:

Pete Sohn, director of Pixar's short "Partly Cloudy"
Glen Keane, director of the upcoming film "Rapunzel" and Disney animator


Speaking of the CTN expo, I got a free ticket for being one of the first 25 people to come to the Tina Price lecture. There are going to be some big names at the expo, some include David Colman and Don Bluth! I can't believe how many people I'm meeting, and am going to meet. This is a dream come true. :)

On another note, I've decided my final film and begun designing the main character. I'll make sure to post some sketches soon.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Have I really already been here a month?

It's amazing how time flies when you're animating.

I plan on posting some animations soon, once I've figured out how to get them in the right format.

Anyways, thought I'd post some pictures of the cubes. This is where I spend my all-nighters at CalArts.











Sooo yeah. I'll finish up with a drawing for my story class.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

An update from art school...

Yo.


So CalArts is awesome. A little quirky, but awesome. The workload is starting to pile up, but that's alright. It's what I came here for.

Classes have been good. There are some that I wish would pick up a bit, and others which I think are AMAZING(traditional animation = <3). I sat in on a character design class Wednesday and was awed by the amount of critique given. Basically, the teacher wasn't afraid to say which designs worked and which flat-out didn't. It's not a class I'm registered for, but I plan on sitting in anyways. There's so much to learn. :)

On a side note, as weird as this might sound, I never thought I'd enjoy animating so much. I mean, I know I'm going to CalArts for character animation, but before coming here I mainly wanted to be a character designer. Now that I enjoy animating so much perhaps I can do both. :)

Today I plan on seeing "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" with some of the other students. Should be fun, maybe I'll post a review here after. I'll take my camera with me because because I've been neglecting it ever since I got here. And maybe some art. :)

See ya!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Class Thoughts

Hey everyone!

Today was the start of the second week of schooling at CalArts. Thought I'd give a quick review of all of my classes after first impressions.

First off, I'd like to say that people weren't kidding when they said there'd be a workload. I wouldn't be surprised if I saw myself staying up on average to 2am every night, especially if things just get worse after the first week. If you're planning on coming here, be prepared to work. Get into the habit of sticking to a schedule. Otherwise you probably won't survive.

Basic Perspective
I actually really like this class. Perspective has always been something that I've struggled with, so it's cool to be taught by someone who's worked with layout on many Disney films(Dan Hansen) as a teacher. I can't wait to start learning the more complicated perspective rules, so far we've only covered such things as a single vanishing point. I'll need to remember to keep all of the notes he's given us together for the sake of reference in the future.

Beginning Story Development
So far I've actually been a little disappointed with this class. Don't get me wrong, Vandergrift is a nice guy and all, but he hasn't really talked about story yet. So far we've just gotten handouts, no lectures like the other department teachers. Perhaps I'm judging too quickly, but I really hope this class picks up soon. I've heard from other students about already getting assignments based around composing a story with very specific elements from other teachers. I just hope I don't get left in the dust.

Intro to Digital Production
I can't really make an opinion on this class. Metzger seems nice. I only had an hour in this class because there was a department meeting all the character animation students had to attend, so I can't really say much.

Color and Design
This is one of those classes I get excited over because 1) design is one of my interests for jobs in the film industry, and 2) the teacher(Hobaica) seems to really know what he's talking about. Supposedly this is the class that really piles on the homework, according to others. All I can say is, bring it on. :)

Beginning Traditional Animation
Another amazing class! I honestly wish this class wouldn't end. The teacher(Nguyen) is so quirky and passionate about what he does and it's so exciting to listen to his lectures. I so badly want to animate after hearing them. Seriously, this class is the one that reminds me of why I wanted to get into animation. Fantastic.

Contemporary Literature
Offbeat from the normal animation line-up, but nonetheless I am excited about this class. I love reading, and the list of books looks interesting. It'll be a nice break from the regular draw-draw-draw homework.

Sociological Study of Art and Culture
I hope I have the attention span to stay interested for this class. My teacher has a French accent, so some of the stuff he says I can't even understand. It's an interesting subject, but I'm not really all that excited for it. It more one of those classes I took to get Critical Studies credits.

Beginning CGI Animation
This class definitely looks like it will be interesting. I've always been curious about Maya, and now I finally get to learn. My teacher(Aquino) is currently employed at Disney and has worked on Bolt, Meet the Robinsons, and as of now, Rapunzel. Very exciting. :)

Beginning Life Drawing
Well, it's life drawing. That's about it, haha. We're encouraged to try other ways of approaching the model, but for the most part it's whatever we choose to draw. It's a great atmosphere because everyone is so skilled at figure drawing, so it really encourages you to try harder in your own sketches.

Well that's about everything. Also every Friday night a visiting artist comes to give a lecture. This Friday Mark Andrews from Pixar is coming, and last Friday was Tina Price, an animator who inspired the 3D animation for the carpet in Alladin. It's amazing how many connections are available here, and I have to make sure to take advantage of every one of them. My friends and I got free tickets to the CTN animation expo just for being one of the first 25 people to come! There's going to be some really big designers/artists there, I can't wait to go!

So there you have it. Just for fun here's my Color/Design homework from last night:

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Classes

Hey guys!

Classes start tomorrow! All I can say is FINALLY. I've waited so long for this. I can't wait to see just how I improve in my classes and such.

Here's my schedule. I have classes every day Monday through Friday.

Monday
Basic Perspective - 9:00-12:00 - Hansen
Beginning Story Development - 7:00-10:00 - Vandergrift

Tuesday
Intro to Digital Production - 9:00-12:00 - Metzger
Color and Design - 1:00-4:00 - Hobaica
Beginning Traditional Animation - 7:00 - 10:00 - Nguyen

Wednesday
Contemporary Literature - 10:00-1:00 - Viegener

Thursday
Sociological Study of Art and Culture - 4:00-6:00 - Plot
Beginning CGI Animation - 7:00-10:00 - Aquino

Friday
Beginning Life Drawing - 9:00-4:00 - Brown

This is so exciting! There's so much to learn from everyone around. Every artist seems to be amazing at something, I just can't wait to soak everything in. :)

In other news, I went to go see 9 on Friday night. I really enjoyed the look of the film. The characters had a unique way of portraying themselves, with little characteristics that differ from each and every "puppet". Though I went in believing that having characters based on the same template could prove difficult and cause confusion, the little quirks in every puppet were recognized and successfully caught our attention in a more subtle way.

I liked the movie, but I felt more could have been done with such a deep story. As many have been saying, the film seems too short to explain the backstory and fully do it justice.

And of course, character development. The characters all appeared to stay the same throughout the entire course of the movie. I would have liked to perhaps see a change in 1, maybe slowly showing his acceptance of 9's adventurous pursuits. And many of the characters, such as 6, 3 and 4, weren't given enough time to shine. I would have loved to see more.

So yep, there's my update. Here's a few life drawings to finish off the post.




My family came and visited and we went to a dog park, so I took my sketchbook. :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

All Moved In!

Well, I'm reporting from my CalArts dorm room at the moment. :)

Today orientation began. There were a few activites required for 1st years to attend, such as a luncheon and something called a "1st year experience activity". It was basically a general introduction to the school.

Last night I did get to meet a few other character animators. It's amazing how easy-going and comfortable everyone is in introducing themselves. I just hope I can remember everyone's names.

Classes don't start until next week, I can't wait to get started!

Well, just wanted to update from CalArts. Have a nice day!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Yellow Yoshi!


It's yellow Yoshi! Two of my favorite things mixed into one. :)

Anyways, I'll be starting CalArts soon. I'll be sure to update as frequently as I can with my experiences. I'm sure it's going to be a blast. :)

I got my schedule, it consists of 7 animation-related classes, and then the rest are critical studies, basically the CalArts form of GE classes. I have no idea how many of those I'll have, but I'm going to be BUSY for sure. I'm going to have one crazy year.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Aggron



Here's Aggron. Fun design to tackle. :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Character Design: Labs



These are a couple different renditions of a design I did for a friend of a labrador retriever puppy. I absolutely love character design. It's so fascinating, and may very well be my job of choice when it comes to the film/animation industry. There's so much psychology between designing the look of the character based on who they are.

Take these pups for example. I tried to exaggerate certain features which our minds idenify as "cute". Big eyes, huge head compared to the chubby body, big paws which tell us that these pups are probably a bit clumsy when they walk or run, and of course, the large floppy ears. I absolutely love the science behind it all, it gives me a great excuse to go and study sociology/psychology.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My name is Dug



"I have just met you, and I LOVE you."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Rhydon


Rhydon! With some interesting shading.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Napoleon and Ross


More Pokemon stuff. Here's a duo I raised in my Diamond version for the Battle tower. I decided to have some fun with the character design. :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Charizard


With intense lighting effects. Not really.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Blastoise

I recieved a request to draw a cute Blastoise.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pokemon Doodles

Here's a couple Pokemon doodles I felt like coloring last night. Very relaxing, there's something about drawing Pokemon that is quite addicting.






CalArts Portfolio

Finally posting this.


So, I've told some people that I would post my portfolio once I got it back. I haven't gotten around to doing it until now, and I apologize. I remember when I was scavenging around looking for portfolios people had posted, and there had been only a few. So I'd like to share mine with you.

First of all, I'd like to say that this portfolio represents quite a bit of knowledge I've gathered over the years in order to prepare myself for what the CalArts Character Animation panel is looking for. Tons and tons of practice, critique, and ultimately, figuring out what works. And here's what I've concluded to include in a portfolio for this specific program:

1. Firstly, include mostly life drawings. I didn't send anything otherwise.

2. Go to figure drawing classes whenever you can. Understand that the models don't have to be completely nude, but it's good to show that you have an understanding of anatomy.

3. Include animals. Go to a zoo. It is my understanding that animals are rare in portfolios, and this should give you an advantage if you include them.

4. Diversity is important. Show that you can fit many different styles.


And now, for some tips on actual content...

1. Be yourself. I cannot stress this enough. Don't just be another artist that is able to copy exactly what is in front of them. Add your own personal flavor to your artwork. Just think, what is going to separate you from the next person, or the person after? You need to show that your artwork is unique. Don't be afraid to exaggerate things or extend beyond the page. Go ahead and add another piece of paper to get your point across!

2. Every piece should tell a story through body language, color, etc.

3. Only your best work. A few amazing pieces makes a better impression than many mediocre ones.

4. Presentation may be just as important as the artwork included. Think of a way you can show your artwork that makes the biggest impression.


Alright, there's probably more but at the moment I think I'll just show you my portfolio. I also included a smaller portfolio of sketches which I may post later, but for now here's the big pieces. I apologize for the terrible quality. I would also like to say that a CalArts portfolio is probably constructed much differently than your average art portfolio, simply because it shows that your abilities are limitless rather than simply focusing on technical aspects.