USCcinema

USC Cinema

Good ‘ol USC film Production. I’m really proud that I went to a film school when you could still call it a film school.

If I remember correctly my freshman year was the last 190 class there actually shot everything on super 8. I searched high and low just to find a decent super 8 camera. Oh how I loved my Beaulieu 4008 ZMII, she was a beautiful thing. I still think she puts my little sony HD camera to shame. I love film, everything just looks better. Now I fully admit that digital has made great strides in the last few years. Its sharp and clean but almost too much so. Its on the verge of being sterile. Thats fine for some people but me I prefer the buttery imperfection of film. I’ve always found it to be a bit magical.

Below are a few of the projects I worked on at the USC School of Cinema-Telivision.

 

Vagabonding

A USC Cinema 310 project that I made in collaboration with Fabrice Lorenceau.

  • Starring Henry Dittman, Sarah Paalman Petra Frazer, Fabrice Lorenceau and Mike Gunter
  • Music composer: Paul Henning
  • Assistant Directors: Scott Yaeger and Seth Mennillo
  • Makup: Ryan French
  • gaffer: Edmundo Solis,
  • Script Supervisor: Graziella Monteiro

 

Relief

A super8 films I shot for my USC Cinema 180 class. This was my take on Noir.

  • Starring: Corey Jackson

 

The Printmaker

A super8 films I shot for my USC Cinema 180 class. Shot late at night at the USC school of Fine Arts printing lab. The etching in the film was something I was working on at the time.

shot with a home made dolly and the amazing beaulieu 4800 Z2 super8 camera. God I love that camera.

  • Starring: Mike Gunter

 

The Chase

A super8 films I shot for my USC Cinema 180 class. Shot on location at the family vineyards. (Robert Young Estate Winery).

Totally pointless but really fun to make.

  • Starring: Devin Westberg, Todd Sheehy, Kelly Sheehy and Paul Hawley

 

How to Tell a story on a Budget

(THE AUDIO TRACK IS LOST) the film makes no sense without the narrator.

  • Starring: Devin Westberg, Nick Young, and Ashley Wise

 

Moooving Day

A USC Cinema 310 project I made in colaboration with Fabrice Lorenceau. At the time we were trying to make a live action cartoon. Shortly after this I put down my camera and made the switch to animation.

  • Starring: Devin Westberg, Napolean Thomas, Mike Gunter, Jeffrey Braer and Corey Jackson

Davey Jones Game Pitch

I had an idea for an iphone game about a free diver who has to dive down in search of pearls and other sunken treasures.

The idea was to make a really simple tilt game that you could play one handed. Tilt down to swim faster, left and right to dodge. The ticking clock was how long you could hold your breath and each time you leveled up you could go deeper and find better treasures. The catch was that you also had to have enough breath to get back to the surface so if you went too deep you might black out and not make it back. I still think this could be a great time waster.

If anyone out there knows objective-c and wants to make a game let me know cause I’d love to make it happen. I painted up a quick concept painting just to put my thoughts on paper. Scroll down to check it out.

diving for pearls
Happynewyear

drawing night

Looks like it is going to be a good drawing night.

I’ve got a couple of beers in the fridge, there is a rack of side ribs on the BBQ and itunes throwing down a good beat.

Well then. Time to get going on those storyboards. no more excuses.

USC animation graduation

USC Animation

Below is a listing of some of the Animated shorts I made at USC.

Most were produced while I was working on my masters in Animation and digital arts at the University of Southern California, School of Cinema-Telivision, Division of Animation and Digital Arts…Whew what a mouth-full. The one exception is Red Sky Morning which I actually started as an undergrad at USC. I was in the film Production program *cough-cough-very-famous* but towards the end started falling in love with animation. Don’t get me wrong I love live action but I’ll tell you what I hate. I hate permits, paperwork, 3am wake up calls, donuts, bad coffee and having to work till four in the morning because the equipment is rented and you cant afford to shoot another day!

  1. Cub Scouuts Pack 213

    We spell scouts S-C-O-U-U-T-S which makes us a completely different autonomous organization.

    An improvised comedy about the woes of scouting in the middle of urban Los Angeles.

    Improv by Devin Westberg, Tom Warren, Jimmy Zerda, David Ury, Ben Tolpin
    Directed, Animated and Produced by Sterling Sheehy


  2. Red Sky Morning

    Never turn your back to the ocean

    This is the project that got me into animation. It was entirely hand drawn with wax pencils and paint on cells and took about three years to finish.


  3. Square Cubed

    Consciously simplistic, this film shows how the repetition of a single drawing is able to cast the illusion of rhythm and depth when enhanced through the use of camera movement and changes in exposure settings. Made from a single square drawing this film attempts to create compelling imagry out of a symbol as simple and primitive as a square.

  4. Written, Directed, Animated and Produced by Sterling Sheehy

  5. Stillborn

    An ambient film I made from my USC animation production 2. The requirment was to make a one minute film so I made a 26min one! This was never ment to be watched as a film but rather played as an instalation at a gallery.

    I projected this at a lot of LA group art shows where it went over very well.


  6. Naked

    This is an expiramental motion painting I made while doing my grad work at USC Animation. It is ment to be an ambient work, show at an art gallery.


  7. Limp Buisnes

    Some rotoscope animation I did for a band while I was a student at USC. Drawn using ToonBoom Animation.

  8. Made in collaboration with Daisy Church.


Some pictures of the ‘ol gang

innertube camera mount

Lazy River Camera Mount

Ok, at first this may not seem like it has much to do with animation but here are some sketches I made for a little lazy river time-lapse camera mount. My brother and I are pretty avid tinkerers and ever since I gave him an HDhero cam for his birthday we keep playing around with different camera mount ideas. He’s made a pretty decent surfing head mount system but I can’t shake the idea of building some sort of floating… Read more »

jasperdstereoscopic

Doggy Dog

The dog here was modeled in maya and then posed in zbrush using the transpose feature. I made him a few months back but never did anything with him. So rather than just letting him rot with everything else on my hard drive I thought I would stretch him out and share.

Also in glorious 3D!

yep, put on those old 3D glasses to see this stereoscopic version.

Maya render of flyboy

Fly Boy

I finally broke down and bought Zbrush. All I can say is that it was SOOOoooo worth it! So far I love it.  I’ve been geeking out on it for the last two weeks. Its great!

Having spent so much of the last year clawing my through Maya, working in Zbrush is like a great big breath of fresh air. Thank you Pixologic! It took a day or two to learn the basics but by the end of the first week I was already beginning to do some interesting work. There is a bit of a learning curve but its nothing compared to Maya. Wow, Its so nice to worry about the design and not the technical aspects of the project for a change.  I’m glad I learned the tech stuff but too much of it will drive you mad.

I’ve already modeled and painted up a few things but they are for a feature and so I can’t put them on line.   So to share I roughed out this little fly character.  He’s based on a doodle I did.   Like I said, i’m still learning the ropes so the pose is all stiff and there are somerendering artifacts but hey what do you expect right out of the box.   Still he’s kind of fun so I thought I’s share.

flyboy
Flyboy on a cluttered set.

To test out Zbrush’s GoZ plugin I tossed him into a rough set and did a quick render. Just one button and you can jump back and forth. Its so easy I love it. The render took longer than the whole project. Ha!

Monster pen test

Monster
The scribble drawing from the time lapse project.

Some folks wanted to see a close up of the drawing I made in the Root – Timelapse post.

Well here he is all his fifty-dried-out-old-pen wackyness. Yeah, he was the bi-product of me sorting through several buckets worth of pens, testing for the ones which were still good.

mayad

Root- Time lapse

This is a time lape of me organizing some of the mess which is my home office.

I added a few bits of animation here and there just to make it interesting. The roots are a maya paint effects setup. For some reason it took way longer than I thought to render. Oh well, time flies when your having fun.

-update-
Oh, I should add that the time lapse was shot on a Nikon D700 using an AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm lens. The camera was set to shoot one frame every 20 seconds and it was all compress at 24fps. I composited the shot using TVPaint animation software.

loop test still

TVPaint walkcycle

Recently I bought a copy of TVPaint animation to help me out with my storyboard work.

It has a wonderful interface for this and is much improved compared to its predecessor, Mirage. Playing around in it I made this quick little walk cycle to combat the boredom of waiting for maya to render. Ahhhh.. good ‘ol 2d. Instant gratification. Hand rendering is so much faster.