Digging though some old miniDV tapes I discovered my first 2d animation, an animated logo for my little production company Ammonite Films. No surprise, but in a very classic “sterling” mistake I misspelled “Ammonite”.
I was introduced to animation while attending CSSSA- California State Summer School for the Arts by none other than Corny Cole! I was submitted as a live action film student but was unhappy with my place and after the first week desperately tried to switch over to animation. Sadly I was denied by the heads of that program on the grounds that it was simply too late to switch departments. A kind old man pulled me aside after this and told me to ignore the bureaucracy and just animate on my own. He went out of his way to show me how to sneak in to the department, and on his own time introduced me to how a peg bars worked, taught me how to punch peg holes, introduced me to the video down-shooter and set me on my way. My summer at CalArts was saved!
Years later after a figure drawing class I had also snuck into, this time at USC,I was retelling this little story to Corney Cole who after hearing it brightened up “That was you!?”. Apparently he was the kind old man! Ever more strange he went on to explain that the heads of the department that had denied me all those years ago were Christine Panushka and Vibeke Sorensen, my current professors and heads of the animation program there at USC!!
Corny said he had never forgotten that moment years ago cause, as far as he knew, no one had ever tried to switch programs like that before and he thought it was ridiculous that they wouldn’t let me into animation.
Years later he was still letting me sneak in to his classes. Thanks for fanning the flames Corny your the best!!
A maya projection mapping test. Trying to hybrid 2d and 3d.
Recently I have been working on and off on camera projection tests. Trying to find a way of making blendable 2d/3d environments. One of the struggles is finding ways to eliminate hard edged. This is a work in progress.
The same maya projection mapping test.
This time with fern elements to test overlapping.
This time in anaglyphic stereo and with some random spears to test how the steroscopic effect works on a 2d/3d camera projection.
One of the reasons I have been trying to learn Maya is so I can make 2.5d backgrounds for my projects. I have been playing around with this a lot in the last few weeks with little success. I usually run into trouble with transperancy and alpha channel issues on my projection maps. Nothing ever seems to work but I’ll get it here at some point.
Above I have posted a rough background plate of the great norther pass overlooking the city of Wu which I hope to use for this, my second attempt at 2.5d. I painted everything in layers. There are about 20 in all. So I should have a lot to play with. I’ll post my progress as I go.
I have been ripping my brains out trying to learn Maya. Below is a simple set that I built following the learning maya tutorial book. I elaborated on the lesson and came up with this little camera move. Baby steps.
Nothing is more frustrating than following a maya tutorial and not having anything work. Instinctually I think I am too blame and out of habit start the tutorial over from the beginning whenever I get some sort of error message. Then, after failing again, and again to get some basic function to work I do the unthinkable. I break down and call someone for help.
I am humbled as they calmly stride over to the computer and kindly explain to me what is going wrong. Magically they dig through hidden pull down windows, use complex key commands and preform what can only be described as some type of digital alchemy. I am in awe hovering over their shoulder. And then it happen.
“Error”. Cooly, they try again. “Error”. and again. “Error. Error. Error. Error”. In frustration and rage my help transforms into some sort of Mr. Hyde type beast. They growl at the screen and bang at the keys. I step back and take a deep breath. its ok. It’s not me this time. Its Maya.
A few years ago I was really excited about ambient cinema. Making films for the purpose of creating atmosphere. Stillborn was one of my big project from that time. It was an ongoing abstract piece that I showed a lot at gallery shows and IDM parties in the Underground LA art scene. It was always fun to project this piece really big and watch people throughout the night get lost in it.
The film is a loop so it has no specific starting point.