Sunday, October 28, 2012

Watch Me Draw The Minecraft


As a favor for my friend HBrunav I made a Matrix-parody poster for this Matrix parody trailer. Check it out above.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Watch Me Draw Betty Boop and Felix the Cat

 

Every week you can now watch me draw something. I'll be soon accepting request so subscribe. The videos will premiere on Wednesdays on my personal youtube channel, StevRayBro.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Failing Upward - Cody's Pro Tips


The is one of two promo shorts we're doing to help bring in people into the Failing Upward before we begin a campaign to get funding for the pilot episode. Both shorts will focus one one of the two main characters, this one focusing on Cody. Cody's Pro Tips was written and performed by series creator Gary Trimarchi, and and I animated it.

Hope you enjoyed it!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Brad Bond Design

Hey guys, I cam across Brad Bond's website and blog Brad Bond Designs and he has put together some really cool looking photos of our work together. While I illustrate a lot of Bowling for Soup's album art Brad does the magic by making my drawings into layouts. In a way Brad and I have been collaborating without really knowing each other for years!

Check these out!



I really like how he put together the layouts for his portfolio so I thought I was share them here and see if some of my readers will show him some love! Seriously go check out his awesome blog!

JSTUstudios Poster



Here's a poster I was commissioned to do for the YouTube channel JSTUstudios. For those interested, this comedy group specializes in recorded stunts and pranks in public.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

ANIMEME - Forever Alone


This is a pretty nice milestone for me while working on ANIMEME. Up to this point I had only created and animated templates with mouth and slight facial animation, nothing too impressive or exciting. Yea, the main episodes would be made up of prominently my work, but again they're just lip syncing so it wasn't all too exciting.

I started adding more to these starting with a previous Bad Time compilation episode. I mostly tweaked a few things like the character reading Hunger Games before talking about how comparing the books to the movies will cause a bad time; or when he mentions transformers the next transition would be a parody of the Transformers scene transitions with the symbols.

Not every joke comes out the way I personally conceive them. I usually get an note back from the high up to change things. Originally I animated the Friend's joke to end with Forever Alone siting on the Friend's couch crying as "I'll be there for you" plays. Then the lights go out. Instead we went with the more on the nose joke with the DVD's.

But, for your viewing pleasure, here's an animated gif of the deleted/alternate scene!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Repellex Video


Its finally up! Last month I been working closely with Repellex to create a 2 minute video to help inform customers about their new product, Repellex Systemic Tables. I could go on about what it does, but you could also watch the video above.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Normal Boots

Recently I've been watching a lot of the JonTron and Peanut Butter Gamer on NormalBoots.com. Both are video game internet reviewers, and very entertaining ones. I thought I'd doodle up something to show some love. 

And on a unrelated note, legs.


Inspired by some of the promotional photography for Red Hot Annie's Aerial Burlesque dance. The lighting and poses are very inspiring, check out her site!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Memes, 9GAG, & Thom Yorke

I've been reflecting on all the meme related content I've been producing as of late. I'm not really sure where it all came from, or why clients were coming to me to produce it. But it seems like out of no where I've become a beacon for it. I've never payed much attention to memes or that side of internet culture in til I was contacted by Outback Zack, popular youtuber and co-creator of ANIMEME.

As previously posted and said, I am one of the animators working on the YouTube series, ANIMEME. The show is... exactly what the title says, its animated memes. Its getting a lot of subscribers, a lot of page views, and a lot of comments. Ranging from, "Do so and so meme next!" to, "Stop killing the internet!"

ANIMEME's version of Annoying Facebook Girl, created by me.
 Zack is considering the channel to be a pretty good success, and with almost 40,000 subscribes I gotta give him that. Episode 2 should be up sometime today, and we've bumped up the production  quality, at least with the memes I've worked on. One thing about this project is that with each template and animation I create, the stronger my skills become with flash.


But I wasn't making this post to talk just about ANIMEME. I wanted to talk about a similar client and lessons I learned The client in question is the people of  9GAG. A image sharing site like Reddit or Tumblr where users find funny images and then put it on the site to share with others. In theory, its a genius site. Its all user generated content, very little work. 

My Avenger parody poster, "The Justice Friends" was posted on the site which along with Reddit, Deviantart, Newgrounds, and few others help spread the piece to an unforeseeable amount of people. Someone linked me to a 9GAG post containing it, and I signed up and made a comment as the creator of the piece and a link back to my social networks.

Because of this, one of the creators contacted me about my work, and I thanked them for how their site spread my work and that I was grateful. Later on they would contact me about how they wanted to start producing original content for the site, and wanted me to be a part of it.

After a few emails I would be given a comic, and was asked to produce a animation based off of it.. While I didn't sign any NDA's, I was asked not to show the comic in its entirely, but to demonstrate what was asked of me I need to show you some of it. It doesn't really spoil much. 

2 panels from the comic I was given.
And that was exactly what I was given. No real direction, just make the above comic into an animated cartoon. It was called a test animation to see if I could do what they wanted... And they wouldn't really talk about the rest of the gig, just work on animation.

If I was smarter at the time I should've turn down the project. Especially with them withholding information. I want to say live and learn, but most of my business relationship with 9GAG wasn't very smart. I was inexperience, and looking for a stable job.

Here is the cast of the animation, I took a few liberties with the designs to make them more streamline, animateable, and over all more appealing. I also added a background, and slight after effects so it wouldn't be strictly flash.

Bad Luck Brian, Overly Attached Girlfriend, Cupid, & a dog.
What does this have to do with Memes? Apparently the characters in the comic and in my animation are memes. I didn't even know! But Brian is actually Bad Luck Brian and the girl is Overly Attached Girlfriend. Who knew? I thought these were original characters since they don't really resemble who they're supposed too... Especially Overly Attached Girlfriend.

What Bad Luck Brian and Overly Attached Girlfriend look like.

Looking back, I should have asked a lot more questions. This isn't just a post about memes, but also a reflection on the way I did business with 9GAG, and how I spent a good amount of time for free. I think a lot of artist have those stories. We're always warned, but I had to find out the hard way. This is an embarrassing post, but also a true post.

The animation was supposed to be an animated version of their meme starring web comic Happy Panty Land. "HPL" is very similar to ANIMEME in concept. Its created to bank on the meme culture, while ANIMEME flat outs shows its intent from the get-go, but I feel like HPL tries to act more classier and hide its true intent. Or at least acts like its being more clever.

A strip of HPL is basically two or more meme characters interacting and quoting popular memes or telling well known jokes that most heard on Facebook or twitter. One of the recent comics was shot for shot remake of a Garfield strip.  I'll admit, this is the perfect comic for 9GAG. Because even as an "original series" its still borrowing its content from other sources. Which is the business model of 9GAG.

Alright, so what went wrong? Well I worked on the animation for a weekend, I was eager to please. Remember there was a job in question. They didn't supply me with voices, so what you're about to hear is me doing the best I could to play a nerd, a cupid, and a woman. The voices could always be replace for better voices later.


I sent them an email with a slightly rougher cut of what you just watched without the credits and the message at the beginning of course. After a few days I received an email stated that they had they had a meeting about the direction they wanted the site to go in, and that animation wasn't in this direction.

I understand business decisions, but to change their mind after it was done is very insensitive. This is a decision they should've made before scouting out me to do the animation, not after it was done.  To be honest, I'm not sure if what they told me was true or if they didn't like the end result be it my animation or their joke. But they also offered no compensation for the weekend's worth of work I did for them.

Instead they offered me another opportunity, a web comic. Asking me to give them examples of my web comic work. I didn't have much so I created the following to help demonstrate my variety of style.


Again they asked for a test, which is a huge flag word for me now. This time I kind of knew exactly what I was getting into, but I just kind of let it play out. Again, promise of a job is a powerful motivator. And a comic doesn't take nearly as long as an animation. At least not for me.

The "test" was to use lyrics from Creep by Radiohead  and make it into a comic. Remember what I said about borrowing content from other sources. Yea. It was implied that they wanted the comic to be humorous, which if you ever heard the song is the opposite emotion its trying to convey. But hey, a job is on a line.

I wrote up two scripts, both we're using the lyrics as the dialogue, but the characters and situations were completely different.  The first was my first attempt at dark humor, which I learned I'm not good at. The idea was about a boy remember how a girl humiliated him in front of his peers and couldn't take it anymore. Yeaa... I didn't use it.

The second script was about a head cheerleader and her best friend. It focused on the best friend and how she wanted to be the head cheerleader. Not in the, "I wish I was you" sense, but more of the "kill her and wear her skin" kind of sense. The idea was to make it creepy like Courage the Cowardly Dog but use Spondgebob-esque faces to make it funny.


It sounded terrible, but it was given a okay by 9GAG. But I was asked to make a change, edit the best friend into Thom Yorke. It destroyed the story, but okay. Make the client happy. And this is what became of it;


Maybe they didn't bother reading the original comic or the idea. But after it was done they didn't like Thom Yorke looking creepy. They instead they asked me after it was done to edit his design to be more handsom. They intended to the comic to be sold as prints and wanted Thom Yorke to look handsome so that Radiohead fans would want to buy the prints.

So they asked me to edit Thom Yorke to make him handsome. Knowing it ruin the whole point and joke. I did so. 


Well, he still looks creepy. Its still a creepy concept. The concept is wrong for what they wanted. In fact, if they had told me their original intent this wouldn't have been the direction I went at all. I also didn't like that they wanted to see the "test" without mention the linguistics of it first. I really want to chalk this one up to bad direction.

They weren't done with me just yet. They wanted me to try again with another song. After a few more email exchanges, half being me saying making comics out of songs was a bad idea, and them being pretty adamant about using songs. I think mostly wanted to use songs because borrowing content is easier to get page views that original works. The last email exchanged talked about me doing a third "test". But this is when I learned my lesson.

This is events that happened on a short few months ago. Looking back on myself I shouldn't allowed any of this to happen. I made an animation and a comic for free. They asked for a third test, but when I mention that I can't dedicate anymore time to 9GAG without money being involved or with down-payment being dropped, the concept of me working with them was dropped completely. And judging from our track record above, it was a good decision. 


Flash Backgrounds


On Tumblr I was asked to create a tutorial on how I make background using Adobe Flash. This is was a quickly made tutorial, but I thought I'd share it here to help show you my process.

Step 1
Create a layer and sketch on it, just basic foundation works. I like to draw in gray or light blue to make "inking easier".

Step 2
Create a new layer, lock the previous. This is where we'll "ink" by drawing the lines. Use the Pencil, Shape, or Line Tool. Using pencil in this step is very important for later.
Sketch over, or do what I apparently do and ignore the sketches almost entirely. Don't worry about small details just yet.
I use the Line Tool a lot, you can bend lines to fit your need. I highly suggest the shape tools with no fills to make other shapes too.

Step 3
Okay now fill in with the colors you want. 

Step 4 
Select the whole image, fill and pencil. Its just easier that way, Go to the pencil color and choose no color. Watch as the lines all disappear and you have a nice line-less image.

Step 5
I love to use gradients for backgrounds. Using subtle gradients, like almost unnoticeable gradients gives dept to the image. It for me, keeps it from looking stagnant and boring. Use the Fill tool, drag the direction you want the gradient to go.


Okay, get it to how you want it. I'mma stop here.


Step 6
Take the pencil/pen/shape/line tool and start drawing out your details. I'll show you how I do things with the picture frame and lamp.

Basically, Pencil the detail, fill in the details, delete lines.

 
Now we should be about right here;

Optional Step
If you're doing this in Photoshop or want to do something extra with it. I like to take textures and apply them to my backgrounds. Just place a layer with a texture on top of your image and then change the layer's blending style to overly. 

I like to note if you like a texture but don't like it color you can take away the color by IMAGE -> Adjustment -> DESATURATE. And now you got the texture without altering colors.

If there is anything else, let me know. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Failing Upward - Update 2

I got a few updates with Failing Upward. First off, production of the first animated short has begun!  Its short teaser video called "Cody's Pro Tips". It's basically Cody makes a YouTube video. At the moment I am in the process of animating. 

But I do a lot of pre-production to show you.

Here are some of the storyboards;







Here's a detail look at the Background design;


And finally what the final product will look like;


I would also like to mention that you can keep up with Failing Upward with both the Production blog and the facebook page!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Animated Memes

Memes are interesting to say the least, they're a huge part of the internet culture. They're basically images reused over over to tell jokes. They dominate popular websites like Reddit, and plenty of websites dedicated to them. 

The point? Well, I was hired on to a team to help produce a Youtube series called ANIMIME. It launched last week. I've made a few post about it the past, but I got in the mood to to make some animated gifs out of recent ones.












Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Arrested Development


After Arrested Development was over a lot of the cast and crew went on to form Sit Down Shut Up an  animated series based off an Australian live action sitcom. It like Arrested Development was equally under-watched, but unlike Arrested Development it doesn't have a cult following.

It might be because the first few episodes of the show weren't as exciting as what you expect from the creative team behind Arrested Development, but it does quickly catch its breath and darts into funny by the 5th episode. Too bad it was already canceled by its 2nd. It did finish its run on Fox in death slots and reran on Comedy Central.

Anyways, this is the Arrested Development's cast in the style of Sit Down Shut Up. You might notice that Micheal and GOB look very similar to the Sit Down Shut Up's Larry Littlejunk and Ennis Hofftard. And that's what inspired the piece. Larry and Ennis reminded me so much of their actors I thought I would tweak their designs and make them Micheal and Gob. Then I had to design the rest of the cast in the style too. Eventually you get what you see above.

I really like how it came out. I think in the pic Lindsey might be my favorite, maybe Tobias. So who's excited about the show's revival?

The Duck Knight Rises



I consider this a spiritual sequel to the Justice Friends avenger poster that I did a few months back.. This time its the recent Batman move, The Dark Knight Rises mashed up with Disney's Darkwing Duck. This isn't the first time the term "the Duck Knight" was used, it was actually first coined by the newer Darkwing Duck comic 4-part series "The Duck Knight Returns". Which rekindle Darkwing Duck comic series, that was canceled after about a year.

I knew I had to do a parody piece with Darkwing, but the hard part was choosing the right villain. There really isn't that many big Bane-like villains in the DW universe. Most of the time that role is giving to a random big minion of a smaller sueprvillain. But that wouldn't work. There's Steelbeak, but not really his style.

Then I remembered... Taurus Bulba. Voiced by Tim Curry, he was the first villain that Darkwing faces in the pilot made-for-tv movie. He was perfect; big, strong, and what I thought was iconic. Though I found that some people don't remember him... Probably because he was "killed off" in the pilot, SPOILERS! And brought back in the last season as a cyborg before being killed off again. Though if the show would've continued he would've appeared at least one more time. If only.

Monday, July 16, 2012

ANIMEME - The Most Interesting Man


This is a highlight reel of The Most Interesting Man meme, one of many ANIMEME templates I created and animated for the show. It was actually the second template I created, the first being Condescending Wonka. I'm going to try and not flood this blog with nothing but ANIMEME stuff, so I'll probably wait for more videos to appear and I'll post them all in one post. Til next time, stay golden.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Why Not Zoidberg?


Check out the latest advertisement for ANIMEME, featuring a Why Not Zoidberg I animated for the project.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Some Fan Art

I'm always working on something be it personal or freelance, but there's not a day go by without me doing something. And here's some of my personal fan work. When I enjoy something, sometimes its hard not to do a little piece for it. Like a celebration for the show or game.

 Gravity Falls

The series just started on the Disney Channel, and its one of the most refreshing cartoon shows to hit television in a long time. I've seriously not been this stoked for a cartoon in a while. Its mysterious, humorous, and quite intelligent and its not something you for on the Disney Channel. Its beautifully animated, its well told, and all the jokes hit the beats. Seriously, go check it out.

 Deadman Wonderland

This one is more for a friend than it was for me. I do enjoy Deadman Wonderland, but I wouldn't say it something I would normally draw. But this was a thank you for a follower who's been following me for a bit. Ganta (the guy above) is his favorite cartoon characters.

 Punch Time Explosion XL

Cartoon Network released a Super Smash Bros clone replacing beloved Nintendo characters with their own brand of characters. Its actually a pretty solid game, and does a few things better than Smash Bros itself. But there's a lot of little problems that stack up against ruining what could of been an amazing game.

 Halo

I recently got Halo anniversary edition. Its the same game, but somehow I'm not enjoying it nearly as much as I did in 2001. I don't know if its because of the game, because I've changed, or the friends I used to play the game with me aren't around as much; but somethings changed. Anyways, this is a piece that was inspired by Skull Girls.


Hurley from Lost

I recently was introduced to Lost. Yea, I'm a couple of years late. But at least I didn't have to wait 6 years for the ending. Its a great series, but I did notice some plot holes going through. Like the Man in Black and the Smoke monster completely contradicting itself between season 1 and 6. But that's what happens when you don't know where your story is heading. Hurley was obviously my favorite.