Monday, April 17, 2017

A Universe of Trouble—Ep17 Storyboard. FINAL EPISODE!

Here it is.

I've imagined this moment since April, 2015.

I'm about to start production on the FINAL episode of this project/journey.

I can't begin to describe how thrilled I am to be one big step from the end of this project.

One more BIG PUSH, and I'll be DONE!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Universe of Trouble—Ep16 Storyboard

Here it is, the penultimate episode of my web series "A Universe of Trouble."

This is the episode that I originally had split into two. But after a second look, I decided to make it one long episode instead of two short ones. I think it makes sense storywise but also…it helps me psychologically. Once I decided I had one less episode to create, I felt less pressure! It's still the same amount of work BUT it feels like less work since it's one less episode. If I need this mind trick to complete this project, so be it.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Ep14 DONE! Ep15 DONE!

Scene from Episode 14.

Scene from Episode 15.
I've been so immersed in my Big Push that I didn't realize I hadn't posted since Jan. 30!

And since the last post I've completed TWO MORE EPISODES!

The light at the end of the tunnel has gotten a bit brighter now. There's one big scene and one small scene to complete and then I'll be done with this two-year challenge.

Next post: the storyboard for Episode 16

Monday, January 30, 2017

Episode 13 Production Has Begun

Continuing with my "Big Push Period" to complete the last 6 episodes of "A Universe of Trouble" on Memorial Day weekend, 2017, I completed the storyboard and scenes 01 and 02 this weekend. In the process I discovered that scene 03 is simply a closeup and scene 02 which saved me from having to do another scene.

This scene will be the last time for awhile that the Repairwoman is in the temple. After this, she moves into the actual hyperspace beacon to make the repairs.

Here's the storyboard:

I'm relieved that after doing a 30-scene episode, this episode has a mere 13 scenes.

There's no excuse to complete this quickly!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


April, 2017 will be the 2-year anniversary of working on "A Universe of Trouble."

My original intent was to quickly get some work out into the world. I assumed telling a short story would take less time than animating a 5-minute film.

Yes, I will complete this web series sooner than I would have completed the animation for "Adult Toy Story."

No, it's still not THAT fast!

I'm pleased with the progress of this project and am enjoying the process. However…I want it to be OVER!

First, I want it to be over because I'm eager to do so many other projects. But none of those projects can be worked on until I learn two important things: human anatomy and perspective.

Second, I want to enjoy my summer this year! Meaning, I want to get out of my drawing room and ride my bike while not having a little voice telling me that I should be working.

Therefore, I decided to make the remainder of the winter and some of the spring my BIG PUSH TIME. This means that I will cut back slightly on drawing practice to work as much as possible on completing these last 6 episodes (I'm days away from completing episode 12 of 18).

That's 4 months to complete 6 episodes. Right now it's dark and cold and I don't want to be outside anyway. THIS is the time to really push, to wake up even earlier (5am) to get this project DONE!

My new deadline is Monday, May 29, 2017—Memorial Day—to complete this project. That will be a long weekend and the official start of summer. What better time is there to wrap this up?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

My Newest Favorite "A Universe of Trouble" Scene!

I'm happy to report that abruptly switching from Toon Boom Animate Pro to Harmony is not nearly as traumatic as I thought it would be. The two programs look and work similarly which is a great help.

BUT Harmony has many more features than Animate Pro and I happily discovered one of them: the Quake module!

In Animate Pro, I was able to do a camera shake effect by altering the x, y and z coordinates of the camera in the timeline. It was effective but a little time consuming.

In Harmony, I drag a module into the Node View, attach it to the camera node…and I'm done!

Here's the Quake module at work in my newest favorite scene of the series:


What do you think of this scene?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Studying Gesture—Examples of Combining Methods

In the previous post, I talked about combining the methods of Stan Prokopenko with those of Samantha Youssef.

Prokopenko's lessons communicate to me better than anyone else's. I think it's because I think linearly and completely and his lessons are designed that way. So I started with his spaghetti gestures and then moved on to the bean gestures.

Youssef also starts her gesture drawing method with "spaghetti" drawings:

I was ready to start the second step of Youssef's 3-step approach which is adding 2D forms to the spaghetti gesture. With limited time to practice, I decided to combine Proko's bean practice with Youssef's method. I did this after realizing that Proko's bean shapes are similar to Youssef's egg and rectangle shapes:

Youssef's method has this important element: the addition of 2D shapes to the spaghetti gesture that represent the silhouettes of the solid, inflexible chest mass and the solid, inflexible pelvic mass. This 2D element is essential before adding the 3D forms of the figure. They act as a bridge between gesture and structure. Here she shows that the shapes should be a simple egg for the chest mass and a simple square/rectangle plus how they differ between male and female:

My practice of these principles:

Black charcoal is used for the spaghetti gesture and the bean masses. Red marker is used to make the egg and rectangle shapes.

Not only am I enjoying doing these otherwise tedious exercises, but I feel that I'm understanding and improving at drawing them. It's making SENSE to me!

There is a LOT more to gesture drawing than I imagined. So much so that I find that I regularly take 30+ minutes to review the principles and thinking behind the methods to ensure that I'm doing them correctly.

Keep drawing!