Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Testing My Digital Painting Skills

After deciding to take some time off from animating, to undertake some self-taught digital painting courses that I've been planning to do for years, the daily struggle of maintaining my motivation and discipline to pursue this goal is becoming a real issue for me. After getting used to the pressures of either the quota and deadlines, even if I now find myself liberated from all that stress, I feel a bit disoriented and directionless at the same time.  Not to mention, isolated from fellow artists, who all can be inspiring influences to me artistically.

One of the benefits of working in an animation studio environment is the constant pressure to do your best work. Otherwise, your work will not go through down the pipeline.  I don't have that pressure  anymore so it's easy to slide into laziness and procrastination.  Nonetheless I must constantly keep my sights clearly on my goals and keep going.  And so, after finishing Bobby Chiu's Digital Painting self-taught online course, which took me longer to finish than it should bedue to the above-mentioned reasons, I decided to test myself out on what I've learned so far by painting something fun. 

Since I undeniably like dogs, I knew drawing and painting them will always be an enjoyable exercise.  Thus, I decided to paint my sister's pet Husky, named Fluffy. Then give it to her as a Christmas gift once it's done.

The challenge of this exercise for me was in how to illustrate the dog's solid form and it's soft fur convincingly. Also keeping the likeness at the same time.

And so, here's the process I've learned from the course:
1. I started out with a free-hand rough sketch of the dog in Photoshop using a photo as my reference.  Making sure that I do a solid, well-constructed drawing, which would serve as a foundation of the painting. For me, solid drawing is the key to a successful painting.  (Click to enlarge)


    2. Next, I put in the dark tones. I also created a  grey scale palette, so picking out the right tones would be easier.

  3. Then the light tones were applied next.  I repeated this process of going back and forth between the two tones of lights and darks. Slowly building up the different values until it's complete. One beauty of painting digitally is, any corrections are easily done by cutting, resizing, and pasting them back, which is what I've done to the body to change it's proportion.

4. Next I added the furs. Some were painted with the round hard and soft brushes. Some were pushed and pulled with the smudge tool. And in some selected areas, fur texture were subtly painted-in on top. Everything needs to look organic.  Shadows were added on another layer below the dog. One thing that was always taught to me, is to keep the subject grounded, So adding cast shadows  underneath the subject will do the trick.

5. Once I'm happy with the values, and everything, it's time to add color. On another layer set to the color blend mode, I glazed in the colors for the ears, tongue and body. And for the background, I used the gradient tool and added in 2 colors, with the lightest on the right upper part, to imply where the light source is coming from.

6.  To help make it look less digitally sleek, I added some noise and texture filters overall to simulate a traditionally-painted.look.  So if you look at it up-close, textures can be seen.

Here is the final version. 

If you like it,  tell me in the comments box.Thanks.



Monday, October 17, 2016

Creature Animation Demo reel

Eight months ago, I enrolled in a 3-month online Creature Animation Course, and learned some techniques on how to animate quadrupeds. I did it full-time, because I didn't think I'll be able to balance work and learning this simultaneously without affecting both my professional work and my health negatively.  It was really intense, yet fun. In the end, I'm happy with the what I have done.

Here's the result.  Enjoy!

Creature Animation by Jocelyn Sy from Jocelyn Sy on Vimeo.

Learning Animal Drawing and Digital Painting

Drawing and painting animals have always been something I wanted to learn and do well.  I've collected a lot of animal drawing books and digital painting tutorials over the years, but never really had the time to really pause and learn  from them.  As a professional animator, it's always been a real struggle for me to find the time and energy to pursue this. 

Over a year ago, I finally decided to take some time-off from being an animator, and just give myself a chance to do this.  There's still a lot of fundamentals I need to learn to get me to where I want to be artistically, but I'm hopeful that I'll get there, slowly but surely.

Below are some of the work I've done.  (Click to enlarge)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Short Cat Animation

Although I've animated some 4-legged animals in the past as a traditional animator, however, I don't think I did them that well back then.  Achieving subtle acting and performance in hand-drawn animation was, and still is very difficult. Not that it's any easier to do in CG,  but it is achievable and believable.

It's been a much-delayed interest of mine to at least try to animate quadrupeds in CG.  And so, I decided to take a realistic creature course at Animation A Team with Rob Hemmings, to learn some new approach and techniques of how to do this.

This is the thumbnail sketch for the story idea of "Gotcha!", ( originally called Cat Chase), which I consider my first successful attempt in animating a realistic quadruped animal as a 3d animator.

click to enlarge

So below are the final  results. Enjoy!


And here's the same animation with  fur render.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Animal Drawing - Final Week

To see previous weeks, click Week 1. Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5. Week 6, Week 7.

For week 8, the lectures were about prehistoric animals and some rendering.  Finally, I'll have my weekends back. It's been really challenging 8 weeks, because I didn't have much time to do more research and sketches to understand the process, with only the weekends to do it.  And yet, I still enjoyed doing these assignments.  The subject of drawing animals is really very broad, and for 8 weeks, it's just scratching the surface. There's just so many different kinds, types, species of animals one can learn about, that it's a lifetime's worth of study.

I also got sick this week, so I only managed to these.  Artrage 4 had been the program I've been using in doing all of my assignments.  Here's what I've done.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Animal Drawing - Week 7

To see previous weeks, click Week1, Week2, Week3, Week4, Week 5, Week 6.

Week 7 is all about birds. Understanding a bit of their anatomy, how their wings look, folded and in flight; and how to draw them using simple shapes.   But because I've been busy at work this week, including Saturday, I only get to finish 3 birds.

Here's what I've done. ( click to enlarge)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Animal Drawing - Week 6

 To see previous weeks, click week1, week 2, week 3, week4 . week 5

For week 6, the lectures and assignments are about  drawing  unusual shaped- animals.  These are the fishes, and reptiles. It's also about how much or less details, textures are indicated so as not to kill the drawings.   This is something I plan to practice on even after this workshop is done.

Here's what I've done. ( click to enlarge)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Hotel Transylvania 2 Teaser Trailer

Here's the teaser trailer of Hotel Transylvania 2, the movie I'm currently working on.


Monday, March 9, 2015

Animal Drawing - Week 5

 To see previous weeks, click week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4

For week 5, the topic and assignment was about drawing the individual and not the generic.  This means learning the different family genus and species. Or their different ages.  I focused on 2 species, dogs and tigers, specifically the Labrador Retrievers and Siberian Tigers. I decided to draw them in their different ages and observe how their appearances change.

After learning how to draw animals through the process of  gesture, construction, and anatomy it's now time to complete the drawing with some rendering. There are many ways to go about it. but since I don't have the time to explore different techniques, like crosshatching, I decided to just simply do a wash technique for the shadow shapes and a few whites in some areas. 

Here's what I've done... (click to enlarge)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Animal Drawing - Week 4

To see previous weeks, click Week 1, Week 2, Week 3.

For week 4's topic, it's about active and passive muscles, and animals in action, and being able to draw animals from gesture, construction, and with muscles overlay.  For my assignment, I concentrated mostly on dogs and a cat. I chose photos where there's interaction between animals.

Here's what I've done. ( click to enlarge)