The Walker

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Music video for Kat Holiday / Akashic Record Productions.

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2014 Reel

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New tools are here for 2014.  Harmony 10.3 animation has native particle tools, compositing features and lots of ways to manipulate characters and props for a versatile production process.

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It’s Raining

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A spot for the Humane Society of Indiana.  I provided character design, storyboarding, animatics, animation and compositing.  The clients chose a totally B&W look.  This is my sepia toned director’s cut.  I have also reinstated early versions of some shots, which I think add a little more ‘drama’.  The production companies involved were Fivestone Studios (Nashville) and Good Vibes Media (Indianapolis).  This is the second time I’ve worked with Fivestone in recent months, which I’ve enjoyed very much.  They are a talented, capable and pleasant crew.

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The SaltMarsh

The SaltMarsh is my second animated short.  It is a work in progress, between assignments.  The backgrounds shown here are first composed in storyboard form.  The boards have enough detail to serve as a decent shot layout.  From there I work on rough, cold press watercolor paper.  I produce a black and white tonal painting with Japanese stick ink and traditional brushes.  Next, I scan the painting on a large, high quality flatbed scanner.  The painting is digitally colored, and eventually composited using a virtual After Effects camera.

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“Near” Background Art

After traveling in Nepal, Japan, Peru, Hawaii and a lot of the American west, mostly with dusty boots and a backpack, I sat and pondered the pile of film I’d shot.  I had worked in-house so much at agencies, production facilities and networks, that I’d never had time to animate something for myself.  This was the time to start.  The first thing I did was start drawing environments.  Below are a few of the results.

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Surf Rider

This is a really fun project.  I was given a list of characters and then put on a very long leash.  Actually, I even came up with the idea for the surfing Sumo.  I did surf for several years, and then paddled a whitewater kayak.  There is a small amount of overlap in these experiences, giving me a wealth of ideas.

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Casting Shadows

This was a very interesting design project.  The animation had to illustrate a story from ancient Korean folklore, and at the same time be connected to a modern drama.  The film director, Angela Park, had a logical idea of progression in the animation look, but the starting point needed a delicate touch.

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Barnes documentary

Albert Barnes built one of the preeminent private art collections in the world.  HBO produced a documentary to explain the drive and motivations that propelled Barnes in his quest.  Limited animation was requested; however, HBO was keen on getting exactly the right expression during formative episodes in the life of young Albert.

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America’s Pop Star Penalty Round

The friendly creatures of Snuff Mountain, Tennessee decided not to be left off the reality TV bandwagon.  Never mind that the wagon was never going to pull over and let them on.  Is it the most humble expression of pop culture you’ve ever seen, or an apt metaphor for our time?

All the art started as pencil illustration.  The animation was spline based, made with Anime Studio Pro.  The audio was produced in-house, using studio built foley props and echo chamber.  It’s all very straightforward.  I looked at a lot of old Termite Terrace shot layouts, and staged these shots with that attitude of ‘getting it done’.

Energy for Everyone

I have depicted a setting that is gradually turning toward sustainability.  The main focus is wind power, and this piece is available for customization and licensing.  The methods used to make this animation is a blend of warm traditional techniques, and wholly digital components.

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Children’s Festival of Reading

Promoting child literacy and literature can only be a good thing.  I figure kids have seen enough unicorns and teddy bears to hurl chunks, so I took a different path.  Good literature gives us wild imaginings our whole life.  I have no trouble imagining wild things, already.

I animated the ‘book reading’ scenes with Anime Studio Pro.  The vector and IK tools make for smooth, calm movement.  The real action, what is figuratively between the pages, has a rough line from being sketched out in Pencil open source software.  That was animated straight ahead almost as fast as I conceived it.  The color fills are in a back layer, so the sketchiness is intentionally preserved.  Backgrounds were painted simply in Photoshop.  Shadows, spotlit accenting and composites were in After Effects.

Mostly Titles Reel

I went back and pulled material off an old D-beta archive reel.  I hadn’t seen the stuff in awhile.  The 3D broadcast design was mostly modeled and animated in Softimage.  Video composite and editing was with Flame.  I became quite proficient in putting together show packages: open title, transition wipes, lower 3rds, bugs, bump outs, teases, bump ins and credit beds.

I’ve also put some more recent work in this reel, so it would not be a total time capsule – particularly shots that had something to do with title design.