Monday, September 29, 2008

one of those days

Heads II

Left to Right: GABE, DeSEVE and DOT.

Above are the three main characters. DeSEVE and DOT were designed by Matt Jenkins. I'm digging the redesign of Mr. Dot especially. (See the original film below) In Road Test, Dot was sort of like a big bear in design; in the new story, I wanted him to be more muscular and ripped because he has a lot more to do. Gabe (Left) is more pudgy than the skinny kid he was in the first story (Road Rage takes place almost a decade later). Most sequels I've noticed have elements that are the reverse, flip-side of the original...i.e., Woody suffers from Buzz's disillusions he had in Toy Story 1; instead of 1 Alien there's dozens in Aliens; McClane in claustrophobic environment in Die Hard 1...McClane in an open environment in Die Hard With A Vengeance get the point...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Road Test.

For those who missed the first movie, here is "Road Test."

Awards & Other Notable Nonsensical Puffery: #1 Region for November 2007; #1 in Animation for February 2008; 6th Place ILaughShortFest; Honorable Mention at the Tribeca Underground Film Festival for May 2007. Official Selection for the DC Shorts Film Festival for September 2008. And 1st Place for ASIFA EAST May 2007 (Just KIDDING. HOWEVER, three people who attended *that* judging screening told me that it received very, very high scores). Go figure. Road Test has its fans. :)

"Road Test" was my first post-college short film. It definitely meant a lot to me for a few reasons: (1) I wanted to get into a groove of making films consistently. (2) It was somewhat cathartic for me because I based it off my experience at one of my first jobs, where I felt like I had a gun to my head (or sometimes, in my mouth)...or, more directly, it felt like I was taking a road test...the pressure of being scrutinized under a microscope. Wa-la! Inspiration! (3) I felt like I had to do a penance for my thesis film (which hopefully will never see the light of day again, lol. (4) I started off making comedy with animation when I was a kid, and then somewhere along the line, my short films in college got darker (culminating in my thesis film which was the stereotypical dark student film) I wanted to see if I could tell a joke again.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Get on the Magic School Bus

Above are very crude designs for the school bus. I made it with polygonal cubes and NURBS.

Monday, September 22, 2008

DeSeve color test: HEAD.

Another challenge of "Road Rage" is drawing a character on-model (something, admittedly, I have never done, not even at the studios, with the advent of so many Flash puppeted projects in NYC). Matt Jenkins (of "Venture Bros." fame :) has been designing the villain of my story, "DeSeve" over this past summer. I'm pretty happy with the designs. It'll definitely give the film a different visual style than "Road Test," as I want this story to be a stand-alone (but of course, it'll be slightly more amusing if you've seen the previous film, due to where the original characters end up). So I've been drawing DeSeve over and over again. The image above was drawn in Flash. I just installed Windows XP on a small portion of my Mac drive because Maya 8's Vector Renderer is NOT available on Mac, only 32-bit Windows (which sucks, considering that I bought a Mac to run away from Windows). I also got a chance to install Toon Boom 4 on Windows so I'm going to try to play with it a bit to see if I can animate Road Rage entirely in ToonBoom as opposed to Flash, even though people have told me that Road Test didn't look like it was animated in Flash.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Road Rage" Research

During prep for this film I've been reading "TRAFFIC: Why We Drive The Way We Do" by Tom Vanderbildt and it's quite the eye-opener. Vanderbildt notes that driving is all about's back to caveman language on the road: hand signals, obscene gestures and the almighty honkin' horn. With anonymity comes a sense of self-entitlement (which usually leads to...surprise, aggression). He likens the road and its hundreds of drivers to an internet chatroom: faceless, behind new usernames (i.e....the annoying bumper stickers and/or license plates). Which gives us the freedom to act like children. It's interesting how the author writes that a little road rage can be a good thing, considering that's part of the main character's arc in Road Rage.

In addition I've been watching Motor Mania", the 1950s short starring a very, very different Goofy. Ironically he is driving a yellow car :) I love this short, it tackles the many angles of anger on the road.

It NAILS the multiple personality disorder most of us have behind the wheel (and if you haven't experienced it yet, well, what are you waiting for? Get your driver's license!) Obviously I'm not going to be chasing "Motor Mania" with my story because frankly, it's a hopeless endeavor!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Rough 3D model of the Segway that Officer Dot uses. Obviously, 2D cel shading will be applied in the final version :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Color Testing

I'm starting to do some quick color tests for "Road Rage." The animatic is completed (but of course, will always be evolving!) I've gotten some great feedback on it and generally people seem to like it...for a rough draft. Animation has been pushed back to October as I need to start building the School Bus, Segway, Ferrari and universal cars in Maya this month.

(ABOVE) Size reference

(BELOW) GABE. Anger type: Passive-Aggressive. One of the goals of "Road Rage" is to make a fat school bus driver an action hero!

(ABOVE) OFFICER DOT. Anger type: Passive. The muscle of the will BELIEVE a STOP SIGN can be used as a lethal weapon!

(BELOW) DeSEVE. Anger type: AGGRESSIVE. When a fat school bus driver gets into a fender bender with your brand new Ferrari, it's time to break out the deadly contortionist chops.