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June 17, 2015

Background Design Process: The Comedy Club

This is another post focusing on my professional work at CrowdStar. I'm going to take you through my background design process.

First I started with a small marker sketch using iPad proportions (below). I also blocked in some values with a gray marker. Simply planning ahead will make my Photoshop job easier.



Scan it. Open it in Photoshop. And starting painting in a layer right on top. Watch the nifty 2 minute screen recording below! 

 


Check out the finished concept below. 


The final vector illustration below. This is what it would look like in the game with the HUD and the Funny Fish and everything.


June 16, 2015

Carolands Gate House

I took the plunge into the world of Plein Air recently. This is an 8x10 oil on hardboard. It's pretty rough. This is really my first oil ever. It's going to take a lot of practice to get good at this.

On another note, somebody called the cops on us. The citizens of Burlingame sent a clear message. Oil painting of historical buildings near their schools will NOT be tolerated. Anyway, here is Brandon's digital painting of the same site.


February 23, 2015

January 13, 2015

Hands

Happy New Year! Let's kick it off with some hand drawings. Some are copied from photos. Some are my own hands in front of a mirror. Always feels good to practice hands.



November 10, 2014

Caricature

Another drawing of a co-worker at CrowdStar. I've done 30 or more of these over the years. But lately it's been like a fever. Soon I'll do a big post with all of my co-worker caricatures.


November 6, 2014

Palo Alto Figure Drawing

Occasionally, I have "off" nights when I'm not happy with my materials. Look at the range of depictions of this model. Only after switching tools several times was I able to capture the beauty of her twist and the sublime look on the her face (top) with a degree of looseness and tonality that made me happy. 



October 29, 2014

Adèle Wolf at Dr. Sketchy's SF

Adèle Wolf, "Oklahoma City's Burlesque Queen", came out to San Francisco to be drawn eagerly by Dr. Sketchy's folks. I tried to capture some of her dance moves. But they are not quite clear.




Dr. Sketchy's usually asks the model to pick her favorite drawings. She chose one of mine (above). And if you're a #horrorfan, you'll notice that I incorporated the lettering from The Howling, a werewolf movie from the 80s.

October 6, 2014

Emily's Last Day

Lately, I've been developing my caricatures through acting and situations. Exaggerating them so that they almost become "Character Designs". Not just people that I know. My goal is to bring them to life through animation. I think only then can I call myself a Character Designer.

At any rate, this was a little gift to our former office manager at CrowdStar, obviously poking fun at her reticence.


September 25, 2014

City Sketches

More sketches from the corner of the universe.


This is kinda different because it was drawn on a piece of animation paper on a clipboard with a brush pen.


September 10, 2014

Figure Drawing – Michael Glenn

This is Michael Glenn from the Bay Area Model Guild. Mike has a TON of energy and enthusiasm for acting. Here he is (below) doing his best Investment Banker before and after the market crash, among other things.





What's he reaching for?








August 27, 2014

Game Background Process: High School U.S.A. – Fish With Attitude

I thought it would be cool do something different and show my design process from start to finish. I'm going to show you how I create an iPhone game background for Fish With Attitude. There is no interactivity or panning of the background itself, so I simply start with an iPad or iPhone sized box with a designated area at the bottom for props.

















For this virtual fish tank, we needed a cartoon high school hallway for the Nerdy Fish to occupy. I want it to have a cartoony Saved By The Bell feel. Timeframe is 2-3 days to complete this background from sketch to fully rendered in color.

The first draft (below) is a 2 minute sketch.

The second draft (below) is the same layout but cleaned up. Probably around 10 minutes.

The first draft was approved because we agreed that the curviness suited the game and–more importantly–the character's personality. This rough Photoshop mockup (below) does a fine job of conveying the color and quality of my concept, but it needs more polish before going into the game.



The final background has to be rendered in Illustrator or Flash, because it needs to be scalable. It would take forever to tailor the background to every iPhone, iPod, iPad, Android, high res, low res, device on the market. Instead we use one vector background file which is scaled, stretched, and cropped for all phones and tablets. The final version (below) ended up a little brighter and deeper than my rough.
















This is more or less what it would look like with Characters and everything layered on top.
















Property of CrowdStar 2014

August 26, 2014

City Sketches

The picnic spot above 5 Guys Burger where the high school kids hang out. 



Mountain Lake park bench.



View of the Transamerica Pyramid from Washington and Taylor. 




The edge of the Presidio at night as the streetlights are coming on. 


July 24, 2014

John K's Cartoon College Lesson 2 - Squash and Stretch on Heads

Working on Squash and Stretch now. Here are my copies of Preston Blair. I peeked at Lesson 3 – Checking Your Copies – Proportions. I'm going to have to compare my copies to the originals.



Plus some cartoon copies from Andy Panda and Donald Duck toy construction.