Millennium Park, Chicago

The Bean (Cloud Gate) in Millennium Park

After those New York images, here’s little bit of love for my home town—a sketch from earlier today of Anish Kapoor’s sculpture “Cloud Gate,” better known as The Bean, in Chicago’s Millennium Park.

Hudson River Park

Sketches from Hudson River Park, NYC

Some quick sketches of the vegetation in the Gov. Nelson A Rockefeller Park along the Hudson River, and a hint of some of the buildings along the far side. Drawn on the 14th, at the start of an amazing week-long stay in New York City.

Central Park Trees

Drawings of Trees

Tree studies, drawn in the south end of Central Park earlier this month.

Anatomy in Animation

I’ve been going through old Disney films this week, and something struck me when I was watching the Making of Bambi featurette on the Bambi DVD. I self-identify as a computer animator; I think of myself as a traditional artist, as I still have more control over my cheap ball-point pens than I have ever managed to achieve on a tablet, but in terms of animation my mindset is strictly digital and primarily 3D. Working with Maya, I’ve realized that there is a habit in 3D to deal with anatomy, volume and structure primarily during the modeling and rigging stages. Once the character is rigged and ready to animate, it is easy to stop paying so much attention to those concerns. Obviously body mechanics are central to any good animation, and body mechanics wouldn’t exist without anatomy; however, it is dangerously easy to trust in the constraints and controls built into a rig to preserve proportion and anatomy while we focus more on timing, framing and strong poses.

The Bambi animators, by contrast, spent even greater amounts of time in pre-production studying the anatomy of their subjects, and every artist on that film was forced to continually readdress those problems of anatomy and form in detail on every single frame they touched. Even more time was spent learning to draw those deer than is spent on most 3D rigs. As a result, even individual frames have a deeper level of concern and consideration than you tend to achieve in CG. Watching Bambi right after another film like Open Season, that comes across very strongly.

College Demo Reel

Edit November 2013: I almost took this down this morning. I was extremely proud of it at the time, though, so up it stays!

Developer, DJ, and several other things beginning with D