“Little Girl” by Dave Strong

I made this video with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Character Animator, After Effects, and Procreate. I loved including little details only Dave or other friends would notice, as well as placing my own Easter eggs in there. The girl is based on a photo of his daughter, who sings the backing vocals on this song, which is a rocking pop punk song he wrote, performed and produced himself – playing all the instruments!

I had a lot of fun working with Dave, and highly recommend you check him out on Spotify, and download his tunes on Laptop Punk Records website!

It’s finally done! “New Direction” lyric video

My good friend, Kurt Baker, makes some of my favorite rock music. So, when I started my final semester, I asked him if I could create a music video for one of his songs. I had learned some things about kinetic text, and focused on lyrics using a really great font called “Blastatic” by Remedy667 as my inspiration for the style.

The Beatles cartoon from the 60s came to mind, and The Pink Panther title sequences, with the characters interacting with the text, so I created cartoon versions of each member of the band. It was really hard not to share the progress, but I really wanted Kurt to be surprised with the final version.

Creating the puppets in Procreate, to give them a hand drawn look, rather than a clean vector, then sending them to Photoshop for layer surgery was easier than I thought it would be, and not much is sweeter than seeing a well-synced character animation come to life! I edited the visemes – mouth shapes – as carefully as I could, and as painstaking as that can be, I’m happy with the results!

Then came After Effects. It’s like one of those really gorgeous people who acts like a douchebag, promising you trips to foreign lands, but leaves you stranded at the airport. Even now, I’m afraid to say too much, for fear it will hear me and never work again. That said, I’m really grateful to the IT staff at SMCC, my friend and advisor Kate, and a small army of healers and witches that banded together to make sure it came through for me.

After all the delays and tears shed (not too many! 😉), it’s done, and Kurt loves it, and here it is!

Check out all of Kurt’s videos while you’re there. He’s not only a great musician, but his sense of humor and humility is apparent in everything he creates. I’m really so thankful for the opportunity to do this! ❤️

Animated Idiom

The world makes us all feel a little like falling apart at the seams from time to time. It’s important to remember who is really in charge of everything in your life. Take a moment and listen to the echoes of those who came before, and remember who you are, and what you need to do.

The Golden Gap

As a “gap” project for my portfolio, I’ve decided to start on new character designs for my future holiday special, “The Golden Pinecone”.

Poppet Character sheet
Grampy Character sheet

Cut out animation

In my 2D animation class, we are exploring all kinds of techniques, and the master studies are great. Thanks to Lottie Reiniger and Terry Gilliam, last week’s unit was for cut out animation, but we cheated a little, using After Effects to edit them together. I wonder if Lottie would have even wanted technology that took that much of the process out of her hands -literally?

The theme was “Ridiculous Mishap”, so my goal was to use my short story about The Imp from Lodila Valley, but since the project called for only 20-30 seconds, I pared it down. I’ll tell the whole tale someday. For now, here is “The Imp”:

If you are not familiar with Lottie Reiniger or *gasp* Terry Gilliam, check out the clips below:

Lottie actually created the very first animated feature length film – before Disney. The most fascinating part is that she hand cut every piece and took every photo herself. Astounding genius! I think she will be the focus of my first podcast for my Podcasting class this semester, about women in animation.

Legends of Lodila

So I have been working on streamlining Pallo’s origin story this semester, making sure to incorporate my personal goals into every project, and my Writing for Visual Media course final was a script treatment for a movie. That one project really helped me figure out how to choose which elements to include in Pallo’s part of the Lodila Valley/Land of Lo series.

I have definitely increased my focus and intention on manifesting my animated films, and learning how to animate – even just as a beginner – has brought so much more to the surface! As of now, my plan is to create “Legends of Lodila – Claviger of Flowers” as an introductory film for a series. Here is my final slideshow…I found a perfect name for the character-formerly-known-as Frances Greenbaum, Pallo’s best friend – Putri! I’ll share the story of her name in another post.

Practice animations and character designs abound during this two week break before summer semester starts!

Pink Gelatin Skeleton

I have a great friend, who is a great musician/songwriter, and he has allowed me to collaborate on some music and art for his videos. It’s has been the only outside creative interaction I’ve had in years, so it’s pretty special. I decided to convert his illustration into animation, as a surprise (just a first test, mind you), and to time how long it takes me to make a working puppet for Adobe Character Animator. Approximately 75 minutes for just the head.

PGS Test

Check it out. 😁

The Tillers

In the beginning…

The Land of Lo (which, many years after naming it so, I found out is an actual place in the far East) was not always a beautiful countryside with an infinite lake and mountains. No, it started out as fire. An endless – and beginning-less – blanket of eternally burning fire. It became that after a period of “darkness” that occurred on the Great Mountain. The Great Mountain serves as a sanctuary and headquarters for the creatures known as The Tillers. With its rose petaled waterfall, powerful portals, and immense library of all things knowledge, it is appropriately deemed such.

The Tillers are tall, slender, and have long limbs and heads that resemble thick shark fins with gills, or even a succulent plant. All things Lodian are primarily plant or sea creature – based, as you will begin to see more and more. I created the character design based on the way my wife tied up her curtains. One day, it just looked like something, and I sketched the first idea of a Tiller. With a flowing train of robe hanging down to the ground, a meditating Tiller floats in a cross-legged position, with their arms folded in front and covered by the sleeves. They have keyholes in their chests, for which each Claviger (that post is to come) has a key that fits. They have walking staffs that have magical pearls that enhance their manifestation, and often keep pomi birds as companions.

The Tillers oversee all creation. All creation happens through meditation by the Tiller, who then manifests something that fulfills a need in the world. It is then sent in the form of a seed, to grow into what it must become. They’re pretty cool creatures. Below, there is a gallery of the progression of the character design. Simple shapes at first, then kind of a humanoid, and finally a more aquatic and plant-like entity. The final photo is of the first color portrait I created of a Tiller. The first chapter of the Lodian origins tells the story of how a young Tiller discovered the endless sea of fire, and manifested water for balance, becoming Lake Chitali once the steam settled. What came next, you’ll have to wait and see!