Art From “Splurgle!”

Here are some illustrations I created for  a project called “Splurgle!”  This Leapfrog game features a raindrop named Splurgle, who needs to navigate his way through a series of pipes to get back to his lake.  My part in this project was to illustrate a series of panels that would explain ideas like volume and the processes of condensation, evaporation and freezing as Splurgle would need to change states to get through the pipes.

The idea was to create illustrations that looked like they were being shown in a classroom – as if there was a film projector showing the film on a screen.  I decided to make the illustrations look something like what you might see in those UPA Cartoons from the 1950s (this was the studio that created Mr. Magoo among many others).

upa_logo

I made a set of twenty-three of these in about two days.  Usually, I am called upon to do more detailed and demanding work that takes a long time to do, but this was refreshing to make something more simple and with obvious imperfections like the wonky hand drawn letters and off-register colours.

Splurgle_NisPanels0001

Splurgle_NisPanels0002

Splurgle_NisPanels0005

Splurgle_NisPanels0006

Splurgle_NisPanels0007

Splurgle_NisPanels0009

Splurgle_NisPanels0010

Splurgle_NisPanels0013

Disney Animation Artist

This past summer I worked on a title for Leapfrog’s new Leap Pad called Disney Animation Artist.  It was a tough project, but worth the effort in the end – and it’s been one of the top sellers for the Leap Pad.   I was creating drawing and animation lessons using Disney’s heritage characters; Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy.  I lead the animation on the project with Eric Goldberg supervising.  I have to admit, I was pretty intimidated when I found out he was reviewing my work – I’ve been a real fan of his for years.  He animated the Genie in Aladdin and did that amazing Rhapsody in Blue section in Fantasia 2000 among many other accomplishments.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t in direct contact with him, but his comments on my work were very kind and informative.

While I was animating this project I listened allot to Clay Kaytis’ Animation Podcast.  If you are interested in animation, it’s definitely worth checking out.

Here is a production sketch I did of Daisy:

You can see the commercial for the product on Youtube here.   Unfortunately, it looks like they had a compleetle gleetch during Mickey’s dialogue.  It looks much better on the Leap Pad.

Some sketches from Cars 2

I did quite a few storyboard drawings for Cars 2 on the Explorer.  Usually I do these kind of illustrations in pencil, but this time I used Flash for the job.  There was a ton of work to do, so keeping the sketches loose and quick was the way to go.

That’s Finn McMissile in the foreground (above).  He was  voiced by Michael Caine -one of my favorite actors.  My father said he went to acting school with him in London.  I’m not sure if it’s true or not, but it makes a good story.

If you like Michael Caine, check out a movie he did in 1981 called The Hand.  Caine plays a comic book artist who loses his drawing hand in a freak accident.  Then Caine loses his mind and starts murdering people…  or is it THE HAND?!?!

Cars 2 – Models

I built and textured three of the characters for the CARS 2 Explorer title;  Lightning McQueen, Pacer and Sheriff.   Of the three characters I found Sheriff (bottom image) the most difficult to do.  It wasn’t that he was more complicated than the others, it was that I had less reference to go by.  I wound up basing the model on screen grabs from Cars and a toy car I bought of the character.

Here is McQueen with Mater and Finn McMissile (below).  I composed and lit this shot and did the over-painting in Photoshop.

This rendering of the Pacer (below) was never seen in game.  It was part of a group of images sent off to Pixar for approval – which is why the background is so simple.  One thing about creating this model was that originally the model said “Pacer” on it.   There are three Pacer emblems on the car and you can see the one on the hood here.  At one point during the project having the rights to use the name “Pacer” was in dispute, so we were asked to remove the “P”.  So the character was called “Acer” instead.  I did notice when I saw the film, though, that the “P” had returned.

It was a bit of a trip down memory lane modelling this car, as I learned to drive on my mother’s Gremlin (also an AMC car).  The sideview mirrors and door handles were identical on those cars.  I hadn’t thought about those details in ages.

Art from Cars 2

Hi,

This is my first ever blog post so I thought I’d put up a few images I did for work last year.  I work for Inlight Entertainment in Victoria, BC, Canada as an artist.  We produced a Cars 2 title for the Leapfrog Explorer.  One of the things I liked about doing this project was working on the story panels.  I worked with another artist creating models in Maya and rendering the rough scenes out in layers.  We certainly didn’t have the budget to rig the characters like Pixar does, so we roughed out the scenes in 3D, then I used Photoshop to paint the final versions.

When I saw the film in the Theatre I was pleased to see how close we got this scene.  Here Mater and Finn are trapped inside Big Bently (Big Ben).  Painting the expressions was definitely the most challenging part of the process.   When we do a project like this we get lots of reference images from the film production team, but we were working on the game at the same time the film was still being made, so allot of what we saw was rough or went through a lot of changes.