Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Treats from San Francisco

Fisherman's Wharf

Three machines from the Musee Mechanique

Japanese Tea Garden at Golden State Park

Mission Dolores

Three creatures who reside at the Muir Woods National Monument.

We also came across this fellow...

...known as the Little Man...

...who accompanied us on our travels.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Traumas Animations: Diarrhea

Of all the "Top 10 Traumas on the Trail" animations I made at FableVision for the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, this one was definitely a crowd-pleaser. You'll understand why when you watch below—note that load time may be a bit slow because we're at animation capacity right now, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
(visit my blog if you are viewing in Google Reader)


Watch in full resolution.

That final note knocks'em dead every time. Adults, even! Fart sounds and learning go hand in hand, right? Everyone seemed to fall in love with this little guy, too: the giardia cell.

To think that he could be responsible for your gastrointestinal pain. I went into the project planning to create characters that would be appealing and easy to animate, thus the simple design.

I'll highlight the title slate, because it's my favorite of the group. I was going for a putrid urine yellow to punch up the ick factor as much as possible—considering this is just a stream (an infected stream, mind you).

This is one of the many digital paintings I made using ArtRage. The character and title were added in Flash. I should mention again that Sherm Cohen is the guy who first turned me on to ArtRage. He's been posting a series of great tutorials over at his blog. I highly recommend it as a painting app, because it is incredibly intuitive to use and cheap. I used it in combination with hand-painted watercolor spatters to create all the background art in the series. I believe this long intestine shot was one of the first I painted, previously mentioned here.

Once again, I handled design, storyboarding, and layout—Allie Biondi on animation. Also, Tony Lechner did all the sound design and music for these animations. With a message slightly contrary to the Dehydration animation, here's a case where you don't want to drink the water. Keep that in mind the next time you're on a hike.

Monday, April 13, 2009

ARGH! #6 Teaser

I'm currently putting the final touches on my 2-page comic for ARGH! #6, so I thought I'd offer up a panel as a teaser. You may have seen this character in a recent post—some of you even asked how he ended up in his physical predicament. You'll find out more in this latest comic. Also featured is the gramophone that introduces my website, Jinx the Monkey.

I should point any new-comers over to the ARGH! website, which also acts as a blog of sorts. Félix has great news: ARGH! has been nominated again for the 27° Salón del Comic de Barcelona! Mejor revista española de o sobre cómic del 2008 (or Best Spanish Comic Magazine of 2008). I will keep you posted on any further news.

Also, here's a quick link to all my posts related to ARGH! (including previous comics).

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Traumas Animations: Snowblindness

I thought I'd cap a week of animation posts by featuring the third in the "Top 10 Traumas on the Trail" series. This one is probably the most cinematic of the bunch. I was tasked to create a funny but horrific tale of destruction. Watch the animation below—note that it may take a little while to load because my blog is overflowing with animation right now. (visit my blog if you are viewing in Google Reader)


Watch in full resolution.

Probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of snowblindness, right? It's basically like getting a sunburn on your eye. I was amazed to discover that our eyes absorb oxygen cells right from the air to heal the cornea. Maybe you learned something, too.

It was obviously a treat to create a UV Monster villain. As with all these animations, I tried to keep the characters simple so they would be easy to animate, using painted backgrounds to enhance the visual oomph. Here's the painting for the destruction pan, which I created in Art Rage.

I handled design, storyboarding, and layout. Allie Biondi animated the entire piece. And finally, here's another plug for the new Expedition Health exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science where these animations are featured. It just opened last weekend, so be sure to visit if you live in the area.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Traumas Animations: Dehydration

Here's another short animation from the "Top 10 Traumas on the Trail" series I created with my talented crew at FableVision. This one features a thirsty body cell in a desperate search for a drink of water. Watch the animation below. (visit my blog if you are viewing in Google Reader)


Watch in full resolution.

In case you missed it, here's a still of the painted close-up.

All done in ArtRage, mind you. If you know me, you know this humor is right up my alley. I have this weird tendency to enjoy stringing along a character by giving them a glimpse (delusion) of hope. Is that so wrong? Our client actually encouraged us to end it where we did, too. Ha! Man, sometimes the right projects land right in your lap. Best of all, the message stays with you. Drink a lot of water when you're hiking, or you'll end up like this guy...

Again, this animation is featured in one of the many outstanding interactive activities at the Expedition Health exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science which is now open to the public. Be sure to look for it if you're a local!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Traumas Animations: Mosquito Bites

For the next week or two, I'll be posting a few of the short animations I created at FableVision for the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. I posted production frames earlier in the year showing how I'd been using ArtRage for background painting (here and here). Now's your chance to see them in motion!

The title of the activity is "Top 10 Traumas on the Trail," a touch-screen kiosk in the museum aimed at making people aware of the physical harm you might encounter while hiking. The larger theme of the new permanent exhibit, Expedition Health, examines the biology of the human body while encouraging healthy living. This poor kid has ten things horribly wrong with him. The home screen invites the user to touch regions of pain, which are highlighted in red and pulsing. In the attract loop, the kid just stands there teetering back and forth in a painful trance. It's priceless :)

The first animation I'm featuring is called Mosquito Bites. Each short uses a bit of narrative and metaphor to explain how your body is coping with the trauma. Not to mention a dose of humor.

(hop over to my blog if you're in Google Reader to view the embedded animation)

Mosquito Bites

Watch in full resolution.

I handled the storyboarding, layout, and design, with the help of the fabulous Allie Biondi on animation. The activity was written and produced by Naomi Greenfield. As mentioned, the backgrounds were painted in ArtRage with a bit of compositing in Photoshop. It was incredibly fun to work on. I hope the kiddies love it!

If you live in the Denver area, I encourage you to visit the museum, as Expedition Health opened this weekend! You can find out everything you need to know about it here. It sounds like an amazing experience for all ages—so popular that you might even need a reservation!

Friday, April 03, 2009


It's been awhile since my last post because I've been cranking away on illustrations and comics. Good to be busy, though...and they've been fun assignments. I hope to post more animation within the next week, so be looking for that. Until then, here's this worried chap. We've all been there, right?