Thursday, December 20, 2012

Merry Christmas

All dressed up for the holiday season.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


At FableVision, I often get to work with museums, which is the best! Even better, when I'm given the chance to work with museums directly engaged in teaching the public about Science. We were recently approached by our friends across the channel, the New England Aquarium, to help develop an app on Biomimicry. The project is part of a larger initiative on Global Climate Change and Ocean Education.

The New England Aquarium, collaborating with other aquariums across the country, is leading a national effort to enable aquariums to effectively communicate the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification on marine animals, habitats and ecosystems. Our goal is to build on visitors’ emotional connection with ocean animals, connect to their deeply held values, help them understand causes and effects of climate change and motivate them to embrace effective solutions.

What is biomimicry, you ask? It's when we look to nature for inspiration, examining systems and organisms to find ways to solve challenges and improve technology. An example you've probably heard of is Velcro, the hook-and-loop fastener system inspired by the tiny hooks on sticky burrs.

The app in development will be used by staff interpeters to get people thinking about the importance of our relationship with nature. We're still doing early testing, but in this post I've included a series of illustrations I created to introduce each topic on biomimicry (in a fun way). The above image of the whale shows how wind technology is looking to the contour of humpback whale flippers to improve the energy effiency of wind turbines. Seriously, look it up!

Below are other examples...

involving solar technology inspired by trees (this one is a mangrove),

fuel efficient cars inspired by the design of the boxfish,

cement production mimicking the way coral uses CO2 to create their skeletons,

and a coating for ships which prevents barnacles from attaching—inspired by sharks!

Like I said, we're still in the testing phase, but you'll soon be able to see this activity playing on iPads on one of your upcoming visits to the aquarium. Cool, right?

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Memory Donk

Okay, as promised, here are the remaining designs I created for the latest episode of Bravest Warriors, "Memory Donk", which you can watch over here. Fair warning, possible spoilers ahead. This is the hulking form of the Memory Donk. Below is the 2-step turn I designed (click on the smaller images to view large).

One of the things I like about drawing for the show is that it's forced me to really consider that back-3/4 view. When's the last time you drew the back of one of your characters when you were doodling it? In practice (say in comics), I bet you draw it all the time without even thinking. It's a pretty common angle for showing a character looking at something. I use back-3/4 way more than profile, which is probably my least favorite angle because you only get one eye and it can flatten a drawing.

But, I ramble. Below are various other memory donks that appeared at the Memory Donk Convention.

Next up, the old lady on the bus. Appearing with her purse.

We eventually gave her a floral pattern. Below is a 3-step turn. You can obtain most of what you need to know about a character from these three views. I mentioned profile, before. A proper front-view can also be hard to nail, in terms of flattening features (foreshortening) and avoiding the human tendency to get all symmetrical.

Finally, the ship's Pilot. Three eyes, three collars. Seen below, frozen. 

More drawings.

I'm realizing my blog is beginning to look like a coloring book. The colorist on the episode is normally the one responsible for adding color to the designs before they get sent off to be animated. I promise more color (and images with backgrounds!) again, soon. —Thanks!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Jelly Kid and Ballerina Man

I have a bunch of designs to share with you from Episode 4 of Bravest Warriors, "Memory Donk", which you can watch on YouTube as of this afternoon (right here!). I've been the lead character designer on a number of episodes...this was a big one, requiring a bunch of little dudes, and a bunch of big dudes. It's one of my favorites, too.

We'll start little. Above is probably the cutest of the bunch, Jelly Kid.

And this little guy is Ballerina Man.

To help the animators, I roughed out a set of poses that I referenced from actions in the storyboards—to demonstrate how he'd move around and dance from various angles.

He's a lot of fun to draw.

Here's a Hobo alien that plays the accordian (which props made high tech).

And then there were a bunch of passengers on the ship. I created some, and I believe Phil Rynda designed the rest. You can click this one to view larger.

Okay, I'll post more designs from this episode another time. Again, if you haven't already, watch and subscribe to Bravest Warriors on Cartoon Hangover. There are already 4 episodes free for you to watch. GO!