Monday, July 21, 2014

A peek at The Animation Academy in Burbank

We've had several incarnations of the school since we launched our first class on January 19 1998. Here we are in the summer of 2014 with 2 1/2 years at our present location and we haven't shared what we look like until now. That's what happens when you're busy creating all the time.

I'm pleased to share views of the main classroom at The Animation Academy with you. The ones you see below were taken by former student Chance Raspberry who has gone on to fame with "The Simpsons" and with his "Little Billy" franchise. Chance frequently stops by and engages in sessions. These photos were taken with his iPhone after we wrapped up one afternoon. Click on the images for a better view.



Here's a couple of shots of Joel Valdez as he conducts the Character Design 2 class this past week. We have some very talented students in this group.



Good things happen at the Academy within this special environment we enjoy. We're located in the geographical center of the international capital of the business in the heart of Burbank California. A wonderful place to be.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Something different from Joel Valdez

For the past few years Joel Valdez has been a fixture here at The Animation Academy in Burbank. He is currently a co-instructor in Character Design 2 and Visual Development. Influenced by tattoo design he recently came up with this composition in the Vis Dev class. A departure from the production design mode we usually engage in, it's a fine piece of art none the less. Hand drawn in blue pencil followed by black line. You can see more of Joel's work by visiting his blog at his link.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Philip Sha begins Background Design

Having successfully completed Character Design 1 Academy student Philip Sha has recently entered into the Background Design and Perspective. He's gotten off to a great start with his first round of assignments...


Saturday, July 05, 2014

Artshark Celebrates America

For many years the Academy's official mascot Artshark would entertain our community back in the early days of the school. Here are a few samples of the compositions that were colored by Snakebite who was a student and then became our Photoshop instructor. These date from 2002 and 2003.





The character of Artshark serves an important educational purpose as he has exemplified to our students the significance of branding and how character based properties can be used to develop the identity of a creative company. Looking forward to more of Artshark in days ahead. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Abraham Urias - Expanding skillset - "Pelito"

Many times in our history and in the current day we've welcomed professional artists who are looking to learn something new and further develop their talent. Abraham Urias is a Senior Designer in the consumer product division of Warner Bros. He recently completed Character Design 1 at the Academy and will be moving into the next level of study. Here's some of his assignments. They include action attitude posing, a rotation for CG modeling, a head rotation and assorted facial expressions of a central character. He did a very impressive job and the growth he experienced will positively affect the quality of his creative productivity at work. 




The art above includes development concepts that Abraham came up with for his own project. It's called "Pelito" is already gaining a following. Check out "Pelito" on Facebook.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Maia Gross - Emerging talent

One of the many outstanding students who are contributing to our legacy is Maia Gross. She enrolled in our program last year and has been a regular ever since taking classes as often as she can to engage in the Academy experience and grow artistically. These are concept designs she created recently in Character Design 2. Click on the image for an enhanced view.


Maia has greatly improved is now teaching art at a local Boys and Girls Club helping to change the lives of children in positive ways. Maia inspires everyone with her excellent draftsmanship skills, design sense and creative vision. Everybody learns while working with her. You're welcome to visit her blog at this link.

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Lesson in Tone and Color

This is from yesterday's Visual Development 1 class here at The Animation Academy in Burbank. I utilized an unusual rendering method to convey the relationship between color and gray tones as students are transitioning into that aspect of the course.

I used gray markers and color pencils together with interesting results. Consider the image of the cat below. The composition was first rendered in gray...


Now take a look at what happens when colored pencils are applied...


That was followed by some time in Photoshop adding highlights and shadows digitally...


Next up is this little pup. I sketched the character in black line and then resorted to gray markers to essentially cover the white of the paper within the area of the image. I then added a pass with color pencils. Next to the composition are swatches of the principle colors I used as they would appear against the white of the paper...


As with the demo before I digitized the image and proceeded to Photoshop for some additional tweaking...


Combining three and even four simple mediums such as gray markers, an optional black line, color pencils and Photoshop, artists can create uniquely rendered VisDev concepts that are sure to appeal to your fans and clients. Give it a try some time and see what  you come up with.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Marcello Frisina - Before and After

Catching up on some of the recent works and creative progress that our students are achieving. Here's another great example of the high level of growth Academy students experience. This is the first drawing that Marcello Frisina came up with when he was newly enrolled in Character Design 1.


Now take a look at what Marcello created as a student in Character Design 2. He's gone from an introductory skill level to one that approaches professional quality. These are 3 pose character rotation assignments intended for CG modeling of the design concepts. Clicking on the images will give you a better view.


 
Marcello is advancing very nicely. He is proving himself capable of generating concepts of his characters and can apply those designs to what would be called for in a production situation. We're all looking forward to what he'll be coming up with next as he continues to impress us with his emerging skills and design talent.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Luke Rathbun - Before and After

We often have professionals versed in other disciplines that take classes here at The Animation Academy in Burbank. Case in point is Luke Rathbun who is a tattoo designer with strong illustrative skills. He is currently enrolled in Character Design 1. In this instance Luke is developing his experience in character based concept art making the transition to adapting his designs to production.

In the example below you can see on the left where Luke started. On the right is his revised character concept with fundamentals applied to the process of concerted drawing. What a difference! Amazing what a few sessions at the Academy can do to one's art.


Once he had his basic concept down Luke embarked upon creating the design theory for his character. The basis of which is the traditional 5 pose rotation. Although there are areas that need further attention he did a fine job considering this is the first rotation he's ever attempted.


Luke is a great example of what many artists experience in our program. A profound advancement in the quality of their work on a fundamental level that gives them the knowledge and confidence to grow in exciting ways creatively. Nice going Luke! Looking forward to what you'll be coming up with next.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Head rotations and concept design demos

Recently I've had the opportunity to create some demonstrations for students in the Character Design 1 class here at The Animation Academy. This was a head rotation demo I did as an exercise in developing strong production skills relevant to concept design. I asked the class for an idea and they came up with a little girl in the 1960s. I asked them how long they thought it would take me to complete a standard 5 pose rotation. One student guessed 45 minutes. This as as far as I got in 43 minutes while being interrupted three times to help some of them with their own assignments.


A couple of days later another student was having trouble visualizing their character in a dimensional rotation. So I took it upon myself to show her how a very simple graphic character can be pivoted to describe form.


This past week I drew for students in helping them understand how character concept is approached in an exploratory manner while utilizing important fundamental principles of design. Here's a few samples of what I came up with along a single simplified theme.


Always enjoy the opportunity of creating while in the company of artists who are willing to learn and looking to have fun in an educational environment. Keep in mind that it's not the speed at which you're able to create but the quality of the art you produce which will be of greater benefit to you as your career develops. Quality before quantity is something I encourage students to keep in mind while working on their assignments and beyond. Your ability to work fast comes from experience. As your confidence grows so does the quality of your art while taking less time to create that art. Slow down, take your time and enjoy the process of coming up with art that you can be proud of.