Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Week Late Culmination of my Final Projects

I'm a bit late on the posting but I've been enjoying my first week of summer break by just not thinking about school work entirely but it has been ahwhile since I last updated this and in all honesty there are only so many splatter films you can watch in theaters until they all start looking the same to you. So here are my finals below.

Lip Syncing with Python #1 -- Digital Sausage Tutorials from Chris Cookson on Vimeo.

This was my final for Programming for Animators class, we had to make a tool that we wanted to use and then make a video demonstrating the tool without it being a boring voiced walk through, I sort of did a deconstruction of that. What I did for this was make a simple character set based lip syncing interface to make the process of lip syncing in python closer to what I'd do in Flash where I'd switch out the different mouth shapes as symbols. The script worked surprisingly well for me and I was able to get the lip part of this video done in only about 15 minutes, and it looks better than my previous lip sync which took infinitely longer.

Feel free to download the code here and give me any feedback if something in it goes horribly wrong. I wrote the code primarily as a tool for myself to make the lip syncing easier for my senior project next year.

Men in Black Kinetic Typography from Chris Cookson on Vimeo.

Likewise, here is my Final for AfterEffects class. This was due a week before all my other finals because it was a Communications Design course instead of Digital Arts so luckily I didn't have to do this in the midst of my other projects but it was a lot of fun regardless. Here I took a 30 second clip from my favorite scene from Men in Black and animated the dialogue in it. Cool! Said scene below...

Chris Cookson Demo Reel (Spring '10) from Chris Cookson on Vimeo.
This is the demo reel I made for pre-production class to send around for internships, check it out in all it's one minute glory.

For film history class, on top of a traditional written final exam, we had to hand in a poster based on one of the films we watched in class. I chose the slapstick Obi-Wan Kinobe vechicle, The Horse's Mouth as the source for the poster. Why not?

...and lastly here is the final render for Character Design class, you've likely seen the concept drawings of her earlier on this blog but here it is completed and with a quasi-dark backstory to it as well.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hey look, a blog post

Jumper Crash (Experimental Animation) from Chris Cookson on Vimeo.

My midterm for the Programming for Animators class at Pratt Institute animated using mostly Python scripting and then a bit of compositing in AfterEffects at the end. Rob O'Neill was the instructor.

Audio was the track -Jumper- (ID: 168734) from the Newgrounds Audio Portal by user Waterflame.

and also here are some things I am working on for character design class

That was my initial sketch, she was based off of an ink blot I found on the now defunct Daily Monster blog when it was asking for user submissions. My idea is that she was a fashion model who sold her right arm to the devil to be granted eternal youth; think of it as District 9 meets The Devil Wears Prada.

and the latest revision of her design so she would look a bit better in 3D...

lastly, here is a rendering of a bust of my head I did in Character Design class; the head is toon shaded while I added in the line art in flash.

as always, be sure to check out both my Vivian blog (where about 60% of my homework time is going towards) and my Twitter for more updates on what I'm doing.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hey! some of my Ugly Americans stuff is online now...

Here's a quick art post over here, totally getting mauled by Junior yet picking up and taking 16 credits + an internship on the side instead of my usual jobless 13 credit schedule is taking a bit of a toll on me but HERE IS A LOOK INSIDE THE MADNESS!!

some assignments from AfterEffects class too for good measure

...and here's an adorable movie I starred in, I didn't do any of the editing in or anything but I think it came out quite nicely.

...some more of the shots I did on Ugly Americans are starting to show up on as well.

The shot at the :10 second mark in the season 1 highlight reel with the demon baby pouring whisky down the throats of women, I did the women and my good Pratt buddy and Whale Tales co-writer, April Yim did the demon baby. Also, if you saw the Beautiful World spot for Ugly Americans on Hulu, IGN, Kotaku or during practically any commercial break on Comedy Central, the chances are you got to see the 3/4 fish person walk cycles I did for that. Most of the other shots were inbetweened by the rather awesome aisle of interns...a ton of Pratt people :)

Expect more updates next week however, to see if my MEL scripting midterm and Character Design self-portrait didn't turn out in any way disasterous. If you want more frequent updates from me, follow me on Twitter OR check out the Vivian blog to see how often I can change my mind on an idea over the course of two months.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Just a couple of things

I just started a new blog for my Pre-Production class, some of the more polished stuff from there will wind up on Cold Milk Soup but most of the rudimentary conceptual pieces will likely go there. It is mostly a log of my progress for my Senior Capstone project but if you are interested in seeing some of my more sketchier work, check it out!

and while we're at it, here is a render of Greg Reaper, still haven't textured him yet (will have that up next week) but I kind of like the way he looks as is right now.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Some Really Early Character Design Stuff!

The drawings aren't quite perfectly lined up right now for modeling, but I don't think I'm going to be looking at the images directly on an image plane in Maya quite yet, if so I'll probably adjust the drawings a bit.
Anyway, here's the character I'll probably model for my first assignment in Character Design class. He's Gregory Reaper, the 15-year-old son of the Grim Reaper. Is generally a wimpy guy, watches a lot of animé and has a job folding t-shirts at The Gap. When his father gets a cold and has to take a sick day from work, he gives his son the task of arriving to kill an adorable 12-year-old girl. Greg is too nice of a guy to go through with this, so instead he fakes the girl's death, fabric of space and time related hijinks ensue...good times.

Likewise, here's my other character who I'll likely use for my pre-production class. If you have been following this blog you may recognize his design from an earlier post on here (or you can see his progression so far here) and it's one of the ideas I've been thinking of possibly for senior project. I'll have a semester or so to really think on his design so the chances are that he'll go through a few more iterations BUT the Pink Floyd boxers will stay, I will fight to keep them on :P

This unnamed character is a hermit, he lives alone with his spoiled cat (which I think I'll call Vivian) and has been eating a diet of cereal and tuna (which he doubles as cat food) for the past week. His cat hasn't been eating well and he's starting to recollect the time he spent with her. I want to animate his internal monologue like a storybook which becomes more and more like the classic children's book Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. As his story gets more and more sentimental, our main character turns from sympathetic to entirely creepy as we find out that he sang his cat to sleep every night for the last ten years. Ultimately he'll leave the house and put the cat down.

Keep in mind, the idea above is COMPLETELY rough. In the pre-production class we're going to eventually have to start up a production blog for the short, so when I actually settle on an idea, I'll likely move most of the updates to that one.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Had a bit of a busy break, but working on something really awesome

The only problem with working on a legitimate animated show, is that there is very little you are actually allowed to say about it. Since the beginning of January, I've been coming in a couple of days a week working on some work on the upcoming Comedy Central show, Ugly Americans. The show is looking very funny (am I even allowed to say that) and comes from the same folks who created Adult Swim's Superjail and MTV2's Wonder Showzen among other things; namely the Golden Age shorts which were popular at the Ottawa Animation Festival a few years back.

The clips below come from the pilot episode and are embeddable from Comedy Central's website, they should give a good idea of what to expect from the show when it comes in March. If the thumbnail is any indication, this is probably NSFW...

Surprisingly enough, the show is animated entirely in Macromedia Flash MX (yes, a seven year old version of the program) at very high zoom levels in order to really make amends with the weird line smoothing in Flash, I don't really want to go into specifics beyond that but they treat it more or less like a traditional animation program, very little tweening and rigged animation.

Mostly I've been working on the inbetweens but it is really interesting to overhear the meetings that the staff is having a room or so over and I've been hearing bits and pieces of the show off and on and have laughed quite a bit at some of the lines. The show seems to be pretty deadpan, I'm pretty sure I'd watch it even if I haven't done some work on it.

Apart from that, here are some drawings that I've done over the Fall/Spring semester break at Pratt.

This is a little something for April Yim's Palette Town Project collaboration. I'm working on a full piece as well, but this is mostly just a name card.

and this is a new Header for The Movie Watch. The guy on the right is supposed to be Sherlock Holmes, not sure how clear he actually came out...

This Tuesday I'll be back at Pratt and then the following Monday (after Dr. Martin Luther King Day), I'm supposed to come in with three ideas for my senior project short film. I already have two I'm confident in and one I'm not so sure about. As long as we're on the subject, here is a bit of a sketch I did for one of the ideas a couple of months back which will probably end up looking nothing like the actual short