Thursday, November 7, 2013

Teaching Myself Cinema 4D

About a week ago at this time I started teaching myself Cinema 4D. I really want to expand my portfolio into much more 3D motion graphic work. In lieu of that, I have decided to join the sensation of Cinema 4D 'tiny animation' GIFs much like the ones you find on sites like Tumblr. So, this is my first test. I'm hoping to get at least one done a week until the new year to keep sharpening my Cinema 4D skills. Keep updated for more to come!

Below is a test text animation I created while working off some tutorials. Its the very first thing I ever made in C4D.

Friday, October 18, 2013

October 18, 2013: Midterms are Over

It has been awhile since I've last updated my blog, which is both a good and a bad thing. It means I've been too busy to update it, which is good; however, it also means I can't share what I've been "too busy" working on, which is bad.

Now that midterms for the Fall '13 semester, I have a free weekend to keep everyone up-to-date with what I've been up to.

I've been working on two large projects: a 4-part series of instructional motion graphic videos with Kresge Arts in Detroit and my junior animated film. Other side projects have been worked on and completed, but nothing as time-consuming as these two projects.

My junior film, which you can view updates to at, is a 1-2 animated film in pen and ink I'm working on all this year. It is a story based off the idea of "metamorphosis" or change in oneself. The film is intended to non-linearly reflect ideas of self-discovery and "unmasking" one's true identity through the metaphor of bark being peeled off a series of different trees. Up to this point in time, I've been working on pre-production work; nonetheless I have finally got the green light to go ahead and start animating now that my storyboards/keyframes are complete. Being a traditionally animated film done in India ink, it is going to be a very time-consuming process to animate this, being as each sheet of thick animation bond has to have time to dry.
Keep visiting the "Arbor Film" blog to keep updated on progress!

I have also been working on a 4-month-long internship with Kresge Arts in Detroit on creating a series of motion graphic videos. Unfortunately, these videos and sample clips must remain private until their release date. Visit to see the videos go live November 1st!

In addition to this all, this past week my very first public broadcast commercial aired! Seen on channels such as PBS, and NBC - the commercial is an advertisement for the Detroit Opera Houses' show, "The Flying Dutchman". Be sure to watch TV during the times "Jeopardy" or "Saturday Night Live (re-runs)" airs to see the commercial these next few weeks!

I also have been taking a Type 1 class this semester, and here is an update of some of the things I've been working on in there.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August 1, 2013: Keeping You Updated

It has been almost a month since I've last posted. Being the Summer Program Assistant for CCS's Pre-college and Continuing Education classes, I've had my hands full with inspiring artists ages ranging from 6 to 12. However, after my second year teaching summer classes here, I'm about ready to end this chapter in my life and start on a new dream:

My goal to score a summer internship in California. 

Yes, yes - I know that it is an entire year away...and this summer hasn't even ended yet. But to endeavor on a goal like this, I would imagine, takes plenty of time and preparation. So I've decided to get started now!

I've been doing my share of research on animation studios in California, and I have a solid list of goal studios located anywhere from L.A. to San Diego.

However, it is a long process - figuring out living situations and rent and travel costs and every little thing. So I've only touched the surface for now. As far as I'm concerned, however, thinking about all these little details this early is the first step.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July 10, 2013: Keeping You Updated

I've been very busy these last few weeks.  I've worked 40-hour weeks, I've worked on commission jobs for Kresge Arts in Detroit and Gabriel's Garden Candles and a handful of other companies, but most importantly I've traveled.

Traveling is a very important part of every summer for me. It helps refresh my environmentally-driven brain and recharge the creativity within me. So far this summer I've traveled well over 1600 miles within the state of Michigan - voyaging from the rush of city life in southeastern Michigan to the open air and laid back towns along northern Lake Michigan and Grand Traverse Bay. From Empire and Glen Arbor to Charlevoix and Petoskey; the cities I've visited this summer have kept me busy and kept me feeling happy. This is the only time of year I get the free time to travel, so I've been feeling very happy and thankful with where I've gone and how my travels have been.

In a few weeks I will be making my third trip this summer up to Mackinaw to go camping. I've never been to Mackinaw Island or Mackinaw city so I am excited to see the wonders they have in store for me.

In the mean time, I will be trying to harness all the energy and creative spirit I've accumulated to work on new projects outside of all my commission work.

Updates soon!

Monday, May 20, 2013

May 20, 2013: GIF Animation

After running across this website the other day, I've decided it would be cool to make 1 GIF a day all summer, in between my prep for the summer animation project I'm working on and my 2 summer jobs. 

This is my first one, just getting the hang of creating an animation in photoshop. I do not own or have experience with flash, so I've decided to create these short GIF animations in photoshop under its "animation" feature. 

Look for more GIFs to come! Hopefully they will be a bit more complex than this one.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

May 16, 2013: Summer Inspiration

Lately I've been doing a lot of research on animators whose style really speaks to me. I've come with with a pretty solid inspirational list of animators whose aesthetic I really want to harness in my own work over the summer when I make the transition back from motion graphics to experimental animation.

Here is a list of animators who I have really been into lately:
  • Ryan Larkin
  • Caleb Wood
  • Michèle Cournoyer
  • Laurent Coderre
  • Erica Russell
  • Juan Camilo González

 The following films are animated shorts that I really enjoy their simplistic, yet interesting and visual method of storytelling. There are many common themes throughout these pieces, like the use of little to no background yet strong depth and environment in each piece. Also, just by looking at each thumbnail you can immediately tell that there is a constant use of strong line and contrast in each piece, making gesture and timing very important in each animation. I hope to continue to watch these animations and find more formal similarities between them so I can reinterpret these techniques in my own summer animation with our team of students.

Walking - Ryan Larkin from zazie on Vimeo.

Stay Home from caleb wood on Vimeo.


Les fleurs de macadam by Laurent Coderre, National Film Board of Canada

                           SiSiSiSiSiSiSiSiSiSiSi (2011) from Juan Camilo González on Vimeo.

STAMMER (2013) from Shen Jie on Vimeo.