Started a series of portraits based on some of my favorite movies. I thought I’d leave them unidentified for now, but with a quote from the film as a hint. This one is a bit dark, but so was the movie, which I recently revisited for the umpteenth time (I find something new to marvel at on each viewing) as it was part of a retrospective on the Criterion Channel.
It’s been five years since I’ve completed an animated film. The reasons why have a convoluted history. Going back around 15 or 20 years, I first discovered a hidden feature on the illustration program I was using at the time for my work. Corel Painter, along with its many fine realistic brush features, had, in an earlier version, a primitive ‘animation feature’. The feature wasn’t much more than the ability to use multiple onion skin overlays to see the progress of your animated drawing over several frames, and then to play back the animation instantly to check your progress. I did several test projects, and, from 2010-2015 was able to complete 3 animated music videos for my band, the “Jukejoint Handmedowns”, also using Apples ‘iMovie’ for combining animated clips.
A computer upgrade (and subsequent upgrading of my system software), meant that I had to also upgrade Corel Painter, who had, in the meantime, dropped their ‘animation feature’ from the latest version of the software. I have been playing around with various alternative animation software platforms in the past five years, but nothing had really clicked with me, the way that the original Painter tools had.
During the recent pandemic slowdown, I spent some time learning how to use Adobe After Effects and Adobe Character Animator, and put together the above film for our upcoming album release. I had a lot of fun learning new techniques, and stretching my horizons. Each scene was a new challenge, and led to new skills, and have learned even more since its completion. So stay tuned for more.
Finally had a few of the book projects that had been hanging out in limbo make some forward progress this past week. I’m currently working on the sketches for one book and the finishes on another. However, sometimes you wake up in the middle of the night with an image in your mind that you can’t get out, so I woke up in the wee hours this morning and did the following portrait of our monarch under siege. Now back to work.
My son and I have been working on another comics project, sort of a ‘frontier western’ tale set on Mars. Here’s a sample of one of the pages that I worked up today. I had done some previous samples but wanted to start again with a bit more of a subdued color palette.
Another page for the John Muir Trail book I’m working on. Below is a gallery of the progress so far on this project.