Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Storying Boarding

It occurred to me on countless times when I looked at someone else's brilliant works, then looked at my own work, and I thought: "What the heck have I been doing in art school...can't even draw a figure properly."
This happens to me more often when I'm storyboarding. Storyboarding is about clarity and simplicity. Sounded simple, but I struggled. My respect for storyboard artist and cinematographer has centuple since I start doing storyboard myself. When doing storyboard, I need to think about the actings the camera movements, shot angle, composition, the storyline (I'm writing my own story) and clarity. With so many things going on at once, I cannot put my 100 % concertation on the slick quality of my drawings. My figures usually end up looking like bacteria cells.
thumbnail SB for The Wolf and the Crane fable 
When I do my panels I would try to sketch down as fast as possible and revised it again and again.

If you look at Disney and Pixar's SB, or if you go on Google search for "storyboard", the drawings all look clean and beautiful. This is because the drawings have been revised for more than one time.
I learn that from the "Extra" in A Cat in Paris DVD.

In the "Extra" it shows both the thumbnail SB and the final SB side by side. The thumbnail SB looks just like me rough SB. So, don't feel discorage when we see other people's brilliant works. We can do it too!

This is a good song."Story Board" by The Album Leaf (one of my favorite instrumental band)

Story Board by The Album Leaf on Grooveshark

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Atli Örvarsson: Another Great Composer

After taking the Sound to Image class, I have been reassure once again that soundtrack is just as important as the movie. I love Hans Zimmer and I found a composer who's not as famous as Hans Zimmer but he made some great soundtracks that came close to Zimmer's.
Atli Örvarsson

Vantage Point (2008)

Vantage Point Main Title by Ion Storm on Grooveshark

I love this soundtrack

Here's a bonus drawing of a chipmunk I did last night

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Laugh of the Day: Quote from Animator's Survival Kit

I bought this book a while ago but I never got the chance to read it until this winter. Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Williams. It is really a book that all animators should read.
I happened to come across a passage he wrote that is so genuine and true that it makes me laugh.

"Some animators want to save themselves a lot of the work so they draw very rough. ('Ruff' - they don't even want to spend the time spelling 'rough'. Too many letters in it to waste our valuable time... ) And they leave lots and lots of work for the assistances.

I've never understood why some people in animation are so desperate to save work. If you want to save work, what on earth are you doing in animation? It's nothing but work!" (99)

It is funny because I often try to find ways to save work.  I guess I need to change my attitude. There is no other way round or short cut to make good animation; like it or not, it's lots and lots of work. My favorite part of animating is when I shoot my pencil test and see my drawing moving. But what really keeps me going is when I'm sitting in my classroom with my friends, bathing our faces with the light from florescent bulbs, cutting our noses while flipping the papers and laughing at how ridiculous and crazy we are to choose to be an animator. Really, anyone who have done animation understand the tedious process of inbetweening and cleaning up.

It's too late for me to turn back and I don't want to turn back. Animation it is.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Circles Animation

This is a project for my sound animation. I'm very proud of it because I made the sound-mix myself.
It is all made in Photoshop and After Effects. This is my first time making animation in After Effects. I am ready to dig deeper into After Effects. It's really a fun program to play with.
I'm still working on how I should end this shorts. Potentially this could go on for hours without an ending; my friend made a suggestion that I should made it into a desktop screen saver. Sounds like a good idea, but I have no idea how to do that.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Long Long Time Ago

It has been a while since the last time I updated my post, almost a month ago. While I'm still trying to wrap up my finals, I want to share my wonderful experience yesterday and through today.
Yesterday, two of my fellow animator friends decided to go watch The Hobbit premier regardless of the fact that we have our final critique the next morning. I think it's a legit to say that watching movie is a form of  "research" for us. Thursday afternoon after classes, we entered our little private animation room and animated till 9:30 pm and headed to the theater. We brought our computers to the theater and continue to work on our final (I took the time in the theater to relax because my computer is malfunction at the time.) I love the theater environment. The theater is full of energy even though it was already midnight. People were really excited about the movie.

The Hobbit
Bilbo is more adorable than I have expected! The movie simply would not be the same if Martin Freeman did not was not play Bilbo.

After the movie we came back to school, back to our little private animation room and working our way through morning where we then had our critique. I came back home at noon and woke up at 5 pm and I had the urge to update my blog.
Btw, this is my 100th post!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ambient/Background Sound

This is my work in progress sound sample for an experimental animation I'm working on now.
I mixed the sound using Soundtrack Pro and GarageBand (mostly Soundtrack Pro, and that program crashed my Macbook computer have some issues before so I can't really blame it all on the program)

My scanner at home is not working so I haven't upload any storyboards but I will do that soon. I'm changing my Balloon story to a completely different one. I feel like I'm finally heading in the right direction with my story (after throwing out the entire story). It's no longer about the balloon but the idea is the same.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My First Sound Mix on GarageBand

 This my first time mixing song in GarageBand. Fun~
and another one

Graduate Portfolio Day

I always want to do paintings and illustrations in the film industry but I never thought of myself becoming an animator or a filmmaker. I remember three years ago, I attended National Portfolio day at Emily Carr University and the two schools I spoke to, one of it is CalArts. When I applied for college I decided not to apply for CalArts because I wanted to do fine art. I wanted to be an conceptual artist. I wanted to be a painter. I chose SAIC because they have great fine art department.
I got in, and after a year of being hammered with all the conceptual ideas from the school, I realized...I hate conceptual art. It's fun to think conceptually once in a while but not so fun to do it for the rest of my life. (Though, I still love painting)

Today I spoke to CalArts again for their Graduate Experimental Animation Program. (This is coming back to full circle!!) They told me I need more experimental things. I have mostly traditional paintings and traditional 2D animations so it is an expected suggestion.
I always feel like I have to choose between painting and animation.It's like asking people if you want water or food. I need them both.
I'm going to take experimental animation in my seiner year and really pump my portfolio up.

btw. Tiffany is finally back to blogging after 3 months break! 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Zoetrope: Where did go?

Remember the Zoetrope I mention about this summer
October 27, 2012 Our Summer Zoetrope Team went Redmoon Theater's Boneshaker Halloween Party and found out that our hard works was destroyed....
Thanks to Kye Kim, she has a recording of the zoetrope from summer.

Though it is sad but we had a great time during this summer internship. 


Those sketches will possibly become the preproduction materials for my graduation thesis film. I temporary named the film The Box. 

ignore left side of the page

The idea comes from my daily observation of people on the bus and train. Every morning when I chased up my bus, I see half of the people looking down at their phone, iPad, Kindle, Galaxy or Nook and they never look up. The don't turn their head, they don't look out the window, they don'e talk to the people around. I find that odd. What it is like 20 years ago when there is no mobile device? Are they closer to each other?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cat Soup

I need to catch up my updates! Has been busy last week!
Cat Soup (ねこぢる草) is a very bizarre and surreal animation made by Tatsuo Sato and I love it because it is so WEIRD.
It's around half hour long and people have posted the full film on Vimeo.

BTW Wreck-It Ralph is great. It is better than I expected

Monday, October 22, 2012


In the beginning of the year my professor showed 2 minutes of a film called Nocturna in class. I fell in love with it immediately after seeing it and decided to get my own copy. Unfortunately, there are no distributors for this great animation in North America. So I have to search else where than just
The story is about this little boy on the cover, Tim, who is very afraid of the dark.  One night when he is going to sleep he discovers that his star has disappeared from the sky. The story isn't as excited as I had expected but the world they create is really amazing. The lights in the film is absolutely beautiful. My favorite characters in the movie are those street light (on the cover - standing on top of Cat Sheperd head)

The original soundtrack is in Spanish but I can only find the English version
I also love the music in the film. They are composed by Nicolas Errèra. I need to make more musician friends!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Chicago International Film Festival: 38-39˚c

Last Friday I went to see the 48th Chicago International Film Festival, Screening animation shorts - Blurring the Lines. I like most of them but I'm going to talk about one particular one called 38-39˚c made by Kangmin Kim. I was doing some research on the making of this film and found his other projects. I watched a couple of his timelapes videos (how the film was made) and I'm thinking...I kind of want to go to CalArts to learn what they have there in the experimental animation department. I'm seriously thinking about taking my MFA there.

The film is on his Vimeo now

Side notes: It was raining on Friday night and during the middle of the screening, the theater ceiling started to pour water in above the back row seats. It happen during the end of Oh Willy (another good shorts). The water made funny sounds.  At first I thought the sound was part of the film, but it was coming from behind. So I thought, "Oh, they got really nice stereo," then I saw people getting out of the back row seats and I figured.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Paper CutOut Animation: The Door

This a beautiful paper cut out animation made by a group of students from National Taiwan University of Arts. Everything is cut out, including the figure silhouette. There's is a video of their Making of The Door, which looks amazing and laboring.
I'm working toward a final project for my Sound to Image class and this short is going to be my reference point. I do mostly hand drawn character animation so it will be fun for me to try out something different, like stop motion paper animation with a non-narrative approach. Ohh I'm excited for my final project! First I need to make a storyboard and then I need to record the audio then I have to exacto knife the paper structures and finally start spending hours and hours animating the movements.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dialog SB

This is a thumbnail of my redo for last week's post. I said that it's really boring to do talking heads style SB so this time I try to use background elements and characters' movements to make te shot more interesting. I was watching Death Becomes Her before I draw this and I was amazed by the camera placements and movements in the move.

The first 5 panels was a single panning shot.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dialog Storyboard

I did a storyboard last week and I realized it's a terrible storyboard. The worst thing you can do as a storyboard artist is to draw talking heads and that's basically what I did. I'm going redraw the whole dialog scene. I made the mistake but I'm learning.

Bad storyboard example

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Fable Storyboard: The Wolf and the Crane

Another storyboard assignment base on fables and this on is The Wolf and the Crane.
update: thumbnails of the Storyboard

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Box

A class assignment I did

a.  A figure enters a room
b.  The figure approaches a box
c.  The figure opens the box
d.  The figure reacts to what is inside

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

328 Sketches: Horizontal Tree

The semester is starting and things are starting to get busy, so I think it make much more sense for me to do weekly posting instead of daily posting (I haven't post any new drawings for days...). At this time there is really no point to post every day because I would just be stressing myself making crappy works that I don't even care.
Instead, I will be making at least one "finished" drawing every week.

In progress screenshot

I will probably group my older drawings together in to weekly too

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Thank You Tiffany!!!

Tiffany can read my mind. She found the book I was searching for months.Yes, the MOONSHINE book. She has a lot of amazing and useful sources on everything. I love you Tiff. I just want you to know that.

and side track, here's my half way finish sound animation but there is no sound yet. I made this in 4 hours, so proud of myself.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

329 Sketches

I always wanted to draw with ink pen. Look at the lines! I should have got one earlier.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

329 Sketches

Trying out Tiffany's suggestion: scribble on a page and find stuff. I'm not finding enough stuff. Need to FREE my mind more

Friday, August 31, 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012

331 Sketches: Concept Background Eerie Forest

My friends are designing a small game with the main character as Mr. Death. This is one background my drew for the game (I was very unproductive...feeling guilty.) I will draw more background, starting from today, if time allows me.

332 Sketches: Honey Jar Pencil Rough

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

334 Sketches

After a long break...

still trying to master the clouds
I need to do more landscape. Yesterday I borrowed a book from the library: LA/SF: A Sketchbook from California by Christian Schellewald. Now I'm motivated to do more landscape painting!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


This is a book I really want, called MOONSHINE: DREAMWORKS ARTISTS...AFTER​ DARK!. It's a collection of artworks made by DreamWorks artists

Unfortunately there is no new edition currently so the only available copies are from other owners and the prices are way too high for me to buy

Book Review by Parka Blogs

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ox-Bow 2012

While I disappeared for the past 3 week I was having great time at Ox-Bow, school of art and artists' residency.
Photo credit: Ning Xu

I sat on the deck and fed bread to turtles everyday

The sunset is amazingly beautiful, especially if you canoe out into the lake
Photo credit: Ning Xu

Those are the paintings I made during the first two weeks. I had a wonderful teacher Angela Dufresne. She really pushed me forward in my painting practices
This image is based on my first 356 sketches

This isn't the best painting but it is fruitful for me

during the session, we have to move the still life every 30 minutes 

made in studio, based on the painting above

Charlie Chaplin moving