Final Senior Presentation

Purpose

The purpose of my project is to broaden my character designing and drawing skills by researching various character styles and developing my own original ideas. After a great deal of sketching with trial and error, which included tossing out anywhere between 30-40 different characters I came up with three original and very distinct ideas. The best way to show off these character designs is in book form. I decided to develop characters and create three books for each idea. I used programs such as Photoshop and soon to be used Corel Painter for the coloring of the characters and InDesign for the page layouts of the books. As for the publishing company I chose Blurb.com. Not only did I expand my drawing style and way of thinking about character designing but I also became well versed in the various programs that used. I can honestly that I have gotten everything out of this thesis and more.

“Shred Jam”

“Shred Jam” is a universe that centers around two rival Roller Derby teams, the Lightning Bugs and the Black Widows. The Lightning Bugs are considered the underdogs of the Roller Derby world and the Black Widows are the top team to beat. In this book are the various characters that make up the world of “Shred Jam”. This idea came from my interest in Roller Derby at the time I did the first sketches of some of the characters. I enjoyed the thought of how strong the woman in Roller Derby have to be in order to take hits and give hits that I have witnessed in various videos on Roller Derby. I also think that this idea would be very action packed and be greatly entertaining. I believe that these characters would be for a television show possibly, Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network. The age group I feel that “Shred Jam” would be for is pre-teens to early teens, but friendly for all ages. Below is the completed PDFs of the pages and cover design, which has been since completed, printed, and is now in hand. *Will be shown at presentation.*

 

 

“Inanimate Disorders”

 “Inanimate Disorders” is a universe that takes place inside a counseling center where the inanimate objects that dwell inside are dealing with their own real world challenges. These challenges being various their disorders and phobias.  This idea is inspired by “Toy Story” and “Aqua Team Hunger Force”. The twist is that these objects aren’t actually alive but a hallucination caused by a catnip addicted therapy cat at the center. The objects get into numerous fantastical situations where they have to solve problems while working around their own disorders and phobias. This idea came from a bunch of random sketches that were products of late nights with a few of my friends with us brainstorming back and forth. I learned while making this book that creativity by a group gives birth to greater ideas than from just one person. This particular idea would also be for a television show, which would be for a company like Adult Swim. The audience would be more adult. Below is the completed PDFs of the cover and pages of the book. It has now since been sent to print and I should be receiving it within the next week.

 

 

“Un-named Book”

My third book is very different from the first two. This book will have characters that are a great deal more detailed and be directed for a video game while the other two were geared towards television shows. My inspiration for this game are games such as “World of Warcraft” and “Guild Wars I and II”. I will be designing different races that will be playable by gamers. Each race will have a male and female version. The last images in the above gallery are one of those races. It is based off of a Tengu, which is a man/bird hybrid. At this point it is the only finished sketch of a character that I have of a race. I still need to create the female version of this race as well as different poses. The other images are a few sketches that I did earlier on in the semester and some Corel Painter practice as well. I felt the original sketches were looking to “Avatar” so I changed to what you seen in the Raven Character. I will also be doing research on how a video game design book is laid out and aim for one that is professional. By this weekend I will have all of the concept art of each race completed. I will then move to the creation of the sketches that will be used for the book itself. Its basic layout will be similar to the other two books as the three are meant to be a series of character design books. I expect the book will be ready to print by the latest, May 7th. It is up in the air if the book will be back in time before graduation. I will however, have completed posters depicting the book for the gallery.

Gallery Space

As well as completing the books I have visited the gallery to take pictures of the space that I wish to use. I then took these pictures into Photoshop to begin laying out the space. The first wall will have the “About the Artist” section and the space set up for “Shred Jam”. The second wall will be split in half for “Inanimate Disorders” and the currently Un-named book. In the last image in the above gallery is me beginning to create posters and dropping them into my layout. *At the presentation I will have rough examples of these posters.*

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Senior Studio II: Journal 11

Journal 11-  (April 15th- April 21st) 2013

This week was a mile stone in my thesis. I finished “Shred Jam” and sent it off to print! Huzzah! Joy! Rapture! I will be receiving it the latest on Tuesday, April 23rd. More joy! While that book was my work still isn’t complete. I still had to finish “Inanimate Disorders”… And I have! I successfully completed all the drawings, vectors, page layouts, text, and cover in this week alone! I still have some last bit of edits that I would like to do before sending it out to insure that it is perfect. Everything is coming to a close for my thesis and boy am I relieved… My next step is setting up the gallery, granted I make it in.

Completed “Shred Jam”

 

 

These are the final PDFs of “Shred Jam” that I sent into blurb to be printed.

“Inanimate Disorders” Main Character Sketches

These are all the sketches for the main characters’ pages in the book.

“Inanimate Disorders” Side Character Sketches

Here are the finished sketches for all of the side characters.

“Inanimate Disorders” Main Character Vectors

After sketching the main characters I moved create their colored versions using vectors in Photoshop. I loved trying out different shading colors with these characters. Instead of using grey for the shading I used colors like, blue, purple, pink, and green for the shading and setting the layers to multiply.

“Inanimate Disorders” Side Character Vectors

Once completing the main character vectors I vectored all of the side characters. I again enjoyed the play of color that I got to do for these characters. They are very bright and cheery which contour acts the somewhat dark demeanor of the story behind the book itself.

“Inanimate Disorders” PDFs

 

 

When the vectors were finished I put all of the characters into the book and played around with the color palette of the pages and the book cover. I believe the pages were very successful in this but the cover isn’t reacting well to the color palette as well. This will require more fiddling with. I will be editing more Sunday and then sending the book out to print Monday.

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Research…

Unfortunately, the research portion of my blog this week is lacking. As in not there. This is purely because I put all of my time and effort into focusing on finishing “Inanimate Disorders” this week. I have been successful in that. My next hurdle is my presentation this Wednesday, which I have been preparing for diligently.

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Senior Studio II: Journal 10

Journal 10-  (April 8th- April 14th) 2013

In this past week of work I finally accomplished in finishing all the vectors of the characters in “Shred Jam”. It’s such a relief that all of the characters will be in full color and they all look wonderful together if I do say so myself. Now that they are done I can do some last bits of detail in the book and finally send it off to print! The next step is to finish the drawings for the second book and then vector those and make them all the beautiful inanimate objects that they are.

Finished Side Character Vectors

Here are all the long awaited and awe inspiring side characters of “Shred Jam”. They took forever just like the main characters but well worth it in the end.

Updated “Shred Jam” Book/Cover

 

 

While finishing the vectors of the side characters I made some more edits to the pages of the book which includes “Group Shots” pages for the Lightning Bugs and the Black Widows. These pages still need a lot of editing in the placements of the characters. I decided to also add a shadow beneath all the characters to give them the illusion of standing in a space rather than floating in a void. After speaking with a couple of my professors I made some edits to the cover.

I still need to make the chapter pages and edit the texts to make sure that everything is spelled correctly with proper grammar.

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Research

Llewellyn Gallery Photos

Also, this week I had the opportunity to explore the Llewellyn Gallery which will be the space that I will be using for my showing. I took a few photos of a bunch of different views as well as taking some measurements to help to more precisely plan out the space. I also made some sketches for myself on paper of how I might layout the poster on the walls above the pedestals which is where each book will go. I will take these photos into Photoshop to edit the posters into them so that I can plan out where they will go more easily. Everything is coming together slowly but surely.

I traveled around SET to see where all the printers and took down what sizes I can print out for my posters. This will be very helpful in creating my finished gallery space. Posters and print outs will be coming sometime in the very near future.

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Senior Studio II: Journal 9

Journal 9-  (March 31st- April 7th) 2013

In this week of work I kept up the insane pace I set for myself during Spring Break. I pushed to complete more vector for “Shred Jam” and also began work on my second book, “Inanimate Objects”. After many late nights I am more than half way finished with the first book and began laying out a rough draft of the second book.

Finished Vectors- “Shred Jam”

I completed all 12 of the Main Character’s vectors. This including the Lightning Bugs and the Black Widows.

Updated “Shred Jam” Book

 

 

After completing the Main Character’s vectors I inserted them into the pages where they belonged. I still have 15 more vectors to complete. I also went through each of the pages and edited the text. I assume I will be editing the text constantly to ensure that it is perfect. A few of the pages are still up for edit. I also took the time to complete a cover design for the book that I am quite excited about. “Shred Jam” is really coming together and I expect it will be completed by April 12th, a week sooner than my original due date.

Jim the Cactus- “Inanimate Disorders”

As well as finishing up more on “Shred Jam” I kept up the same energy in finally beginning my second book, “Inanimate Disorders”. I began with sketching all the pages. This is a cactus and his name is Jim. Jim longs for contact from anyone or anything.

Mike the Microphone- “Inanimate Disorders”

This is Mike the Microphone and he is a very angry soul.

Dave the Pineapple- “Inanimate Disorders”

This lovable pineapple is Dave. Dave is a depressed pineapple that is slowly giving up on life.

Trevor the Spinning Top- “Inanimate Disorders”

This is Trevor the spinning top with the multiple personalities. Personalities-  The ballerina, Francesca, and the mad scientist, Doctor Knick-Knack.

Side Characters- “Inanimate Disorder”

Here a few side characters that will help to round out the “Inanimate Disorders” universe. I plan on having at least 10 side characters altogether.

“Inanimate Disorders” Book

 

 

 

 

 

After drawing up some completed characters for the book I decided to begin making a rough draft for “Inanimate Disorders”. I also worked on a cover for the book that is very similar to “Shred Jam” so that the two books had some relation. I’m having some trouble with the color palette for the second book as well. I expect “Inanimate Disorders” to be completed by April 19th and the latest April 22nd.

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Research

In my research this week I used various reference pictures for the characters in my book. I used real objects but I found ways to change them enough to make them stylized but keep with reality a bit. Another part of my research included color palettes since I was having trouble with the color palette of “Inanimate Disorders”. A lot of change will be happening with it within the next couple of days.

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Senior Studio II: Journal 8

Journal 8-  (March 17th- March 31st) 2013

In these past two weeks I had an opportunity to focus solely on my senior thesis. I decided to push forward with the mind set of working on one book at a time. This helped me greatly, to a point. In only focusing on one book I was able to get to the rough draft stage of “Shred Jam” and now have moved to actually finishing pages. The problem with this strict focus was that I put my other two books on the back burner and haven’t gotten any further with them. Now I’m changing how I work by moving to finish the first book while working on the rough draft of the second. Fortunately,  the fact that I have gotten so far on the first book, I now feel a lot more comfortable with what I have completed and what I need to complete.

Black Widows- Willow Pages

In my process I moved to complete the pages for the main cast. Here is Willow of the Black Widows.

Black Widows- Ling Pages

These are Ling of the Black Widows character pages.

Character Illustration Pages

I also went back and re-drew the character illustration pages because I was not satisfied with the first sets. I also added the main characters in their street clothes. These images will be used on the pages introducing the characters.

Side Cast Members

After completing all the pages for the main characters I needed to move to the rest of the cast. Side characters are highly important for rounding out a cast of characters because of all the opportunities for design and personality. In total, including the main cast, there are 21 characters in the first book, “Shred Jam”.

Rough Draft-“Shred Jam”

 

Once completing all of the character designs I scanned them into my computer and began making a rough draft of the book itself in InDesign.

“Shred Jam” Incompletion Process

 

After creating the rough draft I then began making the vectors for all the illustration pages. I have completed the illustrations for the Lightning Bugs thus far. This is the completed book thus far. After finishing all of the colored versions of the characters I will need to edit the text part of the book and add the chapter devisions as well as making the cover of the book.

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Pen Tool Research

In hopes of increasing the output of my vectoring I went looking for more tutorials to learn about the other functions of the pen tool in Photoshop. I came across this tutorial that taught me all the functions of the pen tool. The one that I found most useful was the stroke function from the tutorial. The stroke path tool is used for creating the line art of a drawing. Before I was using the shape function of the tool which took me over an hour to complete the line art of my drawings. Now using the stroke path function I came complete the line art of a drawing almost half that time. This new use of the pen tool will serve well in completing my books.

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Senior Studio II: Journal 7

Journal 7-  (March 10th- March 17th) 2013

This past week I moved to work overtime on my three books. In this process I found that my work flow needed to be more focused. Before I was working on all three books all at the same time but this just made my head spin. So, I decided that I needed to focus on one book at a time. The first book I decided to work on my roller derby girls book, “Shred Jam”. I was also encouraged by Professor Speed-Schwartz to rethink my pages and how they should be placed in the book itself for better flow. After figuring this out I went into overdrive with drawing after drawing to fill the pages in the book.

Shauna Page Drawings

I decided that instead of having just one page for each main character, I thought it would work best to do five pages for each main character. I came to this conclusion after speaking with Professor Speed-Schwartz a bit. After that I had to decide what would go into those five pages. He sent me a couple links to pages that would help give me some good ideas. (See Research)

Here are the images that I will use to help create the five pages for Shauna.

Gretchen Page Drawings

Here are the pages I’ve drawn for Gretchen’s pages. I had some difficulty with her rotation page but I managed to get it right on the second try.

Abby Page Drawings

These are the pages I have drawn for Abby’s pages.

Miranda Page Drawings

These are the pages that gave me the most trouble. Miranda’s pages. I speak of the rotation page as it took me 3 tries to get them to look like her. This tested my awareness of proportions as an artist.

Note: For each character’s rotation page I used a ruler for height measurements so that when in comparison standing next to each other, their sizes would make sense.

InDesign Screencaps

After drawing a decent amount of pages for the main characters I wanted to see how these pages would work breaking them up into their pages. Here are a couple screencaps that I took while working in InDesign. I focused with one character to help create the layouts which will carry on to the other characters’ pages.

Example Pages PDF

 

These are the pages that I came up with while using the drawings that I had done for Shauna.

Note: These are not the final pages, only a test.

Please Download the PDF and change the “Page Display” to “Two-Up” for the best viewing experience of the pages.

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Research

Pitch Bible

Pitch Bible

During this week’s research Professor Speed-Schwartz sent me a couple links to help me out with what some of the pages could be in the three books. This first site is one that gave examples of Pitch Bibles. Pitch Bibles aren’t exactly what I’m doing for my books but they did give me some ideas anyway.

Portfolio Tips

Portfolio Tips

The most helpful link Professor Speed-Schwartz sent me was the Portfolio Tips site for character designers. This lead me to the thought of creating five pages for each main character instead of one page. These pages will include:

First Page: Colored Character Illustration

Second Page: Character Rotation

Third Page: Expressions

Forth/Fifth Pages: Action Pose

Thinking about my pages this way helped me with the flow and the basic layout of the books.

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My Ultimate Plan

My ultimate plan is to have all the pieces of my first two books done by the end of this week. “Shred Jam” is looking to be 40 pages, if not more and “Inanimate Disorders” will most likely be 30 pages long. As for the third book I still need to fully plan it out but in getting these first two books out of the way it should allow me to do so. I’ve got a long way to go by April 19th, which will be my upload day to Blurb.com.

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Portfolio II: Demo Reel Storyboard

This is my Storyboard for the Demo Reel in my Portfolio II class. These Storyboards do not include everything that I am putting into my Demo Reel. This is mostly to give myself an idea on how each section will flow more or less.

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