Sunday, October 26, 2008


Great weather for an afternoon of sketching with Germans in the Mission... wish it was an easier option for me to live near Dolores Park!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Another couple of months go by, and look at that: I've gone ahead and smashed up another pinky! For those counting since college, that's three of my four, leaving only one pinky toe unharmed... no surprise I swiftly opted out of an open-bottom shark cage dive, huh?

Fortunately, this being my left hand it's easy to find a bright side to the recovery time. While I'm coming to terms with ending my pro football and basketball aspirations in favor of less self-destructive outlets for a 5'8" guy, it's also been a chance for me to reflect on what's important and consider putting a little more time into areas where I seem to have room to grow, like writing and drawing. Here are some samples from a recent sketchbook session, elaborating on some scribbles from past gesture classes:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Drawing Sessions

Anyone miss me? As seems to always be the case, the summer's a busy time and drawing hasn't been priority #1, though I still try learn a little when I can. Here's a quick take on a soccer player:

Saturday, June 28, 2008

WALL-E and Presto Opening this Weekend!

(publicity image from Disney/Pixar)

It's an exciting weekend as the third Feature film and second Short I've worked on with Pixar make their wide release in the US. Both of these offer very unique stories, visuals, and sounds that truly push the boundaries of animation... I hope you'll check them out!

Here are some quick notes on where I contributed:


Working with absurdly talented director/animator Doug Sweetland, this was a great opportunity to switch gears with a fantastic small team in creating what is - in my opinion - easily one of the best Pixar shorts to date. The smaller crew experience implied making more calls and interacting with the director much more, which made for a very rewarding process. I was responsible for: Head/Facial articulation of Alec the Rabbit, an extremely loose, pliable character by Pixar standards (body articulation inventively done by a minefield-navigating Mark Piretti)... Full articulation of Presto the magician. Modeling topology design/advisement roles on both models (final modeling carried out by Modo guru Rich Hurrey). As a bonus, if you listen reaaaaaaally carefully maybe you can hear me among the audience sounds. I'm toward the back ;)


I was "only" on this show for something like 6-7 months since I was on Ratatouille for so long, so I took on a number of relatively small assignments before jettisoning to Presto. My role generally focused on modeling/articulating secondary robot characters, modeling a number of background humans, and spinning off a rig and support scripts for the background human pipeline. Among the recognizable robots I worked on are the VacuumBot, NannyBot (teaching the babies), and the Big Gulp-ish Cups with accompanying Cup Holder Bots. Please don't suppress any inner screams of joy if you catch Vacuum Bot unfolding from a collapsed form, since it took a lot of planning and rigging to make that happen! The background human bodies were initially modeled and (extremely) rough rigged by me, and were designed by the very talented Jason Deamer.

Meanwhile, back in the quiet residential community of Oakland, present day:

My drawing time has been minimal lately as I've been focusing more on Animation side projects and a handful of weekend trips (Vegas, Karen & Joey's wedding). Keep subscribed to this feed and I'll pick it up again when I can!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Drawing Sessions

It's been an interesting few weeks since my last post, with more than a few ups and downs... I finished my Story Skills class with a fairly developed idea based on my some experiences I had as a basketball-obsessed teenager in New York. We did some storyboard beats in the final few classes, and the suggestion that I could tell it as a visual story in graphic novel form seemed to float well. I'll have a lot of work ahead of me if I want to take on sequential illustrations, but I did have two roommates in Savannah that studied just that (Josh? Elvin? You out there?) as well as several co-workers... so who knows, maybe it's time to start building something more polished above all these drawing sessions! :)

Getting back to attending & posting regularly, this week's class (taught by Louis Gonzalez) had an alternative approach involving drawing TWO models interacting, which implied an even greater emphasis on interpreting and adjusting forms and negative spaces to help tell a story. I struggled a lot with the 2-3 minute pose times at first, but it was a great challenge and I started to draw much more freely towards the end of the session.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

What Lies Beyond the Final BART Stop

Foreman and I woke up early on Saturday for a 7am trip out beyond the final BART station in Antioch, to a remote RV campground where, for one special week every year, the all-American/all-Australian desire to blow stuff up leads a collection of potentially dangerous but unquestionably dedicated hobbyists to gather and cruise around in their very own fleet of restored tanks and military jeeps.

Let me help you get there: Imagine an 8-year old boy riding shotgun in the passenger side of a flawless Vietnam-era jeep, holding an M-16 machine gun while his dad, in full camo gear, drives a few loops around the campground to show her off. They pass a camp worker haggling another camo enthusiast for driving a treaded vehicle at unsafe speeds for the grounds. The smell of bacon seems to fill the air everywhere. Wearing an orange Banana Republic shirt among so much green, beige and brown, I become concerned that I might easily be picked off by a sniper, and take cover at a surplus tent.

Getting the idea? Here are a few pictures:

But how could I let this go by without sharing some Favorite Quotes from the event?

- [Possible cast member from King of the Hill, wearing camo vest & hat, holding mug next to campfire]: "Yep, I thought I recognized those rubber seals you're carryin' right there... You must have an early March 1941 model jeep. I have a late February 1941 model myself. Yep, but you know there's a few differences between the two..."

[Older guy selling some parts]: "Well you know California law makes them put screws through the grenades and orange caps on all the guns now? Just takes all the fun right out of it."

- [Imagine the voice of Lawrence from Office Space coming out of an older, big guy kind of like R Lee Ermey (Mail Call, Full Metal Jacket) in full gear] "You like Dodges? Well I outfitted her with this here extra battery. This way when I'm out in the wilderness and shit, this shit will back me up. You know some of the guys here don't like it: They say it's not authentic to the vehicle. Bullshit. Fuck 'em. This is my truck, I built it how I wanted. But this engine here is fuckin' cherry, I'll tell you that."

At the end of the day, a little over-obsession is forgivable to people who love their hobby... and who doesn't think riding around in a WWII jeep is cool? Yo Joe!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Drawing Sessions

Time's still been a little slim as I work on an animation test and take some story classes (even tried improv!), but I managed to get in a few minutes of a drawing session today.

Also would like to recommend a comic called "The Chemist" put out by a co-worker of mine, Jay Boose. I'm hardly a comics enthusiast, but it's cool to see how Jay applies an animation-backed drawing style to that format - the characters' attitudes read far better than most comics I've seen, so it's easier for their personalities to fall into place. Check out his site!

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Finally made it to a full sketchcrawl yesterday! It was a little chilly out there but it was a lot of fun to see the great variety of stuff artists came up with in this Ghiradelli Square meetup... think we had the street caricaturists beat pretty handily :)

I had a fairly average day, nothing I'm crazy over, but it was relaxing to be outside and drawing/laughing at shivering tourists (Will they ever learn that Fisherman's Wharf is not an ideal place to break out the shorts?). Here are a few sample pages:

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Drawing Sessions

Whew, it's been a busy month! I haven't been attending Gesture Drawing lately in favor of a fantastic storytelling class I've been taking through work, taught by Joel Ben Izzy. Not sure if I'll post any stories here, but I've been learning so much; it's certainly been an inspiration to do more writing... I've also been working on an animation test in the mornings and even got in a snowboarding/ski trip to Park City, Utah, for my friend Joey's bachelor party.

Anyhow, I made it to today's Life Drawing session and we got to play by Gesture Drawing rules, so here are a few results from a sequence:

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Just drew this play on Jack Black while watching "School of Rock", thought it was a promising lead:

... and I got out for a couple of hours last Sunday to do some sketching around the Embarcadero:

Drawing Sessions

One of the tougher things about sticking to a plan of learning to draw from model sessions is how the poses and models tend to fall into repetitive patterns or otherwise grow tired - especially on an uninstructed, prop-free and open Wednesday life drawing session, where things are a little more restricted than in a relatively fast-paced Gesture session. To have some fun with an old game, I've decided to start working on characters, using the model only for pose inspiration. Here's a caricatured IT guy loosely based on someone from my past: