Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Eddie the Worm's Japanese Class

Hello everyone,

I was going to make it a point to post everyday. However, I haven't been on my computer at all for the last four days. I was a little off on my rendering calculations. With just a single character I can render at two seconds of film every hour. However with my computer pushed near breaking point with information in the project, this is only rendering at one second of film every two to two and a half hours. Much slower than I was originally anticipating. So, I may be a little slower at getting this project finished than originally planned. However it will get done. Here is an image just so I have something to post today. This is the title as shown by the chalkboard. I will try and post more tommorow if I get the chance.

Friday, January 27, 2006


Here is Eddie and his first student Billy. This is their first day on set together. The photographer said "think fishing" just before snapping this shot. The storyboards, music, and all but the final voice bytes of Eddie (I have strep throat and don't sound the same right now.) are finished. I just have some final props to create, and then animation will begin. This pilot episode will only be about 10 minutes. The normal episodes will actually be about 15 minutes. But I thought I would start with something manageable. Even with 10 minutes I am looking at a lot of render time. My computer currently renders 2 seconds of film every hour. Multiply that into 10 minutes and you will see why the pilot is smaller. Hopefully if this idea is bought, I will have the equipment to render faster for the real episodes.

The idea is that with the real episodes there will be four 15 minute episodes (1 hour) on a tape. As well as a 15 minute to half hour story episode in which they act out a japanese story. So the children will have four managable chunks to learn and one to just watch and enjoy.

I'm rambling again. Anyways, I hope you enjoy. I will continue to put up stuff as I get it done.


Here are two more random Storyboard pages from my worm project. I don't have many sketches to put up right now. I have been working on the sound and storyboards for the worm project. I have also been doing sketches for a light park. However, I am not allowed to show any of those characters or any of my design work in relation to it. It's nice that it actually pays though. Anyways, I thought I should post something and so here are some storyboard pages. I would post my songs from the cartoon but they are far too cheesy when they are out of context.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Close up

Here's a close up of Eddie the worm in his classroom. Soon to have many additions. This took me a week of sleepless nights and days to build from concept to 3-D world and characters. But now I have to finish the last of the storyboard and start it rendering. (which will take the longest of the whole process.) That is what I've been up to. I will try and be better about posting. Despite the limitations of what I am working with, I am really happy with the way this project is going. I hope it makes it to full fruition and I can get a full version of Maya and actually make the series.

The rendered set

Here is a rendered shot of the set. Like I said it matches up fairly close to the original idea. I really wish I could afford the real version of Maya so that I could work at higher resolutions but this is the best I can get right now. I am also limited on animation ability because my characters can only have so much detail and so many joints and such. So I have a limited polygon count. That forces me to keep my characters fairly simple. As well as a lot of my set. Otherwise I would build up a storm and detail it as much as possible. I also need a better computer to handle a larger load when I do get the full program. Oh well, here's to wishing. I imagine every artist is in the same boat. (If only I could afford really nice canvas and Paint. If only we had an unlimited budget on this film. Etc...) So I just do the best I can with what I've got.

The set

This is a sketch of what I decided upon for having the starting set look like. It had to change a little when I created the set,(just due to the limitations of my computer and the limitations placed on the learning version of Maya). However, I believe the final set ended up pretty close to my original concept. ( I was still able to use most of the grass because I can hide it to set things up and animate my characters. Then I just bring it back before the final render of the scene. That's the only way I can get much on without the program shutting down.)

Storyboard thumbnails

Just for the fun of it I thought I would include a page of thumbnails that I was drawing to work out some of the storyboards.


While I was playing with the bamboo idea I was also playing with watercolors to figure out textures, and this little sketch ended up popping out with the others. I just liked it and thought it had character so I am including it here.

Final Blackboard design

This is the design I ended up with for the blackboard. It is simple, yet shows it is foreign. It is also made of natural material. Perfect for a worm teacher.

Blackboard begining

The blackboard seemed to be the center of the learning process, so I went through a few ideas with it's design, this is one page of some explorations.

Japanese Worms

This is the project I started last week. I got the idea to make a series of childrens videos that teach Japanese. I am multitalented and have already written some of the music for it and developed some Japanese courses. Anyways, It is about a worm that went to Japan to teach english and is now back in the states to teach Japanese. It spent it's money on an amazing new Japanese Blackboard. It writes for itself, is double sided, and even plays video. So, it is starting to teach Japanese. Eddie the worm (the teacher) starts the first episode with his first student (and the audience). Begins with simple greetings and some cultural information about Japan. It ends with the him asking the student to bring a friend. The second episode will introduce the new character and work on numbers and counting. Third episode third new student. More lessons. Fourth, new student more lessons. So, by the fifth episode it will have 5 characters and that episode will be them acting out a Japanese childrens story. (Costumes and all.) That will be the first video. Five episodes. One is a story. And it will have worksheets and guides for the children to study.

My plan is to make more intricate bug models with each new episode. As well as introducing new props and environment additions. That way the series can progress as I do and it will be broken into more manageable chunks. So, here is a sketchpage of kind of the idea as it was developing. (I don't want to include all of the pages because It would fill the blog). But this gives you an idea of the process I was going through.


Like I said it is nice when you are sketching to get the creativity to start and things work out. This image just came out amidst a lot of sketches that are better left in the closet and hidden. I love it when I occasionally get a spark of character amidst a bad day of drawing when the well of creativity seems to be running dry.

Go Figure

I also go to anatomy books when I am short on ideas and ability to draw. I was looking through and saw a picture of this pose in one of my books I was studying from. I liked the pose and tried to exaggerate it a bit. I liked how the little thumbnail worked out and so thought I would share it here. Not from my own photograph, but it is just nice when a sketch turns out with character.


When I am struggling with a sketchbook and am drawing blanks I have a habit of starting with drawing faces. Just made up faces (usually female) and it gets my mind and pen started. These are two that came out with a bunch of pages of ideas I was working on.

Been a long time.

It has been far too long since I have updated this blog. With the holidays it got hectic. Plus I was doing construction work and in my free time I was focusing on working on characters in Maya. So, It didn't leave much time for sketching. A week ago I started on a new project and haven't put anything up because I don't want someone to take my idea and make it before me. However, I am going to trust people to be honest and I will just put up my stuff anyways. I was just going through ideas in my sketchbook and this is a page of stuff that came out.