Thursday, December 6, 2007


Now that the animation part had finally started, I got excited about trying to test the characters in a lot of different poses. One of them I really liked the angle, I rendered it and, with the render, I tried some textures and color balance, looking for the final look for the short. I came up with this image. So, I couldn't help myself and do something else with it, like this "teaser postcard" kind of image, I hope you guys like it because I'm heading this way :-)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

some drawings

I know that the updates about my short should come first.
Anyway, I did some drawings and paintings this quarter (hey, I've been far away from any canvas for more than a decade!) so, it was about time to move my a%^ and get back to the drawing board (or canvas, if you will...). So, I took a crap picture of these two drawings but I will take good pictures of the paintings in a few days. The first drawing was done with brush and ink, these "bad guys" are some of my best friends in town, getting ready to watcfh some Wrestling. The other one, a traditional self-portrait study in pencils, have a cameo of my felow friend that will be by my side at least another half an year.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

...and also the second cockroach

I've started the blend shapes of the second cockroach as well.
This is the start point for the facial expressions I will built for him.

Back to blogging

after a long break of updates, let's get this rolling again. Now that most of the models are ready for unwrapping and texturing, I've started to rig the main characters. The main cockroach is almost done, of course, still some bugs with the rig to fix and a lot of facial expressions to be built...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A book for the break

Hey, now that I will have a week break.
It's time for books ;-)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Oh yeah, a render to make my day

Today was really full of tests and renders. Andrew Klein's class today was good enough to lead the shading network of my main character'face and eyes to the point I'm happy with. Some minor adjustments will be made in the future. But now I'm moving to the rest of his body, let's see what lies ahead on that!

Evil cockroach

Dozens of render tests also end up with some cool stuff as well.
This character doesn't act like a bad boy anytime in the short, so, I don't think you guys will see this facial expression anytime in future.
(besides having lipstick on...ops)

Enough of eyes (for now)

I know, I know, you guys can't stand anymore these Cockroach's eyes posts. But this is what I've got so far, and I'm moving on to the body now.

Color key in pastels

I'm finally having the opportunity to play with some oil pastels, PIXAR artists do that all the time for pre production and creating color keys, you can see in their "making of" books all the time. I was dying to try some of it. Billy Burger is giving me some tips (and lending me some pastels as well :-) ) and these are the first two try-outs. One for the first shot and the second for the main shot of the short.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Aerosol can

Now I also have the aerosol can (the "bug killer") coming along. Thanks again for Andrew and Cris Bolson for helping me making this really works.

Better eyes

After some advices from Andrew, I hope I'd made some improvement in the eyes.
More next week!

global illumination, hdri and other tests

This week we had the opportunity to try some new render techniques at Andrew Klein's class. I'm still having fun trying some different settings and rendering frames just to see which one comes closer to what I think about the short animation looks. It looks like Image Based Lighting (HDRI) it's the way to go! All these 4 images are rendered with this technique, some of them with directional light in it as well.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The eyes! The eyes! Don't look into the eyes!

Well, here it goes my attempt to have the eyes within the eyes. I'm very happy to see it going to the right direction. What about you guys?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sardine Can

This is the sardine can so far, I hope I can test the models together in a pre viz of the first scene in a few weeks.

Just for the fun of it

The main cockroach now is on the rigging and texturing stage (finally!). Now that I'm putting the pipes in the rigth place, we also have the sardine can unwrapped and on the texturing stage (no rigging on this one ;-) ). Next step is the insecticide aerosol can (see reference picture below). These renders are posted here just for the fun of it and they are worthless. Check the wood roach or the "deep of the sea for too long" sardine can.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Me and Jackie found the perfect "model" for the pipes underneath a sink (the main setting of my short). We were walking at Pacific Beach in San Diego when I saw it. This reference is the basis for the modeling above. More news about that coming soon.

Unwrapping starts

Finally I've started to unwrap the UVs of the first Cockroach. Now that I got how this part works (kind of....) things will speed up on that front.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Comparing Sizes!

Guys, can you let me know which size you like more between the cockroach and the fishbone?
It's because I want the cockroach to be a little cartoony too, and I think a little bigger will be better.
What do you think?


I would never thought that extruding and extruding and extruding to make my new fishbone would take that much work. Again many thanks to my friend Cris Bolson, almost a new teacher I have now :-) , he also showed me how Silo 3D is a really cool modeling software.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

New Head!!!

Finally the head is starting to suit the project! After Andrew Klein's class, some modifications still have to be made, but it's 90% there.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

New sequence for the animatic

I did a new sequence for the animatic to a presentation we had to do today, I kind of liked it, that's why they are, obviously, here. I studying this big shift of emotion that happens in this part of the short.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

First ever

Before it's too late...I'm posting the first character concept I inked for this project. Although the idea has evolved a lot, I'm still pursuing this high contrast for the final look of the animation. I think it's going to be fun to compare the final renders with these first images.

the front view

Although we didn't follow this drawing by heart, this is the basis for the new take I did on the main character. A more realistic body but still a pretty cartoony face.

completely new cockroach

A totally new model is here. My friend Cris Bolson showed me a little of Silo software and helped me out to make an all quad model. It's so much better and closer to what I want. Let's hope that this is the one that I will rigg!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Phil Tippett and his studio

Thanks to my friend, the animator Glenn, and some of his Animation Mentor friends, I could tag along with them and visit Tippett studio. It was a wonderful afternoon and I got surprised at how the studio is way bigger than I've thought. Actually, if you check Phil Tippett on iMdb, you can see how long and bulk his work for movies is.

Besides the implosion site, I "visited" two building basements and took some pictures as well. Now I have a great number of visual references to help me out not only modeling the environment, but also to give the mood of it.


This week I was very fortunate. One of the things: I had the opportunity to see a building implosion site. It's just on Market St., a few blocks before the Art Institute. I took lots of pictures to help as visual reference for my short. I also started to learn how to use ZBrush and went to visit Tippett Studio, more about that in another post!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

pipeline for modeling and texturing this quarter

if I accomplish that at Andrew Klein's class, I will be in heaven:

Week 2 – start the new cockroach models

Week 3 – Refine new model body and start the head

Week 4 – Prepare new textures, bumps, replacement maps

Week 5 – Siggraph and continue applying the textures

Week 6 – Re-check the final model and all the layered shaders

Week 7 – Character faces built and refinements with Z-Brush

Week 8 – Both Final characters finished

Week 9 – Start re-modeling the main environment and objects

Week 10 – Refining environment Refining objects and apply specific shaders

Week 11 – Putting all I have so far in place and apply environment lighting

Render passes tests for final project

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Volt with charcoal

talking about charcoal...I've got so excited at the charcoal classes with models that I've started to draw quick skecthes of my other characters, like this " High Voltage", he is a character I've created like 11 years ago and still LOVE to draw him whenever I can.

Charcoal for a change

This is a study I did at Prof. Catherine Fippo's class. The model stroke a pose and I transformed him in a cockroach. Charcoal rules (at least when you don't need all that detail anyway)!

the rigth colors made all the difference in the world

This illustration I did a couple of months ago to give myself a better idea of what I wanted for the short. Actually, it's pretty close to the kind of color, mood and composition I want. The thing now is translate that to the 3D world!

wacom on photoshop over and over

This is a quick color key sample I did for the first scene, thinking about flat space and contrast between cool and warm colors, although I don't want the short to look that saturated.

Flat and limited space

Other thing I'm looking for is using everything I've learned from Prof. Valerie Mih and Richard Walsh about Visual Story. So, I'm looking for the camera angles that tells the story best. For the first scene I will look forward to use a lot of "flat space" and some "limited space" as well. That's why I've rendered this frame like this.
Talking about Neil Miller, finally I've got my hands on "the ball" and did some HDRI test with my classmates in front of the school building. Cool. Cool. Cool.