Saturday, December 1, 2012

Story writing with Shiro Ninja and Zer07: Part 1 - Always looking forward

Ossu!!  Shiro Ninja here.  Unit Zer07 and I have been hard at work doing some story writing.  We're developing an idea for an animated series we want to make, which we're calling, "Aram."  We're making progress and are really excited with the direction the story is going, but as you can see, the story writing process doesn't always go smoothly.  More story writing tales to follow...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Figure Drawing: Sexy Cheerleader

Ossu!  Last week we had a very productive Tuesday as we participated in the exciting elections as well as attended another fun figure drawing session!  I realized that up until now, we tended to do shorter timed poses, so this time we stuck around for some longer poses.  Both Zer07 and I felt pretty good about this session.  I hope you enjoy our sketches!

Shiro's 10 min sketches

Shiro's sketches:  Left-10 min, Right-20 min

Shiro's 20 min sketch
That last sketch is supposed to show the cheerleader being spanked by her boyfriend but I didn't have the chance to draw him in completely!

Zer07's sketches: 10 min

Zer07's sketches: Top Left/Top Center-10 min, Right/Bottom-5 min 

Until next time...  Nin, nin!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Exploring TVPaint Part 2


After discussion with Shiro Ninja I decided to go back and play with the final look of my animation from Part 1.  I was trying to achieve a slightly sketchy look inspired by the "Origin of O-Ren" anime sequence in "Kill Bill".

I'm really glad Shiro Ninja encouraged me to push myself on this one.  It made me force myself to really concentrate on matching the desired look.  We'll be developing this style further and applying it towards a 'top secret' project currently in development here at Studio Gattai!

it's never ending...


To see Part 1, click here.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Anime Corner: Masaaki Yuasa

Hello friends!  The other day, Zer07 and I watched Masaaki Yuasa's animated film, "Mind Game."  It was quite possibly the trippiest movie I have ever seen!!  Aside from the trippiness, the movie left a big impression on me for its unique aesthetic and unconventional storytelling.  At times, the boundaries between reality and fantasy become blurred, but essentially, the story is about facing mortality and living life to the fullest.  If you haven't seen the movie yet, check out this crazy sequence:

It was exciting to watch something so unique and experimental come out of the Japanese anime industry, which is why we were excited to learn about Masaaki Yuasa's newest project, "Kick-Heart."  The project is described as a love story between two people -- a man who is a pro-wrestler and a woman who is a nun.  Each has a secret to hide...  

What's especially exciting about this project is that Yuasa and Production I.G are reaching out to an international audience to try and obtain funding via the popular crowd-funding site, Kickstarter.  Why should  you care?  This could start a trend towards a more interactive relationship between anime fans and production companies.  By showing support for unique projects like "Kick-Heart," we have the opportunity to directly influence what the anime industry produces.  If this Kickstarter campaign is successful, we could potentially see a new wave of innovative anime that pushes the limits of style and storytelling.

Join us in supporting Masaaki Yuasa's "Kick-Heart!"  Visit the "Kick-Heart" Kickstarter here

Until next time.... Ninja smoke bomb!!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Exploring TVPaint


Recently I've been using TVPaint to practice my traditional animation skills.  Shironinja and I are heavily considering using the program to produce a future project we're currently developing.  Right now I'm just familiarizing myself with the program doing short practice animations.  It's a great way to practice both style and motion while also developing my skills using the program.  Check out some of the work I've done inspired by the music of Digiflesh:

Rough lines:

Finished lines:

I still have to add some more line detail onto the "Finished lines" image.  After that I plan on adding color and a background.  I'll post another update soon.  Until then, feel free to comment or critique.

Intergalactic Pla.Ne.Te.Ree!


Update!  Part 2 can be found here.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Figure Drawing: frustration...

Ossu!  Shiro Ninja here.  Last week, Zer07 and I went to another Dr. Sketchy's figure drawing session.  The model was terrific as usual, but it had been several months since our last "live" figure drawing session, and we both felt a little rusty.  I tried to pay special attention to her silhouette and often ended up running out of time on these timed poses.  So frustrating!  Must keep practicing...

Shiro Ninja:  5 min. sketches, bottom left 10 min.

Zer07's 5 minute sketches.
Until next time... Nin, nin!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Therapy Session

Written by:  Unit Zer07 and Shiro Ninja
Art by:  Shiro Ninja

Friday, September 14, 2012

Let There Be Toys! Part 1: CG Modeling


Scene from "The Last Cookie"

Today we're going to give you a look into the process for creating a toy.  The first toy I'm attempting to make is a figure of the younger sister from Shiro Ninja's short film, "The Last Cookie".  The first step will be to create a computer generated 3-dimensional sculpture of our toy.

Below are a few work in progress images of the CG sculpture:

There are a few finishing touches still needed for this model.  Once done I can move on to the next step of prepping the model for a process called "Rapid Prototyping" or "RP".  RP allows us to quickly see how the character is going to look in its final toy form.  Look forward to part 2 where I will prepare the finished model for Rapid Prototyping!


Friday, September 7, 2012

Figure Drawing: Using Pixelovely

Ink Sketch by Shiro Ninja

Lately Zer07 and I have been on a gesture drawing kick.  Gesture drawing is a great method to develop the ability to quickly draw different poses, which is really helpful for animation.  We found a great website called Pixelovely, which has a huge archive of photos.  It allows you to have your own private figure drawing sessions.  You can customize nude or clothed models (or both), and you can set a timer for when you want the image to change.  There's even an option for animals!  The nice thing about using these photos is that you're sometimes given very dynamic shots like this jumping dancer guy, and animators definitely need to be able to draw dynamic poses!

Ink Sketch by Zer07

Below are some of our 1 minute gesture drawings:

Shiro Ninja Gestures

Zer07 Gestures

Now there are no excuses.  Get drawing!

nin nin

Friday, July 6, 2012

Figure Drawing: Mountains of clothes

Hello friends!  Shiro Ninja here.  I hope you all had a nice Fourth of July.  This week Zer07 and I attended another Dr. Sketchy's figure drawing session.  As I mentioned in the last figure drawing post, the Dr. Sketchy models usually wear crazy costumes and gradually undress throughout the evening.  This session, the models started off wearing an insane amount of clothes!  The super voluminous skirts with tons of ruffles and wrinkles were especially challenging to draw, but we had lots of fun as usual.  Here are our sketches:

Shiro's gestures.  Top two: 1 min. Bottom three: 2 min

Shiro's 5 minute sketches

Shiro's 10 minute sketches

Zer07's gestures.  Left two: 1 min.  Right two: 2 min

Zer07's 5 minute sketches

Zer07's sketches.  Left: 10 min.  Right: 5 min

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Adventures in Japan! Part 5: Tokyo

The final stop on our journey was Tokyo.  Our first mission was to check out the Ghibli Museum.  If you love Studio Ghibli films, then this is a very charming place to visit.  A life sized Totoro greets you at the entrance.  Inside, you can watch a Ghibli short film, exclusive only to visitors of the museum.  See concept art from your favorite Ghibli movies, sit inside a life sized cat bus, and stand next to a life sized robot from "Laputa: Castle in the Sky."


My favorite part of the museum is an amazing 3D zoetrope.  Tiny sculptures of Ghibli characters in a progression of poses are placed in a circle and then spun around quickly while a light strobes, giving the illusion of movement.  Girls are jumping rope while bats fly around and Totoro's friends disappear and reappear... it's quite amazing and I urge you to see it with your own eyes!

Our next stop was Akihabara, "The Electric City," and the Mecca for hardcore otaku.  We navigated through various anime themed stores and eventually found some great treasures.  Zer07 got himself some One Piece figurines and I got a One Piece stuffed animal that I've been wanting for a while:

Chopper!!  My favorite One Piece character.

After Akihabara, we met with some friends for shabu shabu in Shinjuku.  On our last day of fun, we met with some of my old friends from ninja animation school at Asakusa.

Kaminari Mon

Agemanjuu - Deep fried sweet bean pastries

Later, we explored Harajuku and were amused by the interesting use of English on shirts and signs:

Then we ended the evening with dinner in Shibuya.

What a fun adventure we had!!!  I can't wait to visit the homeland again soon.

If you missed them, be sure to check out the other parts in our Adventures in Japan series:
Part 1