Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Working Class Heroes

Alright, here's the rest of our pirate crew!  As I mentioned in an earlier post, these guys are all formerly asteroid miners who lost their livelihood due to the political machinations of this story's nobility.  In order to survive they've turned to smuggling, piracy, and a host of other illegal activities.  When designing these characters I tried to give them a uniform yet unpolished look to contrast the nobility's lavish extravagant looking outfits.  The colors here will play a big part in telling the story of these characters.  Pirate B is pictured wearing an armored space suit which is closely involved in the film's final action sequence.  I shouldn't go into any more detail because I want you to have something to look forward to when the final film is released!

Starting next week, we'll be taking a look at the Nobleman's ship!

Stay tuned!!


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

We live to serve

As the image says, these are the Nobleman's Crew.  I wanted their uniforms to reflect the high society background they came from and also tie in to the design of the Nobleman.  I used elements of the nobleman's uniform and made sure that the Crew's look was a bit more subdued.  They live to serve after all...

Next week we'll have the rest of the Pirates!  Look forward to it!!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Strong Sexy Female lead

***Warning!  The following post contains nudity***

Wow!  I'm truly sorry for keeping you guys waiting.  As I write this, I'm setting up automatic posts for the next few weeks so that I won't miss my appointments anymore.  With that said, let's talk a little about the post for this week.  Above you can see a little more art than usual.  I've posted some work in progress explorations to show you a little bit more about the process of designing a main character.  I wanted her to be strong, sexy, but not so sexy she's slutty.  That being said, you'll notice in one of the model sheets she appears nude on top.  There's a reason for that, but revealing that reason would spoil the story.  Why ruin the anticipation?  All of these model sheets are necessary for our animators to keep the character looking the way she's supposed to.  Even though we use CG as a base, it's still somewhat difficult to keep the characters looking the same, so these model sheets are a huge help.

That's all for now.  Feel free to leave comments and ask questions!!

Until next time....


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Rich guy...bad guy

We're still having a few hiccups getting this content to you on time but you know what they say, "better late than never."  Today I'd like to introduce the antagonist of our story, the Nobleman.  It's hard to not be influenced by current events.  The way the super rich and huge corporations seem to be buying votes and writing laws that benefit them all while eliminating the middle class and creating a new type of "nobility".  I took that concept of a new "nobility" to the extreme with this character.  When I was designing him I really tried to keep these words in mind, excess, scumbag, hyper-rich.  I referenced Henry VIII for some of the physique and outfit(since he's a historically famous hyper-rich scumbag lol) as well as some former biggest loser contestants to get the body proportions right.  I really like this character and I'm happy with how he turned out.  I can't wait to start animating!!

More supporting characters coming next Wednesday!


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Pirate Captain with a tragic past

Sorry for the delay!  I promise I'll be getting on a more regular schedule now that I have a bit more work to show.  Today we have the finished model sheets for our "Pirate Captain" character.  For those of you who don't know, model sheets are used as reference so that the animators can keep the characters looking the same from shot to shot.  This helps adjust for the individual style inherent in each artist.  I was inspired by the story of the Somali pirates who were once fishermen until their trade was disrupted by over-fishing and pollution.  I imagined that our pirates were once a group of asteroid miners who were run out of business by the nobility and had no choice but to assume a life of smuggling and piracy.  I wanted to give our Captain a weathered look, like he had seen some shit, and referenced a little Bruce Willis while designing him.

Next week we'll have a look at the antagonist of our story!!

Until then, stay tuned!!


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Crimson Sails

I'm excited to bring you an update on our newest project!  It's a stand alone episode for a sci-fi, space action-adventure that we may develop into a full series.  Since getting the workstations and office set up, I've been hard at work crunching on character/vehicle designs, refining the story and doing all the character setup in 3d.

I've always been really inspired and influenced by the first "Ghost in the Shell" movie.  I chose to reference that style because I felt it was closest to the aesthetic I'm trying to achieve.(stylized realism)

That's all I have for today.  Next time I'll have a bit more to show.

Until then, stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The adventure continues...

Greetings!  It's definitely been a while since the last time we posted.  Big things have been happening here at Studio Gattai and we've finally gotten around to giving you all an update.  For those of you who didn't know, I have left my full time job in the animation industry in order to dedicate all of my effort towards getting Studio Gattai up and running.  I have a few updates today so let's get going!


First up I have an update on the announced series "ARAM".  We have decided to put the project "on the shelf".  This means that we're not quite ready to produce the series yet and we want to save it for a later date.  The truth of the matter is that the story just wasn't working.  Hopefully we'll be able to strengthen the story enough to bring the project back at a later date.


We've been able to set up a new studio space!  ShiroNinja and I have been saving our pennies up for this occasion and we were able to assemble some really nice computers.  Below are some pictures of the studio as it came to life:

Again, my apologies for the long absence, but hopefully now that we're working full time on our own original projects we'll have more updates for you to check out.

We've also opened a tumblr page where we'll feature more of our day to day art and work in progress reports as well as some silly stuff.  You can check out our tumblr here.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Figure Drawing: Curvy shapes

Hello friends!  Last Tuesday was figure drawing day with Dr. Sketchy.  We had two models:  one was petite, and the other was fabulously curvy.  The petite model was very energetic and provided us with some fun poses for gestures, but Zer07 and I quickly realized that we were unaccustomed to drawing more voluptuous figures, so this session was a great exercise in thinking out of the box.  Here are our sketches:

Zer07's gestures.  Top 3 poses: 1min.  Bottom: 2min.
Zer07's sketches.  Top 3: 5min.  Bottom 2:  10 min.
Shiro's 5 min. sketches
Shiro's sketches.  Top left:  10 min.  Top right:  15 min.  Bottom:  30 min.

Nin, nin!!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Raeden's expressions

Ossu!  Shiro Ninja here.  Zer07 and I have been hard at work on "Aram" and we've been continuing to fine tune our hero, Raeden.  Utilizing our character sheet and CG model, we created some more images which will be used as important references during the animation stage.  

More to come soon!  Saraba!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Anime Corner: Watching "Sword Art Online" with a non-gamer

Zer07 and I recently sat down and watched the popular, yet controversial series, "Sword Art Online."  SAO is a story of a game creator gone mad who has trapped his players in a virtual world, where death in the game means death in real life.  

I was a bit hesitant to watch at first because of the gaming-centric setting, but I eventually found myself getting hooked and we watched to the end with a fair sense of satisfaction.  While I did enjoy SAO, I feel very conflicted about this show.  I'm of the mindset that a show should attempt to be as universally accessible as possible, and as a  non-gamer, I would have needed a manual to follow this show by myself.  Admittedly, I'm probably not the target demographic for this show... my gaming experience is mostly limited to Bejeweled, Super Puzzle Fighter, Super Mario Brothers, and Mario Kart!!...  I don't think I would have stayed with the show if I didn't have 07 next to me explaining the intricacies of MMOs.  Putting aside the heavy MMO references, however, the story is pretty compelling and had me hooked.  The stakes are very high with some characters undergoing interesting psychological transformations, there is a sweet romantic storyline, and the art and animation is consistently high quality.

Anime fans seem to either love or hate this show.  The second half of the show was arguably weaker than the first with an introduction of an awkward sibling romance and a less entertaining gaming storyline.  (While I understand why many Western viewers might have a problem with the brother-sister romance, this is actually quite a common romance sub-genre in Japanese storytelling.)

I recommend giving this show the "3 episode rule."  You can check out the full 25 episodes streaming on Crunchyroll.

Nin, nin.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Making a hero...

Greetings friends!!  Zer07 and I are working hard on our original animated series called, "Aram."  It's going to be a daunting task producing the pilot between the two of us, but we are really excited about this project.  We're currently in the pre-production phase, hammering out the story and establishing the look.  The first character we designed is our hero, "Raeden."  

Our plan for the animation process is to utilize CG models as a base for our characters, and draw over these CG models in 2D.  (You can get an idea for this process in Zer07's post:  3D to 2D workflow - use the tools.)  The hope is that by having CG characters as a base, we will be able to maintain a consistent style (what traditional animators call, "staying on model") while keeping the animation and aesthetic quality high.  

Here is the CG model that Unit Zer07 created for Raeden:

Zer07 has already finished rigging this model, which means that we can pose him and start animating him however we like!  As you can see, this CG model is low resolution, which means that we need an official 2D character sheet to establish the fine details that will go into the drawings.  (Traditional 2D animators use character sheets to make sure they are consistently drawing the character exactly the way they're supposed to look.  This is "staying on model.")  Below is my 2D version of Raeden:  

(He's wearing a skin-tight suit which will include some patterns that we have yet to design.)  Keep watching for more updates!  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Figure Drawing: Santa's little helpers

Shiro's sketches:  top left & two right - 5 min. bottom left - 10 min.

Shiro's sketches:  top - 10 min. bottom - 30 min.

Zer07's sketches:  top 5 sketches - 5 min. bottom center - 10 min.

Zer07's sketches:  top - 10 min. bottom - 5 min.

Last month, we went to a Christmas themed Dr. Sketchy's figure drawing session.  There were three models dressed up as Santa's lovely helpers, and as usual, they undressed throughout the evening.  Here are our sketches from that night!