27 May, 2008

VG Cats: Online Comics Site

VGcats.com features online comics from a new generation of comic artists. I'm sure you'll recognize the subject matter described in these strips, they're different from what you would find in the papers. They feature a lot of great vector line art, which is key these days, the style is marketable, hip, clean, easy to produce and fits that "cute" character style well. The site is updated every Monday, so you can have your fill before beginning the school or work week. Check it.

23 May, 2008

Corel Painter Magazine Site & Digital Painting Thougths

Corel Painter publishes a magazine that's pretty amazing and it also has an accompanying Corel Painter Magazine website. Below is a link to the part of their site that contains tuturials for you to download.

Those of you interested in painting realistic characters, may want to check out some of the airbrush tutorials available on this page.

One of the features of the magazine that I love, is that it covers basic and advnanced level foundation knowledge, like drawing, layout, design, color, value and composition, and they cover how you can accomplish this is Corel Painter.

The magazine also features a contest for every issue...that's pretty cool. Contests are an excellent way to get your name recognition. They supply the photos and you turn it into great art. Give it a shot, you may win a prize, you might be featured in the magazine, you may win software, or you might have your painting printed on canvas.

I shall be joining the Corel Painter site shortly. I've used it for over three years now, and I've to say that its been an incredible tool for creating artwork. I get lots of questions from people about the differences between painting traditionally and digitally, and there really is know difference, and what I'm speaking about is the feeling that I get when I'm in the process of drawing of painting. The feeling is the same, and for some of you who have been drawing and painting for a long time, its that feeling that keeps calling to us, its the reason why we draw and paint in the first place.

Painting digitally offers many benefits. Its economical to be able to experiment with different visual styles, I don't have to worry about storage or flatfile cabinets, I can use it immediately in an online portfolio to market myself as an artist, and the most important reason of all, I don't have to worry about hazzardous materials like Cadmiumum and Turp that had once affected my hands. I know there are always precautions for working in this way to prevent this, but despite my careful attempts, I experienced bouts of handshaking that have since disappeared when I switched to painting digitally.

You can check out my digital painting portfolio here. All of the images were created in Corel Painter iX and all but four were done traditionally in oil.


17 May, 2008

Alberto Landeros : VFS Demo Reel

I couldn't resist. I had to post this for future reference. Alberto not only shows mad VFX and Compositing skills, but what I like the most, is his presentation and design sense. 

He's got a sensitive touch to his typographic presentation, something that we should all keep in mind as we prepare to show our work to professionals. 

Like many of these VFS Demo Reels, we appreciate the breakdowns. See if you can count how may passes he has for Shot III.

Thanks for posting Alberto.

James McPhail : VFS Demo Reel

This is a pretty nice presentation of some well executed compositing, and as always, we appreciate the breakdowns. The "Lego" theme is also very thoughtful, creative and lots of fun. I'm posting this because it serves as good inspiration for my Painter class this week, where they will be exploring special effects in the program. Its not After Effects by any means, most of the effects will be frame by frame, but its fun and his breakdowns show the layers he used to create the effects.

13 May, 2008

Video Box

Videobox is a script which enables you to show videos in your page as an overlay. It was inspired the Lightbox portfolio, which became popular with many portfolio students once we figured out to install and activate it. The presentation was nice, clean and beautiful. 

Videobox works in much the same way and is actually much simpler to set up and activate. What's cool is that it plays videos or demo reels from sites like Vimeo in order to save server space, it also loads very quickly. This works much better than linking to an actual quicktime file hosted on your site. 

The only problem is that a Vimeo embedded file lose their fullscreen feature once its integrated into Videobox. Otherwise, the presentation looks good. For those of you wanting to use this for your demo reels, you have to decide if the fullscreen Vimeo option is worth it. In my opinion, it is very important and so therefore, you're better off linking to a standard HTML page with your Vimeo video embedded into it. Feel free to use Videobox for your other videos.

UPDATE: 5/13/08
Found out tonight that Videobox doesn't work well in IE6, so I'm going to hold off before using it permanently on my site. I'll keep an eye out for a fix. The black overlay doesn't extend, but the player animates and plays fine. 

Adam Marisset : VFS Demo Reel

Adam's demo reel is exceptional. It shows awesome compositing, animation and rigging work. On top of all of all this, its pretty darn entertaining. One of the great things I like about the model turnaround of the robot, is that it looks at us as it spins...a nice touch that I appreciate and would like for students to remember. Keep up the great work Adam, thanks for posting your reel.

01 May, 2008

Kuler : Amazing Color Site

Okay, this site is amazing. Its called Kuler. As an art and design instructor, one of the most difficult things to teach is color. After you've done the traditional color wheel (by hand), the goal is to develop a personalized color sense. This means using color combinations that not only look good together (which is infinite), but that express who you are as an artist. This takes time and experimentation.

The site below can help speed up the process for you. If you ever need a quick recommendation for a particular color strategy, this is worth a try. I've also attached an image that I'm creating for a DJ friend, using the "watermelon" palette. The black line work and colors were executed in Painter

Hope it helps out. Thanks for the heads up Zach!