My degree in computer art from SCAD let me focus on many different aspects of computer aided design, but from the outset I knew my focus was going to be animation. I think my love for capturing movement and timing and action came from an actor trapped inside of a person too shy to actually get up and perform in front of people. Plus, I’ve always appreciated how animation gave you full control over cameras, lighting, performances and let nothing be bound by real-world constraints. My work evolved, or perhaps devolved, from 3D animation to 2D animation once I left college because I found 2D to be a less rigid (and overall less frustrating) way to tell stories and create characters. My Youtube animation playlist with all of animation work can be found here, but I’ll embed a few of my signature pieces below and give my thoughts on their origins and the concepts behind each one.
3D Animation Demo:
This is my 3D animation demo reel that highlights the best bits and pieces of projects I worked on both in college and since I’ve graduated. Everything was created and animated in Autodesk:Maya, and while a couple of the models were purchased online, all the rigging and animation was painstakingly crafted by me. This hasn’t been updated for awhile since my focus as of last few years has been more 2D animated stuff, but looking back, I still take a lot of pride in the hard work and late nights that went into creating these. Very little from my college work still remains in the demo since I was determined to keep producing work after graduation even if I didn’t have a job in animation; and I’m glad I did. The best stuff in this demo came from pure dedication to keep pushing my abilities even when no seemed to care but me.
Skull Bob’s adventures
This was a Adobe:Flash animated project I worked on with a group of people that was too ambitious for the size of the team we had (3 people). I hand drew all the art assets and animated this first episode, a 1 minute teaser, and an animatic of episode 01 in a blazen disregard for any other work or family commitments I had at the time. I was frankly obsessed with Skull Bobs and while I didn’t keep track of exact hours I spent on this project as a whole, I bet it was pushing the 1000 hour mark. We’d planned for a 6 episode series, but life ended up getting in the way. We had kids, we got better jobs, we moved away. It happens. I still feel a pang of regret when I watch these, but Skull Bob’s will always have a place in my heart as the project that most consumed me.
Dorito Mouse, and the projects preliminary animatic
This is a project I worked on for the SuperBowl halftime video contest sponsored by Doritos. It was the first year they ran the program and I got quite a few votes, but unfortunately didn’t make it past the quarter-finals. This was the first project where I did a full on animatic at the beginning of the project and it really helped me to figure out the timing and camera angles that I wanted. It also helped convince me that animatics are a vital, and often overlooked step in any animation, and I’ve been insisting on them for any project ever since. This is also my first attempt at recording any audio for a project (even if it was just me making mouse squeaks into a microphone).
Desert Island flash animation
And finally I have the flash animation that started it all for me. This was the final project for my first ever Adobe Flash class, and it was this animation that really sparked my interest in not only 2D animation, but also in seeing myself as a storyteller and director. Before this project most of my work had been character studies, or technical shorts, but this was the first time I had to conceive and produce an animated story that required me to think about comedic timing, reusable assets, and project scope. It was also the first of many projects that dealt with topic of annoying birds. I think it’s because my girlfriend at the time (who would later become my wife) had, and still has, a very annoying bird who would always try and bite me. Another example of this is found here, and this time in the form of claymation!