Monday, May 15, 2006

Animation school lesson 1 & 2

Some drawing exercises from John K's blog =)

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

A tribute to Ayie Ibrahim of Inspidea

When I was in Inspidea, I did a lot of storyboarding. Ayie, a senior animator and animation director there at that time, had a lot of comments about my drawings and ideas. Some of his comments were, "Your poses are all wrong", "You might want to double-check your proportions, they're improper", "These shots are incorrect!", "The framing is all wrong, you've crossed the line", "Redo it. There's no continuity with the last shot".

Sadly, most of his comments fell on deaf ears of mine just because the boss liked most of my storyboards. I've always thought nothing was wrong about my drawings and that it'll look mighty good on screen. We were all very busy too, and I just couldn't pay much attention to the things Ayie told me. But he was mighty diplomatic and tolerant about it, seeing as all the works were coming from an unexperienced animator like myself. However, as time went by I could see it in his eyes he's almost done telling me things.

Ayie then decided with my boss Andrew to give the entire studio a free-for-all weekly drawing class to boost up overall quality. Ayie was responsible for teaching us for I'd say he's the most experienced artist among us. He commented on my drawing style too then, saying "Your strokes are all too rough" over and over again. He told me that if I wanted to be an animator, I must learn the 'animator's stroke'. At that time, I didnt know what the heck he was talking about, and I made the mistake of not making an effort to understand him and I let things pass.

Then one day, I discovered the blog of a cartoonist/animator whom I admired.

From there, lessons poured in. I realised that I've been really missing out on many things. Animator or not, quality is still not within my grasp. I also realised what Ayie meant all these while when he commented on my drawings in the office. But by then it was too late. In March 2006 he left Inspidea, just when my contract was over. With this new insight, I aspire to train everyday and get better.

So, aspiring cartoonist/animators/artists like myself, I just wanna share this little bit of advice with you which I picked up some time ago, i forgot where, that I've lived by for the past few years:

"When an artist stops learning on account that he feels he already knows everything, it's the death of him."

Ayie, dude if you're reading this, thanks alot for everything that you've given me during my time there in Inspidea! (^_^)V

Peace, bro. I do hope I see you again!

-Julius

Long Post - 2 Decades of Julius

Sigh...another year gone, another phase starting. All in all, 2005-2006 was a very good year for me. In fact, the best year ever. Better than all the other remaining years of my life combined.

Why?

Cos this year taught me that I'm not so much the loser I thought I was. Cos this year I learned valuable new virtues to guide me through the journey of life. Cos this year I learned a hell of a lot of new things career-wise. Cos this year I discovered my true calling in life.

Also,

Cos God has been with me a lot this year.

All my life it's always been about arts. Since the age of 3 I've never stopped churning out drawings. I'd draw on every empty piece of bleached, flattened wood-pulp I'd find. Then, ever since the age of 7 my ambition has always been an 'artist' when asked by my parents, teachers or other family members. That brought on a lot of raised eyebrows and skepticism, I must say. I can remember the day a primary school teacher of mine interrogated me for a long time after asking me what I wanted to become when I grew up. She was rather irritated when I stood my ground about becoming an artist. To her, to become an 'artist' was like saying 'I wanna be a criminal'. Man. Talk about professional indoctrination.

Yeaaaaaahhh, click on the image for a larger fuck you teacher.




















Then sometime in the mid of primary school I started exploring comics. Hee hee. What a life that was! Not that I started drawing comics only in primary, but believe it or not I started comics since I was 6 or so! I was inspired by all the local comic magazines I bought, along with some European comics my brothers had at that time. It was a local comic strip then called 'Croc Roo' that got me thinking, "man, I wanna do that!" and got me started. I just HAD to draw! I copied alot then.

Here's a sample of an early comic of mine. =) Wish I still had my EARLIER ones, which were cooler and funnier but they all have since been turned to crap and could not be found.

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My old school buddies - if you're seein this, remember all this shit? Hahahahahaha.

Then came my 'controversial' secondary school, where things were not any happier but I still churned out some pretty good shit. This was the time I was influenced by much American and Japanese stuff. They both fought a neverending war within me. Here are some of my work then:

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More Japanese influence. This was during campus:

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After all that comicking and drawing, I decided that it simply wasn't enough. I wanted to do more. I wanted to play god (heh-heh...) and give life to my creations (gweeeee!).

Animation came into my life in two very contrasting stages: the first stage is in the form of tedious, boring and fermented university assignments and classes where I've gotta do all that 3D stuff. At first I thought I liked it and wanted it, but then I was wrong. I couldn't do 3D. I designed characters which were all not fit for 3D animation by a mere learner. Check out this shit:

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Yeah animate THAT crap, for chrissakes! Maybe a veteran animator can, but it was just too much for me. I didn't know what I should go for when designing characters for 3D. And best of all, they (tutors & lecturers) never tell us shit. There's just too much technical for me to stomach. Everything was sticking and smearing all over in the wonderful world of 3D! Not the way I wanted, hell no.

However, as time goes on...

I ditched my Film and Animation course for a year and found work in a 2D animation company called Inspidea Animation Studios. Andrew Ooi, my boss was kind enough to take me in as a production designer despite me still having classes in future and having not a scrap of qualification except my portfolio. It is here that I re-discover animation in the form of 2D. It is here that's where I found real education: the correct way of drawing, disciplines, principles to follow, etc. Lotsa cool and talented people here enlighten me in things I never knew before.

Since then my interest in traditional/2D digital animation had taken off gracefully like a swan. And what's more, I've started studying and doing research on the topic a lot lately! I installed bitcomet in my PC! I started downloading cartoons! I joined in with my pals in office for discussions over what's the best cartoon show in TV history! They taught me where to get stuffs and who's who. I swooned over the works of Chuck Jones, Friz Frieleng, Tex Avery, John R. Dilworth, Genndy Tartakovsky, Joe Murray and John Kricfalusi. And also others like Charlie Adler and Carlos Alazraqui.

With that much inspiration, who's to say this is the start of a new and wondeful career for me, eh?

Can't stop praying, can't stop thanking God - Julius

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

'Tis done.

Finally...





















FA: AND 'TIS DONE!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Internet down

Streamyx. Hmph. If they never kena tiao even just once they'll never keep up their adequate service. Internet was down 5 days past. Just got it back today. Phew...

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Compromise!

Oh man. Yesterday I experienced THE most compromising situation of my entire freaking life.

I had to check that suspicious e-mail. I had to take a look. Arrrghh I had to EVERYTHING!

I just got back from the Adobe Production Studio Suite launch seminar at J.W. Marriott, and took a nap. Mundanely enough I woke up again around 3:30 a.m. to start work on my project. But before that i did the customary checking of my e-mails and other messages. And everyone had just gone in to sleep. So i did just that.

Among the new mails i got was one from my pal (won't say who), which subject is, 'dun work so hard, try to relax', and it was an .avi file. Thinking it was a funny advert or joke, i saved it and opened it up to view.

Hell.

It was a 1-minute porn video clip of a masturbating teen girl. T'was the first time i received such a thing over my e-mail. I was caught off-guard. I was rendered powerless under a strong mind-numbing immobilising spell! Crap. I slobbered (eyes open wide with tongue out, okay) helplessly over my new prize. Like a dog in heat.

Then came the compromising part.

Just when i thought everyone was asleep, ten seconds into the damned thing my mom came out of her room into the hall where i worked. And I didn't notice shit. I must've looked like King Kong spying on Ann Darrow playing with herself. Gandalf watching Samwise and Frodo doin' it secretly. "Julius? Why aren't you sleep?" mom blurted out. Whoa. Okay. I jolted upright in supershock. Sweat was breaking out everywhere, hyperventilating. Too late to press the little small x at the right-hand corner of the window. I missed it completely anyway and maximised the damn media player instead.

There goes the dedicated, hardworking-boy image. Mom must be thinking i watched porn every night. Dammit. I am innocent I tell you. Innoceeeeeeennnt...!! [falling into a black, bottomless pit, all the while shaking a defiant fist at audience]

First time such a fuckup was happening. It was hard to sleep that night. Kept thinking unsavory thoughts. Being an amateur, I prayed so hard before finally falling asleep. God must've been crossing his arms and giving me that 'I told you so' smug smile, but listening anyway. Dunno how to deal with it the next morning. However it was all okay - my mom, she was understandibly SLIGHTLY nervous, and all apologetic-like to me. She never questioned me, and she kept on talking about how it was time to shoo out my leeching, working, 4k-a-month second bro and let me have a room of my own at last. Ach...and all the time i said nothing. Even though mom's tones imply 'no worries, everything's alright', I felt like a total idiot. Or more correctly, a total jerk.

Oh well, i'm just glad it ended sorta okay, praise God. I swear I'll never open video files like that again, or devise a better alarm system...

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So kids, the lesson to learn from all this is, NEVER watch porn - even if you are *checking*, or *researching cinematography*, or just plain enjoying it.

And if you do, DON'T share it, especially if your friend to share with is an idiot.

Or a jerk. Same thing.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Chicken Little: A movie review.

I watched Disney's newest feature around a week or two after it was premiered, 'Chicken Little' and my first impression of the film was, heeeeaahhh hmm.

Why write a review about it only NOW, for goodness sake?

One thing though - the film, which is Disney's first ever 3D animation, failed to wow me terribly. Thing was, many thought it was good. Then I thought ok, why not give it a second try. Maybe I'll change my mind and notice things i haven't noticed before. Alas, nope, second helpings of that movie didn't alter my perception of it either. In fact, second helpings further worsen my views of that movie. So did the third helping sometime after that. And so on.

I had enough. Cut this shit. I faced the fact. I don't like it. Just like some of the newer Disney cartoons lately. I watched Lilo and Stitch, I hated the concept and the unoriginal designs and ideas. I watched the Atlantises, I don't hate it, but i don't like it either. I watched Brother Bear, mweh so what. I watched Treasure Planet, I bolted after the first 30 minutes. And now Chicken Little. ( *_*' ) Pfeh.

Disney announced that it's not going to do any more traditional hand-drawn style animation, and it's all 3D from now on. All the years of watching Disney ever since Aladdin 2, it's all downhill from then on. 2D or 3D, it doesn't matter. I don't care what technique Disney uses. My ultimate conclusion is that Disney has all the technique and expertise it needs, only lacks the kick when it comes to churning up original stories. When Disney's run out of fairy tales and fables, that's it mate, you've had your lot. That's my personal discovery. When it comes to original tales and new stories, I'd choose Dreamworks second to Pixar anytime over Pisney. Uh sorry. Disney.

On to Chicken Little.

It's really impressive how many accomodated pop songs and music can they cram into the entire movie (e.g. Abby and Runt's Spice Girl duet, I am the Champion by Chicken Little, ending part Ain't No Mountain High Enough), apart from the original score. I think it's just degraded the overall movie's music quality and purely irritating. Those songs are whored to boost up the atmosphere when the scenes start to become tedious and boring. It's too dependent on these pop songs, just too too too much hoo-haa and utterly not necessary.

I won't comment much on the animal characters of CK, because it's minor and not a significant issue and it's, after all, characters. However, when it comes to designs that matters like the aliens and their ships and stuff - things that will hold a lasting impression on the viewer about the movie itself - one word: BANAL. Family aliens. ENGLISH-speaking with American accent aliens. Octopus-resembling robots. Aren't all of these elements(and many others i won't mention) somehow a little too terran(earth)-originated? Furthermore, the alien robots are a little easy to be put off just by the throw of a trash can lid, don't you think? After all that hullabaloo i found myself thinking: "What a freakin War of the Worlds ripoff!" And the fact that Abby Mallard said, "It's like War of the Worlds out there!" in the part where she came to fetch CK and his dad Buck Cluck out of the theatre was like assuming the audiences were ignorant and Abby's saying it like it was the discovery of the millenium. That had me rolling my eyes, seriously. Speaking of eye-rolling, we can definitely do without the excess smart-mouth remarks and lip. I definitely cannot stand some of the hackneyed and irksome ad-libs. Whoyoutalkingabout? Why Chicken Little, of course.

In another related case, Lilo and Stitch suffers from the same symptoms as CK. What's up with the hot-rod alien fighters? And the alien police cruisers for crying out loud?? And the humanoid weapons and characters? Are they running out of ideas?! I'd really expect something better of Disney. Looks like Sci-Fi is not really Disney's forte, i must say.

If I could re-make the Mortal Kombat game and put in CK characters in them instead of the usual MK characters, I'd do a big, bloody-looking red word that says 'BANALITY' instead of 'FATALITY' during the finishing move. And add more gore.

Sincerely, I apologise to the fans of Chicken Little. This review was written with as little prejudice as possible, i swear.

Sad to say, Disney has become like our National car maker PROTON. You know what to expect with every new product unleashed:
DISAPPOINTMENT.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Bleah. Trivia post.

Hmmh...haven't posted anything in a while. Normally I don't post if I don't have a brainblast but, oh well, i feel like posting something anyways. Here's a trivia I found in friendster's bulletin.


: 1. My uncle once:
- ate shit via a straw through his nose and vomit white blood.

2. Never in my life have I:
- commited bestiality.

3. The one person who can drive me nuts:
- my dad

4. High School is/was:
- great because of my teachers, fucktup because of some of my friends.

5. When I'm nervous:
- I pretend to shoot a gun and make 'bang bang' noises in my head.

6. The last time I cried was:
- a decade ago.

7. If I were to get married RIGHT NOW my
bridesmaids/groomsmen would be:
- Heket, Mut, Anubis, Osiris, Sekhmet and Khonsu.

8. My hair:
- drops EVERYTIME i eat maggie mian.

9. When I was 5:
- I knew how to draw Han Solo's Millenium Falcon.

10. Last Christmas:
- was celebrated myself with a touch of jiwangness.

11. When I turn my head left, I see:
- my central processing unit (CPU)

12. When I turn my head right, I see:
- the dining table chair

13. When I look down I see:
- I can't see my dick cos of my belly.

14. The craziest recent event was:
- I slept 16 hours straight for no apparent reason.

15. By this time next year:
- I hope to get my wishes fulfilled.

16. I have a hard time understanding:
- women.

17. One time at a family gathering:
- my mom asked me to eat all the brocolli and pea on my plate, so i did. I ate my broccolli and pea'ed on my plate.

18. You know I "like" you if:
- you'll know.

19. If I won an award, the first person I'd thank is:
- God, my family who have put up with all the fuckery (drop course, new PC, "fuck off and don't disturb me" and all that) and my MMU buddies.

20. My ideal breakfast is:
- not in my list of fav things anymore 'cos I'm putting on weight because of it.

21. If you visit my hometown:
- you'll find it's no different from the slum you and i live in.

22. Where do you plan to visit anytime soon:
Egypt/Australia.

23. Boys are:
- your best friends, or your worst enemies.
.
24. I'd stop my wedding if:
- i find that my wife-to-be actually used to have dick n balls.

25. The world could do without:
- currency, politics, racial dispute.

26. Most recent thing you've bought yourself :
- a book.

27.Most recent thing someone else bought you:
- awww hehehe a cute cup with my name written on it!

28. My favorite time of day is:
- the dawn of dusk

29. My favorite store is:
- gun shops, i wish malaysia had some

30. My favorite ring tone is:
- fuck them ring tones they ain't important. Oh yeah...another thing the World Could Do Without is ringtones.

31. And by the way:
- I'm about to start work i gotta finish this shit fast

32. The person who I last talked to told me to:
- stay at home and do work, no need to go MMU

33. Once, at a bar/club:
- I wonder why people go to clubs. They're boring and LAME.

34. Last night:
- my brain slowed down some and I didn't get much work done...
.
35. There's this girl who I:
- think is in trouble and needs help.

36. There is this guy who I:
- wanna punch him in the nuts for being such a stubborn fuck of a gangster