Friday, August 22, 2014

Christian Gossett - "Star Trek: Axanar" on Kickstarter

Back in 1999 in the early days of The Animation Academy we had a student in attendance who created a sensation in the world of comic books. Christian Gossett was with us when he developed and launched "The Red Star". It was a groundbreaking property that established him as an innovative force in the world of independent creators. 

Now Christian is back in the news as the Director of a highly successful Kickstarter project. It's called "Star Trek: Axanar" and is an independent film based upon the venerable sci-fi franchise being produced through crowdfunding. The production quality of the project is excellent and the results of two campaigns this year have greatly bolstered prospects for the continuation of the project.

The first Kickstarter campaign was conducted this past March 2014. The initial goal of $10,000 was surpassed early on and the Axanar team wound up with a total of $101,171. Those funds helped finance the follow up campaign which is in its last few hours. The goal of $100,000 has been far exceeded with a total so far of $415,632 as of this writing.

We've always strongly encouraged the development of an independent aspect to one's artistic career and for the creative community at large. The emergence of crowdfunding has made it possible to do incredible things outside of the realm of the mainstream entertainment industry as this and many other projects over the past few years clearly show.

Take a look at the original promotional video for Star Trek: Prelude to Axanar and the most recent episode below and see for yourself how exceptional this project is.


"Star Trek: Prelude to Axanar" trailer directed by Christian Gossett... 



"The Four Years War: Prelude to Axanar" full film directed by Christian Gossett...



EDIT on August 27 2014:

Christian Gossett's second "Star Trek: Axanar" campaign ended up with $638,471.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Bridget McCarty - Disneyland Gallery Artist

We recently received word that former Academy student Bridget McCarty has the unique distinction of being a Disneyland Gallery Artist. Her work in connection with the 45th anniversary of the Haunted Mansion attraction at Disneyland is now on exhibit and for sale through their venue. Here's what she created for the occasion...


This is a great honor for any artist. We're very excited for Bridget and happy to be sharing in the celebration of this impressive accomplishment. Bridget was enrolled at the Academy years ago as a high school student and made an an impact with her art at the time. Today she is a grown lady with a successful professional career. Visit her website to see the unique art that she creates...

Bridget McCarty on Facebook.

There's also video of Bridget on YouTube...

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Kiana Mosser's 'GriMagia' on Indiegogo

I'm happy to feature this project. It's a campaign on Indiegogo created by a team of young artists / entrepreneurs. Among them long time Academy student Kiana Mosser. She's a very talented young lady who is the Art Director, Editor, and an Artist on the project.

"GriMagia: Monster Girl Card Game" was launched a few days ago. It features beautifully rendered characters that are anime sexy and there's plenty of them. Their goal is $13,000 and so far they're making good headway with August 20 2014 as their deadline.

This is a direction many of our students are moving towards. Embracing the opportunities that crowdfunding presents and I'm happy to see Kiana and her colleagues heading that way.

Consider supporting this project if you would please and help spread the word about GriMagia through your networks.

Here's a look at the project along with a link to the campaign...


EDIT on August 11 2014.

With 10 days left in the GriMagia campaign on Indiegogo, Kiana Mosser and her team have just reached their $13,000 goal.

A group of high school aged artists have succeeded in their first crowdfunding venture. What a great way to start a professional career!

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/grim ... card-game/


EDIT on August 22 2014.

Kiana Mosser's Grimagia campaign on Indiegogo tallied $27,521 in 30 days. More than twice the initial $13,000 goal.

Congratulations Kiana and to everyone associated with the project! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

A peek at The Animation Academy in Burbank

We've had several incarnations of the school since we launched our first class on January 19 1998. Here we are in the summer of 2014 with 2 1/2 years at our present location and we haven't shared what we look like until now. That's what happens when you're busy creating all the time.

I'm pleased to share views of the main classroom at The Animation Academy with you. The ones you see below were taken by former student Chance Raspberry who has gone on to fame with "The Simpsons" and with his "Little Billy" franchise. Chance frequently stops by and engages in sessions. These photos were taken with his iPhone after we wrapped up one afternoon. Click on the images for a better view.



Here's a couple of shots of Joel Valdez as he conducts the Character Design 2 class this past week. We have some very talented students in this group.



Good things happen at the Academy within this special environment we enjoy. We're located in the geographical center of the international capital of the business in the heart of Burbank California. A wonderful place to be.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Something different from Joel Valdez

For the past few years Joel Valdez has been a fixture here at The Animation Academy in Burbank. He is currently a co-instructor in Character Design 2 and Visual Development. Influenced by tattoo design he recently came up with this composition in the Vis Dev class. A departure from the production design mode we usually engage in, it's a fine piece of art none the less. Hand drawn in blue pencil followed by black line. You can see more of Joel's work by visiting his blog at his link.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Philip Sha begins Background Design

Having successfully completed Character Design 1 Academy student Philip Sha has recently entered into the Background Design and Perspective. He's gotten off to a great start with his first round of assignments...


Saturday, July 05, 2014

Artshark Celebrates America

For many years the Academy's official mascot Artshark would entertain our community back in the early days of the school. Here are a few samples of the compositions that were colored by Snakebite who was a student and then became our Photoshop instructor. These date from 2002 and 2003.





The character of Artshark serves an important educational purpose as he has exemplified to our students the significance of branding and how character based properties can be used to develop the identity of a creative company. Looking forward to more of Artshark in days ahead. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Abraham Urias - Expanding skillset - "Pelito"

Many times in our history and in the current day we've welcomed professional artists who are looking to learn something new and further develop their talent. Abraham Urias is a Senior Designer in the consumer product division of Warner Bros. He recently completed Character Design 1 at the Academy and will be moving into the next level of study. Here's some of his assignments. They include action attitude posing, a rotation for CG modeling, a head rotation and assorted facial expressions of a central character. He did a very impressive job and the growth he experienced will positively affect the quality of his creative productivity at work. 




The art above includes development concepts that Abraham came up with for his own project. It's called "Pelito" is already gaining a following. Check out "Pelito" on Facebook.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Maia Gross - Emerging talent

One of the many outstanding students who are contributing to our legacy is Maia Gross. She enrolled in our program last year and has been a regular ever since taking classes as often as she can to engage in the Academy experience and grow artistically. These are concept designs she created recently in Character Design 2. Click on the image for an enhanced view.


Maia has greatly improved is now teaching art at a local Boys and Girls Club helping to change the lives of children in positive ways. Maia inspires everyone with her excellent draftsmanship skills, design sense and creative vision. Everybody learns while working with her. You're welcome to visit her blog at this link.

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Lesson in Tone and Color

This is from yesterday's Visual Development 1 class here at The Animation Academy in Burbank. I utilized an unusual rendering method to convey the relationship between color and gray tones as students are transitioning into that aspect of the course.

I used gray markers and color pencils together with interesting results. Consider the image of the cat below. The composition was first rendered in gray...


Now take a look at what happens when colored pencils are applied...


That was followed by some time in Photoshop adding highlights and shadows digitally...


Next up is this little pup. I sketched the character in black line and then resorted to gray markers to essentially cover the white of the paper within the area of the image. I then added a pass with color pencils. Next to the composition are swatches of the principle colors I used as they would appear against the white of the paper...


As with the demo before I digitized the image and proceeded to Photoshop for some additional tweaking...


Combining three and even four simple mediums such as gray markers, an optional black line, color pencils and Photoshop, artists can create uniquely rendered VisDev concepts that are sure to appeal to your fans and clients. Give it a try some time and see what  you come up with.