Monday, September 25, 2006

Danny Picar's design layout

Continuing with Visual Development and the creative criteria for this subject, Danny Picar came up with this interesting background layout design for the project he's developing in the Vis Dev class. Danny started with us last year and returned to the Academy this semester to pick up where he left off. He's done so impressively with his latest work from our most current session. Clicking on the image will enlarge it slighlty.

Danny worked this design to function within the parameters of one point perspective for depth of field while enhancing the design elements contained within the shapes of the structures he's established. A noteworthy class assignment.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Vis Dev from Ariel Acosta

When an animated project is prepared for production, every aspect of it has to be designed. Nothing is left unattended. This process is called Visual Development and is closely associated with production design.

Ariel Acosta has been studying at the Academy for some time and has focused on Visual Development. In this recently completed sample, his assignment was to design a bowl of fruit that one would find in an alien household on another planet. Clicking on the picture will give you a better view.

Ariel used blue pencil to sketch out his concept and render the tones. His approach was interesting. Although the fruit may not be appealing to Earthlings, that wouldn't necessarily be the case with an alien civilization. Ariel got a good start with this aspect of his project. We'll no doubt be seeing more from this talented students of ours in the future.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Micah Martinez revisited

Staying creatively productive between semesters is important in maintaining progressive growth in one's skills. Micah Martinez was featured on the Academy's blog on June 19. This is something he did recently while waiting for the Teen Program to commence.

Micah used markers and color pencil to create this dynamic and intriguing work. It's definitely a step up from his previous endeavors. For a 16 year old he did a fine job. Micah is building his portfolio and this composition will make a nice addition to it.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Making it to a Happy Meal

A true pinnacle in the business of designing and developing for animation is when characters you worked on in the past make it to a McDonald's Happy Meal. That's the case in this special feature I'm presenting here on the Academy's blog.

Last year in the summer of 2005, I discovered that Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon, popular video game characters I developed, were both on Happy Meal packages. I celebrated the good news by getting a Happy Meal of my own and scanning the package art for posterity. Here it is below, with Crash and Spyro sharing space with Ronald McDonald as the Happy Meal box appeared in the USA.

Later, I received an email from an artist in Europe letting me know that the Happy Meal packages over there had Crash and Spyro on them as well. Here's what the two sides of the European Happy Meal looked like.

The Animation Academy approaches the art and craft of character design in a way that makes our program unique, with an emphasis on the animated character as a franchise. The Happy Meal packages are an excellent educational example of how character based intellectual properties can be utilized as a powerful marketing device.

If you haven't as yet seen the Origin of Spyro development sketches on exhibit at the Academy's website, you're welcome to follow this link for the presentation:

For the Crash Bandicoot fans out there here's an added treat you can look forward to. You'll soon get a chance to see never before published artwork and read the story behind the origin of Crash Bandicoot on an upcoming feature coming soon to the Academy's blog.