Numero Deux

I know! Long time no post... but I've been busy on a few cool projects lately. I designed a few things for the Gama-Go spring '08 collection (I'll post them when I get the old 'ok'), did some artwork for a pretty slick website belonging to some dude named Kanye, and cranked out some freelance concept designs for Hasbro.
This here above is just an idea I've had kicking around in my head for a while that I wanted to get down.


Tee Time

We're coming to the end of season 3 for Atomic Betty and that means crew t-shirt time! I was asked to design it, and here's what I came up with. Nice and 'simple stupid' just the way I like it.



Here's another concept design of a rather wrinkly but overall pretty content elephant.


The T-Show

Hey hey hey long time no post! This here's my design for the upcoming T-Show in the big TO. It's called '1999' and yes, I'm still on my black & red kick! Check out the details and more smashing designs here. Lots of solid talent lined up for this one indeed!



Here's my submission for the FOURTY show next Friday. Because I'm a crappy painter, I decided to cheat and go digital. I came up with a label idea, drew a couple character sketches (top left), and did the whole thing up in Flash (top right).

Then, I printed my label on some sticky photo paper and slapped it down on a big bottle of Olde English "800". It looked pretty swell, but something was missing! My lovely wife with her keen eye suggested a mini 60s style lampshade. Because I'm a bit of a moron I scoffed and thought 'ha! I don't think soooo'. Then she described what she meant and I was sold. We bought the materials, she made the shade and voila! a retro stylin' malt liquor lamp fit for Mr. Drunkard's late night binges!


Sweet Action

This here's a title card for a little promo currently in production here at Atomic. I can't take total credit for this one though. Rob Davies did the character roughs and Pat Pakula the super cool painterly BG. Thanks guys!


BLOOPS! Part VII - Final Box Design & Color

Well, I played with the colors on this thing for quite a long time before settling on a very fruity combo. By the way, if the colours are burning your eyes a little it's because I haven't adjusted the saturation and contrast yet. I want to print it out first to see what needs to be bumped up or down. The 'Kelloggs' logo will need to be replaced with something else, and the submarine still needs to be added, but I think this is it for now. At least for tonight anyway. Knowing me I'll tinker around with it a little more before really calling it final... Plus, I need to get Chris to have a look at it and get his thoughts. I really, really want to 'age' this like I've done with the other boxes but It wouldn't make sense to since in the film it'll be a brand new box of cereal. Alright that's it for BLOOPS! When the final box is complete I'll make sure to post it here.

BLOOPS! Part VI - Character Color

Normally I'd do the cleanup on the little submarine now, but I want to talk to Chris before I do. Instead of a drawing, it might be cool to have a real picture of the sub he's going to use in the film. Maybe a CG model or something... So, I moved on to color for Cap'n Bloop. I wanted to give his head the painterly look so I broke out the brushes and guache! Not really. It's all Photoshop. I didn't paint his body though because I wanted to make it look like he's got a 'real' cereal head with a cartoon body. I may tweek him a little more still, but final box design is next...


BLOOPS! Part V - Cleanup

For the character cleanup I really wanted to retain the loose, sketchy feel of my rough and Chris' overall design style, so I dug out my Rocky & Bullwinkle books and DVDs for reference. If you've seen Chris' storyboard for the commercial, you'll know that this look is important to the whole retro style of the commercial. However, it's tricky to translate the roughs to clean without losing some of that wonderful life! Back in the day - whether intentionally or not -the artists managed to keep the same sort of wacky, rough style in the cleanup by keeping it fairly loose as well (see image right). That is, not worrying about lines being a little wobbly, intersecting corners, and perfect circles not being... well, perfect! The drawings were still tight and everything was there, but the artists weren't so concerned with a picture perfect cleanup. When I cleaned Cap'n Bloop here I kept that in mind, did it freehand and kept it quick and loose. I could have probably even been a little more sloppy! One example of what I'm talking about here is if you look at the little finger on his right hand, it overlaps his middle finger. That's not right, is it? Shouldn't his middle finger be IN FRONT OF his little one?? awww who cares!? Stuff like that is interesting, organic, and really lends itself to this wacky style of cartooning. For this kind of cleanup you must as Yoda says 'unlearn what you have learned'. There's a few other cleanup no-no's in there as well. Can you spot 'em?


BLOOPS! Part IV - Compositing

I finished editing the cereal photos and positioned them accordingly on the box to see how they fit. They should work nicely! Next I'll do the clean-up of the character and submarine - probably by hand to keep the retro feel. After that, a few colour passes in Flash, then a final comp in Photoshop.


BLOOPS! Part III - Prop Photography/Editing

Picked up a box of colourful fruity loopy cereal today and took a few pictures. I'm no photographer but I managed to snap a few that I could work with in Photoshop. I'm now in the process of separating the images I want to use from their backgrounds, and adjusting the hues and contrasts to pop 'em out a little more (see image). Next I'll replace the drawn cereal and bowl with the real ones. Anyone hungry for sugary cereal yet?


BLOOPS! Part II - Design/Layout

Alright here's the rough monochromatic layout of the Bloops cereal box. I made a couple of changes to the character, including making his tongue stick out in an effort to catch a Bloop. He just can't wait! (too much?) By the way, the 'Kelloggs' logo is just temporary until I know what the fake brand name of this cereal is. I'll probably tinker with this a little more before I send it off to Chris for his input, but so far so good methinks! 'Real' cereal & bowl photography up next!

BLOOPS! Part I - Character Sketches

If you haven't already, you should go check out Chris Savino's Adventures In Milk blog. He's putting together a short film about a boy obsessed with cereal. The film opens with a cereal commercial that harkens back to the old Jay Ward Cap'n Crunch ads of the 60s. Check out his blog for the animatic. Good stuff! Anyway, a while back Chris and I went back and forth regarding the Bloops cereal box that would be used in the film. I said I'd love to do it, and I'm finally getting around to it now. So, I thought I'd share my work in progress. First up, here's Chris' rough of what he had in mind for the box:

As you can see, Chris is looking for a throwback to the cereal boxes of the fifties and sixties we all love - a cereal mascot looking very eager to get his hands on the delicious 'real' pieces of cereal floating down from heaven. Because I'm a huge fan of these vintage boxes I got his idea right away, and I couldn't wait to get started! The first thing I did was start roughing out the character. Once I worked out the pose based on Chris' rough I started messing around with different expressions:

This first is a funny but fairly neutral expression. I was basically just getting into the groove of drawing the character. I knew he needed to look a lot more excited.

Next I tried the 'licking of the lips' expression. Fun, but Chris' character is too nutty and cartoony for this. Bloop needed something a little more crazy.

Getting closer. The old John K. biting the bottom lip thing. I do like this one, but perhaps he looks more like he's in pain than excited?

Here we go! I opened up his mouth and angled up his head a little. He looks like he just CAN'T WAIT to get his hands on those delicious fruity loops that are dropping down in front of him. I think I'll go with this one and push it even more in Flash. More soon.



umm here's a couple more Captain Flamingo title cards to get things rolling in 2007. The super great rough for 'Night of the Living Flamingo' was done by SeƱor Roberto Davies.