Friday, April 30, 2010

Preview Profile

Here's a preview of a walk cycle I'm working on for my cartoon. It still needs work, but I'm getting there.
I rendered it as a silhouette for two reasons:
  • Since it's a work in progress, it gives me another way to "read" how it works.  Are his shape and movements clear?    What personality does he seem to have?   There seems to be an artifact from his shoulder popping too far forward... etc..
  • If you turned off the shadow effect, you'd see it was really half of a walk- he takes one step forward, then his limbs swap places.   Had it been a full cycle, any tweaking I do with one limb will have to be done with the other.  This way, I can edit the half step until I get the look I want .  Then I can apply the info to the second half of the walk*.  

Of course, take my "tips" with a grain of salt- I'm an amateur at this stuff.

*Of course, this trick only works with walks where the limbs can be interchanged.   If, for example, he swung his arms far enough to the side to cause foreshortening, they'd look very different.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Obscene Phone Bust (Hudson & Landry)

The "Obscene Phone Bust" sketch by Hudson & Landry dates back to the early 1970s, but it's still funny:
A suspect accused of dirty phone calls is being interrogated by the police.  Every answer he gives is packed with obscenities, which are bleeped out with silly sounds.   The humor goes beyond the gimmick- it's just funny to hear them butt heads.  The officer is aggressive, bossy and increasingly frustrated, while the phone perv knows no fear...
Here's a recording from You-Tube:

Monday, April 26, 2010

Guest Blogger: Chipper the House Finch

The trouble started at the bird feeder.  These two squirrels were hogging it and saying it was a mammal feeder, and that any bird who got too close would be sorry.  This went on all day.
I got mad and said "Why are two mammals bossing around all forty birds in our flock?  Let's descend on the feeder like a school of fish.  They can't keep us away from the feeder!"
So  we swarmed in and the squirrels ran away.  Problem solved I thought.
Then a bunch of Mockingbirds started dive bombing a baby squirrel.  I said to leave him alone because he'd never bothered us.  They said "He's a mammal!  Cats, dogs, squirrels, they're all rotten!  Bird killers all!"
Then they started pecking his head!  I got in between them and they started pecking me and calling me "Traitor" and "Mammel lover."
Then the baby squirrel's mother shows up and says I should be ashamed of myself for starting a riot.  I said I didn't want a riot.  A big crowd of birds started jeering and pecking me.  "Hypocrite!" they said.  "Coward!  You let a baby mammal scare you away!  You can't be in our flock!"
So now I don't have a flock and no animal will speak to me.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Guest Blogger: Googol The Goldfish

Long, long ago, no humans lived in the house.  The water line went clear to the ceiling and the fish could frolic through any room they wished.  The world was clean and pure back then.
There was this one door you weren't supposed to open. 
One day this dumb girl fish went and opened it and the water started gushing out!  The house drained dry.  The only fish who survived were the ones who hid in the bowl. 
Now that the door was open, inferior creatures came in.  They were grotesque hairy animals like dogs, cats and humans.  They claimed the house as their own.
Too bad I wasn't born back in the good old days.  Things were better then.  And I'd make sure nobody opened that door!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Guest Blogger: Winky the Cat

Dear Human Housemates,
Listen, I know Biff the Bulldog was young when you brought him home.  I'm sure you expected him to outgrow his shortcomings.  Yet, five years later, we still tolerate the presence of a creature who drinks from the toilet, can't clean himself, can't use a litter box, and drools.  A pathetic dolt who fears the mailman yet thinks garbage is something to roll in.  He can't catch a mouse, he can't climb, he can't sharpen his claws, and when he sleeps his tongue hangs out.
Biff belongs in a dog pound.
You can pat him on the head and call him "good boy" all you want,  but let's face facts.  He's an imbecile.  At the pound he'll be happy because he'll be around others like him.   I know it's not "politically correct" to say Biff is inferior, but I tell it like it is.  He's in idiot who chases tennis balls and chews rawhide scraps.  You can't take him outside without a leash.  Why are we pretending nothing is WRONG with him!?
Take him to the pound.  Do it for  yourself.  Do it for Biff.
You know it's the right thing to do.  

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Color Schemes

I found a new toy called Color Wheel Pro.  The full lets you try out various color schemes (variations of monocromatic, complimentary, split-complementary, triadic, tetradic and freeform).  You can even import your own images (in the form of special .swf files, which takes a little work but is worth the trouble.)
Here's some variations I did with my stars image.   Interesting how changing the color schemes changes the mood of the picture.

p.s. Yes, I know there's no green or purple stars in real life.  Too bad about that.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Guest Blogger- Biff the Bulldog

Loyal Dogs of America,
For generations we've been loyal, responsible creatures.  We protect houses and fetch slippers.  We sit, stay and roll over.  We do what we know is right.
Yet in spite of this, an evil force trying to destroy everything we stand for.  A wicked entity which continues to threaten us and ignores our warnings.  The time has come for real dogs to take a stand:
The mailman must be stopped.
Each day this faceless intruder trespasses onto our property.  We warn him to leave and he does- only to return the next day.  The arrogance!  Does he think his repeated visits will scare us into submission?  Or is it his idea of a sick joke? 
Someone passed some info to me from a secret source.  While I can't verify accuracy, it sounds honest.  And answers a lot of questions.
"What the Mailman Doesn't want YOU to Know
Who is this mysterious human?   What is his REAL agenda?
The mailman has a deadly grudge against all dogs, and it's only a matter of time until he unleashes his evil.
He's the secret mastermind who
1. Invented muzzles, cats, and dog sweaters
2. Funds veterinarians, groomers, and fireworks manufacturers.

His plans include
1.  Doubling incidents of flea dips.
2.  Removal of trees and fireplugs.
3.  Outlawing table scraps.
4.  Taking away your chew toy.
5.  Vaporizing all dogs with the secret weapon he keeps in his sack (Ask yourself- if he only comes to YOUR house every day, what's with the big bag.  How DUMB does he think we are?)"
I hate to frighten you, Loyal Dogs of America, but it is my duty to keep us safe an informed.   Don't let your humans play down the threat.  "Oh, it's just the mailman," they say.   Humans are easily tricked.
It's up to us dogs to straighten things out.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Color Picky

This is the color picker I get with Flash CS3.
I don't like it.
It works fine for isolating a specific color, but I'd prefer the hues arranged in a wheel.
My natural ability to find pleasing color combinations is weak.
I have to cheat.
With a wheel arrangement, I can pick three or four colors proportionally distanced from each other. I always end up with pleasing results.
I believe these schemes are officially called "triadic" and "tetradic":

I guess that sounds nicer than "quick 'n' dirty ways to get a color scheme that doesn't clash". Most illustrations on my blog blog use variations of these. Throw in some tints (whiten or blacken) and they get even more interesting:

If I could get a "wheel" picker in Flash, I'd be very happy. I know it's possible. Others have it. What's the secret?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Work In Progress

Here's a screen shot from the upcoming cartoon. You wouldn't believe the time I spent deciding on the colors and placement of the stars. It still doesn't have a professional "zing" to it, but I still think I'm getting better.
Speaking of colors, it would be cool if there was a flash application that scattered the color choices in a color wheel instead of bricked up in a box. I hunt and peck to get the color I need. For example, lets say I want the blue to be darker and less saturated. Color x might do the trick... ...whoops, too purple. Let's try color Y... no, too light...

Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes

"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" was playing when I drew the sketch that became this picture.  It  looks a bit crude to me, but I like how the boat turned out.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

What I Did For Fun

Here's something goofy I did when I was a kid.
 I'd stare at the lamp through red cellophane for a minute.  When I removed the plastic and looked away, the world was greenish!  I could pretend I was visiting a magic green world.  Or that the regular world had a "Green Curse".
It worked with other colors too.  Green plastic caused a red tint.  Blue made orange (and vice versa), and yellow made purple.
I had a lot of fun.