Sunday, February 26, 2017

Another Husky painting - From Sketch To Finish

 Not content with just my Boomer painting, my sister wanted another painting of her other Husky - Fluffy, which  I've painted a few months back before.   Fluffy had grown a bit bigger now, thus a newer painting wasn't a bad idea.  And so...another Husky painting. Digital painting that is.

This time I screen-recorded my process from the start. First,  I sketched roughly in Photoshop,using a photograph of Fluffy as reference.   After roughing out quickly the whole thing, I went through it again in another layer to make corrections and clean-ups.  I was making sure the constructions were solid, as that would helped me in adding the lights and shadows later on.

Funny how my finished sketch looked like a robo-dog. Can't help it. The construction of the form really helps make the drawing look more dimensional.  I just have to make sure that once painted, it must look organic, yet solid.  Just like how it should be, and not like a stuffed toy with no bones inside.

Then just like in my previous posts,  I started the painting in greyscale, concentrating on the tonal values only. Since I'm still learning, this was easier for me.  Later on, as I progress in my leraning, I will mix colors directly as I paint. For now, I'm content with this method.

Determining where the light source is,  helped in figuring out where the light and shadows would fall. Having a photo reference also helped, and at this point a necessity for me.

Having another window showing the whole canvas or subject is advisable, so as to not to lose sight of the whole and get bogged down with the details too soon.

 The process of painting the darks and the lights in repeated order was what I did. Building up slowly the intensity of the values, until the point where colors could then be added or glazed over on another layer. Adding and adjusting the details, size and proportion were also unavoidable as the painting progressed.
 The construction and cleaning up work that I did in the initial drawing had paid off at this stage. It helped me not lose sight of the structure underneath, that guided me on how to paint certain forms.  Even a little bit of knowledge in animal anatomy surely informed me in understanding what's underneath those furs.

Here's the finished work. I later combined this to my previous painting of Boomer, as seen in the video.  My sister wanted them together in one painting.  That's the beauty of digital painting and the benefit of layers, which is one of the reason why I opted to paint digitally instead of painting with traditional media.

  The time-lapse video recording of  my process is only 3 minutes and 46 second long.  But the reality of it took me hours,  and in more than one sitting.  I look forward to the day when I can actually paint as fast as how it appeared in this time-lapse video  How I wish I'm really this fast.  Perhaps in 20 years?!!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Boomer -Testing My Digital Painting Skills Part 2

My quest to become a digital artist-painter continues. This long-overdue personal assignment is now finally done. After the success of my first Husky digital painting, and as per the request of my sister to paint her other pet Husky, I decided to do this as my next painting exercise.  

I first roughed-out the basic drawing construction of the subject, making sure it's structurally solid and proportioned.  Then as with my previous painting, I started with the values first, as I need to learn and master this before I can become confident with mixing colors directly.  So I laid down the tone first, then the darks and shadows. Then alternatingly painted in the light areas. I did this repeatedly for several passes.

I jumped from one area to the next frequently and making proportion adjustments along the way. The fur took longer than before. This dog got lots more of it.  The front legs and paws also took me longer as there were some subtleties in shapes that can easily be overlooked but would have made it look unreal.

 The face was the most fun part for me, as I'm reminded of this dog's personality which wasn't very apparent in this pose. This dog is really cute and dorky. But he's sort of serious here. Normally, his tongue would be hanging sideways from his mouth, with a really silly look and grin.

Anyways, I screen-recorded my painting process, so here's the sped-up version of it. And also the final result. I'm quite happy with how this painting turned out.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Fluffy - Testing My Digital Painting Skills

After deciding to take some time off from animating, to undertake some self-taught digital painting courses that I've been planning to do for years, the daily struggle of maintaining my motivation and discipline to pursue this goal is becoming a real issue for me. After getting used to the pressures of either the quota and deadlines, even if I now find myself liberated from all that stress, I feel a bit disoriented and directionless at the same time.  Not to mention, isolated from fellow artists, who all can be inspiring influences to me artistically.

One of the benefits of working in an animation studio environment is the constant pressure to do your best work. Otherwise, your work will not go through down the pipeline.  I don't have that pressure  anymore so it's easy to slide into laziness and procrastination.  Nonetheless I must constantly keep my sights clearly on my goals and keep going.  And so, after finishing Bobby Chiu's Digital Painting self-taught online course, which took me longer to finish than it should be, due to the above-mentioned reasons, I decided to test myself out on what I've learned so far by painting something fun. 

Since I undeniably like dogs, I knew drawing and painting them will always be an enjoyable exercise.  Thus, I decided to paint my sister's pet Husky, named Fluffy. Then give it to her as a Christmas gift once it's done.

The challenge of this exercise for me was in how to illustrate the dog's solid form and it's soft fur convincingly. Also keeping the likeness at the same time.

And so, here's the process I've learned from the course:
1. I started out with a free-hand rough sketch of the dog in Photoshop using a photo as my reference.  Making sure that I do a solid, well-constructed drawing, which would serve as a foundation of the painting. For me, solid drawing is the key to a successful painting.  (Click to enlarge)


    2. Next, I put in the dark tones. I also created a  grey scale palette, so picking out the right tones would be easier.

  3. Then the light tones were applied next.  I repeated this process of going back and forth between the two tones of lights and darks. Slowly building up the different values until it's complete. One beauty of painting digitally is, any corrections are easily done by cutting, resizing, and pasting them back, which is what I've done to the body to change it's proportion.

4. Next I added the furs. Some were painted with the round hard and soft brushes. Some were pushed and pulled with the smudge tool. And in some selected areas, fur texture were subtly painted-in on top. Everything needs to look organic.  Shadows were added on another layer below the dog. One thing that was always taught to me, is to keep the subject grounded, So adding cast shadows  underneath the subject will do the trick.

5. Once I'm happy with the values, and everything, it's time to add color. On another layer set to the color blend mode, I glazed in the colors for the ears, tongue and body. And for the background, I used the gradient tool and added in 2 colors, with the lightest on the right upper part, to imply where the light source is coming from.

6.  To help make it look less digitally sleek, I added some noise and texture filters overall to simulate a traditionally-painted.look.  So if you look at it up-close, textures can be seen.

Here is the final version. 

If you like it,  tell me in the comments box.Thanks.



Monday, October 17, 2016

Creature Animation Demo reel

Eight months ago, I enrolled in a 3-month online Creature Animation Course, and learned some techniques on how to animate quadrupeds. I did it full-time, because I didn't think I'll be able to balance work and learning this simultaneously without affecting both my professional work and my health negatively.  It was really intense, yet fun. In the end, I'm happy with the what I have done.

Here's the result.  Enjoy!

Creature Animation by Jocelyn Sy from Jocelyn Sy on Vimeo.

Learning Animal Drawing and Digital Painting

Drawing and painting animals have always been something I wanted to learn and do well.  I've collected a lot of animal drawing books and digital painting tutorials over the years, but never really had the time to really pause and learn  from them.  As a professional animator, it's always been a real struggle for me to find the time and energy to pursue this. 

Over a year ago, I finally decided to take some time-off from being an animator, and just give myself a chance to do this.  There's still a lot of fundamentals I need to learn to get me to where I want to be artistically, but I'm hopeful that I'll get there, slowly but surely.

Below are some of the work I've done.  (Click to enlarge)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Short Cat Animation

Although I've animated some 4-legged animals in the past as a traditional animator, however, I don't think I did them that well back then.  Achieving subtle acting and performance in hand-drawn animation was, and still is very difficult. Not that it's any easier to do in CG,  but it is achievable and believable.

It's been a much-delayed interest of mine to at least try to animate quadrupeds in CG.  And so, I decided to take a realistic creature course at Animation A Team with Rob Hemmings, to learn some new approach and techniques of how to do this.

This is the thumbnail sketch for the story idea of "Gotcha!", ( originally called Cat Chase), which I consider my first successful attempt in animating a realistic quadruped animal as a 3d animator.

click to enlarge

So below are the final  results. Enjoy!


And here's the same animation with  fur render.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Animal Drawing - Final Week

To see previous weeks, click Week 1. Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5. Week 6, Week 7.

For week 8, the lectures were about prehistoric animals and some rendering.  Finally, I'll have my weekends back. It's been really challenging 8 weeks, because I didn't have much time to do more research and sketches to understand the process, with only the weekends to do it.  And yet, I still enjoyed doing these assignments.  The subject of drawing animals is really very broad, and for 8 weeks, it's just scratching the surface. There's just so many different kinds, types, species of animals one can learn about, that it's a lifetime's worth of study.

I also got sick this week, so I only managed to these.  Artrage 4 had been the program I've been using in doing all of my assignments.  Here's what I've done.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Animal Drawing - Week 7

To see previous weeks, click Week1, Week2, Week3, Week4, Week 5, Week 6.

Week 7 is all about birds. Understanding a bit of their anatomy, how their wings look, folded and in flight; and how to draw them using simple shapes.   But because I've been busy at work this week, including Saturday, I only get to finish 3 birds.

Here's what I've done. ( click to enlarge)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Animal Drawing - Week 6

 To see previous weeks, click week1, week 2, week 3, week4 . week 5

For week 6, the lectures and assignments are about  drawing  unusual shaped- animals.  These are the fishes, and reptiles. It's also about how much or less details, textures are indicated so as not to kill the drawings.   This is something I plan to practice on even after this workshop is done.

Here's what I've done. ( click to enlarge)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Hotel Transylvania 2 Teaser Trailer

Here's the teaser trailer of Hotel Transylvania 2, the movie I'm currently working on.