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Returning villian

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Just a little work-in-progress of a character that I’m remaking in ZBrush. Apparently TAR didn’t wipe-out the entire clan of Hyena assassins….

Composer Alan Williams Creates an EPIC score for TAR!

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Alan Williams is an award-winning composer and conductor with more than 100 motion picture and television credits. Alan’s scores include the Academy Award nominated IMAX film, Amazon, Sony Pictures Classics’ Mark Twain’s America in 3D and some of the highest rated movies made for television. Alan composed the award-winning score to the animated film, “The Princess and the Pea” and also co-wrote the original songs with Grammy Award winning Lyricist David Pomeranz as well as the Student Academy Award winning short “Pajama Gladiator”.  His score to “Estefan” received an Annie nomination for best original score. He has been awarded the Insight Award for Excellence for his score to “Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa”, 13 Accolade Awards for Best Original Score, 8 Park City Film Music Festival Gold Medal for Excellence awards as well as his score to “Crab Orchard” being named as one of the Top 20 Film Scores of 2005.  Alan has received 3 Global Music Awards for his albums “The Cinema Collection”, “The Documentary Collection” and “Patriots of Freedom” and a Prestige Film Gold Award for his score to “Cowgirls n’ Angels.”

When Alan contacted me during last years Kickstarter campaign about creating music for TAR, I didn’t really understand just how amazing and generous his offer was. I had an idea that the score needed drums, but otherwise I was pretty clueless about music…

Today he blew my mind with the the most awesome, visceral, pounding, epic musical score for the first episode! My heart was racing as I listened to it! It was just intensely powerful–it totally takes the animation to a higher level. It is EPIC!

You will hear it soon, and I know you will love it too. Until then, check out his work at http://alanwilliams.com

Behind the Scenes…

My wife captured this slightly embarrassing video of me choreographing a fight sequence for TAR in the back yard. I was using the lid to one of her pots as a shield, which made for an even more ridiculous situation when the neighbor came out to walk his dog….

3D Print your own TAR of Zandoria Collectible!

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Download and 3D print your own TAR of Zandoria collectible statue! Print it and put it on your desk. Print it and give it as a gift. Take a picture and share it! Every time someone sees this statue, they are going to ask “What IS that!?”

That is going to help spread awareness of this project, and the cost of the .stl will help me keep the lights on 😉

Pierre at Cults3D invited me to upload  my sculptures to their new 3D model marketplace where people can buy print-ready models to build on their 3D printers. It seems like a great idea–I imagine that there are only so many Stanford bunnies and Yoda heads that a person needs… As 3D printers become ubiquitous there is a need for high quality sculpts to fill the build platforms.

I foresee that there is going to be a market for commission work too, so if you need a little help bringing your idea to life, please give me a shout. Here it is on Thingiverse

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Switching to Zbrush

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I’ve been doing some 3D printing at work using a Makerbot Replicator 2 and I’m really excited by the technology. The ability for an artist or designer to create something digitally and then turn it into an actual object is a paradigm shift in manufacturing. It is something that is on my mind every day…

Zbrush is the perfect tool for this, so I’ve decided that it is something that I need to master. I exported my Animation:Master model of TAR as an .obj as well as his shield and club and, using Dynamesh, merged them into one Ztool. Then I sculpted some more detail into the body (I’m not finished yet, this is only a couple of hours work…).

There are some really cool features in this program that make me think that it might be easier to create characters from scratch in Zbrush and then export to an animation program. A lot of studios use Zbrush, so might be a better workflow for doing freelance too.

[Edit] Here is what it looks like in makerware

Tar_ThingHere is the link to the “thing” file on Thingiverse–download it and print it!
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:158321

Victory at Ninja Pass

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Just finished this entry for the Hash Mascot contest for V18. I don’t know that a character has ever won twice–but I just think TAR is an awesome character, and deserves to be on the splash screen every time I boot up A:M!

The background is a quick digital painting in Photoshop (that is how all of the backgrounds for this series are going to be done). the textures are a mix between decals and DarkTrees.

I lit this with just klieg lights and a little global illumination, to try to get that feel that the battle happened in a narrow pass with just some narrow spots of direct light.

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18″ x 24″ Poster
$20

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Ready

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In the studio this morning..ready for the Muse. I just re read Stephen Pressfield’s “the WAR of ART” and I can’t recommend it enough–It is very inspiring. But remember the most important thing is to show up and work.

Pablo Picasso – “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

Kickstarter Results

 

So looking at the underwhelming Kickstarter results, I was pretty discouraged for a couple of days… I had a goal of $10,000 for producing the first episode of this series, but only got $1,587 in pledges over the 30 day campaign.

I had thought that I would get a lot of help from the Animation:Master community in spreading the word about the project, so I was suprised that I only had a few friends share the link. The same was true on Facebook (which actually hurt my feelings)! I can understand not having the money to pledge–but I expected that my friends would at least help me get the word out.

So to those 48 backers who DID pledge, I am extremely grateful. And to those friends who DID spread the word, thank you!

It is a humbling experience for an artist to put there work out there and discover how small their fanbase really is. I have learned that my “network” is pretty small–and I have to work on putting stuff out here that is for those true fans, and hope that “my people” find their way here. Without true fans, there is no way a crowdfunding campaign is going to get the attention to succeed.

I found that blogs like Cartoon Brew and Animation Scoop are not interested in covering a project like this–though they would be happy to sell me a banner ad on their blog for $300/week…. CGTalk will not even let you make a POST on their forum about your campaign, even though they would like to think that they are helping artists develop their own IP.  The A:M Community boasts 10,442 members–however there were only 10 pledges that came from the hash.com domain…. One pledge came from Twitter.

So I have to rethink where I have been posting my work. I have a WIP section on the Hash forum where I’ve been posting my stuff, but I think that I should have been posting here instead.

TAR of Zandoria Kickstarter is LIVE!

My Kickstarter campaign is LIVE! Please check it out–and pledge your support! For only $1 you will have my gratitude and I will list you in the credits as a supporter.
Please pass it on and help me spread the word! The key to the success of this effort is letting people know about it!

I’m raising money to produce the first episode of this series. Please help bring TAR of Zandoria to life!

Forever Alone Filmmaking Podcast

M Dot Strange recently interviewed me for the Forever Alone Filmmaking Podcast. It is a show made by and for 3D animators who are making their own original films. We talked about how I got into animation, the TAR of Zandoria project, Animation:Master and other stuff….

Hope you enjoy! Leave a comment below, if there is anything that came up that you would like to talk more about.