Thursday, April 29, 2010

This pigsy wigsy taught you how to use flash

This week I've been busy with some freelance so I haven't had much time to work on the animation. Though I'm really glad I've forced myself to update each week as it gives me something to shoot for and I don't inadvertently put the animation on hold. I do have an update on my flash tutorial! I was concocting different characters, trying to decide one that has all the details I wanted to talk about.

And I didn't want to do one of the main characters secret damnit!

So I came up with him:

Pigsy Malone! Or Porky McRind. Or Orvell Dashing. I don't know, some quirky pig name. Anyways, Hopefully next week I'll have the first part of my video tutorial: how to use the line tool quickly in Flash.

Check out some of the other guys I was considering:

Aren't they cool lookin' and cartoony? They also represent the lower-class folk in my RicketyWorld ©. The mole guy is a gangster type, the turtle is a some sort of strongman joe, the doe-eyed kid is a lil' rapscallion, and the fourth one is uh...yeah he's just dumb. ALso check out the uppercrust:

Ducks and Rabbits and Cats and fancy birds oh my! Of course cats are upperclass. Jerks.

Sooo , since I reviewed a bleah Robert Downy Jr movie last week, for this week on Noir Review I'll talk about Kiss Kiss Bang Bang! Honestly, this is more mystery/whodunit than Noir, but I think there are enough noir elements to call it noir, so I'm making a call. Sooo Noir-suspense-comedy? Yeah that sounds right.

It's funny and witty. Robert Downy Jr. does a great job as the deadpan and silly narrator and Val Kilmer is hilarious as a gay private eye. It makes pokes fun at the genre cliches and has one of those tight narratives that wraps up everything nicely in a bow. I love the dialogue in here. This is one of those movies you'll be quoting when no one knows what you're talking about. I completely recommend it! A solid 64 out of 67. How can you NOT see it with a score like that?!

Oh, and by the way, I learned how to embed video. Go me. Does anyone else love stylish graphic openings?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rascals repeating himself

So this week I have another short animatic for you! If it's too small here, then you can see it HERE. It's Rascals saying one line four different times! I'll be using it as an animation test in the coming weeks.

Also, because of a few people have been badgering me about how to do it, I'll be doing a video tutorial about how to make those nifty looking textures in Flash. I'll be doing at least three of them. One showing how to draw with the line tool quickly in flash, another showing how to make the textures, and then another showing how to use those textures in animation.

And perhaps if I figure out something new and exciting or if someone is wondering how to do something, I'll do more!

Stiiiiiiillllll doing Storyboards. Actually I kinda had a halt because I was working on the title sequence animatic, but I'm gonna have to start back up again if I want to get done before never.

This week I wanna talk about two Noir movies! Double Indemnity and The Singing Detective!

I'll start off with the classic, Double Indemnity. And it is! This is one of the most suspenseful noirs I've watched, especially for a story where the main character practically tells you the end at the beginning! It's about a fed-up wife getting an insurance salesmen to help her kill her husband.

There are so many moments where they almost got caught and your heart just stops. That is how you define suspense. The dialogue is incredible; one of my favorite bits is when the wife and the hapless insurance agent are flirting and comparing the whole thing to speeding tickets. Seriously, THIS is how dialogue is done. Fred MacMurray does a wonderful job as the narrating insurance agent, and Edward G. Robinson steals the show as his ranting raving boss. I completely recommend this to any noir enthusiasts.

And then there's The Singing Detective. It has Robert Downy Jr. as a burn victim who's a famous pulp writer, Mel Gibson as a eccentric doctor, Katie homes as the hot nurse, and Adrien Brody as a thug. It's got fast dialogue, plenty of gratuitous sex, a nurse accidentally "getting off" a burn victim, and on top of all that, song and dance numbers. All of which I had no problem with. What I had trouble was the nonsensical story. There wasn't any real big mystery, no real suspense, and you never had a sense of what was going on. And there were a lot of things that just never got explained, like why he got burned in the first place. Apparently it was based on a BBC series, so I'll have to check that out. It's a quirky movie and definitely not for everyone, but, uhhhhh where else are you going to see a burn victim in a dance number?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wally's mouth

So this week I'm still working on the Storyboards and the title sequence animatic. I was hoping to have the title sequence done this week, but some problems arose and it will have to wait until next week (hopefully). Buuuuuut I do have stuff to show this week!

First, if you look to the right, you'll notice I've added an "about" page describing the basic plot of the animation for anyone who started checking out this blog and has no idea what it's for. Plus I added a characters page to tell give you a little insight and backstory on the cast. With pictures!

Second, I did I semi-final version of Wally the Willow! At first I wanted him without a mouth because it made it seem like he was just part of the background rather than a real character(how would you feel if you were just a tree in the background?). But the more I think about it, the more I think a mouth and nose look better on him. What do you think?

I like that he has branches sticking up in the middle as if he were balding.

Third, I'm starting a test animation with Rascals. Rather than start an 11 sec animation with all the other stuff I have to do, then not make the deadline, then not caring about finishing it, again, I'm doing a multiple line animation.

This is what I'm talking about: If anyone saw my Dirk Headstrong animation I was working on last year, you may have caught my video of Squidula saying the same line but having the action being interpreted different ways. If you didn't, you can watch it here!

So there's one line from Rascals that the actor said it multiple times and can be interpreted multiple ways. I love animating these because it shows the different ways someone can act out such a simple line and the range of different emotions one can exude from a reading. Yay acting!

Also, this doesn't have anything to do with the animation, but for those of you know about it, the everyday detective is coming! We did an old fashioned radio play about a detective doing mundane things in dramatic ways. It's been a blast working on it. Right now I'm waiting on my sound guy Lucas to add music and sound. I think anyone interested in noir is really going to enjoy it. And if it gets a good enough reception, I'll have to make more!

So for this week, on Noir Review, I'm going to talk about Roman Polanski's Chinatown with Jack Nicholson. There's two reasons to see it right there! It's a real classic neo-noir. It's about a detective, Jack Nicholson, who gets involved with a big conspiracy with the water system. The cinematography is some of the best you'll see anywhere. If you're an animator, filmmaker, or comic book artist wondering how to make your shots interesting, this is the movie you should see.

Storywise, it starts off slow, and it's a long haul, but the climactic ending is well worth it. Jack nicholson does a great job as a sleazy with a heart of gold detective and pulls off some great tricks every good noir detective in the 1940's without a computer and gps tracking system should know. Overall I'd give it a 19 out of a 21.

See you next time, Noirheads!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Stumbles Cartoon Animatic and characters

Man have I got a bunch of stuff for you! I have stuff up the wazoo! Having stuff up the Wazoo should be considered a serious medical condition for what I've got for you!

First off, I've got brand new all new pictures of the rest of the gang! Rascals, Roofie, Dolly and Digby! I might still tweak the textures and such, but on the whole I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. Check them out!

Rascals in his swanky suit. EDIT: Thanks from Sean letting me know I forgot his whisker Mustache.

Dolly in her classy pokadot dress

Digby I'm still working on the textures. Something strange.

Dolly in her fishnets.I love how they turned out.

And not only that!

I've also got a rough animatic of the first part for the animation, Stumbles' Cartoon, "How to be a Noir Detective" which I might release as a promotional piece to hype the project up. The voices and sound effects are rough, but Lucas, my sound guy is gonna make it sound Beeeeautiful. Also, the music is "Frankie and Johnny" by Bunny Berigan, from the Brick Soundtrack. So even though I think it works pretty well for the mood, I probably definitely can't use it. But I wouldn't want to anyways, because my sound guy Lucas who's done all the music for my previous animations is making an amazing score from scratch! So take that copyright infringement! I think it's coming along pretty nicely.

EDIT: if you wanna see it bigger than two inches by two inches click here.

So this week since I'm using music from the soundtrack and also because it's awesome, I feel I need to talk about Brick. Brick is Noir + high school. You'd think that given so many teen angsty revamps these days it would be a bad idea, but it is truly one of the greatest Noir movies(and movies in general) ever. It's got a great cast of characters that are high school versions of their older noir counterparts, Dialogue seemingly ripped straight from Humphrey Bogart and Robert Mitchum, a haunting mesmerizing score, AMAZING cinematography, and a twisting winding story. The best part are all these little mundane moments you would see in high school life but come off as comical in a noir story. I can't recommend this enough. Check out the trailer and also these awesome character posters I recently found:

Well that's enough for this week. Don't get used to this luxury, I won't always have stuff jammed up my wazoo. I need to sit down sometime!