Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Writing for Animation, Comics, and Games

I'm currently reading Writing for Animation, Comics, and Games in preparation for writing the next script for The Unbeatables episode 2. I'm just going over the section on animation at this point to see how much I can learn and hopefully it will be a help in doing the next story. Episode 1 of The Unbeatables should be online soon over at the Family Media Channel. I finished it several months ago and, if all goes well, I will have more than one episode :-) Please keep it in your prayers as my animation time is pretty limited at present.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Jib Jab fun

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Family Media Channel launched

Well, we're finally on the air! The Family Media Channel is up and running! I will be one of the contributors to this site and will be regularly posting new videos so make sure you bookmark the page. Over the past year I have done some animation work that I've been holding onto for when the site was ready. So now it shall all be revealed! The following animations are already posted including I'll Shine, The Sinking Canoe and Two Ducks and a Frog! Stay tuned!

Monday, December 21, 2009

I'll Shine Christmas animation


Merry Christmas everyone! Here's my Christmas present for you--my recently completed animation "I'll Shine." This actually only took me 18 days to make from start to finish, believe it or not! It was done using Xara Xtreme Pro for the artwork and Toon Boom Studio for the animation.

On another related note, I just received this months Xara Outsider newsletter and was surprised to see a reference to my animation work and Xara/Toon Boom tutorial posted on my YouTube site. I have been surprised to see the number of views for my tutorials. I didn't really think they'd get so much attention but they are getting up to and passing 2000 views. Surprising! Guess I'll need to do more tutorials.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Featured art show

The opening scene of my new animation (see pic on my blog here) is now part of a special holiday Xara art show. You can see it at XaraXone.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The World’s Most Famous Man

There is a man whose birthday is celebrated every year around the world. Is there any other man that the world does this for? In general, a “great” man’s birthday is usually only celebrated in the country of his birth. Take for example men like Lincoln, or Washington. For these, their date of birth appears on U.S. calendars as reminders. They are not holidays for which we are given time off to commemorate. We only celebrate their birthdays by remembering them.

Can you think of any man whose birthday is remembered worldwide? Not only remembered, but for which we are given time off for? People around the globe take time off their work, children take a break from school, for anywhere from one day to two weeks. Of course, this man’s birthday is close to the end of the year and so the celebration of his birthday is combined with the end of the year and the beginning of the next. That would help to account for why this time off is so long.

Which brings me to another point. The end of the year. This same man’s life is the focal point of our calendar and the very number of the year in which we live from the beginning of recorded time. The years are numbered backward leading up to his birth. Then, from the time of his birth, the years are numbered forward. What other man has so profoundly and directly affected our lives?

Think of other great men and women. List them. I looked for a list and came up with the following on a website.

1. Martin Luther King Jr.
2. 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet
3. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
4. Nelson Mandela
5. Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa
6. Rigoberta MenchĂș
7. Aung San Suu Kyi
8. Abraham Lincoln
9. Terry Fox
10. Jean Vanier
11. Rosa Louise Parks
12. Dr. Norman Bethune
13. Mother Teresa of Calcutta
14. Diana Princess of Wales
15. Dr. Jack Preger
16. Marie Curie
17. Leonardo Da Vinci
18. Jacques Yves Cousteau
19. Louis Pasteur
20. Dian Fossey
21. Florence Nightingale
22. Aristotle

Nice list. Of the 22, there are 8 that I have no idea who they are. Of the 22, how many of them do we celebrate their birthday with a holiday or even one day off work or school? How many are recognized internationally? And, obviously, are there any that we set our calendar to? This is not to belitttle these people nor their accomplishments. But it does show the contrast of how one man’s life outshines them all.

He was not a politician. He was not a scientist. He was not a businessman. He was the son of a carpenter who grew up in the Middle East. His life was a short one, he was only 33 years old at the time of his death. It’s funny, even though he was, or has become, so famous, the cause of his death was by public execution. So much for this “famous” man’s popularity!

I’m sure you know who I’m talking about. Funny, his name doesn’t even appear on the above list of 22. His name was Jesus. Come to think of it, I don’t believe he even had a last name. Maybe, at the time, he went by the name, Jesus the son of Joseph. But the world remembers him more commonly as, Jesus the son of God. (Written Dec. 7, 2007)

Free start menu organizer - SMOz



I don't know if you're like me but, after awhile my start menu ends up going all the way across my screen and is all upside down and backwards and it's almost impossible to find a shortcut. When it gets to that point I try to drag and drop various items into categories and sort it out into some kind of coherent order. I've tried various programs to help sort things out but nothing to compare with SMOz. This little app does the trick and brought my start menu back down to one column in no time flat! You can even create your own custom categories. Try it!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Joke: The Precious Persian Cat


Kika for the first time on YouTube helping me to tell a joke.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Xara Xtreme Pro to Toon Boom Studio tutorial

Would you believe it? I have done another set of 3 video tutorials on how I use Xara Xtreme and Toon Boom Studio to do animations. It includes creating a character in XXP and exporting as a PDF, then importing into TBS, rigging and animating a cutout character. Take a look at my YouTube channel.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Birthday card

I just did a short animated birthday card for a couple of my friends whose birthdays happen to be today. The art is done in Xara Xtreme and the animation in Toon Boom Studio. You can see it on my YouTube channel.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Website illustrations

I recently did some pics for a website. Take a look here. There are two pics so far but there will soon be a total of three.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Drawing & Coloring with Xara Xtreme Pro tutorial

A couple of months ago I recorded a basic tutorial of how I use Xara Xtreme for doing my final artwork. I just finished editing it and am going to post it in 3 parts on my YouTube channel. Hope it's a help.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Christmas animation

Working on a new animation that should be ready for Christmas. The above pic is for the opening scene. Don't miss it

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Slide show illustrations

Here's a sample illustration I just completed for a PowerPoint slide show which will appear at the Tommy's Window website soon! I believe it will be a free download and it consists of 12 slides with all new illustrations of the story of Tommy, the Little Crippled Boy. So keep your eyes open for it.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Key pic

Just liked how this pic turned out. I had the inspiration to make the little key character monochromatic. Turned out okay.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

One Pizza Please

Thought I'd post a rough sketch for a recent project I'm working on. It's kinda dumb, but I like it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Back to the drawing board

Well, I'm basically ready to get back to the drawing table again. I've got my equipment setup and a makeshift lightable--glass propped up with empty baby wipes box, fluorescent light underneath--and so on. My biggest glitch is that the pullout keyboard thingie is only wide enough for my keyboard. So there is no place to put my mouse, let alone my Wacom tablet. So I am using a small adjustable table for the time being. I'm looking forward to when I can afford an actual L-shaped desk like the one I left in Mexico, that was too old and bulky to bring. Once I can get one I'll be really back in business.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Move

Well, we finally made our move as of the 20th of this month. That was a big deal just getting here. But I feel like when the troops landed at Normandy on D-day, getting here is just the beginning, now the real work begins. So we've got a nice 4 bedroom house and are getting all the utilities up and running. Next, we'll see about getting the kids enrolled in school. Once that's done, I'm going back to work!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Housecleaning

My wife is gone and I'm getting ready to move so I'm packing and doing some housecleaning. After tidying up my room I decided to do one of my kids' rooms as he is gone on an excursion today with friends. While performing my Mr. Mom duties, I came across a particular situation that required attention and soon found myself frustrated and formulating the words to a short poem that I will post below for your entertainment and sympathy.

Beneath the Bed

Oh, I really cannot comprehend
The quantity of junk
That lives and lurks in darkness there
Beneath my dear sons bunk.

It looks as though a hurricane
Got lost along the way
And blew the contents of his room
Beneath his bed to stay.

I cleaned in here just yesterday!
I said in disbelief.
So where's all this stuff coming from?
My voice all filled with grief.

Perhaps the space is magnitized?
A black hole? or even worse
Triangle of Bermuda? Lord!
The space is somehow cursed!

So here's to parents everywhere
Please tell me what to do
Help me to solve this mystery
Before it gets you too!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kika's surgery


Kika had surgery today to remove a cyst in her abdomen and her shunt that was infected. The operation was a success and she is now recovering.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Home Alone

Well, not exactly alone, my four sons and the baby are still here with me in Mexico. But my wife and eight-year-old daughter, Kika, went to Houston today. They are at the children's hospital there to hopefully receive care for Kika who has been sick now for awhile. We have been unable to diagnose what is wrong with her and so the doctor here suggested we intern her. In light of that, we opted to send her to the states for care. So, please keep them in your prayers. And, add a P.S. prayer for me back home. I'm gonna miss them!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My first post

So the idea of having my own blog is an interesting one. Perhaps it will become like some of my other "great ideas" I'll get it started and then it will die a slow death. Who knows. But, hey, it is free and might be interesting to at least give it a try. So, here we go!