Friday, July 20, 2012

In these videos, I use a combination of Photoshop CS 5.5 and Google Sketchup 8 to create a 2D cutout character to be placed on my 3D set.  I combined a few online tutorials to figure this out and thought I'd share my process in action!  Please note that I use a combination of my mouse and a Wacom Bamboo drawing tablet but you can simply use a mouse.  Oh and I know, I kept saying "Pound" # key instead of Space Bar to get the selection tool.  Sorry XD!  Anyways, I hope you enjoy this little tut and please visit me on facebook and you can find out more information about my animated production there as well.

Part 1
Part 2

Colored Line Art

Check out this video from about varying your line art's color.  This is a must see if you are like me and tend to use a lot of black lines.  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Covered in Shadows

The hardship of a life lived in the shadows of China is unimaginable to me.  I live a life of complete comfort and liberty.  I have the right to freely move about wherever I please and make a life for myself how I see fit.

When I think of this, I’m struck with compassion for those who suffer all around the world.  I reflect on how bad it must be for those who flee their homeland.  Why must the world suffer such injustice?  What will it take for all of us to refocus our attention to what really matters?

The good people of North Korea are a proud and incredibly resilient people.  They continue to endure extreme hardships that would challenge the will of any man.  So, they escape hell on earth with the hopes and dreams of a better life only to jump into another frying pan.  Now, they are lost in a world that they do not understand nor belong.

“Tears of the Sun: Jin’s Story” (title name change in progress  :D) is a project that I’ve begun to spread awareness to the problems facing the people of North Korea.  We will use animation to tell a not to uncommon story of a North Korean family caught up in a world wind of change as they are torn from a life of privilege in P’yonyang and subjected to unspeakable crimes, acts of violence and persecution.  Harsh conditions of life force the family to make tough decisions that will undoubtedly alter the course of their lives.

As I work on this project, I’m continually reminded of the responsibility that I and every one of us have to help humanity and spread liberty for mankind.  It could come in the form of giving to a respectable non-profit like LiNK, doing a creative project like me, or by simply speaking to friends about the crisis.  All acts such as these are worthy causes.  We must stay vigilant and actively continue to protect life and liberty in all parts of the world.  So, get involved and be active!!!  XD

With great humility and compassion,

Frank, CO

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sketchup Modeling - Shanty Town Set Design

Here are the latest editions to "Shanty Town - China"...   I'm using Google Sketchup Pro 7&8.  I hope to finally decide on some shots this week and start pulling them into Photoshop to do some final brush-work.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Shanty Town...?

Here is the beginning of a shot for a rundown town in China. This set will be huge! I used Google Sketchup for the modeling in 3D.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Project update…

This project has been a labor of love and passion starting in 2006 when I first witnessed "Children of the Secret State".  That documentary really opened my eyes to the tremendous challenges facing ordinary people in North Korea.  So many things have happened in my life since then but I’ve always held this issue close to my heart.  Early on, I wanted to find a way to help and to raise awareness.  It became obvious that I should use my most natural talent which was art and the telling of stories with it.

Up to this point, I hadn’t done any animation.  My only experience was in drawing comics.  I was set on a new journey of artistic discovery going from 2D to 3D and finally back to a combination of the two.  I’ve spent a considerable amount of time trying to find the easiest way to tackle this mountain of work.  First, I thought that 3D rendered as 2D cel shading was the way to go.  I figured that I can build everything in Lightwave 3D and simply render the objects in different positions and poses when needed and still get the same “hand-drawn” effect.  While this did work, I could not control the placement of lines like I wanted and grew dissatisfied with the results.  So, back to the drawing board so to speak and I began looking into 2D apps like Anime Studio and Toon Boom Studio.  Finally I settled on Toon Boom Animate Pro and have not looked back.

Recently, I joined teams with a good friend of mine Ian Pearson to help refine/redo the script and generally help out with many of the other aspects of the project.  What a great addition he has become.  Over the course of the past several months, his interest and concern for North Korea has grown.   We’ve taken the original concept/idea/intent of the story and switch it all around with hopes that it’ll be more gripping and a better story overall.

Finally, I’m closer to making some decisions on the background designs.  There will be a lot of back drop images to paint as this story will start in North Korea and then go through China, Laos, possibly Thailand and then South Korea.  While exploring the architecture and design of these Asian countries will be fun and interesting, it also presents a large challenge.  So far, I’m using Google Sketchup and then pulling the layers into Photoshop for final painting (images to follow soon!).  We are a very small team with an even smaller budget.  We’ll need to streamline our processes as much as humanly possible.  We wish to support and respect the honor of the people North Korea in all that we do.  It is of utmost importance to us that they are understood from a humanitarian point of view.  Everything we do will enlist this spirit!

Thank you for supporting this project and the North Korean people!

Best Regards,

Frank Freeman.