Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I've been pretty sick the past week and a half so I haven't been able to do much work.  I'm finally feeling better and back to work though.   There isn't much in the way of progress to report (although the final character models are nearly complete) but I've been meaning to write a post about what inspired us to make a short film.  So here it is.

For me the it started a few years ago when I attended Siggraph for the first time in L.A.  Seeing all of the great shorts at the Computer Animation Festival really got me excited about making my own.  The ones that really stood out for me were Oktopodi, Chump & Clump, Our Wonderful Nature, and My Little Angel. Check them out if you haven't seen them.  What I really enjoyed about those was the cartoony style they were done in (except for Nature, that one is just plain funny).  That look is obviously the direction we are going with our film as well.  But as excited as I was, it obviously didn't translate into actually doing a film back then.  I had several ideas for stories but they all felt too ambitious and I knew I couldn't do them justice on my own.

Fast forward 3 years to my next visit to Siggraph in Vancouver.  That trip again fueled my desire to make a film of my own. Notable inspirations there were Meet Buck, and Paths of Hate.  I loved the different texturing looks they both employed.  During the conference I also took great classes in storytelling with color, and cinematography.  I made it a point to remember the lessons I learned there so I could employ them in whatever film I would make.

It took a few months to finally get down to it, but here we are now making this film.   Obviously an important driving force behind doing this is to get steady jobs.  I hope to exhibit not only my animation skills, but my overall talent as a storyteller and creative thinker. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Character Version 2

After finishing the first version of the character I wasn't entirely happy with it.  I liked the elimination of the nose but the eyes were bothering me.  I ended up seeing this Exel gum commercial with some CG characters and I liked the simplicity of their eyes and their proportion to the rest of their faces.  Here is a picture of them so you can see what I'm talking about. 

So I played with the size of the eyes until I was happy.  I decided to keep the eyelids and the normal eyes.  He didn't look right with all black eyes.  On a suggestion from Wallace I also tapered the arms and legs and I think they look much cuter.  I'm a lot happier with the outcome.  Here it is.

The last step is still to do a bit of tweaking in Zbrush but I don't think he'll change too much.  Just to note I also have our other character finished but we won't be showing him since we don't want to spoil the story.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The first character

 Here is the first draft of our main dynamite character.  I'll just be altering this version to create his friend.  As you can see we have two versions.  One with a nose and one without.  We decided we liked him without a nose so that's the design we are going with.  The next step is to take him into Z Brush and add some more detail and play around with the sculpt of his face until we are happy.

No more snag

Just got a call from the gig I was supposed to start and was told they are going to do the job in house now.  Guess they got more time from the client.  It sucks but I guess that's the nature of the business sometimes.  C'est la vie.  Luckily Wallace has finished his job extremely fast so it looks like we are back in full swing again.  I'll be posting an image of the first pass of our main characters soon.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Good Snag

As luck would have it, as soon as we publicize our new endeavor, we hit a slight snag. It's a good snag though. Both Wallace and I have gotten calls in the past 2 days to work on paid gigs. Hurray! They are both short though, so there shouldn't be a big delay. We'll both still try and work on the film at night but there might not be too many posts this coming week We'll be back in full swing soon.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The Set

Wallace got to work quickly on the set. As I mentioned before it is taking place inside a train car.  The camera will start outside the train car to establish the setting so we'll need the outside and inside fully built.  Here are a few images of it as it has progressed until now.

It's still a work in progress but it's coming along great.

The Characters

As I said in the previous post, I'm not much of an illustrator.  Luckily, Wallace knows a friend who is.  Michael Concannon was kind enough to whip up some character sketches for us.  I think he did them while riding the train.  How coincidental?  Here is his quick sketch:

So here we've got the set as well as our two main characters. There were three characters but I erased one of them from the sketch.  We are going to keep him a secret for now.  We wouldn't want to give away everything now would we?  And as you can see, there is no canonball.  Mike had the idea of just making it two dynamites and we liked that.  It makes for one less character model and setup while not changing the heart of the story.  Anything to streamline our production is great so thank for the suggestion and the sketches Mike!

Here's Mike's website.  Check it out.

Getting Started

After settling on the story outline, we started with a storyboard.  I'm not much of an illustrator but I banged one out in photoshop using my tablet.  Here is the first page:

So as you can see, our setting is inside a train car which is loaded with explosives.  Our two main characters are a canon ball and a stick of dynamite and they are having some fun in a playground made of old boards and train parts.  You might also notice our title was "Wanna Play?", and that was only a week ago.  The title is fluid.  I think we've settle on Perfect Match but who knows what it might be by the end?

The Idea

After scrapping our original idea of working on a set Wallace had already built and introducing a character to it, we talked about others we both had.  There were a few criteria this idea had to have for it to work for us.  One, it needed to be short enough that we could complete it in a reasonable amount of time. Two, it had to have a nice set for Wallace to show off his skill.  Three, it had to have great characters so I could show off my animation.  And lastly, it had to have a great story to pull it all together.  After discussing this we decided to use an idea I had been sitting on for a few years.  So sit back, relax, and stay tuned for our journey into short film making.


Hello there visitor!  Our names our David Diaz and Wallace.  Welcome to the production blog of our animated short currently entitled "The Perfect Match".  Over the course of the next few weeks we plan on documenting our progress through this blog.  This is our first attempt at a short film so we hope to use this to not only track our progress but to hopefully see what we did well and what we could improve when we are done.  And maybe our experience will help you make your own short some day.  Stay tuned for more!