Tuesday, April 29, 2008

120 [m ] Month of Ben

Color pencil on copier paper placed in template.

Every year as long as I've worked at Cartoon Network, my group has assembled a calendar. 12+ pages of cartoon inspired wackiness... more or less.

Above are three conceptual drawings for the Ben 10, Alien Force page/month. The third is heavily inspired by a poster for Escape from Witch Mountain, an visual inspiration sited by show producer, Glen Murakami.

The second design was chosen and finished by Brian McGee and Matthew Crouch.

120 [m ] aarrgh

Pencil on copier paper.

You know what? I don't remember what this job was about.

Plainly, I had designed a couple of caricatures in pirate garb in the style of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. And to fill out the line up Blooregard as a buccaneer captain.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Supa Zuda Girl

Supergirl © DC Comics

Here is a second Zuda postcard I sent in that got posted. It's page 267. The reason it only fills half the box is because it's been turned 90-degrees from how it was drawn and reduced.

It has recieved one favorable comment as of this writing.

Curiously, you can zoom in quite a bit on the images. Oooh paper grain and ink bleed!

I doubt my third postcard will get posted, as it is of Marvel characters, Kitty Pryde and Lockheed.

Wonder Girl

"Tire Swing" Tufgrl © Bryan Mon

Here's some thing I drew, that can be found on zuda

When I did attend Wonder-Con in San Francisco February of this year, DC Comics as part of their marketing of their new online comic community site, Zuda Comics, had blank postcards upon which folks could write and draw. Most postcards returned to Zuda get scanned and posted on the web site. With posts beginning in November 2007, Zuda apparently started this at a fall 2007 comic convention; San Diego or Heroes Con perhaps.

This image above I drew and sent back in the mail. It only just got posted in April.

If you are interested in what else is posted, then you can "explore comics".
This is image/page 263.

Friday, April 25, 2008

120 [m ] KLIK Trophy 2007

a) Trophy turn-around, pencil and vector art.
b) Trophy base rotation, vector art.
c) Trophy color keys.

Last summer, the "On-Air" group hosted a skating competition/tour. The simplest way to describe what "On-Air" does is that they make the 10 seconds of "You're watching Cartoon Network." Not actual shows, but still major contributions towards establishing the network's identity and personality.

They wanted trophies and they had neither a lot of time nor a lot of money.

The unofficial mascot, Klik, was design by Andrew Bates of "On-Air," which I conceived different views assembled into a turn-around* drawing. Klik is set upon the extruded unofficial logo of Toonami, which was a two-hour block of action programming on the network. Because that was very geometric, I used Adobe® Illustrator® to design a rotation* drawing of the base. The clever part of that, I thought, was that the logo is not seen looking stright down on the trophy/base, but straight on at the face upon which Klik is set. You can see in the side views how the face is at an angle.

On top of that, I tried to compose visual examples of gold , silver, and bronze trophies on stained wood (shown), black lacquer (not shown) and white lacquer (not shown) bases.

Because of the afore mentioned issues of time and money, we ended up dealing with the one trophy manufacturer that responded to our request - not a good sign. The trophy design was simplified to keep it compact to be molded in a single or as few pieces as possible. So the arms came in close to the body, and tight spaces and undercuts got filled in with material.

The final trophies came out with a surface finish a lot rougher than the bright metallics we had envisioned. They were cast of something called, if I recall correctly, hydrostone, - I don't think that the Academy Awards are made of hydrostone. Lastly, they were all painted with metallic paints, again not giving us the bright, polished appearance for which we were hoping.

Still, somebody must have won something from it all and they now have physical proof.

Both are composed of multiple views of an object: front, side, back, top, etc.
A turn-around is more conceptual, as in "I think that's how that would look like from that view" or in animation, "this is how you draw that from this view."
A rotation comes from engineering, construction, manufacturing, etc. It is a technical drawing, which depicts exactly as possible what that looks like from that view. You can take real measurements from it.
Lastly, as a point of argument to all my animation based associates, each individual drawing is called a view, not a turn-around; as in front view, right side view, etc. The turn-around is the organized combination of views.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

120 [m ] Trade ad

a) Black ink on copier paper.
b) Digital composite, digital color over scan of black ink.
c) Digital composite, scan of black ink.

The was a 2-page spread, trade ad early in 2007. The design look carried over from the successful 2006 "red" campaign, so called because of the red background through out the campaign.

The basic idea here is "look at us!"

We had considered mixing things up with Blooregard in front from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, and Four Arms (Ben Ten) juggling Foster's Mac with Jake Spidermonkey and Adam (My Gym Partner's a Monkey). In the end, we used Foster's Eduardo juggling Foster's characters and property.

120 [m ] Courage International DVD

Black ink and highlighter marker on copier paper.

Cartoon Network International (Europe) released half a dozen DVD collections last year: Dexter's Laboratory, Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken, The Powerpuff Girls and the Samurai Jack Movie. They came to our department for package/cover illustrations.

Here is a concept for Courage, the Cowardly Dog. I had done about four little concept sketches which ranged from a full scene, to minimalist things like this one. I actually favored this one, but didn't think International would go for it. — They did.

In fact, they liked it so much that they then requested that we design all of the first season covers as big faces, except for Powerpuff, which was going to carry over from the U.S. domestic design. That done, some body, like a buyer, said that they wouldn'tv all sell well like that, so they didn't end up using big heads for the others after all, just for Courage. Time being short by then, International put cover images together from art in the licensing style guides.

COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG is currently enjoying a second life airing weekday nights. The show is about a small, pink dog who is called upon to get past his terror to save his owners, a farmer and his wife from episodic peril of zombies, aliens, and the like.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tuff-Girl, Vegas baby

Black India ink on bristol board. 13.375" x 10".

I've been attempting to ink Tuff-Girl in an old, newspaper adventure strip style. More precisely, I've been trying to make them look like Milt Caniff's Terry and the Pirates stuff. Maybe only so far as making it look like Caniff's inks over my drawings.

I find that there was an economy of line in the Terry strips contrasted to his Steve Canyon strips, which had a lot more hatching making the strip more gray. Layout wise, Terry strips had more establishing shots, detailed backgrounds and generally mixed thing up visually, but in a good, interesting way.

Now, why not emulate Tarzan or Flash Gordon strips? Only for the reason that someone once compared the way I was drawing to Caniff's, and at least he drew adventure comics, and that's what Tuff-Girl was; a super-hero adventure comic.

I'll say this about "old style" inking, it's not terribly digital coloring friendly. Many of the lines don't close off areas, making the simple act of "Dropping color" into areas, not so simple.

120 [m ] Ben 10 Trade Advertisements pt.3

Red and blue rollerball ink on copier paper.

h) making use of the Omnitrix's face as an icon, the hourglass in a circle
i) Ben holds the Omnitrix high.

The typical licensing magazine is full of ads. of licensors like Cartoon Network, Disney, Dreamworks, etc. declaring the popularity, be it actual or potential, of their property to attract potential licensees. Some of the ads do all but literally make that statement, and some have supporting data. Many look like a fast food restaurant's menu of logos, while a few have the cleverness and visual appeal of a consumer ad. Then maybe 20% of the remainder of the magazine are articles and features about licensing, licensees, trends and trade shows.

They're like any magazine, "Cosmo," "Entertainment Weekly," what have you, but about licensing.

And just like any ad, half the job of the ad is to get people to stop and look at it.

120 [m ] Ben 10 Trade Advertisements pt.2

Red and blue rollerball ink on copier paper.

e) molecule of product photos
f) hero Four Arms tearing up a page out of the magazine
g) hero Heatblast burning a hole in a 2-page spread in a magazine

In this campaign, some of the ad space purchased was one page, some two pages, and one was a four page insert. Realistically, you can neither stretch a one page ad over four pages, nor compress four pages into one. What you can do is repeat the idea and look of the single ad over multiple pages as needed, adding supporting information to enhance the message.

The concept chosen for this campaign was to have Ben's alien hero from interrupt the licensing magazine by tearing, ripping, bruning, etc. what looks like an article revealing "Ben 10 world" accompanied, of course, by the message (f) and g)).

120 [m ] Ben 10 Trade Advertisements pt.1

Red and blue roller ball ink on copier paper.

The difference between a trade ad. and a consumer ad. is like the difference between whole sale and retail, the business is defined by the end user. The "trade" is licensing, which is letting companies enhance their product with your property usually some sort of trademark like a logo or cartoon character.

Goal: Advertise to trade the Ben 10 is a hot property ripe with licensing possibilities.

If you need to know anything about the T.V. series Ben 10, it is about 10 year old Ben who with a mysterious alien wrist watch, the Omnitrix, can transform into over ten alien forms. Ben uses the various abilities of these forms to fight bad guys.

a) and d) the visual metaphor of different product emanating from the Omnitrix.
b) a photographic collage of different Ben 10 product which combine to form several of Ben's alien hero forms.
c) genes or DNA or molecules.

If I remember correctly, these concept were developed by Jay Rogers, Clint Carruth and myself, the creative team assign to the job.

120 monotonae 2007

I am now going to take this opportunity to discuss some of the things I did at work last year.

"Work" is being an character artist/illustrator at Cartoon Network, Atlanta. The group of illustrators of which I have been a part for nearly six and a half years, is a sub group of a department that goes by the unimaginative name of Trade Creative Services. The department basically serves the creative (read that a visual design including illustration) requirements of marketing and (for now) licensing.

Most of what I have to show are conceptual sketches, not because I'm full of ideas, but the collaborative process of what we do results in a final image executed by multiple persons.

Welcome to the glamour and excitement of on-staff commercial artist.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Double Down

Red Col-erase pencil and placed art on comic layout board. 13.375" x 10.00" (33.973 cm x 25.40 cm). Second image is a detail in portrait aspect for a book cover.

Not satisfied with the image, Tuff-Girl has been re-drawn entirely, the roulette wheel shifted to the left, and the left thug's features are a little smaller.
Keeping the right thug's right hand holding the money bag is as of yet undecided. There isn't much space, and is not (probably to most readers) very clearly rendered as a gloved hand holding a bag.

The choice of red pencil and printed placed art has everything to do with the fact that red, when scanned with a color scanner, almost entirely appears white when the viewed in the red channel only*. When drawn over directly with black ink, the red is effectively erased in the red channel showing only the black. By not physically erasing anything, there is that much more time and effort saved, and that much less possibility of smudging the black. The original rough pencil was also drawn with red pencil, but posted to the blog as a grayscale image.
The finishing part of this Photoshop® trick is to convert the red channel only image to grayscale. Then clean up as desired or necessary.

* Color scanners create a digital image composed of three channels: red (R), green (G) and blue (B) together known as "RGB". Your television and most likely the computer monitor you are viewing right now is displaying images in RGB.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Vegas, Baby!

Col-erase pencil and placed art on board.

Tuff-Girl battles some baddies out side the famous Las Vegas Strip.
Pencil roughs for a possible poster and cover.

The placed art of the iconic, albeit modified, Las Vegas sign, we first created in Adobe Illustrator®, then manipulated in Adobe Photoshop® for simulate the proper perspective.