Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Silver Surfer in NY

This might be one of the oldest artworks I have with me. Back in 1993-1995, I was with Philippine Animation Studio and supervising layout for the overseas productions of Marvel TV series. One of them was one whole season of Fantastic Four (actually the two-season DVD for Fantastic Four 1995-96 is now available in stores). Every episode, they have a guest superhero and on this one, they have the great Silver Surfer. Silver Surfer is supposed to be right smack in the middle of the frame hovering fast towards the camera. The middle part was rendered dark to to give a good contrast on the character (light over dark). This is a 16 fld set-up (which is already big considering the TV standard of 12 fld). There is a camera pull back following the Surfer and a fancy camera rotation as well. The artwork is done on TV 16 fld-size smooth vellum paper using black prismacolor.

The Tank

While working on the defunc "My Peoples" in September, 2003, I did a small movie of my toys inside the Disney studio. The whole thing was done in my pod and it took me a month to finish this "secret" project of mine. Everything was shot using my regular Sony video camera on green screen bg and did a little bit of matte painting. I used a bit of efx tricks I learned from watching DVD extras to create the explosion. The movie was edited on my laptop using Adobe Premiere and re-edited in Final Cut. Music was from the re-release CD of the 1925 Ben-Hur and sound efx were acquired online. Arrangements were being made for this short to be shown on the dailies but sadly the studio was shut down and never made it into the 'big screen'. Well here it is for you to enjoy.
Notes: If you see a 'hand' on one shot, that's mine. Also, I didn't mean to make the bad guy win. It just so happen that's the available toy at the moment and I had a "deadline".

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Culvert

It was last March I believe that my good friend Marcelo posted on his blog about a development art he did of Lilo and Stitch standing in a culvert (fig. 1). He thought it never made it into the film. Well, it did. Back in 1999 right after working on Tarzan, I was being launched to work on Lilo and Stitch when I came across a development art that for me one of the few that really stood out - Lilo and Stitch in a culvert. It could be the scale of the culvert, the childish fun or both that attracted me to that artwork. Since the idea was not associated with any particular sequence it was put aside. But somehow I always had it at the back of my mind just waiting for the right moment for me to use the idea in my workbook. Then comes the perfect opportunity. I was asigned to do the workbook for an Elvis song sequence titled "Dysfunctional Angel". It's a series of events introducing the mischievousness of Stitch. On the opening shot for the sequence, Chris Sanders didn't suggest any location for the characters in his storyboard. It was even framed originally very tight on the characters. Then the culvert idea came back! I quickly designed the first shot on my workbook with the elements from Marcelo's but toning down a bit specially on the size of the culvert in order not to divert attention from the characters and even on the scale of the bridge in order to make it more "playskool"-ish. I took out the water drop from the concept art so it can just be painted and not be animated by efx anymore. By the way, Chris' character drawings on the storyboard has so much charm that I kept them in my workbook panel (fig. 2). Chris and Dean bought the idea and the design and eventually made it into the film (fig. 3). That was the one and only time the culvert was seen in the movie. In a small way, I hope that gave justice to a well thought and well designed concept art.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Pixar Visit

Last Friday, I went up to the Bay area and visited a few friends over at Pixar. On the photo with me are Nelson Bohol (left) and Craig Grasso (middle). Nelson and I went all the way back to our freelance days at Pacific Rim Animation Studios in Manila doing Saturday morning cartoons. He then worked on Anastasia for Fox Animation in Arizona before moving on to Pixar and worked in visual development for Finding Nemo. Craig on the other hand is my most challenging video game buddy at Disney and we both worked on Mulan, Lilo and Brother Bear. He then help visually develop Ice Age 2 for Blue Sky then now at Pixar as a storyboard artists. You guys are awesome!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Here's another one. A layout pose of Shang Yu giving the halt signal to his men after capturing two imperial soldiers. layout was done I believe in 1997.


While doing my move last weekend, I came across my old stack of Mulan artworks (only copies of course!) and found this layout pose of Yao. This is from the avalanche sequence where Yao is sitting on Ling's shoulders. He's about to fire an arrow with a rope tied around it to save Mulan and Shang as they were being dragged by the snow. This was done using prismacolor on 24 fld animation paper. It is one of my favorite layout poses and since I found a bunch of them, there's more to come...

A Take on Lilo's House

Here's probably one of the most famous shots of the house in Lilo & Stitch. The scene has Nani running into frame in perspective from the left towards the house. She has to make it in time before the social service guy, Cobra Bubbles, arrive. I did the rough layout for this shot and originally I designed the scene with a tree and their mailbox in the middle foreground of the scene for interest (fig.1). Then the directors suggested to move the objects to the left. I kinda like where the mailbox is so I suggested to keep the mailbox and just move the tree (fig.2). But of course when the actual animation was done, I have to say bye bye to my beloved mailbox to give more 'stage' for Nani's action (fig.3). It's all good as long the scene works. Photoshop wasn't being used that much then so I have to use the good old reliable 'gumby'. You can still see the 'ghosts' of the the tree and the mailbox in the original layout drawing.


Last week, our Jewish friends celebrated passover and I got reminded of a painting I did three years ago for a union exhibit back in my Disney days in Florida. This was done in oil on canvas and retouched in Photoshop. Orginal size is 18 x 24. The idea here is very staightforward. A biblical event showing agony and death of all the firstborn outside the shelter with doorposts stained with the blood of a lamb. This was on exhibit at the Maitland Museum of Art in 2003-2004.

Monday, April 10, 2006

El Pacifico...

Check out the my first full page posting on our pirate blog El Pacifico. It's done completely in Photoshop.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Pirate Club

(l-r)Marcos Mateu, Marcelo Vignali, and Armand Serrano. Check out our Pirate Club blogsite El Pacifico. This is an exercise on comic book improvisation between the three of us which we started a month ago.

The Lost Street Scene

This layout is from a deleted scene on Lilo & Stitch where a car driver stops to ask direction from Lilo (if I remeber it right). The driver then speeds off making a turn on the distant intersection. It's a layout that is so simple and yet I like how it turned out. The atmosphere is very tropical and island-like specially the combination of dark clouds (as if there's a storm coming) and sunshine. I remember I enjoyed designing the shops at the end of the street and the foliage on the right. This was also done in graphite on smooth 16 fld animation paper.

Lilo's Dog Pound

Welcome to my new blogsite. Finally I was able to find time to set this up. My first post is this layout that I did for Lilo & Stitch and probably one of my favorites. What makes this layout so special is aside from being huge (actual size is approx. 19" x 44"), it's one of those shots where you spend a whole week (with overtime) designing background and character layouts and figuring out camera mechanics as well then eventually the whole thing ends up barely three seconds on the screen. But that's alright. I had so much fun with it and very rewarding. If you look closely, the fun drawings that I put on the wall was originally designed by my very talented friend Marcelo Vignali who did an amazing work as a freelance visual development artist for Disney at that time. This is for the scene where Stitch was coming out of the pound. Jumba fired some shots from his blaster then Stitch jumps from the door on the right to the sign post (there's an animated sign hanging there), then to the branch, then finally ends up behind the rock on the left. This was done with B and 2B graphite pencils on smooth 24 fld animation paper.