Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Robot Christmas

What do robots have to do with Christmas ?
As much as reindeer, snowmen, and anything else we've attached to celebrate a religious birthday...

So this year, in the spirit of holiday frugality, I have re-purposed an animated piece I created for a company I used to work for. I originally made this in 2001, we entered it in a few contests, had it shown at a local theater before a feature movie, and then it just sat on youtube in low resolution. (Back before you could upload HD)

It was originally supposed to be a quick animated christmas greeting, but I took the simple concept of Santa landing on a strange planet to plant a Christmas tree a little further. He's befriended by a huge robot, that helps him find his way.

I built the entire piece in Flash, except the robot, he was built and animated in Lightwave, then converted to vector to be used in Flash, if I made this now I would've definitely used Anime studio, the version of Flash back then didn't have the best rigging tools for characters, (it actually had none thinking about it)

Seeing as the company I made this for no longer exists, (they were bought and chewed up by a corporate monster) I felt this would be better suited for my 'Y Band of Robots' project.

Enjoy the new HD version (watch in 1080 !)
 and have a MERRY CHRISTMAS !!!!

the updated sequel coming next year !
and also like us on facebook

© 2011 a million pictures ent. all rights reserved

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Spacedog, with apologies

I had created some new merchandise of one of my cartoon characters, and I received a message from Zazzle stating the item would not be allowed on the marketplace, this of course came as a shock, nothing was a copyright infringement, or offensive,..but then I realized my characters name, Zipperhead, is a derogatory slang. I've been using that name for so long, and I never knew it was offensive !

I sincerely apologize if anyone was upset or insulted, I have now changed his name to "Spacedog Laddie".

Part of me hates changing it, the old logo was actually drawn by John Kricfalusi 

But you won't find anything with that Zipperhead logo on it now, 
(unless your one of the people getting a mug or shirt this christmas). 

I'm really anxious to post some animation of him, hopefully soon,. for now, check out the new

© 2011 a million pictures ent. all rights reserved

Thursday, November 17, 2011

the Puppets ! the Puppets !!

I've been called a masochist,..not that I'm into pain or anything, but I will usually do whatever it takes to get a job done, no matter how tedious, or laborious. Case in point, the latest animated video for Y - Band of Robots, is a "live" performance piece that is definitely the most complicated, involved, animation project I've ever worked on. (over 10,000 frames in one continuous shot to render)

As I mentioned in a previous post, I found a program called iPi, that lets you use the Kinect depth camera to record 3d motion, then apply it to whatever you'd like with your favorite 3d program. Well, despite having a brand new souped-up computer to work on, I can't use the software because I need a certain video card....
so, until I can make that happen, it's back to animating my robots as IK rigged puppets.

The drummerbot has 4 arms, each controlled by a goal object (the squares in the picture).  And even his kit has morph targets set to animate when he hits a cymbal, or a kick drum. Lots of graph editing.


The bassbot has articulated fingers on both hands, he only has 3 fingers on each hand for a few reasons, mostly to save time animating, but really, he's a robot, he can do more with 3 than people could with 5.

Eventually, I'm going to get the motion capture software to work, but I'm still tweaking the hell out of his moves with that precision bass.

I'm currently working on the keyboard bot, it's definitely not as involved as the other performances,
especially considering we wont get a close up look at her hands !

There are many improvements from the previous Ybot videos, like this one where I used Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 to create the fireworks and laser show.

don't forget to like us on Facebook !!

© 2011 a million pictures ent. all rights reserved

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

option 7

I'm working on so many different things right now, so I'm going to shamelessly use this weeks blog entry to promote one of my original music projects. I'm really excited about the music we've been coming up with, and looking forward to performing this stuff onstage.
For now you can preview some demo versions of songs heading for our first 2 cd's..

sell music online

please feel free to share this widget, join our mailing list, send us money, recommend us to your friends, or you could just say hello on facebook or reverbnation

Saturday, October 29, 2011

creepy clowns

I was really trying to finish an animated music video I'm producing for the band "Option 7"
before Halloween, as it is a creepy song, sung by creepy clowns,...but, well,..it's not done yet...
so, heres a preview of some of the art from the video, both of these are fully vector, created in Anime Studio, and have articulated mouths, eyes, and hair, I'm still working on their bodies.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ybots live at the Stadium !

Another ongoing project I'm thoroughly passionate about, is
Y - Band of Robots, otherwise known as the "Ybots".

They have a rich and exciting backstory, (from a million years in our future, a time when humans have evolved into bio - mechanical beings)...but without getting into all of that right now, this post is about a video of them performing live that I'm  currently producing.
 I'm clinging to the hope that one day, I'll be able to bring this show to the stage for real, but for now, this is the only way to see my robot friends perform.

The video is in a local theater, and features performances of music from the "Colourworks" cd, opening with 'Channel X', into a new version of 'Skylab'.

Unfortunately, I'm still animating them as rigged puppets, at least until I can afford this Motion Capture system.  - 

UPDATE ! I recently discovered a way to use the Xbox Kinect camera to animate them, check out, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvRP7qXCBCA
hopefully I'll get this process to work !

UPDATE to the UPDATE ! - after tracking down the power adapter I needed for the Kinect camera, the ipi studio software isn't working,..argh

 another new improvement is the handheld camera work, check out this test sample..

Eventually, I plan on writing another post about the all the methods used to create this video, but for right now, I'm goin back to work on bringing this performance to life..

if interested, you can purchase the Ybots debut cd, 'Colourworks' here -
or, you could like them on facebook !

Monday, October 10, 2011

pants snappin

These are a few frames from a series of early drawings, where Spacedog deals with his uncomfortable pants... 

These drawings won't be used in the production as I'm recreating them in vector form

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

sketched out

In my resurgence of interest in bringing Spacedog to life, I've been going through the many sketches I've done over the years, this page illustrates some early ideas, most of which have been changed since then...

I also found these 2 sketches for backgrounds, and they immediately reminded me of my trip to New Hampshire to play with the band I was in at the time, (I think it was a funk oufit called 'The Bizness'). The keyboardist and I broke down on the way there, and we were stuck at a garage somewhere, so while waiting for the repairs I started sketching what was around me, I wonder if anyone can tell where we were ?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

buy our crap !

yep, we have a store on zazzle now,..not that anyone but us will buy this stuff, but it is exciting to think it's available to everyone :)

Create a personalized gift at Zazzle.