Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wind Dragon...KAW!

*Concept by Pat Presley and James Zhang.

Not the most exciting samples of my work but we're celebrating Lair : Downloadable Content finally being released!
I wrapped on DLC work in September 07 and I'm pretty confused why it took so long for the work to get released. It's great to see it finally out there though...mostly 'cuz I animated one of the new playable dragons' flight cycles;)
The Wind Dragon is a nice detour from traditional dragon proportions. A long neck like a Chinese dragon with menacing shaped wings and a stub for a tail?! Yup, no slick tail motions or attacks for this guy. Not having to animate a long tail gave me some time to nap at work;)
I put quite a bit of effort into defining the Wind Dragon's character in wing shapes and timing. For a dragon that has similar proportions to a swan, I didn't want gamers to dismiss it as weak. Since the player perspective is from behind the dragon, the wing shapes had to be the strongest from that angle especially because the rest of the body and neck are not visible. The Medium Flap anim is where I started and the other 3 anims branched from there. I studied a lot of footage of geese for body and neck but used bats and seagulls for the wings; bat wings have a much more menacing and determined look to them. Even though the wing anatomy is different on a bat, I wanted to get the look bat wings have of catching pockets of air to keep the body up and the body hanging from the shoulders when the wings rise. Simplicity of seagull wing shapes is also something I wanted to capture - you can always recognize them from afar and simply draw them as a V shape with curved ends. The closest flight style of a geese is in Flap Small; not a lot of collapsing joints/follow through as the wings go up and down but most of the motion comes from the wing roots at the shoulders like a person floating on the ocean with the oscillations of the waves passing under his arms. Flap Strong didn't take a whole lot of work - it's pretty much the Flap Medium sped up and seems to work perfectly. A good example of holding back from my tendancy to over-animate...aaaaand I was just lazy.


Flap Small (Relaxed)

Flap Medium (Normal)

Flap Strong (Rapid)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Photo Equipment and Lighting

Scrounging through old notes from college, I found a very handy list. For the avid photographers in SF. Credits to John Caperton

San Francisco

Adolph Gasser Inc.
181 2nd st.
(415) 495-3852

Pro Camera
2298 3rd st.
(415) 431-3313

Photographer's Supply and Lighting
436 Bryant st.

Advance Camera (camera repair)
118 Columbus Ave.
(415) 773-9025

Calumet Photographic
2001 Bryant st.
(415) 643-9275

B & H Photo
(800) 947-9954

Photo Labs:

425 Bryant st.
(415) 957-9481

New Lab
651 Bryant st.
(415) 905 8555

Foto Depot
55 Third st.
(415) 222-9696

Friday, April 4, 2008

Big Dog Beta

Great find Dave! It's perfectly fine to kick over people in black spandex.