Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Glenn Davis - Be Honest - UNOFFICIAL Music Video

I recently had the pleasure to work on one of my first full fledged music videos. The musician in question is Glenn Davis of the band Way Yes.  At the end of this month he will be releasing his very first solo album titled Waves & Webs.  Glenn recently helped me create the music for my 2016 reel and as a fellow Ohio native I felt extremely connected to helping him create a video for his single, Be Honest.  His entire album centers around the turmoil that followed a failed marriage, so all of his songs have a shared meaning in love and loss.  Be Honest is unique in that it has a very driving beat and higher energy than his other singles.  When we discussed ideas for the music video we tossed around all things relating to what honesty is and what it means in different forms.  We landed on the idea of chameleons and their ability to shift their colors.  How this effects their ability to be honest or dishonest with their surroundings and who they are.  We took the idea a step further by having a central character who did not want to conform with the ever changing colors he is being bombarded with on a daily basis. With this in mind I took off to sketching out and developing more ideas, characters, and storyboards.

As you can see my sketchbook is very stream of conscious and rough.  I like to spend the majority of my time actually developing the art and animation.  I use my sketches as a quick way to just put my ideas on paper.  I did everything from research about chameleons to looking at all shapes and sizes of the species. Once I had these things locked down I went into creating my characters and assets.  I knew I wanted the look to be vibrant and alive to match the emotion of the song, so instead of using a clean vector look in Illustrator, I decided to use hand drawn elements in Photoshop to give everything a much more textural feeling.

Now that my assets were created, I was free to bring everything into After Effects and just get down to the nitty gritty of rigging and animating.  When rigging characters I use a program called Duik.  This is a free program that works great with setting up character rigs within After Effects.  All you have to do is label and parent your elements properly and you have a working character rig within minutes.

It's a little challenging showing all the layers in one shot, but this is what the set up looks like after the rigging is done and Duik has performed it's magic.  Basically I get a set of about 8 controls that let me easily manipulate the character in a way that makes sense.  Once this is complete with all the various characters I do all my animating.  After many hours and hundreds of keyframes you end up with the music video you see below.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Blacksmith Andre Illustration and Rigging

I recently played through Dark Souls 3 and loved it. I enjoyed it so much I had to create my own animation of one of my favorite NPCs, Blacksmith Andre. I created the illustration in Photoshop and did the animation and rigging in After Effects using Duik.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Sun Maker

A little late to the show, but I'm finally getting around to sharing the film I created with my friends for Sylvania's 2016 Tree City Film Festival. This film was a part of the 50-hour challenge during the festival. This basically means we had 50 hours to write, shoot, and edit a film (not a lot of time for those of you who don't know!) Before the teams break out and begin they are each given a genre (ours was western), a prop (lightbulb), a character name (Robin Chandler), and a line of dialogue ("it's in the trunk."). All of these elements must be incorporated somehow into your film for you to be accepted. So, we got our elements on Friday night and set off into the weekend of work and filming. We honestly used EVERY bit of time we had to make this film come to life, but I've honestly never been more proud of something that I filmed. We shot the whole thing on just my iPhone using the Filmic Pro app and a Moondog Anamorphic lens. After all was said and done I'm happy to say that this year, our 3rd time entering the festival, we won best picture! Ok, enough suspense, please enjoy both the film and the behind-the-scenes below.

Cats - The CATastrophe

I had the privilege of once again mentoring for Sylvania's Shorties U program.  Shorties U is a program in which kids (5th-8th) come together over 4 Saturdays to write, direct, shoot, and edit their very own films.  As a mentor I'm in charge of facilitating the whole production and just trying to keep the kids on rails.  This year our only prompt was to be in the Theatre of the school.  Naturally, we decided to write a film based on auditioning for a play.  Without spoiling anything else, please enjoy our film.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Chris Koelsch - Animation Reel 2016

It's been a crazy start to the year but I've finally been able to get around to finishing my animation reel for 2016. It's always a huge weight off my shoulders to get this done. It also serves as a great way to reflect on what I've done over the past year, how I've grown, and how I want to keep growing. This year I was lucky enough to get some original music from Glenn Davis. A fellow Ohian, Glenn currently resides in Columbus, OH where he can be found playing music solo or with his band Way Yes (I highly suggest checking them out). If you want to listen to more of Glenn's personal work you can go HERE. Well, that's it for now. Check out the reel below and keep your eyes peeled for more animation in the year to come!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Thursday, December 17, 2015

A Bun House Christmas 2015

Made a little animated holiday card featuring the Bun House crew. I was listening to a lot of Charlie Brown's Christmas while making this and it definitely affected the whole vibe. Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Metal Gear Solid V: Snake's Worst Day

This animation was inspired by a series of doodles I was making while playing through Metal Gear Solid V. I enjoyed a lot of the games gadgets and mechanics and thought it would be fun to explore those in an animated short. I also got to test out and play with the most updated version of Duik, which was pretty educational. It is far more robust that the older versions and rigging is now much more powerful.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

New Walk Cycles with Duik 15

Yes it's been months since I've updated this ol' thing, but I haven't forgotten about it. I've just been doing a lot of freelance work and not a lot else recently. However, Duik just recently released they update to Duik 15 and it has a lot of awesome new features. The one I was most excited about was the ability to finally rig and animate 4 legged animals. Below are some walk cycles I've done so far with it. The dog isn't perfect but for a first trial I definitely learned a lot.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Reddit Gets Drawn (Animated) - 2 - Man with Orange Balloon

It came as quite a surprise to me that after my recent Reddit Gets Animated entry I received a personal message from a fellow Redditor.  In the message they explained how they loved the style and had a friend for whom they wished to do something similar.  Being a good Redditor I could not refuse such a request, so below is the result!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Reddit Gets Drawn (Animated) - 1 - Man in Orange Hoody Holds Cat

As many others do, I often find myself browsing Reddit throughout the day while twiddling my thumbs at work. When I am especially bored I will venture to the subreddit Reddit Gets Drawn. In this particular subreddit various users will submit photos (much like the one I've shown below) and other users will draw them in various ways. I decided to try taking it to the next level and making a short animated .gif of the person instead. I hope to do this more in the future, but here's the first ever Reddit Gets Animated.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Fox Run

Being slow at work means more run cycle tests. I'm always trying to figure out and get better at animal run cycles...they are a whole different beast.  Here's my attempt at a fox.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

After Effects "2D/3D" Head Turn Rig Tutorial Follow Up - Run and Walk Cycles

So in the post prior to this one I shared a little tutorial I made about created a "2D/3D" character head turn in After Effects.  I played around a little more to see how this would fit into my full body character rig workflow and I was pretty pleased with the results. I even took it a step farther and made a torso turn that was parented to the head turn.  At the end of the day it may not seem like a huge difference, but being able to freely turn a characters head back and forth is a new achievement for me and really opens a lot more doors when it comes to what's possible with some light character animation in After Effects. No tutorial this time, but enjoy a few .gifs of the results.

Monday, May 25, 2015

After Effects "2D/3D" Head Turn Rig Tutorial

Recently I've been wanting to push my animated characters to the next level, and for me that means turning heads. It's the obvious next step in the progression of making your characters that much more dynamic and believable. I've seen many artists rigs and animations with this sort of idea implemented, but I have a tough time finding solid tutorials or guides into how to truly make this rig. However, I did find this video from Ross Plaskow on simply making a 2D head turn.

This is an amazing tutorial to get started and I definitely suggest you watch it before mine; however, this video stopped just 1 step short of where I wanted to actually get to. I wanted to see how to actually take that head turn and then implement it into a full body character rig like one might make using Duik. After some experimenting and fumbling around I ended up creating the tutorial below. It's not the most in depth thing you'll watch all day, but hopefully it unlocks just enough inspiration for you to take this and use it in your own rigs moving forward. Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Foxy Walk Cycle

It dawned on me recently that I have never made an animal character before...and this is a huge problem. So I decided to work some in to my most recent project. I designed a little foxy lady and made her walk today, I was pretty pleased with the result.

Moment of Truth

This is an animation I put together for my sister for one of her midwife classes. They were tasked with making a video on the moment they realized that they wanted to be a midwife. I said, "That's cool, but let's make it an animation." So she did the writing and provided the VO while I did the animating. In the end it was really fun to take a story like this and bring it to life in a way only animation could. Getting free creative reign is something you don't find often in client work so it was fun to just let my hair down on this one and not worry if I was hitting the mark or not.

Storyboard Images

Animation Samples

Monday, May 4, 2015

Rooties 2015 Creative Excellence Award Presentation

Each year at my work we have an event where we all get together, have fun, and also give out awards to people who best represent our core values. In 2014 I won the award for Creative Excellence, which meant that it was my duty to preset the 2015 winner with their award. To do this I decided to do what I always do, which is make an animation. Had a lot of fun making a robot...I actually found that I don't do enough random characters after making this piece. It was a nice change of pace for me.

Bun House Film's entry for the Tree City 50 Hour Film Festival: Missing Meow

For the second year in a row my friends and I aka Bun House Films, have entered into Sylvania's Tree City Film Festival. The festival is a 50 hour film challenge, which basically means we only have 50 hours to complete the entire film and turn it in. The genres are selected at random and this year we were given "The Cat Lady". I think if we learned anything from our experience this year it's that cats are straight divas. Please enjoy our entry, Missing Meow, and a view at our Behind The Scenes. Until next year!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Tree City's 3rd Annual Film Festival Poster

Last year I had the joy of participating in the Tree City Film Festival with my film troupe, Bun House Films.  This year we are back, but I also had the opportunity to design the poster for the event this year. 
I was provided with a single line to inspire my design - "The root of all evil." From there my mind started working up ideas.  I looked at a bunch of other poster designs and tried to pull things I liked from all of them to create my own piece.  One thing I liked was creative use of negative space.  Obviously poster designs need room for text so this is a useful technique to create space.  I also really liked when poster designs were kept to a very small color palette.  For my poster I ended up using 4 greens based off of Tree City's main brand green.  The actual design was just my interpretation of the line I was given.  Obviously the city is known for their tree's so I wanted to tie that in as much as possible.  The film festival actually takes place in a historic train barn so incorporating that somehow was another goal of mine.  From there I just began creating this eerie and whimsical world which you see below.  I was given a lot of free reign on this design so I really just let the artwork lead me in creating the final piece. I'm happy with how it came out and I can't wait to participate this year!

Micah 8 Year Portrait

Recently had the privilege of doing a portrait for another coworker.  When someone at my company has their 8 year anniversary they are rewarded with a much larger and more robust portrait.  This was the first 8 year portrait I've been able to do so I was particularly excited.  This was also my first time attempting pixel art seriously. It was a little bit of a risk combining two firsts like that, but I think it paid off. I really enjoy the 8bit result.