Liar, Liar

Pants on Fire. Your nose is longer than a telephone wire.

I recently got talking with someone about the best films we've ever seen; and I reckon I will always put Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels at the top of that list. It's got good, solid, characters, the use of the English language is off-the-wall, and it's one of the best-told stories I have ever come across. No matter how many times I've seen it; it still makes me laugh, makes me frustrated, and makes me excited to see what happens next. Classic British comedy at it's finest.

It's also a very, very well directed film (hats off to you, Mr Guy Ritchie!), so there were a LOT of shots that I wanted to illustrate. Alas, the week was busy, so I could only pick one. So, here's Tommy, during the boxing-ring poker game that sets the ball in motion.

I'm pretty happy with how this turned out overall. Wish I could spend more time on it, but between day-job, odd-jobs, and freelancey-design-jobs, I was lucky I was able to spend the few hours on this at all. I might return to Lock Stock for more inspiration in the not-too-distant future though; 'cause I had a lot of fun with it. And  it's a pretty good excuse to listen to the soundtrack and watch my favourite film all over again. And with scenes like this:

How could you not love it?:)

The Battle


Weeks ago, before I headed off to Catalunya, I drew two of my favourite MotoGP riders - Marquez and Rossi - battling for a win. Originally intended to be a doodle/a test/me playing around, I never felt the need to share it. After the events of the Dutch GP at Assen, though, I couldn't help but revisit! That last lap battle between these two guys? Amazing.

I didn't really know what I was going for at any stage, but I had the style I used here in mind.. Here's a breakdown of me playing around escalating into something more.* 

Original drawing with pen on paper. Finished off on the plane.
Messed up the lineart in Photoshop. Added lights and darks with line and tone.
Added colour.
Adjustment layers to add a little oomph. Et voila!


The Little Black Book - Character Sketches



Click to enlarge it! 

A few weeks ago, I bought a little black sketchbook. I don't know what I intended to do with it originally, but it quickly became a little book of characters. They're generally quick sketches; usually around five or ten minutes, depending, and they're a lot of fun! Here's a collection of twenty-five of them. Some of them are completely original, some of them are characters I created for other projects, and some of them are inspired by or adapted from books or films or TV shows or art that I've come across.

Some of these characters have backstories, and a lot of them are calling out for colour, so you might see a few of them crop up again soon. I've got a lot of other fun projects in the works too, which I can't wait to share!


Self-Portrait


This is more than a little bit outside my comfort zone: It's really very rare that I post photographs of myself anywhere online. I've been half-wanting and half-afraid to post this for a while now though, and the indecision is starting to seriously frustrate me. Ultimately, because I like to think of this space as a personal account of all the work I do, and because I want to try this project and more self-portrait-ish projects when I have more time, I've decided to go ahead and post it. So, tentatively... here's a (rotoscoped) portrait of myself. Click through to see the original photograph. Consider yourself warned. 





1916 Easter Rising


I'm a little bit late, but I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! In Ireland, Easter is significant both religiously and politically. I'm not going to go into detail (knock yourself out on the 1916 Easter Rising page on Wikipedia if you feel that way inclined), but I thought it would be an appropriate time to share this still video project.

You might remember last October I shared the colorization project above. Well, at the beginning of this semester we were asked to add movement to those photographs. So I came back to this one, separated out all the different layers within it, and added a bit of camera movement. I'm pretty happy with the end result!


Flash Game | The Getaway

BIG post today! I spent a solid chunk of last semester working on this interactive programming assignment. Weeks and weeks of drawing, animating, and coding, all working together to create a short and sweet little game called "The Getaway." Click HERE to play the game yourself!


"The Getaway" is a single-level flash platform game, which I made with my friend Kirsty. What I'm showing you today is the game bible, which basically shows you every element of design that became a part of the game; including character designs, environment layouts, user interfaces and start/finish screens. I also wrote a short(ish) backstory to give the game a bit of meaning, and added a few of the early sketches. Be sure to click on the images below to make 'em bigger, and click HERE to play the game yourself! :D


Animation | Lightning Bolts

What's this!? A new blog post? With many more ready and waiting to come very soon!? How shocking!



Sorry. It was a bad joke begging to be told, and I didn't put up much of a fight.

In all seriousness though, while it's not a strict resolution for 2015* I am going to make a conscious effort to give a little more time to my work and my websites from here on out. This community and network is hugely important to me, not least because I worked hard to develop it, but between the twists and turns of everything else that's been going on in my life, I let things slip. So, I've done the work, and I've gathered the files, and I've made the promise. Posts are on the way! Concept art, games, animation, photography, illustration; the works!

So without further ado, here's a short animated set of lightning bolts, created in Toon Boom Harmony last semester. I actually really enjoyed the controlled chaos of it, and also the fun glow and after-burn effects. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope ye come back here next Tuesday to check out one of the biggest projects I've completed to date. See you then. :)


*Long story, short: I don't believe in waiting for a new year, or a new season, or a new anything to make positive changes. If you think something needs improving, start working on it as soon as you can. "Don't put off until tomorrow, that which you can do today" and all that jazz. And thus concludes that tiny tidbit of my brain, as encouraged by my secondary school assembly speakers...

Don't Starve - Wednesday

Have any of you played the PC game, Don't Starve, by Klei Entertainment? If you haven't, you should! One of my assignments in college this term was to create a new character to be placed within an existing universe, and while some of my friends picked things like Adventure Time and Valiant Hearts, I picked Don't Starve. And I am so glad that I did!

So the first step in the process was research, research, research. I studied the game itself, paying attention to the the line weight, the colours, the shapes, and everything in between. I made some interesting discoveries that I might not otherwise have picked up on; almost every character in the game wears red, for example, and the males only have pupils, while the females only have whites in their eyes. The playable characters, as a set, are incredibly unified, right down to their names: almost all of them start with the letter W.

I also researched different types of characters that I might like to design; and eventually settled on a Horologist, whom I named Wednesday*. Then I was able to sketch out some ideas (throwing away most of them!) and eventually figured out how I wanted my character to look. Below, you can see how I drastically I changed the character from the original sketch into the final lineart.

The next step was colouring, which was a LOT of fun! We were taught a technique of colouring that I had never used before, which allowed for easy changes later on. It worked out quite well, I think! I experimented with different hues and things, but nevertheless I stayed true to the game's styling, and went with a predominantly red colour scheme, with a lot of black scribble detail.

The final part of the assignment was to place the character in different lighting situations, which was my favourite part, by far! We were given five different themes: 01) Mid-day sun 02) Dark rainy day 03) Moonlight 04) Sunrise 05) Haunted House. We weren't asked to design the backgrounds, per se, but I got a little carried away with them... 

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the end results. What do you think? Does my character fit in with Don't Starve? Do you have a favourite lighting condition?

*In honour of Wednesday Addams, whom I love, and think would fit in with the game perfectly! I also watched The Addams Family recently and remembered how much I loved it all over again.