Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Still chugging along. Tomorrow I will meet with Kevin Ingrassia to discuss work on the 3d environment and try to get some simple camera moves for my two moving shots. I am debating how best to tackle my backgrounds. Thus far I have three possible illustrators who may be willing to help work on the project. Another rout I could go would be to do something similar to 'deep canvas' where I use a 3d background but heavily texture paint it. A mixture of the two may even be an option. Stay tuned for more updates!

Below we have a rough of one of the later scenes in my film where the father tries to escape a falling 20 foot painting.

A good friend and Mentor Steve Stanchfield was nice enough to help me on some shots. Here he has taken some of my keys and added a bit of his own personality to the animation. This is still very rough and I will be going in afterward to put the character on model.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Work continues on finishing up the animation for my film and moving into the 'tie-down'/'clean-up' phase.

I was able to talk to my friend and supporter Doug Stratton, the other day and begin discussion about how else I could promote and fund my project. I plan to hit up the Mitten Movie Project on March 1st and meet with Connie Mangilin, the starter of the festival and the one who contacted me about submitting my film.

In 2010 Doug Stratton interviewed me about my film after I had received the Stratton Scholarship. Many people have asked me about my career in art, my internship, and my film and here I discuss it all. You can find a video of it here:

or check it out at

After Steve Stanchfield finishes his shots and I can talk with Kevin Ingrassia, I should have enough material to complete a fully animated Lyka Reel. Keep an eye out for it on the blog.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I took some time to quickly render a background. My skills in the area are limited at best, and like a biology test I always seem to choke when I attempt one. However, as a test I am still pretty happy with the results. As I said before these are 70 frames of a 300 frame animation, and even in this stage it is a WIP. This has provided invaluable experience and trial and error knowledge in the process of cleaning up, shadows, and composting which I would not have had had I given the task to someone else.

Funding for my film has died down a bit since its explosion last week, but a good friend of mine Kerry Newill has expressed interest in coming on as a production manager / producer of "My Dad the Giant". Her skills will be most welcome and I am eager to hear some more specifics she has on the matter.

Lastly I have begun work on the "My Dad the Giant" poster to be available to donors of $100 or more on KickStarter. The poster will also be used in festival promotion. The poster will most likely be around a standard 16"x20" and has been heavily inspired by one of my favorite film posters for "The Third Man".

That's it for now, check in soon for further updates on the progress of "My Dad the Giant" and remember you can always donate and earn your place in the credits of my film at my KickStarter page.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Color Help and Flyers

My friend Lee recently told me about a large party coming to Michigan. He and his friends will be hosting and over a thousand people are scheduled to attend. Gift baskets will be handed out and he recommended I create fliers to be placed in the basket at the party. I jumped at the opportunity and have now created some nice and cheap 4x6 fliers and will be printing them at

My good friend, roomy, and fellow artist Mel Miller was kind enough to donate some of her time and help me with my color design. Seen here is a comparison of my original frame and her adjustments. She's an amazing artist, and everyone should check out her blog at

Stay tuned for more updates, including a test render of my scene in full shadow/clean up goodness!

To help "My Dad the Giant" become a reality, check out my KickStarter page or IndieGoGo page for more info!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Help today has come from my friend and fellow CCS'er Kevin Ingrassia (seen above). Two shots in my film require a moving or 3d background for tracing. One shot is a slow dolly in focusing on Emilio as the tension builds, while another is a fast truck back following the shock-wave of Emilio's massive scream!

To do this I require a 3d model of the Atrium in which the film takes place. I will trace the shot and add my characters to each shot. Kevin was kind enough to donate his time, and has already produced a great rendition of my films stage.

Big thanks to him, and added are some screen shots of his work. :)

Shot from the doorside looking up at the large painting Brianelli has been working on
Shot from the painting side looking at the candle sick, record player, and door.
A nice view of some of the extras Kevin has added, like a box filled with paints.
A shot of the left side of the Atrium
A shot of the right side of the Atrium

Stay tuned for more updates and make sure to look for My Dad the Giant on Indiegogo or KickStarter!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

KickStarter Page up and running!

View it @

Production is moving right along, and already I have $11 donated to the "My Dad the Giant" project, via IndieGo-Go and KickStarter. I have less than 5 scenes to go in finishing the animation on my film. While I continue finishing those scenes, I also spend time cleaning up and finishing my 'Proof of Concept' scene. Below is a picture of one of the frames, cleaned up, colored, and given shadows.

Thank you for your continued support, and should you feel the urge to donate to this project, feel free to check out either of my pages:
..and look up the cool gifts you can get in exchange for donations.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Animated-Buzz and professional critiques!

Things have been on track as I complete a shot a day. Here are the latest shots recently completed.

This shot is currently being in-betweened and was the subject of a professional critique I received at If you haven't heard about this website, then you should go check it out immediately! Calling it the facebook of animators is a pretty accurate term. The site hosts a wall and personal page layout much like facebook, but adds video and portfolio sections for artists to upload content and discuss. But the real shining gem of the website is in its Mentoring program.

Jen Hager is a Disney animator, and artist of which I have admired for some time. Through Aniamted-Buzz I was able to receive a professional critique from Jen for only 23 dollars. I paid the amount, sent in my files and within the week got a well thought out, thorough, and specific critique on my work.

I highly recommend any artist or art enthusiast check out this site!

Not much to see here, only the pot being pelted by the brush Brianelli recently threw during his breakdown.

Last but not least is the finished cloth and hair layer applied to my Emilio animation. This shot is currently in the process of being cleaned-up. The multiple layers approach is proving difficult to slap a final line on, and is the source of many a wrist ache.

Because funds are short, and I have a due date set in stone for this film, I have taken it upon myself to check out sites such as Kick-Starter to try and acquire funding for my film via donations. It's a shot in the dark, but one I hope will hit something. If I can pitch my project well enough, I should be able to acquire the necessary funds to finish this film on time.