Lack of Update and Secrecy
June 1st, 2014
Just got back home yesterday after being in Los Angeles for two weeks on a work assignment with Digital Domain. The work was intense, with some long hours but I'm very happy for the experience. I'd already been working with DD for a couple of weeks and my visit there was the culmination of that work and the full integration of my brand of special effects animation into full 3D rendered CGI.
Here's a picture of Computer Graphics Supervisor, Ron Herbs, myself and Creative Director, Aladino Debert, at the end of my 2-week stint at Digital Domain. I have a feeling I'm going to work with these guys again. Because of the nature of these projects, I cannot discuss any of the specifics as I am under NDA.
In a way, this is why there has been so few updates lately on my website. Rex is in limbo until November, and everything I'm working on with Gearbox and Digital Domain is top secret. I use Facebook and Twitter (which I display on the right bar of this very website) for pictures and updates. As a result, the updates on the website have suffered. In fact, this is the first time in 13 years that a whole month (May) went by without an update.
So I made a decision that although I can't promise I'm going to post every week, I'm never going to skip another full month, if I can help it. Meanwhile, the website has hundreds of pages of artwork and videos so feel free to explore.
The Video Game Industry and I
April 19th, 2014
I fell into the game industry. Unlike movies, which I planned to be a part of since childhood, video games were a different world. I played a bit in my youth but never thought of that industry as a career. It's not that I wouldn't have been interested, it's just that I'd never even considered it.
But then in 2003, I was contacted by Bruce Woodside, from Disney Interactive Media Group. We'd known each other from the movie industry having worked at Rich Animation and Warner Brothers together. He asked me if I'd be available to design a set of characters and environments for a multiplayer game they wanted to make. I said sure, and I approached the project the same way I tackled film or TV. It was a creative and fun assignment.
I didn't fully realize at the time that I had just entered the arena of the video game industry—an industry that I'm still very connected to 11 years laters. Since 2003, I've been invited to work on several projects for companies such as Sony, Electronic Arts, ngmoco and FXVille.
One of the highlights of my game career started in 2005, when Joe Olson and I started Shadow Planet Productions and began work on Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet. Five years later, in 2010, we released the game. It was a difficult and punishing experience in many ways but also an exhilarating one. The game received critical acclaim and went on to win a BAFTA and an Annie Award. Shortly thereafter, I was lecturing to game professionals and talking about video game animation techniques to college students. Suddenly, I was a video game pro.
Which brings me to where I am now. Last September I was contacted by Jim Sanders and invited to Gearbox Software in Texas, to spent a week with their special effects crew. I returned home only to be offered new assignments and more asset requests.
Last Month, I spent two more weeks with the crew in Texas and was provided with a full time assistant named, Seung Kim. Seung is a Disney veteran who understands "feature quality standard". I really appreciate that. We had some great sushi together.
Upon my return home, I landed a 6-month exclusive gig. So for the next half a year, my focus will be on games and to be frank, I'm stoked. I love the challenges and the variety of the work. You'll start seeing my new stuff soon in an upcoming cinematic. I'll keep you posted.
March 22nd, 2014
The Saga of Rex is kind of in limbo until all the elements are in place to start production. So, I wanted another project to breach the gap.
To my great delight, I've been working with a company in Texas called Gearbox. I can't reveal what I'm working on, right now, but I'm truly excited. More will be announced when the time comes.
This week, I'll be devoting my time to doing the final mastering for the DCP Theatrical Master of Synesthesia. The film is scheduled to show at both Annecy and Zagreb, so I need to finish this project. Now, there's a real deadline.
On Saturday, March 29th, I'll be signing at the Emerald City Comicon in Seattle at:
Image Comics, Booth 212, from 1:00 to 2:00
Fantagraphics Booth 207, from 3:00 to 4:00.
If you're around, make sure you come an say hi.
Got Young Romance 2 Comps
March 5th, 2014
A couple of days ago, I received my comps for a new book I edited for Fantagraphics called, Young Romance 2: The Early Simon & Kirby Romance Comics. It is really awesome. 200 pages of pure Simon & Kirby goodness. Special mention must be made of Chris Fama's beautiful restoration. His technique combined with my yellow matte process makes for a very pleasant presentation. Really happy with the book.
I wrote to Editorial Supervisor, Gary Groth, to tell him how much I loved the book and his reply was, "Another triumph!"
For those wondering what my involvement with this book is, check out this post.
Interview at Animdesk
February 12th, 2014
When I first received an email containing this interview on November 17, 2013, I asked for it to be shortened. I mean, there were so many questions and my time for such things is quite limited. However, Shany, who handles the website and interviews, was very persistent and didn't want to cut any of his questions. The result, after a few months of filling in the answers in my spare time, is probably the longest and most in-depth interview I've ever done. Check it out!