Freelance: Micro Bat

Here’s another little character I animated for BitGem.


Freelance: Micro Wizard

Here’s a little sample of the freelance I’ve been doing lately. This little guy was created by and animated for BitGem. I’m animating a bunch of these micro characters. They’re sort of the second series of micro characters. The first series of micro characters were animated by my good buddy Justin Kupka.

Where’ve I Been & What’s New?

So I disappear from the blog for over a year and then just start posting again with no explanation? How dare I?

To be fair I actually started blogging again last year, but I’ve been doing it over at because, well, people actually read that blog. So general animation stuff goes there, and things that relate to me, but are also probably somewhat animation related will go here – but probably not as often as at the other site so go subscribe to that blog for more regular doses of animation goodness.

There’s a lot of stuff I’ve wanted to post, but now it’s sort of old news, so here’s one giant brain dump about everything that’s new in my life since I posted my 2010 demo reel last June. Continue reading “Where’ve I Been & What’s New?”

Demo Reel Feedback from Animation Mentor Jean-Denis Haas

Animation Mentor hosted a contest at CTNx 2010 for a free eCrit of two randomly selected demo reels. I submitted my latest reel and was one of the winners! I found JD’s critique useful and there’s no sense hogging all of the wisdom to myself so it’s about time I shared it here with the rest of you.

Here are the notes that I took away from JD’s eCrit:

Fortunately for me, my reel had already done its job by landing me the job that I wanted. I didn’t have the time (or in some cases didn’t have the Maya files) to edit any of the actual animation, but for educational purposes I decided to re-edit my reel based on his feedback. Here’s the shorter, more focused result:

I think it’s better, but I accidentally killed the audio – oops! So thanks JD and Animation Mentor. Hopefully this info will help me, and any readers I may have at this humble blog, make better reels in the future.


New Demo Reels

Game Animation Reel:
I am responsible for all player-character and enemy animation in this reel. No motion capture was used on this project. Animation was created using Maya. I was also responsible for integrating these into the game using the Unreal Editor.

Narrative Animation Reel:
I created all of the character and prop animation in this reel using Maya, with the following exceptions:
– Alvin and The Chipmunks was created using Voodoo (R+H proprietary anim software)
– The Chipmunk concert run cycles were pre-made cycles that I constrained to a motion path and then modified to climb up the mic stands.
You can download these reels by right-clicking the links in the “My Portfolio” section of the sidebar to the right and choosing to “Save Link As…” (or “Save Target As…” for you folks rocking Internet Explorer)

Dark Void Has Shipped and We’re All Still Employed

Dark Void is on store shelves so go buy it! It’s now under $30 on Amazon and it really is a ton of fun to rocketpack into the middle of a firefight, land right in front of a menacing robot and Falcon-punch ’em right in the face!

Okay, okay so I’m three months late posting this, but I was busy trying to get our next AAA game green-lit. Huge props go out to Jim, Matt and Jared (owners of Airtight Games) for avoiding any layoffs at the end of Dark Void. In a time when studios everywhere are experiencing dramatic downsizing, if not outright closure, Airtight has made a deliberate effort to keep the workload (and paychecks) uninterrupted. As the Dark Void build got locked down and people rolled off of it they were able to move directly onto the Dark Void DLC team or to help pitch new projects. I can’t tell you what everyone is working on now that the DLC has shipped, but the important part is that we’re all still working.

Interesting article from GamesBeat about the history of Airtight Games

It’s a good read. I knew the general story of course, but this is a bit more detailed then the version I’ve been told. Here’s an excerpt:

To fund their venture, Deal and his three partners (excluding Fries) each anted up $6,000. The $24,000 start-up fund, he hoped, would carry them until they got a contract. Until they found a publisher, each member (and their families) had to live off savings. The team met anywhere they could, from coffee houses to the nearby public library. “We started small and built slowly,” said Deal.

Read the whole article here: How Airtight Games started a console game studio with just $24,000