Monday, January 19, 2015

The blog has moved!

I know it's been ages but I figured it was time for me to get a big-girl website, so things have moved over to for the time being. I plan to continue the blog over there quite soon and you can still find all the info that lived here.

So, hop on over, update your rss reader, shoot me an email or tweet if you'd like to get in touch. For example, I recently discovered how much I love the X-Files so if you want to talk about how Dana Scully is THE GREATEST EVER then I am definitely ready to have that discussion. Talk to you soon, nerds!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Wolf Among Us (Has Fabulous Hair)

Well guys, I shipped my first game last week. The Wolf Among Us is now out in the world! People are playing it! Reviewers are praising it! Now everyone knows what I've been talking about with Bigby's fantastic 'do!

I'm so honored and proud to be a part of The Wolf Among Us team and am thrilled that folks are enjoying it. If you're curious as to what all the hubbub is about, you can check out reviews on IGNCBRThe TelegraphGame Informer, and PC Gamer among many others. So go! Enjoy the game!

In other news, The Treehouse has another new episode up! We talked to my lovely college roommate Noopur (who's awesome blog you can read here) and discussed a number of things, including her budding career in speech pathology, her time as a pageant queen, and what TV she's watching these days. It's a good one!

I hope you enjoy these various things I helped make, internet. Yay making things!

Monday, September 9, 2013

All Sorts of Updates!

I  know, I know. It's been far too long. Have you been wondering what I'm up to? THEN YOU ARE IN LUCK. This post is full of a million updates. Ready yo-self. 

Firstly, I got a promotion! No longer am I a wee intern, but a full fledged, real life, flesh-and-bone video game animator. I just moved into a new apartment in San Francisco and I absolutely love it here. There is so much to do all the time and even the fog is growing on me. Plus this is what I get to look at when I go on runs, which isn't so bad: 

Yes. I am that person who takes pictures on a run.

In other work news, I've moved onto the team for the Walking Dead sequel, which you can read more about here. Very exciting stuff, keep your eyes peeled and your ears open.

The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed a few new links up at the top of the site. It's because I've been doing things! One of those things is a podcast with two of my very best friends, Katie Rose and Hillary, who are twins and also the best people. They live in LA so it's a long distance podcast but it's just as fun as a regular one, I promise. Our most recent guest was the lovely Chloe Dykstra, who you man know from Heroes of Cosplay or one of her awesome YouTube shows. You can listen to the podcast here or in this very fancy web player. LOOK HOW FANCY:

Feel free to subscribe on iTunes or check the link at the top of this site periodically, the most recent episode will be embedded there for your listening pleasure. 

And speaking of listening pleasure, you may have noticed yet another new link up top called "music." Because I like also like playing guitar and singing and sometimes a microphone is on while those things are happening. So if you want to put that in your ears, it's now super easy. Look how easy!

WOO. See? I told you, a million updates. That's all for now, please come back soon for more posts full of video games/animation/podcasts/music/me yelling in all caps.

Thanks for stopping by, lovelies. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

Hey there, lovely people. I'm back! See? I haven't forgotten about the blog. I definitely did not forget that it existed until 20 minutes ago, when I remembered my promise to write again soon. Nope. That is for sure not what happened. 

I've been at Telltale for nearly a month now, and it has been freaking awesome so far (it also feels like it's only been about three days.) I'm working on the The Wolf Among Us, which is based on the Fables series of comics by Bill Willingham. 

Wolves love smoking. Bet you didn't know that.
I had read, and very much enjoyed, some of the series before I started at Telltale, so to get to work on this game is really, really cool. The premise is that a bunch of the characters from myths and fairy tales have been exiled from their homeworld and now live in New York in a secret community known as Fabletown. The game follows Bigby Wolf, the sheriff of the Fabletown who had once upon a time been the Big Bad Wolf, terrorizing pigs and red headed girls everywhere. I'm really excited about the game and still in disbelief that I'm actually working on it. If you're curious, you can read a bit more about it here. Go, revel in Bigby's ruggedness.

On top of all that, I get to work with a bunch of awesomely talented people and I get to animate all day AND at lunch I can strike up a conversation about how happy I am that Storm is bringing her mohawk back and everyone knows what I'm talking about. What I'm saying is, my nerdy little heart is full to bursting and I may have inherited my mother's lucky streak after all.

Keep an eye out for more news on the game, because trust me, you're gonna want to play this thing. And check back here soon for more updates from me, probably about Storm's mohawk again. See you soon.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Things Are Happening!

Oooooh, hey guess what? On Friday, I got some very, very exciting news: I found out that I landed an internship at Telltale Games! After I got off the phone, I ran around for a full five minutes like a crazy person. Then I celebrated by making myself an extra garlicky pepperoni pizza for lunch. It was delicious.

Starting at the end of this month, I'll be working as an Animation Intern at Telltale Games in San Rafael. So not only do I get to move back to my beloved Bay Area, I get to work at a video game studio that is doing some very exciting and unique work. They are best known for The Walking Dead, an adventure game released last year to much commercial and critical success (it's awesome, you should play it. It's the kind of game that stresses you out but in a good way). They've also made games based on Back to the Future, Sam and Max, Monkey Island, and are currently developing a game based on the Fables comic book series. All very exciting things that are right up my alley!

But this comes with a bit of a curveball. Since I have to move and get myself settled into a new job in the next month, I decided to take a leave of absence from Animation Mentor this term. I was really enjoying Nick's class so I am pretty bummed I have to put AM off for now but I am planning to come back for the upcoming summer or fall term and hopefully take Nick's class if he's still teaching Intro to Acting. With such a great teacher and awesome classmates, I wish I could stay on this term without my head exploding but I just don't think that's possible.

I will keep blogging when I can so check back every so often for updates! See you soon.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Week1: Airport Panic

Hey look it's another Week 1! Are you ready for some shot planning? Hope so because that's what you're getting.

So for our first shot this term we've been assigned a pantomime shot. We have to animate some kind of change from one emotion to another, all through body language. Nick stressed to us that we should really be viewing this as an exercise in animating a thought process, not just getting a sad character's body language to look right (though that is also important). The audience should be able to see a "gear change" in the character's head when you watch this shot.

So after lots of brainstorming, I came up with the idea of my character running late for her flight. She runs up to the departure board, clearly panicked and scrambling to make it on time. She looks up at the departure board, searching for her flight, and sees that it's on time, meaning she'll miss it. But then, the flight status updates, and it's delayed. Her panic changes to relief, she's gonna make the flight after all.

And if you're wondering whether this idea was inspired by my trip to Boston, which took me to several different airports on several different flights, you are correct! I'm not a stranger to the feelings of stressed-out air travel. After I nailed down my shot idea, I shot some video reference and pieced together the best bits:


Yay awkward acting! Hehe. Once I got my reference together, I thumbnailed out some poses based on my ref, which you can see here:

I do wish we'd had two planning pages instead of one for this assignment, but I was able to get the major storytelling poses up there at least. We were also supposed to create two poses illustrating our two acting beats and turn them in with our reference and planning page. This was extra fun (and useful) because AM gave us new rigs to use this term! I'd like to introduce Stella, who is feeling panicked and relieved in the following pictures, respectively:

While I am gonna miss our old pal Stewie, I really, really like the new rigs. In addition to Stella, we got Stan, a cartoony Hulk type, and Sloan, a dog rig. These three are part of the new set of Tribe rigs, more of which are on the way soon. Exciting!

As far as Nick's notes on my shot, he was very pleased with my video reference. He felt it was a very genuine bit of acting (see, that year of drama in high school tooootally paid off) but he instructed me to leave out the "relieved" bit and just have her miss the flight altogether. Instead of going from "panicked" to "relieved", have her go from "hopeful" as she runs up to the board, thinking she might still make it, to "frustrated" when she realizes she has missed it. My reference was already sort of reading that way to him upon viewing it for the first time anyways. Plus, this will allow me to pull the camera in a little closer on Stella since the viewer no longer needs to read the words on the departure board, they just need to see that it's there.

I think Nick's instructions to simplify are going to help my shot a lot and it's going to be a lot of fun to animate. I was having a hard time getting the relief to read well anyways and I think the premise was maybe a touch too complicated. So, with that, I am going to start blocking my shot in for Week 2. Come back in a few days to check it out! See you then, lovelies.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Let the Acting Begin!

My "I'm excited even though I have no idea what
 I'm doing!" face
So! After the little mini-break between terms, Class 4 has begun. On Tuesday I had my first Q&A with Nick Bruno, a supervising animator at Blue Sky Studios, where he's worked on  Horton Hears a Who!, the Ice Age series, Rio, and is currently on Rio 2. Nick has a reputation at AM for being pretty tough on his students, and from meeting him in Q&A on Tuesday, I can see he's going to live up to it.

My first impression of him is that he's very no-nonsense and is not one to sugarcoat, which I find refreshing. I think that's just what I need right now in my education. Like Marlon did in his first Q&A, Nick laid out the rules. He is going to be a tough grader and he expects us all to step up to the challenge. As fun as AM can be, we are all here to learn and Nick expects us to come to class prepared with questions and not make excuses for late/unfinished work. He's not here to be our buddy, he's here to make us better animators. He assured that although there may be times when we'll be very, very frustrated with him, we will all leave Class 4 better than when we started.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a liiiiittle scared after that first Q&A. Starting to learn acting is scary by itself, but having one of the toughest AM teachers on top of it is even scarier. But I think a healthy dose of fear is actually a good thing. And as Robyn pointed out in her Lady Animators interview, that terrified feel of "I don't know what I'm doing oh god" never really goes away, so I'd better get used to it now, right? Ha.

I hope you're as excited as I am for this term, readers! I'll be back soon with my work from Week 1 so stay tuned. See you then!