I finally got some time to finish a drawing . I realized I had not done a graphite drawing in some time. Figured I would do an abstract piece to flex my skills. As it happened, I was feeding a banana to the baby when I discovered the subject to draw. So I snapped a reference photo to use. Originally I was going to draw it just like the photo with a hand holding a banana. Last minute I decided to switch it up a little and have the hand come out of the banana.
This is the blog of Zane Kohler. Discussing wide range of subjects from personal projects to thoughts and views on all things Art and Animation.
Had a few people inquire that the site has been a bit quite lately. Well there are two reasons for that. Let me start by saying a very late Happy New year. First I have been working on my freelance project. As I have mentioned before being under wraps I can't say much. However progress has been great and I am moving right along.
The second reason, I finally upgraded to a new computer that was long over due. Took some time to transfer everything over and get new programs installed. I am just about up to speed.
I have been itching to do some sketches. I have some ideas and have even collected/created some reference. Now just need the time. If I am at my office I feel compelled to work on the freelance project. So I have been sort of waiting for some down time to happen while I am away from the computer. I have been trying to carry my sketchbook around for this very reason. With some luck I might get new sketch soon.
I usually like to post with a photo as it makes the blog feel less wordy. Since there is not a whole lot to update with I will post a photo of my work station showing off my newly installed color led lights. 'Till next time!
As I have mentioned before, the current project I am working on has to remain under wraps at this stage. However, I may be able to get permission to sneak out a little teaser now and again like the background image here.
Every so often I will come across a kickstarter project that I get excited to jump on board and support. In this case not just financially but also getting the word out there to anyone else who may be interested. I have been a big fan of Michel Gagné for some years now. So I was very excited when he started campaigning to animate his graphic novel The Saga of Rex. Below is the official press release for the project to learn more. Feel free to post and or pass along.
THE SAGA OF REX: FROM GRAPHIC NOVEL TO ANIMATED FILM
Bellingham, WA, November 5, 2012 – Veteran animator, Michel Gagné, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to finance the first four minutes of a proposed animated feature film based on his graphic novel, The Saga of Rex.
Gagné began his career as an animator in 1985, and went on to work on several high profile projects for studios such as Don Bluth Entertainment, Disney, Pixar, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and many more. In the mid nineties, he worked his way up to Head of Special Effects at Warner Brothers Feature Animation where he remained for six years. In 2001, he decided to leave the big studios behind in an effort to pursue a different goal.
"I have always done personal work after hours and on weekends", said Gagné. "With my departure from Hollywood, I was planning to make my personal art the primary focus of my career. In 2002, I moved to the Pacific Northwest, converted the first floor of my home into a state of the art studio, and began seriously working toward that dream."
Since becoming a full time independent artist, Gagné has created books, graphic novels, short films, a video game, live performances, etc., while at the same time, continuing his affiliation with the movie, television and game industries as a freelancer. Earlier this year, he was awarded a BAFTA (British Academy Award) and an Annie Award (Animation's Highest Honor) for Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, a video game he created with Seattle based game veteran, Joe Olson. The Saga of Rex: The Animated Film is his latest venture and he is confident that he can get the project off the ground through the crowd funding opportunity that Kickstarter offers.
"Kickstarter is a wonderful tool for independent artists to create something special and visionary that would, otherwise, have no chance of funding within the traditional commercial route," said Gagné. "In America, 2D hand drawn classical animation is on the brink of extinction. With The Saga of Rex, I hope to help the medium move forward with new ideas and concepts, and prove that it can be done with a responsible budget. Essentially, I want to make an author film with animation that harkens back to the Bluth and Disney classics."
The Saga of Rex was born when Gagné was approached by editor Kazu Kibuishi, about creating a story for the annual comics anthology, FLIGHT, published by Image Comics and Random House.
"In 2004, I was doing a signing at the Long Beach Wizard Con", said Gagné. "Kazu Kibuishi came to my table and showed me a binder containing the artwork for a comics anthology he was putting together called, FLIGHT: Volume 1. He was familiar with my work and hoped I'd be a part of future volumes. Impressed by his presentation, I suggested a science fiction story around Rex, my little fox character. One of Kazu's goals with FLIGHTwas to help artists build their own graphic novels in manageable chunks. I saw a golden opportunity to not only produce a graphic novel, but laying the foundation of a potential animated film as well."
The Saga of Rex was serialized in six volumes of FLIGHT, from 2005 to 2010. All the chapters were then compiled and published as a single book by Image Comics in the Fall of 2010. The story features a little fox who gets abducted by a flying saucer and is transported to the planet Edernia, where he encounters the Blossoms, a race of shape shifters. One of the Blossoms, chooses Rex as a potential mate and so the adventure begins. Rex must prove his worth and Aven, the shape shifting Blossom, must conquer Rex’s heart. The Saga of Rex is a labor of love that reflects Gagné's deep enthusiasm for offbeat golden age science fiction and classical animation.
Find out more about The Saga of Rex's Kickstarter campaign, and Gagné's plan on how he intend to make the movie at the following links:
The Saga of Rex Kickstarter Video on YouTube: http://youtu.be/A5M3ebgBL04
Michel Gagné's Official Website: http://www.gagneint.com/
I am starting the prep work for animating on the freelance project. Does not help that my main computer just died. Just pushed play on iTunes when it shut down. Such is life. I am now getting the lap top prepped for the project.
Been hard at work on a freelance project. Currently I have not asked for permission to post anything about it. If and when, I will post some more detailed progress. As of right now I am working on the story boards going back and forth with the client on revisions. Once I get the thumbs up I will start working on animating it. Should be a fun project!
Yes...yes you indeed are seeing something different. I gave the site a redesign. This is the first in 4 years. It started more as a back end upgrade that has a ton more features to make my life easier. As I started working on getting the site transferred over to the new service I started tinkering around with the design. With that said I am probably not done tinkering. So if you notice some small things changing here and there it is not you. I want to thank all of you who follow along and even comment from time to time. Hopefully you will enjoy the new site?
Here are the sketch poses for the character Red Raymond.
I am currently working on a small redesign for my website. This is more back end than anything. It will be much more optimized for mobile and tablet devices. The updated site will give me a lot more flexibility with automated features. In return this allows me to do what I like to do best... draw and animate. While I am keeping the same colors and theme overall, you should notice some design updates.
Here is the first in a set character thumbnail poses. These are rough sketches working out the key poses I will need the character do for the shot. This one is for the character Hue Blue. In this shot he is jumping up to show the color... you guessed it, blue!
It is time to announce my new project! It is called The Color Bunch Variety Show. It is inspired by and mainly created for my baby daughter. It is an animated show that is about teaching colors, shapes, sizes and more to young toddlers.
The style and look is going to be heavily influenced by the 1950's retro modern cartoon era. The show is based around 4 main characters with several secondary characters to be introduced down the road. The premise evolves around these character performing simple tasks about learning and discovery via a variety show.
Above is a first look at the characters. There are still some small features on each character that will get some tweaking before I sign off on them. For the first episode I am currently thumbnailing each character's key poses before animating. I have Hue Blue and Square Pierre's completed. I will post those when I get a chance. Now... back to sketching.
I know I have been pretty quiet on updates. The new baby has been a happy distraction as well as extra time away from working. However, I am starting a new project! It started with inspiration while watching my baby's wide eyes looking at everything around her. A seed of an idea was planted more as a "what if " I was to create something for her. The more I thought about it the more it seemed to just fall together. So after a few weeks it seemed to become a project just asking to be started. With that I decided I will take it on. The idea is to have simplistic characters with quality posed animation. I plan to post the progress as I go. With that said my momentum for the project is based on time between taking care the baby. So posts could be irregular with possible long gaps of silence. I will update hopefully soon with the title. Currently doing the research to make sure the title and all character names are not being used elsewhere.
Here is a comic that I created. With a new baby and lack of sleep your mind tends to wander. Some how or another this idea came to fruition. In reallity, while I am getting a lot less sleep, most nights the baby gives us enough throughout the night ;).
Here is a drawing I originally started for a blog themed sketch site . It was only intended on being rough pencil sketch. Then I ended up cleaning it up, coloring, and printing it out for a wedding gift. The title was "The Showdown".
I will be heading out to the 3rd annual CTN animation expo this Saturday. This will be the 3rd time I have attended. There is an amazing amount talent all gathered in one area! Not to mention an amazing place to network and just hang out with like minded individuals. Looking forward to seeing everyone again as well as finally meeting a bunch of you in person!
Introducing Quorra Kohler. 7lbs and 20 inchs. Born 1:22am October 19th
My Dad was going through some old papers and scanned in an old drawing I did of my Grandparents house from back in 1987. Thought I would post it for fun. This would put me at about 13 years of age.
Below is how the house looks now. It has had a few renovations since the drawing above.
I realize I have been pretty quiet as of late. There has been a good...GREAT reason why. Why you ask? If you have not figured out by the photo below already, the stork will be stopping by our house in October!!! A baby is on the way. It's a Girl! While we are carefully running through all types of names we have settled on the nick name Pookaroo for the interim. As one can imagine this obviously has kept me pretty busy getting ready. I have been working on some new art work that I hope to have done in a week or so. Don't hold me to it ;) but that is my target date.