Thursday, October 29, 2009

Irish Ale

They're always after my lucky charms!!!

Leprachaun or stereotypical Irish, this picture makes me want to speak with an accent, wear green and drink Guinness beer. Perhaps I give my art too much credit...

Originally, the portrait had no beard, and because of his set of full lips, he looked like a girl. So, enter the beard. Looks like it's glued on, doesn't it?

Johnny Reighard

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

AMP: A New Hope

In the process of creating something you've never seen, inspiration from things already in existence plays a big part.

In our quest to develop a unique design, Cory and I turned to those who had gone on before us. We turned to Star Wars. If you want a film that's chock full of robots/ droids, that's the one to look at (forget if they're clunky or not practical: they look cool). From that, we gleaned the pit droid. Small, lithe, agile (kinda), cute (very important), this was a good start. From there, we journeyed down the path of film history, and came to Monsters, Inc., and the short, green, rotund, one-eyed figure known as Mike Wazowski. With these designs to inspire me, I set off, shaving a little here, adding a little there, until I came to my next destination... a complete stop.

From the get-go, I realized that my mindset was in the wrong place. In terms of design, I was stuck on ergonomic, sleek designs from films such as I, Robot; Star Wars; Terminator, etc. However, my thinking wasn't right. I needed to approach this project from the understanding of a 12-year-old. How would a young boy design a robot? So, I asked my younger twin brothers, Jared and Jordan, if they would help me. I told them the design prerequisites set down by Cory, and Jordan gave me...

And Jared gave me...

Just what I needed.

All I had was my feeble effort...

The design below incorporates all the qualities with which we imparted to our seminal creation: cute, functional, sympathetic, and last but not least, animation compatible.

Don't worry, I think Cory is fixing up the shoulders so that he doesn't look like a gorilla. In reality, this last design in only a guideline for the animators to follow.

Along with this final concept, the design phase of the film has ended. In its place, like a phoenix from the fire, rises the task of thoroughly visualizing the film through the use of storyboards. Along with that, the animators will be working to bring the film to its complete and immaculate realization as a finished film.

Johnny Reighard

Thursday, October 1, 2009

AMP: Inception

When in the course of human events an artist is asked to do something he's never done before, things can get kinda scary...

But thank God that's never happened.

In fact, although I've had serious bouts of self-doubt when going into a project, I've always worked with people who were kind and understanding. So, along comes this short film. An animated, short film. Something I've never done before.

So, Cory Taylor asks me to storyboard the movie. Okey-day, no worries; I've done two films before. I've had some experience. Alrighty, whatcha got? Oh, some concept art too? Grand.

The short is about a retired streetlight robot, who's been abandoned in an old warehouse, left plugged into an outlet in the floor. One day, a battery rolls by, just close enough to give him hope for freedom.

So, we begin on an epic journey of discovery (discovering if I can pull it off or not); and from inception to finish, we'll cover all the ideas, concepts and eventual reality of our visions.

We take you now to a little town in East Texas, where Johnny Reighard is trying, albeit unsuccessfully, to pry open his mind with his pen (figuratively) and let the juices flow...

The first ideas that came to mind were predominantly influenced by Wall-E, as my readers will be able to quickly deduce.

Of course, this was before I had even found out what Cory wanted. I just needed to prove to myself that I could draw something even akin to robots.

From there, it evolved, through conversations with Cory and whatever I wanted to arbitrarily do.

I thought it would be very artistic to have a robot with three eyes. Red, yellow and green. The idea was to convey emotion through his light bulbs. But, as it turned out, the concept was too... creepy.

We needed something more sympathetic, cuter...

I think I'll make a series out of this, so that I'll have posts for the future. So, tune in next time to see the further evolution of Amp, from concept to finish.