Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thesis Progress

Hallo everybody,

I thought I'd share my thesis progress. I'm currently at the 2nd / 3rd pass animation stage, looking to do some revisions over break.

Edit: apparently it's bad procedure to post the WIP until it's a final product... so says the great CA dept. :/ sorry folks

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I'm still in it. A good victory.

Sorry again for the infrequent posts. Basically, I've been wrapped up in school the past few weeks making sure I can progress to the next semester. It's never a sure thing in this department. Now that the senior mid-year show is complete, however I can finally say that I will, for sure, progress to spring semester.

Today was a bit of a roller coaster. I got up at 9 am, went to the senior show, saw all the other work all my classmates have been doing. It was a wonderful and nerve-wracking experience. Lots of cool stuff going on. That process took about three hours, followed by two hours of waiting thorough the teachers' deliberation. I was happy to find out neither I, nor any of my close friends, failed. I do not actually know who did fail this semester, but I hope that they will push on to make fantastic pieces next year. Good work and good luck everyone.

After that, I had a nice time cleaning and eating at my house, followed by Princess and the Frog. Good movie, I enjoyed it muchly. Now, I am heading out to Pacific Rim with Aless.

More updates as time and events warrant. Ta!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Between Conquest and Discovery

Sorry for how seldom I've been posting of late; thesis is still chugging along, as well as a bit of table top gaming on the side. I'm trying to dial down the side-gaming these coming weeks, as I'm finding it rather exhausting. Still playing Ragnarok a bit tho...

In any case, here's a digital painting I did while feeling braindead in the labs. More to follow, I think. (Forgot to time this one, about an hour or something..?)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Factory With Algae Farm

90 minute painting for my water class! :) Possible factory of the future.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

If I had the time...

So many things I'd theoretically love to do!

I occasionally muse about all the projects I'd like to do if I weren't already tied to thesis and other responsibilities. For example, I've always liked the idea of making my own clothing... probably baggy stuff made of brown canvas with lots of flaps and buckles.

Recently, I've been imagining how cool it would be to take a low-poly character through the full concept/ development process. Make a bunch of silhouettes, rough sketch pages, then make a character sheet with turnarounds, prop designs, etc. Maybe do some color studies, even some related environment work. Then, go ahead and model the character in Maya and do some nice texture maps. The way I see it, if presented well, such a packet would stand on its own really well for a concept/ modeling portfolio.

That being said, I'll have to finish this animation before I can begin working seriously on anything like that. I'm excited about this film, but as I said earlier this month, I've been so deep into the process for so long that I'm a bit fatigued. It's a distance race, and I need to try to stay focused.

((I might still be playing Ragnarok after labs close... shhhhhhhh.))

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dear iRO: are you serious?

I have reasons to both thank Gravity and reasons to curse them. On the one hand, they made Ragnarok Online, which I regard lovingly as the first MMO I ever played. I spent many hours in Rune Midgard in high school, grinding away to level my spear-based Knight, and I look on those hours fondly. For this I thank them.

They also, however, made a free-to-play server during my senior year... this is a seriously unfortunate development.

The worst may be over, however: though I spent about 11 hours the past few days gaming rather than working (please, I know how dumb this is, no need to berate me), I may have shaken the MMO bug thanks to a design flaw! Designers take note: if your going to implement a cool new Gunslinger class in your MMO, please make sure there's more than one freaking merchant in the entire game world who sells bullets. Making low-level players glued to a lonely town miles away from anything else because it's the only place they can get supplies is remarkably ill conceived.

But again, I suppose I must give credit where it's due. Thank you, Gravity, for giving me a good reason to stop playing your game and go back to work. <3

Monday, October 26, 2009

Biznus Cards

M'ok, tried a re-design of my business cards. I'm going for a more textured look for my self-marketing package, bit of a graffitti thing in there too... let me know any opinions you may have, fair reader(s?)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hulking Harlequin

Done while being distracted by other things. 90 Minutes, Painter X

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Demo Reel and Things

It occurred to me I might post a bit of my work here so you could see what I do. Below is the demo reel I made while applying to internships this past spring:

You can view my other work on my website. Whee.

That aside, I've been torn between thesis and revamping my portfolio the past week or two. Portfolio materials are due for a critique Wednesday, but I also must keep moving forward with my animation. I've also been trying to keep in touch with various industry contacts, hanging with my folks this weekend, and GMing a Mutants and Masterminds campaign with a large, rambunctious party of my friends. I'm running the good ol' "I was a teenage mutant" style setting. It seems most people are really enjoying it. All things considered, life is both exciting and exhausting.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Stepped -> Spline

This is always a troublesome stage.

I've segmented my thesis into five sections, each about 500 frames long. I am now attempting to go to first pass/ second pass animation, attacking the sections one by one. I hope to be done with all of them by the end of next week, at which point I'll need to go back and further tighten the "floaty bits." Really, it's at this point where I see what actually holds up in my layout and where I'll need to re-stage some stuff. Overall, it is a challenging part of the process... but I'll get 'er done.

The other challenge right now is music. I'm not sure what genre best fits my piece... my ideal music would be a low-key piece with mechanical undertones that builds to a climax about eighty seconds in. I'm having trouble finding it. Killer Tracks is a wonderful source, however, and I'll continue to mine its resources.

This has been an odd week, but i think I'm getting the hang of it. This weekend is eventful in that both Aless's mother and my parents will be in town. Hopefully this will mean some good meals and evenings together without a huge loss of productivity during the day.

Edit: After getting reminded by Keith how easy it is to lean on Maya too much by going to spline early, I'm going to try to change my process a bit. Staying in stepped for now, will hit spline after a few more breakdowns.

Arcs and overlap! Keep truckin'!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


So, today I procrastinated a bit: I did some website work, some scripting, and some lounging. I really need to get some momentum going on the next phase of animation, however, so I will be getting into that right after this post.

BUT, I was also thinking about a question that may seem odd at first: why are there so many humans in video games? Particularly, I've been thinking about the MMO market. I don't feel that the possibilities for style and world concept are being pushed far enough, and humans are one of the biggest limiting factors. I understand that marketability often directs these decisions, and there's evidence to support the human-PC: despite all of the unique, flavorful races in Wow (like Tauren, Orc, Gobbo, etc.), human is still the most popular (followed closely by undead and blood elves... thanks Meta [ link]).

I attribute this to humanity's status as the "non-decision," the default, the neutral. But really, defaults and neutrals are something I would hope to avoid when creating an original setting. True, you need contrast to make the bizarre seem bizarre: A monster is only as hideous as the hero is beautiful. This does not mean, however, that the world is only as interesting as your PC is boring. Would Little Big Planet have been better with Poser models standing in for the Sackboys? Sackboy is the heart of that game's charm. There are plenty of design options to create a believable PC that allows for a lot of diversity, wonder, and delicious flavor in the rest of the world.

Given a hypothetical realm where I could make any MMO I wanted, I might make something like this. Kobolds Ate My Baby! Super Deluxx Edition, coming from Dork Storm and 9th Level, is a simple, "Beer and Pretzels" style table top. Kobolds are adorable, flavorful, and rich with pre-established fantasy culture, so the world is really easy to step into. Play as a small, reptilian (or furry, depending on your view) creature trying to scavenge for supplies and food in a world much too big for you. Be selfish, stupid and fool-hearty! Die gruesomely a thousand times in the face of ridiculous odds! Doesn't that sound like fun?

I'm losing my original point. To summarize, I'd rather play something with some flavor than another cookie-cutter Knight-Valiant hero.

"I'm an avenger!"

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

While on the subject of my "Ecology of Water" Class...

Two hour piece illustrating a fictional angler fish, the Giant Netdevil.

Just so I'm keeping everyone informed about my various internet hideouts, you can find my professional website (portfolio, resume, demo reel, etc.) at JeremyPutnam.com. I'll be updating the gallery and reel on this site fairly frequently this year, as it's time for my serious post-grad push to get hired in the spring. :) If you work at a game company, send me an email!

You can also see a lot of my art on my deviantart account.

30 Minute Concept

Made this last week. Done with my notebook touchpad in 30 minutes while watching Planet Earth in water class:

Note: has nothing to do with water! Go Figure.


I finally bit the bullet and made a blog. This being my thesis year as an animator at Ringling, I predict sporadic posts and irregular activity. That being said, I will attempt to make a habit of using this blog, both to catalog my art and organize my thoughts from week to week.

If you want to see the sillier side of my work, check out Idiot Festival, a project I started with some friends.