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The Mythological Firebird Shield Pendant Design

I took the idea of a family crest, but took some artistic liberties to make it my own. Such as using only half a shield, where usually the whole shield is used. If you like it, it is for sale at my Shapeways Shop


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Television Shows and Movies Are Good, But Books Are Better.

Last week I wrote an article titled Animated Films and Television Shows Are Underappreciated in America. Writing this article got me thinking about other artistic mediums used to tell stories, specifically books. To me “books” include anything from poems, short stories, novels, magazine articles, blog posts, and any other form of written material that you can think of.

As I mentioned last week live action and animated films both have merits of their own, and I enjoy both quite frequently. That being said books, and writing in general has qualities which cause me to proclaim that I enjoy reading a good fantasy novel on a quite afternoon more than watching a good movie. Just sitting for a few peaceful hours following the adventures of a hobbit as he seeks to destroy the one ring in the fires of Mordor. Being amazed by the scenes unfolding in front of my mind’s eye, or saddened as tragedy strikes, and warmed heart and soul by moments of comradery.

There are some differences between written material, and films that I would point out that you may or may not be aware of. Firstly is the greater degree of freedom afforded the writer to further develop his characters and story. Secondly you have more relaxed time constraints that what a film is burdened with. Lastly the audience, or reader as the case may be, is more closely involved with the events and characters of the story.

A Greater Degree of Freedom


First of all is the greater degree of freedom afforded the writer to further develop his characters and story plot. That is when compared to television and movies of course. Which means he gets to go more in-depth with the physiological profile of each important character. This helps you learn how a character will react in certain situations, and why they act the way they do.

The author is also able to explore more fully the depths of the story and the world in which it takes place. He can give a more complete history of events so you as the reader fully understand why the world is in its current state(whatever that may be).

More Time to Wander

Secondly you have more relaxed time constraints then what a film or show is burdened with. Where a movie is usually about one to two hours in length, and a television show lasts between twenty to sixty minutes. It is true that most long novels are around 200 pages, but they can range anywhere from say 150 to 300 pages in length. I believe the length is determined by the content and progression of the story. This is unlike tv which is determined by the cable company, not the author.

Audience Involvement

I feel the fact that more work is required on your part when reading a novel is a good thing, because it makes the audience become more involved in the preceding tale. Being more involved in the story gives you a better idea of what the characters are experiencing, and how events be they good or bad affect them and those around them. This all in turn gives you a better experience, making you feel as if you are truly a part of what is happening, something greater than yourself.

Conclusion


As I mentioned last week live action and animated films have merits of their own.. That being said books, and writing in general has qualities which cause me to proclaim that I enjoy reading a good fantasy novel on a quite afternoon more than watching a good movie.

Above I have explained the reasons I feel this is so. To sum it up books by nature give an author more room to explore their stories, and the characters that inhabit them. The whole idea is for the audience to be as close to the characters, and as involved in the story as is possible.

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Animated Films and Television Shows Are Underappreciated in America

Today we are discussing how animated films and television shows are underappreciated by American audiences. Through my observations of the american psyche I have found that people tend not to fully accept any story; be it a novel, comic book, cave drawing, etc…; until it is made into a live action film or show. As if that is the be-all and end-all of any good story. Some people feel animation is only acceptable for children’s entertainment.

I am here to remedy this by explaining that animated films can be just as good if not better than live action films and television shows. Both formats do have their own pros and cons and this article will cover the ones I believe are important. I will also explain the different artistic styles used in animated films and television shows. As mentioned earlier these are simply my observations, meaning if you want to learn more you have to do your own research.

The Pros and Cons of Animation

I believe wholeheartedly that live action has its’ merits, it is just that animation has its’ own merits, but no one gives it the respect it deserves. I will admit my opinion is somewhat bias being an artist myself, although that does not change the facts in the least. The following paragraphs explain the pros and cons I believe are important, not being in the industry myself.

One of the pros in animation is that you only hear the actors voice, you do not see the actors themselves. All you see is the fictional character in their own world, which draws you into that world made by the writer/ director. You are not distracted by thoughts such as “ I really like that actor.”, or “Where have I seen them before?”. Instead the character and his world is all you focus on.

It is also feasible to do some special effects that aren’t otherwise financially or physically possible such as, explosions on a grand scale, flying, or a wizards magical powers are all easily accomplished.

The one con is that all this freedom requires more time, effort, and sometimes money than live action. For the simple reason that everything, including the background scenery, must be created by someone which takes time, and they must be paid for their time.

Different Animation Styles

I have watched many animated films over the years and discovered that there exists a plethora of different animation styles. Here is a short list to illustrate my point.

First of all is the Disney animation style, which most people are familiar with.It has a particular look with semi-realistic big eyed characters. They are also very dynamic with bright primary colors. Even that has differing stylization depending on if it is a traditionally or 3D animated film, such as Hercules compared to Tangled.

Hanna-Barbera was an early animation studio in the 1960’s who produced shows exclusively for television. They made classics many kids grew up on , or are at least familiar with, such as The Flinstones, Scooby-Doo, and The Jetsons. They were created as children’s entertainment, as such they have that 60’s childish, comical feel about them.

The Anime genre alone has tons of animation styles depending on the studio and director. Albeit there are similarities amongst the styles, they still each have their own style. For example you have shows like Naruto, DragonBallZ, and Ghost in the Shell which each have a differing degree of realism. Ghost in the Shell being very realistic, and DBZ on the cartoony side. Naruto falls somewhere in-between the two. This gives a good range of what the anime style entails.

Movies like Titan AE and The Iron Giant produced by Fox Animation Studios look similar to the Disney animation style. For a while I thought they were Disney based on the characters’ facial expressions and gestural movements. It is possible to tell who produced an animation based on how it looks, this is also possible but not as simple with live action films as well.

Films have a variety of filming techniques that give them a particular look and feel. Even the clothing and demeanor of the characters lends itself to the directors filmic style. The only thing they cannot change are the people themselves. They look how they look, you cannot change their. With animation you can go a step further and make even the people’s physical proportions fit your style, you have the power to shape every aspect of the world which is both amazing and overwhelming at the same time.

In Conclusion


Everything above is my take on animation and how it is perceived by American audiences.If you disagree with any part please comment below.

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Adam Sacco: Artist Profile #40

Adam Sacco is a 3D character artist who has worked on video games such as Destiny, Call of Duty Infinite Warfare, and Halo Five. Adam also does design work for animations, which overlaps the skill set required for working on game characters, so I am not sure what exactly the difference is. To see examples of his game and animation work visit his website 3D Character Artist – Adam Sacco.

destiny_kf_warlock_AdamSacco
destiny_kf_warlock_AdamSacco

halo5_vector_armor2_AdamSacco
halo5_vector_armor2_AdamSacco

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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Matthew Zikry: Artist Profile #39

Matthew Zikry is a concept artist, designer, and illustrator who graduated from California State University, Long Beach. On his website Matthew Zikry – Concept Art | Design | Illustration Mtthew has a gallery displaying his work, and also a page with art tutorials available for purchase.

Saga of Odazio_Architecture Exploration_MatthewZikry
Saga of Odazio_Architecture Exploration_MatthewZikry
Saga of Odazio_Village_MatthewZikry
Saga of Odazio_Village_MatthewZikry

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Should You Have Your Artwork Critiqued?

Professional and weekend artists have many differing opinions on the viability of art critiques as a way to improve ones artistic ability.

Some say they are useless, because that would assume there is a list of common rules that a work of art should follow in order to be considered correct. Due to the fact that art is a freedom of expression it is not bound by such earthly constraints, so how can it be critiqued if it follows no rules.

Artists on the other side of the issue feel that art is nothing but a set of rules and techniques that take a lifetime to master. As a result art critiques are as simple as spotting the artists flaw in technique and correcting it. They believe by repeating this process many many times an artist improves, and eventually becomes a master of their craft.

I feel the viability of art critiques is a mix of these two paths of thought. First off art is a freedom of expression and is not bound completely by such earthly constraints. Although there are a few fundamentals such as perspective and lighting which make artworks look more realistic, they are not vital to the process.

These fundamentals are one (albeit a small) aspect that can be used incorrectly, and easily critiqued by others. At the same time there are other aspects such as style and personal preferences which greatly affect the resulting work, but are specific to the individual and are never incorrect, thus it is ny impossible to critique.

Considering all this I believe art critiques can be useful to some degree. You must remember to take any critique with an open mind, think about what is said and look at it as a neutral observer, do not get to emotionally involved. It may just be that your art is different than most mainstream art, but you work will never evolve if you do not get other artists perspectives of it. As we all know personal bias can sometimes stop us from seeing what is right in front of us, and an artists artwork is no different.

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Hong Chan Lim: Artist Profile #38

Hong Chan Lim is currently a Senior Character Artist for Overwatch, at Blizzard Entertainment. Before that Hong got his first internship as a 3D generalist in 2004, and worked on a few other games as a 3D/2D artist working on concepts, characters, props, and environments. He got his first official Senior Character Artist title at Carbine Studios/NCsoft Corp. while working on WILDSTAR, where Lim worked on his first creature design.

Overwatch Oni Genji_HongChanLim
Overwatch Oni Genji_HongChanLim

Take a look at more of Hongs’ Overwatch character designs on his ArtStation page.


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Aaron Beck: Artist Profile #37

Aaron Beck is a 3D artist and a concept designer for game titles such as Call of Duty, Infinite Warfare, and he even worked at Weta Workshop for a time. Other than that he has not done too much as of yet, but from looking at his DeviantArt page, and his blog Aaron Beck, I like what he does.

CODIW_SDF_AR_C_01_AaronBeck
SDF_AR_C_01_AaronBeck

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