October 30, 2009

Fun Art Fridays: Happy Halloween!

Each year we like to come up with a Halloween greeting to send all of our loyal 2A! followers and subjects. This year we were throwing around ideas and I thought it would be fun to do a group caricature shot of the 2A! staff wearing costumes of their respective work mascots. We decided we wanted it to have a different look than our normal style, so Joe and I agreed that a painted final image would make it really stand out. Joe started it off by roughing in the poses of the characters, then I took that and focused on getting a likeness of everyone. After a couple passes between us, we settled on a final sketch. We then took that into Photoshop, and have both worked on it the past week to finish in time for Halloween. So here we are, after many hours, ready to unveil our hard work. I hope you like it, and have a safe and happy Halloween!

Copyright © Two Animators! LLP

October 29, 2009

Animation: SweetIM Grim Reaper

We're quickly approaching the big day, so to continue this week's theme of Halloween related posts I decided to share one of the animations we did for the second batch of SweetIM animations. This one is of a little Grim
Reaper who has some heavy news for you. This animation was extra fun to
do because it adds more interactivity between users than any of the
previous ones we've done. Check out the video above to see what I mean! Then check out the stills below.

Until next week!

Copyright © SweetIM Technologies Ltd.

October 28, 2009

SweetIM: Sarah's Halloween Characters

Following up on Mark's post from last week, where he showed off his Halloween character sketches, here are my versions of those same characters. These are the approved designs that you will see in 2A!'s newest batch of SweetIM animations!

When I received Mark’s sketches with the notes to make the characters “cuter” I felt conflicted since I really liked his designs the way they were. They were a lovely mix of spooky and quirky, both things that I feel are very in the spirit of Halloween. So I did my best to keep as much of Mark's original design sense while redrawing the characters in my style. All in all, I think they turned out pretty nice!

Check out my approved Halloween character sketches below and let us know what you think! :)

Copyright © SweetIM Technologies Ltd.

October 27, 2009

2A! Happy Halloween Short

2A!’s Happy Halloween short rises from the depths to gain new life on YouTube!

We created this promotional short a few years ago and sent it out as a Halloween greeting to our clients and colleagues, and to help spread the word about the studio. At the time it was featured on Cold Hard Flash and has since rested comfortably on our YouTube channel. But over the past week the video has been resurrected, jumping from around 900 views to over 31,000 and climbing! Needless to say, we figured it definitely deserved another look. ;)

I’m still really happy with how this piece (which pokes fun at the nightmare of working with a low production budget) turned out. Especially given that it was a very spontaneous idea that I came up with and the team quickly cranked out. Not to mention Joe and I got to do the voices of Igor and Dracula! :P

So be sure to check out the video above and let us know what you think. I’ve also included the original character sheets for Dracula and Igor below. The whole 2A! gang loves Halloween and had a blast working on this, so we hope you like it too!

Copyright © Two Animators! LLP

October 26, 2009

Monday Morning Motivators: Jack O' Lanterns

It's another Monday, so you know what that means... more Monday Morning Motivators! It's a chance for us to pick a theme -- preferably something we normally wouldn't draw -- and spend the first hour of each week sketching. The sketches can be very loose or super tight, but the point is to work out the weekend stiffness and draw something new.

To continue this month's Halloween celebration, here are some Jack O' Lanterns for you viewing pleasure. Hope you like them! ;)

Copyright © Two Animators! LLP

October 23, 2009

Fun Art Fridays: Halloween GIF Designs

Since Halloween is our all-time favorite holiday, Tom and I are always doodling Halloween characters and decided one year that it would be fun to turn them into a series of animated GIFS. So, here are some of the designs we created for that batch of FREE Halloween GIFS released back in 2005.

First up are my designs, including a witch, a zombie, two ghosts, Frankenstein, Dracula, and a cranky demon.

Next up are Tom's designs, which include a goofy bat, a creepy snake living in a skull, a howling wolf, and a scarecrow with a pumpkin’s head.

If you like these designs, then be sure to check out the animated versions on our Fun & Games page. Just click on the "Freebies" game in the Flash movie at the top of the page. Or you can just download them HERE. Did we mention they're FREE! ;)

Copyright © Two Animators! LLP

October 22, 2009

SweetIM: Mark's Halloween Characters

Instead of posting a SweetIM video this week, I've decided to share the original designs I created for the batch of Halloween animations that just launched.

It's no secret that I enjoy all things creepy and evil when it comes to my taste in art. So, after the scripts were finalized for the Halloween animations, I was asked to sketch up some designs for the characters. I played with different shapes and went for stylized, sleek designs. Ultimately, although everyone liked them, they didn't jive with the client's target audience. So, I handed them off to Sarah to give them a cute makeover to match her designs from the first batch. My designs have been tucked away ever since, just waiting to be used for future projects. I'm sure you'll see them again someday.

Copyright © Two Animators! LLP

October 21, 2009

Sneak Peek: Mr. Jack O' Lantern

With Halloween fast approaching, I can't help but think about Mr. Jack 'O Lantern, a project that's currently in development here at 2A!

It all spawned from a few sketches of mine that evolved into the final piece shown above. I loved how whimsical the image turned out to be, so I tried taking it into Flash to see how it'd animate. From there it just snowballed, and Mr. Jack is now on his way to being a fully animated short.

As soon as I knew I wanted more for Mr. Jack than a run cycle, I started making sketches and trying to flesh out a simple little story. The above sketch was for an idea I had where Mr. Jack can choose any pumpkin, carved or not, as his new head.

Making an animated short requires lots of work, so thankfully I have my coworkers here at the studio to help me. I created the above model sheet, with information from where all of his patches, tatters and tears are located, to how many stripes he has on each leg, to help keep Mr. Jack on model. These are important details to keep the consistency of the character as it passes from artist to artist.

So what do you think about the above test? I’m pretty happy with how he moves so far. I feel like there’s a classic look about the animation, and I think a lot of that is the way we move the legs. They have a very 1930's noodle feel to them, with a more stylized design that lends a freshness to that sort of animation treatment.

The gang and I hope to get Mr. Jack O’ Lantern finished in time for Halloween next year. You can bet you'll be the first to know when it's done! ;)

Copyright © Two Animators! LLP

October 20, 2009

SweetIM Halloween Animations!

2A! takes SweetIM “trick or treating” for some hilarious Halloween animations!

A few weeks ago I posted about the launch of our first set of animations for SweetIM, and this week I’m proud to announce our second batch of animations (pictured above) has launched. They’re all Halloween themed and include humorous takes on classic monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolfman, the Grim Reaper, Pumpkin Head, the Hunchback, a Witch, a Ghost, and a Zombie!

2A! developed the concepts, designed and animated the characters, and provided the audio. Check out the cool Hunchback screen shots below, then head over to www.sweetim.com to download the FREE application.

Copyright © SweetIM Technologies Ltd.

October 19, 2009

Monday Morning Motivators: Spooky Trees!

To celebrate the upcoming Halloween holiday, we’ve decided to dedicate the next few Monday Morning Motivators to all things spooky. First up, is our take on designing some spooktacular trees!

Copyright © Two Animators! LLP

October 16, 2009

Fun Art Fridays: More Fall Fun!

I can hardly believe it's the middle of October already! I love this time of year, especially now since this is when the leaves are usually at their peak color, apples and pumpkins are ripe for picking, cider is just waiting to be consumed, and it's chilly enough to break out my giant collection of scarves.

These are two wallpapers I drew to celebrate this wonderful season. In the same style of the "Looking Forward To Fall" wallpaper I made last month, the caricatures of myself and my boyfriend partake in some of our favorite fall activities. There's trails to hike, leaves waiting to be admired and seasonal foods to be eaten.

I'm quite proud of how the characters and the colors in these came out. I really like how I made the extremely stylized chibi-pumpkin-head characters expressive and work from a few different angles (the drinking pose I'm especially fond of). I am also very happy with how the night time fall colors worked out, as it feels dark and autumn-ish while giving a mood of Halloween.

Copyright © Sarah Gencarelli

October 15, 2009

Animation: SweetIM Cat Congrats

Last week you got a glimpse into the process behind creating an animation for the SweetIM project we're currently working on. This week I'm back with another one of my favorites from the first batch. This one was our idea for a "Congratulations" greeting. We added a little bit of a twist to it though. I had fun playing with the cat's different expressions, and really creating the feeling of her struggle to uncork the bottle. Check out the video above and stills below to see the progression from animatic to final animation.

See you next week!

Copyright © SweetIM Technologies Ltd.

October 14, 2009

The Superficial Friends: Talkbacker Designs

When 2A! was working on The Superficial Friends series for Heavy.com, we had lots of opportunities to design fun secondary characters and villains. One of my favorite episodes to work on was the one featuring Harry Knowles, an avid movie reviewer on the internet. We needed designs for Harry Knowles' "talkbackers" (otherwise known as his fans and avid commenters on his website) who would fight the Superficial Friends.

I thought it'd be funny to play on the idea that the talkbackers are a bunch of movie nerds that would come out in costume to fight. I began researching “cosplay” to find the most hilarious types of costumes at conventions. We finally decided on costumes of Lion-O from The Thundercats, Darth Vader and Boba Fett from Star Wars, and Spock from Star Trek.

In the sketches above, I tried to play up the ridiculousness of the costumes and lack of authenticity. For example Darth Vader's cape is a trash bag, Boba Fett is wearing cargo shorts and Lion-O is far too skinny to properly fill out his shirt. The sketches look incomplete since I was going to make Flash puppets from them, so it was unnecessary to draw some of the hands and feet since we had a library of assets to pull from.

Above are the final puppets created in Flash. True to the style of the show, we kept colors and line-work simple, which I think adds to the awkwardness of the characters.

So who'll win? The Superficial Friends or the devoted minions of Harry Knowles…? Watch the episode HERE to find out!

Copyright © Heavy.com

October 13, 2009

Diss Crazy! iPhone App Gets Reviewed

A couple of weeks ago I posted that PunkArts had released the new Diss Crazy! iPhone app. This week I'm happy to announce the app is getting some pretty great reviews! Check out these cool articles from iPhone Footprint and SlapApp!

Here's what iPhone Footprint says about our artwork:
"I feel like I am gushing here, but Diss Crazy has got amazing graphics too. The artwork is colorful and fun, and the characters all have their individual style that speaks volumes of their personality."

Here's what SlapApp says:
"The visual art in the app really shines. Crisp cartoon style artwork of each character stands out and gives the app extra punch."

You can check out more of our character art at the links below...


Then get the app here for only 99 cents!

Copyright © PunkArts

October 09, 2009

Fun Art Fridays: Hack/Slash "Three's A Crowd"

In honor of Halloween and all things scary, I present an original shot of Cassie and Vlad from Tim Seeley’s Hack/Slash comic book!

I recently got into reading this book and love the series. It’s about a girl named Cassie who survives a “slasher” attack and subsequently vows to rid the world of all slashers! She picks up a sidekick named Vlad -- who looks a lot like a slasher himself -- and travels the country taking down murderous monsters. Great stuff and a really fun read!

Anyway, I’m pretty psyched with how the paint job on this turned out. Especially given that it’s my second attempt at doing more painterly colors (see my first attempt here).

The guy in the pic is just some random dude... not a super villain slasher. I was also thinking about titling this "Dream Date," because I imagine this is how a date with Cassie might end. ;)

Here’s the black and white image too…

Hope you like them!

Illustration © Joe Costantini
Hack/Slash is Copyright © Tim Seeley.

October 08, 2009

Animation: SweetIM Moth

For the SweetIM project 2A! has been working on, I'm in charge of doing the animatics for each piece. This particular one is of a moth who is quite oblivious to her surroundings.

For those of you who don't know, an animatic is basically like a rough sketch where you lay out the timing and key poses of an animation. After the character designs are finalized, I take the description of what the character is supposed to do (a.k.a. the script) and make the animatic. Once the animatic is approved, we clean up the keys and make sure the character is consistent throughout the whole piece. The keys are then in-betweened, finalized with ink and paint, and sound effects are added. You can see the three stages of the animation process in the video above, as well as in the still image below.

I really enjoy working on these SweetIM animations because they let me stretch my hand-drawn animation skills. I try to make each one as lively as I can. This was definitely one of my favorites from the first batch we did.

Copyright © SweetIM Technologies Ltd.

October 07, 2009

Production Design: Bonzai & Ned Game Assets

Last week I wrote a post about the backgrounds 2A! designed for Bonzai & Ned’s Anthill Adventure Game over at Sifaka World. So, today I thought I’d talk more about the individual assets we designed for the game.

First, we focused on the main characters, Bonzai & Ned. As you can see from the image below, we had to change the angle of the original design (on the left) to accommodate the aerial view of the game board. We also needed to turn the characters around so they would have the correct perspective depending on the direction they were moving (up, down, left, right).

Next, the enemies in this game were three different ants that interacted with Bonzai & Ned. Each one had a special purpose, and even though color would be the main way to tell them apart, I still wanted to change the features so their silhouettes were distinguishable. So I played around with giving them different sized abdomens and mandibles. The ants also had to be drawn in several angles for game play.

In addition, the ants needed a few special poses. One was a “flying” pose for the brown ants that Bonzai & Ned suck up and shoot out like bullets. Another was a “hit” pose for the red ant, where it falls over dead after you shoot it. I was pleased with how the dead ant turned out as it gets the point of death across without coming off as gross or scary. The very cartoony "X" eyes help with that. ;)

2A! also created environmental assets and power-ups for the game. We created rock walls and ponds so each level could be changed to increase the difficulty. As for the power-ups, a prickly pear worked nicely for an invincibility icon and a clock for slow motion. Their bright colors really help them "pop" from the background, which players can see easily while playing.

Last but not least, every game needs to be rounded out with UI (User Interface) and various screens like: an intro screen, instructions screen, and an end score screen. We created each of these to fit with the style of the background and came out with what I feel to be really fun results.

Bonzai & Ned is one of my favorite games at www.sifakaworld.com, so why not head over and give it a shot!

Copyright © Sifaka Productions, LLC

October 06, 2009

Character Designs: Sifaka World Chameleons!

HEYOOOOOO! It's about that time for some more 2A! Sifaka World designs...

First up is Cam, owner and operator of Chameleon's Clothing Store, located in the beautiful Treetops of Sifaka Island. From sweet safari hats to warm winter jackets, Cam is the man to see for all of the current Sifaka styles. I had fun designing this guy, especially with his crazy color palette. ;)

Next up is Cam's sister, Liz, who operates Chameleon's Furniture Store, which is accessible via the clothing store. She's the lizard to see about sprucing up your pad (a.k.a. user home) with all the coolest in Sifaka furniture. I'm saving up for that wide-screen plasma TV! As you can see, Liz's look is based off of Cam's design. Sarah did a great job altering the design and choosing nice, cool colors to make her really stand apart. Final ink and paints on Liz were done by Tom C!

Now get your tail over to www.sifakaworld.com and buy something from these cool chameleons. You can also check out more Sifka World designs by following the links below.

Sifaka World Mascot
Sifaka World Mascot Part II
Ring Tailed Lemur
Sifaka World Albatross
Tui the Tortoise

Copyright © Sifaka Productions, LLC

October 05, 2009

Monday Morning Motivators: Clowns on Bicycles

Clowns on Bicycles… sounded simple enough to me, but it seems that one hour just isn’t enough time for a concept like this. Between that and last week’s Giant Robots theme, I think I’m going to ban myself from choosing any Monday Morning Motivators for a while. Maybe we’ll draw spoons next week. Oh wait, I just chose again. OK, seriously... I’m done. ;)

Copyright © Two Animators! LLP

October 02, 2009

Fun Art Fridays: Villains Unite!

Well, the day has finally come. With the addition of Skeletor and Megatron, my 80's villain sketch is officially complete! I'm pretty pleased with the results. It makes me happy to see all of my favorite childhood villains hanging out together. You definitely don't want to run into this crew in a dark alley. The next step is going to be attempting to paint this bad boy. Make sure to check out future posts to see how it turns out.

Illustration © Mark Pingitore

October 01, 2009

iPhone Apps: Diss Crazy!

2A! helps PunkArts get their rap on with an all new iPhone app!

PunkArts is a company that’s creating some crazy-cool new iPhone apps. Their first release is called Diss Crazy! and is now available through Apple’s app store. Diss Crazy! is the first iPhone app that actually raps insults for you. Pick a character, pick a topic, and drop a diss bomb right through your iPhone or iPod touch!

2A! designed and illustrated the characters for this app, so be sure to show some love and go download it. Otherwise we’ll have to toss a few disses your way. ;)

Get the app here for only 99 cents!

You can also check out our previous posts on the character designs for this app by following the links below...


Peace out!

Copyright © PunkArts