May 29, 2009

Fun Art Fridays: Six Shooter

I have a love of cowboys, as anyone in the studio can attest to -- especially since I have a pair of boots and spurs that I love to wear to work. I often draw odd, little self-portraits of me doing things I daydream about, and this sketch is a good example. How cool would it be to hide behind rocks about to bust some evil bank robbers? A showdown is about to go down!

Copyright © Sarah Gencarelli

May 28, 2009

Character Designs: PunkArts' 12penny

Here’s the third and final character design we did for PunkArts. The hip-hopper named 12penny!

Above are the final ink & paints and below you can check out the rough sketches, which were done in Flash. I think of the three characters I had the most fun with this dude… especially the slide, kick, and upside down poses.

Below is the comparison sheet of Sarah’s original sketch (on the left) to my final design (on the right). The client wanted more whacky proportions, but again, I was able to use her sketch as a starting point for my work.

Finally, is the alternate hairstyle sheet. I always find it amusing to see this sort of stuff… what could have been his hairstyle had the client chosen differently.

I’d say the correct choice was made in the end, although the afro IS pretty sweet!

Copyright © PunkArts

May 27, 2009

Background Design: Sifaka World Tree Tops

2A! recently had the challenge of designing backgrounds for Sifaka World. Since Sifaka World is an interactive world, that meant the backgrounds had to be designed in a way so there's a compelling space for the player to move around in. That meant striking a balance between actual content and space for the player's avatar to traverse.

Below is the design progression for the main "Tree Top" area. First, came my intial sketch to lay the groundwork for the space. Here the basic perspective and elements are laid out.

Once notes are received from the client, I move onto the color mock-up, where any revisions are made and the mood is set with color.

After another round of notes, I pass the approved color mock off for the final Flash build, where small elements such as design details are added and colors are polished. For example, we lost the dark outlines and pushed up the saturation of the colors to add to the fun, cartoon feel.

Breaking the process down into these smaller steps allows for greater flexibility during the design process, and helps mimimize time spent making larger changes later on. It also helps us achieve a fun and functional end result!

Be sure to check out this background in action at:

Copyright © Sifaka Productions, LLC.

May 26, 2009 Game: El Tigre - Decision of Destiny!

2A! discovers our destiny… to provide Flash character animation for’s El Tigre - Decision of Destiny game!

Take El Tigre’s fate into your own hands with this fun, multi-level fighting game released back in 2008. The object of the game is to help El Tigre clear each level of enemies like Skeletons, Mustache Mobsters, and Guacamole Monsters, while collecting all the power-ups you can find before time runs out. Defeat the bad guys by slashing them with your claws or throwing an explosive burrito at them.

2A! created all of the Flash character animations of El Tigre and his quirky villains for Pop. Check out some of the Flash loops by clicking on the images below, then get yourself over to to discover your own destiny by playing the game!

Copyright © Nickelodeon

May 22, 2009

Fun Art Fridays: Hordak Sketch

In anticipation of the June rerelease of one of my favorite toys of my youth, I decided to sketch my version of The Ruthless Leader of the Evil Horde himself,....HORDAK! This guy was so cool, he even beat out Skeletor as my favorite He-Man villain back in the day. I'm proud to say that I have the original, MOC 1985 version of Hordak hanging up on my wall. In future posts I'm planning on adding more of my favorite 80's villains, and eventually doing a final tight painting of them all together, so be on the lookout for more in the future!

Illustration © Mark Pingitore

May 21, 2009

Character Designs: PunkArts' Flikka

Here's the second in our series of character designs for PunkArts... the sweet rocker chick Flikka.

Above are the final ink & paints and below you can check out the rough sketches, which were done in Flash. I find that I'm really comfortable working with the brush tool directly in the program. You'll also notice the crazy colors in the sketches below... I find that switching up colors helps me if I feel like I've hit a wall creatively.

Last but not least is the comparison of Sarah's original sketches (on the left) to my finals (on the right). We basically mixed her two concepts with my style to get to the final design. Having the ability share concepts and bounce ideas off of each other is a great way to get the best possible design.

More designs to come...

Copyright © PunkArts

May 20, 2009

Production Design: Schwimmer & Jones

From matching a pre-existing art style to designing something completely from scratch, each new production 2A! works on requires us to tackle a new and different look. A good example of a pre-existing art style we had to translate into animation is our work on Playboy's Schwimmer & Jones animated series.

Below is a sample of what one of the original comic panels looked like.

Our challenge was to preserve the very vintage inking style and faded washes of watercolor, while allowing the characters to "pop" from the background.

We found the solution by first painting all the individual color blocks and speckles. Then paper textures are applied on top as a partial transparency to make them look paper-soaked and old. The black ink lines are then laid on top of that to preserve the overall style of the piece. Below is a split screen example of before and after adding the paper textures.

And below is a screen shot of the final translation into animation.

I feel we successfully kept the gritty ink and paint style of the comic, and made it useful for the animated piece.

You can check out the episodes now available online at!

Copyright © Playboy

May 19, 2009

Character Designs: Colgate Concepts

Here are some of the character concepts we mentioned in yesterday’s post. The first image is our initial concept sketch of Colgate's Dr. Rabbit and kids on the deck of a pirate ship.

Next, are some of the characters in a line up. The roughs were drawn by the very talented Michelle T. Lehman, while the final ink & paints were done by JoE C!

Finally, here are some of the awesome bad guys we created for the project. We just love the designs Michelle whipped up for these. Great stuff! :)

Copyright © Colgate - Palmolive, Inc.

May 18, 2009

Background Designs: Colgate Concepts

2A! recently worked on some concept art for another Colgate project. The following background designs were created in Photoshop by Greg Kleid, one of our super-talented background artists. First up, is our take on a toothbrush pirate ship! You can see the evolution from rough sketch to final paints below.

Next up, is an underground lair for the evil Plaque Pirates. Oooooo… I’m scared just looking at it. :P

Finally, we have a close up of the pirate ship deck. This background has some corresponding character art that we’ll show off in tomorrow’s post. So be sure to check back...

Copyright © Colgate - Palmolive, Inc.

May 15, 2009

Fun Art Fridays: Wolverine Origins!

2A! introduces Fun Art Fridays!

So we've decided it would be cool to start something we'll be calling Fun Art Fridays. Basically that means every Friday the gang will be posting some of our own personal art, which can be fan art, concept art, sketches, doodles, scribbles, sneezes, whatever. It's basically an excuse to show off some of the art we create that's not necessarily "studio" work.

So with that said... here's the first post. A sketch of Wolverine I did in anticipation of the new movie's released. Drawn in Flash, in about 30 minutes. Hope you like!

Illustration © Joe Costantini

May 14, 2009

Character Designs: PunkArts' Sandi

2A! recently worked on a series of character designs for a company called Punk Arts. Real fun stuff. Here's the first in the series, a cool dude named Sandi.

Above are the final ink & paints and below you can check out my rough sketches, all of which were done straight in Flash.

Below is Sarah's original sketch (on the left). As you can see, the client wanted to go for a more stylized version in the end, but she laid the ground work for me to get to the final design (on the right).

More designs to come...

Copyright © PunkArts

May 13, 2009

Pitch Short: Captain Ollie's Water World!

2A! dives into underwater adventure with Captain Ollie's Water World!

Captain Ollie’s Water World is a musical adventure series for kids that follows the exploits of Captain Ollie, an Australian octopus who moves to the Coral Bay Reef. Together with his newfound friends, Bertram Blowfort, Seanna the Seahorse, and Lester Lobsterhook, they form “The Sea Tones” musical band and rock their underwater world!

2A! designed and animated this 2-minute Flash short for PAC Entertainment back in 2007. It is currently being used to pitch the development of a children’s television series.

Also, be sure to check out The Captain Ollie’s Water World Live Show appearing at the Ocean City Music Pier in Ocean City, New Jersey on July 18th, 2009! Tickets are available at:

Come on... let's jam!

Copyright © PAC Entertainment

May 12, 2009 Series: Behind The Music that Sucks!

2A! goes Behind the Music that Sucks for!

Behind the Music that Sucks is a parody show that pokes fun at VH1’s popular biography series of the same name (sans the “sucks” part). Each episode focuses on a different music icon or celebrity in an attempt to expose how truly sucky they are. Whether you agree with their opinions or not, you can’t deny the show’s acerbic humor has made it a hit.

2A! animated a total of 39 episodes of this series, which marked another successful team up with Camp Chaos, who produced the 2006-2007 season. Episodes are currently available online at and on YouTube. The show also airs on Comcast On Demand.

Copyright ©

May 11, 2009 Game: Beauty Studio!

2A! keeps stylin' n' profilin' with’s new Beauty Studio game!

It’s makeover time again in this brand new game for Mattel’s MyScene brand. Choose from one of five popular MyScene girls (Kennedy, Delancey, Madison, Chelsea or Nia) to makeover with new hairstyles, makeup, and jewelry. Don’t forget to print out your trendy new looks and share them with friends.

2A! worked closely with Mattel to design and animate the front-end visuals for this ultra FAB game!

Copyright © Mattel

May 08, 2009

Cartoon Network Game: Tag Team Titans!

2A! flexes our superpowers to provide Flash character art for Cartoon Network's Tag Team Titans game!

Released in 2005 as a downloadable Cartoon Network game, Tag Team Titans is an action packed, side-scrolling fighter. Choose one of the five Titan's (Robin, Cyborg, Beast Boy, Starfire or Raven) and guide them through different levels while battling evil villains like Mammoth, Jinx, and Bumblebee. Be sure to also watch out for various clones and other robotic bad guys!

2A! brought the characters to life by providing clean-up animation and ink & paint services for the cast of Teen Titans and villains. Thanks to Pop for asking us to team up with them again for this awesome game!

Check out some of the character keys below!

Copyright © Cartoon Network

May 07, 2009

Nesquik Bunny Commercial Spot!

2A! stirs up the fun with an animated spot for Nesquik!

A sweet blast from our past, 2A! teamed up with Fuel to animate the Nesquik Bunny for a television commercial, which originally aired back in 2004. Our character animation was created in Flash and colored in Photoshop, and then composited into Fuel’s live-action footage to create the final spot. You can check out a quick sample of some of the animation in both line art and final colors below.

Did we mention how much we love chocolate milk?! ;)

Copyright © Nestlé

May 06, 2009

Pokémon Learning League Flash Library!

2A! goes Anime with the Pokémon Learning League.

The Pokémon Learning League is an educational website featuring the popular television show characters interacting with users to help teach them lessons in math, science, and language studies.

2A! worked closely with Pokémon USA to develop the vector art library, which includes such iconic characters as Ash and Picachu, and was used to animate the interactive Flash tutorials. Above is a screen shot from the intro animation we created, as well as some cool artwork of Ash below. Enjoy!

Copyright © Pokémon USA.

May 05, 2009

Screwball Comedy: Johnny's Secret Nipple!

2A! gives birth to Siamese twins!

Have you ever had a secret so embarrassing you'd do anything to keep it hidden? What if that secret had a mind of its own, and no matter how hard you tried, you just couldn't keep it hidden? Welcome to the world of Johnny's Secret Nipple, a screwball comedy about a young man's struggle to cope with his crazy secret.

2A! takes the classic Odd Couple buddy theme to a whole new and outrageous level with this original short about two Siamese twin brothers who love to hate each other. Created by Tom & Joe Costantini, two non-Siamese-twin brothers who hate to love each other. :P

Copyright © Two Animators! LLP

May 04, 2009 Series: The Superficial Friends!

2A! helps show off their superficial side!

Gathered in the Great Hall of Anorexia are five of the most self-important celebrities ever assembled! Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie and the Olsen Twins! Dedicated to selfishness and social ignorance, they are The Superficial Friends!

2A! teamed up with Camp Chaos to animate 20 episodes of this action packed show about Hollywood’s shallowest super team! Episodes are currently available online at and on YouTube. The show also airs on Comcast On Demand.

To the Brittle Bones mobile!

Copyright ©

May 01, 2009

Mezco Toyz' TikiMon Island Website!

2A! goes native with Mezco Toyz’ TikiMon Island website!

Light your torches and get ready to experience the island fun with this website promoting Mezco Toyz’ original line of TikiMon toys. Launched back in 2004, the site is chock-full of games, Easter eggs, and the web-premier "TikiToon" titled, "Cuckoo for Coconuts."

2A! designed the world and characters for animation, as well as providing all of the Flash animation for the website, games, and web-premier cartoon. We had a great time teaming up with Second Thought to create this cool, online experience.

Visit the island at We promise you won’t get voted off!

Copyright © Mezco Toyz, LLC.