March 7 2015

Rendered in HD but some shots still having problems with the rendering. Premiere constantly crashes on the home office so needed to remote into the office machine with GBs of video is making for a longer than expected render.


March 1 2015

Piper's creating one last sound bite/music for the start of the race. There's a lot of game music in this short from Daytona USA, to Mario. It's making it a lot of fun.


February 24 2015

Decided last minute (don't like doing this) to create more ads to make the store more abnoxious. There's some easter eggs finally!


February 17 2015

Piper suggests that the grandpa talking or making noises would be best. I didn't consider that but after I do a run of the voice, it works better. I talk to Anne Marie Nest (Voice Professor @ U of Iowa) and from her input, Nate Wasson comes in to create some awesome voices for the character!



February 4 2015

Added additional sound effects. Soundsnap is having some strange bugs but it's still much more efficient than the old school days of CDs.


January 25 2015

Jared does one last matte painting, he's been an awesome asset to the team being available to finish the project as need be.


January 19 2015

New title sequence ... after making the sign bigger and more invasive.


November 11 2014

Piper's version of the title sequence ...


October 26 2014

Sound effects!!!


October 11 2014

Piper's having a difficult time animating so she's pitched me the idea of her composing music and it's amazing! She's very talented!



Sept 1 2014

Shadows are too harsh but instead of repositioning the fill light, I added a directional light and turned off the specularity.

This light was a bit too bright.

This is perfect.


Aug 31 2014

Too much glow.


Aug 28 2014

I love rendering so instead of sending out the animatic for critics to watch, I opted to add a glow to the 'hero' car. It doesn't seem to work though.


Aug 26 2014

Some of my favorite foods ... but moved the drawings to the left as it was being blocked by the thumb. The list is more visual than writing text


Aug 16 2014

Animating in After Effects requires as many as 20 layers but its built in motion blur helps speed up the renders.


Aug 12 2014

Working the matte painting with the 3D elements in Maya can be a bit tricky as seen in this example. But it does look seamless without any additional compositing work.

Interestingly, the road planes are casting shadows on each other. Simply turning them off gives the perfect results.


Aug 8 2014

Lighting the lot takes some effort but the base lights in the model scene work. However, the harsh shadows require additional lights based on the camera position. Overall, only 2 parallel lights with 2 bounce lights are used.



July 17 2014

Relighting the parking lot and making some final touches on the graphics. Still needs more angles and European design.


July 6 2014

Small detail and Easter egg. I used to use Buddy from Death to the Different to appear as a cameo. Here's the shot:

The character Coco Beware in World's Next Top Superhero takes his place as the gingerbread man cookie. I wanted to have Buddy appear again so maybe you might find him somewhere else



July 2 2014

Remixed Grandpa's car. A Ferrari would be beautiful but this Camaro seemed more fitting to his character.


June 28 2014

Rendering out the background with the 2D characters. As I suspected, it looks dynamic. The skewed bg elements adds to the playfulness of the short.


June 26 2014

The designs of the minor characters. Broke up the limbs as they will need to be animated.


June 23 2014

During my run, a fire hydrant in my sister's neighborhood gives a nice color palette to work with.


June 18 2014

Don't know much about being hip but hopefully this design works.



June 16 2014

The cops in the shot.


June 11 2014

Additional details in the lot along with skewing it gives it a unique perspective and a higher level of chaos.

The sports car that Grandpa dreams of driving. Interesting but doesn't pop.


June 6 2014

The dragster gal.


June 3 2014

The hipster, inspired by my fav popstar, Justin Bieber.


June 2 2014

Concept art of the police officers. Always have to have contrast in them.


April 18 2014

Opening introduction of Grandpa. Will be interesting to see how 3D is implemented into this background.


March 20 2014

Early animation tests with the background. Thought the worlds would collide but looks cohesive.

March 7 2014

Various designs for the profile of Grandpa. The angle of the chin to the neck can really add age and emotion.


Feb 10 2014

First time drawing on a tablet and it was flexible enough to make edits. Here's some of the storyboards. Using Windows Explorer so there's no need to use Photoshop to organize the shots.


Dec 16 2013

Various logos for the film with the fonts. The film is playful so all seem to work well.


Dec 9 2013

Stylized parking lot. A bit small right now but once it's huge, hopefully it won't crash the computers.


Dec 5 2013

Early sketches of the props for the parking lot ....


November 20 2013

Final design and expressions for Grandpa. Notice the muted colors and stronger lines for the facial features. This is an angry man.


November 9 2013

Expression sheet, with additional emphasis on shading.


November 6 2013

More revisions on the main character, squaring and simplifying everything. Emphasis on his mouth are added by strengthening line weight.

November 4 2013

The car looks decent, although making it more stylized would work better.

Moving onto the main character, he's also very square.



October 21 2013

Between flights, I try drawing on the tablet.

The square look is more reminiscent of the character's emotional state.


October 19 2013

An animation conference in Turin gave me a lot of inspiration when coming up with the visual look of the film. .


October 18 2013

The main character's car should be bulky and suggest his grumpy nature. Squared everything from the rear view mirror to the side mirrors.


October 18 2013

Additional modifications, making it taller. Still not satisfied though ...

October 16 2013

Early car model. The way it should be, boxy and rigid.


October 9 2013

Car references. Cartoony, playful and slightly European. A trip to Italy gives me a lot of design ideas.


October 8 2013

Silhouette drawings of cars.



October 6 2013

Early drawings of the main character emerge. The overall look of the film will be very different from previous films.

Other designs


October 4 2013

I brainstorm the idea with Fei and the story consultants, Sandy Sen, Landon Hill and Adam Volker to flesh out the story.


September 30 2013

Animation student, Fei Zhengqing requests an independent study with me which ignites an opportunity to start a new short film!