Monday, December 29, 2008

The New Face of Oppression... isn't it cute?

Hey All,
I had an idea for a character that would work perfectly for my drone chase shot, and so I spent the last two days building and rigging him.

Presenting: V.L.A.D. (Vagabond Location and Acquisition Drone)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Semi-Finals

Here's the semi-final for the wrestling shot. It still needs some love, but it's almost there :D

I'll have the drone shot up soon as well.

Thanks for looking!


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mexican Wras'ling!

Hey Ya!
I'll be posting my rendered final shot for the Drone Escape soon, but I'll first need to change some things around. In the meantime, here's my first blocking pass on my next assignment. If you couldn't guess... the little one's me...

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, November 2, 2008

First Pass Blocking -- Drone Escape

Wheeeew! That was a long night :D But it's finally finished: the first pass blocking of the Drone Escape.

Hope you enjoy it! It was a lot of fun to make, and a really great exercise! Now on to second pass blocking!!!


Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I didn't make a costume this year, so to make up for it, I put an oven door behind the secretary's desk, along with this delicious recipe:

Sega Employee, a la carte

"3-Time Bake-Your-Employee Contest Winning Recipe!"

5-7 Strategically-placed buckets of candy
At least 5 dumb employees (12-15 if dish is prepared for party or social event)
Warm, charming atmosphere (such as candy hut or game studio)
Costume (keep 'witch' identity secret at ALL COSTS)
Candy Bar (or fruit-flavored substitute if craving 'Alexis')
8 (six inch) Carrots


1. Pre-fatten dumb employees over the course of a month or two prior to event. (Use candy buckets)

2. Get employees accustomed to standing near oven door.

-idea: "Hey Brenton, come watch this hilarious YouTube video I've found..."

3. Keep employees used to seeing your face. Perch near elevator or entryway (or just wander halls randomly talking to people).

4. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) 5 hours prior to event.

5. 3 hours prior to event, hang candy bar in front of oven door (use fishing line -- they'll think it's floating by magic... tee hee!)

6. When employee nears oven door, pop out from under desk and boot them into oven.

7. Repeat steps 6-7 as many times as necessary to fill oven with yummy fattened employees.

8. Bake 2.5 hours.

9. Caution: will be hot! Let cool at least 20 mins.

10. Carrots are for flavor.

11. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Drone Escape, thus far

Ok, so it's still early on, in fact this isn't even completely the first pass of blocking, and there are no drones yet (besides that inexplicable tiny one floating screen left). Thanks for looking! Trav

Monday, October 27, 2008

Golden Axe Reel


Just finished up stringing together some of my favorite work I did on Golden Axe: Beast Rider.

Feel free to call me out on any lousiness you see -- it'll feel good to say "HA! Don't care... not fixing!"

Saturday, October 25, 2008

But how do I REALLY feel?

This is a test animation I did to get a feeling for how the drones in my new animation will move. This is really rough, but it helped me figure out things such as firing mechanics, path of action, and how to effectively eliminate IGN... err... I meant "how the back flaps will operate"...

For those that don't know, which is probably most of you, gave Golden Axe a very biased and unfair (and uninformed) review.

Thanks for looking!

PS. Color scheme is totally up for critique!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Golden Axe: Beast Rider FTW!!!

golden axe Pictures, Images and Photos

Wooo hoooo!!! I'm officially published!!!

Okay, so I was credited for Iron Man, but I didn't take great pride in that credit as I only worked on the game for 3 weeks. However, I have poured heart and soul into Golden Axe: Beast Rider for the past year, and I am super excited that it has been published.

Now, while I know you are all going to run right out and buy it and look for my name in the credits, there's something else in the credits I'm even more excited about! My wife Nikki has a credit in there! Her first credit EVER! She's under Special Thanks. If I have my way, you'll be seeing Nikki Howe in the credits of a lot more projects in the future!


Here's one of my animations from GAX. I'll be piecing a reel together soon! A little intro to this animation:

Jeff Cooperman and I shared what I consider to be the coolest part of Golden Axe: the Twins. One has metal boxing gloves (we call him Mituunz), and the other has spiky leg-armor (we call him Buutz). Jeff did most of Mituunz's animation, and I got to do Buutz. They wanted something to distinguish the two when they do brutal attacks, so that when the player fought against both at once (which does eventually happen), they could tell instantly which boss they just got attacked by strictly by the move. For Mituunz, Jeff decided a throw made the most sense (it's a really funny animation where he plops a hand down on Tyris' head, then picks her up by her hair and tosses her. hahahaha!). My thinking was that if I were that size and I was fighting someone the size of a chihuahua, my first instinct would be to just punt that thing across the field. And it worked well, because Buutz was supposed to have mostly foot-attacks, so a kick fit right in.

Hope you like it!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

AnimDrone 1.0 (mission classified)

This is a turntable for the "opened" and "closed" stages of my yet-to-be-textured-and-rigged Animation Drone, which I'll be using for my next AM project. Hope you like it!


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Updated iPendulum

I was really fond of the iPendulum idea, and was very disappointed w/ the final result. So I spent the week we had off working w/ it, trying to get it to a point where felt the same way about it as I do about the Tailor animation. I am extremely pleased with the final result. It's not quite to the same level as the Tailor, but it's also a far more complex piece, so I'm okay with that :)

I hope you like it!


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Class 1 is finished!

Whoo hooo! Finished Class 1! I couldn't be more excited, but at the same time, I hope I get lucky again w/ my mentor (I got a really great one this last term).

Anyway, here's my demo reel from Class One. I'm still reworking the "Scared Walk" and the "iPendulum," so I'll post updates for those later, but for now, enjoy!


Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Work Thus Far

Hey All!

I have one more assignment for Term One, but thus far, which is to clean up the startled walk, but this is where I'm at thus far in AM. Hope you like it!

Startled Walk Blocking:

Vanilla Walk:


...You've already seen the pendulum, so I'll wait until I've finished polish on that before posting...

Obstacle Course:

Light/Heavy Ball:

Soccer Ball:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The other Tailor

After much deliberation I have decided to simplify. Here's my new Tailor piece. I do hope to finish the other, but I decided to focus on the basics for this assignment.

Hope you like it!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

WIP Springing the Trap

Okay, so it looks like this week I'll have to do two animations. I really want to do this animation of Tailor outsmarting a mousetrap, but I don't think my mentor will go for it; too much going on, he wants me to focus on the basics. So I'll be doing another simpler one, but I wanted to post what I have thus far on "Springing the Trap."

Friday, August 8, 2008


One of our assignments is to do a pendulum animation. For mine I decided to get a little advertisement for Mr. Jobs out of the way as well.

Moral of the story: Kill Two Birds with One Stone. It may be mean, but you'll be the life of the party!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Stupidly Famous...

A'right so I'm not one to brag or boast, but... I am now stupidly famous! Here's the scoop:

So we've been finishing up on Golden Axe: Beast Rider (Beast Wars and Beast Master were taken... ho hum) and so we've been putting a bit of work into helping out Sega Marketing. The art dept. came to me and asked me to whip up some character and creature poses for them, and just render them out w/ lamberts (I'll post the original renders soon). After I finished, about a month and a half went by and I didn't hear a word.

Then today, one of my fellow animators came and says to me, "Dood," he says, "I just opened up Play Magazine and spotted your ad." So I dropped my mouse and ran to Borders. Lo and behold, there in the very back page of the August 2008 Play Magazine was a two page spread of the poses I'd created! Woot woot!

Oh, and I've recently created another set of poses which should be showing up in a three page centerfold in some magazine somewhere some time soon.

Sorry for the lousy picture, our work scanner is junk so I took these w/ our home camera!

Friday, August 1, 2008

I'll post the finished ball bounce (and a whole other one) when I get a chance, but here's what I've got so far for my obstacle course:

Hope you like it! Crits always welcome!


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hey all!
Just a quick update of my first animation assignment. The end still bothers me, but I'm restricted to 100 frames... sigh...

Monday, July 14, 2008

First Animation First Pass

Okay, so this is early on, but I just want to keep this site extremely up-to-date, so here goes:

The assignment is for a ball bounce, preferably a soccer or basketball. In my case, I'm using a volleyball for reference.

This is in it's earliest stage, only spent about an hour on it. I hope you like it so far, and please feel free to critique!


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Assignment Numero Uno!

So this week we had a pretty simple set of assignments: go somewhere public and draw the people we see:

...and then use "Stu," one of the AM rigs, to pose out our favorite (I chose #22) and add a little flavor to it:

Let me know what you guys think!


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

First Day of School! First Day of School!

Whoooo hoooo! I've officially had my first day of class... Standard "Meet and Greet" kinda thing, but my class seems really cool! Another Ex'pression Alum is starting at the same time (Mai Van) although we have different mentors.

Watch this blog like a hawk now, things are really going to start ramping up soon! (Hawks are big into blogging, fyi)


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Starting Next Week!

Hey Everyone!
I'll be starting Animation Mentor next week. Sorry I haven't posted recently, I've had a lot of stuff to take care of outside of school, and nothing exciting in the animation department... well, at least nothing I can show right now. Once Golden Axe ships, I'll be sure to post a "Best Of" reel, which has a few pieces I'm really excited about.

Nikki and I went to Disneyland at the beginning of this month, and while there, I got Mr. Incredible curious about my stylish Animation Podcast shirt. If you've never been to The Podcast, check it out at It's definitely one of the best resources I've found! [Special thanks to Jonathan Sakimoto for introducing me to the Podcast! Thanks Jon ;) ]

Monday, May 5, 2008



Just another animation test in preparation for Animation Mentor. This one is a gag I was thinking of as part of a short I'd like to do. The bullet holes were all created using booleans, although next time I may use textures, as booleans can cause serious geometry issues. Worked pretty well for me here tho!
This test was also a chance to take my new rig, Larry, for a test drive. In the hands of a more proficient rigger, he would've been much easier to control, but he works well enough for my needs.


Sunday, May 4, 2008

I finally have my first published title! Iron Man (the game) came out yesterday. While there are versions for the psp and the Wii, Secret Level (my studio) was only responsible for the PS3 and XBox360 versions.

Here's the trailer released at this year's Comic Con.

Strangely, this trailer was never released publicly, and, in my opinion, it's a much better trailer than the ones that were released:

http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=rFYTVR3jwQM

And as a bonus, it has four (maybe five) of my shots in it :) Yay for getting onto Youtube (which is mostly controlled by 12 year old American Idol hopefuls with webcams)!

Here's a shots list:

-Directly after the Fighter Jet shot, there's a quick slow-to-turning shot of Iron Man with his air break wings out.

-(I think the shot directly following this of Iron Man flying down into the camera is mine, but if so, they tweaked the timing to look cartoony... BOOOOO!)
-Directly after he takes out a helicopter with his pulse blastin' chest, there's a shot where he does a barrel roll.

-Directly after it says "In Air or On the Ground", this is a sequence of the final boss battle Cinematic I did.

-Directly after it says "You are a One Man Army", when he flies past the camera, this is another clip from a Cinematic I did.

Hope you like it! I'm just excited to have been a part of such a great game! The movie's DEFINITELY worth checking out in theaters! It's so awesome!!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Pocket Bike Concept

Just a quick post, but I have an idea for a simple acting piece I'd like to do, and it involves one of those funny little motorcycles called "pocket bikes" that grew to incomprehensible popularity for about a week and a half a few years back. I spent yesterday coming up with my own version. I'll be modeling it soon, but for now, here's the concept!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Drowning with James Cameron...

Here's the other test I did over the weekend. Just a simple clusters test for a dialog piece I'm thinking of doing, based on a really intense sequence in "The Abyss." Hope you like it! Again, please be forgiving of the proxy animation, this is simply a test:

Monday, March 31, 2008

Time to Kill...

This weekend I had a bit of time to kill, so I thought I'd get a jump start on some things I could use for AM. The first is a "proof-of-concept" test I put together. I have been watchin AM reels for a while now, and I know that one particular assignment is to do a ball with a fox-tail bouncing across the screen. I've seen people do some really clever stuff with it, and I wanted to think up something original that would allow me to do the ball bounce while still putting my own creative twist on it. There's a longer idea to this, but in short it involves a mouse trap. I built and rigged the mousetrap, and then couldn't resist giving it a test run. Hope you like it! (Again, just proof-of-concept... the animation's a little crappy, please be kind ;)

Then my wife came home, and had to do some homework, so I thought I'd do some more Maya-ing. I've seen a lot of box lifts through AM, and while the animation's usually very impressive, there's still something boring about a Lambert cube. So I thought I'd build a pumpkin to use for my lifts. I'm going to give it clusters and whatnot to make it feel inside-heavy and "fleshy." This is just one render (ignore the "hay," I was bored) of how it looks, but I'm decently happy with it! Hope you like!

I had one more project this weekend (besides rigging an accorn, which isn't very exciting) but sadly my connection's not letting me upload the video, so I'm afraid you'll just have to wait for it! Until next time!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Back to School...

I've officially been accepted into Animation Mentor! Yippieeeee! Pending finding the financial means, I will begin classes June 30th. That gives me a nice long time to sit on my butt... Actually, it works out well, as Golden Axe is currently in "crunch" mode, and things will be crazy until around May or June.

So from here on in, this blog will be solely dedicated to my progress through AM. Things'll get a little nuts, I imagine, so I may not be able to post as frequently as I'd like, but we'll see what happens!

Wish me luck!