Monday, October 27, 2014

This is probably the second animation I ever did not counting things like floating clouds or falling leaves.
The story cam about as a tag team effort. John Cutter, the creator of Fairway Solitaire, wrote the first draft I think, I added my own version and it came out like this.
I'd say it's pretty good for a guys who's never animated before. I did the storyboard, I think I did an animatic (long lost), did the editing all in Flash, illustrations in Photoshop and got help with background art.

Clean Cuts/Cerebral Lounge did all the audio.

Gophers VS Golfers: A History

Friday, October 24, 2014

Tony Benedict's Blog

You need to check out Tony Benedict's blog.
Tony is a former writer for Hanna Barbera. he has some wonderful stuff!

Here is an image from his latest post. I hope he doesn't mind if I share.
Huck Board by TB

Indiana Gopher

We've done a few parodies with McDivot. Putting him underground and dressed as an archaeologist running from a golf ball made perfect sense.

Friday, October 17, 2014

I thought I'd just post this one for fun.
McDivot as Poseidon in an old theater style.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Waltzing Matilda

In Fairway Solitaire we often celebrate holidays from around the world. Here is one design I did for Australia Day. This was the first sequential background I created and hopefully not the last.

My childhood dream was to have my own comic strip. This never happened but to be able to do a comic strip of sorts really made me happy.

Since "Waltzing Matilda" is the unofficial National Anthem of Australia I thought I'd try to create a cartoon of this but with a much less tragic ending.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

McDivot Character Concepts

How can you have a gopher living in a golf course without being inspired by "Caddyshack"?

You can't. But this was my directive.

When Fairway Solitaire was still in development I was asked to create a gopher character. He should be both mischievous and cute at the same time. He should have qualities that evoked something positive from the audience. 

I don't know how animation studios handle character development. In fact everything I did with McDivot from concept to animations to story development I did in complete blissful ignorance. I had no idea what I was doing but I still knew I could do it. This was something I've always wanted to do.

I felt that my career had been built up to this kind of thing. So when they asked me if I could do it I said yes. I didn't know if I could but I just wanted to. No one told me I couldn't.

I started with a bunch of rough sketches with different looks. For reference I used both photos of real gophers (pocket gophers and ground squirrels) and also cartoon gophers for some inspiration.

These are what I came up with.

 After running these by a small committee and mixing traits from 2 or 3 of these guys this is what I came up with.
I wanted to name him Verco after my late cousin. I like the name Verco and Verco Gopher had a nice ring. It was slightly alliterative without his first and last initials being the same. Eventually his name and his looks would evolve over time.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Gopher Style Guides

In order to keep McDivot and company on model I created character style guides. I did this mostly for myself. Even though I know these characters better than anyone there are times when I have a memory lapse.

Additionally I expect that there will be times down the road when someone else will need to refer to a guide on how to draw the little varmints. I'm still hoping there will even be McDivot plush toys one day.
For the moment though I have to admit that I rather like being the only person at work who draws the characters.

I do collaborate with other wonderful artists though. More on that later.