Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Portfolio Website

Hello dear surfer!

If you found your way here looking for my website you can find it at Jeff Willis Artist Portfolio

And thank you for stopping by!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Goofing Off

Just messing around.
Wasn't going anywhere.
Keeping loose.
A gazebo, resented allegation and a hoopo.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

McDivot Full Cartoons Set #2

In the following set I didn't actually animate but I did develop the story and story boards. I worked with Calabash in Chicago who did the animations and again audios are by Clean Cuts/Cerebral Lounge.

There's a bit of a story overlap between 3 and 4 since it's how it's show in game. It's sort of a recap. "Previously on the McDivot Show..."

This is my favorite McDivot story. I hope you enjoy it too.
The preview images on these don't seem to want to show but I assure you they are playable.

Morning Bite


Meet Sandy Mulligan

In the Belly of the Beast

Love Gopher Style

McDivot Full Cartoons - Set #1

When "Fairway Solitaire" first launched we needed a set of cartoon videos as a reward to players and also just to give him a backstory.

There was so little time to get these done. I spent many weekends at the office to produce these little cartoons. No one pushed me into OT but I knew that's what it was going to take to get the job done. I didn't complain though since this was something I wanted to do. I mean I really wanted to do this! It was a genuine labor of love.

I wrote, storyboarded and animated these myself since... well... there was no one else to do it. I created the character so it was left to me to follow through and complete the cartoons.

Backgrounds were painted by Bill Meyer and Rhonda Conley.

Audio by Cleancuts and Cerebral Lounge.

Blueprint for Disaster

Rodent Robbery

Drive-By Snooting

In The Lab



The Golfinator!


Animations - Wildshots Set #4

OK. One last set of mini 'mations!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Animations - Wildshots! Set #2

Here's a second set of Wildshot animations. These are pre-audio versions since that's all I could get my hands on.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

April Fool's!

Yeah, I know. I'm 3 days late. It's been a crazy month so I'm catching up with myself.
This is a Fairway background I did a few years back. Big Fish named two conference/meeting rooms after characters I created. One was Sandy (Sandy Mulligan, McDivot's GF) and the other McDivot. This was eventually turned into a mural in the McDivot conference room. Imagine my surprise when I walked into that room not even knowing they planned on doing this!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Animations - Wildshots! Set #1

I thought I'd try posting more animations.

These are from Fairway Solitaire. We have a series of "wildshots" in the game that can pop up at any time. These little videos illustrate what each one is about in just a second or two or three.

These are the only copies I could get a hold of so there are a few minor rough edges.

I had to be nimble with these. There roughly 30 I needed to do so each one took about a day depending on the number of frames, necessary particle effects, etc...
And like with the featurette cartoons I  was making things up as I went along!

If I recall correctly the first animation is the very first time I rendered McDivot for the game.
This is his debut straight from my brain!

Hope you like 'em!



Friday, March 31, 2017

HOG Minigames

One thing to freshen up the pace of a hidden object game is to add some surprises. Minigames or puzzles is how we did that. These add a new level of problem solving and the fans have a great time trying to figure out how to pass these in order to get to the next level or hidden object scene. Sometimes you need to solve these in order to find additional clues or tools to progress.

Here are a few screenshots of some of the minigames, door puzzles and fun I helped to create for our HOGs.

I had to model a 3D outboard motor in Maya for this minigame.

In this one I rendered a gator with a 3D tiki head stuck in his jaws. The player had to stick the tiki in his mouth to get a clue that was stuck in his teeth.

This one was just silly and for fun. You had to win a game of Coconut-Paper-Scissors against a stuffed, animatronic critter to get the next clue. If you lost the animal stuck his tongue out at you.

The following were "door puzzles". There was a puzzle built into a door. Solve the puzzle to get past the door. Simple!

#hog, #hiddenobject #hiddenobjectgame, #mysterycasefiles, #hiddenexpedition #bigfishgames, #jeffwillis, #jeffwillisartist, #minigame, #doorpuzzle

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Hidden Object Scenes

I thought I'd show some of my hidden object (HOG) scenes from way back. Of course I look at these now and see things I'd love to change. These are from a variety of HOG titles.

#hog, #hiddenobject #hiddenobjectgame, #mysterycasefiles, #hiddenexpedition #bigfishgames, #jeffwillis, #jeffwillisartist, #minigame, #doorpuzzle

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Got Protoplasm?

An oldie but a goodie!

jeffwillis, #jeffwillisartist, #alien, #humor

Monday, March 13, 2017

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

I love Burnie! I wish I could find a way to more with Burnie.

Anyway here's a bit o' green for St. Patrick's Day. McDivot may be Scottish but I tend to think Burnie may be of Irish heritage. 

Here is is in disguise...

#mcdivot, #gopher #Burnie, #burnieworm, #burnietheworm, #gopherwrangler, #fairwaysolitaire, #stpatricksday, #stpaddysday, #shamrock, #green, #jeffwillis, #jeffwillisartist

Sunday, March 12, 2017

McDivot the Thief

Here's one of a set of nine cartoons I wrote, storyboarded and animated. McDivot stealing computer equipment.

Click Here --- "Rodent Robbery"

#mcdivot, #gopher, #gopherwrangler, #fairwaysolitaire, #jeffwillis, #jeffwillisartist, #animation, #cartoon

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Irish Christmas 2016 - 2017

I am so late posting this one.
This was our Christmas card from 2016. Yes, these are our cats and the radio is based on my Grandma's old Philco.
Now that it's nearly St. Patrick's Day go celebrate with an Irish eggnog!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Testing out an animation sample

I had a dream come true.

I wrote about 14 short animated cartoons for McDivot during my stay at Big Fish. When I say "wrote" I mean that I wrote a synopsis followed by an illustrated storyboard for each cartoon. I also created animatics for most of them although these files appear to have been lost.

I had absolutely no experience creating an animated cartoon. I studied how-to books and videos and I had always wanted to create a cartoon since I was a kid. Here was my chance!

The first nine cartoons I animated myself using a combination of Photoshop and Flash. It may have been an inefficient approach in retrospect but I pulled it off. I had a lot of help from two fantastic artists name Bill Meyer and Rhonda Conley (I believe in giving credit where credit is due) who digitally painted the backgrounds. 

Somehow through a combination of drive, desire and a big heap of blissful ignorance I did it. I completed nine cartoons and they were sent to Clean Cuts on the east coast for audio sfx, voice-over and music. There is no way I can even begin to describe that feeling of seeing a character I created not only come to life but once that first audio came in I was nearly in tears. I was floating on a cloud with joy. Shortly the cartoons appeared in the game (Fairway) as rewards for progression. JOY!

After this set was complete we got budget approval to make a few more and make them better and quicker by contracting Calabash in Chicago. Calabash is known for Lucky Charms and Trix commercials among many other creative pieces. They really leveled up the quality of McDivot cartoons. The audio files were still done by Clean Cuts.

These are like crowning jewels in my professional life and I am so very proud of them.

Here then is Chapter 2 in a serial of 5. I hope you like it!

Copyright Big Fish.

#mcdivot, #gopher, #gopherwrangler, #fairwaysolitaire, #jeffwillis, #jeffwillisartist, #animation, #cartoon

Angus McDivot - Inventor

McDivot is a Scottish name. 

Gutsy's family tree goes way back to Scotland where his great-great-great-I've-lost-count-great grandfather, Angus McDivot was the actual inventor of the bagpipes. He invented them in order to annoy and frighten golfers off of his land. Turns out the Scots loved the sound and they took all the credit for the instrument.

He never made any money as a musician but it was all he knew.

Legend tells that he played his bagpipes in the shepherd's fields as well.
He only knew one song: "Mary had a Little Lamb".

#mcdivot, #gopher, #gopherwrangler, #fairwaysolitaire, #stpatricksday, #stpaddysday, #shamrock, #green, #jeffwillis, #jeffwillisartist, #animation, #cartoon

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Fleetwood Mac Parody

I've had a wonderful time doing parodies with McDivot and friends.
One of my favorites has been with album covers.

For those who know this album cover I omitted the low-hanging fob for our more sensitive fans. ;-)

#mcdivot, #gopher, #gopherwrangler, #fairwaysolitaire, #green, #jeffwillis, #jeffwillisartist, #animation, #cartoon, #fleetwoodmac, #album

Friday, February 24, 2017

Breakfast at Tiffany's Bakery

Happy Oscar Night Everyone!

#mcdivot, #gopher, #gopherwrangler, #fairwaysolitaire, #green, #jeffwillis, #jeffwillisartist, #animation, #cartoon, #breakfast, #breakfatttiffanys, #tiffanys, #audreyhepburn, #breakfast, #food, #parody, #humor

Friday, January 20, 2017

McDivot Comic Strip!

Ever since I was a kid my big dream was to be a comic strip artist. That part of me has never changed and probably never will. Getting comics published was a hard prospect in the newspaper days and now it's a different ball game altogether.

This week I got to play in my old playground once more (and more to come). This is my wheelhouse. This is what I was meant to do; tell stories and entertain. 
With that here's a McDivot comic strip that appeared recently in our game.

I hope you like it because I relished creating it :)  <3

Hat's off to David Stevenson for painting the coffee themed background! Lovely work.

#mcdivot, #gopher, #gopherwrangler, #fairwaysolitaire, #green, #jeffwillis, #jeffwillisartist, #animation, #cartoon, #comicstrip, #humor