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King was born in Uganda and raised as a Canadian. He studied and graduated the animation program at sheridan college and furthered his knowledge into game and 3D artistry.

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Scene Stealing #2

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The Master.


Why this flilm?
Simply put, I liked the look, not much more.
Pretty much the only thing that I took away from this one was the photography. Similar to Pear Harbor(soo pretty) it looked like a glamorous moving calender cut out of that genius looking 40-60 period in the west. From the cuffed jeans and white shirts to the red lipstick and the contrast filtered color grading.


A few scenes stand out, particularly the opening bit with the boating and of course the desert strip motorcycle sequence. Phillip S Hoffman is always such a captivating character actor...I wouldn't mind him showing up in every movie.



As for the movie. I'm not a fan. Reminds me of Catcher in the Rye. No matter how many times I tried to read that at the time, I just didn't get it. Maybe in a few years...


-King
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Cupid's pen

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Quick seasonal romance commission I was coerced into completing over the weekend. I'm always up for playing the role of cupid.

Always been a fan of Marcos Chin's work and in this case I was very much influenced by his one piece. I wasn't given much liberty here I must say, but I gave it a slight personal touch. I hope it worked out for the love stuck individual.

-King
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Dianna Agron Portrait

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 ...haven't done one of these in a while

I watch Glee. I’ve been a fan of Ryan Murphy’s shows since I was a young kid, not old enough to have been watching Nip Tuck. It’s great to see his bold creative social fable approach applied to the high school landscape. It’s just a fearless vision and I’ve always appreciated that about him. I also enjoy the music. It’s not just the show tunes (which I’m always down for) but, the glee style remixing of songs. This was so much more prevalent in the early seasons but has now given way to simple renditions of popular songs. One song that does fall into the former, is Dianna’s own cover of TLC’s Unpretty. Of course that damn Rachel Berry had to get in on it and try to steal the spotlight as always. She couldn't just give us this one...she couldn't. Anyways, it’s playing in the time lapse. The lyrics are of note.







One of my goals with this was a pink fleshy palette. I read somewhere that argons colors were pink and purple (I read a lot of stuff actually, I couldn't stop), so I looked to one Andy Warhol for guidance on how to get this done. Pushing this flat bold style I found a base that I could build off of. Thankfully Dianna’s hair is blonde so I knew I’d have a good balance going in.


I watch a good amount of makeup tutorials (I love em). I personally have mixed feelings on the face painting rituals many young women are now a slave to committing to on the daily. For example, why do they have to worry about extenuating features to "look their best," whilst I as a male do not? And once they commit to it once, not doing is must feel like walking around at a disadvantage. Imagine world with no boys, would you still apply make up? I’m sure some would, but not all. I'm under the suspicion that we have the Egyptians to thank for this. On the flip side, I've learned that a lot of the principals of make up (cosmetic or otherwise), are the very same principles I've self taught myself with all these portraits. I even apply my paint the same way. This was made no clearer to me than when I decided to really push the make up in this portrait. Smoky eyes with liner and rose cheeks over high cheekbones. I'm pretty confident I could apply a lady friends make up at this point. Anyways Agron's features are so lovely, if anything the make up takes away form her looks. In fact, this style of eyeliner really hurts or rather, messes with my ability to capture likeness.


Paint streams. It's like a painters signature. A lot of people try to hide them for the sake of realism, I say embrace them, or rather find a happy compromise. Use them to make an interesting composition that guides the audience up down and all around. For me it's not so much about the realism as it is about the stamp.
You know I've got some free time when I do one (or two) of these. I never realized how much time and effort it takes to pull one off, video and blog included. Then again, as I get older it seems my time gut’s more precious. DIANNA AGRON. I don't have the vocabulary to really express all the ways...so I'll leave it at that. Also, I love her naturally sultry eye shape...her voice sounds like my pillow.


A little video from glee of Dianna doing her thing, for those who have no idea.


On another note, new (well to me anyways) research in neural plasticity suggests that if we don't use neural functions, as we get older we'll loose them. This goes a way to explain some of the behavior we find in many older people. If the brain's neural pathways were a stream with many branches, than as one stream's use decreased, so to does the space allotted to it till it’s eventually closed off entirely to make room for the paths with higher demand. One of these very paths is the ability to learn itself. For example if you're not using math all that often, you'll probably notice that you're not as good at it as you once were, this isn't just a case of being rusty, but rather a form of neural housekeeping. Same goes for language, motor skills etc. You're not just forgetting how to do things; you're loosing your ability to do them. Long story short, if you've got a talent that you love, use it or loose it. Myself, I have a few, and I'm changing my life so to better their continual use, and I suggest you do the same. Again, long story short, more portraits, more writing, and more filmmaking, all the 3D I just learned had some serious RAM requirements. Also, thanks for reading all this, I like to think people visit this place for more than just the kick ass, brilliant art, it's a package deal.

Next up:
Justin, Audrey and Andy.... not in that order. But first, some Story Boarding.

-peace
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Scene Stealing #1 Old Boy

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After completing my Sabbatical into 3D. Taking a little time to use my 2D art skills before they fall into complete entropy, or was that atrophy, is a must. I need to brush up on the vocabulary as well. Back to my favorite past time, which includes watching visually engaging films with a pencil in one hand and a bowl of cereal in the other. Last night it was the Korean film Old Boy. It sells itself and if you haven't seen it I'm not going to put any effort into selling it. Several images stand out for me but none other than the hallway fight. For times sake, whatever I discuss here will mostly be on the visual side, story and all that will have to pass on this one.


People tend to make big deals out of singular takes these and I'm not even sure they know why. Mostly(but not always) it's backlash from they over edited sequences of popular film making. I find often times, that people treat singular takes as more than they are simply because of that fact. I, however don't really care how many cuts a sequence has as long as it's interesting. In some way's keeping fluid continuity during a sequence is at least twice as difficult when it's cut and stitched together. That being said, the cinematography(and editing) was pretty sweet in this. Also, tracking shots are always a good idea. A camera that moves with or along the action just makes everything all the more sweeter. CW-Park's direction has a very distinct marker for me. He cut's to a somewhat surreal image that looks frozen, and then there's movement. On top of the crazy context of this film, that style really pushed the imagery over the top for me. This was adapted from a manga comic and I appreciate that Par made the characters and scenery look as such.

As for the scene itself, it's just an interesting watch. Hard for anyone to turn away, it's so interesting. Very important; all the timing feels real. People aren't simply waiting their turns, and if they are it's cause they have to. Weather it be the lack of space or the fear they feel, it really works. To see some of the worst turn taking in the history of cinema, look no further than Dark Knight Rises, yikes. I also appreciate the respect of hthe characters fists, few films really convey what good strong boxing can do.When the knife goes in his back it just takes over the movie for me. Sorry, can't explain it.

I almost look forward to the Spike Lee remake if only to see him demonstrate where he actually stands next to a director like Park. David Fincher needed this film, Wolverine needed this direction...

-King
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Superman Red Son

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There are a lot of superman stories floating around. Many of which I consider some of my favorite. Mark Waid’s Birthright, Joe Kelly's Truth Justice & The American Way? Grant Morrison's All Star Superman, and of course Waid's Kingdom Come. Toss in some Loeb here and there and you have the character as I see him pretty much down (sorry Johns fans, I'm not feeling it). However, if I were to ever choose a single favorite story that I felt nailed all the best aspects of the mythos in a single take it would be none of the above. For me that story has to be Mark Millar's Red Son.

Mark Milllar, not to be confused with Frank Miller, is one of my favorite writers working. Sure he's notorious among fans, but for me any good artist should me. It's not that you can please everyone all the time, it's more that your work is bold enough to engage a strong response and debate from both ends. For me, I can read anything this guy touches. His one little stint on JLA(#27) was one of the single greatest comic book experiences of my childhood. He pretty much launched marvels Ultimate line and then solidified it with his Ultimate Xmen then Ultimate Avengers reboots. But I digress. What I love most about him is how well he gets characters. He gets them so well that it enters the realm of caricature of concept and it's there that he wins and looses fans. The detractors will say that they hate they way he bastardizes these heroes. No, he's just pushing their concepts to their furthest heights and some people just don't like where they find themselves. His jingoism fueled Captain America is nothing short of brilliant in my mind. It single handedly sent Cap from pointless to my top three most readable characters list. I finally understood Rogers and it was because Millar took the concept of the character and presented it to me in a bold yet stripped down way. But again I digress. What irks many off is that Millar essentially gave the world a peak at the "ugly side" of their beloved characters and he did it in continuity. This would be like taking Frank Miller's crazy The Dark Kinght Returns and putting it in continuity. I mention that book because it more of the same, it takes the batman concept to crazy depths. And as a result it's a celebrated yet dividing story.


Red Son is this for me. Not just with Superman but with the mainstays of the DC universe. What's done with Luthor as a political industrialist, Batman, an anarchist, Green Lantern, a tool for organized gov't and the list goes on. It's great because even with Superman seemingly backwards and communist, he's more himself than ever. Back to Luthor, this is how you do him. Morrison and Waid understand this too. Superman is, for the most part, the "strongest" hero around, Lex is his greatest equal but it's in his intellect. And Batman falls in between there somewhere. Back to Lantern, it's thematic application of the characters will and how it's used in this narrative, it's things like this that drive my love of comics. I loved all the nods in the story too. Luthor making assumptions about what would have happened had Superman landed in the US. Superman on his relationship with Lois Luthor. Batman constantly praising the Human mind.




I've avoided what the story is about for the most part, I find it more interesting that way when suggesting books to friends. This isn't a review after all. Lastly, this story may very well have the single most creative twist ending in this genre, period.



That being said, it would seem some people put together a motion comic of sorts complete with great voice acting and sound and music(It may have actually been WB). I know from experience how much work can go into such a thing so it's very much appreciated. The thing about this format is that some of the dialogue and "acting" if you will, falls flat. The original creators didn't conceive of this so some of it goes astray. If you've got a minute or two or three, give it a shot. Either way it's up for the time being and no one seems the to have any issues, so read it while you can.




Interestingly enough, this whole Red Son revisit was spurred on by a debate I got into with a friend over Superman Returns(always Returns). It was about Lois making the claim that the world doesn't need superman. For arguments sake I agree with her, and I think Red Son makes a takes a step to illustrate this.

Zack Snyder's Man Of Steel drops a year from now and my body's ready, big time.
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Update Immortal Character Modeling

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My first shot at modeling I decided to take a stab at a character from my film. With Game design you have to optimize for real time engine limitations. With film you can pump almost as much geometry and resolution as you need. Long story short, this approach is more for gaming than it is my real goals. Moreover, for the sake of the assignment I even gave the design a less stylized approach.


Zbrush












The low polygon model, rigged(catBoneSystem), posed, somewhat lit.



The high polygon model imported from Zbrush.


The low poly, normal mapped with the high poly.




It's a start.
-King.
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3D anim assignment dump

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A couple of 3Ds Max animation assignments I'm finally getting around to posting now that I'd have some time to fiddle with them. Game design is wonderfully hard and filled with many different avenues, yet I find myself most at enjoying the animation aspects. Sadly, that means it will receive the least of my time from now on. At any rate here are two of our early assignments I managed to collect. The first being the rudimentary ball and tail exercise, somehow i manged to twist it into a superman themed scene.




The concept is simple enough, Superman is all about the phone booths and he's also all about leaping "tall buildings" in a single bound. Animating a character without any sort of rig is a rare opportunity I think. I did what I could.


 The second, a rigging assignment layered onto a modeling assignment from another class topped with animation. Modeled a shark from scratch(no teeth), built the bone system from scratch, skinned the mesh to the bones then animated. Every problem I could have encountered I did. Curse those orient constraints. For the final comp I grabbed the layout from the super-ball assignment and tossed the whole thing under the sea to the tune of Donkey Kong Country(Game Design).



I'll be sure to post more of these visually accessible assignments when I can.
-King
 
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Representing District 09 in the Hunger Games

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I found the time to sketch this piece in during a particularly long render wait. It's self explanatory. A prawn from district 9 marked as tribute. Considering Hunger Games is all about poor districts, there is no district more impoverished than the South African ghetto occupation of District 9.


As for the Hunger Games as a film. I found the first half was very well made, however, the second half was completely amateur, and the ending was a cop-out and incomplete. Why more films don't go the Shawshank route and translate their voice over material from the original work is big prideful waste by my estimation and it hurt this story. Even the first Twilight had the good sense to keep it. I notice in every review, fan or otherwise, people are outlining issues that would have easily been resolved if they had simply gone this route. Starting with both the love interests and the little girl companion. Peeta not receiving any help from their mentor and how he felt about that was always interesting in the novel, sadly, there's no mention in the film. The books greatest accomplishment for me is that the same ploy used to win the protagonist some sponsors and sympathy is also deployed on we the audience. Haymitch chooses to focus on Everdeen because audiences love to route for females in love. Everdeen uses this until the lines are blurred and then in the end she blindsides all of us. The movie does something strange with this and to be honest I'm not sure if Gary Ross himself knows exactly what. And the villains, my goodness the villains(sucked that is). In the end it was an engaging film. Lawrence was great, everyone was actually, everyone but Woody Harrelson that is. I still would have liked to see Hailee Stanfield in the role personally.

It's a crime how far and in between the updates have been on here this year. However, that just means I'm busy, which is always a good thing(for me). I've got a lot of things going on at the moment and I've had to push my personal projects schedule back a year. Big plans though, stay tuned.
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Zack Snyder Watchmen Analysis (video)

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Been busy with work and haven't had a chance to upload any art worth uploading. Plans are being planned however. In the meantime I quietly work on my various film projects and pitches(yes) well into the darker hours of the night. I figure that's no excuse to embargo my presence from my humble blog space. Whist I prepare some future posts I wanted to share this awesome video analysis I happened upon not too long ago. A youtube user by the name of 2finnman has compiled a concise yet brilliant and insightful visual analysis of the 2 opening sequences to the film Watchmen.


I love it. Lots to learn and what's more, he really highlights the good work of Zack Snyder, a visualist, who is often underrated. Often due to someone who's either butt hurt that he touched their material and made it accessible or someone pushing some sort of agenda, or both. The film itself while not without it's flaws was a very enjoyable experience for me.Superheros in the real world being people with social problems putting on costumes in order to feel important. What I really enjoy about these vids is that they are completely dedicated to a technical analysis and thus I find them refreshing.

I surely hope this 2finn uploads more of this work, I'd love to see more.


You'll have to catch the rest at the source do to embed restrictions, it's worth it though. Part 2

Check this space soon
-Peace
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marvin_mugabi@hotmail.com

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