Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wow... apparently I really suck at keeping this updated. In my defense I was very busy this summer building decks and fences while still trying to spend as much time with my family as I could.

Bioware recently released Dragon Age:Origins which had been in production for a very long time at the studio. I was lucky enough to get to come in at the end to work on several of the cutscenes with a team that really poured themselves into the project. The game has received some excellent reviews, and even survived a treatment by Yahzee in "zero punctuation".

I started playing my complimentary copy last week, and was amazed that despite working on the title, I still find it compelling, and fun to play. This is not my experience with television animation, where I never want to see the characters again after the show ships. No offense to the projects that put food on my table, but I tend to associate each episode with 3am crunch sessions surrounded by empty cans of Mountain Dew and angst.

I've been really enjoying the experience of finishing "Mass Effect 2" with the team in Edmonton and Montreal. The game looks amazing, and plays even better.

Hopefully I won't ignore this blog as long as I did last time.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Mass Effect 2: Prelude to E3

The last few months have been pretty hectic, and the next few appear to be even more so. That's not a bad thing as being busy keeps you focused, and makes you feel way more important than if you had nothing to do. The coolest thing when working on a project as large as a Bioware game is when you reach a milestone, and you see how things are shaping up.

This recently happened, and we got to sit back and look at all that had been accomplished by the teams that create Mass Effect. I have never been so excited for people to see what we have done. E3 will hit soon, I can't wait to hear what people think.

But until that happens click on the pics for a new E3 teaser video.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Voice actors are cool

I was recently allowed to listen in on the voice record session for the cinematic opening for Mass 2. The animation on those scenes had to be done using VO temp tracks, and I was brought along just to be sure that the lines didn't stray too far away from what the team has already done.

I mention this because one of the actors we used is Dwight Shultz who played my childhood hero "Howling Mad" Murdock from the "A-Team". This definitely counts among the coolest things I have ever been part of.

Here's the chase board from my latest Schoolism project.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I have a love/hate relationship with Ikea.

There's something incredibly enjoyable about being there. Seeing all those little room displays is like visiting a museum dedicated to cheaply made college dormitory art, and children tend to treat it like a Macdonald's playroom (which oddly I have come to enjoy since having a child). I crave the meatballs served with some kind of thin gravy and jam-like fruit sauce for 2 dollars, and I'll be damned if you can find a better glass of loganberry juice on the continent.

But....and this is where the hate comes in...I always feel like a rat in a maze....blindly following the arrows on the floor, going where the Swedes want me. I know there are shortcuts, but on those doors are written the areas I will miss should I decide to sidestep the established Ikea pathway....and...well...what if there is a particularly nice "flugenspieller" wardrobe or a "tiglinger" lamp that I would miss....I can't take that chance.

anyways, here's a board I recently did.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mass 2

Gametrailers came by the studio last week sometime to talk about "Dragon Age Origins" and "Mass Effect 2". I say 'sometime last week' because I didn't see them. We re pretty busy hitting our next deliverable so I tend to hide in the office most days drinking my coffee, and developing my monitor tan.

...But around the 18:20 mark, you see some rough boards that I did being looked that's my .15 seconds of fame.

DAO released some really nice posters for the playable races and classes... To be clear, I had nothing to do with these images, but its pretty great to be surrounded by such inspirational work.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"Where The Wild Things Are"

wow..... just wow....

I think there was so much talk about "The Watchmen" being made into a movie that a lot of us were unaware that another classic piece of illustrated literature was being brought to the big screen.

This trailer made my day.

Here's a board I did for my first project on schoolism. It has a lot of problems that I couldn't see that have been gently pointed out to me during the course.....the least of which is crossing the line...rookie.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mass Effect 2

We announced a few weeks ago that we are in production on Mass Effect 2. I assumed most people would have assumed this to be true. It was our best game to date, garnering amazing reviews and fan success and we did always say it was intended as a trilogy... so... um... kinda had to do a second one.

I have to admit to not playing the first one all the way through.... I knew how it ended, so following a treasure map when you already have the treasure seemed like a lot of work.... but I guess the journey is the reward....anyway...the point is....

This will be very very good

Also here's another board. The project was boarding something you didn't write. We were given scripts to chose from and told to go to town. Also here some of the character design I did to figure out my approach....the deciding factor on the design I chose was which one would be the easiest short hand. Also please enjoy the sexist nature of just placing an apron on the beaver to establish she was a "she" apologies to women everywhere, it was late, and I didn't think she was reading as female....laziest character design evah!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I like "Bladerunner".... its a great movie that I didn't learn to appreciate until a few years ago. I had originally written it off because it had "Indiana Jones" in it, but it wasn't "Indiana Jones".... and I could not wrap my 8 year old head around that. I mean why wouldn't you just give the guy a fedora and let him punch the Replicants in the face?

For the boarding course we took a favorite sequence and retro-boarded it to see why the director chose shots, and how the frame is set up. I developed a deeper respect for Ridley Scott and the opening sequence for this movie.

I highly recomend trying this with another movie. It gives you a glimpse of all the effort and attention that goes into setting a scene up... and you pick up on stuff that you never noticed, but always felt.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I used to do storyboards a while back when I lived in Halifax. A fantastic studio took a risk and allowed me to try my hand at it, and I fell in love with the creativity and power.... okay mostly the power...but still.

As my career progressed I switched over to the sometimes faster 3D animatic for games, and stopped drawing with a pencil as much. Now my drawing hand is flabby and pasty and sits on the couch eating Cheetos and drinking Pepsi Max (cause it's healthier than regular Pepsi).

So, to combat the lethargy I had developed, I signed up for a storyboarding course at Schoolism

The course is taught by Kris Pearn, who is head of story at Sony and worked on some great Canadian TV as well as "Surf's Up", "Open Season" and the currently in production "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs". Oddly enough he also did boards for a few shows I worked on when I first started working in TV....but I digress.

The best part of the course is I get to board in whatever style I want. The games I've been working on have been primarily photoreal(ish), so its a great opportunity to draw cartoony, like I did when I first started out. some of the stuff I've done so far.

The project was 2 characters argue over an egg...and then a 3rd character is added causing the line of action to be redrawn, without losing the audience.

Commence Blog-eration!

Its always fun to be the last person to jump on the bandwagon. I mean, at least you are sure that the bandwagon is stable and relatively feel of danger, but being the last on could mean you are the one to break it.

So here I go.... so far so good....I have not yet broken the internet (which secretly I expect to do every time I log onto something).

I think I plan to use this blog as a place to put things I'm working on, but I won't guarantee it won't degrade down to me bitching about some douche who cut me off on the highway.....but c'mon... who doesn't enjoy a good rant.