pixel-polaroids for charity

selfavatarI’ve really really been enjoying doing these pixel-portraits. Some of them have been successful, others notsomuch. But it’s all about the process of doing them for fun, right? So here’s what I’m gonna do: As a way of meeting different people and raising some money for charity, I’ll do your portrait in pixel-polaroid form for a minimum charity donation of $5. All of the money will go to charity; I’ma keepin’ nothin!

Right now the plan is for donations to go to Free Arts NYC, a non-profit that delivers creative arts programs directly to low income, homeless, abused and neglected children. I’ve done some volunteer work here in the LA area with similar programs (including one down in Compton), and I can tell you that Art & Animation are incredibly powerful tools in establishing bonds with kids. I’m open to other charity suggestions, however.

The technical details: Send me an email at pixelpolaroids@gmail.com with…

– A picture (or multiple pictures) and an idea for a background. For instance, I put my friend Phil on a picturesque Jersey Turnpike background, my lovely girlfriend Errrca on a UCLA court, and my Schoolism prof. and recent UK transplant Kris Pearn in London on a typically lovely day. Of course, some of them don’t read perfectly, so the simpler the idea the better.
– The dimensions you need. The portrait window is 23px x 22px, and the Polaroid as a whole is 30×35 including the drop shadow. I can export any format you need at whatever size you need, as long as it’s larger than 30 x 35 and in the 30:35 ratio. The portaits you see below are 300×350.  I can also export with or without the Polaroid frame. your choice.
– What name you want on the bottom. Please keep it short; I’m working with limited space here! 🙂

Once it’s done, I’ll email you back a screenshot with a watermark so you know it’s done. After that, Paypal me the money, and I’ll send you back a donation receipt from Free Arts NYC so you know right where the money went.

I’ll totally do group portraits. We’ll arrange something special for that, so email me!

If anyone could let me know if there’s an easier transaction process, I’d love to hear it. I’m doing this completely on the fly, so any help is appreciated. Here are some portraits that I’ve done…




America’s Favorite Uncle, Phil Rynda!


JibJabber Amanda Rynda!


Badass, fire-breather and all around great Girlfriend, Erica Sin!


Storyboarder, storyteller & tremendous instructor, Kris Pearn!


Special Bonus, Jake & Finn from Adventure Time! (see previous blog spot)

Thanks for reading! Hope to do your portrait soon.


cats are assholes

I’m taking care of my stupid friend CMoore’s stupid cat Lilly for the stupid weekend. And stupid Lilly is apparently stupidly manipulative. She’s 14 years old, and has gone through 5 large cans of $1.49 a can Purina Select Cuts for Indoor Cats (featuring Salmon and Sushi-grade tuna) since Thursday, but not touched a single triangle piece of her $5.33 per 5 pound bag dry food. I thought this was normal for her, so I’ve continued buying and opening the expensive gourmet five-fucking-star hand-prepared cat food for her, trying to keep her happy.


Apparently this isn’t normal for her. So, it seems that Lilly has discovered that her stupid caretaker is also a major sucker for sad eyes and a meow.

If only I ate as stupidly well as she does. Stupid.


Adventure Time FanArt

I went out to lunch with friend Phil Rynda & classmate (& McMullan student) Tom Herpich, as well as just-met-her-but-she’s-awesome-as-octopus-on-a-stick Natasha Allegri the other day. I got the pleasure of looking at tons of Adventure Time drawings that they’ve been working on for the last couple of months. Their work blew me away. The characters are so simple, but they’re incredibly expressive. The backgrounds are detailed and gorgeous. And the whole show is candy-coated with a sweet glaze of ridiculousness. I really can’t wait to see the show.

I made these while waiting for an iPhone game to compile. I love the challenge of trying to cram as much shape and character into as few pixels as possible. It forces me to come up with ideas for representing the character without directly drawing their details.
(ref image)

For instance, if you look at Jake’s snout, it’s basically two hanging flaps of skin hanging from his nose, split by his mouth. I couldn’t draw the outline of his snout, so I opted for two darker pixels to represent the shape. It took me a while to find where his eyes should go without butting into the white of Finn’s cap.

Fun to do! Back to coding time now.

[edit: Fred Seibert asked me if I had any larger images, and I whipped these two up.


Schoolism Assignment 6 : Chase Scene

RUN RUNRUNRUN! Run little girl run run run! Run little pup run!

(best viewed in fullscreen)

I’ve been taking Kris Pearn’s Schoolism class for a couple of months now, and it’s been amazing. Kris talks about the camera “capturing the action”, which is a concept entirely different than the normal philosophy in animation of “placing the camera.”

Basically, the camera should act as a real physical person, focusing on what they’re interested. Except that in the case of film, the Director/DP decides what they/the audience are interested in, and focuses on that. It’s the nature of the cinematic experience.

This week’s assignment was to storyboard a “Chase Scene”. Action is something I’ve never really done before, so this was a real challenge to establish space, character and drama in the context of a chase scene. I watched the “Missile Lock” sequence from The Incredibles a number of times, as well as chase scenes from Mouse Hunt, Bullitt, and some Stallone movie I wish I could wipe from my brain (but took place in the NYC Subway – like my assignment.).

I think I was somewhat successful. There’s a couple little things like the flower blooming and the significance of the hair that go unexplained. That’s intentional; they’re there as seed-planting. There’s probobably some fluff in there that could be cut. Overall I’m generally happy with it.

Strong feedback encouraged. Be brutal. Be an ass. I love it.