Sunday, April 6, 2014

Some Figure Drawing Plus Post-Animation Mentor Madness

...alright, the title of this post is a little backwards. I'm going to talk about the Animation Mentor stuff first. I finally completed all six classes of the Character Animation program. Hurrah! It was a grueling year and a half long process which, despite the fact that it was grueling, was incredibly fun. I have the material for a demo reel, but I'm going to take a little more time to refine it and get it to the quality that I'd really like it to be. And I know, I've been focusing more on animating than updating my blog (but I mean, like, what kind of uncool person still uses Blogger, like, ohmigosh, totally lame, right?) but be on the lookout for my completed reel sometime later this year. I'd like to practice and try my hand out at some of the challenges over at the 11 Second Club, so that might push back my reel progress. Either way, yes, just stay tuned for that.

Onto the figure drawing portion of this post: I found out about an open figure drawing class not too far from my house. Seeing as though I haven't actually done figure drawing since probably the last time I actually posted some of my figure drawing, and since I'm now taking a gesture drawing class, I figured it'd be a good idea to enroll myself and get some practice in.

And I have to say, it was a really awesome session (and I'm so sad that I wasn't able to finish shading that top left pose... it was definitely my favorite)! I thought it'd be challenging to get back into the groove of things, but once I got my paper onto the easel and started off with the first charcoal stroke, it was a smooth transition back into drawing large-scale. I still need more practice though! I also found out about a couple of other sessions happening somewhere else nearby, which is absolutely fantastic. It's hard to find really good figure drawing classes where I live.

I've been doing a couple of other tiny things in the meantime (mostly voice acting and small little graphic designs/illustrations), so once those are done I'll make sure to post them here. I'm also always updating my portfolio which you can view here (or if you're looking at my website right now, just click where it says "My Portfolio").

Monday, July 8, 2013

Animation Mentor Stuff So Far + Split Screen Acting Madness

I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't updated my Youtube page in a year and a half. I try to update my Vimeo page instead most of the time, but I've got about 500 subscribers and over a million lifetime views on Youtube (admittedly, most of them are Joe Jonas fans since he's tweeted one of my videos twice... and, hey, yeah, Joe Jonas is one of my fans!), so I'd be crazy not to update my videos on there. ...well, I'd be crazy not to update it after all this time, right? So I've made the resolve to start posting the animation progress for my fifth AM semester onto my Youtube page and, naturally, on my blog.

And without further ado, here's all of the animation I've done for Animation Mentor (along with an apology to my Youtube subs).

I'd love to get some critique on my work, I really would. And I actually want to post up a few of the (few) 2D roughs that I've done for other various projects and the 3D blocking I've done for assignments, because... they look a lot better than my "polished" stuff. I already know that the biggest hurdle I'm facing with perfecting my 3D work is my constant battle with splining. I battle with the computer to get my animation to stop looking float-y (it's like all of my characters appear to be hovering in a bacta tank, or maybe I'm just being too hard on myself).

Speaking of being hard on myself, here's a video of my acting reference for my next assignment.

The dialogue is from Ferris Bueller's Day Off (of course) but I'm going to be animating this discussion happening between two gross-out zombie men. I'll post my revised layout after I get some feedback from my mentor, but this is just the straight acting (I'll probably film each individual shot again later).

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Excuses, excuses!

Hello world!

It's no surprise that I've been away from my blog for a very long time. Again. With work and side projects and me back from my hometown Chicago and in my fifth semester at Animation Mentor (I have my first class tonight!), I've been incredibly busy and, luckily, fruitful. Tumblr is much easier to update (which is awful: I hate Tumblr with a burning, fiery, disgusting passion for being so easy to use and addictive... it's the digital equivalent of junk food), and that said, you can even check out some of the stuff I've been doing here. I'll post more on this blog later to break out of my habitual reblogging.

But would you like to see the work that I've done for myself? Some of the stuff that I've done in my copious amounts of spare time? You would?! Wow, you've got a surprising interest in my creative mind and it's inner workings. Well, hey, let's take a look at all of my personal work from 2013:

There it is! It's gorgeous, isn't it? It shall speak to the annals of animation and illustrative histor- yeah, okay, who am I kidding, there's nothing here.

But never fear! I've had a lull in creative energy, and thankfully I've been able to furiously scratch at what little opportunities are in my area for artistic practice and expression. I also have a comic and a 2D animated mini-show in the works. And there's always Reinventing the Wheel, where I'll post my newest list of movies/cartoons/games to experience and analyze.

So stay tuned for some late night blogging later. I'll have tons of animations to post!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Animation Mentor Progress - Semester Number Three

Long time no see! Although not as long as usual, thankfully.

Right now I'm in my third semester at Animation Mentor, which is Advanced Body Mechanics. I... well, alright, I got myself stuck with something sort of problematic: I decided that I'd do sports themed animation sequences for my body mechanics theme. Now, apparently, as a beginner of sorts to animation (at least 3D animation) this was the wrong choice, since animating the minutiae of a sports move is incredibly difficult if you don't know the precise way an athlete moves. It's like actually going into the sport without any sort of professional training. ...unless you decide that your character is going to be purposely completely and hopelessly bad at what they're attempting to do.

So, yeah. That's the angle I took.

Here we've got the three basic steps of creating an animation (at least the steps I have to take in my classes to complete these animations): blocking, splining, and clean-up (not the final draft, as it says on the video... there wasn't a "polishing" option and I really, REALLY wanted to finish it). I want to go back and work on this some more, but for now here's my progress.

If you want to comment and let me know what you think of these, feel free to critique!

Also, in case you haven't noticed, my website is old and decrepit. It looks so ugly and disgusting and I can't even bear to look at it without cringing in agony. Right now I'm building a new website to make it look lovely and pristine, but if you'd like to take a look at my temporary graphic design and illustration portfolio, please! Yes! Feel free to do that! Tell people about it! Tell them how great I am! Maybe ask them if I can help out with a project they're working on! No pressure!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Animation Mentor

I started up Animation Mentor and have been posting up my progress reels on my Vimeo page. Check out the stuff I did for the Springboard session and for the last semester!

Animation Mentor Episode Two: First Semester Spectacular Fantabulousness from Maz Zolp on Vimeo.

Animation Mentor Episode One: Springboard Stuff from Maz Zolp on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Space Captain Diana and Maddy's Big Meltdown


So... I couldn't really talk about it for a while, but I figure now's finally the time to tell you guys what I've been up to! I've been working with Intuary for a while now and helped flesh out some nifty characters in two illustrated books for their incredibly awesome iPad app, Farfaria. Here are the covers, and later I'll post some of the illustrations I did for each one. They were so super fun to work on! You can click here to check out Space Captain Diana and here to check out Maddy's Big Meltdown (and make sure the download the app so you can read the full version of each!).

More fun stuff to come! I've been doing a LOT, phew.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Believe me, I am still alive. Also, I won things!

I've been away from Blogger so long that I typed "" into the address bar to get here. That's depressing. There are many reasons why I haven't been updating lately, and I'd write all about them... except they all boil down to one single solitary thing: I am a very busy lady!

And I have some news! First off, I'll just briefly mention that, back in September, I was featured on the Team Fortress 2 blog after I made a cake based off of one of their in-game health packs in celebration of their 15th birthday. Being a huge Valve fan, I blushed many a flattered blush at the mention. I'm very happy that they liked it!

But here's where it gets even better: I made an animated video for's Help Answer The Public's Questions Competition, where contestants had to create a 60 to 90 second short to help answer people's questions about different U.S. government benefits and services. Having valiantly accepted the challenge, I donned my magical animation hat and whipped up an informational video about tax returns. Not only was I included in the five winning entries, but I also got a thousand dollars out of the deal. Not too bad, huh?

You wish to see this video of mine, you say? Well, I've embedded it here for your viewing pleasure! Hopefully you'll be entertained, and maybe learn a thing or two while viewing it.

How To Check The Status of Your Tax Refund: An Animated Guide from Maz Zolp on Vimeo.

Otherwise, like I said, I've been whirling around in a tornado of busyness. I'm currently working on a bunch of top secret amazing projects, and when I'm able to, I'll tell you all about it here! In the meantime, I'll try to post up some more artwork and fun, super cool stuff. As always, stay tuned!