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Monday, December 17, 2012

DVD Cover & A Thank You Note

I keep forgetting to post this, but this is the DVD cover I created for Shift Plus. So far I was able to submit the film to 12 festivals (both digitally and through packaging). Here's hoping that it gets accepted to one or least.

I also want to thank Small Eyez, (an Atlanta musical artist that runs a heavily inspirational hip-hop blog;
Che Sing the Cool) and Emily and Alexi from So Geek Chic, (an awesome site showcasing video-game-related artwork, illustrations, and fashion) for posting the film on their sites. I cannot thank you enough for the hospitality and the motivation to continue developing fun and different ideas.

The post on Che Sing the Cool
The post on So Geek Chic

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Shift Plus ver. 1.2 Short Film

It's finally finished!!!! It's been in development since July 2010, I had to finish it in order to graduate from SCAD last summer (September 1, 2011), and it took me 6-7 more months, off and on, to add and fix aspects of the film I wanted to look better. Thank you to all the friends, family, and advisers who've supported me in the making of this film. Hopefully you will enjoy this new version of Shift Plus. :)

Shift Plus ver. 1.2 from Aaron Lenard on Vimeo.

Here is a youtube link to the film also:

Monday, June 25, 2012

Still Re-Rendering

I'm still in the RE-rendering process of my thesis film...and I think my laptop could die from it...I dunno, we'll see. So far, the animation for the new beginning shots are done, and I'm working towards adding new sound effects to it. Here's a composite of one of the newer shots.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thesis Retrospective: Interviewing Jim Jinkins

I've been meaning to post this, but didn't really get around to it until now. It's been about a year since I was working towards finishing my thesis at SCAD, and about 8 months since I finished it. What I wanted to share was the surprising sense of inspiration and pure luck I had when I was able to interview an individual that through television, was a part of my childhood; Jim Jinkins, the creator of the Nicktoon, "Doug". This entry for Thesis Retrospective is 1 of 3, because along with interviewing Mr. Jinkins, I also had the opportunity to talk to Caroline Hu, and Lori Crawford for my thesis. Jim was the 1st person I attempted to contact.

Now the reason I wanted to contact Mr. Jinkins to begin with, was because of my developing thesis topic; the study of unorthodox skin tones in character designs for animated film and television properties. So to make a long story short, I basically wanted to know why the Genie was blue, why Roger was green, why the Simpsons were yellow, etc.

The more I viewed those projects, the more I questioned it. To me, it was something deeper, something more, than just the artist's choice. I knew that the topic itself seemed sort of strange and unimportant to discuss, but I wanted to take that obscurity and make something informational and entertaining to read and see.

It started back in September 2010. At the time, I was under the impression that all animation creators or directors were either too busy to speak to a developing animation student, or just flat out didn't care; but I was still motivated to at least try. Luckily enough, what I thought was just a random facebook fan profile of Jim Jinkins I was sending a message to, it ended up being a legit Jim Jinkins profile that he created. He responded to my request, and was actually interested in visiting SCAD. After being surprised and excited to possibly see him in-person, I was awaiting to hear when he planned to visit the Savannah campus.

6-7 months later, as I continually sent him once-a-month or once-every-2-week follow-up emails on my thesis progress, my time to finish the thesis by a certain deadline was drawing dangerously close; I kinda knew then, he was too busy, or... he might have been annoyed with me. The reason why I didn't pursue a phone or email interview was that he insisted that it would be better to talk in-person, which I was fine with.

On April 3rd, 2011, Sunday evening, I suddenly get an email from Jim saying he would be in town 1st thing Monday morning. On the day of the interview, April 4th, I thought I would be smart enough to meet him and his family at the admissions office where people can schedule SCAD bus tours; but what I didn't know was that the animation chair already picked them up at the airport and was heading straight to Montgomery Hall, where the animation classes and professors were stationed, and I was half-way across town....oooh the STRESS that started building that day. After I called and realized the error in location, I darted to my car (which was 10 minutes away) and drove as fast as I could to Monty. After searching all the floors, I found him and his family. While feeling tired from running, and a tad anxious, (partly from of the close calls I made cutting people off on the road in order to get to Monty before he left) I was able to commence a 45-minute interview.

Here is a link to the transcript from the audio interview that took place that day:
Interview with Jim Jinkins

Thank you Jeremy Moorshead again for bringing Jim to SCAD, and thank you once again Jim for allowing me to interview you, and to have your wonderful family there to enjoy the sights of Savannah. The inspiration you gave me to confidently complete my thesis will also continue to motivate my efforts to search for employment and opportunities doing what I love to do.

Don't dismiss the idea of trying to contact somebody that inspires you; you might get lucky.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Shift Plus: New Render Breakdown

New Shift Plus Render Breakdown from Aaron Lenard on Vimeo.

Here's the progress I'm working on for my re-release thesis film, "Shift Plus". The biggest critique I got from those who have seen it, when it was finished 7-8 months ago, was that it was too flat. With fixing the rigs, adding subtle textures, adding more depth of field, and currently adding a couple more shots and animation sequences, hopefully the new version of the film will look better.

Music composed by Jonathan Fobbs.

New Rigging Demo Reel

Here's my new rigging reel. I'll update it with rendered demonstrations of the characters in action once I update and polish my website. All of the rigs I worked on, along with the whole thesis campaign I powered through, this is a result of about 2 years worth of work.

Aaron Lenard - Spring 2012 Rigging Reel from Aaron Lenard on Vimeo.
"Happy Paradise" from the Sega Genesis game, "Streets of Rage 3"
Composed by Yuzo Koshiro

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New Spring 2012 Animation Demo Reel

Check it out.

Spring 2012 Character Animation Reel from Aaron Lenard on Vimeo.
Left Foot, Right Foot (Instrumental) by: People Under the Stairs

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


For the past few months, I've been working with Daniel Augsburger on his thesis film entitled "Madcow". I built the body rig while he worked on the face rig, while also animating a couple shots for the film. Recently I wanted to do a walk cycle that kinda fit the humor and overall attitude of Madcow's personality. While there's still some tweaks to be made, but it is off to a fun start.

Character Designer: Jerald Lewis II
Modeler: Danesh Taraporevala

Madcow Walk Cycle from Aaron Lenard on Vimeo.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Still working on finding work.

So it's been about 5 months since I graduated from SCAD, and yet there's a lot to correct, tweak, restart, re-work, re-render, and finish within my overall portfolio. While the time I spent on my thesis film was an awesome, learning experience, (along with the time spent looking for potential employment) the same time is being put towards making better demo reels and an updated portfolio for the companies I'm interested in applying for.

So far my plan is to:

- tweak, and re-render my short film "Shift Plus" to release online to the public. This change will included, added shots to simplify the story, corrections in the models as well as their animations, and some subtle textures and render passes like Ambient Occlusion will be added.

- I'm currently working on Dan Augsburger's thesis film entitled "Madcow." and depending on how the film is released will depend on when I can add it to my demo reel.

- A rigging reel is in the works. It will be based off of 10+ rigs I have worked on during and after my studies at SCAD

-2 existing acting scenes in my existing character animation reel will be tweaked.

- I'm learning more ways to use the UDK engine to develop a stronger game animation reel, and 3 walk/run cycles will be added as well.

So hopefully this month will be a very productive one.