Discover more from SpaceCat's Creative Corner
Improve your Inking Skills, building Ahsoka Spaceships, and the new Transformers comic you have got to read!
Join me in getting better at Inking, find me in the Ahsoka credits, learn about a master ILM model maker, and don't miss the new Transformers comic by Daniel Warren Johnson
Hello, welcome to a new edition of the SpaceCat Creative Corner
🖌️ DRAWING TABLE
I have been focusing on more fundamentals in my drawing. Some of the older art books are really fascinating. I have really enjoyed some of these old books by Arthur L. Guptill. The one shown here was 1976 edition of an even older Inking book. The very first exercise in the book is meant to help you gain better control of your drawing tools. I decided to give it a try.
Here are my results. It was harder than I imagined. This is a good exercise no matter what tools you are using. Give it a try with any pen or brush you might use. Try it on different type of paper, and with different inks. The more you practice, the better command of your tools you will develop.
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🎬 SCREENING ROOM
The the final episode of Ahsoka has aired on Disney+. What did you all think of the series? I know that it is hard to live up to the hopes and expectations of every viewer. One thing that working in visual effects has taught me is that every series or film, especially one like Ahsoka, is a massive achievement of collaboration between hundreds of artists. Each person cares about what they are doing and wants it to be great.
I was on the show for a few months, and worked on just a handful of shots. Every single shot in the film is a collaboration of all the people on set, all the people who prepped before the shooting, and then all the post-production visual effects, sound, and editing people.
I’m humbled to be a small part of it.
Over a few months, I worked on about ten shots, contributing cloth, hair, fur, and tentacle sims on creatures and characters. I don’t want to get into specifics due to spoilers. Maybe i can share more once the show has been out a bit longer.
Visual Effects Credits for ILM
I also wanted to share this little YouTube short, and article about the physical model of Ahsoka’s T-6 ship by veteran ILM Model Maker John Goodson.
For Ahsoka, Goodson spent nearly four months working full-time in his Marin County garage to sculpt, cast, and fabricate Tano’s T-6 shuttle for the era of the New Republic with help from machinist Dan Patrascu who added the mechanical innards. “It was really complicated,” Goodson says.
For eight hours each day, Goodson vacuum formed and fabricated individual parts, instead of simply 3-D printing the majority of the model from a digital file. Despite its popularity, 3-D printed pieces are delicate, Goodson says, and for a hero ship that will be mounted to a motion-control rig for countless shots — sometimes colliding with the camera during production — the resulting piece isn’t sturdy enough to survive the process. “When you've got these models on stage and you remount them, they wind up getting manhandled a lot,” he says. “They've got to be robust. They really get a lot of abuse on stage. They have to be tough enough to withstand it.”
Making of YouTube short:
I first met Daniel Warren Johnson around 2015. We first talked online while he was working on his webcomic Space-Mullet and I was starting The Adventures of SpaceCat. We bonded over our love of comics and the band meWithoutYou. We even were able to catch up for some breakfast a few times before Emerald City Comic Con and Rose City Comic Con. The most memorable being when after breakfast he admitted that Rob Liefeld and his family were sitting behind us and he was trying to keep it together. I somehow missed seeing Rob completely.
These days, there are other people who would be trying to keep it together if Daniel Warren Johnson was at the table behind them at breakfast. Dan is easily my favorite artist and storyteller working in comics today. My old college friend Joe summed it up well when he commented that he “Didn’t expect a comic about professional wrestling would make him cry.”
Here is a prized possession I wanted to share. Daniel came by my table at Emerald City Comic Con in 2015 and handed me this sketch of me riding a dragon. How cool is this:
He is a fabulous creator, writing and drawing his own books. I was SO excited for him when he got the deal with Skybound and created his amazing comic Extremity. Then came Murder Falcon, and Do a PowerBomb!
Now he is teaming up again with Skybound for a run on Transformers. Issue #1 came out this week and I heard it is already in it’s second printing.
How cool is this Transformers #1 cover art from Daniel Warren Johnson
Dan just started a SubStack as well : Subscribe to Daniel Warren Johnson’s substack:
Dreamworks has announced that they will be partnering with Sony Imageworks and other studios to complete their animated features. It will be interesting to see how this plays out l, and how it affects the animation industry overall. I will also be eager to hear how my Sony Imageworks friends feel about the news.
“Dreamworks Shifting Away From In-House Production In Los Angeles; Sony Imageworks Is A New Production Partner”
Two of Dreamworks’ films in 2025 – the previously announced Dog Man and an unannounced film – will be produced entirely at vendor studios, similar to how the studio produced Spirit Untamed and Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. A third film – an unannounced sequel – will be made using the studio’s new “mixed production model,” in collaboration with Sony Pictures Imageworks.
Imageworks, which has production studios in Vancouver and Montreal, is the main animation studio for Sony Pictures Animation, handling the Spider-Verse and Hotel Transylvania franchises, but it also serves as a vendor studio, producing animated films for companies like Netflix (The Sea Beast, Over the Moon) and Warner Bros. (Storks, Smallfoot).
Dreamworks and Sony Imageworks/Animation had been doing exciting work in recent years. Dreamwork’s The Bad Guys and Puss n’ Boots : The Last Wish have been super fun and creative, and Sony has shown how versatile they can be with productions like The Sea Beast and the Spider-Man Spider-verse films. I can only imagine that this will allow Dreamworks to take advantage of the British Columbia tax credits without having to open a Dreamworks studio here in Canada. I worked at Sony Imageworks for the majority of my career and I’m very proud of all the work they do there. I’m rooting for their success.
I will leave you with some creative inspiration from 1980s illustrator Noriyoshi Ohrai. I LOVE that Falcon.
Noriyoshi Ohrai was born in Akashi, Hyogo prefecture, Japan in 1935. After studying at (but not graduating from) the Art department of Tokyo University of the Arts, he began to work as an illustrator since 1962. In 1973 he moved to Miyazaki-city, Miyazaki prefecture where his wife came from.
In 1980, his image illustration of Star Wars which he posted to a science fiction magazine caught the eye of the film's creator and director George Lucas. At Lucas' request, Ohrai illustrated the international poster for The Empire Strikes Back, which was primarily featured for advertising the film in Japan and Australia.
Here is a walk through of his art book which looks fantastic:
Take care and have a good week, and keep creating.