Animation Hellhole Memories – Lunch Hour

Series of WIPs revolving around the Chinese place we’d hit after animation class over at the local JC, back around 2001. The restaurant is gone now, but as with most things from the old hometown or the college years there’s next to no visual record of any of it other than a few scattered photos and memories. Which is probably why there are Nintendo characters running around in these: As with any memory, it tends to be idealized in some form or another. Maybe it’s because we see in hindsight what roads we took or could have taken, and can muse over opportunity that much clearer (“Here’s how I would have done things differently,”) while appreciating the time, place, ambiance or whatever of something that no longer exists. The best of both worlds.

Side by side comparison of day / night lighting treatment on the initial piece that started this. I tend to remember being there during golden hour sunset hours, though night time always sets up for more dynamic scenes.

The initial sketch. I wanted to do larger studies of some of the smaller characters here to get a better feel for their poses and silhouette; hence the above day/night pieces.

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Animation Hellhole and CalArts Memories, Part 2

Since the last post went over so well, here’s another with even more excruciating detail over the former life as an animation student, complete with color and randomly inserted characters this time.

Above shows my walk on campus from the dirt lot where I parked my truck (which was the same color as the dirt itself, and thus nicknamed The Dustbowl. It was silver, btw). Or, going back to the early-early school days, it shows when I had to bus and walk to class. The bus didn’t have any stops by the campus at the time, so it was about a mile from the nearest drop at the Mall. I remember one time walking to class as my animation teacher drove by and waved. I got my license and truck soon after.

(Finished version of the previous panels. Alternate caption: Hard At Work.)

Some further WIP panels of the campus at Allan Hancock, at least as how I remembered it. The courtyard just outside Buildings L and M, where the Music and Art/Animation departments were located.

Liberties taken with the accuracy here. I just remember being surrounded by trees, one pine in particular set inside a bricked-in mini garden, the rest of the courtyard was given over to the ceramics program. Folks from our department would be outside half the time working on their projects, but once the fine arts classes would split it was officially the break spot for the animators, to shoot the sh*t or get snacks from the vending machines over at the M Building.

To the east behind the salamander and where the chimera girl is sitting, there was a veranda with jacaranda growing off of it, which for some reason sticks out in my mind as… I don’t know what the technical term is for a memory that defines a particular time and place, but that spot would be it. Sort of like a slow truck-in or -out of a dream sequence in a film. Especially during the afternoon and early evening when the sky behind would get that persian blue (ignore the rushed coloring) and the treetops would burn orange from the setting sun (again, ignore the Crayola treatment), the whole of that stupid little courtyard was magic.

Still is, if it hasn’t been torn down by the Hancock trusties for some unneeded multi-million dollar shiny box of a complex.