MindChamber's News

Alloy: The Unsung Action Figure

2017-07-28 21:56:10 by MindChamber
Updated

This is a super old post,(2011) that was orginally up on my website, Ive decided to shut down the site, and have grabbed any articles I thought should be preserved, this is one of them

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Alloy, the unsung action Figure… To say, my situation with Alloy was a frustrating one would be an understatement. The character has come so close to hitting mainstream, it isn’t even funny. I’ve pimped Alloy in so many ways and through so many mediums, one would think that he was already a franchise. Before I go into that though, let me throw down a brief history of how I came up with Alloy. In 95’ I had to create a 10 second animation for a class project. Within the animation a character had to get up from a sitting position, then walk a few steps to the right or left, and then lift up an object. The Idea of making a walk cycle urked me right away, it was so much work, so I thought I’d be slick, and create a character with a unicycle. Hehe, thinking about this now, I realize how lazy we all are when we’re younger. Half the submissions of the “Red Baron Sprite Contest” consisted of characters with unicycles. They weren’t original with the Idea, and apparently neither was I, as my Teacher told me that wasn’t gonna cut it. At the Time the first unicycle character that came to mind was “Gizmo Duck” from the TV show Ducktales. When my teacher shot down my half-ass attempt, I went back to the drawing board. I replaced the cycle with legs, but a lot of other elements stood. Like the sloped back helmet, and Gizmo’s ability to activate gadgets from his suit. Also Around that time I was playing alot of Darkstalkers on my sega Saturn. One of the characters called Phobos caught my eye. Ulike Gizom Duck he can actually transform parts of his body into weapons and other gadgets. This is where I got the idea to infuse the two , and why we see chainsaw kicks, and buzzsaw punches in Newgrounds Rumble.

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Even though this animation was to be ten seconds long, and contain a few actions, it was still a daunting project. I had to create a ruff of the animation on paper, and then test the animation on a Pencil Test machine. Then redraw all the art on new paper, with cleaner lines. Make another Test. Then, Trace over all the art on cellophane, with ink. THEN, color each cell from the back, let dry, and create the background.

 

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What Takes me now a day with flash, took me months the traditional way. I didn’t mind though, cause every hour I worked on Alloy more and more Ideas of who he was and were he came from would Flourish.

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Eventually, he became this Megaman/Sonic type character, who wears armlets like Wonder Woman, that turns into a robot, from a suit given to him by an Alien, like Green Lantern, who can change into a bike, like a transformer, and transform his extremities into weapons, like Phobos from DarkStalkers. Hehe well, while he isn’t completely original (and any Artist that says they are, is full of it), I flet he was still unique when you combine all these influences as a whole.  

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Alloy_vs_Maestro I later used Alloy again, for an Animatic exercise. The results , I thought, came out good, though not great. I did like were I was going with him. His design was simple, yet stylized, and when I had tried my hand at Photoshop, as well as an animatic in After Effects, Alloy was the ideal choice. I liked Alloy, but I didn’t really see any potential, outside of the fact that he was a cool character to practice animating with. When the time came to try my hand at 3D animation, Alloy once again was my first choice. My first animation was nothing more than a clip of alloy breaking through a brick wall. It wasn’t animated, just the camera rotated, giving it that Matrix effect. I was later introduced to some cell shading techniques, and thought Alloy would be perfect to try the look with. I liked the look a lot, and decided to make a 3 minute animation, using Alloy and some of characters I’ve come up for him over the years. This animation ended up being my Final Animation test, for which I got a B+.. Hey can’t complain. :)  

 

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I had put much thought into Alloy. By this point, I had tons of characters for his universe, written 3 episode outlines for my pitch class, and finished my final. It wasn’t until I showed my portfolio in an interview for an illustrator’s job with UBO, that interests were perked up again. In my portfolio, I had some rotations done of ALLOYandRECOIL, and the interviewer loved them. I was eventually hired for the job, but was occasionally asked, what where my plans with Alloy, at which I didn’t have any. Thats when I decided to make a lil ALLOY MOVIE IN AFTER EFFECTS, it wasn't much, really slowing moving, but enough for them to be interested in seeing what I could do with flash. Flash was a whole new beast. After sitting through the tutorials, and some help from a very helpful co-worker, I was able to grasp the concept. So of course, my first test run animation using flash was with Alloy. It was horrible, but everyone at the job loved it. If I was to submit this animation on newgrounds now, it wouldn’t make it past judgment. It’s that sad, but I was learning flash, and that’s what was important.  

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After the huge Dot.com crash, UBO went under, and it was back to the grind for me. I worked, and freelanced whenever I could, without much thought to Alloy. But then a year later, I was contacted by my old Bosses. They were interested in Pitching Alloy as a TV show in France. They were interested in new content for an animation channel over there, and they thought Alloy could be one of the shows. I was totally excited, and totally bummed. I needed to come up with a 45sec spot for the pitch, and my 3D was not up to snuff. I didn’t even know how to texture map properly. So knowing that I didn’t have the skill or the ability to pull this off, I did the only respectable thing I could do… I said yes.. and scrambled off to find every 3D book I could find. The results weren’t half bad, but it was no where near as ambitious as the storyboard was.. So I just crossed my fingers, handed in the pitch, and hope they wouldn’t notice.. Sadly they did, but they felt it had marketing potential…  

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All seemed well for a while. Weeks became months, as I stood by the phone, waiting for the good word. I wasn’t even looking for something like this to happen , but now I wanted it so bad I could taste it. I had a CHARACTER BIBLE printed out professionally. Even had my mother’s boyfriend, who was an excellent jewelry maker, design the prototype of Alloy in wax, which he later casted in solid brass.. ha-ha. Since he only worked in metals, it was the only cheap substance he could use. It weighed about as heavy a brick, but it was gorgeous ;) Hell, even UBO went all out, They had rapper Lil Kim voice the narration for the Trailer, and even had Barry Micheal Cooper (writer of movies NewJackCity, abovethe rim, and SugarHill) write the FIRST EPISODE PILOT ! I figured there was a good chance this could happen. Finally almost a half year later, I get the call, and find out that the whole project was shelved. I was bummed, but I carried on. Freelance work getting scarce I hit the pavement for a regular job. Hey, ya gotta live, right? I had all but given up on that Dream, and was happy to relieve my Stress animating on my own stuff on the side. Out of the Blue I get another call from UBO, who once again, want to give Alloy another chance, possibly in another medium. I suggested, “why not as a GBA game?” I explained that the gameboy base was higher than any console system on the market. It would be a good way to promote the character through a simple but fun game. Later on, we could revisit the character as an animation, once it had a fan base. Hey, it worked for Sonic, and Mario right? UBO was hooked on the Idea, and went ahead and looked for a GBA developer, and I went to work and trying my hand at designing some kind of gameplay that could be unique to Alloy. UBO was convinced that the best way to present an Alloy Demo to a publisher was to create a working GBA on the console. I wasn’t so convinced. I felt that we should do it in Flash, and use the extra money to actually create a 3D game demo as well, using some really cheap but good 3D engines out there. Even contacted Tom Fulp to see if he would be down to do the Engine. even showed them a demo of Pico 2 at the office. There was a little back and forth on the subject. Of course, since they have the money, it went their way, but I didn’t give up so easily. I asked Tom Fulp from Newgrounds if he wasn’t too busy get started on a sidescoller engine, on the side, and I would still try and work in the demo that way. We met up with “Blackhammer”Games. They had an Ispy puzzle game out on the GBA market, and was one of the only GBA Developers out here in New York City. A real bunch of nice guys, but they never created a platformer on the GBA so this was a learning process for all of us. Once the deal was signed for BH games to make the demo, I knew there was no chance that Tom Fulps’ flash engine would be used. So I called Tom, told him the bad news, and apologized for all the work he had put in it. Tom wasn't as down about it as I was. He told me it was fine, and that he had some Ideas on how he would continue developing the engine, and even had an artist for the graphics. That artist, was synj from newgrounds. And Unless Im completely off the mark, I believe that game ended up being the demo of Alien hominid. I could gut myself off the Irony of that. :)  

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Work on the Alloy GBA was at first slow and arduous. I worked as an Asst Manager at Blockbuster, while making GBA sprites at night, and over the weekend. It was very tiring. As tiring as it was, nothing can beat working on your own GBA game. And every week I would go home with a working build of the game on a flash card. Nothing much was happening , you can move Alloy left and right and make him jump, but that was enough to keep me motivated week after week. While it was cool to see my characters move, and kill the occasional baddies, I wasn’t too impressed with the gameplay. I don’t think any of us were. It also didn’t help that a lot of my Ideas to make this a fighter based platformer, where shot down at meetings. The truth is it was even harder to defend the mechanics, since no other 2D game on the market had the premise. Even to date, the closest game to come near my gameplay mechanics is AstroBoy. I have learned from past experience though, people only understand from example. So I had to forge ahead with the graphics, and hope I can find someone to at least demonstrate it in flash for me. I had made tons of artwork for Alloy, and about a fraction of it got in. The size restrictions, color restrictions, etc. were really a pain in the ass hurdle to get over. Just getting the collision and jumping mechanics right seemed like a chore to the programmer, so squeezing all these game mechanics in wasn’t looking likely. In the end, that demo end up being rushed, because UBO needed to get the demo to a meeting with Nintendo, but even the basic mechanics were no where near polished. So Nintendo shot us down. “Nice Graphics, no gameplay.” It was just what I feared. After that, UBO no longer wanted to invest in Alloy. The plug was pulled, and ol’ Alloy flatlined. Once again, Alloy was shelved. I hadn’t put much thought into Alloy, started freelancing again, and worked on Pico2 on the side. Times were tuff, and money was tight, but I was at least doing what I enjoyed to do, able live off it. In the biggest twist of all, I was contacted by Synj to do additional animation for the console version of Alien Hominid. The very game that Tom Fulp coded, using the platform engine originally created for Alloy. Such is life;) I was still happy to do it though, as it was an opportunity to get my animations in a retail game.  

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It wasn’t until a couple of years later that I told my Alloy Story to Josh (PsychogoldFish.com), that things took a turn for the better for Alloy. He was intrigued with my gameplay mechanics. He loved the whole Idea of a combo-based gameplay, that worked with puzzle elements, as well as the parry juggles. Better than that, he added tons of his own gameplay elements, like, grappler and shooter puzzles! I was in heaven. Some one that finally got it!! I told him that I still had all the art from the GBA game in its original flash format, and would he be interested in completing a flash demo, as the Alloy game was originally intended. Josh was down! Thus, Alloy Arena was born. Fish nailed everything I wanted in terms of gameplay mechanics. The shooting, the combos, even the enemy collision detection combos. The only thing that’s left to do now is to complete the demo as the full platformer-fighter hybrid, that I have dreamed it would be all these years. I even haveplans on the table to release a flash movie along with the game. Even if Alloy doesn’t get picked up after this blitz, I know that I at least did him proper.  Alloy's sprite were even further developed for the Newgrounds Rumble game. So hey, I still think he got a pretty sweet send off.

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I was actually approached by my old boss and current own of Alloy, and for awhile the hype was back on. I redesigned all the character, detailed the first 4 episodes of the cartoon, and was in the middle of recontructing him in 3D for more game possiblities. Sadly that fell through . And So ends the the non-legacy of  Alloy.

 

I still however, will be eternally greatful for the fans and belivers of the Alloy even in his strained and perpetual nonexsistence form. Its people like these that give me some semblence of hope that, if I should decide to attempt to breathe life again into a new character, then maybe , just maybe they will make it this time,.

 

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((AlloyFigure Restored by @AdamNG ))

(( this tribute is delightly corny with its song choice, but I love it))

When I do finally return to dust, then maybe I can leave something behind to be remembered by. Bescause ultimately, isnt that what we all want? To be remebered for something?

 

 


3D Model Gallery

2017-07-16 20:58:33 by MindChamber
Updated

Game Models

by MindChamber

onSketchfab

This Gallery consists of  Game Models Used  mostly for web games as well as some older projects.
Most were created using 3D max or blender.

Left mouse + movement to rotate models
Middle mouse +  movement to pan
Scroll button to zoom


About Me Page

2017-06-30 22:27:43 by MindChamber
Updated

While I have not lived in New York for sometime, I still try and bring a vibe of the Bronx into every piece of media I create. My designs are often strong and rough, and have a piece of that graffiti culture that has been instilled in me from my early ages. I have a strong love and respect for Ralph Bakshi and all his creations. Besides animation for games, I have also done animated parodies, skits , stopmotion, video and other short story type media. Ultimately my goal is to have a completed film based on my characters within the next 4 years.

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Specialties

character animation, 3d game modeling, 3d animation, video editing. character design, storyboarding, scripts writing, skits, and my extensive knowledge of Transformers

I have provided art and animation for music, television, online multimedia, and computer entertainment

My Sprite Reel

WhiteBoard Rough Animation

 

Pre-Viz/ Rough animatic for Possible Childrens Show

All rights reserved  ©™ AnubeenLLC  

 

Rough Animatic Rumcake Commercial

 

Please explore the content within the site for examples of my work, or click the LinkedIn icon in the Left Contact section  for more info. Feel free to contact me  with any questions, or for additional information regarding my services.

Prices vary depending a clients set date for deliverables, and the complexity of the animation being provided.
Please provide as much detail about the project when contacting me. 

Want an Idea of what your project might cost before contacting me?
Try AnimPricer for a rough estimate

Thanks,

Jose Ortiz  (aka) MindChamber ™

 

Contact

PM me at newgrounds
or
jose@mindchamber.com

 


SketchFab is pretty awesome for 3D models

2017-06-13 08:59:24 by MindChamber
Updated

 

ToyMindChamber

by on

Sketchfab


I was messing around with the tons of features this site offers and its pretty legit.
Like animation loops for one
(CHange  at the Static Pose Tab) Disregard the old and clanky model, just something to play with. 
I love that the embed feature works so well in posts.  Any Chance we can get the Embed feature in the art section?
Theres alot of great 3d Renders already, but Im sure viewers would love to be able to interact with them.


I miss animatin'

2017-04-24 17:51:50 by MindChamber
Updated

I want to just animate for fun, but its getting harder and harder these days.  I feel like if I dont animate anything meaningful, im wasting my time.. Thats something really hard to shake.. so instead of drawing I just played with my toys lol.
fired up dragonframe, to get reaquainted .
 

 

4 seconds of animation took over 40 minutes,.. you know how that goes.


Drawing 2D animations in Blender?

2016-02-29 15:21:35 by MindChamber
Updated

GP - "ForYou" two diferent versions and Blender 3D scene overview by Daniel M. Lara (pepeland)pslVimeo

from on .

So this is Kinda nuts, and has me regretting not making Learning Blender a priority.
The Grease pencil option in Blender was initially to allow animators to make visible notes on their models as well as draw out arcs and such, similar to the old school dope sheet method.
But it seems that the Grease pencil option is way more robust than that, and people are actually using Blender to make 2D animations.
Not bad for a free program.
I only wish Blender wasnt such an uninuitive program for people who have used flash and AE. But for begininers. This 3d , now 2D software just doesnt get any better.

heres a youtube Tut,. to get you started
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5leqCnYV4A


NGs 20th Anniversary Collab!

2015-11-27 08:42:04 by MindChamber
Updated

Check this Beast out!

A huge Flash Collab with an eclectic cast of awesome animators, actors, musicians,programmers,writers, and artists!
Hats off to @whirlguy and his crew for wrangling this creature into the confines of a single SWF file.
Its awesome to see so many names on that credits list, and it was an honor to be among so many amazing talents

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Yay Free Sprites!

2014-03-12 04:01:49 by MindChamber
Updated

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                 So in honor of being one year closer to that inevitable handshake with our friend Mr. Reaper, I am uploading free to use (public domain) sprites over at opengameart.org  Why wait till we are completely dead to give away our treasures anyway? Youre dead. You can't enjoy the satifaction you get from generousity when you're in the etherealm. So I say birthdays should be for gift giving! Anyways..

                These are the sprites from the old Pixel Puncher Prototype that Tom and I started about a decade ago. Tom was gracious enough to let his creations run free ,so I took a day or two to convert them into png files. I exported them at twice the size just in case anyone needed them bigger. If you dont though, its easy enough to simply run them through photoshop . We both put a lot of love and thought into these sprites so hopefully there will be some appreciative coders out there that will put them into some sweet projects or demos. Heres a longer demo of some of the levels and animation

 

 

If you have an NG supporter badge you can actually try the unfinished demo yourself here

 

                                     There's some pixel art in the video that was placeholder art and will not be part of the download. Its pretty obvious but I thought I'd mention it. While the video just show combat, and a few juggles. I believe Tom wanted a Metroidvania type game where you explored and unlocked more attacks and abilities. Ram (the main player) aquires "Chronic's" run ability which  is shown early on.

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Each level would have been a parody of known game characters. The first world based, on Sonic, second Mario and so on.

I also wanted more puzzle elements that involved carefully timing your air combos and grabs. Back then there wasnt any game ideas like it, so it was hard to get a grasp of how we wanted it to play. Fast foward to today, and  games like "Guacamole" and "DustForce" I believe totally captures what we wanted this game to be. You know what they say, hind sight , 20/20 etc.  A shout out to LDUK whos Robotniks Revenge just hit all the right notes for me. It was cool yet oddly bittersweet , which fit the vid. Also I just want to say thanks again, to everyone thats ever dug my stuff and shot me a kind text. It really does mean alot. And thanks Tom for letting our babies fly :3 I have to get up in 4 hours... gnight  


Happy Madness Day

2013-09-22 23:05:34 by MindChamber
Updated

Happy Madness Day dudes, some pretty good submissions this year, which were your fav?
Sadly I have nothing to upload this year, but Im not giving up on my Old Madness divinity short just yet.
I want this submission to be twice as sketchy as Minds madness but to have twice the animation. after countless crashes and freezes, I thought there was alight at the end of the tunnel when Flash CC was released. Unfortunately its actually even buggier than Cs6, and now it even crashes my wacom driver. So Ive given up on flash completely. (well except for maybe making sprites) and have been putting my rainy day money towards my purchase of TVpaint. The price is a bit hefty, but the new 64bit version runs like a dream, and the raster based format means I can draw as sketchy and as messy as I want to without the worry of it blowing up due to useless vector computation. I still have another 1300 to go, but I have a feeling it will be worth it

In the meantime enjoy this really quick Attack animation of the MagHank model I made a few years back. This is the same model and pose I used for the MagHank image in my Art page

Happy Madness Day


PAP4

2013-05-29 16:03:33 by MindChamber
Updated

Theres this sweet little animation software that's free now, and ya'll should try it.

Its raster based so it really feels like you're animating papertests.
Ive been using it to sketch out really rough animation ideas, then importing it into flash.. I think its awesome. It isnt as deep as Tvpaint, but its a good midlevel point for smaller stuff.

http://plasticanimationpaper.dk/

PAP4