Monthly Archives: April 2008

Sketchbook Monday #28

sketchOh, look! It’s random guy #472. He’s okay, but his design is nothing special. There are some characters that I draw where my reaction is “Wow! I’ve got to use this guy somewhere!” Unfortunantly, this guy isn’t one of them. XD

sketchA very angry version of a character that I haven’t drawn in ages. Known as “Iccari”, he dates back… oh, probably to before I even started attending art school. Humanoid characters with animal qualities can trace their roots as far back as the centaurs, fauns, and gorgons of ancient mythology, but nowdays they’re mostly associated with Japanese anime and manga. I had never tried my hand at them and ended up building a narrative and mythology around a fictional world they inhabit. Since the design can be considered a cliche, I never really finished the story, but every now and again I wish that I had–and usually end up adding a little bit more to it before giving up again. 😉

sketchHere, Iccari is being toted around by a young human that has captured him. He ends up entrusting his freedom to her in hopes that she can help him reach his destination. But is this really a wise decision? …Oh, bother, thinking about the story so much, now I want to go work on it all over again! -_-

By the way, I’m still hard at work on Procyon (our upcoming animated series, for those who missed the announcement). The first “transmission” (as I’ve come to call each two-minute mini-episode) is about one-third of the way done now, I think. The story has continued to evolve even since I announced it, but I think we’re finally headed in the right direction here. I mean, if I’m going to be working on it for a few years, shouldn’t I come up with a story I like? 🙂 I think a lot of you will enjoy it as well…

I plan to share some screenshots and character designs some time this week! Just a fair warning, though: while I think that we’re coming out with some of the best quality animation produced exclusively for the web, don’t expect Disney Feature Animation quality or anything. It’s mostly just me working on it after all; and we can’t pull off Beauty and the Beast or The Iron Giant on a shoe string budget anyway. 😉

Sketchbook Monday #27

Oh, wow! I have a treasure-trove of junk for you guys today! 😀

sketchThis is “Colin”. Those of you who’ve seen my work from before I even started Vision Riders will probably recognize him. He has a story and everything, but I’ve never had the time or skill to give it form the way I want.

sketchSometimes I doodle, and as I doodle something takes form as I kind of just go with the flow. That’s where this kid came from. He looks like a know-it-all. 😛

sketchThis guy has “villian” written all over him.


sketchA brother and sister arguing. I enjoy drawing siblings for some reason… I don’t know what they’re fighting about, but they look pretty upset. :/

Ollie Johnston 1912-2008

It came to my attention today that Ollie Johnston died recently. For those who don’t know, Ollie was one of Disney’s “nine old men”, nine of the most talented animators in the history of the art form, and the cornerstone of Disney animation for years.

He was the last great animator of his time to pass away…It came to my attention today that

Pulling Back the Veil

I’ve talked for a long time about how Vision Riders has wanted to produce an animated series. In fact, really, animation is why I put Vision Riders together in the first place. Well, at long last, things have been set in motion and a new series is in full production.

Our new animated series is called “Procyon“. The series is being animated in “traditional” 2-D and you’ll be able to watch it right here on the Vision Riders site. The story is broken up into chapters that will range from 5-10 minutes in length. However, you won’t have to wait for the whole chapter to be animated before you can watch it. Each chapter is further divided into sections that will be uploaded from time-to-time (probably every few weeks). You can view each section as it’s completed, or you can just wait and watch the whole chapter when it’s done. (Unlike Swordmaster Odyssey, there will be no set time for updates.)

The story centers around the adventures of a young man who’s found himself stranded nearly twelve lightyears away from Earth, the survivor of an expedition to colonize the Procyon system. Although he is alone and rescue is virtually impossible, he has kept his hopes high, remaining sane by building and repairing machinery. Eventually he discovers another survivor: a boy, still in frozen sleep within a life pod.

Procyon sets itself apart from most animation on the web in that it’s not purely comedy-driven. The series combines humor, drama, and action in an adventure meant to be enjoyed by a wide audience. Since Procyon is such a small-scale production, I want to make sure that you won’t get too bored waiting for the next section: expect to find news and updates on the production here on the blog. I’ll probably even include a few storyboards and pencil tests from time-to-time.

I’ve been looking forward to being able to do this for a long time! I hope that you’ll enjoy the series when it premieres this summer. I also hope to have some screenshots to share with you in the near future, so please look forward to it. 🙂

Concerning the Store

You may have noticed that you can’t buy anything from the Vision Riders Store right now. The digital download sales for individual chapters of Swordmaster Odyssey have been pretty dismal thus far, so we decided to halt production of them. They’ll be replaced with a full “books” of chapters in the future. Hopefully this will prove to be a better deal for you, since that seems to be what most people want instead of downloading the chapters one at a time. The new digital download packs will include new commentary that’s easier to follow and, hopefully, more insightful.

If you’ve already purchased one of the digital download packs, you’ll get a discount on the Book 1 download pack when it comes out. Just email your original order number to us and wait for instructions.

As a side effect of low sales numbers and the removal of the old download packs, we’ve had to bring back banner ads on the Swordmaster Odyssey page. They’re annoying, I know, but they do generate a small amount of income that can help pay for hosting the site.

I would like to do T-shirts in the near future–if only because I want one! 😉 If you have any suggestions for what kind of T-shirt you’d be interested in, feel free to contact us or simply leave a comment on the blog.

By the way, I hope to have time on Thursday to talk a little bit about our upcoming project, “Procyon“.