Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pot-Belly Figure 'Rough' Pics!

Kim Fung Wong Interview !!! 

Here's a interview with Threezero Toy designer Kim Fung Woo... it's really more of a conversation between us. As most of you already know, he does those bad-ass Ashley Wood robots. So we've been kicking around him doing some 1/6th scale toys of my Trout-a-verse creations.. Potbelly for a start… a Dana figure… Magic boxes… just for fun.

Sam: Kim, we've been talking in e-mails for a while about doing some toy figures together. I've known Ash for years, and was blown away by the textures you put into his robot figures -  after doing some of the other figures… like the Maxx and the batman.. it would be beyond cool to see some of the my trout stuff in 3D! 

Kim: I've heard about your name for a long time, and was very interested in collaborating with you. This going to be a fun project!

Sam: The first ideas you sent were a 12" Dana figure. But to start, I think we both also got excited by doing a larger figure of Potbelly with his of the Magic Box. I think we both agreed on potbelly to start, because so many of my drawings all have a pot bellies… ! lol 

Kim: I like the Pot Belly! But some of his parts are tricky. That why i asked you for a drawing of his front view, side, of the entire image.   

Sam: Remember i asked if we could make his neck bend too? 

Kim: Yes. But the bending neck is tricky. We have some experience making plastic have wire insert to let the plastic bendable. However, I was worried his neck might too skinny to insert wire. 

Kim: But, Rotating the neck from side to side should be no problem.

Sam: Yeah, that's why you suggested if we use the shriveled neck I did in another potbelly drawing, it might be thick enough.. So now i had two versions of put belly… one is thin necked, the other shriveled and a little thicker. 

Sam: Aside from the figure, this also got me weaving these two version of potbellies into my Dana stories.. may one comes from a different region of Dana's subconscious? And the other.. I dunno yet. But funny how the practical side of a figure could start me re-thinking the creative parts of my story. But, overall, whichever the neck wound up being, thicker and shriveled, pot belly is a good image to start with. 

Kim: Yes, Pot Belly guy would be a good start too, maybe with some accessories. Like the chair he sits in, and magic box he's looking at on your Bimbo cover.  If the Pot Belly guy need to be able to pose, then the shape at his articulate points might need compromise.  I want to make art pieces based on your creative work. Not just simple toys. A 12" action figure is more fun than smaller toys!

Sam: Yeah, I agree. The rough potbelly sculpture you sent over looked awesome, but when I heard about the detail you wanted to add to the skin, i got really excited - is this new for you… doing skin on figures? 

Kim: The Flesh skin is a new idea and it is more complex than using a exist action figure to make it. It take some time to develop but I would like to build new standard to the toys market for your first toy.

Sam: Wow, that's too cool Kim! In my mind this is just some goofy idea, it's blows me mind to imagine your developing something you've not even done yet. So unique. 

Kim: What we do is unique… it's like a passion. For the Pot Belly, I would like to make it fully articulate with soft skin on some parts. Like the upper torso with the dumpy fat belly. So we need to make a interior plastic skeleton to support the soft skin. To make it look fresh skin. This is also a new experience for me to make a figure like this. Might need more work and more tooling etc. But I always interesting to do something new and challenging.

Sam: Let's talk about Dana figure and her box. My original idea for Dana's box was for it to be like an over-sized pet she'd ride around in her imagination… sorta like a Legs idea… but in her waking life it's just be an ordinary box which wasn't alive. For the comic, I got stuck thinking i had to choose one of the other, either a 'Live' Dana box, or a ordinary one.. 

Sam: After our talks, I got re-inspired that i could have both the tall Dana box, in scale to Dana, and how much cooler it would be to have a smaller Dana figure riding it with a saddle. 

Kim: Yes, I  like it. For the Small Dana and Alive box, I thinking to make the alive box about 16 tall with a 6 inch Dana. If the alive box is too tall and big. I am concern the skinny legs hard to support. If Dana would be small as 4 inch it would be hard to show much details. 

Kim: If Dana is about 6 inch. I still can make some simple fabric clothes for her. 

Sam: We could always do a bigger Dana later, which I also like, but the little boy in me wants a cool creature for her to ride too! Plus Dana has some weight on her, NO skinny barbie doll waist! lol 

Sam: I also wanna thank Kim for making this so much fun. Also Ash for pathing the way with his own such awesome looking figures. I'm humbled Kim's up for to this collaboration. Hopefully we can do some cool stuff ourselves.. just like he does with Ash!  Like all sculptors,I actually consider Kim a true artists - i could NEVER think through a figure the way these guys do! I'm TOTALLY excited now ~  Thanks Kim! 

Okay, that's about it for now.  Kim reminded me this version is just a 'rough'  sculpt, the next version is even cooler and has all the skin folds, and TONS more detail, so i'll throw up in my next post. 

It's weird to see how my drawings... sorta feed, affect and warp his clay figures, and visa versa. I never get tired of seeing crap i do come to life. 

Here's a goof i did on an old Bimbo page. Maybe it's a younger Pot-Belly... back when he was in better shape? : ) 

- Sam 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Yet another 'Sam Kieth' tree...


Sorta self-explanatory 'post title' this time, eh?

I need just needed something to do this morning, got up around 2am and couldn't sleep..

I figured you guys wouldn't mind a break from the action figure stuff.  I hope i don't seem cheezy by plugging it, like, hey, be sure and buy this toy. It's more like i regress to a 12 year old boy when i see ANY toy. Can't help it. It's like cereal or bubble gum, (or Hello Kitty if your a chick. ) Or some guys! ~ hell, i'm a sucker for all that girly crap too. I have the balls to admit it.

okay, so were's this going? no clue.

So it it a little asian woman sitting on it, or is it just a big-ass tree she's sitting in? You could argue THIS is it, i could stop right here, it's finished. i mean, i have to finish the woman, but it's got a nice hazy quality right now doesn't it?

But i can never leave well enough alone, can i?


the watercolor will add texture, but it also eats into the pen work, which isn't so bad considering how sloppy much of it is. I was trying for one of those Jeff Catherine Jones minimal kinda trees when i started..

or my version of one, (whatever that is)...

a little grease pencil here in the tree's shadow might add some cool soft texture.

give our eye something to rest over.  My eye always wants to find a focus in a painting, and the edges to float by and not get in the way.

a suggestion of gnarly roots?

And there we go...

well, at least that killed an hour.

But it's still early... better get some other stuff done now too..

Thanks for letting me 'talk to myself' out loud.

- sam

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More Toy Designs...

Going to jump onto a model sheet for the chair pot belly sits in - i warn you it'll be pretty gaudy color wise, because well.. i have a tacky color sense when i painted the original!  Check out those ugly polka dots on it in the bimbo on the left cover.

But before that... i wanna jump back to Dana's Big box with legs. 

Right now her face is just an simple little oval. This one isn't so much a model sheet, (you know, front, side, back views for sculptors) as just for ME... 

Just drawings just to inspire myself. And maybe give Kim ... and you guys... some idea what it's texture and proportion will be! 

There we go. She's a little slumped over, but i fan out of room to have her sit up too straight or she'd go off the page. Plus Dana's an shy introvert, so she'll usually slumps her shoulders a little. 

This Box's 'toilet seat' is really an old horses yoke, but i have a back story why that's okay in this instance. (Most magic boxes need a toilet seat to work their magic, and yes i know this sounds incredibly stupid, that's the point.) 

I'd like this living box's legs to be sort of like dinosaur bones, with leather cords wrapped around the leg bones. And clock gears where the joints bend too.. 

totally illogical, i know. 

What I finally came up with was.. having BOTH types of box. Ordinary ones that don't breath or live.   In the real world she sits around typing on these antique boxes that aren't really alive, just machines. 

Then she has these blackouts and pops into this imaginary world in her mind.. where the same boxed move around like animals. This big box will carry her around sorta like a two legged horse or something.. 

Back to some rough potbelly ideas.. a few months back main toy dude Kim finished an amazing 'rough' sculpt of pot belly's standing body, which i'll post very soon. Meanwhile, i threw out the idea that since this seems like a guy's toy, bit add weird one eyed dude with a pot belly... maybe we could have some cute-ass crap in there too..

so we'll toss in some chibi figures, which can sit around by pot belly's legs.  Something girly and so cute you wanna gag. Not just for chicks, it could be for dudes with wildly over-developed sensitive sides too. These chibi's be a little bigger than this ( and better looking - promise! ) 

So, that damned chair... 

....keep putting it off.  Drawing a chair (even one you designed in the first place) from all angels, is kinda boring. 

I'll eventually add some olive green moss on the seat to jazz it up a little. 

The moss will make the seat softer for him, eh?  Notice how crude the original doodle looks on the left? I had to give Kim a better one than that. 

Those pink polka dots really kill the color scheme, don't they? I could dull the saturation by hand, but easier to pull back the pink dot color in photoshop. I know, lazy of me. 

Here's the dots a little less pink, more dull purple. Better? I think so. I notice i'll have to do it all over though, not for detail but proportion, i forgot potbelly has to FIT in this sucker! such a discpline thinking through psychical space. 

Animators do this all day, but comic artists usually cheat the the devil, bend, distort to their hearts content.  

As i look at the Box I did at the top of this page... i have to wonder? Does it look too much like a creature from the Outback? On the other hand, almost everything i draw looks like that. I mean, i was drawing that was before i created the outback. Weird creatures, i mean.

Plus, i don't wanna second guess myself so much that i pull my punches, trying to NVER drawing a story with an alternate world again, terrified of repeating myself.  I over-think everything enough as is, right? 

Plus,  unlike the outback... Dana's world will be full of junk food with 1900s style candy wrapped in vintage trout advertising, and also have weird magic boxed creatures running, and hopping about, so maybe just weird in it's own right? 

What do you guys think? 

So, meanwhile, I keep drawing potbellys, and Kim keeps sculpting.. it based on my goofy little drawings!  Now board of directors or media tie ins with fast food chains.. just two guys cracking themselves up.  Communicating thru two different mediums. 

These last three are not toy inspired, just another doodle from my sketchbook i had to do to unwind (between Aliens and IDW work for hire gigs!) ... gotta mix it up a little, right? Go NUTS drawing the same thing day in and out.  

Next up, some photographs of the Kim's sculpture of potbelly so far, plus an interview with Kim, who turns out is a pretty damned cool guy.