What You Might Wanna Know About Me

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All artwork and animation in this blog unless otherwise stated is Copyright © 2015 Eric R. Watson 'AKA' Cyber Six (Cyber Six is not intended to be a play on words. It is in fact a comic book and animation. You may read about them if you'd like by following this link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyber_Six) All Rights Reserved. All artwork and content on this blog are property of the artist unless otherwise indicated. Do not use, reproduce, post, copy, or distribute any image or media without permission. I'm an artist and flash animator. Recently, I've begun learning Maya 8.5. Okay, my avatar is not a picture of me. In fact, it is a picture of a famous Japanese singer who sang in an all girl pop group named SPEED during the mid to late 90s. Her name is Hiroko Shimabukuro. Hiro for short. Unfortunately, they disbanded several years ago. I recently found out they are back together and singing as SPEED. Freelance Union Article: 5 Tips for Preventing Procrastination. "Prolific people don’t wait to be moved, they begin the work, and the work moves them to create more." ~ Jonathon Kastner

My Archival Space.. No, It's NOT The Final Frontier

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Samurai Jack Season 5 is Coming

A few months ago I saw this poster and video online. Immediately, I was excited. Genndy Tartakovsky is working on the 5th season of Samurai Jack.

Jack is Back | Samurai Jack | Adult Swim

Recently, I found read an article on Cartoonbrew.com about Samurai Jack returning to television. Instead of it being on Cartoon Network, it will be aired on Adult Swim which gives Genndy reason to Jack a darker personality and have more intense action than before.

Samurai Jack: Season 5 Behind the Scenes | Samurai Jack | Adult Swim

To be honest, I'm excited to see this. In my opinion, this should have been a movie. Preferably, a trilogy. It would be very nice to see an artbook for this series. Also, when it hits DVD and Blu-ray I would like to have extended behind the scenes videos of the making of Samurai Jack. Ten years ago next week, I met Genndy Tartakovsky in the dealer's room at the San Diego Comic Convention. He's a pretty cool dude.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Life Update - 002

No art to show this time but, I did finish the second day orientation at my new job. Both June 30th and today July 1st the company I now work for catered our breakfast and lunch. I'm sure I gained a few pounds these past couple of days as a result of eating too much. My first day of actual work starts Tuesday. I am so happy I can enjoy the 4th of July off from work.Unfortunately, I have no one to enjoy some BBQ with unless someone calls to invite me over. That would definitely be nice!

On second thought, I will post something more. I had decided to study this scene in more detail to better how and why it was set up to be shot this way instead of some other way.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Life Update - 001

Today, I went on a tour of the facility I'll be working at. I can't say what kind of job I've just been hired to do. Although, I will say is it's not what I would have picked out for myself when I was in high school. That being said, I will keep moving forward by getting my LLC business license and developing my art and writing skills. Furthermore, I fully intend on learning how to market myself as an artist. Visual Development is what I want to do. So, it is vitally important for me to get a strong portfolio together these last few months before CTNx.

Here's what I've been working on recently. Amelie - (Subway Scene) 1 min. 47 sec. This is the sixth shot from the first sequence of this scene. I still need to change the numbering of the shots to reflect the correct sequence and shot numbers.

Why People Give Up

I have posted this image in a previous post but, I've got some quotes by a couple of famous people that are a perfect fit for the diagram. 

Believe in yourself! Work hard, never give up & anything's possible. OR: Kick back, relax & aim low-you'll never be disappointed.
                     ~Mark Hamill

"Continuous effort--not strength or intelligence--is the key to unlocking our potential." 
~Winston Churchill

People give up for various reasons. I too was about to give up but, I've decided to stick in there to continue the fight against boredom, slothfulness and, mediocrity. Last night, I found Jessica Abel's website. It's a treasure trove of teaching and advice on the subject of being a self sufficient creative person. I know it's gonna take constant effort and a lot of work but, I need to see my dreams come to pass.

Today, I'm going to an orientation for another non creative job that will pay the rent and bills but, it will not satisfy me creatively. However, it will give me the money I need to do some things I'd like to do this summer. I've made plans to meet a film director and attend an anime convention. In September, I would like to go to Industry Giants to network with other attendees and pros alike. Also, this November I would like to attend CTNx to show my visual development portfolio to industry professionals in the hopes of obtaining employment in an animation studio located in California.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Finally!!! The Wait is OVER! A STORYBOARD PANEL

I have finally got a bit of the animatic I'm working on for your viewing pleasure. So, without further adieu here it is in all it's sketchy glory.

This was drawn using Adobe Flash. And, it looks pretty cool as a thumbnail. This image is from the sixth shot in the sequence. Yes, it's numbered incorrectly. That will get fixed later. Here's where I got the idea to create this file. No, I've never taken Liane's class at the CGMA Academy. Nearly everything I learned about how to set up this Flash file was gleaned from the following video. The numbers at the bottom are symbols from a file I created several months ago. After this is done, I'll post the entire animatic here on this blog.

Interview with the Masters | Liane Cho Han

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I'm working on a personal project: AMELIE SUBWAY SCENE STORYBOARDS

Back in the 90s I was really into foreign films so Eric Rohmer, Pedro Almadovar, Akira Kurosawa were a few of the directors that interested me. At that time, I had no idea what cinematography was. All I knew was, I liked what I was looking at. During my employment at Blockbuster Video I saw a weird movie named Delicatessen (1991) directed by Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet. The story as it's described on IMDB.com is:

The story is centered on a microcosm of a post-apocalyptic society where food is so rare it's invaluable and is used as currency. The story centers on an apartment building with a delicatessen on the ground floor. The owner of the eatery also owns the apartment building and he is in need of a new maintenance man since the original "mysteriously" disappeared. A former clown applies for the job and the butcher's intent is to have him work for a little while and then serve him to quirky tenants who pay the butcher in, of course, grain. The clown and butcher's daughter fall in love and she tries to foil her father's plans by contacting the "troglodytes", a grain eating sub-group of society who live entirely underground. The "trogs" are possibly the most sensible of the lot, as they see food as food and not money. Edit: After watching the trailer for this movie I've decided NOT to link to it. You'll have to look it up on YouTube for yourself.

Anywhosles, fast forward to Amelie (2001). The color pallet for this film is very stylized and gorgeous to behold. I decided to use a clip from the movie to reverse engineer the scene shot by shot using Adobe Flash 5.5 to create an Animatic of the entire one minute and forty seven second sequence. I got this idea from Liane Cho Han the supervising storyboard artist on Long Way North a French Flash animated feature film coming to America through distribution deal with Shout! Factory.

Here's the trailer:

English Subtitled Trailer:

Cartoon Brew  coverage about Long Way North.

Here's the personal project I'm working on. Within the fifteen to sixteen shots I'm working reverse engineering there's camera movement I've need to simulate. No worries. I just need to get it done by tomorrow night so I can start a new project.

A Very Helpful Color Chart - The Psychology of Color

I'm not sure where I found this or who owns it but, the contact info is at the bottom of the image. I've always wanted to have this kind of chart because colors do have meanings. And, to complicate matters those meanings are not the same in every culture. This chart is a very good fundamental tool in creating great visual art.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

How I Feel Now That Everything is Cleared Up

This sketch was drawn in a fellow artist's drawing pad. She told me my drawings of fella look too much like girls so I had to straighten the cheek line a little.

I gave the original drawing to someone I met at a local restaurant. She was very appreciative.

This one I gave to a friend of mine in a going away card before she left to start at another job.

I decided not to post hi-rez images online anymore because, I would like to start selling my art. Osz7.deviantart is another place I post my art. Unfortunately, I haven't used it in a while due some personal issues. Since there's a lot of resources I have access to there I've started using it again. Later, I'll post post some storyboards here and there. : )

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Something to Listen to When Disappointment Sets In


The way you feel when people disappoint you. It's crappy but, life goes on.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Some Art of a Cosplayer Dressed Up as Romoma Flowers

This drawing was drawn from a photo I found on RadioMaru's Tumblr a few months ago. I've included a link to the original image here. : )

Here's the original link to give the proper credit to owner of the photo. Sugar Bunny Cosplay on Tumblr. :D

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Prince: One of My Favorite Singers Passed Away Today


At work, a middle aged African American woman told me Prince died today. Nearly everyone I asked these simple questions, "Have you heard about it?" Or, "Do you know what happened today?" Everyone who grew up listening to his music knew about it. Nearly everyone knew what I was talking about except a trio of young women who were from another country. It is very sad that he died so young. And, he was only 57 years old. I wanted to see him concert. He was a great singer and musician.

When I was a teenager back in the 80s, I would stay up late to watch Friday Night Videos and, Night Tracks. 'Purple Rain' and 'When Doves Cry' were in heavy rotation every Friday and Saturday night. I would stay up late just sing along with him.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Sounds Like Storyboard Artists In TV Animation Are Getting Over Worked and Under Paid

I have copied and pasted this information about storyboarding here on my blog to get the word out.

The non creative job I had been working at for about two and half months did us the same way. Unfortunately, I can't tell you the name of that company because I had to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Storyboard Deadlines ... Storyboard Timelines

Let us take one more dip into the old mailbag*:

I've been doing TV storyboards for 25 years and this deadline thing is really getting ridiculous.

It was insane when they moved the deadline for 11 minutes of board from 6 to 5 weeks but 4 weeks for a finished board is NUTS. I am assuming that this squeezing of the deadline screws is just as bad for the rest of the preproduction folks out there but since storyboards are my area, I cover what I know best. Here are the facts: every panel for a television storyboard based on a written script takes 10 - 20 minutes AVERAGE per panel WITHOUT revision time included. This is also based on a board that is done on paper with out adding the timing or dialogue tracts required in Toonboom Storyboard Pro or Adobe Flash. So the fact is we are all doing a lot of unpaid overtime and not doing anything about it. If your production manager says that someone else is able to do the work in the 4 week time frame that 4 weeks is really 6 weeks and they have no life.

My suggestions :

1. KEEP TRACK OF YOUR TIME. Get one of those little paper book diaries and write down how many hours you REALLY work every day. You will understand yourself how much you are working, and you will have physical proof to show anyone exactly what's going on.

2. TALK TO OTHERS. Don't just complain, get a real consensus of what is happening and get them to keep track of their time as well.

3. GIVE A COPY of TV STORYBOARD TIME REQUIREMENTS to your Production Manager / Associate Producer. If you are afraid to hand it to them personally, slip it under their door. If they actually read it, It might give them an understanding why they can never seem to get "those slow board artists" to turn in their storyboards on time. ...

And now, the Veteran Board Artist estimates the time that the storyboarding will actually take. ...


NOTE: The following is based on the actual PHYSICAL time requirements to create a storyboard for TV animation. Although there is some variance to the speed at which artists draw, the following is based on the AVERAGE time needed to create the necessary work based on a script with equal parts action and acting and NO REVISIONS.

The following is what is required in any fully cleaned-up panel of storyboard:

1. Suggested background
2. An on-model character – either a) establishing and/or b) acting / expressing story point.
3. Scene description, and camera action. special effects description.
4. (TBSBP) Initial rough timing / anamatic set-up

MINIMUM time required to complete panel: 10 minutes/panel

Average Time: 20 minutes/panel

(A complicated action with camera moves and armies can take over an hour.)

For a 3 act script consisting of 36 – 40 pages:

#Panels / script page: 24 – 36 (8 -12 bd.pgs.) Time: 8 – 12 hrs, 1- 1.5 8 hr days*

#Panels / 1 minute of film: 60 – 72 (20 – 24 bd.pgs.) Time: 20 – 24 hrs, 2.5 – 3 8b hr days*

#Panels / 7 minute film: 420 – 504 (140 – 168 bd.pgs) Time: 140 – 168 hrs., 17.5 – 21 8 hr days (3.5-4wks)*

# Panels / 11 minute film: 660 – 792 (220 – 264 bd. pgs) Time: 220 - 264 hrs., 27.5 – 33 “ “ (5.5 – 6wks)*

# Panels / 22 minute film: 1320 – 1584 (440 – 528 bd. pgs) Time: 440 - 528 hrs., 55 - 66 “ “ (11 – 12wks)*

* (Time is based on average time of 20 minutes x panel count WITHOUT revisions and going straight to cleanup. If revisions are required, multiply all times above by 1.25X)

!!(Special Note: ACTION takes at least 2-3 times the amount of drawings that acting does. If the show is heavy on action, multiply numbers given above by 2X to compensate for the additional drawing and panels needed)!!

If working in Toonboom Storyboard Pro add .25X to the equation for the additional amount of work added to create a working animatic.

Simple formulas for calculating adjustments to the average time:

Average Show

Hrs x .75 thumbnail and rough only
Hrs. x 1 finished board no revisions
Hrs. x 1.25 finished board with revisions on the roughs
Hrs. x 1.5 finished board with revisions on the roughs in TBSBP

Action / Comedy Heavy Show

Hrs. x 2 action heavy board no revisions
Hrs x 2.5 heavy action board with revisions the on roughs
Hrs x 2.75 heavy action board with revisions on the roughs in TBSB


Parameters of 10 – 20 minutes for each panel described above is not an arbitrary figure. Consider the analysis below for the explanation of why it takes this amount of time for a professional storyboard artist to produce each frame for a cartoon’s blue print. Consider that every panel of storyboard requires the three steps: Planning, Drawing and

Usually a board artist considers a minimum of a scene at a time (3-10 panels) and how that scene works within a sequence (1/4 – 1 script page) and how that sequence works within a section (1 – 3 script pages) then how the sections work into each other and to the full script.

Storyboarding for animation is NOT just rapidly drawing a sketch. Even if a story artist is doing a pitch session and is quickly throwing up post-its, those sketches have to be taken down, reworked, and put into a blueprint like format so that the team working on the film can use them effectively.

Storyboarding for television requires that the artist do the following jobs: storyboarding as layout; writer of all action and gags and clerk for scene descriptions dialogue, action and camera action; and initial acting, action, camera, and timing direction. Also, sometimes, they are background, prop and character designer. All characters are required to be as close to “model” as possible, many times without the artist ever having drawn the characters before.

Every panel created requires the following:

1. Planning: reading the script to decide on the image

A. Staging – where and how to set up the shot in relation to:

1) Location choice
2) Camera position
3) Composition
4) Camera motion
5) Emotional Note
6) Cutting, timing and transitions

B. Acting - How the character(s) are to act in the shot with relation to

1) Personality of the character
2) Style of the show
3) Event taking pace
4) Actual action the character must commit
5) Point of dialogue delivery
6) Plot through line
7) Break down of action over successive panels
8) Action of relationship between multiple characters and their reactions

C. Continuity – maintenance of continued visual plot points

1) Correct costumes, props and locations
2) On-model / character proportions and physical attributes
3) Maintaining continued existence of Point of Interest characters, props or costumes not associated with on screen action but necessary for story through line or plot (Example: Evenrude in
the Disney series "Tail Spin")

2. Drawing : creating the image

A. Thumbnail – initial skeletal composition, staging, continuity, acting and action – work out unresolved story
and action neglected in script.

B. Rough – rework of initial ideas, draw in backgrounds, refine acting and action.

C. Cleanup – tighten all character acting and visual information.

3. Description: verbally describing the panel

A. Scene Description

1) Verbal description of action
2) Camera information
3) Staging requests (i.e. overlays, animating BG’s, Bi-pack)
B. Dialogue
C. Special Effects
3) Sound FX
4) Visual FX
5) Special timing requests

Here’s a given line of script: “The warriors attack the fort.” What has to be added that the writer left out? How many panels do you think it will take? How long will it take to execute??
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

* The above e-mail and attached notes (which appear below the fold) were triggered by a recent discussion with a veteran production board artist who has worked at most of the major animation studios ... and a good number of small ones ... over the last two and a half decades. I made the suggestion that they send along their descriptions and break downs of the time needed to execute storyboards of different styles and types.

Happily, they already had estimates ready to go. I said we would post the whole kaboodle here on the blog, which we are now doing. Understand this is one veteran's analysis of what's required to execute a professional cartoon storyboard. Other artists' mileage may vary.

-- Steve Hulett


jeff snow said...
I've also noticed the workload in animation storyboards since the advent of the digital revolution has increased tremendously. While computers have certainly increased the speed and productivity of artists, it's been disproportionate to the amount expected in the boards. Currently, the average board panels required by most studios has increased by approximately 40 percent compared to when boards were done on paper. Additionally, the artist, if working freelance, needs to absorb the costs of hardware and software, not to mention the time needed to learn the programs required. Also, many studios require separation of levels (for background, characters and effects ) in addition to sometimes even providing an editorial timing pass. And on top of this, the rates, at least for freelance boards by most studios has not increased in 20 years.
Christian Roman said...
When did the role of putting together an animatic switch from an editor to the storyboard artist? I haven't worked in TV for over 10 years, but back then I thought the editors were in the editors union, so making animatics was a union gig. Did the Animation Guild allow this change, muscling into another union's territory?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

This Is 'VERY' Encouraging

Not sure where I found this graphic by Anna Vital but, it is so true. I've been feeling like giving up and throwing in the towel because there's so much to do and so little time to do it in. What I've got to keep in mind is all of my favorite artists, writers, singers and, musicians had to get on the grind and stay there to get good at their respective crafts. I am no different.

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Beginning of Much Needed Rest and The Search for Some Much Needed Employment

Today, I lost my one of my jobs. Technically it was yesterday but, what does it matter? It's been my main income since I left the fast food industry a several months ago. I'm kinda glad and sad at the same time. In a way, I enjoyed working there and earning the money I've been blessed to have earned. On the other hand, I now have more time to write, draw and, paint. This gives me time to devote more attention to my portfolio. I've got some prospects for where I'd like to work. And, I've got money in the bank so I'm not worried at all. R and R is what I've got planned for about a week while I look for employment elsewhere. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

David Bowie - Rest In Peace

David Bowie calls out MTV on their racism

I had no idea about this video before folloiwing the 'Now Trending' link a couple of days ago.


There's more I'd like to post about David Bowie soon.