Monday, December 30, 2013

lam attack #002

Lam attack survival tips:

  • Never trust a flying lam.
  • The only friendly lams are the ones with orange and yellow fur. (Note: None of them have orange and yellow fur.)
  • If caught in an empty alley with a lam, run in the opposite direction. You will not escape, you'll just delay the pain.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tennis animation WIP

This was the third animation assignment I did for my special studies animation class. Fun to work on. Even more fun to shoot reference for :|



 *until tomorrow

Thursday, November 21, 2013

lam attack #001

Yeah yeah first one's up! I'm not really sure what I'm gonna do with these or where I'm going with them. I'm just doing them.

Lam attack survival tips!
  • Lam attacks occur when you least expect them. Therefore you should always expect them at the exact same quantity of prediction to avoid there being a clear instance of "lesser" expectation.
  • While 99% of attacks are not deadly, 1% of attacks lead to chronic head explosions.
  • Never look a lam directly in the eyes, unless you want to be in a world of pain... Also never look them directly in the butt, but that's just because it's kinda gross.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hi, striker! WIP

A high striker animation WIP I turned in for my animation class.

In other Kevin news, the Nickelodeon internship is such an amazing experience. I feel so lucky every day that I'm there :)

Okay! That is all! Stop looking at my blog! Go draw!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Holla Hoop WIP

Work very much in progress.

That title for this post was a typo but I kept it because the best kinds of hoops are the ones that holla.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

What exactly is a "lam attack"?

Before we answer what a lam attack is, first we must answer... what is a lam?

This is what I hope to elaborate on in this new series, appropriately entitled "lam attack"!! The series will include short shorts showing off different ways a lam might, of course, attack. The above is just a short introduction video that defines what a "lam" is.

To further define "lam", I spent a good 2 hours or so one morning writing poetry. Because I guess that's what I do? (Note: I never really write poetry.) So here is a poem I wrote entitled...

A lam is a lam

What is a lam?
Or, what is "lam"?
You know what is a sheep.
You know what is a lamb.
But what is a lamb if a lam is a lam?

Take for a sheep, but another lamb.
Take for a lamb, but another sheep.
Take for a lam but the same as a lam.
Neither sheep nor lamb will name keep.

Let that seep
That that lam
Be no lamb
Nor no sheep

But lam is close to lamb, not true?
Without knowing lam
You already know "lam"
It is more what "I am" than a sheep or a lamb

"lamb" is written
And lamb is born
So too, just as well
As far I can tell
"lam" is written
And lam is born

One difference in lamb
One difference in lam
"Almost as one 'I am'" says the lam
One easy edit and the difference is made
Cut off what is to be
The letter that is
And at the end
You will find none

What, then, if lam be just lam,
Not "lamb",
is "lam" as a lam?

Consider the thing
It is not a word
True, as defined by one
False, as existing as one
Here is revealed something new
But what is new is reminded as old
One difference in lamb
One difference in lam
A lamb has a butt
A lam it does not

There! It lies! Both answer and lam
Another word defined by more than one
Beside you, yes, so trust
Lay or lie, lam not lamb
It must
To define it more would be for naught
We have gone it far enough
Thus "lam" is "lamb" with its end cut off
And a lamb is a lam with its end cut off

DO YOU GET IT NOW?! A LAM IS A "LAMB" WITH ITS END CUT OFF. IF THE ANIMATION WASN'T APPARENT ENOUGH THEN HOPEFULLY THE POEM WILL HELP. I don't think I was very clear when I first set up this blog a year or two ago, but this was always the definition of a lam.

But you already knew that, right?

P.S. Don't expect a lot of these animations any time soon, they're great fun to make but it's hard to squeeze in the time with school and internship and work and art club and sanity and whatnot! Bah.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


"More people died today because of X, Y, and Z." That's the news headline I read every day. BUT TODAY, there was a random bonus one!

"Smithsonian discovers new mammal species"!!

It's called an olinguito and it's been hangin out in the Andes down in South America. I find it amazing that there are still animals walking about that we are just discovering. I also find it kinda funny that these olinguitos have just been ignored until now. Hence the comic.

I usually post these sketches on my FB page and Twitter so check those out too.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cloudskipper - animated short

Oh! I animated this!

I've been so caught up with not-this video that I've forgotten to post this video. It's the animated short I'd been toiling on this past Spring semester that's left me with countless late nights, cramped hands, and abandoned pets. (Just kidding I have no pets. Well, not anymore...) (Hah. Just kidding #2.)

The Concept
This film was inspired by many of the shorts I've seen by the Gobelins, l'école de l'image*, specifically the ones they make for Annecy, specifically the second one in this set of clips. The animations they make at that place is just so beautiful. I think it's made me racist because now I believe any animation in France is, by default, amazing. My film also has many elements that I love: a big larger-than-life monster, some kind of acrobatics, snowboarding/surfing/any board sport, clouds... Honestly all it's missing is robots.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy Cloudskipper. It took 4 months to plan and 4 months to animate in Flash. I don't think I'm refining this to completion because I want to move on to other projects (CARD GAME YEAH!), which I try to mention on my FB page:

*I do not actually know French.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Who's that Pokemon..?

Last week was my first time at Anime Expo. The following was a cosplay that Jill had pointed out to me, and while it wasn't the most interesting or elaborate, it certainly had me asking a few more questions.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

How to! Mayan girl.

Here's a rough idea of how I painted that Mayan girl in the previous post. I won't go into any design concepts, just my painting technique. If you want some design tips, click here. Just kidding there's nothing to click.

Each step refers to a new layer added ON TOP of the previous layer.

1. Sketch
After I thumbnail a few poses (pictured... not here), I chose one I like and sketch it out bigger. This pose was constructed from the "sassy" category of my brain, but actually I've never seen anyone make this pose...

2. Base shape
On a new layer I block in her silhouette, toggling the visibility of the sketch on and off for the finer details. All the other colors will be added on top and masked off so I'll color in the lines.

3. Base colors
I create a new layer and mask it to the base shape I just blocked in. Then I color the basic colors for each separate object (note I didn't color the green in her shirt). I make sure that the colors are somewhat duller than the final result If I had to redo it I'd probably put the clothes and hair on separate layers from the skin.
4. Base shadows
With a hard brush, I block in the shadows with a dark purple using the layer style "Overlay". Remember that all these layers are masked by the base shape in Step 2, so I never color outside of the shape.
5. Shadow gradients
Using the paint bucket tool set to a radial gradient, I added some variations in the shadows.

6. Whites
Next I just take the brush tool and paint in some areas where it would be lighter. Oh and uh, I also unhid the layer in which I drew the light source.

7. "Painty" layer
Then I paint! I use all of the color variations that I got in the previous steps as my general color palette. I use a simple hard oval-like brush, vary the opacity (usually between 20%-60%), vary the properties of pen pressure attributes on my Cintiq (size usually set minimum diameter to 30%, as well as minimum transfer to 30%). Cast shadows give hard edges, all other shadows are more gradual transitions. I think about the broader look and feel of things, knowing that I'll refine the details later.

Tangent Tip!

So here I am painting away trying to figure out how lighting works. Half way through this painting process I realize that there's that whole "three point lighting" thing I should take into account, so I watch a whole Youtube video about it to get a better understanding.

Tangent Tip #2!

For the hard-to-color areas, I select them with the lasso tool to color, like the inside of her sleeves, or her forehead beneath her hair. I then go to Select _> Save Selection, so I can load it back up if I need to select it again. I think there's an easier way to do this... but that's how I do it.

7. Green parts part
This is a good time to add any clothing designs, or in my case, the green edges. I set the layer style to Color Burn so that the shadow values I already colored on the shirt will be inherited by green. Different layer styles work for different situations, but I found Color Burn worked best for the green cloth.

8. Details!
Now I allow myself to get nitpicky. I refine the forms of the face, clean up ugly edges, clarify the hands, add the thread going around the color, etc.

9. Hair
I vary the hair colors just a little bit.

10. Rim lighting
I made the rim lighting blue because it matched the other Mayan character I drew and I wanted to pose them together. Also, blue rim light is nice for an orangey skin tone.

11. White shines
Solid white shines in the eyes make them pop just a little more because of the contrast between the black and the white. The white shines elsewhere are added mainly for stylistic reasons.

From this point on the layers are no longer masked by the base shape from Step 2.

12. Edge soften
I went around the edges of the girl with a soft white brush to kind of push her into the non-existent environment a little more. It's important to note that I had to choose the background before completing this step. Originally I had a textured background but it looked dumb so I just kept it white.

13. Cast shadow
To be honest, at this point I was just kinda like "whatever!". This layer goes below all the other layers.

14. Brightness/Contrast layer adjustment
Last and possibly least, I adjust the brightness and contrast till I get the exact colors I want. I use an Adjustment Layer (the black and white circle in the Layers window) for this at the very top of my layers. If you're curious, I increase the contrast (+55), and decrease the brightness (-23). This part just requires a bunch of trial and error. I initially tried using Hue/Saturation, but after viewing my piece in black and white, I found out I needed to push the values more than the saturation.

15. Done!
Celebrate! Eat food! Use the bathroom!

A few notes:
  • It's hard to edit the drawing with this process, since everything is on separate layers.
  • I forgot that I had started with a blue background with about 40% brightness. I switched to a white background at the very end.
  • If I had to do it again I'd probably put the skin, clothing, and hair all on separate layers.


Well maybe it's because I really enjoy organizing my thoughts, especially in lists. And maybe it's partly just to show people how I paint my stuff in hopes that they might learn something. So uh, here ya go. But also, I just really love the process in how art is composed. I've said it before (well, tweeted it) and I'll say it again: so much of what defines art as art is the method in which it is made. The resulting piece is just proof that the artist went through the entire process before reaching that completed piece.

If you ever have to quote me, use those last sentences right there.

Oh hey I know how to GIF this!

Now this is by no means the best or the most efficient way to color a character. It's just a method I found (after TONS of trial and error) that works best with me and this character. If you have any suggestions of a better method of coloring a certain part, by all means I'd love to hear it. Comment below! And if you don't have any suggestions, just comment with a funny joke or something.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mo' mo' Mayans

Here are my final character renders for my Vis Dev class at CSUF.

I also included their official formal dossiers which I have totally thought out thoroughly way before the writing of this post. Way before.

Name: Mr. Magnificent Maleficent Mayan (no relation to Sleeping Beauty villain)
Age: Thirty-somethin. Like late thirties probably
Size: Buff
Occupation: Hunter
Personality traits: Tough guy, rough guy... his face is always like "guh I'm serious"
Role in this story: Assigned to hunt down that little girl (pictured below) cuz the shaman bad guy wants to sacrifice her and her family, and this guy's just like "okay I'll follow orders" but then later on he's like "aw man it's just a little girl!" and then the rest of the story happens.

Name: Ms. Moxy Oxy Quetzalcoxy Mayan
Age: Little girl age
Size: Little girl size
Occupation: Daughter of Mayan king. That's an occupation right?
Personality traits: She's spunky and has attitude and stuff. Think Lilo from Lilo and Stitch, minus Hawaii.
Role in this story: This girl escapes sacrification (not a word) and finds all of her brothers who have turned into birds. This probably makes more sense if you know that it's based on the Seven Ravens story, a story which in itself does not make any sense.

Anyway. I learned a lot! The process I used to color these characters was unlike I've ever done before, and I'm planning to share my process in a later post.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ancient Mayans Running!******

A couple character designs I forgot to post. They're based on characters from the film Apocalypto.

They were done a couple months ago, so now I can draw much better than this*!!

*Just kidding I can't.**

**But not really. I can.***

***This is a lie.****

****But in reality, this statement is in itself a lie.*****

*****The fact that this 4th annotation exists should solidify any belief that I am unaware of how to use these asterisks effectively.

******Mayans don't give a f*** about annotations.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Imma concept artist now! Just kidding never.


These were for my Visual Development class.

I'm an animator, not a painter! Where's the squash and stretch? Where are the IK handles? How do I adjust the graph editor? Does this come with gimbal controls? Are these the key frames? Is this on 2's? WHAT IS PAINTING?!

Guys, this stuff is hard.

Unrelated side note!
We had a slew of amazing guest artists these past few weeks at Cal State Fullerton through the Pencil Mileage Club. (Yes, a slew.) Pascal Campion did an awesome drawing of Eddie, Chris Oatley gave some great portfolio critiques, Kazu Kibuishi painted a wonderful landscape... and they all gave incredibly insightful advice about the art, passion, diligence, love, and life. It was awesome. This was a grand slam. (The metaphorical baseball kind, not the Denny's mediocre breakfast sandwich kind.)

Check out my new best friends these great artists!

Unrelated side note #2!!:
I was looking at my analytics and I'm getting some notable traffic from Germany and Russia... so for my audience over in Germany, hoffe, Sie haben einen schönen Tag, and for my Russians, надеюсь, у вас удивительный день.

And if you're just a spam bot from those countries,
01100111011001010111010000100000011101000110100001100101001000000110100001100101011011000110110000100000011011110111010101110100001000000110111101100110001000000110100001100101011100100110010100101100001000000111001001101111011000100110111101110100001011000010000001101110011011110010000001101111011011100110010100100000011011000110100101101011011001010111001100100000011110010110111101110101001000000110001001100101011001010111000000100000011000100110111101101111011100000010000001100010011011110111000000101110 !!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

They put up... BRAVE FRONTS. (Simple animation test)

I made this little animation half a year ago, it was for a potential job (which eventually fell through). It starts half way into the narration because I didn't animate the beginning of stylistic choices.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Reel nice Dreamcrit animations

My mini bite-sized reel I submitted to the animation Dreamcrit a couple weeks ago. It's my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th animations I've ever done in Maya! YEAH!..

BONUS!!: FAA (Frequently Answered Answers):
I don't know why people don't think I do, but YES, I use Maya to animate stuff. No, I haven't used it a lot. Yes, I want to use it more. No, I don't plan to use it soon because of my tight schedule. Yes, I want to become a 3D character animator. No, I don't just use Adobe Flash. (Yes, I realize the program is the same name as my favorite super hero.) Yes, I am more familiar with Flash than Maya.  No, that does not mean I strictly do 2D stuff. Yes, I want to do 3D stuff because that's where the jobs are. No, I don't want to just do 3D either, storyboards are a possible option for me. Yes, these are a lot of questions you are asking. No, I don't believe you are actually asking them. Yes, I am filling in the blanks and just imagining you are asking me about my art. No, I don't expect you to actually ask me about my art. Yes, that does sound a little sad. No, that does not make me cry a little inside. Yes, that was a lie. No, I don't need any tissue. Yes, I want you to leave me alone now. Yes, I'm going to go over to that corner. Yes, I'm going to cry. Yes.

P.S. My work didn't get critiqued but I did get to attend the Dreamcrit. It was awesome!
P.P.S. I didn't really cry.

Monday, February 4, 2013

My Mug

Why is a face called a "mug"?? How does that make sense? I decline to initiate a Google search so my mind can wander about a 14th century pacific island tribe whose domestic miscreants fall victim to a torturous decapitation, followed by a flushing of said head's bodily innards through the once vocal chords that may no longer be used to cry in agony, not from the pain, which in itself is excruciatingly intolerable, but from the ungodly sight of a fist grabbing a conscious mind from its assumed permanent housing and extracting any spark of a soul through the vacuum predefined to ensure death in the most explicit manner. Such an effort, which by all accounts brush not an ounce of guilt from these savage beings, is concluded by a capsizing of the deceased cap, an isolated cranium now purged of any deleterious appendages, and filling it with a multitude of intolerable liquids in an effort to intoxicate erroneous amounts of symbolic mischief and blatant gore from the flimsy apple's lid. Were it not for the nose, or objectively, the hollowed out protrusion which participants used to seize the head of their guilty victims, a righteous observer would find the object of practice less of a traditional "mug" and more of a hideous aberration not tolerable by any human soul wherein no sight in Hell lies tantamount.

Sorry I've been reading Lovecraft.

Anyway, yeah that's my self portrait! I put it all over my social media sites so you can check out the different versions. My Blogger one (on the right there) is already updated.

My Twitter: @keviokevio
My Tumblr:

P.S. I said I was going to launch my webcomic last month, then I said this week, now it may be delayed further until I get my Cintiq. Duh duh duh!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Telly is online! WATCH IT NOW!!

"Telly", the animated short I toiled on for almost a year, is now up online for you to enjoy!!

Here's the synopsis:

What if instead of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell invented the very first messenger robot? This animated short follows the story of a late 19th century robot named Telly, traveling through town to deliver a message. But with his back magnetically charged, this robot might attract more attention in this new world than he had originally intended.
Telly has been in 4 film festivals around the nation (possibly more to come), and I just recently submitted it to the New York Society of Illustrators competition for the animation category. I'll hear back from them in the weeks to come.

If anyone has any questions about completing a short animated film during school outside of school, feel free to ask! In short, it's a helluva lot of work. Helluva lotuva workuva, so you'va gottuva lovita.

Enjoy the film!

Show your friends!

"Lookit what my friend did. It's called Telly."

Then hit em with

That's it!

Just send the link! And run!

I directed, produced, wrote, edited and animated for Telly, but I couldn't have finished it with the awesome help from a few artists from Cal State Fullerton. Dear animation world, if you're looking for artists, I give you permission to hire the following...

Directer, Producer, Writer: Kevin Lam
Animators: Whitney Tang, Patricia Pham, Mike Pacheco, Samantha Gray, Jasmine Tanner
Composer: Vincent Wei Hsin Chang
Sound Design: Tyler Gregory
Background Painter: Eddie Mendoza
Clean up Artists: Rachel Buecheler, Jasmine Goggins, Alan Tsim
Colorists: Whitney Tang, Patricia Pham, Rachel Buecheler, Jasmine Goggins
Additional Coloring: Samantha Gray, Jasmine Tanner
Additional Art: Eric Lee, James Lien, Eddie Mendoza
Special Thanks: Chuck Grieb, Alice Herring, Michael Fan, Cal State University Fullerton, Visual Communications

Like the FB page too!

What's next?

  • CG animations!
  • A traditionally hand-drawn animated short!
  • A card game?!
  • A webcomic!! Subject No. 1!! (Launching next week...)

Stay tuned. Because Telly... IS JUST THE BEGINNING.........

\((O-o)/ boops.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Heads up to 2013

Some art for the new year! This was a gift to my sister for her birthday / Christmas gift.

A couple heads up I'll announce (TANGENT: What's the plural form of "heads up"? Is it "heads ups"? "Head ups"? "Heads upses"? "Up heads"? "Headsies upsies"? Just "head up"? Or is "heads up" already plural? This heads-upping is upsetting, my academic education has never given any headular upsides to this dilemma.):

  • Telly, my animated film about a 19th century messenger robot, will be released online very, very soon. I'll post it here first, and also on the Telly FB page.
  • Subject No. 1, my webcomic about a microscopic organism and his nanobot companion, will launch later this month. If you're reading this AFTER it's launched, GO READ IT NOW!! It's at

A new year ahead means 365 more days to draw. Go make art!!!!