Story and Layout for Game of Zones Season 4, Episode 1

It’s time for some behind-the-scenes of the internet’s favorite basketball webseries! Check out the first four episodes here, then watch the animatic to see how things changed in Episode 1, including a deleted Tim Duncan retirement scene!

I have to give a lot of credit to the show creators Craig and Adam Malamut who provided a very detailed “thumbatic” of what they wanted, which made my job a whole lot easier.

Sc01_Sh01_color key

A rough color pass for the Oklahoma scene


I had to replace my initial layout for the scene behind Lebron with something much easier on the production team.


Layout from the deleted Tim Duncan Retirement scene.

I also did the background art for the opening Oklahoma Thunder sequence.

New Game of Zones Episodes!

I recently wrapped in my role as story and layout artist for the web series “Game of Zones,” and the new episodes are starting to roll out! The Bros at Bleacher Report have a great season in store for you, with hilarious writing and tons of basketball easter eggs for you to find. Here are the first few episodes – stay tuned for more episodes and behind-the-scenes artwork!




Thomas the Energy Cat

I’m finally getting around to posting this project from last November — a fun little promo for renewable energy I animated with IMG Media for the South African Embassy:

I love it when these little cartoon modern projects come along — it’s such a fun style to work with. Serena Henderson did the lovely background art.

Here’s some behind-the-scenes art:


Poses based on provided design by Steve Karp (center).



A few days after submission we got back some pictures of John Kerry giving a talk with this animation playing on TV’s behind him. Pretty cool!




Artwork and Easter Eggs from the new Warriors Cartoon!

First, if you haven’t seen this cartoon, check it out! And hang around — I promise it’ll be worth it! 

The Warriors commissioned this short as a treat for the team before they start back up for the 2016/2017 season. They gave Bleacher Report a list of inside jokes for each team member, and the very, very clever Malamut brothers wrought those jokes into a hilarious (and catchy) song before enlisting my help to do the animatic, background art, and some animation.

Sadly, the Powers-that-Be required some changes before it could be shared with the public, so the cartoon above is NOT what the Warriors were shown. That cartoon is sadly lost to history, BUT (here’s where I make it worth your while) I did obtain permission to share the much bawdier Animatic. Enjoy!

I should note that at the time I finished work on this animatic, the ending still hadn’t been approved, so Craig and Adam covered that last bit while I moved on to other things.

Easter Eggs

I don’t want to piss off the Warriors, so I can’t comment on all the Easter Eggs. But there are a few things I think I can point out that non-rabid sports fans might not otherwise pick up on:


The bridge echoes the Bay Bridge in the Warriors logo, but with spiderwebs for cables. Also the base of the castle is a nod to Oracle Arena and that is the Oakland skyline in the distance. Craig and Adam love to include little details like that. Lastly, if you’ve seen The Nightmare Before Christmas lately, you might pick up on a personal homage I snuck in.


Steph’s shadow in this shot is meant to look like the old Warriors mascot. You know, the weird blue guy with the bizarre Parasaurolophus thing on his head… of course, this is an evil-fied version of it.


The original “Crush your Dreams” bit had this shot of Andre Igoudalia dreaming about golf. Because he and Steph Curry love to play golf, apparently. I thought it was a cool shot, I was sad to see it go.


UnderArmour came out with this pair of sneakers named after Steph Curry that were widely panned as dad shoes. Curry defended the shoes, calling them “fire”. Which I guess is the word all the fire kids use to say “cool” nowadays. I feel old.


Draymond Green was famous for fouling people this way last season. Craig and Adam love making jokes about it. I think it was me who suggested having the players do the Can Can — and they turned it into this joke. These guys are evil geniuses, I tell you.


If you look carefully at the banners, you will see the Warriors’ NBA championships represented, along with a nod to their really really good regular season this year (2016).


The Basketballs in the layout ended up getting replaced with busts of Chris Mullins and Rick Barry. I had fun designing their caricatures — two very distinctive looking guys.


We had a good laugh over this layout. Too bad they had to put shorts on the players in the end…


Sketches of Rocco (Klay Thompson’s dog) — one of two characters I designed for this film The other one (below) was cut. All the main characters were designed by David SanAngelo.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Directly above is Vinny — the character I designed that got cut. He’s Anderson Varejao (the guy with the hair)’s trainer — the joke was how small he looks compared to Varejao. I’m not sure but I think he was cut because most people wouldn’t know who he was. They replaced him with Ian Clark.


More Art!



Thumbnail sketches for Shot 1



Some thumbnails of Steph Curry. The heads are not drawn on some of the poses because in Flash, the head is a symbol you can move around… so there was really no need to draw it over and over — unless the expressions are what you are actually thumbnailing as in the lower example.

I have to give a massive shout to the Malamut brothers, Craig and Adam, who conceived and executed this whole idea. They even did the voices! They wrote the friggin music! And Craig’s thumbnails made my job on the animatic a breeze. Well… as breezy as a deadline like that can be…which is to say… still pretty hard actually… but so much fun. So guys, if you’re reading this, thanks again!


Still here? Thanks for stopping by! Obviously you enjoyed it so please like, share and all those things. Cheers!


Finding Moo Friends

I recently had the pleasure of working with Marcos Correa of Paperivene on this adorable teaser for his show concept, Finding Moo Friends. All images in this post are property of Marcos Correa and Paperivene.


It’s a CAT-astrophe!


Check out my latest collab with The Duke & the Duck. I did the character rig(s) using Toon Boom Harmony, and did a bit of the animation also.

360 Pirate Ship

I’ve been working on this between projects. It’s been an interesting process. And by interesting, I mean a giant pain in the ass. But, still quite rewarding. I’m sure I’ll make more and try to do a better job. I think the potential applications of this are exciting, especially for gaming.

More Game of Zones art!

It’s been a crazy few months, in a good way. I’ve been incredibly fortunate with all the freelance work that has come my way, but it’s been hard to update the blog! One of the things I’ve been working on lately has been more Game of Zones Background art, so here is some of that! Hopefully I’ll get around to posting a few more updates this week.

“The Cavs and the Cav Nots” turned out to be a funny episode for me, because I had recently traveled to two of the locations that inspired parts of this episode. One was supposed to be a Houston reference — home of the Rockets. I had just been there for a wedding, at Hermann Park. There’s a little mound thing with a spiral you can walk up, so I used that, and stuck a rocket on it. In place of the real park’s water feature we have a basketball court:



A large chunk of this episode was set in “Old Phoenix” — a sort of fallen civilization featuring the once great Phoenix Sun’s star players. I had literally just gotten back from a trip to the Grand Canyon, and brought home a lot of great photo reference and was even able to use textures from a few of my shots. I think God-like Steve Nash is my favorite.





The episode:


This one is from a little Playoffs teaser we made based on the Game of Thrones Season 6 Hall of Faces teaser:



Here’s the episode:

Most recently we did a bonus scene featuring the aftermath of the Warriors vs. Cavs showdown:



Here’s the episode. I also animated the Cavs flag in the scene with the broken basketball goal.



Background Art from Game of Zones: The Purple Retirement

Recently I did background art for Bleacher Report’s Game of Zones: The Purple Retirement.

Here are a few of my favorites!



Basketball at the Y

I’m thrilled that I finally got permission to share this fun little 30″ spot I animated for the YMCA last year! I worked with Hannah Churn from The Duke & the Duck, who created these charming character designs and the overall art direction.


The layouts and backgrounds were especially fun, and several of the scenes afforded me interesting opportunities, such as this half-banana pan:


And this scene with the animated floor:



We had three weeks to get this done from absolute scratch, so puppets were going to be crucial. I built one rig in Toon Boom Harmony, and used color overrides and swappable heads to quickly turn that rig into three characters. I’ve been getting some requests for rigging tutorials lately, so I think I might make a video showing how I did it. Overall they were pretty simple rigs, so I think they’d make a good tutorial.

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 11.38.25 AM.png



%d bloggers like this: