Friday, August 5, 2011

Episode 4.003: TMNT Shinobi Mode

Yay. Found time to blog! Straight after the heels of doin the Guardian mode stuff, I went on to draw the Guardian outfits in stealth mode. When sneaking around in Virtual reality, the turtles would transform the Guardian mode outfits into these duds. It was never discussed if there were any new abilities related to this mode but I knew if I could design the look early, it would eventually written in an episode. I did not hesitate to redesign new weapons for this mode. Just an excuse to introduce new gimmicks on my part!

Leo's sketch had the only visual reference to the free floating "nodes" of Guardian mode. It's the glowing thing on his cross band. All the turtles were to wear a node on their stealth outfit at some point but only Leo's got the "experimental" alternate color.

Don was actually my first sketch for stealth mode. I remember cause he is the only one with a relaxed left hand pose! I gave Don a "Techie" mouth guard design.

I remember a gimmick I designed involving Raph's Sai and a grapling device on his arm guards. I no longer have the design but I think it was reused in a later episode of Back to the sewers. If you look at the sai an extra blade is prominently shown with the same color as the main blade

I got lazy with Mikey's Chucks. I defaulted to an earlier design I used in the TMNT Fast Forward season. I figured I'd think of something cooler later. I did redesign a totally new "holster" for Mikey's chucks.

I tagged each design with the "Shinobi" designation just to have a new mode for Guardian mode. To my knowledge these designs were never really utilised for use by the turtles. Production drew inspiration from Leo's Shinobi Design when they did a Foot clan stealth design for Back to the sewers.

Again, the colors on these came out real cool!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Episode 4.002: TMNT Guardian mode.

Back in early 2007 we got the news of a renewed season of TMNT after the Fast Forward story arcs. Usually before a new season, plots and storyline breakdowns are fleshed out enough to go on definative designs. Our new season only had a few experimental story elements to work from. Head of Character design, Adrian Barrios had already made mock ups for the 4 turtles so our producer Loyd Goldfine needed alternate designs for the 4 turtles to travel through different worlds, via the Virtual word. This would be the initial premise for TMNT: Back to the Sewers. Armed with that I was asked to go crazy with any costume concepts good for virtual reality. Loyd told me to experiment with ideas like "Stealth" type gear and video game enviornments. So I came up with Generic "Avatar" outfits for the Turtles: The following designs show my initial sketches. I gave them looks remeniscent of their Fast Forward Gear with added tid bits like Floating Virtual reality nodes floating around their bodies. These nodes would help them fight, form alternate costumes and form vehicals for them in Virtual reality. I named the standard mode outfit, Guardian mode cause it sounded cool.
Leonardo had full schematics on how his swords worked but the sketch has long been lost. (My desk was a mess at work.) I designed the virtual reality nodes to actually project multiple sword images when he fought in Virtual reality.

Raph's Sais were designed to trap bladed weapons. Also he could thrust them into the nodes around him so they could attack from every angle.

I armed Mikey with a virtual reality Particle Shield remeniscent of his Turtle Titan design. The Nunchucks I never fully finished but if you look closely you can see the sketches on the right. I actually got to explain breifly what the chucks could do in a storyboard for Back to the sewers.
In Virtual Reality Mikey actually swung his nunchucks with computer coding that formed his attacks. In the episode I worked on, I had Mikey create a barrier to stave off one of Virtual Shredder's attacks and created a Tornado like attack.

Don's staff I picured doing a lot of stuff. Most of this stuff was showcased in the same episode in the above Mikey one I mentioned. I cannot for the love me can remember the title of the episode. UGH!
These were sketches that were in my workspace and were completly forgotten after I had to do some Chaotic card art. After I was hospitalised and not around for final production, these Drawings were pulled from my desk, made damn cool by our Colorists Emilio and Jimmy and became the basis for the "Virtual" turtles in Back to the Sewers. Like I said.....Damn Lucky. And damn lucky they were even considered. :)

Episode 4.001: "All Good Things..."

Posts tend to be far and few nowadays since my last project. Although I have not abandoned my "Thank You" project, It's getting much harder to organise my recent digital drawings on my now new desk top. Hopefully with a new scanner and more room to place all my media stuff in one place things will be more consistant. Also, after much consideration, nostalgia hit me square in the face about my last time I was employed to 4 Kids Entertainment. After cleaning my hard drive and transferring files I stumbled upon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle designs, both recent and new, that took me back to a time I really loved being in animation. Contrary to what anyone says about 4 Kids as a company, I never saw it in that vain. It was the people in that company that I loved most. Everyone whom I worked with there is still very close to me and I hope in some way the feeling is mutual for them as well. Especially with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle crew. Unlike any other show 4 Kids produced, Turtles was different. To my knowledge, TMNT was the first show produced by 4 kids to be done completely in -house. 4-Kids would completely staff the entire show post production. I joined late 2002, almost in it's inception, so I was very lucky to grow with the show since the beginning. It was one the most Greatest experiences of my life.....

My first stint on TMNT was doing storyboards freelance but later I was invited to join the staff full time to revise storyboards. My time on the show allowed me to expand in other areas I never dreamed I would do. New experiences were presented to me every year for 7 seasons. Each new endeavor brought both fullfilling and refreshingly new facets to my artistic experience. With TMNT ending in late 2009, I'd like to show the fruits of my labors.

Every now and then, production let me dabble in design. I tend to love all my designs but I try not get too attached to certain ones that do not get picked for approval. Deep down though, I love the designs that do not get approved. It's these designs that I feel I did with as little compromise as could be possible on such a popular franchise.

Ironically some of these designs ended up being final. I call it Luck. But I'll always see these designs as the results of a man given the chance to be a kid again. Initial brainstorming is always a lot of fun and for most of these (Hell, all of these) , I was pretty much left to my own devices. The next couple of scattered posts will showcase the designs I was able to salvage from 4-Kids before the TMNT studio in NYC closed shop. There are more files out there, but I fortunatly got my hands on these which I can talk about in the next couple of posts. I hope people will get a kick out of these as much as I did.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Episode 3: "Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. "

Welcome to another installment to my Blog project. This week's title is based on an Oscar Wilde quote about color. I've been thanking artists and friends who worked on making the Nebres card for the Chaotic Card Game by drawing cards based on each of their names. Coincidentally I honor two Colorists in this episode: *Be sure to check out their blogs on my 'The Good' list located on my sidebar*

Emilio Lopez is one of the best colorists I know. Emilio colors my measly designs and has made my drawings look much better on more than one occasion. I based his character loosely on the chinese folk character Songoku which was Emilio's costume last Halloween. Emilio was born in the Year of the Monkey so that worked out nicely that I made the Lopez a monkey like character. (I know a lot of people that were born in the year of the Monkey.) The Lopez has the most re-works I've done cause I just wasn't happy with earlier sketches. I think I felt that the Lopez looked too much like every Songoku drawing out there. so I made the Lopez multi faced and multi limbed so he can fight multiple opponents all around him. Note also I used a design Emilio created for his E-mann avatar. The design is a really cool Death's Head graphic. I stamped it on the face mask and tip of the staff.

If Jimmy Tran's charm doesn't win you over there is something definitely wrong with you. Along with being a great Animation Colorist, Jimmy is also a really good Break Dancer. The Tran design is based on the premise of a Perim fighter implemeting break dance moves in his fighting style. The look of the Tran is inspired by Jimmy's character on the Nebres card. The idea is these guys are a group of Assassins and Tran was one of them. Going Rogue, Tran left the order and fights for his own reasons now.

That's it for now. Thank you to two great guys who with their knowledge of color, has made my drawings look REALLY professional and at the least, tolerable time and time again. :)

Chaotic © 4 Kids Entertainment and TC Digital

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Episode 2: An ounce of blood is worth more than a tonnage of friendship.

About the title of Episode 2: It's based on an old spanish proverb. There are times I don't agree with that proverb. But leave it to family to rack me with guilt about not thanking my Brother with a drawing. If you read earlier posts I've been honoring all the artists that worked on making the 'Nebres' card. I drew all cards pertaining to People who directly worked on the card and was gonna post them first. Then I was gonna post the cards named after the people who were indirectly involved with the card (but are important to it's creation none the less). I will rectify that now with this emergency post with my brother's card:

Nebres M

My brother is Melvin T. Nebres and although I sketched the concept of the character and card layout, I did not do a cleanup of the image. So this is a bit rushed. It was awkward to have 2 cards named 'Nebres' so I thought of the concept that the name 'Nebres' is actually a title or mantle for different characters. So Mel's character is a Monkey in an outfit similar to the Pig Nebres also fighting in the perim arena like the first Nebres card. The Name 'Nebres M' stands for Monkey (or Mel). That fit well with the chinese sign motiff cause Mel was born in the year of the Monkey. So in the "Ed Land" version of Chaotic, there are 2 Nebres Cards. Besides it gave me an excuse to draw my interpretation of the Nebres Card without ruining the original design which I Love.

Chaotic © 4 Kids Entertainment and TC Digital

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Episode 1: "From Utter Hell, to Unbeleivable Surprise, to Humble Thanks."

Couple things first, here's little tidbit about the title of my Blog: If you Google the name Nebres you get a gazzillion pages on Rudy Nebres, one of the greatest Comic illustrators out there. You might think I'm saying that cause he's my Father but he really is a Great artist and innovator in the Comics industry. I mean, he's the sole reason for me NOT pursuing a job in the Comic book industry in fear that he would be my competition.
He's THAT good.
Further along in Googling Nebres you'll get pages about a priest named Bienvenido F. Nebres who I may or may not be related to. About five pages into the search I might show up if I'm lucky.
I'm the other Nebres. :)
Only recently did certain events brought about the existance of another *Nebres* showing up in Google. Late 2007 I suffered a stroke. To my surprise, My friends from the Chaotic design staff at 4Kids greeted me when I woke up with a get well card. Imagine my shock when said Card was an actual mock up of a playable Chaotic card named after me. Everyone involved with the card presented me the card at the hospital. I can't spin a good yarn to save my life so I encourage you to go *here* and *here* for 2 really good reliable sources about the story.
So during my recovery, I'm thinking to myself, how do you thank anyone for something like that? I was truly honored they did that for me and mere handshakes and hugs was not proper thanks for what those guys did for me. So for my drawing therapy I chose to thank the fellas the best way I knew how, I'll Draw them as character cards in the world of Chaotic. Why should I be the only one. So I did just that. I did my little project like I would normally do for any card design commission, I drew B/W designs of Chaotic characters with my Friend's names. These drawings are what I would normally hand to a colorist prior to color. I dare NOT insult all the colorists by trying to color this stuff and I dare NOT insult Sam with an attempt at flavor Text. I am miserable at Color and Writing. I am not writing my wild ideas about the character backgrounds because they all involve game-breaking nonsense so I'll leave that up to the Game Gurus. Those who know me personally know that I'm insanely detailed about background stories for every aspect of my designs. I will not do that here. My friends know I do not like showing my stuff. I have no website and no concrete available "Portfolio" of my stuff. But thanking my buddies is long overdue so I succumbed to making a Blog with some of my work on it. So this Blog will showcase the work I did to thank the guys. Maybe I'll update it from time to time with other drawings but this is more important. So I present to you all, my ideas for my Friends as Chaotic characters. I'm gonna do this in parts instead of presenting all the drawings in one whole complete post. That will give me enough time to thank EVERYONE with a design just in case I missed someone. I truly want to thank everyone involved with the making of the card. Here is the first group of characters and a short description of who they're named after. There are also random tidbits about each character here and there. These are in no particular order.
These are NOT real cards (I wish they were though)...These are only ideas from my imagination!


Arthur "Sam Shady" Murakami is one of the most smartest people I know. In fact if something were to mysteriously happen to me, I know he would be the first one to figure it out. Sam is one of the guys that was in the earlier stages of development for Chaotic. The guy practically reinvisioned the game. So naturally I see him as the Master of Chaotic, bar none. I never want to play him in this game. Fortunately the only chance to duel each other was dashed by certain circumstances during production. These unfortunate events prevented me from playtesting Chaotic with him, but that's another Blog entry all together. Other than the Creator of Chaotic, Martin Rauff, Sam is the only one I consider as the true visionary responsible for the Chaotic game mechanics today. So when I think Chaotic , I think Sam. Sam likes Penguins. So I didn't bother to go researching his Chinese sign. A Kick-ass Penguin in Mugic Armor is much better a design to represent him.

Adrian Barrios is Lead Character Designer for TMNT and one of the guys I worked with in 4Kids the longest. Adrian is one of the most versatile Artists I know. The kid is a damn Prodigy. He can adapt to any drawing style, which is important for character design when every production changes according to the Art Director. Adrian loves Pirates so Barrios is modeled after a Pirate. Adrian was born in the year of the Monkey so I modeled barrios after a weird, mixed Spider Monkey design. The right arm claws was a reference for Adrian's favorite X-Men character Wolverine. The left-handed Sabre has a complex presentation FX which if this was a real commission, I would discuss with the colorist about fx suggestions so the sword mechanic would show better in the final image.

Chris Beaumont and I were born on the same day. We are in many ways alike. We love the same Toys, We love the same video games, We both love Lego. Chris designs and makes Cubeecraft, free hand made toys over the internet. I respect any person who can make their own toys. So I wanted to intigrate the Cubee toy in the character design. I liked the idea of a water elemental trapped in a toy but the water elemental design was too similar to Chris' Imparu design. So The Beaumont elemental is a amalgum of all the elements. The character can be summoned from the Cubee toy. The Beaumont was inteded to be a weapon card used by anyone but I like the idea that he's his own seperate living entity.

I met Andy Bradshaw right after he stayed on with us at 4Kids doing TMNT props. He came straight out of toy design from a toy company called Art Asylum. His designs are off the hook. We both love Star Wars. I love all things Jedi and Andy digs The Sith. We hit it off anyhows. So I designed Bradshaw with sith-like elements in it like Darth Maul's Tattoos. The idea was to make Bradshaw a crackshot hunter with a double energy bladed composite bow. This is another example where I would talk to the colorist about using color to enhance the mechanics of the bow.

Keith Conroy is one of the best Background designers I know. His backgrounds deserve to be in the movies let alone in a half hour Kid's show. Keith is also one of the only background artists I know that truly understands Layout from Script to Storyboard, a notion I feel is essentail to the making of any animation series. That being said I wanted to originally honor his name with a Background. But I suck at Backgrounds. Conroy's head is loosely based on a chinese Foo dog design because Keith's Chinese sign is Dog. Note also the little fella standing with Conroy based on an avatar that Keith created called Irondog.


Khary Randolph is one of the best Draftsman in the illustration business I know. Chaotic was truly privelaged to get him on board in the earliest stages of Chaotic card development. Khary is responsible for designing the majority of the earlier Chaotic characters. I feel he and some of the early artists like Adrian, set the "Look" for all the chaotic characters. That style is strictly adhered to by other artists (including me) who designed characters later on. That set the bar for Chaotic's art direction that's still followed to this day. Khary made the look of Chaotic DAMN cool. He designed Maxxor and Chaor, two of my favorite drawings, so I designed the Randolph Character to be a fusion of the famous Overworlder and Underworlder. I wanted him to look Bad-Ass like a character called Brolly from the Anime Dragon Ball Z.

That's it for now. I don't want to post too much. If you feel like you were left out YOU WERE NOT. I did a card for everyone listed on Emilio's blog entry including a few others . Hell, I'll thank a bird if they pooped on the card during it's creation.

Till next time :)

Chaotic © 4 Kids Entertainment and TC Digital