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.