My latest creation, the African Queen Jungle Cruise Inspired Boat!

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The African Queen is finally alive after spending a few months developing it. Well actually, It was originally planned as a whole Jungle Cruise scene with the boat in the river. After spending a few weeks playing with different designs, it dawned on me that the real jewel of that ride isn’t any of the scenes you experience but actually the ride vehicle itself. This propelled me to pause the scene design and put my focus on the boat itself.

Every time I visit Disneyland, I always stop into the shops to check out if there’s any new “high end” merchandise for that attraction and I’m always left disappointed. I think they should have nice collectibles of every attraction vehicle.

These are the machines that float us into lands of excitement and wonder kind of like the scene in Willy Wonka where they go on the boat ride or the Wonka mobile. If the journey is the destination, then these attraction vehicles are the transformative and memorable catalysts that keep propelling us forward. Every time we take ride into these attractions, we go with those close to us such as friends, lovers, and family. We’re all experiencing the same thing in a small enclosed vessel. Even with strangers, it’s fun and memorable.

So this is why I developed the African Queen, simply because I wanted one and now you can have one as well.

Now onto the next project!

-Jacob

Haunted Mansion Now Available

550B4777This is the Disneyland Haunted Mansion inspired product that I developed this past November. It’s now available over at VINYLSMACK.com Each MULTIPLANES measure roughly 5” x 7” x 2.75” and is packed with super intricate laser cut graphics. I love the immersive nature of this art form that I’m pursuing. It truly is the next best thing to actually being there in person. One day I imagine that I’ll get these outsourced but for the time being, I design, produce and assemble all of these by hand; even down to the hand painted rails. Happy Haunts are now available!

Available at: vinylsmack.com

MULTIPLANES have taken flight

 

It’s been a long minute since I last posted here. Let me bring you up to speed…

Papercraft Time Travel Kit - Car 3 SetFor the last couple of years, I’ve been developing a new product line called MULTIPLANES that I sell through VINYLSMACK; my side excursion. Originally most product I sold through VINYLSMACK were vinyl decals. I eventually started moving to paper made die-cut products like the set of Back to The Future Deloreans (pictured left). After exploring the possibility of mixing different materials on one product, I reached back to an old product idea I had created about 10 years ago that featured multilayer art that was spread across multiple frames just like they did with the early animation with the Multiplane cameras. My early attempts failed because I was using clear transparency sheets to layer the art. After a few layers, the art would get murky/cloudy and wasn’t clean so I eventually ditched the idea.

 

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Fast forward to 2016, I brought the idea back to life after I invested in a laser cutting machine. After the first proof of concept (shown above) and several prototypes, I was able to bring my original vision to life by creating three dimensional scenes out of paper, wood, acrylic, and full color printed elements (shown below).

Taken-Exploded3I also created a system where multiple frames quickly get inserted into a slotted base which makes setting up the product easy. It also let’s the user take part in “building” the product. Part of the fun is seeing a three dimensional scene come to life.

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Series1. For the first release of the product, I wanted to have 5 products to choose from that were all related in some way. I ended up choosing the Paranormal/Cryptozoology genre for Series 1. I love the genre and tales that come from them. I often listen to podcasts like Mysteryous Universe, Expanded Perspectives, and The Gralien Report which not only feature these type of stories but present them in an engaging way.  I love the creepy tales about the Men in Black, Yeti, and Kraken so I started off with those. I also brought in my brother to work on the UFO scene called “TAKEN.” I also created a fictional character called the Oddity which features a “freak show” type of character that sits in a traveling carriage that gets hauled by a flying bird. For that one, I just let my imagination run wild.

 

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The goal for every MULTIPLANE early in the development and going forward is for there to be this feeling like your looking into a scene that is unfolding. I wanted them to feel very alive and packed with motion, emotion, drama, intensity, and life. Every MULTIPLANE also has a central character or object that pulls viewer in visually. You really have to see one of them in person to appreciate the depth and level of detail that each one has. I also designed them to be perfect for keeping on your desk or a shelf so they don’t take up too much space.

MULTIPLANES Series 1, World of Mystery,” has been out for over a year now and I’m now starting to design a 2nd series that explores the lofty heights that transportation reached before the modern era. From electric trains that sprawled early Los Angeles, to taking command of the skies, Series 2 showcases mankind’s vision for the future of transportation.

You can buy one today at: vinylsmack.com

Introducing “The Flux Emancipator” decal by VINYLSMACK

 

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I just started up a new small business called VINYLSMACK®. My goal is to design some high end decals that have depth or complexity to them. Think multiple layers, colors, and materials. My 1st release is inspired by one of my favorite movies of all time, Back to The Future. I’m taking advantage of the glowing apple on Apple laptops. After several versions and shopping for different materials, I nailed the look and feel I was going for on the final product. It features over 5 layers, transparent film and a clear polyester window to give it a glass effect like the real box. Once I figure out how to activate the time circuits and make it transport me to another time, you’ll probably find me in the 1940’s; it’s a nice round number.

Now available at: vinylsmack.com.
Thanks for the support. Your my density!

Flux Capacitor - VINYLSMACK

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Flux Emancipator on Outdoor Table - Dark

Thoughts on Animation

“Animators are really actors and actresses with pencils. Their stage is a blank piece of paper, and their performance must not only make a character move, but also bring that character to life.”

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I came across this quote recently and was reminded of why I love animation so much and in particular, the animation that came out of the Disney Animation Studio. It’s taken from a general information document on applying to be a Disney animator. If you’ve ever seen animators sketch or illustrate, you know that they’ve achieved an acute level of control in their craft. It really is an amazing thing to witness. They are very precise and are able to convey movement, expressions and enough detail with simple line work. As the predominant character motion is locked in, the animator’s drawings get further refined.

film2Whenever I think about traditional hand-drawn animation, I marvel at the work involved and the inception of the craft. Walt Disney and his animators were creating something amazing. They were spearheading a new frontier in the world of film which itself was still new. Mickey Mouse was introduced in 1928, just over a decade since the birth of the film industry in California. The films that would follow would set a new benchmark that other companies would never match. They were the masters of animation. I read somewhere that over 300,000 drawings were used for Pinocchio. For every second of film that passes, 24 drawings have elapsed on screen. This includes the drawings and paintings of the characters and the background paintings. When you stop to think about this, it really is astounding.

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The great artists, sculptors, and architects from the Gothic, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque traditions had their time in the sun and left the world masterpieces to be revered for thousands of years. With animation though, something new was born. For the first time ever, a select group of artists began to develop something the world had never seen; living drawings. Through the guiding hand of Walt Disney and his core animators, the “9 old men,” the world witnessed still drawings come to life. This was their craft and they developed it to lofty heights.

Animation was done so skillfully that in real time, you couldn’t even see the inner workings that made these drawings come to life. On screen, characters convey movement, emotion, comedy, and drama. Because they were only limited to their imagination and the skills attained over the years, they were also able to make these characters defy the laws of physics and used this to deliver comedic gags and give human-like qualities to animals. Remember, 24 drawings for every second. The High Renaissance of the 1500’s in Italy might have had the “Masters” but for about 50 years in the 20th century, we had Walt Disney and the 9 old men of Burbank, California.

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