Welcome to my portfolio

January 26, 2010

Here I show and talk a bit about each project I’ve worked on and thought worth showing.

Check out these categories for different kinds of projects:

Games …………… Film and Video……………Illustration

If you want to know more about me, check out the About Me page.

Thank you for your time!

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O Homem Que Não Era Francês (The Man Who Wasn’t French, 2007)

January 26, 2010

Short Film (16 min), Digital

Positions: Writer, Director, Animator

Watch it here


My conclusion project for Film School. It’s a nonsense comedy as a practical application of the concepts I studied in a paper on farse and Monty Python.

This project was challenging from beginning to end. The screenplay was a nonsensical farse, and yet it had to make sense in itself. Directing comedy is, as I learned, something extremely difficult and full of subtleties. But the post-production process was especially difficult.

The initial idea was to do the entire film in live action, using some kind of puppet for the head of the main character. But constructing the moose head would be too expensive and I didn’t think I could achieve the acting I wanted from it. So I decided to go with CG, something I was already comfortable with, although I knew it would be a tough challenge.

I did all the texturing, rigging, animation and most of the FX composing. There was no motion capture system involved, it was all done by hand.

This project taught me a lot about writing, directing and special effects, and specially about facial animation.

I also designed the poster on the top.

Tori (2006)

January 26, 2010

Short Film (16 min), 35 mm

Positions: Co-Writer, Art Director

Tori tells the story of a Japanese immigrant family in Brazil through the eyes of an eight-year-old girl, based on a true story.

I participated in the screenwriting along with the directors Quelany Vicente and Andrea Simão.

This Screenplay was awarded Best Short Film Screenplay in the Vitória Cine e Vídeo 2007 Festival.

As the art director, I made sure the vision of the directors translated through the sets and objects.

The overall style for the art of Tori is heavily inspired by Japanese medieval art, using neutral earthy tones as a base (for walls indoors, for example) contrasting with a few very dark black details, as if imitating sumi-e strokes. All this dressed with subtle tones of pink an green and a few bright reds and blues.

Example of japanese medieval painting

Some images from Tori:

Tori won several awards in Brazil, including Best Short Film in Curta Cinema Short Films International Festival in Rio de Janeiro in 2007, one of the most renowned short film festivals in the world.

I also designed the poster for the film:

Night Life (working title, to be released)

January 24, 2010

PC Downloadable

Position: Game Concept Author, Game Designer

Download the Demo

Early concept art

Early concept art

Night Life is a casual tycoon-style game that lets you manage night clubs.

This project was one of the 10 winners of the BRGames 2009, an important Brazilian games award that aimed to sponsor the production of a demo to be concluded in late january 2010.

I Feel Like Dancing (working title, to be released)

January 20, 2010

Nintendo DS

Position: Art Director, Writer, Background Artist

This was the 3rd game by Overplay for the Nintendo DS. It’s a rhythm game directed to tween girls.

The main character, a very shy girl who dances hiding in her bedroom, is taken in a dance competition around the world by her aunt, who’d been a great dancer in the past too.

I directed a team of three artists in this project.

The look was inspired by 60s and 70s cartoons like The Pink Panther and the original Alvin and the Chimpmunks TV series. They were very vibrant and had a genuinely funny look.

Designing the character, I tried to emphasize body expression. I made her skinny (kid skinny, not fashion model skinny), with long arms and legs and big hands and feet, so the poses and moves would be very expressive and read well.

The writing followed the same philosophy. I tried to give the character a more real child/tween unpretentious attitude, so the player could actually relate to the story. I also tried to focus dancing as something fun that could take you to new places and people.

This project presented a lot of new challenges. One example is the character customization: the player had to be able to change the look of the character’s body AND clothes. A lot of work went into thinking up a system that would allow that and still have the character look good (in any combination of choices the player might make). Another great challenge was that it was my first Nintendo DS game, and there was a lot of technical limits and specifics to deal with. But I love that kind of thing, I think it actually makes you come up with more creative and interesting solutions.

Characters initial concept art:

Background concept art:

And here’s the result ingame:

Avalon (2009)

January 20, 2010

PC Downloadable

Position: Writer, Art Director, Cutscene Director/Animator, Level Designer


Hotsite

Download the Trial

Avalon is a casual strategy game about a magical island from where fairies come from. As the story goes, fairies left the island of Avalon a long time ago to come to the “real plane”. Without them, Avalon slowly lost its magic, and the four guardians of the elements (earth, air, water and fire) separeted themselves and fell into a deep sleep. As the fairy queen, you finally manage to lead the fairies back to Avalon, and now need to find each of the four guardians and awake them so they can meet again in the Pantheon at the center of the island to restore its magic.

Each stage is themed around an element. In each one you must do some tasks in order to find and wake the guardian asleep there.

In Avalon I worked along with one more Art Director. He worked on the pre-production phase and did most of the creation and concept design work. I worked on the production itself, and it involved not only managing a team of five artists and making sure the look of the game was tight and followed the concepts, but also interpreting those concepts and coming up with solutions to make the look work ingame.

We wanted a magical, immersive feel for the game, to transport the player into an enchanting new world. And all this in 2d levels in which you see the fairies and the environment sideways, not top-down as most strategy games. We chose this view because we felt that the top-down view would feel too earthbound. We were trying to transmit the freedom and etherealness of the fairy world, and a side view could show the depth of the scenery and the freedom of the fairies’ vertical movement.

To give a more immersive sense of space and depth, the scenery was composed in four layers: two background layers, the gameplay layer itself, and a foreground layer. These layers scrolled in different speeds for a parallax effect. The palettes of each layer helped create the feeling of a deep, mystical place.

I also designed some of the screens from scratch, like the Main Menu, the Island Map and the Pantheon, and redesigned one of the minigames, since the original design wasn’t working well.

Main Menu

The Island Map

The Pantheon
Choir Minigame

Directing and animating the cutscenes, I tried to maintain the magical feel of the game, adding some epic grandious feeling to each of them, since they represent the conclusion of each level. I also tried to keep them simple and brief to fit our budget and also not to interfere a lot with the pacing of the game. The intro and end cutscenes were a little longer and had some text, but kept the simple yet engaging style of the others.

Cutscene for the first level

I got to do some level design in this project. We ran into some problems with the original level design for the last two levels. As the original game designer of the game was already occupied with another project, another game designer and myself had to redesign those levels. I redesigned the fire level (the final one) as a whole and part of the water level.

scene from the water level

Scene from the fire level

Winemaker Extraordinaire(2009)

January 20, 2010

PC Downloadable

Position: Writer, Art Director, Cutscene Director/Animator.

Hotsite

Download the Trial

Winemaker Extraordinaire is a casual strategy games similar to the Chocolatier series.

You play as Maria Bellaventura, a successful business woman who finds herself unfulfilled with her job and grieving her recently deceased grandfather. She then receives a posthumous letter from him, asking her to take care of the family winery in Tuscany. She gladly honors the request.

You must manage supplies, make wine (through three different minigames), sell your productions and fulfill requests from the members of the winemakers’ guide.

Enology is a very interesting and deep theme. It makes you think not only of wine itself, but about travel, tradition, nostalgia, and many other feelings associated with wine. All of this was brought to the table when writing and directing for this game.

In this project I worked along with another Art Director, as I would once more in Avalon. He worked specially in creation and concept art, and I was more focused in the production, directing a team of five artists, but also had a lot of influence over the original ideas for the look and feel of the game.

From the start we knew we wanted a look that inspired nostalgia and tradition. For the interface, we went for an aged wooden look with old looking art-deco paper labels on them, the sort of thing we imagined as what an old wine crate should look like.

The scenery was an interesting challenge. In the game you can travel to several cities around the world to meet guild members, buy different supplies and sell you wines. Each city is represented by a vista. The other Art Director had the idea of making them look like oil paintings. But actually painting each one would take too long and we didn’t have that kind of time. We decided to use 3d models for the buildings. Since they would be more or less the same in every town (a Cellar, a Supplier, a Guild House and a Winery), we could use the same models in different positions. So I created a shader that imitated a hand painted look, and the team had to actually paint only the environment. It saved a lot of time and ended up giving the scenery a detailed, yet hand made look in not so much time.

For other screens, such as the winery and supplier, we tried to maintain the nostalgic, bucolic feel.

The map is something I’m specially happy about. Since the beginning of the project I thought Travel was an important part of the game as it relates to the idea that each wine lets you taste the places it came from. And I think the Map Screen really translates that romantic feel of travelling and knowing different places through the richness of colors and shapes of the seals and the feel of the purple-stained aged paper.

The minigames were very important. Each one of the three represented a part of making wine, and it was very important that they carried the romantic feeling of the process.

Planting minigame

Selecting grapes minigame

Combining grapes minigame

Writing the story for Winemaker was an exercise in exploring new territories. The target demographics for this game was a casual audience comprised mostly by women from 30 to 50. So I tried to create something very romantic, delicate and emotional. I even allowed myself to push this a little in the direction of corny, because I thought it would fit the theme, and I still think it works.

I also wrote, directed and animated the cutscenes. They also followed this melodramatic style. I used simple animation with text to fit the technical and budget limitations, but I think it turned out elegant.

Cutscene storyboard

Opening cutscene

Opening cutscene

Operation Cosmos (2009)

January 20, 2010

PC

Positions: Writer, Cutscenes Director/Animator/Compositor/Editor, Artist


Hotsite

Operation Cosmos (Operação Cosmos) is an edutainment click-and-point adventure title. You play the role of Eco Luz, a young space cadet who finds himself wrapped up in a crisis involving some ancient alien artifacts and an evil interplanetary corporation.

When I joined the art team, the project was already about one year in. There was a short demo version and a few Flash cutscenes, but it was all very crude and they wanted to polish the whole concept for the final game. My first task in the project was as a writer. I had the chance to suggest changes to the overall story arch, which was still very crude at the time, and  many of them ended up in the final product. I also wrote much of the dialogs and interactions. As a writer, I think I managed to help streamlining the story and adding some more charisma to the characters.

In the art department, one of the things I suggested was making the cutscenes in 3D. The Flash animation process seemed to me very slow and didn’t quite achieve the feeling the client was after. The client agreed and we started production. I directed, composed and edited all of the cutscenes, and did most of the facial animation (something I had practiced extensively in my short film The Man Who Wasn’t French).

I also got to redesign some of the characters and objects – like Eco himself (just small changes and a new more detailed version for the cutscenes), and his ship, the PanAço – and design some characters and scenes from scratch.

Concept for Eco Luz. Experimenting with a different style, that didn’t take off. The minor suit design changes, on the other hand, ended up in the final game

Character concept for Bronzius

Early design for the PanAço ship, by the game's art director, Olavo Ekman.

Concepts for a new PanAço, by me. The colored one ended up in the final game.

Karate Monkey (2007)

January 18, 2010

Browser / iPhone

Position: Artist

Flash version (try it)

iPhone version Hotsite

In this project I was responsible for all the artwork, from character creation to interface design, including input to the game design itself.

This was the first game in wich I worked extensively with Flash.

I chose to do full frame-by-frame animation instead of tween animation because I didn’t feel totally comfortable with flash’s animation system yet. Besides, I thought the Monkey’s moves would be funnier if they were really organic and complex. Tween animation would’ve felt too mechanic and stiff, not monkey-like at all.

Some of the monkey’s moves were based on the youtube video that was the initial inspiration for the game.

The iPhone port (2009) had to have some frames cut off. It didn’t ruin the feel of the animation, I still think it’s funny (and the gameplay is waaaay better), but it looks a bit better on the pc.