Monday, November 19, 2012

Sundown Drive

Had a great weekend at the CTN Expo.  Today wrapped up with a beautiful sunset.  Here's a quick sketch before bed.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

New Chapter

I'm excited to share that as of last month I am hereby a Story Trainee at Walt Disney Animation Studios.
This is most sincerely a dream come true.  I can still hardly believe it.
It's been just amazing so far.  The other trainees are incredibly talented and inspiring and every day is just as exciting as the last.  
So begins a BIG new chapter in my life.  

Friday, September 28, 2012

Scooby Doodles

Here's a couple of doodles from this month.  I've never tried drawing the Scooby gang before. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hansel and Gretel - Witch

This is old, but I picked it up again recently and added some finishing touches.
This is the witch from my Hansel and Gretel project I did for Lisa Keene's visual development class at Cal Arts.  She is disguised as a wealthy widow in an extravagant mansion made of gold, rather than a house of candy.  I set the story in the 1930's during the dustbowl.  Hansel and Gretel are poor farm kids that dream of the glamorous Hollywood lifestyle they've seen in films and advertising.  I imagine the witch descending the staircase to be captivating- a perfect embodiment of the glitz and glamour the children dream of.  I tried to make the entryway glisten with gold yet feel hot like the inside of an oven.  Foreshadowing.
The witch is represented by the color green, representing money and agriculture- two things the children don't have.  With all of the crops dying, there is very little green to be seen.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Spelling Bee

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is one of my favorite musicals.
I love the characters in this show.  Child characters rarely feel like real kid personalities.  I think this show does a great job at making believable characters with real kid problems and concerns.  The characters aren't perfect and pretty.  They are awkward, tight wound, extremely unsure, or overly confident.  They try to fit a role, but don't always look it, which makes them wonderfully contrasting and interesting people.  I tried playing with some of the kids:  Marcy Park, Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, and William Barfee, 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mr. Porter

Coin Collect

It's officially summer for me!  I spent the day digging through old files.  This is one of my early explorations composing in Garage Band, using Magic 8 Bit plugin.
Just something inspired by the games I grew up with.  I'll animate something to go with this some day.

Producers Show Intro

The Producers Show is an anual screening of select films from the Character Animation program.  Many industry professionals are invited and it's quite a big reception.  This years show was at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.  
Traditionally, the senior class is entrusted with creating the intro for the show.  I've looked forward to helping out with this since I was a freshman.
These are some suggestions I did for the intro this year.  

A lot of the fourth and third year students contributed time and animation to get this done in just a few days.  Great job everybody!  Big thanks for Trevor Jones for doing all of the final compositing and making it all come together.  I got to design the characters and Trevor turned them into puppets in After Effects.  I also animated the story pitch shot!
Here's the final intro in all of its glory.    

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


DINER (Rough Cut) from Michael Herrera on Vimeo.
My fourth year film at Cal Arts.
This version is missing a few shots, has no sound track, and has a temp music track.
Final version to be uploaded in the coming weeks.
Thanks to all of my friends, family, and instructors.
The music used is "Blue Hawaii" from the "All-Star Hawaiian Band".

some mall sketches

A few observations sketches from last semester:

Sunday, May 13, 2012


I'm playing around with the sets for a play I haven't written yet.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Fantasyland 1964

I sat down to doodle in photoshop, just to relax, and unwind with no particular goal.  This is what happened...
I love all things vintage, especially vintage Disney.
As time goes on, aesthetics change, culture changes, and thus Disneyland grows and changes.   Disneyland acts as a sort of cultural weathervane.  Though the skeleton of the park remains the same, the ideas on the surface evolve and take new shapes as the audience grows and evolves.  The idea of Fantasyland is simple, but the look was certainly different in the 60's.  The publics perceptions and expectations grow, and today, Fantasyland looks completely different.  I still love the fresh and contemporary simplicity of the 50's and 60's Disneyland.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Pele sketch

I sketched this between poses in figure drawing class.  I was going to do a painting of her for our gallery show at school, but decided against it.  Perhaps some day.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

A princess

I tried to do some more realistic color on this one.  It's not in my nature, but it's good to practice I suppose.

And now... for something completely different

I've had traditional sculpting classes for a few years now.  I love to sculpt, and it's always very relaxing for me.  This semester, I've been taking a Z-Brush course.  I've never had a good experience with animating in CG, or modeling, but Z-Brush is so much fun.  It's so beautifully designed and you can pretty much work as fast as you can think.
Any who, here's a thing:

I'm not sure what it is but I don't think it's too friendly.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Space Girl - work in progress

pencil / photoshop
Trying to figure out a larger composition with her.  Just figuring out the color scheme.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Diner at the Center of the Earth

A diner at the center of the earth.  That's what I started with for my final student film, which I will share here soon.  It'll be a little while to do some color correction and prepare the video for internet upload.
So, I finished my film, and it'll be screening in the Open Show here at Cal Arts on Saturday the 28th of April.
I have some phenomenal mentors and friends here and I could not have gotten to the finish line without them.  I'm just starting to get used to the reality that I go to school here, and now it's time for me to graduate.
In the meantime, here's this test thing I made last month:

This was a pre-visualization test that done for my fourth year film at Cal Arts. I just sort of threw this together one evening to stretch my After Effects muscles.
There is an intentional retro goofiness going on here.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Morning Coffee

Had this drawing lying around.  Threw some color on it to relax after working all morning.  It's major crunch time right now.  It's also the most beautiful weather outside this time of year, yet my classmates and I must hide away and work on our films.  Every now and then we might come up for air, and see the sunrise like this little guy.  

Story Portfolio Online!

I've got a brand new story portfolio up on it's very own blog.
You can head over to:  to have a look.  

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Character Design Blog Interview

Well this is exciting.  The nice fella over at the character design blog interviewed me.  I'm so flattered to have been granted such an honor.  A big thank you to Randall Sly.  
Click here to take a look!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Diner Film Opening Titles

Started to composite some stuff in After Effects for the film...and then this happened...
Accidentally made these pretend opening titles. Just a bit of fun.
The music is from the Grim Fandango soundtrack, composed by Peter McConnel, and is owned by LucasArts. Not me.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Fourth year film

Here's a very obscure sneak peek at my fourth year film!  This is Ralph, and he works at a diner.  That's all I will say for now.  More tidbits coming soon.