Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Zombie Steve Preview

Jon here.  I'm pretty sure the next animation is going to be a message from Zombie Steve spoofing a conservative pundit.  I've been working hard on getting his head rigged, and figured I'd post a few pics!

Enjoy.  And subscribe to the Couch Zombies channel on YouTube to see all our videos as they go live!

I will likely tweak the hair a bit around the edges, but for the most part, it's ready to be animated!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

CZ O'Donnel Spoof

Jon here!

In my blog for my 3D Modeling thesis, Bodacious Creed, I show my work, every step of the way.

Well, Couch Zombies, on YouTube, I want to be the show and the non sequiturs, which are a sort of show in and of themselves.  That's why I took down all the behind the scenes videos when I posted Not a Lich, the first Couch Zombies Non Sequitur.  People might actually want to know a bit of what's happening behind the scenes though, so I figured, that'd be the kind of thing to put in the blog.

What, you haven't seen Not a Lich???  Well go see it and then come right back!  You'll love it!  Remember that crazy politician Christine O'Donnell and her Not a Witch ad?  This is a spoof on that, only O'Donnell's eye didn't pop out during her video.  Amateur.  No wonder she didn't get elected.

I'm working on the character design and rigging for the next Non Sequitur, this time starting Zombie Steve.  I have the 3D head models that I sculpted months ago, but now I'm improving them (as I did with Z Jan), making them a little more cartoony, a little more exaggerated.  Janet gave me some great direction in this for her character, and I'm applying the concepts to the rest.

So yeah, that's in the works!  Something else to look forward to.

Meanwhile, we hope you'll all subscribe to the Couch Zombies channel and enjoy what we have to offer!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sweet Video Preview!

Jon here.  So, that last blog post.  Yeah.  We weren't able to get that video out by Halloween.  To be fair, that was a really unrealistic expectation on my part.

BUT, it is coming out!

The actual Couch Zombies show has been put on hold.  NOT an indefinite hold, mind you, just a hold until we can get another animator or two.  The show will probably still be done in Flash.  The dialogue for several episodes has been recorded, and we're excited to bring those to you as soon as we can.

Meanwhile, we have another regular Couch Zombies feature ready to start going live very soon!  Couch Zombies Non Sequiturs will be on random things that the characters want to share.

And you're getting a brief sneak peek of the first!  It features Zombie Janet, or Z Jan as we sometimes call her, voicing a sincere plea to the zombie community.  That's all I'm going to say about it until we release it!

Here are some still frames to pique your interest!  (Images (c) 2010 Jonathan Fesmire & Couch Zombies)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Hey all!

We just might have something up by Halloween!  That's the plan, anyway.

So, subscribe the Couch Zombies channel on YouTube and stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why I am so Quiet

Steve here, the producer and lead writer for Couch Zombies.

Whenever I am rubbing elbows with Steven Spielberg, or having lunch with Chuck Norris, one question inevitably comes up"  "Why don't you write more blogs, or post some vlogs for Couch Zombies."

I always answer these high-powered individuals with a coy smile and say, "Well Steve..."  or Chuck, or Barack, or (fill in high powered first name here), "I just want the show to speak for itself."

With all of you, I want to be more real.  I am a simple person living a simple life.  I am married.  I have three kids. I have one dog. Three cats. Five fish. Four pairs of jeans - only one of which does not have holes in them.  I don't often wear shirts. I occasionally pick my nose.  Hey, it happens...

For all of you loyal followers of our blossoming content; for the down to earth, real people of this world; for the mostly honest workers and slightly more honest spouses of those honest workers; I will tell you the truth in three simple words.

I am lazy.

That is not to say I am not hard at work on this project.  Or to use fewer negatives...  I am hard at work on this project.  I don't say much here because I find the less I say about it, the better things turn out.  But I give my solemn oath on two things:

1) Couch Zombies is being worked on, and with diligence.
2) If I pick my nose, I will do my best to do it somewhere you cannot see.

Now, I must be off to catch a flight to Delaware to have a conversation with the former witch and anti-masturbationist republican nominee for the US Senate.  That should be a fun conversation.

Take care,


Friday, September 24, 2010

Zombie Jon's Latest Blog

I just wanted to state for the record that I, actual Jon, am seriously grossed out by Zombie Jon's "RILF" comment in his latest blog.  But then again, I'm not undead.

I mean, whatever goes on between consenting zombies is their business.  I'm all for zombie rights, and even if I am skived out by certain aspects of the zombie lifestyle, I fully support their right to live it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Jon & Steve's Apartment

Zombies Jon & Steve live in apparently a pretty normal apartment.

For Couch Zombies, we want to make sure the apartment, which will be the central setting of the series, to be consistent.  As such, Steve (the real life one, not the zombie) drew a map of the flat, and Jon (again, the living one) made a simple model of it and furnished it with various props he had in his 3D library.  There seemed little reason to model everything from scratch.  After all, this is a reference for Janet, who will recreate the settings in Flash.

There will be other furnishings as well.  The ones I (Jon) put in are to give the basic layout.  We're thinking of interesting pictures to have on the walls, and so on.

We also have this fun idea to have the zombies be fans of our other projects.  In real life, for instance, I'm working on my thesis, Bodacious Creed.  In their world, it will be a popular graphic novel and made into a movie.  They will probably watch the Adventures of Oakley and Bud, based on Janet's popular animation.  They'll listen to Tait and Sayaka's band, Noise Clinic.  Any projects Steve or Gerry are working on, the zombies will be fans of those, too.

If you're going to create a fictional world, you may as well be popular in it!

And, here's the apartment!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Full Zombie Bodies

Jon here!  Gerry finished these two drawings of Zombie Jon and Zombie Steve.  Now we have what their bodies look like, which obviously will be a great reference when Janet animates the show.  I've started doing full body 3d models of them, but as school has started and I'm busy with modeling for class, they will be fairly simple.  Still, they should be enough to help Janet visualize the characters from various angles.

Steve and I had a dinner meeting with Tait and Sayaka, the musical talent for Couch Zombies.  They've got some great ideas for adding feeling and ambiance to the show.

Also, Steve just finished the script for another episode, and Gerry is going to get to work on storyboards soon!  Things are definitely moving along!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Behind the Scenes

Hello my fellow zombie fans! Jon here.

We haven't posted a blog in a while, but a lot of behind the scenes work is happening on Couch Zombies!

Here's some of what we've been up to.

Tait Reed is now part of the team and will be doing the background music for the show. Tait is a member of Noise Clinic, a unique band in Santa Cruz that combines all sorts of sounds with their music. It's amazing stuff, so check out their page.

If business cards weighed a pound each, then we ordered a ton of business cards from Vista Print. Yes, kids, 2000 business cards! Vista Print had a very low priced deal I couldn't refuse, but some of the other folks on the project also chipped in. The design is simple: it has the four main characters, our URL, and "Please subscribe!" The backs are blank so that if we need to, we can give more information on an individual basis.

In fact, they look like this.

We all have other things we're working on.  The new semester started at Academy of Art University, so Janet and I have been busy with our classes.  We're both graduate students, and both working on a thesis.  If you're curious about mine, well, it also includes a zombie!  It's my Western/Steampunk/Horror story, Bodacious Creed, for which I'll be doing a number of movie quality models.  Click the link to learn more!

Gerry and his family just moved, and that has, of course, kept him very busy.  They're just about settled in now, so he should be producing more of the needed concept art soon.  Steve has been working on a film project or two.  He's still been doing a ton of work, from script writing to sound production, to helping plan our work flow.

So really, we haven't been slowed down much!  We expect the animation work to start soon, then post-production, then the release of our first episode!

It's our sincere hope to become a YouTube partnered channel, and you can help with that by subscribing to Couch Zombies.

As Zombie Jon would say, stay fresh, people!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

New Zombie Vlog

Looks like my counterpart, Zombie Jon, has posted a new vlog!  Very insightful.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Vlog

Here's the video of Jack!

And please, subscribe to us on YouTube!  We're working toward becoming YouTube partners, which will allow us to earn a little money from our videos (at no expense to the viewers!), and that will allow us to keep putting out new episodes!

Monday, August 30, 2010

It's Jack!

Jack has been dead since 1985.  He's a hoot around the apartment building.

I'll be posting a vlog about Jack soon on the Couch Zombies channel!

What's Going On

Yes, lots is still going on behind the scenes!

But I (Jon here, by the way) feel neglectful if a day goes by without a blog or a vlog. I'm so excited about Couch Zombies that I want to let everyone know about it. I want to keep everyone entertained until we get the first episode out! After that, too... of course! It's just that, once it comes out, there should be a lot of, "Hey yeah, that was cool! Worth the wait!"

So, a few things are going on behind the scenes that I'd like to mention. First, Steve wrote the script for episode 2, and we've all been giving him feedback. He's moved on to the script for episode 3, while still polishing up the former.

I'm afraid we're going to overwhelm Janet with animation duties! That's not something we want to do. Like me, she's an Academy of Art University student. She and I are both starting production work on our theses this semester, and will have to balance school, life, and putting out this show. So yeah, we're trying to get that balanced out.

A funny coincidence happened recently. Steve is buddies with an excellent guitarist who plays in a local band. It looks like this friend is going to be doing a background soundtrack for the show! Well, it turns out, his friend is this guy who works at one of our local music stores. I've spoken to him several times, and he's a hell of a nice guy. And we've been talking about instruments and music without either of us realizing that we're both friends with Steve, and both working on Couch Zombies!

That was kind of cool.  I'll tell him who I am next time I go in there.

To anyone who's reading this, could you head over to our channel and check out this video?  I'd like to know what you think of the style I used for that character vlog.  I'd appreciate a comment either on the video page, here on the blog, or on Facebook.


Saturday, August 28, 2010


Thirteen subscribers and twenty friends already on YouTube! Seems pretty good at this stage of the show's development!

We're working hard behind the scenes. We got my lines recorded on Thursday. Steve is going to put together the audio for Episode 1 soon! So, it's coming along!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Feed Test

This is just a test, folks! I've set up our blogs so that they will also post to our Facebook page. That way we don't have to announce on FB every time we have a new blog post. Instead, it will just show up there.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Zombies are Speaking

Jon here!

I've got a couple of things to share.

First, it appears that Zombie Gerry got on here and wrote about his day!  Read his epic blog entry!  The link is in the sidebar.

Second, Zombie Jon has graced us (is graced the right word for anything a zombie does?) with his first vlog!  Check that out here, then head over to the Couch Zombies channel and subscribe!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Quick Note!

Jon here.  I just updated the main page on the Couch Zombies channel on YouTube.  You see these great channels with cool backgrounds, and they look so special.  I wanted our show to have the same thing.

Check it out, and subscribe!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

80s Torso Guy

I love this funny character that Gerry created in his concept art.  Steve and I had a fun discussion about how to use him in Couch Zombies as well.  He's gonna be great!

Since I finished the head sculpts of the ensemble cast, Jon, Steve, Gerry, and Janet, I thought, why not sculpt 80s Torso Guy next?  I just created the base mesh.  It's actually based on the human mesh I did for my Organic Modeling class a few semesters ago.

Though I posted it a few blog entries back, here's Gerry's drawing of this character.  I'm also including an image of the base mesh for him, which I will start sculpting today!  As you can see, the base meshes are very simple when they start, but become much more complex!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Ensemble Cast

Janet came through, as she always does, and sent us a flash version of the ensemble cast today!

I love this picture, and I'm going to use it for the intro to the Couch Zombies vlog entries.

So, here's the cast, and this will give you an even better idea of what the show will look like!  From left to right, Jon, Steve, Gerry, and Janet.

Zombie Janet Sculpt

Jon here!

We need a name for Couch Zombie fans.  I challenge all of you to come up with something!

If you read the last blog, written by Steve, you can see why he's among my very best friends.  He says he's lazy, and there's an element of truth in there.  The guy is a compulsive WoW player, and got me back into it earlier this year.  Not that I'm complaining!  For the Horde, all the way!  The truest Steve though is the guy who goes out of his way for friends and family, who makes the world a better place by being good to the people in his life.  He is like family, to me and my son.

And Steve, I know you'd want some smores if you were out in the wilderness.  I'm just sayin'.

Continuing on his last entry, there's a lot to be said for the zombie's eating brains metaphor.  When Steve and I hang out, we talk about all sorts of things: politics, religion (or lack thereof), parenthood, women, movies, games (mostly WoW), and all sorts of other things, feeding off each other's brains.  See?  And that's how we came up with Couch Zombies.

So, on to what I started this post for!

There's a new vlog up on the Couch Zombies channel, so head over and check out "Couch Zombies Vlog 005!"  It contains the turntable of the Zombie Janet head model.  I'm going to post the picture of it here as well.

Here's a new bit of Couch Zombies trivia.  All four of the head models, I sculpted in zBrush.  They're all molded from the same head base mesh.

Definition time.

base mesh (n): A low polygon 3d model used as a basis for creating higher resolution models.

This wonderful head mesh came from an ebook called "zBrush Character Creation," and can be purchased at 3d Total.  It has been very much worth the investment for this modeler.

Here's that base mesh:

And here's Zombie Janet!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Zombie Insights

Hi Everyone.  I'm Steve.

So everywhere I go, people are asking me, "So, why Couch Zombies?"

Well, not really.  But if you are reading our blog you might be asking that question, so I decided to talk on the subject a bit.

Jon already talked some about our converging ideas: You got Your Mentos Ads in my Couch Zombies!  You got your Couch Zombies in my Mentos Ad.  And from there, we ran with it.

My original musing for Couch Zombies came from my own deep desire to do absolutely nothing at all. At my very core, I am a lazy, solitary, cynical slacker. With all honesty I would be very happy all alone in the middle of the woods with nothing but the clothes on my back and something to help start campfires.  Granola bars would be nice, too, but that would be a bonus.

I blame family for my being more than just a lazy slob.  It is their fault that I am somewhat productive and have a place in society that serves something other than myself.  If it was not for my wife and kids; for my parents; for my brother and sister; for all my cousins, aunts uncles and other blood relations; for the friends I consider family and the family I consider weird - it is them whom I blame for having to do all the things I do in life to make life work.  I am grateful for all of this. What I get out of life from being in it is far more than I would get out of life if I had it the way I really wanted.

And that is what Couch Zombies is all about.  It's the stories of the Zombie in all of us.  The tales of wanting to do nothing but play World of Warcraft (or the game of your choice), watch TV, comment on the downfall of others and not really do anything useful. We all have a desire to want to stay in our PJ's all day (or naked, for the more daring of us). We all enjoy our time doing nothing useful.  And of course, we all - on rare occasions - want to chomp into the skull of some jerk who just wronged us in some way and eat their brains.  This is Zombie.

Hopefully you will spend the few minutes to watch the episodes as they come out. Maybe you will laugh a little.  And maybe - just maybe - the urge to be a complete zombie will be sated (on brains!) and you can go about doing something more productive and useful.  If this is the case, then I have done my part for society and I can feel less guilty about being such a complete zombie myself.

Until next time,


Friday, August 13, 2010

Hey Gerry!

Real life Jon here.  On the heels of my post of Gerry's art, here's my latest Couch Zombies 3D model!  I already made models of Zombie Jon and Zombie Steve, based on Gerry's concept art.  Here's Zombie Gerry!  So far, this one was the most challenging, but as such, also the most rewarding.

I'll be modeling Zombie Janet next!

Also, there are now three vlogs on the Couch Zombies channel.  So head over to YouTube and check them out!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Gerry's Concept Art

Here's more behind the scenes goodness from Couch Zombies!

Gerry has been doing some terrific art for the show, and we wanted to share it for everyone to enjoy.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Welcome to the Other Side!

Hey everybody!  Jon of Couch Zombies here, bringing you the first official Couch Zombies blog post!

What is Couch Zombies?  Well, hopefully I've given a decent overview of it in the sidebar, since this first post will just keep getting pushed lower and lower in the blog as we create new entries.  But, I'm happy to explain here as well, and even to give some more background!

Couch Zombies is an upcoming Internet series about the lives of suburban zombies, specifically a bunch of zombies who live in an apartment building.  The main characters are Zombie Steve and Zombie Jon, based on Real Life Steve and Real Life Jon.  We're the guys who came up with the show.

Their neighbors on either side of their apartment are Zombie Gerry and Zombie Janet.  Have you guessed yet?  Yep, Gerry and Janet are also members of the Couch Zombies team (Team Zomb, as I've been geekishly addressing the group in our emails).

How did we come up with this idea?  That's a funny story itself.  Steve was joking with his wife, Jen, one night, about how it would be fun to have a show about these Zombies who hang out around their apartment all day, sitting on the couch, playing online games, and commenting on the news.  They even came up with the title of Couch Zombies right there.  Steve and I are best buddies and we hang out a couple of times a week.  Steve brought this funny idea up, and it just so happened that at the same time, I was working on a funny cartoon with two zombies in it.  This was for a Mentos contest on deviantArt, and I'll go ahead and post it as one of the images here.

We decided that we could play the main characters, and that they could be based on us and on the zombies in the Mentos cartoon.

Alas, I wasn't even one of the semi-finalists in the dA contest, but that's all right.  It came at such a perfect time as to be one of the major catalysts for bringing this project to life.

We had several ideas on how to animate it.  The first was to make it a machinima, using World of Warcraft footage.  But then we decided we wanted it to be more original than that.  I started doing some comic strip style concept art for the characters, and had some ideas for animating it, but thought it would be great to get an experienced animator.  (My main form of art is 3D Modeling, which is what I'm getting my Masters in.)

I contacted my good friend Janet, who is a student in the same department as me at Academy of Art University, but who is majoring in animation.  She's terrific!  And, I'm happy to say that she was as excited about the project as Steve and I and signed on!  She'll be doing the animation in Flash.

Meanwhile, we realized that as part of pre-production, we needed story boards.  I tried my hand at this, and was so displeased with the result that I said that we had to find someone else for that job.  (I can draw, but like everyone, I have my limits.)  Steve contacted another long time pal of ours, Gerry, who is a fantastic draftsman.  Then, Gerry hit us with these amazing concept drawings of the characters that prompted me to think, just as Phil Tippet did when he saw the CGI dinosaurs they planned to use for Jurassic Park, "Well, I guess that makes me obsolete."

Of course, I'm not obsolete.  Steve's the head writer, but a lot of the ideas are also mine, and I have many other jobs on this project.  Really what it got me to think though was that Gerry needed to be our character designer.  I want this show to look as awesome as possible!

So, that's as much of the story as I'm going to share today.  I will leave you with the Mentos cartoon, and... oh yeah!  I mentioned that I'm a 3D Modeler.  Though the show isn't going to be in 3D, I thought it would be fun to create models of the characters' heads based on Gerry's designs.  So far, I've created Zombie Jon and Zombie Steve.  Zombie Gerry is next!  Check out the ZJ and ZS images below!