haze gray

...Getting Underway

Welcome aboard, shipmates. You’re now joining the crew of the USS Haze Gray (DDFG 610).



In 1984, I joined the crew of the USS THORN (DD-988) as a 3rd class petty officer. I traveled to many countries, and a few oceans, over the next four years. One of the biggest lessons I learned was that, when at sea, you make your own fun. This was 1984. No internet, no DVDs, no satellite entertainment. We had Dungeons & Dragons, Commodore 64, VHS tapes (those we brought with us or got in mail call from home), or movies on the mess decks. This was a destroyer with about 500 crew members. All male.

So, what to do?

I drew comic strips – comic strips of the insanity that was life on a tin can. And boy, was there a lot. 

I created a comic strip online many years ago called “Haze Gray”. The name referred to the fictional ship and the term used when a ship goes to sea. But I always wanted it to be more. “Haze Gray” is the culmination of that dream. I learned of Adobe’s Character Animator for digital puppetry and started there, but it was too expensive. After researching alternatives, I learned about Reallusion’s Cartoon Animator 4 software. I tested it in a local production of the play The Music Man by animating and projecting the marching band from “76 Trombones” onto the stage. The dream came into view.

I got several add-ons, joined several webinars, lived in the tutorial section of the website – all to learn the software. The characters have been reworked a few times to get them “right”. I then invested in IClone, once Reallusion created their MotionLink plug-in. I even bought a few 3d ship models for the show, using IClone in the animation process.

Check out these pages for more about Haze Gray: The Concept  Characters  Beginnings

Check out these pages for more about Haze Gray: The Concept  Characters  Beginnings