Movie Title Mock-up

Keeping creative juices flowing as I worked on this make believe movie opener. Shadow puppetry in After Effects was done for the warrior sword brandishing and the forge hammer. The music is from a composer I follow on YouTube, I used Lightwave 3D and a TurbulenceFD plugin to create the puff of smoke on the hammer hit, as well as utilizing sparks and fire from Video Copilot Action Essentials.

Odysseus Title from Tom Rubalcava on Vimeo.

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Stories, Screenplays, Storyboards

Having a great story means having an engaging plot and relatable characters. When you see the plot of a film unfold, you might not be so aware of the underlying themes, dialogue or actions that are driving the story forward. If it moves you in some way, then the story and all its components have done their job.

I have recently had the pleasure of being involved behind the scenes at Screentakes, Character and Theme-focused Screenplay Analysis. Jennine Lanouette, has been doing just that for many years and has put together an informative series of eBooks that are in-depth analyses of a variety great films, such as African Queen, Thelma & Louise and Kramer vs. Kramer. I was commissioned to help with cover illustration and create a series of storyboards that are used as visual aids in her analysis.


Here is one cover I illustrated:

kramer vs kramer








Some storyboard illustration examples:

kk_boards_thumbs001 copy





african_queen_full_render_002 copy













Here is a Sample Chapter of Lanouette’s Thelma & Louise eBook that includes some of my storyboard drawings (click image below to go to linked page):


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Animation for Aids Prevention

I’ve had the pleasure of working on a handful of these PSAs with a few other animators at Portland’s Ffake,Inc. Gordon Clark designed and directed, these spots have a cool and unique look to them. We just wrapped on a couple for this year. Here’s one from last year and if you follow their YouTube channel links, you’ll see others that were produced.

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For those World War One history buffs…

This gallery contains 2 photos.

I’ve been doing some freelance work off and on for the World War One Historical Association. My connection with them originated around 2009 at Maverix Studios when I first met Dana Lombardy, nonprofit board member and Publisher of World War … Continue reading

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Artemis / Diana

This gallery contains 2 photos.

I have always had a fascination with Greek mythology and I had some down time to do this digital painting of the Goddess. This wiki explains her origins and so forth.

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Live in the Moment – video

Happy June!

Been working with my long time pal Daniel Morgan, videographer/editor. I came up with this idea (certainly nothing new) during the Springtime while getting bogged down with work and everyday life struggles. I thought it was time to get out and take a moment to appreciate what I have – the ability to live life and absorb the nicer things it has to offer. So, I took our Canon 60D digital camera and shot some footage around me and did a rough edit of my concept. Showed it Daniel and we both thought it was worth spending a little more real time on.

We took a weekend and his higher end Sony HD Video Cam and shot footage in San Francisco.  Then spent time in the editing suite at Blu Barn Studios to put this together.

live in the moment 01 from Daniel Morgan on Vimeo. Written and Directed by Tom Rubalcava.

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A Tomb Raider illustration

I had some time between projects and had an urge to do a new photoshop painting. Just for kicks, I thought I’d use a photo I took of a Lara Croft cosplay as reference.


The girl in cosplay was gorgeous indeed, but my approach to the illustration was to give her more of a pinup look, complete with scars and the Legend costume instead. I didn’t get the young ladies name when I got the shot during the 2008 San Diego ComicCon, but I should thank her (who ever she is) for being so gracious to pose for me. So, thank you!

Here’s the progression and final image.




And a detail:


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Symbicort Commercial Animation

I had this great opportunity to do some animatic layouts and animation on a Mike Smith designed and directed TV spot this summer. Working with 4 other animators through FFake LLC out of Portland, Oregon, this spot proved to be a big effort to produce fully animated characters in a retro style. Backgrounds by David Brandt.

Here’s the spot as posted on

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I posted before about my art contribution to The Masked Rider Vol II. Now I want to get the word out that the book is now on sale. Here’s a press release from Airship 27 Productions that displays the Cover Art by Andy Fish:



Wild West Tales Vol II


Cover art – Andy Fish


Airship 27 Productions is thrilled to put on its spurs and chaps to announce the release of its second Masked Rider anthology; THE MASKED RIDER – Wild West Tales Vol. II

After the bloody City War ended, the rugged landscape that was the frontier west was soon flooded by all manner of immigrants; from cowboys, pioneer settlers and an all manner of outlaws.  In their path the various Indian tribes desperate to save their lands.  Soon the mountains, plains and valleys echoed with the sounds of gunfire and bloodshed flowed like rivers in these lawless territories.

Then a masked man appeared on the scene, his twin Colts barking out justice.  He and his Yaqui partner, Blue Hawk, rode these endless trails protecting law and order wherever they went.  He was known as the Masked Rider and now he returns in three brand new gun-blazing adventures by writers Erwin K. Roberts, Bill Craig and Roman Leary.

“Our first volume was a mix of western heroes, both real and fictional,??? elaborates Airship 27 Productions Managing Editor, Ron Fortier.  “This time our writers all wanted to write about this classic western pulp hero and we had no problems with that whatsoever.  He’s a great character to write.???  A popular figure in the days of the original pulps, the Masked Rider was one of the few that actually made it to the comics and appeared in his own title for many years.

This book features twelve interior illustrations by commercial artist, and teacher, Tom Rubalcava with a pulp inspired cover painting by Andy Fish, a self-confessed Masked Rider fan.

So now it’s time to saddle up, pulp readers, for classic western action as only the Masked Rider can deliver.


Available from –


And on Kindle –



Here a couple of my favorite illustration I did for the book:



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A VMware video for CoreStudio

I had the pleasure of working with a great group of people at Core Studio in Half Moon Bay, CA a couple of months ago. It was also a chance to work with Director Alaina Goetz again and meet Producer Cameron Baxter.

The task I was presented with this time was to create character designs, storyboards, layouts and ultimately illustrations that would be used in a simple but effective, limited animation video for the VMware company.

Here’s a dropbox link where you can view it.

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