Sunday, 22 September 2013

BAO Mask Brush

Yet another marvelous plug-in for After Effects that I can't quite justify owning yet.

You can find it over at aescripts + aeplugins, I also have that site as a permanent link on the side bar to the right.

Anime Studio Pro - Physics

I vaguely knew Anime Studio Pro had a physics engine but this is pretty impressive.

You could see this work it way into a motion graphics job. Looks to be fairly stable, no jitter on that pile of letters, the obvious advantage for doing this in ASP are the graphic looks you can give to the elements.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Anime Studio Pro 9.5 - My first test.

As promised, here is the first thing I've been able to turn out using this neat program. Firstly I'm impressed that I could pretty closely duplicate my Photoshop concept design inside of Anime Studio Pro, then I was even more excited to get some sort of understanding for using smart bones to drive vectors, in this case for opening and closing the mouth.

It took me a fair bit of trial and error to get that smart bone to work, understanding it better now I think. The latest upgrade to this program puts it at a nice stage where it's still fairly simple and not overly cluttered with stuff you might never use, even with all the new features.

Those new feature? Well I glad I'm learning this program now and not in an older version. Smart bones and nested compositions will really allow animators to get more ambitious with what they can get done on this app.

The developers appear to be very responsive to their user base judging by the forums, I'm looking forward to what they turn out in future versions.

Friday, 20 September 2013


I finally got around to installing this 2D animation program and feeling my way around the UI. Already I have the feeling that this software will become addictive and open up new areas of creativity for me. I also upgraded to the latest version although haven't yet installed that, so the experience will get better since the upgrade is pretty significant, with all manner of new work-flows that were called for. The fact that I can export animated elements out of this and into After Effects for deeper compositing and look refinement means I have little excuse now to start doing some cool animation. There's even a user forum to log into, and it seems to be a pretty lively and helpful place to hang out. I found this artist's blog link and here's his work reel.

I find Victor Paredes work so inspiring, it appears that this is one of those softwares that allow artists to fully express themselves, the different styles in the video attest to that. You can animate frame by frame in a more traditional cell style, or implement bone rigs for a puppet-ed approach, I think you can even bring in 3D characters (although I'm not interested in that side of it). Then there are amazing vector tools and brushes that are just super nice to work with, even just for illustration purposes. I hope to be able to get my head into this app and begin producing work with it. As soon as I turn out anything half decent I will likely post it here in these pages.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Walk on the Wild Side (1962)

Best use of a cat in an opening and closing credit sequence, ever. I've been on a bit of a Brook Benton kick of late and that's how I happened upon this classic Saul Bass title sequence. Brook is heard over the closing credits.

I marvel at the execution of the feline stroll sequence, the silky smooth linear moves and even the attitude of the cat who has genuine presence. The video has a minute or so of hold at the tail and nothing happens after the two title sequences, just warning you. I wonder how a modern production would approach this? I doubt it could be bettered.