Sunday, 25 December 2016

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Not a post.

Just putting this here so I can reference it when needed.

Monday, 12 December 2016

KUADRO - for dem pesky reference images.

What is it you wonder? It's a handy little image viewer tool devoted to maximizing image and minimizing UI, giving you complete freedom to scale, resize and move your reference images anywhere on the screen.

It's free so there's no excuse. Merry Christmas, this is definitely my last post this year.

The Chaperone 3D

I loved this very cool mix of different mediums to recount a story about a gang fight at a school dance in Montreal.

And with that, merry Christmas, this will probably be the last blog post this year.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Titanic Sinclair Interview

I'm lately interested in this artist and his empire building experiment through social media. His art videos are pretty hilarious while the music he produces seems like the real deal.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Surface Studio demos MOHO caught on tape.

I just came across this vision of MOHO being utilized on the new Microsoft Surface Studio.


Sunday, 23 October 2016


The animation is beautifully timed to the music in these vintage Sesame Street number counts.


Music composed by Walt Kraemer, arranged by Ed Bogas, vocals by The Pointer Sisters, 1976.

Monday, 19 September 2016

CYRIAK...Tries to explain it.

Cyriak is the best at what he does and even he doesnt know what he does.-truemetalsonic (quoted from the comments section)

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Back on the path, the path of love.

Back working on my pet project. The tragically un-hip Path of  Love animation. Here is the Cat character morphed into some sort of insect. The original sketch on the left and the vectorized version traced out in MOHO (Anime Studio Pro 11 in my case).

I just realized I have to make a bunch of mouth shapes for it. Animation.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Character rigging in Moho 11

Here's an animation I did over three days using Anime Studio Pro (aka MOHO). MOHO was used to create, rig and animate the three characters and After Effects was used to composite it all into an animated sequence with environments.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

More Folksy Cutesy Design Hacks.

I've committed to this thing, so now I'm forced to churn out whatever dang chintzy fluff it demands. Here's some designs on a horticultural theme.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Tractor Vector and Skipping Girl

I've animated the little girl skipping and have started on the farmer character.

Below is tractor as a vector in Anime Studio. I'll probably have the engine bounce around a bit as it moves.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Animated Marching Walk Cycles

I have a few more of these to do. This gif plays a lot slower than real-time unfortunately.

I got the arms wrong on the pig and the man, they are swinging counter to what happens in a real walk cycle, I don't think it's worth fixing, I just don't have the time. I  have designed the look for the farmer and the little girl.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Color planning

I watch a great video today, a 1 Hour painting Demo with Kyle T Webster . That's the man who designs all the Photoshop brushes I use. I realized how many bad habits I have when working on images in the digital medium. One of them is just choosing colors willy nilly from the rainbow spectrum on offer in the color chooser. So I'm going to start mixing my palette from red, yellow and blue primaries like he does.

  He had some advice about colors that won't print well, and how they can be identified in the color chooser, stuff I wish I'd known years ago.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Progress update

Here's how this ended up looking in the final animation, each character had to have some amount of rigging applied, not much but it still took some time doing.

I changed the lady on the end because she wasn't funny looking enough. I was able to duplicate the blotchy ink line look of the original drawing pretty good in Anime Studio. There's also the option of importing rasterized art into AS and doing it that way, but for some reason I prefer to work with vectors.

Here's a detail of showing the sort of blotting paper effect I get with a combination of the brushes in Anime Studio and some extra post processing in After Effects.

I duplicate the layer in After Effects so that it is sitting above the original, apply a fast blur effect and use the darken transfer mode, this gives the soft blending look on top of the original. It definitely doesn't look like vector art at first glance.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Character designs/colors

Here I have a bunch of designs for characters and went about working on the color palette for this particular shot.


Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Rigged Vectors Test

As promised, here's a video showing the final rigged cat character for this shot. I also put in my first ever head turn, just in case I need it.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Image Vectorized

Here's the previous image after it's been recreated as vectors in Anime Studio.

Planning and Prepping Shots

I was trying to rig up a character for the next shot of my project, and realized it would required a side view. 2D animation is like that, one rig isn't always going to work for everything a character needs to do. I'm going to be doing this now more often, painting up preproduction type artwork and trying to plan my shots better, I was already doing boards, but they have been getting changed as I go because ideas on paper don't always gel with timing once I start animating.

The next step is I take this image into Anime Studio and turn it into vectors and try to rig it. When I've done that I'll post it.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Back on the Path

I was working on a personal animation project back in 2013, with the working title "Path of love", somewhere back then I decided I hated it and put it away. Last week I was looking at old stuff and watched the first minute, now I like it again. So I've restarted and added another shot, building a new character in Anime Studio. Below is a frame from the animation.

I haven't upgraded to MOHO 12 yet, I probably won't for a while, I still have to learn to get better at animation before I deserve the upgrade.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Color is Relative. Never use 100% Black or White.

Obviously a rule meant to be broken, however as a general rule of thumb it's a good starting point. Why?

As soon as you use pure black or white, you have nowhere else to go. Consider painters who when using pure white, will reserve its use for parts of the picture they want to highlight, like reflected highlights in a subjects eyes for example. If the same level of white had been used elsewhere in the picture then the subjects eyes will not be the part of the image that pops, since it has to compete with those other areas where the same value is present.

This principal applies for black also, if you use pure black elsewhere in the picture you can't create another area that will be darker, so if you want a specific area of dominant darkness in the image then your darkest black should be reserved for that area only. This works for any level of dark or light, it's all relative to the work and the pallet being used.

The above dramatic light and dark composition from Citizen Kane contains no absolute black or white, which means brights can get brighter if need be, and dark's can go darker. Notice that the image does not lack impact, we get the strong composition created by the contrast of dark and light with the added benefit of being able to flesh out detail in the dark and light areas. This ability of seeing into the image is lost when the dark and light areas are pushed to extremes because both white and black at 100% are impenetrable.

Here there are some almost pure blacks around the wheels in this image of a glossy black car, but nothing even close to pure white. As you can see the reflected highlights stand out just fine.

 In this before and after by the artist Rob Adams, he re-works a painting of a field at dawn to make it nocturnal. Since the original painting contained no values close to the ones that are used in the reworking, the effect is dramatic. It's a good example of how a reserved color palette gives artists room to move should inspiration push them to go further.

Here we see no blacks or whites at all in this design, yet in the universe of the image itself, the pale orange substitutes for white, and the dark purple stands in for black, mostly our world resembles this kind of color relativity.

 In print graphics the use of pure white is common, because these areas are actually transparent and left for the paper stock, as such the modulation of the stock tends away from pure white, indeed it's probably impossible to have a pure white paper stock even if it's advertised as such. Likewise when solid black is used, it is absorbed by the paper and loses a percentage of it's value.

The digital medium is less forgiving, true that a pure white computer screen is not as blinding as the sun, but it is illuminated and therefore white mean white.

At the beginning of this post I said this rule was meant to be broken, there are times when pure white and black makes perfect sense, I'd only suggest it not be your default position, like everything in design, it should be a conscious decision.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Anime Studio is now Moho 12

The animation software that I've been using has been given a face-lift along with a name change, the somewhat misleading and long winded Anime Studio Pro moniker has been reduced to the cuter more cuddly 'Moho'.
This fun name is actually the original name of the software before I'd ever heard of it, so it's sort of coming home event in the history of the program.

I think this update kicks the program out of the hobbyist domain and lands it into the realm of a pro production tool for serious animation.

One of the big step ups they have introduced is proper bezier curve functionality in the vector creation tools, and as much as I like the current way Anime Studio deals with vectors, beziers are just superior.

For more information about Moho visit the site.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Milos, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

Lovely piece of motion graphics to illustrate the classical guitarist Milos's version of the Beatles song, designed and animated by Mark Warner. He is one of those rare designers who use Lightwave to cover all his 3D needs in conjunction with After Effects. As a user myself I can attest that it's easy import back and forth with After Effects is very nice to work with.

Old U.P.A. cartoons still have an edge worth noting.

We are mostly familiar with the more popular Disney and Warner Brothers animation shorts, or Max Fleischer's Popeye, however I found these U.P.A.(United Productions of America) cartoons have a unique look that sets them apart. I would say their style is more design orientated, many parts of them cross over into graphic design, with limited color palettes and simple backgrounds.

Ballet-Oop (1954) by iadb

Christopher Crumpet's Playmate (1955) by iadb

The inventive use of limited animation is really wonderful even if the scripts are not fantastic and is probably why they are less well known.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Motion Graphics used for Education

Kurz gesadt means "In a nut shell" or something like that in German, and it's the name of a YouTube channel that attempts to explain complex things in a friendly and cute format. Hence we get these nice examples of explainers that aren't trying to sell us anything besides knowledge.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

The beauty of motion in the real world

If you're had enough of controversy, politics and debate, point your eyes at this and contemplate the natural beauty of physics and human ingenuity.


This is a very niche use of technology to combine motion capture, CG texture capture and tracking data together in one piece of kit.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

GOTHAM, the font not the city.

I was prepping some tutorials for a class and went off on my own tangent, producing a little animation inspired by the font 'Gotham' which I suddenly decided I really like despite perhaps never having used it before.

I made liberal use of the Ease and Wizz, Trajectory  and Textevo scripts from aescripts + aeplugins, is it cheating? The quotation comes from the designer blogger Elizabeth Anderson who had some additional information about the font that I stole (the info not the font).

Sunday, 6 March 2016


After the first few minutes using this free Video Copilot plugin you realize it was something you always needed.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Using MyPaint.

I spent a bit of time with MyPaint to work on an actual piece rather than just random doodles.There is an almost hidden function in MyPaint that allows you to sample a stroke in your artwork and the brush and color setting for that stroke propagate to your current brush.

 This means I don't have to cycle through brushes or keep tabs on what ones I'm using, in this instance, after realizing I was only using about three brushes, it was easy to just select them from the artwork and continue working.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

MyPaint 1.2.0 upgrade.

Looks like this is my first post for the year, I didn't blog for quite some time for various reasons. I'm going to be doing a video review of the free painting app "My Paint". I've been playing around with it lately since it was recently updated with a more sophisticated set of features and user interface.

There's something about this program that feels comfortable to me, and I'd like to explain some of this in depth once I have more experience using it. Projects like MyPaint deserve recognition as an alternative to paid software, allowing anyone an avenue into digital illustration.

MyPaint can be downloaded here.