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.