First Totally Free ToonBoom Animate tutorial…

So even though I’m still learning Toon Boom Animate, I’m going to post a quick demo on using the Brush tool. And although the brush tool in most drawing programs is pretty self-explanatory, Animate has an incredibly well done vector brush tool. And if you’re using a Wacom tablet, you can make use of the pressure sensitivity features to really finesse your line.  And as you can see from the screengrab below, I didn’t create any works of art, but if you watch the video you can listen to me gawk at the fantastic-ness of having a smooth brush tool for vector illustration…

Toon Boom Animate: Brush tool demo movie: Click here to watch in your browser, or Click here for a zipped version of the movie.

Some Awesome Business Cards!

Most of these cards are amazing. Click here or the pic below to see 40 of them.  The non-paper ones or crazy die-cuts are probably unrealistic for a lowly web designer on a budget, but some of these could inspire you to try something different with your cards. 

But if not…  just last week I was talking with a friend of mine about whether or not he should print cards for his web development business. I think its worth doing, but most likely he’ll probably hand out less than 100 of them ever. So consider quality-over-quantity. And I’m 99% sure this company is the same printer another buddy of mine used a while back to print his cards. One side of each card was a different slice of an image from his Flickr account, the other side was the usual name, email, website, etc.  And these were great quality cards he had. I was tempted to get more cards I’ll never give out. 

Tutorials on the horizon…

So for lack of some great random art find on the internet this morning, I’ll just update everyone on some lessons coming down the pipeline. 

First, some awesome iPhone App lessons! I’m still watching these myself, but that means they are in-hand and almost ready to roll out. And in case you don’t already know the iPhone development kit is free (you just have to develop on an Apple). So the software to make apps won’t cost you a thing. Now if you want to sell / publish to the App store that costs a one time fee of $100. Not per app, don’t worry.  And of course consider  the $$$ you can make by selling apps. Actually let someone else consider it for you… Estimates on iPhone sales.  And unlike most CartoonSmart tutorials, where you’ll learn something to either spice up your website or spice up some clients, this lesson could help you create an actual product you sell. 

 Also complete and in the review stage, this block dropping Flash game might look familiar . This will be an Actionscript 3 gaming tutorial from the same great instructor that taught the basic tank game tutorial release a few days ago.

And the next After Effects lesson will have to do with this effect of breaking apart a still image and making it look 3D. So layering it, and moving elements separately. Plus we’ll throw some snow in there (or other particles) to really make it come alive.  One possible freelance use for this lesson would be doing this to wedding photos. I saw a photographers website where he advertised this service, and it wasn’t cheap. 

Finally, I spent a while this last weekend learning more of Toon Boom Animate. I mentioned earlier that I’d be doing some free “while I learn it myself” lessons linked up on the blog here for Animate, and someone at the company must have been paying attention because you’ll notice now has some footer banners for Toon Boom. By the way, they are the first company I’ve ever let advertise on the site. I’ve proudly rejected every past advertiser because I didn’t feel they were worth recommending (proudly meaning,  I just didn’t reply to their email)… Anyway after getting my hands dirty with the software this weekend, I can definitely say they have thought about what Flash animators have been doing previously, and how to improve on that. And crossing over from Flash to Animate isn’t difficult (both programs have symbols, a Library, the timeline is similar, etc).

So again, look for some free lessons from me soon, and in the meantime, download their Learning Edition version of the program. Its free, and there’s no expiration on the trial period. The learning edition just has some watermarking on the published files, so you’ll want to pay for it before you submit your piece to the Oscars for best animated short. 

Sticker Graffiti & Sticker Legiti emailed me and inspired this post so lets give them some credit:  they’ve got a very sweet deal for December. One of those, buy x amount, get x /2 amount for free. ( so buy 10,000 stickers get 5,000 free).  But those are  “legit” quality, vinyl stickers. If you don’t mind stenciling your stickers with a USPS label on them, then boom, you’re a sticker graffiti artist!… Click the pic above to jump to this guy’s Flickr collection of sticker graffiti he shot around Seattle. Some of these are really creative. Plus I love the idea of someone using hundreds of USPS labels not as intended

Here’s a few more sticker art / sticker graffiti sites ( comment with some more please) ….



StickerTrader  (watch their video below, its very cool) 

Finally check out this book on Amazon, Sticker City , I bought this  a while back when I was thinking of teaching a tutorial on sticker design. Then I realized, this was too broad of a topic to boil down to a couple hours of teaching.

Those new lessons are finally ready!

And only 2 days late… so basically business-as-usual for me. And for my loyal group of blog readers, I’ll save you the time of checking your email for the newsletter. You can jump right here to get to the newsletter offerings. Keep in mind, if you read this 2 months from now, that page won’t exist.

Also if you want some direct links to the un-discounted pages for these new tutorials, check them out here… 

Flash Actionscript 3 Tank Game Tutorial. The first level is easy, just capture the flag. The 2nd and 3rd levels start chucking missiles at you, so watch out. Tutorial-wise, I think, this is a basic gaming course. Nothing to me stands out as outstandingly difficult, so if you’re just getting into coding in Actionscript 3, give this a try. There’s some fundamental code that you’ll find in probably every game you make in Flash. Yours truly makes a 20 minute “art direction” cameo in the end (the bulk of it was taught by a guest instructor). 

Adobe After Effects 3D Street Project Tutorial.  This tutorial was a real eye-opener for me ( again, I didn’t teach this since I’m still learning After Effects). And although CartoonSmart released the Arrivals Board lesson first, I viewed this tutorial before that one. So finding out about the 3D usage in AE and cameras were a real surprise (yeah I didn’t know about that stuff! ). But 12 years ago, I was playing around with those things in college when I was taking 3D classes so this was fun turf to get back on and play with. Also too for those of you that now have Flash CS4, you can see some major differences between the 3D there and in After Effects.

And finally…Have I gotten totally lazy? Possibly. But let me explain all the recent guest instructors at CartoonSmart.

First, I’ll never sell a lesson that I don’t feel professionally comfortable with to teach. Like Photoshop, I’ll admit I’m not an expert in. Although I’ve probably spent 500 to 1000 hours tinkering in the program, its usually doing the same weak sh*t over and over again, and in all these years I haven’t done much professionally with it.  So I hired someone else for that. And thats the case with a lot of other programs. Now timing wise, some of you might remember many months ago I was looking for instructors. Well I hired a lot, and those lessons are finally all coming in. So I need to step aside and get these sold. 

What I’d like to try in the meantime is doing some free, more off-the-cuff, lessons with ToonBoom Animate , and link those up here on the blog. ToonBoom Animate is a new program I’ll be learning, so if my usual Flash crowd want to join me on this ride, they have a free trial version.

I’m a Mac, you’re probably a PC poll…

Whaaaaaaaaat?! Today was the First?!

I thought November had 31 days! Okay well another CartoonSmart deadline out the window. I might have something new to launch tomorrow. At the latest though, the day after.  In case you’re curious, the two lessons ( sold together and cheapened as usual) will be….

First, an After Effects tutorial that teaches somebasics and also some not-so-basics of the 3D in the program (or 2.5D).  An example of the finished project is here.

AND the second course is a basic Actionscript 3 tutorial which teaches how to create an overhead view tank game. Finished example is here ( arrow keys to move, mouse clicks to shoot )

So thats what’s coming. For sale soon!