Is it fair to call someone the best Flash animator in all of Germany if I’m only familiar with one?… Uh sure. Juergen Frey takes the top spot in my opinion. If you haven’t seen his not-so-short film about the release of Halo 3, check it out. Its incredibly well-animated (all in Flash too), creatively framed, and like all good animation, its funny (press 1 on the keyboard if you don’t speak German). Microsoft, that big megalith company that makes the XBox, even took notice of his work and featured it on their German site. Oh and props to myself, Juergen is a past student from way back in the day, and I’m proud to admit the student has clearly become the master… Anyway, here’s some screengrabs from his animation, click any to check out the full movie….
Next time someone says “Are you familiar with Shag?”, you can smartly reply ”the rug or the artist?”
Up until I started blogging and actively searching out artists to mention here, I hadn’t heard of JoSH AGle, but this guy keeps popping up, so its time to bring a few others into the know. I like this guy’s paintings a lot, they look like vector art, so heck, what’s not to like? Take a look at one of his pieces that wasn’t asked for by Disney …
Its hip and sad. You love it too right? Say you do or else!
Anyway, my most recent encounter with his work was from this posting at TikiTalk.com . The Haunted Mansion is coming up on 40 years old. Hard to believe that creepy head in the crystal ball has been chanting for that long now. So someone very cool at Disney thought to get Shag to do some artwork to celebrate the occasion. The link above has more, but here’s some of my favs…
Here’s a YouTube compilation thanks to Fanboy.com about the golden age of animated TV openings. Maybe we’ll see a resurgence in animated openings because of Mad Men.
Youch. I think I said this lesson would be available sometime last week. Anytime I announce my intentions like that, just add on another week.
ANYWAY. So yes! The Flex Builder 3 tutorial is here. So lets talk about it. Casually, please, because yesterday I had to write all the nerdy sales page stuff about it, and that drives me crazy. Lets start here…
Flex Builder is AWESOME. Its like a cross between Dreamweaver and all the components in Flash (but with a lot more components). Take a look…
So what’s Flex Builder do? Well it creates .swf files, which is the same file Flash has been publishing to since the very beginning. But Flex Builder will also create desktop applications (for Adobe AIR) and mobile phone apps. Wait, Flash CS4 does that too. Okay, I can’t really say Flex Builder can publish a lot more than Flash can, but the way you build files is certainly different. The general consensus seems to be that designers favor Flash, and software developers favor Flex. Which is probably true most of the time, but from watching this tutorial ( and playing around on my own) I really like how Flex Builder lays out / organizes / builds content. Again, to compare it to Dreamweaver, there’s definitely similarities. You can flip between Design / Source (Code) modes. So if you’re just dropping content onto the stage in Design mode, you can switch over to your Source code and see the changes you’re making to the MXML document there. And the icing on the cake, Flex Builder also uses Actionscript 3, just like Flash CS3/ CS4. So for all my past students that have been learning AS3, it all applies here as well.
And ya ready for the not-so-hard sell. Flex Developers are in high demand right now. Last week two of my web-dev buddies from college emailed me asking if I knew where to find any Flex developers. I hadn’t talked to either of these guys in a long time, so neither of them knew I was even prepping a Flex lesson. And based on emails from students asking for Flex lessons, that usually means there’s a reason why.
Anyways, if you’re on the CartoonSmart newsletter list (and reading this within the next month or so) you should already have an email with links to the discount page for this lesson. If not, please sign up here, and you’ll get an email right away with links.
I woke up this morning at 5Am and decided ” its time to do my taxes!!!” . Actually my wife wasn’t sleeping well either, and there’s nothing worse than two people in the same bed who can’t fall back asleep. And my one brilliant solution got turned down, so here I am. So since taxes are on my mind this morning, I figured I’d jump over here to the blog and put it on your mind too. But with good reason, because I think I do have some decent tips….
Here’s a good list of sites with dark backgrounds. Obviously, I’m a big fan of black backgrounds, CartoonSmart.com has always had a dark look. Want some color theory as to why?…. Black is the absence of color, white is all colors combined. See the totally original illustration I made below as proof (yeah right). So the reason CartoonSmart has a black background is because I don’t want my colors to compete with the background. If the background was white, which is the brightest color possible, then any color in front of it is going to visually take a step back. Whereas ANY color on top of black is going to come forward. Even a dark grey will pop toward you some, and a good example of that is the wine bottle on Black Estate’s site. Its also difficult to make something glow on a white background. Its possible, but again, white tends to swallow up that color and it just doesn’t look right.
One of my original design ideas for CartoonSmart was that I wanted people to feel like they were walking into an Arcade when they got to the site. And Arcades, R.I.P., were DARK rooms!! The only significant light was coming from the video games, (e.g. their product). So I wanted that same feeling, that the product was illuminated, drawing you toward it.
In recent years, I’ve tried to layer my blacks. So you’ll see a black background, some dark grey on top of that, then another black object on top of that grey. So that gives the effect that even the black backgrounds are objects themselves, and if you could reach into your monitor you could grab every element of the site.
Okay thats all for now, I need to travel back in time to 1973, and give this illustration I drew below to some band to use as their album cover. Maybe the Bee Gees.
Its Inauguration Day, and in honor of cleaning house, I’ve updated quite a few things on CartoonSmart today.
First off, the index of free flash tutorials has a much longer, drawing tutorial (and features some artwork from an upcoming mystery project I’m working on)
Next change, that same page also has two links to download what I’ve called Animation Basics 1 and Animation Basics 2. If you read this blog regularly, you probably don’t need to download either. The first course is yet another retelling of the age-old story of motion tweening and shape tweening in Flash. Its just been updated to mention CS4 and differences with past versions of Flash. The second course is just a zip file which contains the 3 free CS4 animation tutorials that were previously linked up here on the blog (IK in CS4, Motion Tweening in CS4, and 3D in CS4).
Now the more exciting stuff. I’ve added 3 more demo courses. These zips have the first hour or so of their pay versions. You’ll find there the recent Actionscript 3 Block Drop game (which looks strangely like Tetris), our first After Effects tutorial (the Arrivals Board project)…
The first hour of an unreleased tutorial on Flex Builder. The course is incredibly cool! Flex is like if you mashed up Dreamweaver and Flash to make swfs. The great thing is if you know some Flash and Dreamweaver already, this program will feel very familiar. And if you’re already writing Actionscript 3, then the coding part will be a breeze too…. Uh so why learn Flex if you already use Flash? Well thats covered in the demo lesson Go check it out. Hour 1 is FREE!!! And later this week, we’ll release the next 4 hours.
Its rare we see some real “arteests” here at the CS blog, but I couldn’t pass by Kim Keever’s work and not want to show it off. Here’s a bio taken from elsewhere, and give it a quick read so the bottom two pics make more sense…
Kim Keever‘s large-scale photographs are created by meticulously constructing miniature topographies in a 200-gallon tank, which is then filled with water. These dioramas of fictitious environments are brought to life with colored lights and the dispersal of pigment, producing ephemeral y6atmospheres that he must quickly capture with his large-format camera.
So that tank actually looks relatively small in the pics above, but its about 6 feet long. If you watch the video below and skip to around the 7 minute mark, you can watch Kim dump some paint (clouds) into the tank, and talk about it leaking in the apartment below.
Wow, I got 3 emails about this one ad recently, so that sure makes it blog-worthy…
Very worth watching. And how was this 5D coolness done (anyone get that, 2D plus 3D)? Here’s some details.
Good news for anyone thinking about getting Toon Boom Animate, here’s a promo code… ANIMATEAWN … valid until Feb 13, which will get the price down to $599.99 . Which I know is still a few bills, but the regular price is $999, so that’ll shave off quite a bit.
Also, I don’t like to drop promo codes unless I know the company is fine with them being out there, as in, its not a secret code that someone needed to mail in the UPC’s off the back of 20 cereal boxes to get. So for proof that that promo is public knowledge, here’s a good article (with the Toon Boom ad usually nearby) about Disney returning to 2D, which is an interesting read although I wouldn’t consider this a big return. Uh, they stopped in 2004, and its 2009. Did they have to unfreeze a bunch of animators with lost 2D knowledge? Speaking of the future, here’s how things will definitely look!…
( I just like articles with pictures)