Yesterday I was digging around my hard drive and found some ancient Flash animation. “Ancient Flash” is an oxymoron right? Like jumbo shrimp. Anyway, I thought I’d lost this stuff a few computers ago so its a fun find for me. This is work I did for Rumpus animation, maybe 8 or 9 years ago. It is NOT great animation, but me and a few other guys did about 1 short cartoon a week of similar length, so there wasn’t much time for Disney-esque animation. Or even Noggin quality. Plus (more excuses) we working with Flash 4 or 5. If anyone likes these, I’ll post some more. Oh and skip the science experiment part if you make it that far.
Yes, the grand prize is a a free copy of Animate Pro ($1999 value)!
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED, BELOW IS THE ORIGINAL POST. YOU CAN SEE THE WINNER BY CLICKING HERE
Here’s what we have in mind to enter and win!…
To Enter: Submit a short animation (30 seconds to 1 minute is plenty) in the style of a Classic Animated Commercial. How classic? I’ll post some references below. What I think would be cool to see is something in that style, but with a twist on it. Animate Pro has some amazing 3D capabilities, so I think it would fun to see a piece that looks old at first, but is freshened up by some FX that animators 50 years ago couldn’t work with.
Timeline: We were thinking 2 months is a fair timeline, so lets round that up to October 31 November 9.
Submit: Post your work to here… Animation Contest Vimeo Group I think you’ll need to sign up for Vimeo, but its free.
Judging: Me and some folks from Toon Boom. Feel free to butter me up as much as you want, but I’m not the only casting vote.
Requirements: Download the free Animate Pro Personal Learning Edition (PLE), and animate using that. Your final renders will have a watermark, which is fine, we obviously realize that if you’re entering a contest to win Animate Pro, you don’t own it. And come to think of it, thats proof you’re actually using Animate Pro.
Chances of Winning?: Good I think. Very good. Hopefully we’ll see a lot of comments below from people that will enter, but as we all know, talking isn’t walking. September will breeze by, October will start losing days, and I’m sure we’ll get fewer entries than we’d like. Contests are just like that. So seriously, spend a Saturday or two on this, and you’ll have an excellent chance of winning.
Tutorials: I taught one lesson so far in Animate Pro, but its a long 80 minute one. That should help get ya started. And that same link has some lessons on Animate non-Pro which also apply to the Pro version. Hit me up with emails during your journey and I’ll try to record some quick videos and post them here to solve any road blocks.
Materials / References : To make your finished piece as polished as possible, you can obviously include your own audio tracks, BUT I think its just as good, if not better, to just swipe audio from any of the 100′s of classic animated commercials on YouTube. Most of these are older than 50 years which I think is their copyright lifespan, but regardless, you’re just using the audio in a contest. Big whoop. I don’t think any old animators from the Retirement Village will chase you down.
Here’s some gems (did you know the Flinstones smoked??)…
Also on Amazon for $8 you can buy a DVD 1001 Commercials. Have fun getting through all 1001.
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Just figured I’d post this real fast. Its not much code, but I’ve been color coding a lot of htmlText in Flash this week and coincidently just got an email about doing so…
var urlLinkColor:String = “CC4477″;
var textToColor:String = “Rules”;
var myTextVar:String = “CartoonSmart <font color=\u0022#” + urlLinkColor +”\u0022>” + textToColor + “</font>”;
myTextField.htmlText = myTextVar;
//myTextField (already onstage) would now say “CartoonSmart rules” with rules colored differently
Make sense? The big thing to remember is to make sure that myTextField uses the .htmlText property instead of just .text . Then those font tags get rendered. And whats with the \u0022 ?? That makes a Quote symbol. So this line…
var myTextVar:String = “CartoonSmart <font color=\u0022#” + urlLinkColor +”\u0022>” + textToColor + “</font>”;
… is really just….
var myTextVar:String = “CartoonSmart <font color=”CC4477″> rules </font>”;
Published you should see…
I showed some of Malcolm’s work here before (aka Animalcolm) but I didn’t see this piece he did a couple years ago. On the creativity scale, he took it to 11. Check it out
This blog has collected some awesome art, see all 20 or so pieces here, but I’m a little irked this is being called “retro futurism”. These are more like the opposite of retro futurism. Straight lines, grids, triangles, no. Not RF. Just because these pics are set in space doesn’t define them as futurism or retro futuristic. I think I’ve just revealed myself a hard-geek for art terminology , but when you talk about something with artists they (and you) need to know what you’re really referring to. Below are tripped-out, kick-space-butt, shine-a-light-through-a-prism, Pink-Floyd-esque posters. Call it whatever, Retro-Dark-Side maybe, but its not futurist. It is cool though.
There is some trouble defining this retro-futurism term though. Take out the “retro” though. There was a Futurist movement in painting. Which eventually influenced a lot architecture that idealized (maybe even parodied) what the future would be like. Saucer-ish shaped buildings ( at LAX airport), diners with huge arches (ahem McDonald’s anyone?), boomerang / rocket shapes in buildings, even the cheesy Welcome to Las Vegas sign. Whet your appetite for info and pics over yonder…
. And to confuse things a little, this architectural child of the movement tends to fit the term “futurism” a little bit better than the what the actual Futurist painters were doing. At least with a building that looks like a spaceship its easy to say “wow, futuristic!” But the real fathers of this movement weren’t drawing space cities, but just playing with chaotic movement and swooping shapes of ordinary landscapes, buildings, or people.
I’m okay with some loose definitions. When I think of futurism my mind calls up the more playful, doo-woop stuff that was being done in architecture to portray howfun the future would be. Someone else might think of this Boccioni painting. (Runs back from trip to Wiki) The term has some range. But none of the Tron-inspired art below would be considered retro of any Futurist stuff in the early or mid 1900′s. If there’s one common thread to that movement, I would say it was about loving movement and playing with shapes. The pics below are precise. They are grids, they are stacked lines and boxes that are conforming to a path. Yes, they have motion, but they aren’t loving being in motion. Like tossing a baseball in space, its just gonna make a straight line for a long long long time. A real Futurist would want to depict all the potential movement of that baseball, in one painting , starting with the winding motion of the pitcher.
So what are good examples of retro-futurism? Well consider first what ended Futurism. The future. Duy. Obviously Futurist painters died off. Saucer shaped buildings were always a novelty, not the norm. A giant arch around a building was eventually just costly and unnecessary. People were gonna eat cheeseburgers because they liked chesseburgers, arch or no… So I’d say art that revives the fun of the future would be considered retro-futurism. A great example is obviously Futurama. Every background shot of New NYC in Futurama is exactly that silly Googie architecture across an entire city. But are cartoons not serious enough to be consider retro-futuristic. Well, “retro” anything is always playing off what that thing was. And futurism wasn’t boring, so to retro-ize it is like double the fun. I’d consider many cartoons retro-futurism. Dexter’s Lab was also highly stylized with elements from futurist architecture, but even the character design includes many of the same swooping shapes.
Now to be fair, the Unicorn Alien Killer below is very playful, but I won’t give it marks for being retro-futuristic. It could be considered “retro”-something. I’m reminded of getting my dad to buy me Atari games based on how cool the box art was. Someone else might be reminded of a Motley-Crew t-shirt. I have no problem with the term “retro”, its just that “futurism” is reserved already and its not what’s below. Hear yours truly wax philosophical even longer on this topic in this drawing tutorial.
Thanks for giving me some feedback yesterday about where you all first heard about CartoonSmart. Here’s why I was wondering, and yeah obviously it has to do with $$$…
I pay Google A LOT of money for advertising. I’ve written a couple times before about my love / hate relationship with PPC ads. I love traffic. I hate paying for it. But I also don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it either. Its like a tattoo, its there if I want to look at it, but what’s the point now. I can’t exist without my tattoos and I can’t really pick up new customers without Google. But I can scale back what I pay them, and I’ve been trying to figure out if its worth dropping some of my Content Network ads. If you don’t know….
Paying for Search ads on Google means someone has to search for specific terms I place ads on. Like “Flash tutorials”. Paying for ads on the Content Network is a bit more vague. In Glengarry-Glen Ross terms, the leads are weak. Ideally, the ad should appear on a site that has content related to what I’m advertising about. So someone might write “I need Flash tutorials” on a forum and my ad could show there. They might also write “anyone got a tutorial on installing a new flash for my camera” and its possible my ad would run for that. Which is okay, because I don’t actually pay for impressions (the ad being seen), I pay for the ad being clicked on.
So here’s the question… Why not just buy as many ads as possible? Since I’m only paying for clicks, and I’m assume they are somewhat qualified leads, like the person actually reads the ad and decides “I want to know more!” . Well Google answered this question for me pretty well the other day. My assumptions were probably a bit optimistic.
I started looking in the Network tab ( which I’m pretty sure is a new feature to Adwords ) and I could see some of the sites that were running my Content ads. A lot of non-English sites, a lot of Flash gaming sites geared toward 13 year olds, and some shareware/torrent type sites (great, right). So I was not happy. It was like finding out what was in Google’s secret sauce was poison. I excluded probably 100 sites from running our ads. Basically carpet-bombed a lot of advertising. But on the flip side, some of my campaigns did have a lot of domains listed in the Network tab that I could tell just from name alone, was fine. These were sites I’m familiar with that are definitely Flash or Adobe-heavy community sites.
Anyway, I was afraid I might have bombed some of the ads that brought in YOU. And I guess its possible, because I think I did wipe out about $30 worth of daily traffic, but I’m hoping its just click-crazy kids that were looking for Flash games.
And good news for anyone considering using Adwords, there is a lot more transparency in where your money goes. Its still not perfect, but a lot has been improved since… (runs to check) ….Feb 19, 2002 when I signed up. I bought 2 clicks that day (yesterday was 2,218).
Here’s a great short animation from David Forest, who spent 8 months on pre-production and about 3 months on the actual production and post-production. What a schedule… You, college kids don’t think you have a lot of free time, but oh, you do!
David got a lot right here in his final graduation project…
- Time: Around a minute, which is perfect. He didn’t go overboard on unnecessary shots which is easy to do when you build an elaborate 3D environment.
- Story: He got his character into a mess, and out of one in style.
- FX: the 3d is gorgeous.
I know some of my visitors were too young to remember when the Simpsons first aired, so here’s a little history. The show was HUGE!! Despite its almost worldwide recognition today, its no longer a craze. It hasn’t been in probably 18 years, but there was a time when it was over the top popular. Kids were wearing Bart merchandise like crazy (yeah mostly Bart, not Homer). And anything that reaches a certain level of popularity runs the risk of unofficial merchandise being sold. Which gave rise to black Bart. Check it out…
These versions were not always “on-model” either, as you can see. But now, after 20 long years, we can finally see what an officially licensed darkened-version of the Simpsons would look like. Ta-da!!….
This is from a promotional campaign in Africa, because the show apparently doesn’t air there yet. But will be soon and inevitably to some disappointment, because the Simpsons aren’t being recolored in the actual show. I guess the promoters will have some explaining to do after the first airing when they are back to being white. I mean, yellow.
You can read a little more on this at my favorite news site, The Daily Mail .