Practice, Practice…

Gem rendering practice

Since doing that cover last year, I’ve been slacking off on drawing and painting practice. Trying to remedy that. Here’s my go at an exercise from Concept Cookie. Painted in Krita.

Gem rendering practice
Need a cough drop?

I’m also working on some new art for Witch Way, the mobile app based on the computer game the kids play in The Witch Game, but that isn’t ready to show yet.

The new cover is finally here

Creepspace: The Witch Game

When I first published Creepspace: The Witch Game, I also did the cover art and, at the time, it was the best I could do. But that cover didn’t entice the right age group (ages 8 – 12). It did seem to appeal to kids in the 4 – 6 age range, but they’re too young for the book.

So I finally dove in and redesigned the cover. Thanks to people like Timothée Giet and David Revoy, I was able to find my way around the awesome open source painting program known as Krita. I still used my old stalwarts, GIMP and Inkscape, for image processing and text/pdf layout, repsectively, but I have to say that I really enjoyed painting with Krita and I look forward to getting better at it.

Anyway, I hope this new cover appeals more to the kids who might read the book. I’ve already started on a second book in the Creepspace anthology series which I hope to have out early next year, time permitting.

Creepspace: The Witch Game
Creepspace: The Witch Game

Summer Camp

What I did today.

Today I finally got to set up my work space for my “Summer Camp” project. This summer, I’m treating myself to animation camp … in my spare bedroom. It took most of the afternoon to clean the space out, then to gather, assemble, hang, or otherwise make useful all of the various pieces of my master plan, but now it’s all there. (A special thanks to Adam for helping me put the animation table together last weekend.) Now all I have to do is the work. I took a picture because this is likely the last time that space will be neat for a while. (Sorry, De. 😉 )

Oh, somebody told you hand drawn animation was dead? Not in Nashville, Tennessee, it isn’t. Just give me a few weeks to get my peg legs under me and I’ll show you. 🙂

What I did today.
What I did today.

Working the Lines

The Gimp Way

This post is actually kind of momentous though it may not seem like much. First, the not so important part: I did some testing in Flash to see how I might be able to get decent line quality using Flash as a frame-by-frame animation tool. It’s okay, I guess, though the underlying drawing is kind of sucky. On the second head, I experimented with using blurs on some elements.

Flash Lines
Flash Lines

But the cool part is the image below. For this one, I was testing the idea of inking and painting in Gimp over a camera shot of a penciled image (the same image in this post, also not a great underlying drawing but good enough for test purposes). I really like both how this turned out and the process. My next step is to try it on a short animated sequence to see if line quality holds up under those circumstances. If that works, then I think I’ve finally found my pipe line for hand-drawn animation. 🙂

The Gimp Way
Doesn’t that just look like a traditional hand-painted cel?