Bubble practice

After picking up a used copy of Elemental Magic, I tried a first go at a surface bubble. This was done straight-ahead in Pencil and it’s kinda-sorta-okay for a first try, I guess. For one thing, I realized during the process just how little I know about what happens inside the bubble. And, in spite of my best efforts to make things overlap, all of the drops seem to hit at the same time. Lesson: 1 or 2 frames is not enough space to give a sense of overlap. One other problem is that, since I haven’t done much straight-ahead animation, my hang time on the droplets really sucks.

For a look at somebody who knows what he’s doing, check out this lava bubble by the author of Elemental Magic.

John K’s $100 K is OK with me

I’ve decided to really focus on some of the fundamental drawing skills again and see if I can push past this mediocre plateau I’ve been on for a while now. To this end, I’m doing John Kricfalusi‘s “$100,000 Animation Drawing Course.” Here’s a small batch of starter sketches. These will mostly be used to compare against later. I imagine it’ll take a while to get me out of the first lesson.

Starter sketches for John K's $100K
Starter sketches for John K's $100K

And, here’s a frog study:
Frog study
Frog study

And, here’s a little practice drawing directly in Pencil with a background wash in Gimp:

Tombstone
Drawing practice in Pencil (with Gimp background).

Something old

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I found this old snippet from an abandoned project while cleaning out my hard drive. It makes me want to revive the project. Most of the art was created in Inkscape and then imported into KoolMoves where I added a few faint, wispy clouds (using a blur filter) and then animated the camera moves and the train cars. KoolMoves, unlike most of the software I use, is not open source, but it’s a really good and very inexpensive alternative to Flash, and it imports SVG files (which is what Inkscape makes). I’ve even been able to get KoolMoves running on Ubuntu using Wine/CrossOver. I plan to use KoolMoves to make a few original games for the Creepspace website. Take that, Adobe!

On a completely unrelated note, I’m not crazy about the new page layouts for individual videos over at YouTube. In particular, having the “more videos by this user” link on top of the main video seems like a really bad idea since opening it pushes the video you’re watching down the page. Not sure what YouTube is thinking with this redesign.