Thursday, 11 July 2013


I'm thinking of getting an animation program for my Mac. I've been researching  everything available at a reasonable price eg. Pencil, Tapptoons, Morph Age, Synfig, Artoonix, Anime Studio, Toon Boom and Adobe Flash. The simpler programs are not really relevant as they don't provide for computer tweening. I did an animation unit when I did my Graphic Design Certificate in the 80s. Computers were not used at all, so our animation was done the traditional way, frame by frame. For years I have been wanting to try animation again and to me, the whole point of using the computer to do it is to get that tweening and make it quicker. I seem to be such a loner in my art that I want a program that I can make a short film with all by myself.

At Uni. I have used the program Nuke to morph and distort shapes to do simple animations, but using Nuke is overkill for what I want. It is the main program used by the big commercial studios to create special effects. In Nuke you build your effects yourself, which gives you full control of what happens. I do believe that it is the most powerful and flexible program available - it makes Adobe After Effects seem really crude and simple. It is, however, way beyond my budget and as I am awkward with any but the most intuitive and mac friendly programs I am going to give it a miss.

I want to animate my drawings and paintings so a 2D drawing program is what I am looking for. The 3D world of a program like Maya holds no appeal. I dont want to go there. If I want to get more depth in my work I think I will overlay the drawings on to live, but rather abstract footage. Most of the films I take seem to have very abstract elements anyway. Film-making is not my thing, probably because I really don't care about the technical quality of film. Aesthetically, I prefer indistinguishable blurs and pixelation to hyper-realism.

Having looked at what is available, I think that the program I will go with is Anime Studio Debut which I should be able to get a recent version for $50 or less. Toon Boon Studio is over $300, and they both seem to have similar capabilities including the automatic morphing/warping capability of an internal "skeleton" to the structures (vector based animation).

Still enjoying Porkchop 'n Flatscreen, I wonder what program Emezie uses?

Thinking or filming; I like to take photos, but am I a photographer?

I am an artist. I could also be a writer and I am sensitive to sound and the structure of music, but am I a photographer or film maker? Probably not. I really don't care much about the quality of my photography or film-making which is obvious if you have a look at my films I have posted here, with my own structured artwork I get a lot more fussy.

Wherever I go, whatever I see, I analyse the structure and form of what is around me, but I am not really the sort of person who carries a camera and uses it as an extension of their mind. I would like to be, because I see so many opportunities for film making.

The classic missed opportunity was years ago when my partner and son were riding in an Adult and Child Pair at a local agricultural show. My partner, Kate, was riding a young horse and our son was on his fluffy pony. I was taking photos, I was watching through the viewfinder as they went around the ring with the other pairs. Suddenly, without warning, the young horse who was feeling a bit tired after being at the show all day, sat down in the ring in the middle of the class. What did I do? Did I take the comedy show shot of the decade? No, I was so surprised I dropped the camera.

So what next? A combination of drawing/painting and film would have to be animation. Just watched this so I'm sharing it.