Saturday, December 27, 2014

Free Stuff for the Holidays Part I

Some cool stuff for the holidays absolutely free!!
Happy holidays everyone.




3D / Animation:
Free 3D software: 7 top tools to download today
http://www.creativebloq.com/3d/best-free-3d-software-1131630




Computer Graphics Masters: download this free digital book today!


Art:
Free magazines on drawing and comic creation from Twomorrows Publishing.
http://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=108&zenid=k8e3gdon2eo3u5offp3ejq4ij2



Audio:
Audio clips for music production.
License: Free for commercial use.

http://www.orangefreesounds.com/happy-holidays-collection/


Technical Details



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

“Disfigured” Video Game Music Score


Completed a music score for a video game called “Disfigured” which was picked up by Pixel Start Games. Check out the music samples on the link below and let me know what you think.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1234468491/disfigured?ref=discovery


If you like, please contribute to help support college students learning Game Design.
Cheers.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Free (Open Source) Animation Software





It’s been a while folks. Sorry for the downtime. Have been working on some interesting side projects (more on that soon).

A recurring question many people ask is about animation & art software that is free or low cost. Compiled here is a short list which hopefully will be of help.

Blender: http://www.blender.org/ 
Open Source 3d modeling and animation program that rivals 3D Max and Maya.
For Windows, Linux and OSX.





Synfig Studio
: http://www.synfig.org/cms/
Vector based 2d animation program that supports multiple layers, filters, gradients and more. For Windows, Linux and OSX. Terrific resources as well.
Another 2d animation program that supports bitmap and vector. Has color tools and supports wacom drawing tablets. For Windows, Linux and OSX.


Plastic Animation Paper:
 http://plasticanimationpaper.dk/
Traditional 2d animation software. Onion skinning, flipping of drawings, X sheet functions. For Windows.
A digital pencil tester / stop motion program. For Windows.

Vector based drawing / paint  program similar to Illustrator. For Windows, Linux and OSX.
Program similar to Photoshop. For OSX (may still be able to find Windows version too).
Free painting and digital illustration application. For Windows, Linux and OSX.


Paint.Net: http://www.getpaint.net/index.html
My go to when you have no access to Photoshop, for photo manipulation and more.

Windows only.
Digital drawing and painting software. Windows only. excellent tool.

Windows Movie Maker:
 http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-live/movie-makerMovie editing software that can import images you can control the frame rate. For Windows.
Similar functionality to Movie Maker but for the Mac and IPad.

Make Human:
 http://www.makehuman.org/
A modeling program that specializes in creation of people. For Windows, Linux and OSX.

Check these out. Note that you should be able to export images from the paint programs and then and vary frame rate for animation in the editing programs.


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Saturday, June 14, 2014

21 Draw: 100 Artists Unite to Solve All Your Art Problems

 An art reference book that covers character design, action poses, facial expression and more. Drawn by 100 top artists and professionals who have worked for Disney, Pixar, Marvel, DC Comics, Capcom, Dreamworks and other big names in the entertainment industry. This book looks like a keeper. Started as an Indiegogo project and got more than triple funded.

Check it out and pre-order if you like:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/21-draw



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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Spring Cleaning: Alternatives to Buying New Software



I was recently in the process of migrating to a new computer. The "new" computer being a slightly old Compaq that was upgraded to Windows 7 from XP.  The software I was reinstalling  I found  out had reached it's limit as far as installations. These days with online registration there are limits to the number of installs you can do from the original disk. You are also limited  usually to one machine as well, so if your computer ID is different you are usually out of luck.

So if you can no longer reinstall; if you have hit your limit, what are your options? You can buy the latest version of your software but that could be a very pricy proposition.  If cost is a concern try these options.

Open Source
Is there an open source alternative to the software you need. You would be surprised as to how fully featured some of the open source software is. In most cases the software is free with the option to donate what you wish.

Educational Versions
Educational versions of software varies from free to a substantial cost reduction from retail price. The only restriction might be use for learning only and not for use on commercial projects. Also to get the special pricing you may need to prove you are either a student or an instructor by sending a copy of your school ID or having a educational email address. If the word gets out that you used software for commercial gain, be ready to pony up full pricing.

Used Software
Sometimes you can find used version that haven't had all the installs registrations used up. In some cases the original owner may need to notify the software company of a transfer of license to a new owner. Ebay could be a good resource for this.

The Upgrade
If you have registered your software and entered an email address,  most companies will contact you whenever the new version is released and offer you an upgrade to the new version at a reduced cost. Usually much cheaper than buying the new version outright.

The Non -Latest Version
What worked in my situation was purchasing the non -latest version. Very often you can find a slightly older version of the software at a significantly reduced price. Often you will find  that there might not be too much of a difference between say version 4 and 5 but the savings can be significant. Try Amazon or Ebay for this. We are talking new software that has not been opened or used it just hasn't been sold in a timely fashion. It doesn't make sense for a retailer to hang on to software that is outdated, hence savings as good as 50 to 80 percent off.  For the price of the current version of software, I purchased a non-latest software bundle (one version behind) at a huge discount, with all the functionality and two additional pieces of software for less than just the single version. One last cool thing is that because the software was slightly older,  my machine specs worked perfectly since it didn't require the latest and greatest.

Hope these tips help. Happy hunting. Don't forget to use Amazon, Ebay and Google price comparisons.


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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Why Your Concept Art Portfolio is Being Ignored



Chris Oately is a Disney artist who offers surprising insight to fellow artist and designers. Are you not getting the response you seek when submitting your portfolio? He talks about getting inspired, research, originality and using your imagination to better your results. Get your portfolio top notch with his insight. Check out this link:

http://chrisoatley.com/concept-art-portfolio-p1/?awt_l=4mEKk&awt_m=3l5lmyRU6pUGLtM



Monday, March 24, 2014

Visual Development Kickstarter






Over 25 artists from Ringling College of Art and Design have collaborated to create a hardcover edition of the book " Design Unscripted"! The book’s aim is to help launch the careers of aspiring Visual Development Artists. Artwork looks terrific. Hopefully they will reach their project goal amount.

Check this out:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1498141884/design-unscripted


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 priority.


Inside The Pixar Braintrust



Here is a cool atricle about Pixar and and their thought process when they create movies.
Check it out.
http://www.fastcompany.com/3027135/inside-the-pixar-braintrust

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Google Sketch-Up and Comic Art

Google SketchUp and Comic Art
In a prior post I mention how game studios used Sketch-Up as a design tool:
http://tripleadude.blogspot.com/2014/01/google-sketch-up-and-game-design.html


Comic book artists have also been using this tool to help with backgrounds on there comic strips.
Check out these links:

http://paolorivera.blogspot.com/2012/06/wacky-reference-wednesday-no-178.html

http://leinilyu.deviantart.com/art/sanctum-sanctorum-52955441


You will get a kick out of this video tutorial on using Google building maker -
http://vimeo.com/58729524
Main site for download:
http://www.sketchup.com/products/sketchup-make

There is a pro version as well with educational licensing for students.


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Get on my email list and let me know which category is your favorite; animation, audio or art:
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 priority.




Friday, February 28, 2014

The Low Cost Cintiq Alternative

Ray Frenden is a talented artist who has been keeping us up on all the new low cost Cintiq alternatives out there. If you are thinking about purchasing a standard Wacom drawing tablet, you need to check this out first!

http://frenden.com/tagged/review

Check out Ray's work here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rayfrenden/sets/72157603779871503/



Here is Cintiq alternative update:
http://tripleadude.blogspot.com/2015/12/a-better-cintiq-alternative-amazon-fire.html


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Thursday, February 20, 2014

2D to 3D Animation Software Part II


Here is another software that has it's own take on 2D to 3D when it comes to character turnarounds.
CrazyTalk Animator 2 by Reallusion:




Check it out!


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Monday, February 3, 2014

Complacency is not an option.





Things move at such a rapid pace these days. Technology is evolving faster. New software and upgrades seem to happen overnight. Where does this leave you as an artist from a learning standpoint. You have to adapt and evolve just a quickly. You can't afford to be stagnant or you will be left behind.


What are some of your go to sites for keeping in the know about news, latest trends and techniques? Here are a few of mine:

Some of the best tutorials on creating digital art
http://www.imaginefx.com/-2287754330326480692/Workshops.html
http://beta.imaginefx.com/ - homepage with interviews and more

See the latest work of pro artists
http://www.conceptart.org/


3D and Game Artists – News, artist's galleries and tutorials
http://www.3dtotal.com/

News on Animation and film
http://www.awn.com/

Character Designer Blog
http://characterdesign.blogspot.com/

Please share your thoughts on this.


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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

2D to 3D Animation Conversion Software (Live 2D)




Is it true? Is there software that can take you 2D designs and convert them into 3D animation?

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flash/articles/design_character_pt2.html

It appears that the company Cybernoids  may have found a way to automate the process described above by Flash guru, Chris Georgenes. Check out these two links below. Live 2D is also available as a free download for non commercial purposes. Look for the Cubism editor download.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrLnF7CQ8Ac

http://www.live2d.com/en/about 
- Have a look at the workflow tab and downloads.

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Some Character Design Tips




Here are some links to some tips on character design.

I should mention that Chris Oatley is a Disney character designer with some serious connections.
Link two has a podcast with interviews as well.

Enjoy!

http://chrisoatley.com/character-design-goes-deep/?awt_l=4mEKk&awt_m=3d476q1JF7UGLtM

http://chrisoatley.com/character-design/

http://paperwingspodcast.com/pw-9-five-tips-to-make-your-character-designs-more-dynamic-believable/

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Google Sketch-Up and Game Design


Here are some links to how game designers are using Google Sketch-Up for game design.
Google Sketch-Up is an easy tool to create 3D environments and backgrounds quickly. It's used also in comic book creation. Best of all, it's free for non-commercial usage if you want to try it out.

http://www.sketchupartists.org/spotlight/artists/robh-ruppel-google-sketchup-in-game-design/
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/howtos/howto_make_left_4_dead_map_google_sketchup
http://www.sketchup.com/case-study/massive-black

Main site for download:
http://www.sketchup.com/products/sketchup-make
There is a pro version as well with educational licensing for students.


More links to follow!


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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Content Creation and Survival in the Entertainment Business.




I should have prefaced my last post with the importance of ideas and being a content creator. Survival in the entertainment business depends on how prolific you are, the quality of your work and your skills and execution when it comes to production. Most students coming out of school may have talent, know software and be technically proficient but if you can't create quality work you are in trouble.

Some things to consider; global economics and entertainment contracts. Being that our economy is global, one thing you may need to be aware of is outsourcing. You might be competing with others as talented as you are but can work for less.




As far as contracts go, all entertainment companies usually have an IP (intellectual property) clause buried in the small print. That clause states that any idea you create while employed by the company can become the property of said company. What does that mean for you when you sign this contract? You may get a job but the company owns the idea.Whoever owns the idea gets the true rewards. Companies have the means to capitalize on all aspects of an idea once acquired.

One of the great advantages of crowdfunding is that you can get the funds to complete a project without having to give up creative and artistic control.  Even Disney learned a hard lesson about ownership when he lost the rights to Oswald the lucky rabbit:
https://thewaltdisneycompany.com/blog/happy-85th-anniversary-oswald-lucky-rabbit.

Check out some projects of all types and categories being created on Kickstarter or Indigogo:
http://www.kickstarter.com/
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects?filter_quick=popular_all&gclid=CN7f7_mM7bsCFcJ0QgodqH0AKg


Get inspired. Get creative.Create and produce!

To get you in the mindset, you may want  revisit some of these older posts on becoming a subject matter expert from March and April 2012.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Is Hollywood becoming obsolete?

Here is an article from Rolling Stone about the future of Hollywood. Check it out:

http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/is-hollywood-model-doomed-steven-spielberg-and-george-lucas-think-so-20130815

If the blockbuster model that Hollywood continues to follow is doomed, what does that mean for creative people wanting to get into the business? Lucas and Spielberg mentioned how hard it was to get Red Tails and Lincoln to the theaters. We are talking the creators of ET, Raider's of the Lost Ark and Star Wars.Wow!

What can be learned by this? The industry is changing. What is the impact of Netflix, Redbox, You Tube and mobile apps having on our entertainment delivery? Spike Lee, Zach Braff, James Franco and other high profile entertainers have turned to crowdfunded sources like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to get projects done.

Could this be an alternate why to get funded and possibly provide a heightened way for marketing. Can social media be a new type of marketing and distribution tool?

Be a content creator, find your demographic and see if crowd-funded sites like the above mentioned might be the answer to get projects done. Do some research on projects that have used these resources. Surround yourself with people skilled to help or use your subject matter expert skills to get the job done. The nice thing is that you still retain the rights for your project.


Proving your can create and produce makes you more of a commodity and a force to be reckoned with. Isn't that what a mogul does?


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 priority.


Have a Happy New Year everyone!