The Adobe blogs have an interesting story on Renegade Animation and my old bosses who are using a new Adobe application called Character Animator.
Renegade Animation started out 25 years ago as a boutique commercial house specializing in 2D animation. Its two founders, Ashley Postlewaite and Darrell Van Citters met while working at Warner Bros. in the Looney Tunes commercial unit. Renegade Animation was an early adopter of digital tools to reduce costs and improve efficiency, and that still holds true today. Using many of the apps in Adobe Creative Cloud, the company created a paperless animation pipeline to support the production of animated episodic television, feature films, interactive games, and web and mobile content.
Recently Co-founder and Executive Producer Postlewaite, along with Production Manager Scott Lowe, and Animator and Storyboard Artist Scott Klass tried out another new technology. The team accepted an offer from Adobe to create some demo assets for Adobe Character Animator, a real-time animation tool that transforms static artwork into dynamic puppets.
Did you spend as much time watching television over the holidays as I did? If so, then you might have caught Nickelodeon’s first original animated TV movie, Albert. In the film, Bobby Moynihan (from “Saturday Night Live”) is the voice of a little Douglas fir tree named Albert who wants to become the Empire City tree.
Albert’s 3.1 million total viewers in Live+7 (which in TV ratings talk means the number of viewers within seven days of first showing) helped Nickelodeon finish 2016 as the number-one kid’s network for the year, according to numbers released last week.
Even if you were one of those millions of viewers, I bet you likely missed the story about how Dell Precision 5810 workstations helped them bring their first 45-minute movie to life, though.
“Using the Dell Precision with NVIDIA Quadro M6000 graphics cards has allowed us to stay competitive with overseas studios because we’re able to turn around results much faster and we’re able to keep a smaller team longer and be more efficient,” said Jason Meier, animation director at Nickelodeon, in the video below.
And if you missed it, or just want to hold on to that Christmas spirit and watch it again, the full Albert movie is available on Nick.com!
This Saturday I’ll be once again broadcasting LIVE on the Adobe Twitch stream at http://www.twitch.tv/adobe animating with Adobe Animate CC(formally Adobe Flash) where I’ll be animating nonsense like this gif… I may even fix it to be better! Join us and see! That’s 12-3 pm PST only on Twitch!
Following Animate’s rebirth just a few months ago, Adobe’s latest update is actually attempting to include animators and artists, which a huge welcome change! The two biggest additions are allowing a layer to be transparent! I know that’s SO 1995 but at least they’re finally listening! Also a new inclusion is the Frame Picker which mimics Lipper and Keyframe Caddy but is now included in the Application itself. The one thing I’m hoping for in the next version is to have the Frame Picker set a keyframe when you select a drawing form it’s display. Also there is the new-ish Pattern Brushes, which is very similar to Illustrator’s brushes and while I personally have not found much use for them, they ARE an artists addition and you might find a need for them. Actually I take it back, I made wallpaper on a background once using them.
(graphic symbol thumbnails)
Visually preview and choose the first frame for a graphic symbol. In previous releases, you could not preview the frames without getting within the symbol. This feature enhances the user experience for animation workflows such as Lip Sync.
Paint a vector pattern along the path or stretch to its entire length. You can use the integrated global library within Animate to use Art and Pattern brushes. In addition to the default brush presets, you can import new Pattern Brushes to your Animate document using the CC Libraries. See them in action here.
If you’re a fan of Sketchbook Pro like I am you know it’s an amazing program. I would argue it’s the easiest program to use digitally out of the box bar none. No other program is intelligently designed enough to allow a 5-year-old to use it yet create broadcast or print quality work as well. You can draw, paint, and even animate with it and it is available on most platforms including OSX, Windows XP through Windows 10, and even your favorite Android tablet or iOs device as well! In short it’s an extremely versatile program all for $185! Not bad! They even have subscription for $4.99 a month which allows you to get the latest builds as they upgrade the software.
In short, pretty damn amazing if you ask me!
PLUS, it has a small footprint, which means it will work on old tablet PCs like the Motion Computing LE 1700 which you can get for a song these days on eBay and other places. Of course you can also use it with a Surface Pro or iPad Pro as well.
The latest version Sketchbook 8 has redesigned it’s brushes so you can really get some interesting details you can mix colors and blend them as well. Oil paint, watercolors, ink and chalk are some of the default choices but there are many others to choose from as well. Lately Sketchbook.com has been posting free custom brushes for download, and this week a buddy of mine was feature on the blog. Keith Cowan creates some truly amazing pieces of work and you owe it to yourself to check his work out.
Below is Keith‘s custom art brushes as well as other Sketchbook Brush download sets to get you started!
If you’re NOT familiar with Sketchbook Pro yet, below is a list of some of the things it can do right out of the box…