“Roamin” Sharon Coleman Kickstarter

Oscar nominated Sharon Colman is working on her latest 2D animated short. It’s a satire about the American bison’s struggle to remain the spirit of freedom. You can get in on the ground floor by supporting her Kickstarter campaign which is now 70% funded. Let’s get her to 100% and put bison and 2D animation back on the map.




Sharon Colman

Email:  sharon@sharoncolman.com

Website: www.sharoncolman.com


WB’s Histeria! finally coming to DVD!


Very happy to report that Warner Bros. Histeria! is finally coming to DVD after almost 20 years on the shelves. I was lucky to have directed many episodes of this forgotten gem created by Tom Ruegger, and I can’t wait to revisit the past and see old friends once again!

The Warner Archive Collection today announced that Histeria! – The Complete Series is coming to DVD on July 12th. This MOD (manufacture on demand) set will cost $59.99 SRP, and you can pre-order it from Warner’s online store, WBshop.com, using the button link below. Under that is the front package art. Amazon.com isn’t listing this title yet, but we’re sure they will be soon. We’ll have links to that, too, as soon as we can. TVShowsonDVD.com has more on the release.

Sketchbook Pro custom brush sets


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…

Distort transform

SketchBook Pro distort transform tool adjusting orientation of dragon sketch

Advanced perspective guides

SketchBook Pro advanced perspective guides being used to draw skyscrapers

Synthetic and blending brush types

SketchBook Pro synthentic and blending brushes blending several ink colors

Enhanced selection

SketchBook Pro enhanced selection tool being used to select pant color on sketch of Women

Dynamic gradient fill

SketchBook Pro dynamic gradient being applied to sketch of drill

Flipbook animation

Several frames of baseball player swinging using SketchBook Pro Flipbook animation

Custom canvas size up to 64 MPX

SketchBook Pro canvas UI that can be as large as 64MPX

Copic Color Library

SketchBook Pro Copic Color Library UI

Create and customize your own brushes

SketchBook Pro Customizable brush UI displaying all customization options

Brush Library

SketchBook Pro Brush library UI with wide variety of pre-made brushes to choose from

Advanced layer functionality

SketchBook Pro Layer group UI showing layers being organized by group

Blending modes

SketchBook Pro Blending mode UI showing all blend modes available

Now go out there and make some amazing content!

A Look Inside Boltron Ultimate

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Yesterday we posted the second episode of Boltron Ultimate and readers were asking how it was made, so we asked Chris Burns from Exit 73 to show us a bit more.

Unlike our typical projects (script, boards, layout, animation, post), we set this up as an authentic game production, I.E. creating assets (tons and tons of assets) and generating the story around the flow of the fight, to tell the story in one shot. We figured it would give it a more genuine feel, rather than just a pixelated animation. The idea was/is that if some interest comes down the pike, to make an actual game out of Boltron, we would simply submit the assets, and have the programmers take it from there, rather than generate new moves at the correct pixel ratio.  Figuring out the correct pixel ratio was a challenge as well, since we decided to use flash to create the art, so every frame, of every character is done one tiny square at a time. I’ve always welcomed challenges though when we started the studio, and this was one of those ideas, that needed a lot of trial and error before we could move forward. So the attachments are stills of what the files in flash looked like, before putting it together.

So when you say you drew this in Flash one pixel at a time are you saying you used the rectangle tool to draw rectangles over and over block by block to draw this stuff or did you use the pixel plugin I’ve seen? Did you draw it first in say Photoshop and then import? It seems kinda hard to get a nice design like you did by drawing originally with Flash. 

We would sketch it out with the brush tool first, relatively rough usually… Then we found the best way to achieve the sprite look was to blow up the flash canvas to 2200X2200 Click on the show grid and the snap to grid tabs, and then use the rectangle tool accordingly to build the image,   we would use the grid ratio of 10 pixels by 10 pixels and then shrink the final image to 25% of its original form.  We would still use symbols embedded like head symbols and puppeting elements too.  but all the original artwork was made one square at a time.  We tied using some plugins to achieve the pixel look, but it was super buggy and never felt quite right.  Also Boltron used a lot of robots, and getting symmetry with pixels was a lot easier actually counting out the squares than eyeballing it.

The sprite sheets/model sheets … so those are actually graphic Clips of animation nested inside or are they actually a sprite sheet where every motion is broken out as separate files?

Yes, we made them all loops, for the most part, so we treated the character animation almost like we would use mouth shapes for lipsync, rather than an “o” mouth we would say looks like its time for an “uppercut” or “cyber kick”.

How were those beautiful backgrounds done? Same way in Flash?

Backgrounds went through the same treatment, we would build out elements and build it almost like legos.  The beauty of referencing a game universe, is that we could reuse a lot of the elements and it not feel like a shortcut, since we have all seen how old school video games levels comprised.  I never felt cheated playing Super Mario Brothers, even though I know that the pipe on left is an exact duplicate of the one on the right.  So we applied the same theory here.

So when you built the film did assemble it entirely in Flash pans and all or did you do it with alphas and After Effects scene by scene and then export to Premiere or Final Cut.

We did all the animation strictly in Flash, embedding the scenes in one symbol and moving the camera accordingly.  It’s easier to see the playback instantly rather than hope it works out after a full render.  we would export the final animation as a PNG sequence and bring it into aftereffects to get it ready for youtube though.

The film really lends itself to the old console games, so much so I’d love to see a game made out of it. If someone chose to make a game out of this, what type do you see this as becoming? iOS/Android or console?

If I had my choice I would like to see it on Steam, That way the audience can judge it and take it from there on which way to push it.  I’m a firm believer in how the “free market” should dictate what gets made.  Steam has a nice way of getting an honest opinion on what’s seen without the bitter comments as seen on something like Youtube or Twitter.

How many more episodes will we see of Boltron Ultimate?
There will be 4 parts, that tell the whole story, each part though showcases a different type of game, so it doesn’t feel so repetitive.


Boltron Ultimate – Evil Maximus Omega (Ep #1)

Check out this really cool little series which mimics old school arcade games perfectly ad makes me want to break out my Sonic the Hedgehog games! I asked Chris Burns, one of the creators a few questions about the process and here’s what he said:

Did you guys do it alone or through a company? 
We animated everything through our company Exit 73 studios as first a short and then SpindoTV asked us to do a short web series within this universe… They were absolutely great and completely supported the direction we wanted to take these characters, each episode features a different style of gameplay, where episode 01 pays homage to a ninja gaiden/ turtles in time vibe, episode 02 finds its place in more of a legend of Zelda setting.
It’s found its home on SpindoTV, which is owned by the awesome toy company Spinmasters.
How’d you animate it?
We used strictly Flash for this one (specifically Flash MX) for a bunch of reasons, the playback and having audio was essential in getting the camera moves right.  How we got the pixel look, was setting the preferences to “snapping to grid”, which meant literally drawing and creating these images one tiny square at a time…. And boy did it take some time!  But I wanted to make sure it was as authentic to the process as it was making game imagery back in the day of pixel art.
 What was used to make it, in other words what was the process involved in making it?
Once animation was finished we scored the shorts with a combination of Fruity Loops and in-house equipment, then brought a PNG sequence into After Effects to export it so it was web ready.  It has been: and continues to be, one of the most rewarding animation projects I have been apart of, with content that is close to my heart, and learning a new style to animate with.

“Battle Deadline” by John Cody Kim

Check out this brilliant short film by Cal Arts senior John Cody Kim that follows 4 animation students trying to hit their deadlines for their films which goes horribly awry when discarded drawings attack! It was well directed, sweet and I was enthralled with the story. Such a great lil’ piece of film for a student. Enjoy!