First steps to a walk cycle

Not Just A Flash In The Pan!

Adobe’s Flash has been a little contriversial of late, having sparked the ructions between Adobe and Apple as to whether web content created with it would be usable on the latters products. When Adobe lost the battle it was kind of assumed that Flash was probably dead in the water but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Now with HTML5 making interactive web content a different ball game Flash’s future is in question again.

I can’t comment on whether the Apple debacle or the introduction of HTML5 will once and for all dispatch Flash as a tool for interactive web creation because I don’t know and, if I’m frank, don’t really care! My interest in Flash has nothing to do with interactive web content and everything to do with animation.

The Right Tool… Not A ‘Right Tool’

So why am I rabitting on about Flash then?

I have recently been commissioned to produce a piece of 2D

animation for a client – all the details of which will be kept on the QT until the project is done and dusted. I am not doing this endeavour alone, instead roping in some old friends to help me cope with the projects large volume of work and inevtiable crazy fast turn around. Together we decided that the best tool to use for this was Adobe Flash. Well, when I say “best” it was the appropriate tool for the job, however “best” would imply a certain familiarity and fore knowledge of the product which isn’t exactly the case. So to make sure I didn’t look a right tool I’ve been cracking on trying to wrap my head around the new features.

Don’t get me wrong, I have done training in Flash – I have a little certificate and everything – except it was a long time ago, before I had any real notion about studying animation or David Cameron had any notion he’d end up as Prime Minister or anyone had used an iPad! I spent two days learning Flash CS4 and then two subisquent days trying to work out how to adapt those lessons for CS3 which is all I had installed!

Now I have CS5…

One of the features of CS5 that I’m not so familiar with is the, cringely names, ‘boning tool’, which creates an armature that can be used for animating any jointed thing… from people, to cats, to cranes (both bird and machine!).

First Steps

So here’s my first attempt at creating something that uses the boning tool in Flash CS5…

I emphasise it really was my very first attempt and I know I have lots more work to do but it was, in more ways then one, my first steps with Flash!!

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'Swamp' by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

Illustration Friday – Swamp

I guess I should accept it, characters are what I do or perhaps I will do other things… I just shouldn’t go cold turkey on the character design!

As I mentioned at the end of my last IF post I wanted to try to do something that was less focused on character design and this weeks topic, ‘swamp’ seemed just perfect. So I started thinking about it and doing some doodles and suddenly there they were, looking up at me from my sketch pad, three gooey characters that had literally grown up out of the swamp! Not only did they stare up at me with the distinct expression of “this is our swamp and we’re not leaving” but they came complete with an entire short story for me to pen about them!

Well, after a little initial outrage at having my best efforts at creating a landscape scene hijacked by sentient gloop, I decided that I should just roll with it. So I have, with a fully Photoshopped illustration and a scribbled outline for a short story which, once I’ve eventually finished it, I will see about posting up as a podcast! 

And here they are, the Swampies…

'Swamp' by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

'Swamp' by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

'Under Canvas' by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

Illustration Friday – Intention

Not so much intention… as ‘in tent’!

Okay, I know it’s a terrible joke but I didn’t have time to do the illustration I wanted to do, as it would have taken too long with the other work I have at the moment, and the piece I started took a different direction to the one I was intending.

This piece was actually a piece of speculative concept work I did for a client earlier in the year.

'Under Canvas' by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

‘Under Canvas’ by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

It turned out that this wasn’t the look they wanted for the piece so it got pushed to the side. This then, though not what it was intended for, is its moment of glory, though obviously pretty tentative as far as this weeks IF is concerned. I’ll try to do better next week!!

It was a pen and ink illustration coloured in Photoshop.

'More then Capable' by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

Illustration Friday – Capable

So, the word for IF this week was Capable.

ca·pa·ble  (adjective) – having power and ability; efficient; competent: a capable instructor.”

Dictionary.com

I didn’t really think I’d have much time to do something for this week because of other commitments but I still toyed with several ideas, some more sophisticated than others, before doing a quick doodle on the side of a Sudoku puzzle in bed. Hmmm… I thought sleepily, this might have potential, but then I fell asleep and dropped the Sudoku puzzle on my face!

I re drew it the next day, scanned it in and then, every time I needed a break from the work I was doing, fiddled with it a little bit more in Photoshop until it was done. Had I had more time to dedicate to it, it would have obviously been more polished but as it is only a day’s tinkering in my downtime, I’m actually quite proud of it!

Right, without further a do, I am pleased to introduce to you Intergalactic Dishwasher Extraordinaire, Bob, a more than capable member of the kitchen team!

'More then Capable' by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

'More then Capable' by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

"Hatch!" by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

Illustration Friday – Suspense

I was REALLY inspired by this week’s Illustration Friday topic, “Suspense”. Whereas last time I took a while to hit my stride by brain, full of Hitchcock films and urban fantasy novels, was positively bursting with ideas for this. That said I quickly discarded some of my earlier inspirations – breaking rope, dangling knives and hands on door knobs – for this idea.
"Hatch!" by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

"Hatch!" by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

Inspired by a trip to bird sanctuary many years ago, where I spent ages watching a chick hatch from an egg. It took hours, I stood and watched it when we arrived for maybe twenty minutes, hoping to see the moment when the little critter burst forth from the shell, but nothing much happened so I went round the santuary, went had some lunch in the facilities cafeteria and finally came back hours later to find that the chick had managed to produce another tiny crack in the shell. Hatching it seems is not a speedy process! With that in mind I suddenly thought what it would be like to watch an egg hatch and not know what might crawl out of it. A monster? A pterodactyl? A dragon? So this illustration is set in a dark space, maybe a cave, and the creature has just managed to push enough of the shell away to reveal an eye… and its certainly no fluffy little chick in there!!

This image was done almost entirely digitally, without the preliminary sketch that I usually do as a guide. I used Photoshop to create it, of course, and have tried to incorporate the use of more filters, textures and image manipulation.

Illustration Friday - Forward

Illustration Friday – Forward

I used to submit something to Illustration Friday regularly on a different blog but got out of the habit of doing them, but I’ve been using the new year (and a very chilly and unspiring January) to re evaluate the things I do with my time and IF is back on the menu. Its good to have a deadline and a brief but still keep almost complete artistic freedom.Illustration Friday - Forward

So, this week the word was forward which made me think of things which move forward and since time can only move forward I focused on that – both the human formulation (the clock) and the more physical manifestations, such as day and night and the seasons. This, by the way, is much deeper thinking then I normally come up with!!

As ever this was a drawing I scanned and then worked on in my old friend, Photoshop.