Sunday, December 23, 2012

Flash Animation Tutorial #1, Setup your file - Alex Butera

These tutorials give the basicis on getting started with Linear Animation in Flash, and also discusses After Effects intergration.

The author:

Flash Tutorials On Traditional Animation

Friday, December 21, 2012

Flash to After Effects Experiment 02: Exporting FXG


A FXG file is a "new" file that Flash exports, instead of the usual Adobe Illustrator filetype (.ai).  Why Adobe did this? I don't know.

So, with that, I fired up Illustrator and saw how it imported. 

What the...?
It did not import the forearm. I decided to go back to Flash and break up the symbol that had all the arm shapes in it and put each symbol in it's own layer.  I also decided to draw a new hand with the fingers separated (for another test I want to see...)

That's a little better...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Flash to After Effects Experiment 01: Exporting Characters?

So, I did some stuff a LOOOOONG time ago with some STTNG Characters drawn by Josh Howard.   I worked in Flash tracing out the character of Data, trying to make animatable character for me to use for cartoons.

Well, I let things go a little bit--starting College up again and all--and never did finish up.

However, I have been doing some thinking, and I wondered if there is a way to import characters I draw up in Flash into After Effects and animate them there, using AEs powerful effects and the like.  There are a few different ways to do animation in AE, so I wasn't sure which one I should use.

So, I decided to try some experiments to see if it would work. I made a new FLA with just one frame. I splayed out the arms and legs of Data so I can try out different types of animation.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - 2K for $3K? Yes Please!

So, supposedly there is a gap for videomakers who want to shoot High Quality video, but supposedly can't afford a 16 to 20 thousand dollar camera. (damn, that IS expensive)

Enter Digital Bolex. They used all common parts (in other words, no custom chips or processors or whatnot) and slapped together this camera. A 2K camera for around three thousand bucks.

Artist depiction... NICE!

So this thing can kick out 2336 by 1752, 2048 by 1152, the two flavors of HD and even a 720 by 480, if you want to totally waste the potential of the camera. It records to CompactFlash cards, so if you have some of those lying around you're set. The file size is 2 to 3 MB per FRAME, so you better have some big cards like around, though!

Framerate goes up to 32fps for 2K, 60fps for 720p, and 90 for the 480p. So... SLO-MO ENABLED!

Here it is looking like a Retro-Spider cam!
Here is the spec sheet, and here is the website: Products |

And.. .yeah. Sweet

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mozilla Popcorn

This week Mozilla is in London at the Mozilla Festival 2012. A year ago at last year’s Festival, we released Popcorn.js 1.0, and with it a way for filmmakers, journalists, artists, and bloggers to integrate audio and video into web experiences. Popcorn has since become one of the most popular ways to build time-based media experiences for the web. It has proven to be uniquely powerful for bespoke web demos, films, visualizations, etc. This year, we’ve come to the Mozilla Festival with an even bigger 1.0 release: Popcorn Maker 1.0.
Here is a quick and dirty video I did. I pulled a video from youtube and put some dialogue bubbles... only a few. Not exactly a very exciting foray, but a foray nonetheless.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Trying to learn: Adding more code!

This is lesson 5 (Link).
This video further expands on the facial expressions controls and builds some relationships between them like having a blink affect the eye brows and the cheeks or a smile slider affect the mouth, the jaw and the cheeks all at the same time without having to animate them independently.

  1. Go to the Null Object that corresponds with the names below.
  2. Copy the code that corresponds to the Null Object below. 
  3. Alt+Click on Position Stopwatch to paste code in blank.
  4. Profit.
Blink, MouthShape, Jaw, Smile, Eyebrows, Anger, Cheeks. Then make new ones by the names EyeBrowsRT and EyeBrowsLFT.  


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Trying to Learn: Preventing Distortion with the Puppet Pin and Starch Pin tool

Supposedly this will teach me to Apply Expressions to the Sliders that I addded to the Null Objects to prevent too much distortion to the Puppet Pins. (Link)

What'd I just say?

Update: This lesson used the Puppet Pins and Starch Pins to prevent too much distortion when you use the Null objects to distort the face.

Red Dots are the Starch pins, the Yellow X are the Puppet pins.  The yellow X with a red "null" box attached to them are the animatable distortion areas of the face.

Video Follows:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Trying to Learn: Puppet Pins and Null Objects

Part 2:  Attaching Null objects to the eyes and mouth, then attaching sliders to the null objects. (link)

Part 3: Creating Puppet Pins to distort the face, and attaching null objects to pins to use sliders. (link)

ADD THIS BIT OF CODE to the pins, by right clicking the position "clock" and add this to the expression area. then highlight the layer name (in red) and pick whip to the correct layer:

n = thisComp.layer(“layerToFollow”);
nullpos = n.toComp(n.anchorPoint);

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Trying to Learn: Rigging a After Effects Character part 1

Started the first lesson of Creating and Rigging a character for animation in After Effects. (Link). I have also found some interesting plugins, as well:

Friday, June 1, 2012

New Leather "Medical Bag"

I always wanted a vintage military medical bag, but in leather instead of canvas. I finally decided to give it a go. I tried a new process of obsessively counting the stitches to make sure both sides had equal stitch holes. I then made sure to punch them with a snazzy diamond stitching chisel.

Ain't as fancy as I like, but it's just for me. If i were to do this again, I would probably make the corners rounded. Other than that, it looks pretty darned nice. more pics after the jump.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

iPhone case of the dead sale!

Come ON! I want to go ahead and make another one! Maybe one for the iPad!


This is a handmade leather iPhone case. The face is raised and has accents to show off the mouth, eyes and nostrils.

It does work with an iPhone 4s as well as a iPhone 4. The leather in the interior is VERY THICK. It is a very sturdy case.

There is a pocket for cash and ID in the inside, and the top is open for easy access to the power button and headphone jack. The mute button is covered, and there is no hole in the back for the camera (the original book of the dead had no holes for cameras!), but since the top is open, you could pull it out in a jiffy.

Enough is Enough! (A.K.A. "maybe I should do something")

I just finished up a few presentations last week; one on iMovie with the iPad/iPhone, and one about Flash Animation.


I overestimated the ability of communicating all the information I wanted to share; I wrote a 30 page word document! Even if I skipped the first half (which was the basics on how to use Flash) I would not have been able to finish in the 50 minutes I had. It was TOO MUCH.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Animation for the iPad?

I have been thinking of buying an iPad. For one thing, I will be giving a presentation on iPad and iPhone4 video editing with iMove this May, and I might want to brush up on that instead of borrowing the one iPad we have floating around the office.

Second, I am thinking of using the iPad as a tool, sorta like a laptop but more portable.

So, thinking along those lines, I have thought of what exactly I would want my iPad to do. Here are some apps I am thinking of (mainly for myself to remind me of what I had in mind.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Making Leather Laptop Bag

Drawing out the template to the leather.

Puppy is helping me.

Friday, February 3, 2012


Book of the Dead iPhone 4S case

I am working on refining this a bit; i used really thick leftover leather as a test, and I hope to get some thinner leather and make it a little less unwieldily; it is a pretty heavy chunk of leather!