Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New survey of picturebooks

Little Big Books Trailer – Illustrations for Children’s Picture Books from Gestalten on Vimeo.

Just ordered Little Big Books because of this wonderful trailer. There's a very nice illustrated review here.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mister Got to Go Where Are You?

Rough for pp18-19. Mr. G is lost and has found refuge on the roof of an old shed.

Lois Simmie has written a wonderful final book called Mr. Got to Go, Where are You? for the final volume in the trilogy. It will be published at the end of this year by Red Deer Press and the Sylvia Hotel will be hosting a launch party for all the readers as part of the hotel's 100th anniversary celebrations. The launch will be sometime in October to December--the time will firm up as the year progresses.

Right now I'm busily working on the second stage of the illustration process, which is to turn the rough sketches into clean final line drawings on watercolour paper. When the line drawings are finished, I'll start painting. It's going to be very challenging to get the painting done and the art scanned by June 1st which is the absolutely latest deadline Red Deer can give me and still get the book out in 2013.

Our editor, Peter Carver, emailed 2 days ago, curious to see any finished line art, so I quickly snapped 9 photos with my ipad of what I've completed so far. You can see a slide show below or see the set of drawings here.  I don't work on the illustrations in the order they are in the book, so you'll only be able to guess at the plot.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Learning to Animate - Victor Paredes

I discovered the work and tutorials of Victor Paredes in 2012 when I started to make cut-out animation using book illustrations as source material. I wanted to make book trailers and was given a job to create one by Tradewind Books. The promise of a paycheque at the end of the process was a wonderful impetus to keep on keepin' on with learning to animate. For software, it was a choice between Toon Boom and Anime Studio. I tried the free trials for both and in the end chose Anime Studio: I liked the interface better; it offered a lot more kinds of animation for the price; and its process for cut-out animation seemed more straight forward than Toon Boom's. But what really sold me was the animation done by Victor Paredes in Anime Studio.

I am so in love with this young artist's work, his sensibilities, technique, and artistry. And he is an amazingly generous teacher with hundreds of helpful posts on the Lost Marble forum and absolutely wonderful webinars. Here's one that shows his brilliant rigging design for facial expressions. It's like watching magic.

There's so much to learn, but I'm having a lot of fun making book trailers, as well as sprite animation for apps.  Here's a little video of the progress of The King Has Goat Ears app. You can see a number of short animations in it that have been made from the illustrations in the print book. This is a screen recording with the theme music added. The theme music was purchased from a royalty-free audio website. (More on sounds in another post.)

I'm getting compfortable enough with the software to now be able to make a little video in a morning. Here's one made from a screenshot of a book cover by Georg Hallensleben. I adore his Gaspard et Lisa books and hope he'll forgive me for using his cover for a video birthday card for a friend who loves his art.