Once again it was down to the wire this year. Several very late nights and a little perseverance, our popular holiday animation is done and online. Every year I curse at myself for not having started it sooner and every year I wait until the week before Christmas to get it done. Next year I’m going to start the next holiday animation in September. No really…
Mgreetings.com & Mudbubble LLC
My holiday animations are now available on Mgreetings.com! Mudbubble LLC and Mgreetings have partnered to offer you the ability to send those holiday animations to mobile devices as animated greeting cards! The only available animation is the one where Andrea is writing her wish list to Santa but soon there will be more! Look for her in the Christmas section
Game Show Network
On monday I officially join the GSN family. I’m very excited to start this next chapter of my career as I will be working with some very talented people on some exciting new projects. My official title will be Director of Creative Services. GSN is located in the new Adobe Systems building located in Waltham MA. Stay tuned!
The next title…
Since I am taking a little time off, I’m enjoying the process of book writing without the overhead of a full time job. Yes, there’s a new book in the making and one that I am very excited about. It will be another title with Focal Press and the subject matter a bit more focused. As many of you know my books feature tons of isolated animation techniques and effects but the question I get asked a lot lately is “How do I put it all together?”.
While speaking at Adobe MAX last week this was asked several times during my Lab sessions (each attendee works along with me through exercises using a supplied work station). So I showed everyone how to build an entire animation project – everything from rigging a character to backgrounds and ultimately the entire nesting process.
So why not write a book about it?
I’m in the very early stages of writing and I will also be creating an original short to base the book on – so I would anticipate this book to be available in the summer of 2011 as a rough estimate.
Luci Takes her Medicine
Big Pink developed the ‘Hold my Hand’ campaign including a website where carers can ‘Connect with others’ to support parents and carers through treatment.
For patients we created a character called ‘Modi-giraffe’ who interacts with ‘Lucy’ to make the materials appealing to young children and show how taking your medicine will make you ‘grow up big and strong’ just like Modi-giraffe.
If you are familiar with my work (www.mudbubble.com) you may recognize my “Andrea” character from my holiday animations. Big Pink requested this same character to be used for this campaign and I was excited to oblige
This was a very rewarding project for me because it sends a heartfelt message to children who have undergone a lifesaving organ transplant.
Recently Big Pink was recognized for their talents by winning a bronze award in the in the Healthcare Professional Film section at the PM Society Digital Awards for 2010.
Friday October 29th, 2010 marked my last day as an Acclaim/Playdom/DIMG employee. If you are reading this and haven’t followed my career closely the past several months then allow me to explain all those company names.
I joined Acclaim Games about 2.5 years ago after leaving Say Design. At Acclaim we first developed Prize Potato (a Facebook game) that didn’t last very long and was taken offline. The next 2 years was spent developing RockFREE with high hopes it would do well. We worked hard and occasionally the team convened on the west coast to work on site at Acclaim’s office or at Slide who we partnered with to help them take RockFREE and create Rock Riot (Facebook). Don’t look for either of these games now as they were both taken offline back in the spring.
In May of 2010, Playdom acquired Acclaim and we started to develop Kogamu (currently in beta). This past summer Disney Interactive Media Group purchased Playdom – hence the 3 names in the title of this post.
Why would I leave such a wonderfully creative company? mainly because I was asked several times to move across the country and that really isn’t an option for us for a variety of reasons. The alternative was for me to spend a week in Hollywood every 3 weeks – not an easy task to commit to when your wife works fulltime, you have 3 kids, you play drums in a busy band, book deals, etc…
I felt the time was right for me to move on with my career and a unique opportunity presented itself recently that helped me make the decision. I will miss working with Acclaim/Playdom/DIMG and value the time I spent with the team(s). Thank you for everything.
Adobe Illustrator CS5 HTML5 Pack
Adobe is pleased to announce the availability of the AdobeÂ® IllustratorÂ® CS5 HTML5 Pack. This add-on for Illustrator CS5 15.0.1 provides initial support for HTML5 and CSS3, extends SVG capability in Illustrator CS5, and helps you easily design web and device content. In combination with the HTML5 features available in the Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 11.0.3 updater, these new tools allow web designers to take advantage of the latest advancements in HTML5.
While HTML5 and CSS3 will not be finalized for some time, and SVG support in browsers will continue to evolve, the extension provides support for a set of currently implemented features.
…yes yes I know, it’s been a while since I posted anything around here. No excuses other than my full time job keeps me busy – oh and there has been a couple of side projects as well as company mergers, book deadlines, summer, family…I suppose those all might be taken as excuses huh?
Well, as summer grinds slowly to a halt, I plan on getting back into the blogging thing asap. In fact, I am writing an article about my reasons for buying an iPad and my initial experiences using it. In fact, I am writing this in an airport terminal waiting to board a relatively long flight which is the reason I bought an iPad in the first place. I have a very difficult time using a laptop in coach for several reasons;
- I’m 6’3″ and can’t angle the screen far enough back for me to see it properly.
- As a digital artist/animator I always use graphics tablets. Try fitting a 15″ MacBook Pro and a Wacom tablet on a tray table.
- Fear of turbulence causing my neighbor’s beverage to end up across my keyboard.
Hell, it just ain’t worth it.
This will be my maiden voyage with an iPad with hopes of actually being productive beyond catching up on sleep. Since posting Facebook updates about my initial ipad experience, I’ve received several questions about how the iPad compares to the Wacom Cintiq. The reason for the comparison is because I purchased a Pogo stylus to use with my iPad for drawing and sketching using some of the various drawing apps available.
Can the iPad beÂ incorporatedÂ into my daily production workflow? Boarding has started so stay tuned for my full opinion about the iPad.
New article about SPRING in Adobe Flash CS5!
yet another cool Deco brush that makes it easy to create particle effects! This is an example I created for How to Cheat in Adobe Flash CS5 (coming soon).
New Deco brushes!
The tree, smoke and fire animations were made entirely with the new Adobe Flash CS5 Deco brushes! The Flash team added a bunch of them and they are really cool! Some are design brushes while others are animation brushes. You will be able to create realistic smoke, fire, flames, particle effects, lightning and more! I’m pretty pumped up about them – may just be my favorite new Flash feature.
*The entire image was made in Flash as well – including the realistic clouds (hint: blur filter and linear gradients mixed with alpha).
Flash CS5 Spring feature!
This is an example of the new Spring tool in Adobe Flash CS5. The Spring feature is applied to an IK armature using the Bone tool in Flash. I wrote a complete article about how to use this feature for Adobe that should be going live very very soon. I will update this entry when it becomes available. This will also be featured as a video tutorial (by yours truly) on Adobe TV soon after.
Building iPhone apps with Flash CS5
New HTCIF Fan Page!
Forum upgrades complete!
Having a forum has been an awesome experience – the selfless sharing of knowledge and ideas throughout the animation community has been and continues to be inspiring. The good that has come from having a forum has adversely provided the opposite. I’m talking about spambots. Those annoying scripts that troll the internet and latch on to forum registration forms automatically, creating fake profile accounts by the bajillions all in the effort to spam the message boards with ads for 4-hour long erections and the like.
To combat this I developed my own home grown technique of manually screening every new registration.
Yes, you read that correctly. I actually checked every account manually.
In the auto-response email that gets sent to every applicant, I asked for a reply with a specific phrase in the subject line. If I got a response, then I was 99% certain it was a human on the other end and not a bot. The custom subject phrase allowed me to set a filter so that these very specific emails were redirected from my inbox to a custom folder. This proved very efficient in weeding out the bots and expediting the activation of honest accounts.
I thought I was being clever. What I didn’t realize was the ratio of human to bots was staggering. For every 1 human I was seeing about 500 fake accounts being created. For every account, real or not, I received a notification email. I had to then find a way to combat the multitude of emails derived from false accounts. So I set up another filter that redirected the false emails to the trash. But this didn’t prevent my inbox from alerting me when they arrived. Add to that the vibration and chiming of my phone which receives automatic push notifications every 15 minutes.
This resulted in thousands of extra emails beyond the hundreds I get through my business and personal accounts every day. I simply got used to the volume. As if waking from a deep sleep, I now realize I have been in email purgatory since I installed the forum in 2006.
The forum software was out of date. I upgraded it to the latest version which comes with much stealthier scripts to combat spambots. The days of manual account approval are over. I wielded my virtual broom and swept out over 400,000 inactive (spambots) accounts from the last 2 years. I also upgraded the theme and cleaned up some of the more stagnant categories. Call it virtual spring cleaning.
If you are already a member of the keyframer forums, hope you enjoy the fresh scents of spam-free topics and accounts owned by real humans. Enjoy.
Tweening with…ME! (RMI)
Ok, well the title is officially called “Tweening With Chris Georgenes” and is brought to you by the Rich Media Institute, an authorized Adobe training center.
RMI was co-founded by industry leader and good friend R Blank.
“Flash CS4 introduced a brand new motion tween, and maintained the existing tweening model as the renamed ‘Classic’ tween. These two types of motion tweens operate very differently — each with different behaviors, advantages and drawbacks. In under an hour, industry-leading animator, and best-selling author, Chris Georgenes, highlights the detailed behavior of motion tweens in Flash CS4 (and addresses the same tools in CS5) and shows how he uses both the motion tween and classic tween in his own work.”
This course was recorded from my presentation at FITC Amsterdam 2010.
If you didn’t make it to Amsterdam to attend FITC to see my session, for the price of a cup of coffee you can now watch the entire session in all of its glory for the dirt cheap price of US$1.99.
New look and feel
Ok, for those who regularly follow this blog, sorry for the rather frequent design changes. I am trying to find perfect harmony between simplicity and having gobs of content. I like the clean minimalist feel if this theme and will be focusing on better content organization. Just like my studio, this place gets messy fast and every once in a while I need to bring in a huge barrel and just shed a few layers of skin. So here it is – look around and let me know if anything is broken. I’m sticking with this one for a while.
I’m also planning a few more tutorials for the Adobe Developer Center and in the middle of updating HTCIF for CS5.
Free Rich Media Institute training!
Free through February 28th
Introduction to ActionScript Development with FDT
30 minute introduction to the world’s most powerful ActionScript editor with Alan Klement
Free through February 15th
Comprehensive ActionScript 3
Over 9 hours of AS3 training with R Blank