My animation teachers informed our class of this, and I thought it would be worth sharing.
macheist.com is offering an EXTREMELY good deal on the following software!
This You get all the above software (including the student version of the professional animation…
Members! Reblogging this for visibility. You can get ToonBoom Studio for cheap today only. $20!! Downloads for Windows and Mac both.
Wow, for real?
Hey all my animator friends, you should totally get in on this. Less than 8 hours left! (When you buy it you get a license code that you redeem at the developer’s website, so you can get a Mac or Windows version, as you please.)
Toon Boom Studio retails for $250, so getting it and a bunch of other software for $20 is amazing, let alone the fact that a portion of the proceeds go to charity too. Yowza.
Ugh I try to keep this blog mostly professional. but if I may whine a little. I’ve been having really bad body image issues lately, which I always feel stupid about. Laying in bed feeling sad doesn’t help much at all. I know that mostly what I feel isn’t logical, when I’m feeling good I think “I look nice! I look pretty!” but when I’m feeling bad I just feel like I’m offending everyone’s eyes when they look at me.
A big part of it I think is when I was younger and more vulnerable some people I really cared about told me when they looked at me I made them nauseous, or that I was unattractive and no one would want me. Even though my appearance has changed a lot. For a long time I thought whenever someone told me something mean or negative they were telling the absolute truth, and if someone was telling me something nice was someone just being polite.
I’ll delete this later I just wanted to vent. Today I went outside and jogged and I felt a lot better moving around, I know these bad feelings are temporary, but they get me down sometimes. I hate that I can look at all sorts of different people and think they are so beautiful, I want to practice thinking that about myself.
I struggle with body issues too, but I’m so much better now than I used to be. Especially when I was in high school and just after, I was convinced I was a horrible goblin of a person, and that everyone was just being polite when they said nice things about me, just like you say.
One thing that helped me (and you’re under no obligation to try it or anything but I thought it might be good to share) was I started looking in the mirror at myself more. Like, really looking, spending time looking at myself. It was really hard at first, because I thought I was ugly and horrible, and at first all I could think about was all my flaws. But I would force myself to stand in front of the mirror and find something nice to say about my appearance. Even when I was feeling down on myself, especially then, I would make myself find something nice to say, and realize that I was a good person, and that I didn’t deserve all the bad things I thought about myself. I did this every day, and after a while it got easier, and I found more nice things to say. I think this worked because I spent so much time looking at others, and convincing myself I didn’t look like them and I was ugly, but I never spent any time actually looking at myself and realizing that, hey, I wasn’t a monster. I needed to correct that for myself.
It takes a lot of work, but it’s so worth it, as you know. I have my good days and bad days, but they’re mostly good days now, which is nice. Whatever you find that works best for you, go for it! You totally deserve it. Good luck! *huuugs* I hope you feel better soon.
Here it is, giant post about freelancing, under a cut because it’s super long. Enjoy if possible!
I’m perfectly open to answering specific questions, but if it’s something I answer in this post I probably won’t answer it. I’d also prefer to answer questions publicly so I don’t have to answer the same thing multiple times. Thank you :)
for me the thing that made it ten times faster was getting a cintiq knock off. drawing on a tablet has a huge disconnect for me!
Oooooh, I’ve actually been thinking about getting a tablet monitor for a while now! I’ve been staring at some of Frenden’s reviews and biting my nails trying to decide it’s worth going for one.
What brand do you have? What do you like/dislike about it? I’ve never used a Cintiq before (they have them at school, but I’ve never bothered going to the tool crib to rent a pen and try it), or any other tablet monitor, so I don’t really know what to expect. There aren’t any stores nearby that have any in-store for me to try, and I’m wary about spending so much money on something I can’t try first… but yes, definitely right on the edge of making the decision to go for one.
If you can give me any information at all I will be a very attentive listener. :D
Does anyone else have a strange relationship with digital art?
A lot of the time it’s an amazing timesaver. I can sketch things quickly, move things around, resize them as I need to, colour things easily and fix mistakes… The rest of the time, I struggle and I struggle and I spend ages drawing and undoing and drawing and undoing a line a could have drawn perfectly the first time with an actual pen or brush. Or I spend hours painstakingly blocking out some colour flats that would have taken me seconds with a marker or watercolour.
I had one of those days today. Spent hours fighting with my giant, ancient, 12x12 Intuos 2 tablet and my aging Macbook (not to mention Manga Studio 5 that I’m still trying to learn), drew something that looked terrible, had to get out of the house to calm down a little bit, then I came home, threw it all out, and started from scratch with a t-square and my blue pencil on some Bristol paper. So far it’s going much faster.
Do you have any coping mechanisms for when art gets frustrating? Do you also have a complicated relationship with digital art? Or is it just me?
Hi Lissa! I love your work and your stories. I hope to work as a story artist myself, and I was wondering if you could give me some tips! Thanks a bunch!
Answering publicly, because i get this question a lot :) Sorry to anyone who’s asked this before and gotten an abbreviated answer (or no answer, sorrysorrysorry!), it’s a big thing to sit down and write and i want to be as thorough as i can. But i hope this helps anyone who needs it!
Story tips, wow. I’ll try and list as many as i can! I’ll try to keep it from getting too ramble-y because man, there’s just so much to talk about! I know i’ll leave some out anyway, because there’s stuff i forget all the time. I’ve had the benefit of learning from some really awesome people and goodness knows i’m still learning from them. I’ll try and get the biggies :)
NOTE: These are all coming from my experience working in feature animation at one studio. Different studios will have different cultures and ways of working, and i understand that boarding for T.V. is a whole different animal from boarding for feature, but i think most of these should apply to visual story-telling across the board.
And as always, these are TIPS not RULES :)
- CHARACTER IS KEY. Always think about your character, what they are doing and why they are doing it. This applies to camerawork too. THE CAMERA IS THE INVISIBLE CHARACTER IN EVERY SCENE. Just as a character wouldn’t do something unmotivated, camera moves and shots need motivation too. What are we looking at? WHY are we looking at it? HOW are we seeing it? How is it making the AUDIENCE FEEL? That’s the core of any visual story-telling medium, and in a time-based medium like film you get a whole other level added on.
- Related note: we should always be with the main character. this doesn’t necessarily mean always LOOKING at them, but we should know what’s in their head, what they want, how they feel about what’s going on at any given point in the story. Usually they are the anchor for how the audience is supposed to feel about what’s happening. You lose them, you lose emotion.
- YOU ARE AN ENTERTAINER! "Entertainment" doesn’t always equal "comedy"; it equals "What i’m watching makes me feel something". I’ve found that entertainment often comes from specificity. Think about how you do ordinary things, how people you know do them. Say you have a scene where your character is cooking breakfast. How does she do it in a way that no other character would? Maybe she does a little dance while she’s making an omelette if no one else is around. Maybe she NEVER gets a clean break in an egg and always has to pick bits of eggshell out of there. Maybe she’s out of milk and has to sub in yogurt or something and just prays it doesn’t make her omelette totally gross… (…sorry, i’m digressing, this is just… a description of me making an omelette.) Think about specifics, make your character feel real, no matter if they’re making an omelette or falling in love or fighting giant robots.
- All that being said, you also have to be CLEAR and ECONOMICAL with screen time. Consider how much time you have to convey an idea. Sometimes you have time to linger and do fun character stuff. Sometimes you just have a few shots to convey a plot point. Learn to gauge what a scene NEEDS and try and see it in the context of the story as a whole. (note: there are usually still ways to get character specificity in these quick beats. try and find them!)
- CLARITY IN DRAWING. Clarity is important for drawing boards too. It doesn’t have to be pretty, it doesn’t have to be detailed (and in many cases it SHOULDN’T be), it doesn’t have to be finished… as long as it’s CLEAR. This is probably the big difference between storyboarding and illustration; story is NOT the place for making pretty pictures :)
- Hand in hand with the last point, is for story you need to be able to draw clear and FAST. Sequence turn-around can be quick (i once had to do three passes on one scene in a week), and in the course of working on a project most of what you do will be redrawn many, many times. Don’t be precious, don’t be afraid to kill your babies.
- KNOW STORYTELLING. As a lot of these tips have probably implied, drawing is only a part of storyboarding. You have to understand story structure and film making. There are a lot of resources out there for this. Robert Mckee’s book, simply titled “Story” is a good starting point for understanding story structure, and Bruce Block’s book “The Visual Story” is an amazing breakdown of all the elements of visual story telling as applied to film (but really it applies to anything). I also always direct people to Mark Kennedy’s blog. Mark is a head of story here at Disney, amazing board artist, teacher, and all around good dude. His blog is a masterclass in itself, and he covers a variety of topics from drawing to composition to story: http://sevencamels.blogspot.com/
- DON’T HAVE AN EGO. This is a big one and functions on many levels; you have to work with a team; you have to be able to give notes constructively and not get offended if your notes aren’t taken; you have to remember that you’re working to support the DIRECTORS vision, not your own; you have to be able to take the notes you’re given and not take them PERSONALLY; you have to be willing to throw out all the boards you’ve spent the last week working on and start over if the production requires it; you have to be willing to see your sequence handed off to a different artist who will probably re-draw most of it. You can’t have an ego because almost NONE of these things are actually about you. They very rarely have any bearing on your ability as an artist. This is just how the process works, and at the end of the day almost no one will actually see the thousands of drawings and all the hard work you’ve done over the course of about two years. They say “all story no glory” and it’s absolutely true.
If you’ve gotten through all of this and aren’t totally terrified… then maybe story is for you :) Also, to reiterate; many studios work differently. Some places will give you more creative freedom as a story teller than others. I’m really fortunate to work in a place where i do have an amount of creative freedom and feel that my voice is heard and my opinion is valued. But no matter where you work, all of these things can always, always ALWAYS be applied to your own stories. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a big studio or paying the bills as a barista or are still in school, you can ALWAYS tell your own stories :)
Above all, work with confidence, listen to criticism without letting it own you, find the truth in it that will help you be better. And draw draw draw! :)
Im going to be thinking about this all day and flipping out when i remember things i’ve left out.
Hello! Here is a little tip for Manga Studio 5 regarding one of my favorite features which isn’t immediately apparent. It has to do with vector layers and erasers.
First, create a vector layer by clicking the “New Vector Layer” at the bottom of the Layers palette:
Now, the secret of this technique lies in your eraser. Select the eraser tool and choose the pen you’d like to use, then check out the settings. Under “Erase,” select the option “Erase up to Intersection.”
Now, whenever you erase part of a line on the vector layer, it will erase the entire line up to the point where it intersects another line.
This makes it much easier to clean up stray lines, so you can be looser in your inking and still end up with a fairly tidy end drawing. Have fun!