Sunday, September 28, 2008

Found Art 2.0

Keith in 1080P

Friday, September 26, 2008

Good Things Should Never End

--> Good Things Should Never End

If you liked Crappy Cat, you'll be sure to like this website. It won a Webby Award, and claims to be "the world's first never ending website." I haven't seen it end, their claim appears to be true. Ooodles and oodles of fun things to interact with, on a continuous rainbow of FUN!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Crappy Cat

--> Crappy Cat

Another great find over at Beautifully. You get to navigate a fun "crappy" cat around a landscape where you can practically interact with everything. Great music, animation, characters, color, design...all around bizarre FUN! Created by VanBeater.

Flash CS4

It's the moment that comes every couple of years...yet another version of Flash is soon to be released by Adobe. You can check out the official scoop over at the Flash CS4 Product Page. But for those of you who haven't made it over to Cold Hard Flash yet, Aaron Simpson has posted two fabulous demos/previews of the new "bone" or "inverse kinematics" feature. Which will be a godsend to all you tweeners out there and familiar to anyone who's been using ToonBoom or any 3D program for that matter. In a nutshell, you'll be able to rig a skeleton to your character's body parts, allowing for joints to make rotating and bending a snap.

Other new features include object based animation, a supposedly more intuitive form of motion-tweening, and 3D transformation of 2D objects. Possibly even bigger news is something called XFL file support, which means you'll be able to open content from After Affects and InDesign in Flash. All sorts of fancy new stuff. I'm mainly hoping we see a speed boost, less glitchyness, and smoother pen performance.

UPDATE: Matt passed around an even more detailed video. Watch it here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Sticky Kids' Site :: BunnyTown

My kids love to play on the computer. They spend lots of time on PBSKids, NickJr, Disney, Shockwave and MiniClip. Recently, I noticed my four-year-old daughter spending an exceptional amount of time on a particular site for a TV show. The show is called BunnyTown and, honestly, I don't think she's ever watched it.

The site can be found here:

The site has many of the same features of other sites we've done for TV shows: games and show information. But, this site does a great job of simply and effectively adding community, personalization and a rewards system to the site.

Kids are able to earn carrots by playing games. With these carrots, they are able to purchase new clothing for their 'My Bunny' (including seasonal items like Halloween costumes) as well as buy items for their 'My Home'. They are also to view other kids' 'Homes' and 'Bunnies' and leave them messages. All this functionality is extremely intuitive and well-done.

The big take-away from this is that my daughter has a ton of fun on this site and spends significantly more time on it than other shows (which she actually watches). While they've probably put a lot of work into the design and implementation to make the site so intuitive, there's no reason why we couldn't do something similar for our sites.

Something to think about as we're coming up with ideas....


Thursday, September 18, 2008

John Hubley's Moonbird

insight and history via Michael Sporn:

"In 1959, Moonbird took a giant leap forward. The art style borrowed from the expressionists, but used a method of double exposures to layer the characters into the backgrounds. Each animation drawing was painted black outside the border of its lines. Moonbird, the character, was colored with clear wax crayon and painted with black ink. The black resisted where the wax stood and gave a loose scribbled coloring. All of these painted drawings were photographed as double exposures, shot at less than 100%, to combine characters with Bgs.

The soundtrack involved an improvised track of two children, Mark and Ray Hubley, playing. These were recorded in sessions within a recording studio and massively edited down to create the final tracks."

I would love to see the non-YouTube version. The expressions of the kids are so human.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pascal Campion

Stand up and take notice. Pascal's work is top notch. He's somehow able to translate the loose gestural quality of a great cartoonist like Bill Watterson, into color and shape driven illustrations and paintings. Flat, but organic. Striking composition, too. His character design is fresh, and his color design (contrast in value, limited palette) is something to study, for sure. Run on over to his blog. You won't be sorry :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Google Chrome Comic

Google hired Scott McCloud (of Understanding Comics fame) to introduce the concept of their new "Chrome" browser to the world. McCloud is great at explaining ideas in the comic format, so he was obviously the perfect artist for the job. Here's the link to the comic.