One Step Behind the Sun: Quick Animation!

Some panels from my short story “One Step Behind the Sun” that I felt like animating today.
Used Illustrator, Photoshop, Power Point, and Camtasia Studio 8.

GENERAL PROCESS:

All my illustrations are made with a combination of Photoshop and Illustrator.  In a nutshell, Photoshop lets me sketch out the base drawing of a Nomad Woman, then I import that base into Illustrator.  In ILL, multiple layers are set over the Nomad Woman and then I dedicate each layer to tracing over a particular part of her (the hand, the skull, the face, the legs, etc.) with the Pen Tool.  The Pen tool in ILL is dynamite for exactitude and sharp image creation, while PS is more for editing previously created images.  Once the tracings (AKA ‘Paths’) are created with the Pen Tool I just choose a preset stroke weight and brush style, and it all “magically” turns into the look I need.  Original images like of the woman, the bearded man, the child, the grazing Land Beast, etc., each image can take an average of a day just because I want to get it right.  I have a certain look in mind, and I do my best to achieve that.  Some images come very quickly, others not so quickly.  In some cases, I do use Live Trace with Live Paint to create an outline I can work with, but that trick definitely doesn’t work the way I need with all images, and it can create artistic obstacles in other areas as well.

As for the animation itself, I took the final ILL files and turned them into JPG images.  I put the JPG images into an animated PowerPoint slideshow.  Then I recorded that slide show with Camtasia.  The I turned the Camtasia file into an Mp4, and uploaded it to YouTube.  Then I copied the YouTube address and put into my WordPress post for all to see.

The whole process sounds ridiculously retarded, and it probably is.  However, being a hermit, I haven’t discovered a better way yet.  If you know of any ways to save time, please let me know.

J. Greene

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2 thoughts on “One Step Behind the Sun: Quick Animation!

  1. These are fantastic. I’ve used Photoshop before and it is taking me a long time to get used to it – not enough consistent application me thinks! How long did it take you to design all of these and then pull them together?

    ML

  2. Yes, Photoshop can be inconsistent. For example, if you cut out a piece of an image, PS will not paste it back into its exact previous coordinates (such as a 5′ high and 3.5′ to the right). For whatever reason, it just pops up an inch or so away from the original coordinates, and this goes for pasting it back into the original image or more importantly a different image altogether that you want to edit.

    As for how long the images took, well, that depends…

    All my illustrations are made with a combination of Photoshop and Illustrator. In a nutshell, Photoshop lets me sketch out the base drawing of a Nomad Woman, then I import that base into Illustrator. In ILL, multiple layers are set over the Nomad Woman and then I dedicate each layer to tracing over a particular part of her (the hand, the skull, the face, the legs, etc.) with the Pen Tool. The Pen tool in ILL is dynamite for exactitude and sharp image creation, while PS is more for editing previously created images. Once the tracings (AKA ‘Paths’) are created with the Pen Tool I just choose a preset stroke weight and brush style, and it all “magically” turns into the look I need. Original images like of the woman, the bearded man, the child, the grazing Land Beast, etc., each image can take an average of a day just because I want to get it right. I have a certain look in mind, and I do my best to achieve that. Some images come very quickly, others not so quickly. In some cases, I do use Live Trace with Live Paint to create an outline I can work with, but that trick definitely doesn’t work the way I need with all images, and it can create artistic obstacles in other areas as well.

    As for the animation itself, I took the final ILL files and turned them into JPG images. I put the JPG images into an animated PowerPoint slideshow. Then I recorded that slide show with Camtasia. The I turned the Camtasia file into an Mp4, and uploaded it to YouTube. Then I copied the YouTube address and put into my WordPress post for all to see.

    The whole process sounds ridiculously retarded, and it probably is. However, being a hermit, I haven’t discovered a better way yet. If you know of any ways to save time, please let me know.

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