Posts Tagged ‘adobe’

After Effects Workshop 2

Mocha Documentation

Video tutorial

2.5d animation

Video tutorial


After Effects Workshop 1

The following are additional materials and further reading for my After Effects introduction workshop.

Green screen tutorial

Removing a green background and compositing with other images to create an animated flying carpet scene.

Keyframes and motion

The following video is a good demonstration of what can be achieved using keyframes for motion in After Effects, including Easy Ease, Hold Keyframes, the Speed Graph and 3D positioning.

Keylight Manual

The above tutorials only cover the basics of using Keylight, but this manual provides a guide to all of the features of this popular plugin.

Keylight Manual for After Effects (pdf)

Manuals and practice videos

48 Hour Animation Jam

March 16, 2015 Leave a comment

This past weekend was spent at the 48 Hour Animation Jam in Glasgow, #theAniJam with a team of my students. Organised by animation company Smudge Digital, the event was held at the Citizen M hotel in Renfrew Street.

On Friday we drew a theme from a hat and ended up with ‘cheese’. We were also given a ‘clock’ as an object we needed to include in the film. We also saw the other 11 teams and heard which themes they’d drawn, which included ‘rock’, ‘air’ and ‘trip’.

Back in our room we took advantage of the wall-sized whiteboard to produce a mindmap and brainstorm ideas. We finally settled on the idea of ‘Say Cheese’ – the phrase associated with taking photographs. After throwing this idea around for a while we decided on creating a story about a family who try to take family portrait photographs, but fail each time. Set over the space of several years, the story shows the family growing up and ageing in each photograph, and each time something occurs that prevents the photograph from working. Our final film can be seen on Youtube. Please press the Thumbs Up icon to ‘like’ our film, Say Cheese!


By the Saturday and Sunday there was quite a sense of cameraderie in the hotel as each team worked on their animations. Teams happily wandered around, seeing what others were working on, chatting and sharing a beer or coffee.

By Sunday afternoon the pace was fierce, especially for the 3D animators who had found the deadline a serious challenge.

The 7pm deadline came round very quickly, but my team had most of the work complete well in advance, with some extra time at the end to create an animated credits scene. At 9pm we gathered at the Centre for Contemporary Arts to view all of the films, which were being shown at the awards ceremony of the Glasgow Short Film Festival. The screening had its share of laughs – sometime at the antics of the on-screen characters and sometimes at the poor quality animations. There was also some tears – sometimes from laughter, but also from those that had failed to complete their animations in time.

So now we look forward to the results of the judging on Monday 23rd of March.

The technical stuff:

The animation was created using mostly Adobe Photoshop, Flash and Premiere Pro. Most of the graphics were produced in Photoshop, with a few being created in Flash and Illustrator. The animation was assembled in Flash and exported as swf files. These files were then converted into mp4 format using Swivel. Sounds and music were created in Garage Band. Finally, the film was assembled and edited in Adobe Premiere Pro, where the sound and visuals were combined.

The team at work

The team at work


Film screening at CCA

Film screening at CCA

HTML5 Canvas support in Adobe Flash CC

December 5, 2013 Leave a comment

This week’s big news from Adobe was an update for Flash that includes support for the HTML5 Canvas element. Up until now the CreateJS toolkit avoided the use of the canvas tag, so this update has been long awaited.

Included with the update are additional HTML5 Canvas code snippets that allow you to construct interactive applications by choosing common scripted actions from a list. The Code Snippets panel has been around since Flash CS5 (I think), but so far it has only been for Actionscript. The arrival of code snippets for HTML5 Canvas will make it much easier to create simple interactive animations directly in Flash.

I hope to have some examples to share with you soon, but for now a screenshot of the new feature will have to suffice!

HTML5 code snippets in Flash

The Big Haggis

January 27, 2013 Leave a comment

The Big Haggis was a celebration of Robert Burns held on January 26th in Kirkcaldy in Scotland. The event was arranged by Kirkcaldy’s business improvement organisation, Kirkcaldy4All, and students from around Fife took part as cast and crew on the day.

As party of my ongoing plans to get work experience for my students I gathered volunteers to help with the event.

The cast of Tam O'ShanterStudents from Carnegie College built The Big Haggis website and also filmed the live event so that it could be made into a DVD and promotional film for future events.

The website was built using Adobe Dreamweaver and was constructed by student Grant Hynd, who has started his own web design company. The website was seen by local company Comvista who liked the design and are now negotiating a contract with Grant to build another site.

On the day of The Big Haggis students Graeme Slight, Michael Philp and Iain Duncan worked with myself on the filming of the event. The first section of the show was a series of stage performances at Kirkcaldy Town Square and the second section was a street theatre performance of Tam O’Shanter.

The event was filmed on a combination of DSLR cameras and handheld camcorders, with audio recorded from the stage’s PA system. The final film will be edited using Adobe Premiere and made into an abbreviated online version and a DVD that will be distributed for free.

The students gained a lot of experience on the project and Jock Ferguson, director of the street performance, is keen to give more students work experience on future events.

Here’s a snippet of our film work –

Adobe Flash Animation Lessons

December 4, 2012 2 comments