Monday, June 25, 2012

Animating the Cat!

As part of my Pixel Animation Challenge, I animated a cat last week (for @musicalcat/Åsa). It was one of the hardest animations that I have ever done, as it required accurate pixel by pixel dotting over each frame - but I am really happy with the way that the final animation turned out! Here are the finished animations - one with glitter, and one without:

How it was made:
To start off with, I drew a lot of different little pixel outlines of cats in different poses. I sort of knew that I wanted the cat to pounce and play with a toy, and then to somehow return back to its original position (so that the animation would loop neatly). Luckily, Moke (my angel cat) was around to model for me =). 

After I had the basic timeline in my head, and the rough outlines of the cats for most of the frames, I tidied them up so that the outlines were clean. This meant spending a lot of time zoomed in, dotting pixels, then zooming out to check that the images still looked cat-like! 

I found that I needed to draw some extra cats (especially for when the cat gets up after lying down). Once I had the animation running smooth(ish)ly, I compiled a 2-colour .gif file of the outlines to test it out. 

It seemed to work well, although certain sections were a little fast. I then commenced colouring in each frame, shading by dotting little darker pixels... 

I slowed down parts of the animation (by adding more frames) so that it ran more smoothly, and I made sure that each frame was the same length (0.1 seconds). I then added a border, the background and the text (on a separate layer, so that I could have it showing behind the animation, and have it appearing in all frames). I also added some glitter layers over the text (transparent layers with little dots and stars in the foreground), so that I could have one glitter layer showing per frame, and cycle through them in random order. This gives the effect of glitter over the text. 

Finally, I compiled the two final versions of the animation - one with glitter, and one without: 

I really enjoyed the challenge of making this animated cat, and I am happy with the finished product =D. 

~Adrielle =) 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Silver Stripe Nails =)

Tonight, I re-did my nails =). I chose a silver stripe design, using silver glitter BYS Nail Art Lacquer, a silver Manicare GlamNails Nail Art Pen, and some glitter top coat. Here is how it turned out:
~Ad =)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pixels from the Past! (and Present!)

I have always liked pixel art. However, it has been a long time since I last spent so much time creating it. Back at the beginning of my digital art adventure, when I first started drawing avatars for players on the Puzzle Pirates forums in 2006, I used MS Paint on Windows XP. It was the only drawing program I had at the time, and possibly the only drawing program that would have run on my old PC. (If I used too many colours, I would run out of memory and I would have to close the program - without saving >.<). 

Anyway, using MS Paint, I learned how to create simple blinking/colour changing animations by making two versions of a picture, then using the free Gickr site to link them together into an animation (that process is outlined in this old tutorial.

I discovered that there were lots of things I could do with frames made in paint - despite other people saying that "no one uses it any more"... =D

When I got a new PC, I started using GIMP, and a free Online version of ArtWeaver. It was then that I started playing with star tools and gradient swirls... and other things... lol!

Anyway, apart from the odd trinket for Puzzle Pirates, I had sort of moved away from pixel art for a while - in favour of fancier (easier/more user friendly) art creation methods... 
...until a few weeks ago.

After seeing an awesome pixel animation tutorial from Lester Banks, I started playing around with pixels again - this time in Photoshop! I have always liked glitter (I even wrote it an ode), so the first few things I tried to pixel-animate were very glittery. I have had fun experimenting, and will be continuing to post new experiments and animations to my DeviantArt gallery =D. Here is some of what I have created so far:

Glitter is fairly easy to create. Basically, all you need are some layers with random "glitter" (dots and stars) on them. It seems that the best results require at least five glitter layers. Also, make sure that you keep a similar number of dots and stars spread evenly on each layer =D. 

For example, these five frames...
...make this animation (when put together at a speed of 0.1 seconds per frame):

~Ad =)