"Life is too short to make bad art."

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas...

As usual I am a little late sending out my Christmas emails... I just couldn't decide on a nice design, got carried away with fun projects and now Christmas is here... and I will have to go with the 'naked truth' about my Australian Christmas - it's too hot to wear anything but shorts and t-shirt, way too hot for the roast for lunch, simply too much food (it starts with a brunch this year, a lunch with the family and a dinner (that I am not too sure will happen at all) and in the end a beer [or two :) ] in the pool... I can't wait!

Thanks for all the feedback and praise, the critique and support. Have a great holiday season and all the best for 2012.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Game Assets - BlockBuddies

Instead of working on the next tutorial I spent the weekend working on some easy to use game assets and am wondering if there is interest for something like it. 

So far I have done 16 sets of ~50 frames (each in 4 sizes from S (64x64) to XL (256x256)) covering zombies, cowboys, adventurer, soldiers and the odd blue alien with samurai, ninja, romans and a range of animals in the pipeline.

[Click to get to the character sheets]

The sets sell for USD 15.00 with the bundles (containing 3 characters) selling at USD 37.50 and two character sets going for USD 20.00.

Here's a sample sheet of the Block Buddies Dummy character:

[box (6 frames), kneel, doze, fall flat, ko, big gun [stand and crouch], gun [stand and crouch], flat, flying after a knock, idle, jump, jump high, jump higher, jump joy, jump land, jump far, push, run (8 frames), sit, stab, walk (8 frames)]

Here's the download link for the png files:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Back with a BANG!

I was asked to write a tutorial on explosions, which didn't seem that hard until I started... It's become common practice to use particle effect for most ingame explosions, so doing an explosion by hand was a bit of a challenge.

I stared out with a simple very generic explosion and took it from there, added to it and added some more. Let's start with the first simple explosion.

It's a fairly generic, cartoon style explosion - quick and easy to create [and animate - by scaling the elements and fading to either light or dark as the explosion progresses]. 

Usually blowing things up leaves more than just a flash of light. Dust and smoke clouds and debris are part of a good explosion. Let's add some of that.

This is still a very cartoony look. Let's try something a little less 'flat' and add some volume to the explosions.

 This explosion is a bit more work to animate. You would start with a smaller light centre that would grow and add more circles to it that go darker as they reach the outside. The flash in the centre is just that - a flash - don't keep it on for too long or it will look more like a light source than an explosion. As this explosion dies down the dark circles would go grey and black, shrink and fall apart [either by imploding or falling to the ground]. 

As this is way too much fun - let's try another one. Similar to the last one but a little more compact, detailed and with some shading.

I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do... It's just too much fun to blow things up in style and I have to stop myself now and try and catch up with work (before writing the next tutorial that's already playing havoc with my imagination). 

Have fun and as always let me know how you go with the tutorial.

Get the source art (svg file) of this tutorial for
USD 5.00


Monday, December 5, 2011

Time out...

Just a quick update to the blog - the next couple of tutorials are in the pipeline but won't be up for another few days.

In the midth of house cleaning, gardening, pondering about writing a book and trying to get some work done, my body decided to take a time out and I spent the better part of the weekend in bed totally depleted of energy, reading books, playing with the ipad and just taking it easy... and I have to tell you - I could get used to that... ;)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Clip Tool - revisited

I had a few questions about the clip tool - as it's a little bit of a pain in inkscape and not the easiest to handle in Adobe Illustrator either. 

I use clipping masks a lot as you can create shading and patterns inside objects qucikly and still keep the shapes - while a path intersection destroys the base shapes. 

I made this set of tutorials for Inkscape, Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw. I prefer the ease of CorelDraw over the other two - with Inkscape lacking some key features to make working with an essential tool like clip masks easy on the user.

Let's take if from the simple shaded ball to something more complex (e.g. a cartoony plane I just did for another tutorial). In order to do the shading on the body (the darker blue part at the bottom of the plane) or the white stripes, you have to create intersecting shapes to cut the white stripes or the lighter body to match the base shape. 

It's a lot quicker and easier to create the clip mask and 'throw' a shape in there - even more so when the shapes get more complex (e.g. a floral pattern on wallpaper) - and it allows you to 'undo' the action and release the clip again.

Doing clips inside clips is not possible in inkscape as far as I know [but I might be wrong]. In order to work around that problem try and use the Path/ Intersection tool to create a shape matching inside a base object. 

Once you have created a clipart you can work with the objects inside the clip art just like any other object in Illustrator (e.g. arrange to bring them to the front or send them back inside the stack of objects in your clipping mask).

Even though things might be a little easier to achieve in the other programs Inkscape allows you to achieve the same results with a little bit of patience and trial and error.

Good luck and enjoy your vector bending.

The toolbar of CorelDraw and Illustrator might have changed slightly as I am not up to date on either program. I am still using CorelDraw14 and Illustrator CS.