Friday, 23 October 2009

A look inside the sketchbook

One of the jobs I've been working on this week has been designing some cartoon characters for a picture book ... or maybe a cartoon strip.

With this sort of work I draw and draw and draw and then, after a quick break for a wee and a brew, draw some more to try and get a feel for how the characters should look.

Here's a sample page showing some pretty raw pencil sketches.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Strip Biscuit

I do a regular cartoon strip called "The tea in team" for an agency based here in Harrogate called RawCreative. It's used for corporate newsletters and it's one of my favourite jobs. For each cartoon I spend a good few hours staring into thin air, my preferred method of coming up with cartoon ideas, then sketch them and scan them and launch them off into the ether to be reviewed by the client.
The client normally picks the one I least expect them to and I get to work drawing the full strip and scanning it into my computer to complete for production(add text/tints etc).

But the best bit of the whole thing is choosing a biscuit to accompany the title bar. I like a nerdy title bar like this. Lots of cartoonists do it - but in my mind the grandmaster is Ben Katchor - just check out his collection Cheap Novelties.

Biscuits used so far include teatime favourites like Bourbons, Jammy Dodgers and most recently the classic sugared beauty, "Nice".

Friday, 28 August 2009

The Customer is always right ...

I've spent quite a bit of this week creating a character design and some cartoons for one of the UK's leading Garage spares retailers.
The company owner is having his website redesigned and wanted a caricature of himself as part of the branding. Great job! I love doing caricatures - but the pressure's on to make sure the caricature is pretty good looking when your customer is an ex Royal Marine Commando.

I'll be adding these to the character design section in my cartoon portfolio when I next get some time - but in the meantime here's a taster ...

Friday, 14 August 2009

I Tube, You Tube, We All Tube

This week I decided that it was about time I started to put some of the Flash cartoons I've been creating up on YouTube.
I've started with a short promo for the PatsyJames animation I've been working on with Noa Jones. Now I've hit a few things exporting from Flash and uploading to YouTube...

Firstly, when I exported my animation from Flash as a .mov with the default settings and uploaded to YouTube the results were awful. The animation was jumpy and a whole load of key frames were missed.... yuk! So far I've found that if you File...ExportMovie enter a suitable *.mov and then click QuicktimeSettings you get a whole range of useful settings. If on the VideoSettings you change the compression type from the default of "Animation" to "H.264" the results are a whole lot better.

Secondly, if I'm posting a link to a YouTube video I don't necessarily want the related video suggestions they have at the end. But there's an easy workaround for that. You can simply add ‘&rel=0′ to the end of the url part of the embed code. On a similar(ish) note you can add ‘&loop=1′ to get the video to loop around automatically.

I'm uploading at the moment and will update with links to the promo when it's done.