Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Shawn Kelly Tips & Tricks - FREE!

I'll never cease to be amazed by the numbers of professionals in the animation industry who willingly pass on their valuable experience for free. Now we can add Shawn Kelly to the list.

Shawn is a founding member of and has a solid list of animation credits under his belt. He's been writing his tips and tricks for members of for a few years and since anyone can subscribe to the AnimationMentor newsletter for free, I guess we can say Shawn's tips have always been free. But now he's gone one better, compiling all past tips into a 99 page eBook!

Topics covered in this "treasure trove of information" on character animation include Planning, Observation, Blinking, The Face, Expressions, Exaggeration, Walks, Arcs, Timing and, well, lots more. In short, if you're learning animation then you can't go wrong to have this eBook in your eLibrary.

Get the eBook HERE and while you're at it, you might as well sign up for the AnimationMentor Newsletter too so you get more of Shawn's tips as he writes them.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Wacom Woes


UPDATE: Problem solved!

I purchased a Wacom Graphire 4 tablet last year and within a couple of weeks of using it, I filed my mouse in the bottom drawer. Driving graphics programs, especially painting applications, with a pen just makes sense but I was surprised how the pen also makes even mundane tasks like menu selection and shifting files around easier. It's just more comfortable than any mouse I've ever used - and, unlike a lot of mice with more than one button, the pen doesn't care that I'm left-handed.

BUT - and it's a big but (and, unlike Sir Mixalot, I don't particularly like "big buts") - the pen has one major failing. The Graphire 4 pen comes with a comfy rubber grip that supposedly makes it superior to older Wacom pens - but it is too flimsy to do the job.

At first I thought it was just a matter of me getting used to holding the pen in such a way as to make the buttons accessible but, as time went by, it became apparent the rubber grip was too loose to stay put. Eventually it has become so loose that it actually twists around the body and on more than one occasion it's covered the buttons, holding them depressed (I know how they feel). This week I've also noticed that the very thin slip of rubber between the buttons is starting to split.



After a few emails to Wacom, I received a replacement pen from them this week. The new pen is a different model with a single toggle switch and no rubber grip. After one night, I already love this pen whereas I never was comfortable with the grip pen. Thanks Wacom.