Category Archives: Illustration

Animation: Fire In Cardboard City

Gonna be a hot time in the (deeply poorly conceived) virtual town tonight:

Some cool making-of details:

The results look so realistic that they could almost be stop-motion. “I built a big virtual set, I guess, is how you could describe it,” he said. “The characters are like stop-motion marionettes in a way; they have joints to the arms and the knees and all of that, and controllers.” He then used a low-budget motion-capture process — a D.I.Y. version of Hollywood’s green screens and Ping-Pong-ball suits — using the XBox Kinect and special software. “It sees you doing the motions you want the character to do, and then you can transfer that to the animation so you can transfer that onto your characters,” he said. He considered having a giant robot attack Cardboard City, and then settled on fire: that looked kind of cool, too.


Illustrator’s forthcoming Diffusion Gradients look dope

Wanna feel old? Illustrator’s gradient meshes debuted 20 f’ing years ago, and the challenge of using them effectively is attested to by the age of images made with them. Now, though, it seems Adobe’s putting a more accessible interface atop similar-looking tech:

Traditional linear or radial gradients can limit your flexibility, while gradient meshes can have a steep learning curve. The new gradient feature lets you create rich blends of colors that seemingly diffuse naturally into each other.

Check it out (as I hope we’ll all be able to do hands-on this fall):


An intriguing glimpse at a deeply obscure art

Fore-edge painting renders a scene on the edges of the pages of a book, and Martin Frost might be the last remaining professional fore-edge painter in the world. Here’s a peek at his vanishing craft:

Dating back centuries, the delicate art form places intricate scenes on the side of books, cheekily hidden beneath gold gilded pages. The beautiful paintings are only visible to the trained eye, but once you unlock the secret, you’ll find pure magic.


[YouTube] [Via]

Field Notes go to space

Man, I love it when people take wacky “Y’know what’d be really crazy/cool…” ideas seriously and actually do them. To promote their new notebook sets that come with papercraft spacecraft, Field Notes actually sent one of the little guys into space (or something very close by). Bananas:

Each 3-Pack consists of three Memo Books, one each for the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. These books are full of facts and figures. They feature dramatic photographs of iconic moments from those missions on the covers… 

Additionally, you’ll notice these 3-Packs come in a slightly larger package than usual. That’s because each set also contains three “Punch-Out and Assemble” Mission-Specific Crew Capsule Models, for fun and education.



Childish Gambino animated via MacPaint on an 80’s Mac

My 8-year-old and 42-year-old selves just high-fived & it was glorious. Oh my God, I am so here for this. Check out the animation below & the making-of thread here.


[Via Alex Powell]

“Bumping the Lamp”: AR storytelling insights from Roger Rabbit (for real!)

If you’re interested in making augmented reality characters feel natural in the real world, it’s well worth spending a few minutes with this tour of some key insights. I’ve heard once-skeptical Google AR artists praising it, saying, “This video is a treasure trove and every artist, designer or anyone working on front-end AR should watch it.” Enjoy, and remember to bump that lamp. 🙂 


[YouTube] [Via Jeremy Cowles]

Demo: Apple “Memoji”

Hmm—I foresee having fun creating & donning our son’s infamous “Henry Face” and using it as a puppet. The combo of 2D stickers + 3D faces (jump to 5:52) makes me wonder whether we might see Bitmoji, which already exist in a limited 3D form, gain the ability to pair 3D face avatars with 2D preset reaction artwork (sort of the age-old “put your face through a hole in a painted board” tourist photo idea come to more life).