Tag Archives: cc

Quickly Creating a 2-D + 3-D Cartoon

Part of my day job is creating animated cartoons for online learning courses. For my latest project, it was decided to have it set in an apartment with two-dimensional cartoon characters superimposed. Given the time frame, I tried to find the easiest and fastest way to model the apartment in 3-D using inexpensive software with the smallest learning curve.  Planner 5D met all of my requirements, so I decided to give it a shot.

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Planner 5D on Windows 10

One thing I really liked about Planner 5D is that it’s available for Mac, PC, and mobile devices. This was handy because I could work in it anywhere and could easily show off different layouts to the team even if I wasn’t near my desktop computer.

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Planner 5D on an iPhone 8 Plus

It also has a lot of built-in models that you can quickly drop in and customize as needed, which was a huge time saver. I was able to learn the software, create an apartment for the project, revise as needed from team feedback, and render out all of the stills in about 2 business days.

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Some of the options of pre-built assets Planner 5D has available.

For the characters, I quickly sketched out some ideas in Procreate on my iPad Pro based on the descriptions given to me by the instructional designer during our meeting. In this case, the main characters were a college student and his anthropomorphic ostrich roommate.

I imported the sketches into Adobe Animate, traced them, and broke them into individual graphics so they could be easily animated.

Animate1Animate2

I then imported the background images that were created and rendered in Planner 5D and animated the characters on different layers. The Keyframe Caddy extension for Adobe Animate is a huge time-saver and cut down the amount of time it took to lip-sync the characters to the dialogue.

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If you’re looking to make an animation in a similar style, I hope you also find these tools useful. I know personally, it was very handy to have software like this to cut down on production time.

Adobe CC 2014

As many of your Adobe users probably have heard by now, Adobe released their next version of Adobe Creative Cloud, called CC 2014. The event was streamed live, but if you missed it, you can watch it here. They added new features to their existing software, created some new mobile applications for drawing and photo-editing, and even released a new stylus/ruler set (be it an expensive one) called “Ink and Slide“.

Ink and Slide - Copyright Adobe 2014
Ink and Slide – Copyright Adobe 2014

One part of Photoshop CC 2014 that I thought was intriguing was the ability to create 3-D objects and then have them printed and delivered to your doorstep. Just to test it out, I took part of my logo, extruded it, and then sent it over to be printed.

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 9.23.22 AM

Depending on the material that you want it to be made of and how large/complex it is, the price will vary greatly. For instance, I was originally going to turn it into a coffee mug where the “P” would hold the liquid and the “G” would be a crazy handle. However, just making it 3″ tall, bumped the price up to about $120 shipped. Losing the coffee mug idea and reducing it to 1/4″ tall to just have a 3-D logo, bumped it down to $12 shipped. You can even get your models made of precious metals, which as you can guess, will bump the price up considerably.

Right now my logo model is being reviewed to make sure it’s not too thin where it will break. If it passes that it will go into production and shipping. I’ll post again once I receive it or if it gets rejected.

Adobe CC: Hands-On

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I wasn’t impressed at all by Adobe’s Creative Cloud announcement. I don’t like to write things off without trying them though, so I decided to give it a shot. Since I own versions of Flash, Photoshop, and Dreamweaver CS6, I was able to sign up for $21 a month. Once payment cleared, I was met by some confusion, but I figured a trained Adobe associate could easily help me.

Once Adobe CC was paid for, Adobe Application Manager opened, so I figured I’d try out all these “new and improved” features of Flash CC. However, next to Adobe Flash in the list it said “Up to date.” I thought this was bizarre since I just watched Adobe video displaying their reasoning of why you need to upgrade to CC, but here I was unable to upgrade even after paying for it.

Flash CC?

I contacted Adobe via chat support and asked the representative why I couldn’t upgrade to Flash CC after purchasing their cloud subscription. He didn’t know why, so he put me on hold for about 5 minutes. When he returned, he said it takes up to 48 hours before you’re allowed to download the software. I said I’ve never had that issue before, when I purchased CS5.5 and 6, I was able to instantly download the files. He told me to wait 2 days before attempting to download Flash CC.

I also asked him once I download Flash CC, if it would overwrite my Flash CS6. I stressed the importance of me being able to run both CS6 and CC on my computer in case I decide to opt out of CC in the future, I need to know my CS6 is safe. He was very confused on why I would want to keep CS6, but after about 10 minutes of back and forth, he said he would have to ask someone and to please hold.

About 20 minutes later he returned to our chat and he said I should be able to run both versions. I wasn’t confident in any of his answers, so I thanked him for his time and ended the chat. Later that night, I was researching my questions and came across a forum that said Flash CC doesn’t exist yet. The announcement by Adobe was just to showcase what is coming soon, but a CC membership just promises you the update in the near future, not new software right now. I’m not sure why the representative I spoke to didn’t know that or tell me that. So apparently, me signing up for $21 a month for a year just gets me access to their current CS6 line at the time of this writing.

Since I already owned Flash, Photoshop and Dreamweaver CS6, right now the CC subscription is worthless to me. I don’t use any of their other products since the amount of video/sound editing I do is so rare, I’m fine sticking with Audacity, iMovie, iDVD, and Garageband. I did download After Effects, Premiere, and Illustrator just because I paid for them, but honestly, I haven’t even opened them since I downloaded them 2 weeks ago.

Overall, I’m still not a fan of Adobe CC. Right now the subscriptions just gets you access to their existing software, and if you already own some of it, it’s pretty much a waste. I can’t comment on the new versions since their not available to the public yet. Their online chat support was of no help, and I’m going to be out $252 if there’s no vast improvements in their software within the next year. Here’s to hoping they release something amazing soon and prove me wrong…

Adobe CC: Great Idea or Awful Attempt?

Adobe officially announced their release of Adobe Creative Cloud yesterday at Adobe Max. This will affect many mobile application developers in some form since most artwork for apps is created using Photoshop, Flash, and/or Illustrator. Some of you may even use Dreamweaver or Flash to directly develop apps.

What does this mean for Adobe users? Well, the most noticeable difference is that you’ll no longer own their software. Buying Adobe Photoshop CC isn’t an option, you can only rent it from them. Adobe claims this model is great because using their cloud service, it will remember your tool preferences across multiple devices, you can save files to the cloud, collaborate more easily and share your work with a growing community of other creative individuals. That sounds like a lot of positive features, but let’s break it down.

Personally, saving my tool preferences across multiple devices isn’t an selling point. I do all of my work on one computer and only use my iPad for jotting down ideas or light sketching. This may be great for some people who will really appreciate it, though.

Saving your files to the cloud so you can collaborate is a nice feature. Unless you’re already using DropBox, a network, or other file sharing service. Since I own webspace and have 4 gigs of free DropBox space, Adobe’s Cloud service doesn’t interest me personally.

Finally, letting other members of the Adobe community see your works in progress for feedback. I’m very hesitant about that feature. I have rarely ever seen constructive criticism posted on the internet about anything. People tend to hide behind a user name to post derogatory comments, so I’m hoping this would be heavily moderated. Plus, when collaborating, you often sign non-disclosure agreements so you wouldn’t be sharing works in progress anyway for fear the idea might be stolen.

Adobe didn’t demonstrate too many new features to their products for mobile app development. They showed how Photoshop CC can make it easier to make mobile websites and I watched a video on Adobe.com showing how Flash CC can be turned to HTML5, but that doesn’t actually have anything to do with app development. Between Toon Boom starting to take over the animation world and Flash having to cater to HTML5, I’m actually surprised they bothered releasing a new version. I’d also be concerned about creating a .fla file in Flash CC, not renewing your monthly subscription and then not being able to edit the file until you resubscribe.

Overall, I haven’t seen anything innovative or interesting enough to make me drop CS6 and pay monthly to use CC. It feels like their new business model leans more towards their best interests rather than to consumer’s. The idea of a cloud isn’t new, renting software is obviously just to prevent piracy, and sharing files is also old news. I think I’m going to be a life-long CS6 user until the next best thing comes out, but right now, CC isn’t it.

What are your thoughts on Adobe’s new CC?