The one stop group portal for the production of 'Insane Science Seeking with the Professor'.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Updated Animatic

After having discussions with Dan and the group yesterday a difficult decision had to be made. Due to circumstances involving the delay in work, and the possible upcoming situation that I may have to cover this work, the scene with the professor's introduction has been cut down by more than half. Even though I really like this sequence and I am sad to see it go, we just can't physically animate 33 seconds for this one sequence in time. I have also added sound effects for the audience bits and the new theme song. The film might technically be longer now, but that is only because the credits are now longer.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Current Progress

As Simon and I discovered tracing every image again in Flash was just not practical, so we decided that it would be quicker for me to ink over every frame and use Illustrator's Live trace. That's is what I am doing now.

Elisha and Harry have finished the Background. Our second years Lewis and Neil have come up with some great character designs and Al and James are (hopefully) progressing nicely with their scenes.

Good job!

Friday, 24 April 2009


This is just to introduce are two new teammates, Lewis Taylor and Neil Pinnock. These two Second years have agreed to help out with the project. Many thanks to them. 10 seconds of animation total in length should be fine.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009


For faster speed we are using the Live Trace function to trace the drawings. It gives it a Ed, Edd n Eddy feel.

Tutorial for Illustrator

Tracing a bitmap with Illustrator

Step1 - Trace the bitmap

Illustrator CS3 has more sophisticated bitmaps tracing features. Here is a very short example that includes a shape tween:

  • Open the picture in Illustrator
  • Select it
  • Now you will have a "Live Trace button" on the control panel on top
  • Next to it is a little pulldown menu from which you can select various options, for a portrait you may choose "Color 16"
Live tracing with IllustratorCS3
Live tracing with IllustratorCS3

Once you hit the trace button, the controls on top will change and you can play with all sorts tracing methods and parameters

Live tracing controls with IllustratorCS3
Live tracing controls with IllustratorCS3
Step2 - Import to Flash
  • Copy/paste if from Illustrator with the options: Paste using AI File Importer preferences and untick maintain layers
  • You may adjust the size of the stage to the size of the picture somewhat, I chose to add some big margins for a reason you will see later.
  • Convert it to a symbol (so that you have a copy in the library)
Step 3 - Break it Apart
  • Then right-click->Break Apart
  • You have to do this several times, since illustrator produced object groups within object groups (use ctrl-Z if you think you went too far).
Step 4 - Create a new keyframe
  • Right-click on frame 20 and hit F6 to create a new keyframe with the same picture.
Step 5 - Distort the picture in keyframe 1

Try everything you can

  • Select parts and change the color with the paint bucket. That's actually the only thing I did
  • You also can move parts, but probably you then should start with a much simple ray trace.
  • Distort parts with the Selection Tool, the Subselection tool and the Free Transform tool
Step 6 - Add a shape tween between the two frames

... enjoy

  • You also may at the very end (after the last keyframe) insert the original jpg picture. Tracing bitmaps is a very difficult issue, since there are many kinds of algorithms you can select from.

Basically the machine must be told how to group similar pixels together into a vector objects. For example, an algorithm can group together pixels with similar brightness, similar color, or try to find lines from similar pixels.

  • In the HTML setting you probably want to take off the "loop" option

You can admire the result

Files: flash-cs3-shape-picture-morphing.*)

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Updated Animatic

I've updated the animatic with my pencil tests and Sam's Logo. I've also tried to add more shots of the audience like Mike and Dan suggested. Timing may need to be worked out.

Theme Music

Here is the theme music. I wanted this chicken-picking country feel to it. I like it. My brother Lewis wrote the music.

Monday, 13 April 2009


Here are some videos from YouTube I thought I put up for Research.

This episode of Dexter's Laboratory has a sound effect I really like.

This shows Dexter zipping around the lab is useful for research.

This I just really like.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Sam's Test

Sam did a test for the logo. I think it really works. Now to find some appropriate music to go with it.