Monday, September 26, 2011

Sound Replacement - 'Volver'

Here is a link to my final assignment for the 'Sound Production 1' subject in the May 2011 semester at Bond University. I recorded and mixed the dialogue, foley and effects, and mixed new music, for this two-minute clip from Pedro Almodovar's 'Volver'.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sneak Preview of New Animation!

Here are a couple of screenshots from my new animation project. As you can see it features an old woman........................ mysterious. 

What will it be about? Who is the woman? Why is the woman in bed? Why is she alone? Why is she old? Why is she sad? Is it because she's old? All will be revealed....

As you can tell from these pictures, I'm drawing it in 16:9 letterbox ratio... partially just for a change, partially to make it look more profesh, and partially because a wider frame is interesting for animation and adds a few different possibilities in terms of organising the image and the framing.

More to come soon! If all goes to plan, the centrepiece of this will be the score, which I unfortunately can't preview because in segments it would sound stupid.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tips for Using Toon Boom Studio v4.0

Having made approximately 945745923909450 errors in my history of using Toon Boom Studio v4.0, I thought I might share some of these mistakes and tips to make other users' relationships with the program a bit less rocky and tense.

When drawing using the Mac touchpad, do not accidentally touch a second finger down and send the pencil rocketing off into the timeline and beyond. Having come from a PC with separate clicking buttons and touchpad, I am not used to this sensitivity with multiple fingers on the touchpad, and this one has turned many a well-intentioned drawing into crazy lightning.
Go immediately into (for Mac) TBS > Preferences > Display > Renderer > and select OpenGL rather than Quartz2D. Every time I have left a project in Quartz2D mode instead of OpenGL, the image gets all crumply and epileptic in playback and the upper left corner of the frame is reduced to rave party strobe lighting. STICK WITH OPENGL.

 If you have an area of colour to fill in, but the area is segmented into hundreds of tiny sections (e.g. detail on a person's face or clothes), leave the area transparent, draw a large rectangle of the colour you want, send the rectangle to back, and put it behind the original drawing, and this will fill in the colour despite the sections.

The gradient features in the colour palette are limited- linear gradients only run from left to right, not top to bottom. To make the gradient run from top to bottom, or to change the direction of the gradient in any way, use the 'C' and 'V' keys to rotate your image. The gradient will still appear to fill from left to right but when you rotate your image back to normal, it will rotate with it.

If you have changed computers, operating systems, hard drives etc, or have lost or damaged your TBS install files in any way, don't worry- if you go into your account on, you can re-download any of your TB products, for Mac OSX or PC. Yay! This was a massive relief when I thought I would have to re-purchase TBS just because I bought a Mac.

If your animation is getting sluggish and the program is struggling to keep up with the complex processes that you are making it do, try doing your scenes in small segments (i.e. segments of 3-5 seconds), export the segments as you go, and assemble them in your external film editing program. Trying to export your entire 6 minute animation from TBS, ready to go, will most likely result in flickering, jumping, and the program freezing a lot. Also, you can't edit your transitions and clip lengths with anywhere near as much freedom as you can in a program like Adobe Premiere or Final Cut.

(HINT: When cutting animation with Final Cut Express, I never pay any attention to how long a sequence takes in TBS, I simply Command+J to modify the duration of the clip once it is in Final Cut. E.g. if a shot is meant to track down over 4 seconds, I do it over 8 seconds in TBS and speed it up later. However- make sure the option for 'Frame Blending' is checked in the Command+J menu, as this will keep your sequence looking smooth no matter what you do to its length.)

That's all for now- maybe some more later. If anyone has any more specific questions about either TBS or Final Cut Express, feel free to email me ( and I'll see if I can help out!

Year 12 Muckup Video

This wins the prize for sloppiest and fastest-and-loosest film - thrown together in the middle of graduating and before exams, this came about in an effort to pay homage to our teachers, but also as a valiant bid to still provide some amusement despite iron constraints that banned anything resembling a prank, pisstake or libelous attack on fellow students. This was from the end of 2010, when I was 17 but felt about 94.

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iFormal 2.0 - Year 12

Made with the same three friends for our Year 12 Formal, this was made in even less time, if that is even possible. Actually required more editing, what with text insets and having to drag the footage all around to get it to fit in the frame, but that kind of work is probably best done in a mechanical one night stint. This was mid 2010, and I was 17.


My biggest project to date, this took around 9 months to make (like a baby!). This is my smoothest work with TBS so far, with the rough animation exported and edited using Adobe Premiere Elements. The excellent sound quality is due to the generosity of Gunnar Madsen, licencing his music to me gratis, and Editel Post Production for allowing me to sneak in one afternoon and jump into one of their studios for fifteen minutes. This was created as my SAT for Media Units 3/4 in 2009, when I was 16.

The Formal Video - Year 11

I made this film with three friends to be part of the entertainment at our Year 11 Formal. It was great fun to make, mostly because it was sloppy and all shot in one day and edited over two saucer-eyed rigid-backed nights on the couch. This is from the start of 2009, and I was 16.

Shoesday Tuesday

I made this film to promote the charity event Shoesday Tuesday, raising money for the Homeless World Cup. It was the first time I had worked for someone else, on a deadline, and I remember being severely displeased at the number of edits and reworkings (4 or 5) I had to do to the original product. It was late 2008, and I was a 15 year old convinced that her first cut was above the concept of refinement.


On my second project with Toon Boom Studio, I finally sank down to a more normal level of excitement about the features of the program and started using it like a regular person. Neither of my grandmothers have ever seen this, because one of them might be a bit offended and the other probably wouldn't understand the whole experience very well. Guess which is which. I made this in the middle of 2008, when I was 15.


This was my first experiment with Toon Boom Studio - you can tell from the overenthusiastic usage of the TBS depth function in the first scene. This took me about 4 months in the spring of 2007, when I was 14.