How long have you been using Anime Studio?
Since early 2005 when it was called Moho.
How did you get into animation?
Through the work of people like Terry Gilliam, Jan Švankmajer, Richard Taylor and Bob Godfrey. I started making my own animations with a Super8 camera when I was 6 (although the camera didn't have a single frame mode, so some frames lasted longer than others...)
How did you find out about Anime Studio?
I was looking for software that could emulate stop-frame animation on a Mac, and that didn't require a main-frame system or second mortgage to run it. Anime Studio (or Moho as it was) ticked all the boxes and gave me plenty of other tools to get creative and silly with, such as bones and dynamics.
Do you listen to music while you create your art?
If I'm writing, I can't listen to anything with lyrics (or else I start typing what I'm hearing). In this case something instrumental like Harmonia, Can or Boards of Canada fits the bill. If it's something purely visual that I'm working on then anything goes. My most recent iTunes playlist shows Fountains of Wayne, the Kinks and Cat Stevens as being faves.
You also make music. Do you listen to that while you animate the music video?
Only if the visuals are going to be synchronised with the music. Although I often pick up a guitar and strum absent-mindedly through rendering.
What was your first impression of Anime Studio?
This is going to sound like a cliché, but I was amazed at how quickly I could put together something professional from nothing.
What was your inspiration for Lost in Longmeads?
I live in suburban outer London where a lot of the 1930s housing features Art Deco stained glass windows. After a while of window spotting in the neighbourhood I thought it'd be an interesting project to attempt to animate a journey through a landscape of stained glass. I hadn't seen it done before (the only animated stained glass I could recall was Pixar's knight in the film 'Young Sherlock Holmes').
I'd written some music that seemed to fit the drifting, bright visuals and the two just gelled together nicely. Any problems I encountered during production, Anime was able to deal with. A good example being disabling 'Scale compensation' on the glass layers, which enabled me to zoom in and out of the landscape without the 'lead' outlines widening and spoiling the effect. Also useful was Anime's ability to import video footage, as I used a video of a clear dimpled glass window with layer blending set to 'Multiply' to further flatten the animation and give it more photo-realistic properties.
You've got several animations in your portfolio. What other ones did you make with Anime Studio?
All of them. Anime is great for me as it seems to be able to handle most of the nonsense I chuck at it.
If you could change one thing about Anime Studio, what would it be?
I'd love the ability to create and save your own colour swatches within Anime Studio without having to use images for reference.
Can you give an example of how Anime Studio made a project go smoothly?
I've just completed some animation for a silly project some friends put together where one of the key effects of the animation was an outline wiggle. Anime Studio can do this with a layer setting and saved me countless hours of warping images by hand. Here's the finished film, Pebbles.