How long have you been using Anime Studio?
I’ve been using Anime Studio since before it was called Anime Studio; about 6 years.
How did you find out about Anime Studio?
I did some internet research to look for a better alternative to Flash, which is what I used before Anime Studio.
What software do you use with Anime Studio?
I use Sony Vegas Pro for post-production, such as splicing scenes together, adding titles and music, and putting in transition effects such as cross fades. I use a variety of different programs to record voices. I use Adobe Photoshop for creating bitmap artwork.
What was your first experience with Anime Studio?
I wanted a neat and creative way to connect with my two sons (from a previous marriage) who live in England. I tried writing stories and sending drawings but when I found Anime Studio, I realized I could send them living creations! My first cartoon features their images. It’s a silly cartoon, but they got a huge kick out of seeing themselves.
What was your first impression of Anime Studio?
How could they fit so much useful functionality into one tidy package, for such a low price? I was also impressed with the Forum activity; the user base was passionate and helpful about their “baby”. I was amazed at how quickly I could put an animation together, with the help of the moving 3D camera and bones. As a child, I’d always wanted to create cartoons, but I didn’t have the means. Anime Studio suddenly gave me the means. It opened up a whole new world to me.
How did your first creations with Anime Studio go?
For my initial creations, I concentrated more on the overall story, pacing and larger movements, such as walking. In my latest work, I’ve tried to focus more the smaller details, such as facial expressions
What was your inspiration for Puzzling?
After I sent the above cartoon to my boys in England, I created one for my daughter, who lives with me in the US. A few years later, we adopted a girl from China, and so it was her turn. She showed a great ability at puzzles, so I based my cartoon for her around that. But I wanted a fantastical element to it – hence the magic that appears half way through. I’m only interested in creating family-friendly cartoons that put a smile on the face of parents and their children. I think it’s too easy to include smut and violence. That’s the easy laugh. It’s much more difficult and challenging to produce entertainment that’s clean, friendly and fun for all.
What work are you most proud of using Anime Studio?
I’m particularly fond of an animation I produced that combines drawings with live-action. A friend’s daughter drew rudimentary pictures of my friends as potato-heads. I thought it’d be fun to animate them into a story, and combine it with a live-action version of me interacting with them. The result was something I called the “Fridge Friends.”
What is one of your favorite features of Anime Studio?
The bone system and the 3D camera. Those two features alone save hours, days and weeks of work.
If you could change one thing about Anime Studio, what would it be?
I’d love for the notion of Scenes to be added. Animation files can get pretty large pretty quickly, and it’s notoriously difficult to share resources between animation files. If I could split up one animation into several scenes, it would make my workflow so much easier. My daytime job is computer programming, and I’m all about reusing resources. When I change something in one place, I want it to automatically update in all places. For me, this is the only serious feature that’s missing. Oh, I’d also like to have a “Save Profile” – for example, save frame 1 to frame 500 as “mytoon1.avi”, save frame 501 to 1000 as “mytoon2.avi”, etc. That way, when I create my output files, the names and durations will match what I’ve created in my Sony Vegas project.
Can you give an example of how Anime Studio made a project go smoothly?
It makes every project go smoothly. Without Anime Studio, I would have to draw every frame individually, and that’s just not going to happen. I’ve also found the Forum support from the user base has been incredibly helpful.
You can view Graham’s work on YouTube: