Jungle Trouble

My entry into the animestudiotutor.com monthly competition for September 2019. This animation came 2nd.

More of my animations can be found on my youtube channel: Mad Dog Macdonut on Youtube

The Lighter Side

My entry into the October 2019 11secondclub.com montly contest

More of my animations can be found on my youtube channel: Mad Dog Macdonut on Youtube

Review of Animation in Cartoon Animator 4

Mark Diaz at 2danimation101.com presents us with his latest course “Learning Animation in Cartoon Animator 4”. The course is for anyone who may have already seen Cartoon Animator 4, bought it, then thought, “Hey! What do I do with it now?” Or, it could just as easily be for someone who has downloaded the evaluation version of Cartoon Animator 4 from the Reallusion website and wants to quickly find out what this software does and how easily it can do it. The course is applicable to novices and experienced animators equally. It covers just about every aspect of the software you need to know to get you up and running with creating your own animations.

In the Introduction to the course, you are taken through the aims, as well as being introduced to two bonus courses which you also get as a free added extra. These are “Good Timing Animation in Cartoon Animator 4” and “Save Time in Face Animation with Cartoon Animator 4 Pipeline.” For the purpose of this review though, we will just be sticking with the main course, “Learning Animation in Cartoon Animator 4”.

The course is broken down into 32 short lectures which are covered by the headings, “Introduction”, “Fast Animation”, “Design and Prepare PSD Characters”, “Character Animation”, Facial Animation”, “Extra Tips”, and “Your Next Animation”. Each lecture is less than 10 minutes (apart from one), and are therefore easily absorbed at your own pace.

I really like the way Mark gives each lecture, using his own unique and entertaining approach to the subject. There is nothing dull, boring, or uninspiring here. It is highly noticed throughout the course that this software takes away the need to have a foundation degree in animation just to get a character to walk, and the delivery of the lectures don’t leave you baffled and feeling as though you lack knowledge in animation. This is, of course, not a course in animation itself and therefore does not cover what most professionals would consider absolute essentials to learn in theory before even getting to the design stage of animation. The great thing about the software you are learning here is that Cartoon Animator 4 has a lot of that theory built-in; if you want a character to walk, tell it to, and Mark shows you how. Along the way, he also includes some great tips and tricks, as you will see when you get to the part where he uses a beach ball (not a real one, of course!!!).

There are project files included in the course so you don’t have to worry about creating your own characters, props and backgrounds. Unless you want to that is.

If you haven’t yet bought Cartoon Animator 4, then lecture 03 on “Versions, Addons and Bonus Pack” is a must-watch, and explains why you really should buy the Pipeline version of Cartoon Animator 4. This can be a costly mistake if you buy the Pro version and later want to upgrade.

I’ve taken a number of 2dAnimation101 courses and they compare very favorably with Udemy or other online course providers. There are tutorials available on YouTube at zero cost, but I find they never really have the structure of a paid course. Cartoon Animator also has its own tutorials on the Reallusion website, but if they lack in one area, like with their iClone software, their tutorials often turn out to be advertorials and to follow along properly you have to buy extras from their software store. Nothing like that here. 2DAnimation101 deliver what they promise and teach you how to use the software in as little amount of time as possible whilst instructing using a teaching method that sticks.

Excellent! Comprehensive, engaging, easy to follow course.

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Background added to Clip Studio Paint Pro project

I think I have learned enough of Clip Studio Paint Pro to categorically say that this is a software tool that will definitely compliment my use of Affinity Photo and Affinity Publisher. It has features which are better than the Affinity suite but also misses features readily available within Designer and Photo. I'm only on day 3 of my 30-day trial period of Clip Studio Paint Pro and will wait for them to discount the software before I buy it. They have regular offer periods where both versions of the software are significantly reduced. Hopefully, there won't be a big time gap between the trial running out and an offer appearing.

Clip Studio Paint project shaded

Color Flatting my project in Clip Studio Paint Pro

And we have some color(sic) (colour to us UK peeps).

Inking the Sketch in Clip Studio Paint Pro

I thought I may have bit off more than I could chew with my robot sketch, but I think the inking of the sketch came out okay.
I'm still following the Udemy course for this.

Using built in assets in Clip Studio Paint Pro

I think the only thing I actually draw in this was several lines (which actually spoil the scene!). The characters are posable assets. The train carriage and characters are built into Clip Studio Paint Pro.

Sketch created in Clip Studio Paint Pro

A very basic sketch, ready for inking in Clip Studio Paint Pro. The learning continues.

Continuing with the Clip Studio Paint Pro trial

Using some of the painting options

In case you are interested, I am following along to some tutorials on Udemy. So that I get the same colours as the instructor, I am using Colorpic.

Clip Studio Paint Pro Trial

Alongside Affinity Designer and Affinity Paint, I liked the look of Clip Studio Paint Pro and thought it would be a nice program to fit in with my workflow. So, whilst working through some tutorials, I thought I'd post a few images created in Clip Studio Paint Pro whilst I learn the basics. Here's the first image.

I have to admit that so far I am liking the program. You can get a free 30 day trial of Clip Studio Paint Pro here.

digital inking of a scanned image (practice)

From the book How to Draw Digital Manga and Anime. I was using Affinity Designer and an XP-Pen Star 03 graphics tablet. I traced a scanned image using a raster brush, but feel that the finished image may have been better if I'd stuck with vector. Whilst Affinity Designer is a great program, I also feel I may have been better tracing in MOHO 12 Pro, as it has the option of using a varied width vector brush, which is way cool.

Start Learning to Draw Manga for FREE

Part one of this course is totally FREE. Why not give it a go? Just click on the image above.

Elvish Fury II

Elvish Fury II is the result of following another tutorial built into Daz3D. The image is rendered in iRay.

Construction of the Head

Cartoony Characters made in iClone Character Creator 3

I had a bit of a "Eureka" moment today and suddenly had an idea of how to make characters created in iClone Character Creator 3 look less realistic and more cartoony. This is Nancy, the subject of Cartoony Trials 1.

References, Concepts, Ideas.....

Just came across this fantastic site which has all sorts of different useful stuff on it. It's called Concept Art Empire and has Tips, Inspiration, Reviews, Resources, Interviews; What more could we all want?

Concept Art Empire

Pirates - Freehand practise with a graphics tablet

Working from the book, How to Draw Collection 1-12.

Drawn using the Xp-pen Star 03, non-screen graphics tablet, in raster format using Affinity Designer.

Elvish Fury

I have spent most of my life worrying about getting colours wrong if I took up art, but the more I get into art the more I realise it really doesn't matter. So what if I am colour-blind? It doesn't detract from the joy I get out of producing something from nothing. And, to make life easier, there are numerous ways of creating art these days. The below was produced in a FREE 3D Suite called Daz3D. It was produced using included pre-made content and following a tutorial. This is just my second day investingating the programme. Am I happy with the result? Hell, yeah!

A Day at the Beach

Using Daz 3D , part of a free 3D suite of software, the following image was rendered after following a guided tour to create the scene "A Day at the Beach". An amazing piece of software considering it costs nothing. Click for a higher resolution.

My entry in the AnimeStudioTutor.com July 2019 competition

This animation was created in MOHO Studio Pro. Normally my animations render real quick, but this one took a wopping 15 hours. Hope you enjoy.

My 1st day in DAZ Studio 4.11 Pro

DAZ 3D is a FREE 3D Suite where you can Model, Render, and Animate. This is the first time I've looked at the software and from what I can see it so far appears far, far better than I thought it would. It certainly isn't as complicated as some 3D softwares out there and below is my first attempt following the Getting Started tutorials. This looks like a useful piece of software to go along the others in my arsenal of software animation. Don't be put off because it is free. This is one mean bit of software. The inbuilt tutorials are an added bonus. The second image below shows off DAZ 3Ds rendering ability in HD.

Click on the below image to view full size.

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Okay, so if you aren't in the mood to currently pay for software, here are some totally FREE softwares you can download right now and get animating. Check them out:

My Christmas List, created in Cartoon Animator 4

Having upgraded from Crazytalk Animator 3, to Cartoon Animator 4, I thought I'd try creating a small animation to this Josh Woodward ( www.joshwoodward.com ) song. Enjoy.

The Circus Calls

was presented to you by



Office Background


Background Music

And Here We Go

Mad Dog