The Rise of Mixed Media in Digital Art

As digital media rises in the world of art, we see many artists engaging in mixed media. The line between traditional and interactive storytelling is beginning to blur as artists continue to incorporate 3D, 2D, audio, and animatic elements into their art. This movement has been adopted by novice and professional artists, alike. Although Anomaly and RWBY use 3D animation in Poser, they look as if they have been styled in 2D. Both Anomaly and RWBY use 3D modeling and paint over with a drawing program to get a mixed-media effect. Many artists whom use Poser to create amazing 3D figures later touch them up for a more photorealistic look. Peugeot Hybrid4’s The Hybrid Graphic Novel is a fantastic example of how a car company has taken the speed of their car and interpreted it into a motion comic with 3D elements. Car companies realize the significance of mixed digital media and its emergence into pop culture. Visuals draw viewers in and has become a prominent means of reaching audiences because of how engaging it is.

LOC.NES – The Quiet in the Chaos EP (MotionArtist & Ableton Live 9)

A plethora of examples also stem from MotionArtist. The program is versatile enough that users can import visual and audio files to give their motion comics a more interactive feel. Glenn Bledsoe, creator of Crazy Fly Comics, creates the visuals for his motion comics in Manga Studio and then imports audio and text to create amazing videos. To read more about Glenn’s experience with MotionArtist and Manga Studio, click here.
Banjo A Ghost Story Crazy Fly Comics

“MotionArtist opens the door for the uninhibited expression of artists’ imaginations. In every step of developing MotionArtist, we have evoked powerful animation capabilities that professionals need to push the boundaries of the media, while at the same time streamlining the steps that make media production time-consuming for grassroots artists,” says Jordan Bentley, Product Manager for MotionArtist. “MotionArtist users hold the key to evolving this media, because the only restriction to their vision is what they can imagine. This will become the driving doctrine in the coming evolution of MotionArtist and the communities it cultivates.”

Charlie’s Abduction by from Filippo onez Vanzo

Charlie’s Abduction from Filippo onez Vanzo on Vimeo. In this video you can see how Filippo uses some drawings he has created of Charlie, a background of space, and a variety of music and voice recordings to bring the animation to life.

In the Echo Callaway, the artists have given their viewers the option of speed. There is a “Beginning,” “Previous,” and “Next” options at the bottom of the screen and you click as you go. Some of the strips are in color while some are black and white.

ANOMALY uses a pipeline of 3D modeling, digital painting over, augmented reality, and game-like animation. Anomaly’s creator, Brian Haberlin, a long time staple in the comic industry and avid proponent of evolving mixed-media, had this to say in this Comic Book Resources blog.

“I’m setting up my characters, costumes, environment. I’m thinking of 3D as my rough pencils. I’ll strip out all the color, I’ll keep some of the shading information, I’ll really do super high contrast, almost making them inks, then I’ll draw over them. The problem people have with straight 3D in print is, it’s hard to make it look alive. 3D is great when it moves, but when it’s a still, you have to step on it with the human hand as much as possible.”

Have you created any digital mixed media lately? Share them with us on our Facebook and Twitter pages! Check out our Pinterest page and feel free to send any pins of your art our way. In the meantime, check out these 4 Amazingly Impressive HTML5 Web Comics from

Manga Studio, Anime Studio and Poser for just $29.99!


Until September 30, 2013 you can have your cake and eat it too. With savings this big there’s no reason why you can’t finally get your hands on the best creation software around. Cheaper than a tank of gas, you can buy the digital versions of Manga Studio EX 4, Anime Studio 8 or Poser 9 for just $29.99 each. STILL cheaper than a tank of gas is our super savings, unbelievable, O-M-G we must be crazy, over 90% off bundle. Get your hands on all three software for just $49.99! For more information on our awesome deal, check out this link. Didn’t get this e-mail in your inbox? Be the first to receive news and promotions by signing up for our e-mail list.


Smith Micro Superstars at San Diego Comic-Con

Smith Micro’s booth this year is 4437. Make sure to stop by and check out all of the cool things we’ve got going on. Grab a MotionArtist mask! Take pictures in your mask and hashtag #TheRISEofMA on Twitter and Facebook. Check out demos of the newly released Manga Studio EX 5 and grab a special edition Axe Cop poster if you purchase EX 5 at our booth. The following successful individuals have used our products and we’re very proud to share a little bit about them and where you can find them during Comic-Con.

Victor Paredes

Victor Paredes, an award winning animator from Chile, will be demonstrating products and taking questions at the Smith Micro booth (4437) during San Diego Comic-Con. Having used Anime Studio for over 9 years now, we consider Victor an Anime Studio celebrity. I don’t think we’re the only ones, either. The News-Gazette featured Victor in their paper when he held a seminar on how animation works. The News-Gazette called Victor, “the premiere tutor for Anime Studio.”

A lot of Victor’s animations are featured in our Anime Studio Gallery. To view more of Victor’s animations, check out his YouTube Channel. His animation, Regálense Unas Vacaciones was featured in our blog on how Anime Studio inspires international education. We also blogged about Victor when Smith Micro won a Telly Award for Happy Earth Day, an animation created by Victor and his team. After receiving the award, Victor stated, “Smith Micro’s Anime Studio software has been a great tool for cutting down production time, as well as adding precision and detail to animation projects. My team and I are delighted to share this Telly Award with Smith Micro.”

Will you be visiting Victor at Comic-Con? Keep up with Anime Studio’s Facebook and Twitter pages for news during Comic-Con. To read more about Victor and his experience with Anime Studio, check out his User Story.

Ethan Nicolle

Ethan Nicolle, creator of Axe Cop and Bearmageddon, will be at booth 1603 during Comic-Con. Ethan has been a user of Manga Studio for over 6 years now. You can read more of his User Story on our website. Don’t forget to tune into Axe Cop on July 21 at 9:30pm/8:30pm Central and July 27 at 11pm/10pm Central on FOX. Follow Ethan Nicolle on Facebook and Twitter, as well as Axe Cop.

Lar deSouza and Ryan Sohmer

Copyright ©2013 Blind Ferret Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright ©2013 Blind Ferret Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

Lar and Ryan will be joined by artists Ari, Will, Joel and Randy at Blind Ferret Entertainment‘s booth, 1231. Lar and Sohmer are cartoonists for Looking for Group and Least I Could Do. Sohmer is also writer of The Gutters and The Bear. Lar said Manga Studio “simplifies the grunt work of comicing so I can get to the fun stuff faster. Inking is a joy in this program!” and that “Flatting in Manga Studio is stupid easy.” Check out Least I Could Do and make sure to stop by their booth to say hey!
Follow Lar and Sohmer on Twitter.

Rooster Teeth Productions

Stop by Rooster Teeth Productions at booth 1437! Monty Oum, director of animation at Rooster Teeth Productions and senior animator for Red vs. Blue said, “When I’m working on Red vs. Blue, Poser is like an extension of my body. I have no time for inefficiency or unnecessary steps and I need a workflow that I can move around easily. Poser is user friendly enough that kids could use it to animate, but at the same time its powerful and flexible enough that nearly all of our rendering and character animation for the series happens using Poser.” Read Smith Micro’s Press Release for more on Red vs. Blue. Be sure to watch RWBY’s “Red” Trailer, featured below. RWBY was also created in Poser.

Marc Rene

Guitar Gladiator by Marcus Rene Hill

Guitar Gladiator
Image taken from:

Marcus Rene Hill is a guest at the Man of Action Studios, booth 2007. Marc has used Manga Studio to create all of his artwork, including the graphics in The Machine Stop. Preview his book while you’re at Comic-Con. He’s giving free copies of The Machine Shops to the first 100 people! Check out his website to see more of his comics.
Follow Marc on Facebook and Twitter.

Kirk Kushin


Written by Kirk Kushin & Illustrated by Gonzalo Martinez
Image taken from:

If you head over to Forcewerks at Q-14, you’ll meet Kirk Kushin. Kirk is an award-winning writer, producer, and director. He’s the author of several graphic novels including OZopolis and Super Teen*Topia. OZopolis was written by Kirk and illustrated by Gonzalo Martinez. OZopolis was completely done in Manga Studio, from rough pencils to tones and lettering. Check out OZopolis on Facebook, as well as Kirk Kushin’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Show Gonzalo Martinez some love on Facebook and Twitter, too! All of the work done on Gonzalo’s website was created in Manga Studio.

Reality 3 for Poser, a bridge to LuxRender

Reality 3 Banner

Paolo Ciccone is the driving force behind Prêt-à-3D, the developer and publisher of the brilliant “Reality 3 for Poser” software product. Reality 3 provides Poser users with a bridge for their scenes into the physically accurate, unbiased LuxRender engine. What this ultimately means to Poser artists? Truly remarkable photo-realism with a user interface that is easy to embrace.

Reality 3 for Poser has accumulated some very lofty praise along the way. My favorite quote from Paolo’s website is one from the Poser artist, Mary Williams (Nightsong): “The crystal clear twinkle of glass under ancient lights, the flash of brightly colored spell effects blazing in a starlit night, the blush of freckles ‘tween lace and auburn curls, and the softness of light filtering through darkness and dust. But, what I love most? Seeing everything from fantasy, to goth, to steampunk, to backyard romance come to life in the renders of Reality, looking just as if they walked from a photograph — or your own back door right onto your screen!”

But since a picture is worth a thousand words, here a few render samples to show the final results that Reality 3 can enable for Poser artists using the LuxRender engine.


RDNALondon01 by bandred @ RuntimeDNA

R34P_hero by Syyd

R34P_hero by Syyd Raven @ RuntimeDNA

Reality 3 for Poser supports the following versions: Poser 9*, Poser 10, Pro 2012* and Pro 2014. To view the documentation click here, to find purchasing information click here.

*Requires Service Release 3 (SR3)

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, as well as Prêt-à-3D’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Post written by: Steve Cooper

We’re So Excited About Our Newest, Greatest Poser Updates!

We are so excited to announce the newest version of Poser 10 and Poser Pro 2014 are available now! Our newest addition has lots (5GB to be exact) of great new 3D figures and content. We could go on and on about all of the great new features, but instead check out our video posted below and see for yourself. Or better yet- check it out on our site! We are offering up to 20% off until June 30! We would hate for you to miss out on such an awesome product. We are super excited about it and know that you will absolutely love it.

Don’t take our word for it. See what others are saying:

Also, don’t forget to visit’s Facebook page to enter into their June Sweepstakes! Poser Sweepstakes

If you already own Poser, click to access the updates for both Poser 10 and Poser Pro 2014. Read more about Poser 10 SR1 and Poser Pro 2014 SR1 here.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Let’s Talk Creativity.

Mark “Crash” McCreery's Baby Raptor


Do you remember where your first dose of creativity came from? Was it from a song? Was it from a movie or cartoon?

One thing I recall from growing up is that movies were my source of inspiration. It was film that taught me how to draw and tinker with film making.

This dialogue is especially timely since Jurassic Park is back in theaters but this time in 3D (I feel old). Just seconds after the movie started, I got chills from the dark opening score by John Williams and I found myself smirking throughout the rest of the film. Not only did I see Jurassic Park approximately 20 times in the theater as kid in Arizona but I believe my older brother brought me every little piece of Jurassic Park merchandise.

But to this day, I remember one thing and that was Topps’ Jurassic Park trading cards. These cards sparked my love for drawing. It was here, my love of not only drawing, story boarding  and truly understanding the power of pre-visualization started.

I wanted to learn how to draw like Mark “Crash” McCreery. To this day, I can’t listen to the Jurassic Park soundtrack without being transported back to the simple days of drawing baby Velociraptors as well as everyone’s favorite, the T-Rex. Thanks for the memories, inspiration, and art lessons Mark “Crash” McCreery.

The Hero’s Journey

Hero's Journey

Over years, my art (primarily photography) has matured over the years due to one thing: A good story.

It sounds simple right? Just find or write a story.

I remember making little digital video shorts with my buddies in high school. I absolutely loved the creative process from start to finish but there was always something missing…

You guessed it, a good story.

My camera movements were smooth, my edits where clean, and my lighting was ok but after I made my final rendering export, I still really had nothing.

This is when I started doing some simple research about what it takes to make a good story. Since I was a huge Star Wars fan, I have always heard about the influence writer Joseph Campbell had on George Lucas’ work (especially episodes IV-VI). I soon discovered the path of the hero and the overarching storyline that has transcended various cultures and religions for hundreds and hundreds of years.

The story is simple; a hero sets off on an adventure. Along the adventure, the hero encounters many friends, mentors, and villains that test our protagonist. Through the adventure, a key revelation and transformation happens to our hero. This revelation forever changes our main character. The adventure soon ends and leaves the hero forever changed from by their experience.

In a nutshell, this is the path of the hero. When examining Star Wars, Lucas simply added new characters to the traditional hero storyline and set them forth on the path of the hero to fight the evil empire. However, this time, there were Wookies, Jawas, Lightsabers and sadly, Ewoks.

So before you start on your next piece of artwork, do some research. Delve deep within the history of your project, art piece, or animation and uncover hidden truths, conspiracies, and untold stories.

Joseph Campbell’s book The Power of Myth assisted me in my quest to find a simple yet effective storyline. Perhaps you too will gain some powerful insight into your next adventure! Check out YouTube for segments of the brilliant 1988 PBS interview with Bill Moyers.

The Name of the Game is “Theme Month”

Brace yourself for some good clean fun and get ready to showcase your creativity!

Start sketching, rendering and animating – This month Smith Micro is looking for you to create your best image or video inspired by the theme of RAGE.

Artist Credit: Rocky Bracero

Artist Credit: Rocky Bracero

Give us your finest visual interpretation of rage. Just think of the last time your neighbor left you a nasty note on your car, demanding you quit parking in their “private” spot, even though you share parking on a public street. Think back to your body’s reaction: blood boiling, body tingling with RAGE, your fist clamping down like a Rottweiler’s jaw on the note your neighbor wrote you. Don’t let the the rage virus from 28 Days Later come over you… Just step away from the computer and come back to it.

At the end of the month, we will select 5 submissions from Anime Studio, Manga Studio, Poser, and MotionArtist entries.

All image and video submissions must be submitted here: Deadline to submit is April 30, 2013.

Selected artwork will be featured in an upcoming blog post in May!

Chose your program wisely and get ready… get set… GO! 


Poser Expo | Runtime Live

We’re extremely pleased to help support the first ever Poser Expo | Runtime Live event which kicks off on March 22nd, 2013, with a keynote from Steve Cooper, Poser Product Manager. There are limited seats still available for the 3 day, online event. Runtime Live will host a series of 10 informative and interactive webinars featuring a collection of Poser experts sharing their desktops and techniques. This event will provide a deep exchange of expertise, helping Poser artists and fans alike improve their craft, with a blend of inspiration and information. Looking forward to seeing you in there!  Register Now!

A friend in need is a friend indeed.


We have these two new “friends” in need of clever and creative help, big time. They are both looking for suggestions from some helpful, creative people. Being the uber-helpful people that we at Smith Micro are, we figured that all of the creative people (you know who you are) who follow our blog might be able to help us to help those friends.

Basically, our friends are in need of two unique, cool first names, one for a man, and another for a woman. Locking down names they can be proud of, names they can share at cocktail parties and have monogrammed onto their socks, names that people will remember is their goal. The needy couple is open to hearing new crowd sourced names, in spite of the risk they face being pinned with something archaic like Archibald and Esmeralda. They are excited to hear what name suggestions you come up with. And so are we.

What we can do to make this process simple is publish a form where you can share your name ideas. We’ll go through and flag the ones that seem to fit and then let you guys vote on the names. Our friends are willing to live with this, and are actually quite intrigued about how this will ultimately work out.

Don’t let our friends down. Help us help them. Two new first names, that’s all we’re asking for.

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