Deal Alert!: Artist Software Bundle Sale

Have you ever dreamed of creating interactive comics, animating your own cartoon characters or rendering three-dimensional figures? Today is the perfect day to get a jump start on your artistic ambitions!

Now until May 31, 2014, we are offering a creative software bundle sale that includes Poser Debut, Anime Studio Debut 10, Clip Studio Paint Pro (digital version of Manga Studio 5) and MotionArtist. The package provides a complete beginner’s software toolset for comic illustration and 2D / 3D animation for only $69.99.

The artistic possibilities are endless with these programs, so take advantage of this bundle sale and get your creative juices flowing!

Smith Micro Bundle Sale

>>> Smith Micro Artist Bundle Sale <<<

Celebrate Free Comic Book Day + Make Your Own

It’s back!

This Saturday, May 3rd, comic book shops all around the world will be giving away free comic books to all who enter their store.  It’s a pretty exciting day that we look forward to every year – and we’re sure you do too.

Follow this link to find a participating shop near you: http://www.freecomicbookday.com/storelocator

As long as you’re celebrating comics, why not make a day of it and create your very own? With Manga Studio artists of all skill levels can turn their illustrations into comics, manga and graphic novels to share with friends and followers. With our latest program, MotionArtist, you can even create a html presentation and add motion to your favorite static comic.

Check out what others have created with Manga Studio and MotionArtist and send us your own homemade comic books! You can find even more inspiration at the Manga Studio gallery.

Made with Manga Studio:

Animal Planet Artist:  Kaz Mayeda

Animal Planet
Artist: Kaz Mayeda

Bat Girl - Teyon Alexander

Bat Girl
Artist: Teyon Alexander

 My Angel - Lincy Chan

My Angel
Artist: Lincy Chan

Made with MotionArtist:

Happy Holiday, everyone!

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 MakeUseOf.com

MotionArtist aids Crazy Fly Comics’ Motion Comics

Hear what Glen Bledsoe, creator of Crazy Fly Comics, has to say.

Me_final Copy

A self-portrait of Glen Bledsoe, created in Manga Studio

The Tool
It’s a wonderful thing when an artist discovers the tool that connects the idea storm spinning in his head and provides the medium to share those ideas with an audience. MotionArtist is that tool for me. I recognized its value immediately when I first saw it demonstrated. I realized that it would allow me to combine my skills and interests in visual arts, story-telling and sound design.

Early Influences
I poured over comics even before I learned to read. I’d imagine what those words balloons said–a foreshadowing of the technique I sometimes use when I create my comics today. Mostly I read superheroes comics: Carmine Infantino’s Flash, Green Lantern by Gil Kane and (when I could find them) Alan Scott-Green Lantern artist Bill Finger, Bob Kane’s Batman, and all the Marvel titles drawn by Jack (King) Kirby and Steve Ditko. Oddly enough though, I’ve never had the urge to create a superhero comic myself.

In my teen years I carefully studied the artwork in Creepy and Eerie magazines (I keep a hardbound reprint of volume 1 next to my desk) and the talents of Mad Magazine’s Mort Drucker and Don Martin (both visible influences, I think, on my piece “Banjo, a Ghost Story”). Cartoonist “Seth,” I have to say, also blows me away. He conveys so much with the simplest lines. These influences are probably why I work so much in black and white.

Early Digital Comics
I spent quite a few years doing an online comic for Salem-News.com. It didn’t move or make sounds and was in all ways flatter than an Indiana cornfield. Recently I completed a 15 episode comic series “The Truth” for Ripperologist published in PDF. So I have a lot of experience with lay-out and a great deal of back-logged material. There are, for example, something like 14 episodes of “The Hummer” waiting for me to repurpose as a motion-art graphic novel. I have no shortage of ideas.

Sometimes my ideas are from unpublished short stories I’ve written. “Banjo” is an example of that. I have another short story that I’m going to do as a motion-art comic called, “Donny and the Ghost.” But that one is going to take background preparations greater than anything I’ve done thus far.

Fractured Inspiration
When I was a teenager I watched a television program called “Fractured Flickers.” The producers of the show assembled random passages from silent movies and then overdubbed silly dialog in the style of Woody Allen’s “What’s Up, Tiger Lilly?” It was a perfect fit for my sense of humor then as now. When I first created online comics, I was reminded of Fractured Flickers, and hunted for old movies in the public domain to dismember. I’d pull them apart and select individual frames that expressed some emotion. I did this with movies I’d never seen, so I had no idea of the actual plot. From these random snippets I made up my own plots. Many, many years of corny movie dialog floats in my brain, so it’s not hard for me to squeeze clichéd mumblings into page after page of word balloons. So in a sense for some of my work, the images write the story for me. I look at the images and as I did before I learned to read, I make up the text for the word balloons.

Panels from Scratch
But there are stories for which the process is different. There are stories in my head for which no movie stills exist. I have to create those images. The problem has been that although I draw well and enjoy drawing, I couldn’t find an easy way to get my drawings into the computer. Scanning or photographing hand drawings takes too many steps. I’d tried a number of drawing/painting programs, but they were awkward to use. The truth is you can’t really draw with a digital stylus and tablet like you can with a paper and pencil. When I draw I hold my pencil with many different grips, at various angles and pressures. You just can’t do that with a stylus and tablet. There’s really only one useful way to hold a stylus. So to be productive with a stylus and tablet you have to develope new approaches and you have to have software designed to assist in you in those new approaches. Manga Studio does that. Making pen or pencil marks or even airbrush areas and having the ability to change their position, twist and rotate them like vector graphics is as an important invention to me as steam power was to the Victorians. Manga Studio gives me tools to compensate for my inability to control the stylus as well as I can a pencil. MotionArtist + Manga Studio are a winning combination! I can’t sing their praises loudly enough.

MotionArtistScreenSnapz002

The Birth of Crazy Fly Comics
When my youngest son was in scouts I assembled slideshows for boys who became Eagle Scouts. I experimented with many slideshow apps. The one thing I noticed was that if you had any kind of Ken Burns effect (slow zooming and panning) for one slide, the next one had to move as well or the mind thought something was wrong. When I began making my first motion-art pieces I decided that the camera needed to keep in motion during the entire piece. Not so much as to make the viewer seasick, but enough to let the viewer know that the story was still rolling along. I imagined a fly zooming down onto my comics and following the story panel by panel. That’s where the term Crazy Fly came from. As soon as I saw what MotionArtist could do, I knew I had to create my own comic company based on this new medium.

MotionArtist
The camera moves from panel to panel. Objects within the panels can be animated in various ways, AND you have the power to create this crazy, faux 3D (which some are calling 2.5D) effect that rocks viewers back on their heels. I’ve shown people my work and I’ve had them grab my arm and say, “Did I see what I thought I just saw? I mean it looked like the background moved! Like 3D!” And it only costs how much? And you don’t need a PhD in computer science to get it to work.

Gentle Learning Curve
It didn’t take me very long to figure out how to use MotionArtist. I’d used other motion timeline apps in the not-so-recent past like Bryce and Carrera. Mostly I just looked at the online videos, read over the instructions and tried out one new feature at a time. If you’re just learning MotionArtist, I’d suggest you try the same thing. Don’t try to learn it all in one sitting. Don’t get overwhelmed. Learn one new thing each time you sit down with it. Soon you’ll know it well enough to concentrate on your story and not the software.

MotionArtistScreenSnapz001

The Attributes of a Successful Motion-Artist
You want to learn to take your time when you’re creating your project. Pace yourself. All artists have to learn that. If you’re going to create a masterwork that will knock the socks off your viewer it’s probably going to take days, weeks or even months. Banjo took two months of constant work, up to 16 hours each day. One of my friends calls me a binge writer. You have to know when to gun it, when to let it sit (but not too long). You have to learn to keep the momentum going.

You also have to learn to decide when you’ve made a wrong turn in your story, to back up and make a different turn. Part of the reason Banjo took so long is that I ended up redrawing the panels for the first 8 scenes/pages three times because I couldn’t get the look I wanted.

To develop a motion-art comic you have to create a work flow. That work flow may change from comic to comic depending on what the look is you’re after. Work flow is what keeps the look and feel of your comic consistent. It gives you the procedure to know what to do on the next panel. Spend whatever time it takes to develop that workflow. Once you’ve done that the execution of the graphics, the sound, the animation and so on will go smoothly. Otherwise you’re going to get frustrated.

Work Environment
When I work I tune out the rest of the room around me. I don’t hear conversations except for the inner dialog in my head. My desk is usually cluttered with notes, pencils, pens, playing cards (I’m also a magician), and I have books of comic art stacked on the floor at my feet. I work on a 27 inch iMac screen and have a 24 inch Dell display I use to post reference photos, snippets of dialog, and moveable palettes. I use a Wacom Bamboo CTH-470 tablet and stylus, which I use with Manga Studio. I like the stability of a mouse for MotionArtist. Use the right tool for the right job.

Some Unsolicited Advice
If you don’t draw, start drawing. It doesn’t matter if you’re a painter, a photographer, or a motion-artist. It doesn’t matter if you draw well or not. Drawing helps you see in a different way. It helps you think in terms of graphic image. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts from Indiana University, and I spent a couple of years at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago studying print-making. I sat for hours drawing from models. I studied the masters. I spent several years just studying human anatomy (alongside other comic artists). Now I teach middle school art and technology classes. I tell my students, I tell anyone who will listen: draw, draw, draw. And now I share this same advice to you: draw. Don’t be too concerned about what your drawings look like. Just be assured that the process is doing good things for your brain.

Here’s what it takes: patience, skill, persistence, talent, imagination. And the right tool. For me that tool was MotionArtist.

Glen Bledsoe has recently updated Crazy Fly Comics’ website. Like Crazy Fly Comics on Facebook and subscribe to Crazy Fly’s YouTube Channel. Don’t forget to like Manga Studio and MotionArtist on Facebook and to follow Manga Studio and MotionArtist on Twitter.

Create Photo Slideshows with ScatterShow

ScatterShow scattershowboxOffers a Beautiful Way to Display Life’s Memorable Moments in Motion

Innovative and easy to use, now anyone can create and share interactive photo slideshows like never before. Scattershow allows you to effortlessly create unique slideshows to share with friends and family. After creating a few slideshows of my own, I want to make all of my Facebook albums into their own ScatterShows.

“ScatterShow can transform a simple book of photos into a memorable sharing experience, allowing you to break free from the old, static photo album and inspire others with amazing motion and effects,” said Jordan Bentley, product manager for Smith Micro Software. We’re very happy with ScatterShow’s features and hope you will agree there are a ton of benefits to owning this product.

After trying out ScatterShow, Greg Scoblete of Your Digital life shared, “You’ll find a selection of pre-loaded animation and visual effects, which can be customized as well so you can put your personal stamp on your finished show.” ScatterShow allows you to explore, store, and share photos with a modern motion arrangement in the simplest way possible. It provides you the options of uploading your photos from your computer, from your smartphone using Quicklink Hotspot technology, or from Instagram®. Tony Curcio of Graphic Arts Magazine touched on ScatterShow’s ability to add a background image or music to slideshows in his review of the new product. We’ve provided you with photo filters such as toon effect, black & white, sepia, auto correct and shadow correction so that you may enhance and beautify your images as you see fit. Creating brilliant photo slideshows is an effortless process for users of every skill level. Once you’re masterpiece is complete, you can easily export it to Facebook, YouTube, or any HTML5-enabled webpage.

Like what you see? Scattershow is only $24.99 until June 30th!

For more on ScatterShow’s features, pricing and upgrade information, visit Scattershow’s website. The banner on ScatterShow’s website was created with MotionArtist! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to be a part of the conversation on ScatterShow!

What Are You Waiting For? Christmas? Check Out MotionArtist Version 1.1!

MotionArtist

Bring your comics to life more than ever with Version 1.1 of MotionArtist. “There are visual effect improvements, including default panel styles, sequence for blur and fade, improved arrange in 3D and auto-camera,” MacTech stated. Karen Luk from PCWorld gave MotionArtist an amazing 4 out of 5 Stars! Until June 30, you can purchase MotionArtist for 15% off so don’t miss out.

MotionArtist is a great app for assembling, animating and deploying interactive comics and slide shows. As long as you have the means for creating the content (which can be as simple as a folder of photos), you can quickly put together a project that you can be proud of.” – Trey Yancy, MacDirectory (page 54)

What You’re Missing

  1. Brand new “trigger” commands for HTML5 allow you to create a new level of interactivity by triggering multiple animations with a tap or click.
  2. Streamlined Artboard and Timeline navigation to support gesture controls on Mac Trackpad, touchscreen devices, and Wacom design tablets, plus improvements to the move tool allowing for origin changing.
  3. 64-bit support for Windows and a plethora of usability and bug fixes.


Check out two more examples on how to use MotionArt, “The Rise of MotionArtists” and ComicRocket Banner. Visit our MotionArtist page to learn more, buy or upgrade. We want to know what you think, so post on our Facebook page and tweet at us. Already got the update? Let us know how much you love it too!

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: http://my.smithmicro.com/gallery/ 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! 

 

MotionArtist is Here!

MotionArtist

Our Newest Software Launches, Bringing Animation to Comics and More

Looking to add some movement to your comic creations? How about animating your photos shows? Whether you are looking to complete these tasks or other endeavors such as spicing up a presentation, our recently launched software, MotionArtist, is the tool for you.

MotionArtist enables users to add motion to their comic creations, as well as create interactive HTML5 presentations and make animated photo shows with ease. From graphic novelists and comic creators to photographers and public speakers, users of all skill levels are able to utilize the highly versatile MotionArtist software solution to enhance and share their artistic creations and presentations.

Check out what others are saying about MotionArtist:

“Create Moving Comics With MotionArtist” – Bob Al-Greene, Mashable

“MotionArtist Comic Creation Software Emerges From Beta” – Jackie Dove, TechHive

“MotionArtist for Animation Offers One-click HTML5 Export” – Monish Bhatia, MacNN

For more information on MotionArtist visit

motionartist.smithmicro.com.

5 Reasons You Should Check Out Our YouTube Channel

 

Content Paradise YouTube

If you like our graphic products, then you’ll love our YouTube page! The Smith Micro Productivity & Graphics Software YouTube page was established in May 2008, and has garnered over 2 million views since then. In case you haven’t subscribed or checked it out yet yourself, here’s five simple reasons you should!


1) Explore the History Of Our Channel

Content Paradise

The YouTube url is http://www.youtube.com/contentparadise because the channel was originally made for Content Paradise. One of the earliest videos is actually a 360° spin of our Darwin Toon Monkey. Over the years, it’s evolved to include content featuring art from all of our graphics software. You can relive history by browsing through videos that are over 4 years old!


2) Get Connected With Other Graphic Artists

Get Connected at Content Paradise YouTube

Join the conversation with other artists! We accept video submissions through our gallery, and we then upload them to the playlists on the site. Each graphic software is represented (Anime Studio, Manga Studio, Poser, & MotionArtist) and each playlist is updated as we approve submitted videos.


3) Learn About Our Products and How To Use Them

Smith Micro Software Webinars

Although we have a section on our website for webinars, we also upload them to our YouTube page as well. In addition, you will find various tutorials (some from us, others from users like you) there as well. We’ve collected all webinars and tutorials into playlists, so all you have to do is click play and enjoy them!


4) Stay Informed Through Subscribing

Content Paradise YouTube Browse

We are uploading videos weekly, as well as make announcements. You should consider subscribing to the channel, as you will be the first to be notified of what’s coming up!


5) Learn Who’s Behind the Productivity

Although we haven’t made one in a while, sometimes you’ll see personal videos from the Smith Micro Software Graphics & Productivity team. We love staying connected with the users and ensuring top-of-the-line customer service!


Don’t dally around, check out and subscribe to our YouTube page today!

Time To Raid The Big Apple! – Come And See Us At NYCC!

 

You saw us at San Diego Comic-Con this year, and now we’re back now at New York Comic Con 2012! We’ll be located at Booth #964, located in the back-right behind the Marvel and DC Entertainment booths!


New York Comic Con 2012


At our booth, we’ll be offering a hands-on look at Anime Studio 9 as well as our latest graphics software, MotionArtist.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Anime Studio 9 was released last month. At our booth we’ll be showcasing all of its features. If you didn’t get the chance to take advantage of our recent sales, we’ll be offering exclusive show-only prices, just as a thanks from us for stopping by.

If you’re interested in creating interactive graphic novels, MotionArtist is for you. It’s still in beta, and can be downloaded for free. The beta download will be available until January 15th, 2013, so go check it out now while you still can! It was just unveiled a few months ago at SDCC, so it’s fresh and hot off the griddle. Come check out our booth for more information about MotionArtist; for those of us who aren’t fortunate enough to go to NYCC 2012, you can still check out its website.

Let’s storm the big apple and rock this! If you’re interested in getting a free MotionArtist t-shirt, come to our booth and say the secret phrase Applesauce!

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