Smith Micro Graphics Software Blog

How a Fine Artist Transformed into a Digital Animator

Posted by Emmy Rey on Jul 20, 2015, 9:02:04 AM

This post was originally published on 7/20/15.

As a part of this week's theme, how to create animations, Smith Micro has chosen to interview South African artist Benjamin Mitchley. We asked him to tell us his story and how he got started creating animation with Moho.

I have always been intrigued by animation from a young age. As a Fine Artist, I've always experimented with different mediums as inspiration touched me, and tried to use these media in ways that I saw fit. I have always found myself inspired by the way I see other Creatives use different media as well.

After studying Fine arts I modeled for life-drawing students for extra cash and landed up in a class at an animation school. I had to pose short sessions of a walking action, and afterwards was amazed to see students scan these separated life-drawings together to create a moving walk cycle within a short period of time. This sparked my interest even more.

I always wanted to bring my artwork to life. I never knew how to accomplish this with what little resources I had access to and Computer technology was the furthest from my mind as a way to create animation. I started with my paint brush, pencil and home made flip-book to create movement and eventually I discovered that my camera could create stop motion movement.

In 2004, after completing an international Industrial theming, scenic painting job in Dubai, I managed to purchase my first laptop and I became more familiar with computer technology and the internet. While I was there, I always found myself browsing computer shops to try and find an affordable animation software program, which I found nowhere in South Africa.

In 2009, after much research, a faster DSL line and a more powerful PC, I found Toon Boom, which at the time was a breakthrough for me.

In 2014 I discovered Anime Studio Pro through a publication called "Mastering Indie Anime" by Frank Freeman, in which he mentions Anime Studio. Exciting news, as Anime Studio Pro 10 was a pro software at an entry level Toon Boom software price.

In 2015 I upgraded to Anime Studio Pro 11.

Moho is much more affordable than Toon Boom Animate Pro and Harmony Premium software. It gives me access to the same features as the more expensive, Animate Pro and Harmony Premium, and more studios are hiring Moho users.

QU Yuan & the Origins of Dragon Boating.

Benjamin created this animation, using Anime Studio Pro 10, about the origins of dragon boating, for a children's program to air on his local public broadcaster.

To learn more about Benjamin Mitchley's work visit his Facebook page.

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Topics: Moho (Anime Studio), Featured Artists, News, Digital Artists

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