Yearly Archives: 2011

Inside Impossible: A Factory Tour

We were lucky enough to get an glimpse inside the Impossible Factory in Enschede a couple of weeks ago! With way too much on my plate right now I didn’t find a chance to post this until now.

Setting off at 4am from London we first flew over to Bremen,  from where my friend Oliver was kind enough to drive us 200km over the border to Holland. Thanks, Oliver!

What can I say – it was a blast! All our questions about Impossible material were answered, we were shown how it’s made and how it all came to be. We had an amazing chat with Andre Bosman who took literally hours being the perfect host and tell us everything us fans wanted to know (he’s also CEO and Co-Founder of the company).

Thousand thanks go to the entire Impossible Team who made us coffee and nibbles so we felt right at home. Let me show you some pictures mere mortals (and Polaroid enthusiasts) can only dream of: let me take you Inside the Impossible.

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Happy Halloween

Julia carved this wonderful pumpkin – it looks amazing! In the evening we were contemplating a tea light on the inside but decided the back light from a bicycle would be much nicer (and won’t burn the pumpkin).

Since it was so late in the day I decided to take a long exposure with one of my new Polaroid SX 70 cameras on a tripod – this one was about 10 seconds. Shot on Impossible PX 70 film.

Happy Halloween everybody!

Dolby E Decoders in Cortex

So we’ve got these Dolby E Decoders and Encoders at IMG MCR.

We need to use them more and more for various client requests – but for the last year or so Richard Bagnall was the only human in Chiswick who understood how to make them do something useful. We all had a look at them and most of us are still clueless as to how they work.

In many attempts he was kind enough to explain to me what we as operators need to do in order to utilise them, and I’m exicted to say that last week something made CLICK in my brain when I understood the magic behind them: they’re not complicated as such – they’re just incredibly badly labelled ni the Cortex system!

Let me pass on this essential knowledge in this guide and assure you this: if you know how to work an Axon Shuffler, you sure can operate one of these Dolby Cards!

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Zen Brush Sketch: Spike

I’ve done done some more drawing exercises and came up with this little character: Spike (due do this hair style). I’ve started him in Manga Studio and can’t stop drawing him now. Julia says he always looks like he’s in trouble (I’m still working on the happier expressions).

This sketch was done in Zen Brush on iPad, a lovely tool that works like a Japanese ink brush. It’s really easy to create quick master pieces with it – stay tuned for some more!

It’s a Kodak World – Welcome!

I’ve finished another sketch in Manga Studio, still trying to come to grips with it. This time I’ve used my trusty old Wacom Bamboo tablet. It’s handles just as nice as my Intuos 4. Doug TenNapel was right: the hardware doesn’t really matter that much (even though I love my Intuos). Thats great news as the Bamboo is slimmer than even the small Intuos so ideal for travelling.

I rendered a picture of James in Poser Pro as reference. When I was half way through the drawing I thought it reminded me of Gene Simmons from The Celebrity Apprentice. I’ll never forget his famous slogan for the printer they were supposed to promote: It’s a Kodak World – Welcome.

His team lost the task and he got fired.

Even though he’s not wearing sunglasses in this sketch, this is my homage to Gene 😉

Wacom Intuos 4 = Happiness

A couple of weeks ago I ordered us some proper Wacom Intuos 4 tablets – a small one and a wireless medium one. It’s love at first touch 😉

I’ve had a first generation Wacom Bamboo before and thought it would come in handy for touch up work in photo retouching and some other pen related activities, and even though it worked I never quite warmed to it. That was in 2008.

Back then I even invested in Manga Studio EX4 which had just come out thinking that my drawing skills would improve when I rtied the two together. Unfortunately the software is so unintuitive and the tablet was so basic that I soon lost interest in further explorations.

With the Intuos 4 that has all changed: it’s like drawing on a piece of paper with incredibly accurate feedback. It even recognises the angle of the pen to the tablet and changes the brush size and stroke accordingly. Whoa!

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How to render with Alpha Channel in Anime Studio 8

We’ve been playing with Anime Studio 8 Pro and love it – for years I’ve been bombarded with “special offer” emails that told me how amazing this programme was so we finally gave in. I’m glad we did – Julia and I are having lots of fun creating 2D animations.

The included tutorials are great, but I believe they’ve been made for previous versions of the software. Some features have changed, and this is one I’ve had trouble funding on the web:

How to render an animation while retaining the Alpha Channel.

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