All posts in Other News

SWF Files in After Effects 6

If you are involved in 2d animation and you try to import swf files into After Effects CS6, you may encounter weird issues. These issues usually appear, when you update the swf file while After Effects CS6 is still open. This may turn the swf into a blank or a half time-trimmed clip making your workflow really frustrating. To get around the problem, you should go to After Effects menu Edit>Preferences>Media & Disk Cache and make sure to uncheck the “Write XMP IDs to Files on Import”.

Voila! The problem is resolved :)

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:::Paper53 rough sketches:::

Recently I had the chance to play with my brother’s iPad and I gave another try with the famous Paper53 app.
Paper 53 is not a complete painting software like Sketchbook or ProCreate but it allows you to make rough sketches in typical sketching pads.
So here are some very quick drafts I did while I was testing 53′s tools like Pen, Marker and Brush.

It has a great feeling and I strongly recommend it for all iPad users.
You can read a short review here I wrote some months ago.

For professional painting apps for your iPad, currently  the best available apps are Sketchbook and the amazing ProCreate (it’s the best app in my opinion)

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:::MonsterUp 2 Adventures, 1st prize in contest:::

MonsterUp 2 Adventures by Karios games, the windows phone game which I have  created new exciting art for, has been awarded the 1st prize in Windows Phone Development Week by Microsoft and Nokia! The game is not available yet but it already gets very positive feedback about its gameplay, art and music :) Congratulations to my friend Marios Karagiannis, the developer of MonsterUp.

Check more here

Marios Karagiannis in Windows Phone Development Week

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:::Boot2Gecko illustration:::

The latest post of VisionMobile  features my artwork about Boot2Gecko platform.
This promising platform features a gecko lizard on its logo, so the overall idea features a preacher-like lizard spreading the word about the new platform in Wild West.
You can check the actual article for more details.

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:::Paper – a great app for creatives on ipad:::


This is Paper! The most impressing app for creatives so far, available for iPad users. From the first time I saw Paper it seemed very familiar to me. And I wasn’t wrong! The team 53 which has designed the Paper app is the very same team which had worked on that exciting Microsoft tablet Courier. Do you remember Courier project? Yes the tablet with all these killing features, which in my opinion would have destroyed iPad very easily but Microsoft decided to retire as a project…What a pitty.

Thankfully, the team 53 decided to transfer the overall idea into a new iPad app, giving all creative persons a new tool to boost their creativity.

Let’s get a very short review of the new Paper app:

First of all, you are welcomed by a bunch of moleskine-like pads, which you can customize their covers with any image you like, so you can have your personal touch on them. These pads allows you to keep track of notes, drawings, sketching. As I said before, the main idea of Courier project lies exactly here. The user can make notes and draw on the fly as he/she would do with a usual notebook. The interface is very minimal yet so nice and fluent.

When you tap a notebook, you are able to use a set of useful tools, which are available at $1,99 each. I didn’t mention before but the app itself is free; it is optional if you want to add these tools to your toolbox. Eraser and a basic pen are free to use but you can preview the other tools before buiyng. That’s very nice because you actually test the tools in real time and see if they fit your workflow.
So the tools are:
-Draw, the starting pen which is free to use. It’s a nice tool perfect for inking with a nice feeling and line width
(tools to buy from store)
-Sketch, a pencil for nice sketching
-Outline, a marker-like tool to add colour in kind of multiply blending 9like a real marker)
- Write, a ballpoint pen suitable for writing and rough notes
-Color, a nice brush to add watecolour to your creative ideas

Of course, the best way to experience the full potential of these tools is to use one of the dozens of available stylus for iPad. By the way, I hope the future versions of ipad will support pressure sensitive settings. The future lies on the stylus for the creative people not on the fingers and with the imminent success of Windows 8 tablets next year, I think Apple will realize stylus is necessary for the designers.

Apart from the tools, you have the option to share your drawings on Paper to tumblr, twitter and of course via email.
That’s all. The app as you can see is pretty straightforward but some nice touches make it stand apart from the competitors like:
textures on notebook paper, pressure sensitive simulation feeling for your pen strokes, easy UI and elegant design. Another killing feature is the Rewind gesture instead of an Undo button; by using the two fingers on the screen counter-clockwise you undo states of your creations (up to 20 states for now)
The main drawback is the limited colour palette (not so big hassle as Paper is supposed to be used for rough drawings and notes) and problems with gestures while writing (if your hand touches the screen, the gestures don’t work). This problem will be fixed on upcoming versions of course.

In conclusion, if you are a creative person, who expected for years the Courier tablet (like me) and you want to draw everywhere you like, then go ahead and download Paper app right now. You will not regret it! :)

 

You can check Paper here: http://www.fiftythree.com/paper
on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/paper-by-fiftythree/id506003812?mt=8

 

 

 

 

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:::Monster Up best game in Swiss App Awards:::

More great news about Monster Up, the amazing windows phone game by Karios games (aka Marios Karagiannis). His game has been awarded as the Best Game App in Swiss  App  Awards 2012! Congratulations Marios!
I’m so excited that this game features my happy style graphics and it is amazing how much positive comments I have received all around the world.
MonsterUp 2 is almost finished and I hope the new version will be a smasing hit on windows phones as well :)

MonsterUp is now officially the best mobile game made in Switzerland!

Check Awards here!

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:::Wacom Intuos 5 short review:::

 

Yes, the new wacom Intuos 5 is here and it offers great new features.
The most exciting feature is the Touch & Multitouch feature, now you can use gestures on the tablet’s surface to zoom, move objects etc
Moreover the new wacom series is available as wireless devices thanks to wireless kit (extra charge but very cheap : 35€). No more cables and cluttered desktops.

I also like its new modern design and expression keys (look similar to intuos 4).
The new series is available at three sizes: S, M & L (224€   369€  479€)
I recommend Medium size  if you are a designer, vector illustrator but if you like painting and want to draw free strokes easily, then it’s better to go for the Large model.

So, what’s next? I really can’t wait for a redesign of Cintiq 12 model, which was a little bit failure in my opinion.
It would be great if Wacom could release a new Cintiq with a large screen of 15 inches around 1000-1200€. A lot of illustrators would love to have this one as Cintiq 21 &  24 are extremely big (but very nice)!

 

 


 

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:::Flash-based SDK for mobile games:::

If you are a Flash developer and you want to create games which are playable on mobile handsets, then you should try CORONA SKD.
Corona is a nice platform based on Flash structure but more light and flexible, which vreates very nice games and apps the way a dveloper uses Flash.
There are many templates to use for starting games and there is a big range of already selling apps on mobile marketplaces, so you can see yourself what Corona can do in practice.

The greatest feature is that you, as a developer, create the game in Corona platform and the game is compatible both to iOS and Android platform.

For more details and info just visit the official website

 

 

 

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:::Nokia and Winows phone 7 platform:::

That’s great news, folks!

Nokia’s upcoming smartphones will feature Windows Phone system from now on.
I have checked windows Phone 7 and although it’s still in pretty rough phase, I think it will turn in a great platform. Especially when Nokia installs WP on their handsets, there will be an overall boost to the Microsoft’s App Marketplace. This is very interesting for me as I’ m currently expanding my portfolio on Windows Phone game graphics via KariosGames game company. MonsterUpis already having a great success in WP Marketplace and I’ m waiting for more!!!

So, how did people see this partnership?
Read a thorough article on VisionMobile featuring my little creatures: Microsoft and Nokia.

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:::Asus Eee Slate EP121 – the surprise of 2011:::

Yes, Asus has announced last month the launch of a new series of tablets which all look fantastic and have so many great features. Above all of them, Eee EP121 is the one which draws the attention of the designers, illustrators, animators. painters etc.
Because this is the FIRST TABLET PC which has everything an artist wants: wacom stylus, no keyboard, touch screen and powerful processor for windows OS! It’s not another crap touch tablet with simple android operating system just to browse internet and waste your time on facebook.

This is an absolute sketching tool from the future with:
-core i5 processor
-windows 7 OS
-2+ GB memory
-12.1 screen size
-wacom stylus (!)

It’s perfect for the artists, as they can carry their tablet everywhere and paint, sketch freely wherever they are. Bluetooth-connecting keyboard is optional, in case users want to type more easily long texts. It can run every application including Photoshop, Flash, Illustrator, Sketchbook etc. I think it can even run After Effects, which is fantastic!

It’s available in Amazon starting from 1000$+

and the only drawback is the limited 3 hours battery life (but it’s not so bad).
Now you can go to your favourite cafe and sketch your ideas in a powerful portable device.

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