DuckDuckGo + Process from the Pro’s

DuckDuckGo is a new search engine that I have been using for about a week or so now. It pretty useful for get information without having to do a lot of searching courtesy of their “zero click info” box. I have yet to use 100% yet, something’s I still use google for like maps and images but there are plans to implement some of these things.

The idea for this quick logo animation just came to me for looking at their search page at their logo and thinking it would be cool to see it quack. So I decided to make a quick animation that would involve the duck quacking. I did a quick outline that involved the duck duck goose game to tell about the search engine since that where the name came from. Originally I made the re-made the logo then found their forums where they had the Illustrator version…mine was almost exactly the same.

My animation turned out ok I think, I notice now that the Go bounce looks a little off but that may just be because I’m going frame by frame. I used my copy of the The Animators Survival Kit to try to get the bouncing right. I haven’t done a bouncing ball since my third year of college.   I also noticed that the head looks a little too stiff when the duck is quacking I think adding some more movement to the top beak might have made it look even better.






The second item I would like to share is the process page of capacity If you have watched NBC or Cartoon Network there is a good chance you have seen some of their work. They have been featured on motionographer a few times but for some reason I don’t recall checking out their site. Not sure how I came across their site this time but I started looking through their site and found their gold mine of a process page which has break downs on some of their projects.

Finding out the ideas behind a project is really cool and it’s even cooler that they share their process. It is always very enlightening when you can find out the why behind the what of a project. I listed bunch in my delicious account that I just started using recently. I also listed three of breakdowns in my new fav category I created just for them.  This reminds me of perceptionnyc breakdowns that will promptly be added to my delicious soon.

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Dreary Walk Final

This is the final version of my Dreary Walk animation. I made most of the tweaks I noted before in my last post.

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Dreary Walk


This is an match-moving animation I worked on for the PFhoe AE-Tuts Contest. My original idea was to do a family circus path line after a few lines of text. You can see a test of this on my 365 page. I was going to do this in Cinema 4D but the path looked like it was sliding awkwardly. I tried it in after effects and it looked off as well.  So I scraped that idea and went with an all text approach.

I found a good quote that went from negative to positive and animated the last word in each part. This allowed me to keep my overall idea  of going from dark and dreary to positive and happiness.  I used some color correction techniques from the Color Correction Handbook I won from AENY to try to simulate going from a dark grey scale dreary world to a lit up bright happy world. I think I should have pushed the end color more but it didn’t quite feel right the way I was going. I also added a moon in, which is hidden/blurred most of the time, some depth of field and a glow sun at the end.

I’m not sure if this will get in or not since I did submit after the deadline of midnight. For some reason I though it would be tomorrow’s midnight, which of course would be 7th not 6th. So shame on me for not understanding the due date.

Lastly for the list of all the thing I need to fix. I won’t be submitting these but it will be good just to make it more final.

  • overall text feels…odd…not sure what it is though
  • Some of the text’s fade out seem a little quick I need to adjust for that
  • I seem to have lost the depth on the Annoy letters, need to fix and re-render
  • When the JOY text comes in there a blur on the whole thing, not just the joy
  • The Joy doesn’t seem real joyous, need to add some more pop to it
  • The Joy floats back and thought I knew how I did it but apparently not and I feel like it is out place even though I liked it at first
  • end was click in the audio
  • shadows… there are none in the scene but putting stuff in the scene need shadows to make it feel there. Not sure what to do about that.


Audio from





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Nickelodeon Hand Clapper Animation

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Nickelodeon Hand Clapper


For some reason the other day I felt like I need to model something. So I went to my basement and digded through 3 or 4 bins of old toys and I wound up with three; Leonardo Ninja Turtle with spinning arm action, Old original mini transformer, and Nickelodeon Hand Clapper from McDonald’s I think. I ruled out the Ninja turtle from the beginning, it was just to play with, and went with the Hand Clapper.

It took me about me a while to get the base of  it done. I tired to model this the more correct way rather then my normal quick way of cutting everything using booles. Adding some details and getting the edges right took another hour or so. I was going to keep adding more detail to make it as close to the toy as I could be then I got the Idea for some Xpresso and finished quickly and jumped into that. That might have been the reason I didn’t model the hands ( model from turbosquid ).

The Xpresso in this project is not too complicated, I liked all the moving parts (trigger, applause sign & hands) together so they move in tandem with each other like the toy does.  I also have an automatic switch that allows the hand to clap on their own without any keyframes. Originally I had this setup planning to use if statements to switch it and increment the value, then I found this forum post which showed an easier way. All you have to do is choose the speed and range you want it to clap and hit play. You can also adjust the curve to create some unique claps.  There are switches for high quality as well.

That’s pretty much it. You can download the model with the Xpresso setup and use it anyway your like. I’m rendering out an animation with it and will post it when it is finished.

Nickelodeon Hand Clapper


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Flowers & Leaves

Today was a nice day so I went to the front of my house to take some photos for my 365 project. Above are a few of my favorites.

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Designers.MX Animation and Playlist

Today I’m sharing my work in progress for my animation & my playlist of my favorite songs(so far) that I have added to my grooveshark music.  I found out about  Designers.MX from Colin Oakes via twitter & since then I have listened to it a lot. Its a site where you can listen to music mixes by really good designers who also design a cover for their mixes as well.


I have gone through probably 75% of all of them and I can’t think of one where I didn’t like listening to it even if the music was different from what I normally listen too. Below you will fin a playlist widget I setup through grooveshark where you can listen to my favorite songs so far. This will update automatically as I find new songs I like.


Since I have listened to music so much on I thought I should make an animation about it. Below is my early work in progress for the animation. My goal is to use the covers have them fly though space and eventually run into the triangle part of the logo.

I have an outline of what I want to happen with a pseudo storyboard, I’m just going though it and figuring out how to do what I have planned out. Animations still really rough right now but my idea comes across some what.


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Lower Third Project

This past week or so I have worked on a project file that I plan to put up on videohive to sell. It’s garbage truck lower third to be used in any video. You can see a early work in progress I did on my 365. I also made a standalone render of just the truck.

I have most of the functionality of the third setup and ready to got.  I have about 16 total that allow you to control everything without needing to go look for each item in the comps. You can even change the color of the rear compactor.  Now I just need to render the final truck and put all together and make the files so that I can submit it.



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Xpresso Task 7 + Lego Swirl Cinema 4D File


I though I should share my result for Xpress0 Task 7. The first file below has my setup for the product table. My setup is pretty straight forward with only one extra flair for a custom shape. I would suggest looking at the results page to this lesson and checking out the other solutions.

The second file is part of my lego swirls file that I used to make the animation for this lesson. It’s not the whole file since I did buy the model but it has the rising tunnel and the lego parts as they swirl around. I though it might be cool to post up how I solved this task. There are a couple of ways to go about it and I choose my method because it gave me the look I was going for but an alternative could have work just as well.

Base Product Table File Zip | Lego Swirls File Zip


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New Blog + AE Flame

As you might have noticed I have changed the theme for this blog and my portfolio website.  Both of them have the same theme  SimpleFolio by SmashingMagazine and Slimmity.

As you can probably tell from the screen shot I did quite a bit of modifications of the overall theme. I designed the base of the layout in Photoshop then re-did the design to my liking. I think my favorite part is the texture for the background. I really liked the one in my old theme so I found one and added it to the background for this one.  I’m sure it slows down my site a bit since it’s a somewhat big image but my site is a bunch of images and videos any way.

I also did some modification of the actual html pages of the site as well. The original theme displays the long image on the home page and in the portfolio items as well. Since my portfolio items already have a big image to display the video or design I thought this was redundant. I did some other minor ones while figuring out the theme but I wound up not need to use most of them.

As for the future I’m not sure I like the home image slider. I may change it up with another slider where I have more control. I have looked at slide deck since I like how it works and the ability to play video with in it although I’ll have to see how it looks in my actual layout. The only other thing that bugs me is using this layout on this site for my blog. Originally I wasn’t going to use it here but it made sense to have both of them connected i thought I should have them look similar.  I may change this layout up a bit so it’s not exactly the same.

In other news I made a quick little animation using AE Flame an old plugin recently made for cs4/5 of after effects. It is a beta so it is a bit buggy but after a bit of playing around I figured out what not to hit for it to crash. You can check out what I made below. You could make some really cool fractals with this.  There also is tut for this which I completely missed in the ae script page. Now the question is how to use this in a project? Backgrounds, lowerthirds,  title sequences, hmm.



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