Contact Info / Websites
Thanks for your support! The Patreon launch was a hit so LotD2 is starting to see some actual progress after all this time. Here is a short time lapse of some original Brackenwood inks for patrons.
A 60-page Brackenwood character sketchbook is at the printers and we're charging through the funding milestones for Dashkin. Here's a video I made explaining how things. And stuff.
Want some Bitey stuff? Pledge ye, and take up thy rewards.
I've been quiet for a long time. All of last year I was up to my neck in Dragon Age Legends (the EA 2D Facebook game). Here's a trailer they made from my in-game cinematic at the end of last year:
Many people have asked (and given up asking) where the Dashkin sequel is. First thing: it's not done yet. Second thing, here's why:
Since November 2010, programmer Sean McGee and I have been working full time on a Bitey game for the next 'installment' of Brackenwood. I've just updated my personal blog at bitey.com with some new info and screenshots but below is a teaser image showing various times of day colour schemes and locations.
The game was originally to be a classic style adventure platformer but has evolved into a series of skill and time trial challenges, tied together with story elements that lead you through 8-10 levels over 4-5 regions of the Brackenwood world.
It'll be a Flash game, but I'm doing all the art & animation in ToonBoom Animate Pro, then importing in Flash for Sean's coding.
The music is being expertly played (yes, real instruments) by Lee Miller, who I've worked with in the past - he did the end credits music on The Yuyu and also created the complete score for The Last of the Dashkin.
Right now we're simply calling it 'the bitey game', but the actual title will be released later this month, closer to the finish. In the meantime you can keep up to date with its progress on my site, Facebook and Twitter.
Game loading.. Please wait.
When I was making LotD, I captured my entire frame-by-frame rough animation process on one of the last scenes.
It's a 33-part video series with messy, unscripted 'thinking-out-loud' voice over, taking you through the process from rough animation to full colour cleanup. The first video is below, but the complete playlist is here on YouTube.
I hope you enjoy watching it, as much as I enjoy playing with knives.
The new Brackenwood movie "the Last of the Dashkin" is the first of a couple of storylines dedicated to reestablishing the world of Brackenwood and bringing it in line with what the feature film will be about. The first thing you'll notice besides story, is some redesigned characters (Lemonee Wee - the witch) and new creatures. I've also finally brought a few of the earliest concepts to life, such as the globe tree in which Bitey wakes, surrounded by little creatures.
As it's a narrated trailer-style story setting up bigger things to come, there is a lot of exposition and history crammed into 4½ mins. I wanted to use the opportunity to explore the diversity of terrain, weather, time of day and lighting in Brackenwood. I'm pretty happy with the results and really look forward to starting the new one in around Feb of 2010.
Hope you like it and thanks as always for the continued support, even when I'm M.I.A for 2 years :D
I had planned on releasing this chapter and making this post months ago, but work got in the way so apologies to everyone who's been waiting on it. I've been trying to fit in the writing, illustrating, screenshotting and all that heavy book shit amongst three or four freelance jobs with vicious deadlines!
Anyway HERE's the BCA page with the lovely new shopping cart and shiny ch4 thumbnail :D
The freelance stuff I'm working on has been the new D&D cartoon from Wizards of the Coast. I did it with ToonBoom Animate Pro which is pretty awesome. Pity it can't export a good .swf otherwise I'd be uploading more stuff to NG. btw, ToonBoom does export to .swf but all the really cool effects are left out, so ToonBoom's .swf result isn't as good as Flash's. Hope that changes someday but Flash CS4 is pretty good.. once you stabilise it with the patch that is :P
Another btw: I took my live cam down cos not only was the auto-upload screwing around and disconnecting, but I've moved house now and my internet connection has been demoted slightly. Plus there's nowhere to put them camera behind me so you can see what I'm doing. Nobody wants to look at my goblin-head from the front!
» BCA Chapter 3
I've finally released the third BiteyCastle Academy chapter, and this one's all about how to get graphics into Flash, whether by importing or creating them with the drawing tools.
The first two chapters were free but with Chapter 3, I give you a choice of how much you'd like to pay (from: not much - - up to - - more than enough).
In the 55-page PDF, I talk about the process of setting up a scene for animation. We cover separating scene elements onto separate layers, painting, mixing colour, gradients offer a couple of cool little tricks that aren't too well known.
» Live Animation Cam
No dates yet but I've started work on a new Brackenwood short. I'm using ToonBoom Digital Pro, which is great and all, but many of the effects I want to use probably won't see a successful export to .SWF. If that happens, I'll try my luck at importing a .FLV into Flash so that I can upload to Newgrounds. I got a webcam set up in my room to document the whole project and you can also catch updates on the WoodenBlog.
If you need help learning to use Flash for animation, you might like to keep an eye on my BiteyCastle Academy page. I'm releasing one chapter at a time and there are 2 free chapters up there now.
Something like 2 years ago I was contracted to write a Flash 8 'how-to-animate' manual for a publisher who eventually decided not to publish it. As a result, I had written and illustrated 10 complete chapters that would never see the light of day. 6 months of really hard work for almost nothing.
This made me just a little bit angry (i.e. I was seething with white hot rage), mostly because the publisher owns all the work I had done. Having no ownership rights prevented me from using any of the work, taking it to another publisher or publishing it on my site. However, despite not going to print, they did pay me some of what I was owed (it was a contract, after all) so I had to be grateful for that much.
Recently, I decided that I could rewrite the whole thing from the ground up, thereby creating a completely new book that was entirely mine and loads better than the first. This would be time-consuming but not too difficult because I already had done all the groundwork. The best thing is that there wouldn't be some clueless editor telling me to revise chapters when he didn't have a fucking clue about what animation is or how it's done!
So I wrote and illustrated a completely new book, provided completely new exercise files and took new Flash CS3 screenshots. I got my girlfriend to be tech-editor because she knew absolutely nothing about Flash and was therefore the perfect test reader. She read every page and completed all the exercises. If there was anything in the book that she didn't understand, I'd rewrite it or clarify with extra screenshots/illustrations. Needless to say, she now knows how to use Flash :D
The result of all this is on my BiteyCastle Academy page, where I've released those 2 free chapters (almost 80 pages), with other chapters to follow in the weeks and months to come.
Future chapters will be charged at between $2 and $5 each, depending on the content but the best thing is that unlike a book from a publisher, you can choose what individual chapters to buy. For example, you may already know how to do basic illustrations and animation in Flash CS3, so perhaps you only want the Special Effects chapter. You'll have that option when it's released ;)
Even if you know how to use Flash CS3, do me a favour and check out the first two free chapters and let me know what you think. If you don't know Flash CS3 yet, I'm sure you'll get a lot out of those introductory chapters.
Here's the link again: BiteyCastle Academy.
Hope you like it!