"Dear DAM" project tutorials

Dear DAM Peacock Character Design — February 11, 2017

Dear DAM Peacock Character Design

This is the tricky part.  You know, coming up with a design that will work and be easily adaptable to all frames.  The real trick is designing 8-12 poses that will adapt to all 167 plus frames.  As usual…while drawing, I decided I wanted more…like making the peacock turn and flare his feathers with attitude and make a statement after he lands.

I posted the motion study on YouTube at

It needs quite a bit of tweening to smooth the motion out and it’s pretty obvious the takeoff and landing needs work but all in all I’m pretty happy with it.  That may change when I substitute the drawings out!

Lucky for me I’m too stubborn to quit!

moving right along – Dear DAM Peacock Project part 2 — January 24, 2017
moving right along – Dear DAM Peacock Project part 2 —

moving right along – Dear DAM Peacock Project part 2

This truly is quite tedious.  When I captured the film I tried to get at least every other clip.  That was the plan…really, what I actually did was start the film and pause as quickly as possible and then used my windows clipping tool to copy it.  Then I pulled it into Photoshop  and used my lasso tool and refine image on the bird first before going back for the shadow.  Next I will use this image as my reference/guide when I design my peacock character to ensue the flow of movement is as accurate as possible.  The pics above are the landing sequence….next up, the actual flight.

I am learning a lot about peacocks in the process…like I think eventually this will be my new fairy queen 😉  not to mention there are quite a few I need to add shadows to.  The legs are so muscular and the wings elegantly massive.  I want to come back as a male peacock!

My mind is wandering out of control and patterns galore are roaming around my cob-webbed attic to the point where it took me an hour to notice the music stopped playing.  What a peaceful high…I really needed this.  Sure have a long ways to go on this project!  May have to take a break and start designing my bird 🙂 let’s see how long it takes me to learn how to link this to my first blog…ugh…so much learning as I go.

DIGITAL ART MOVEMENT — January 18, 2017


It’s not what you think.  I am a traditional artist that loves animation and knows practically nothing about computers and programming.  This is my third try to publish this post … It just keeps disappearing on me.  Just when I thought I finally outsmarted it by copying to a word document so I wouldn’t have to keep typing practically the same thing over and ALWAYS preferring the previous piece…when I went to paste it all that would paste was symbols that I didn’t recognize.  Lucky for me I’m too stupid to quit!

Digital art is so tedious – why do I love it?  For whatever reason I decided to try the rotoscoping technique; which involves taking still frames of a video to get better results of natural movement, in my case, of a peacock.  If you’ve never tried it what you do is use the still frames as a reference photo as you draw your subject so that you can get the movement just right in your stop frame scene.  Well I really haven’t gotten there yet because this is day 3 of using my clipping tool to get my “still frame shots” of a peacock in flight.  I have 156 very poor quality pcs (see featured pic above) that I have to smart sharpen just to see but they have what I need in the outline shape to help my animation come to life.  I can’t believe I am nerdy enough to say it but…..I’M LOVING IT….BORED TO DEATH BUT LOVING IT!  Will post the final animation and hopefully be able to say “it worked!”  Wait….does that mean I have to draw 156 peacocks? Come back to see step by step animation tips in my “Dear DAM (digital art movement)” peacock project.