Lightfoot LTD Personal Animation Lightbox

September 23, 2006 · Filed Under Animation Tools · Comments Off on Lightfoot LTD Personal Animation Lightbox 

The Dimples Team has been lucky enough over the past few weeks to get our grimy hands on a few animation tools and we hope to review them for you on this blog. It’s been our experience that reviews written on the more professional sites by more professional folks neglect to reflect on the issues that are important to amateurs like us who hope to create a home studio environment for learning and fun. We’re not professionals and we don’t have unlimited budgets. We have limited short term goals that are met by equipment less sophisticated than those used by the professional animator.

For the past two weeks we’ve been using an inexpensive lightbox available from Lightfoot LTD. The model we’ve tested is the 12F personal lightbox. This box is only $99.95, has two peg bar options and is not equipped with an animation disk. It’s your basic bargain basement special. First, we compared the cost of this box to the cost of building a similar box the Home Depot way. Buying this lightbox from Lightfoot is cheaper than building a similar box yourself. Don’t waste your time trying. What about the lack of an animation disk. It’s much better to have a disk but, because this lightbox is small and almost weightless, you can turn and maneuver it with ease. A disk would be much better but for most things you can get by with this. Also, in the digital age, chances are that you’re going to do at least half of your work in a digital environment. That’s how we evaluated this lightbox. We used it to draw our key frames and did the tweens on our computer. If we were making a feature film, we’d want the fancy disk for big bucks, but we’re grimy fingered amateurs trying to make a few minutes of fun and this lightbox satisfies our needs and allows us to spend more money elsewhere.

If you purchase this box or another one from Lightfoot LTD or another vendor, the Dimples Team suggests that you also buy a spare pegbar at the same time. You’ll need this for transferring your images to the computer. At the present time, we’re using our scanner to transfer images and we glued our spare pegbar to our scanner to attach our drawings and ensure everything lines up properly. It’s only a few bucks to get a second pegbar. Also, we went with the Acme bar but, in hindsight, we’d choose the round pegbar.

The bottom line is that this is a highly workable and inexpensive lightbox for the student and amateur hobbyist. If you outgrow it, you can always sell it on Ebay but you’ll probably want to keep it as a back-up or a place to develop ideas and design characters.

[tags]animation, lightbox, lightfoot ltd, 2D animation, hand-drawn animation[/tags]


Trunk Animation Ltd. – Three Great Animators

September 6, 2006 · Filed Under Animation Rising Stars, Animation Studios · Comments Off on Trunk Animation Ltd. – Three Great Animators 

There’s some wonderful animation happening at Trunk Animation Ltd. from Steve Smith, Siri Melchior and Layla Atkinson. Here is a list of awards this trio has won from their web site:

Bafta Nomination, 2003

Cartoon d’Or Nomination, 2000 and 2003

Nomination for Best Promo, British Animation Awards 2004

Nomination for Best Promo, British Animation Awards 2004

Special Jury Mention, Brisban International Animation Festival 2004

1st Prize, Aspen Internaiton Film Festival, 2004

Gold Prize, Charleston Film Festival 1997

Audience Prize, Britspotting, Berlin 2004

ASIFA Korean Prize, Siggraph 2003

Silver Award, MADC, Brisbane, Australia 2005

2nd Prize, Chicago Childrens Film Festival 2003

etc, etc, etc….

The list goes on but the few mentions above give you a flavor of the talent pool at Trunk. A huge amount of animation is available on Trunk’s web page including commericials, show reels and movie clips. They’re all worth studying.

The image above is a portion of a scene from “Leap of Faith” by Steven Smith. Dimples doesn’t even like 3D animation but we liked this. It’s 60 seconds of viewing fun. Steve has a section on the Trunk site about moving images and design that is worth reading/watching. He makes a good point that “words are cheap as chips”.

Layla Atkinson is one of those folks who know exactly what they want to do from a very early age. Her most recent film is “Stealth Lunch”. A coordinated band of foxes pursue their prey through a fantastic landscape. This 90 second film is available for viewing on the Trunk web site. It reminded Dimples of a preditor ballet.

Siri Melchior is the third member of the Trunk team and her movie, “The Dog who is a Cat Inside”, is our favorite. It’s a tremendously inventive bit of animation story-telling. Don’t miss it when you browse the Trunk page.

Variety of invention and fantastic story-telling seem to be epidemic at Trunk Studios. Dimples enjoyed the show.

[tags]Trunk Animation, animation, Steve Smith, Layla Atkinson, Siri Melchior[/tags]