Jan 21

MotionComicMagic.com – WIP Motion Illustrations “Hero of Ink”

A post on re-purposing comics and illustration into animation

NOTE: If you are reading this in an email or other source that dose not show the embedded video, please visit the post at the link above or you can click on the separate video links where they should be seen.

Back in 2010 I did a series of illustrations specifically to experiment with the Motion-Comic/Animatic techniques to animate them. The problem is that I always got side tracked with life, work and other things. But with the release of some new add ons and techniques for After Effects I decided to go and work on it some more in 2015. Here is where I am so far with it.

2010: The original drawings are done with Brush and Ink and then scanned into the computer. I then took the images and put them together in a story reel/animatic (an animated storyboard with nothing more then basic camera moves) to get an idea of story and timing. The story is pretty simple, Superhero makes a glowing women with science, she rejects him and he is left alone. It’s not really much of a story, but it works enough to play with.

2011: I then started to add bits of motion and effects to shape the whole project. Here we see a later version that includeds limited animation and timing (from 4 years ago).

“inky hero” test 1 from Brian Kolm on Vimeo.

2012: Here I have added some color to a few scenes and improved and added more animation on the drawings. You can see a small frame at/in the top of the movie that contains the original version I did that I use as an animatic.

Test 5-28-12 from Brian Kolm on Vimeo.

2015: In the last few years I have explored more the art of adding Inverse Kinematics (IK) to 2d figures in After Effects. IK is a technique to add realistic motion to a figure your animating, having the joints bend naturally by just moving the end of a limb.

I had used one version of the tool which did some amazing things, but it still was hard to use so I only played with it ‘off-n-on’. But then last year (2014) I tried the DUIK add on for After Effects by Nicolas Dufresne which was easier for me to use and FREE as well. It allowed me to work with IK much faster and easier, not to mentioned it included other cool animation tools too.

So in the next two versions from this year you will see more motion and color added from the previous uploaded version.

NOTE: These two videos have built in captions on what changes I did or want to make. Simply click the CC button on the bottom right corner. It looks like this … Includes Close Caption text on the video

In this video I have added animation of the character walking to the second scene using the IK tools and the last two scenes now have the hero’s body ‘crumple’ over with sadness (at least that is the effect I am going for).

WIP: TEST 1-13-15 with notes from Brian Kolm on Vimeo.

In this last video there are more changes too. I now have added animation of the superhero’s body as he flies around in the first scene, his reaction to her fear of him, and the result of her dissolving back into nothingness.

WIP: TEST 1-16-15 with notes from Brian Kolm on Vimeo.

The Future: I definitely need to tweak scenes and the overall timing, but I really happy how it’s changed since I started playing with it 4 years ago. There are so many more folks pushing the tools in exciting ways that I am sure the best is yet to come.


The tool I have been using for Inverse Kinematics…DUIK is raising money to fund a big update to the software through the crowdfunding site IndyGoGo. The money will go to strengthen the tools and keep it free for anyone to use. If you are interested, check it out. This is a tool I really like to use and can recommend.

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