Category Archive: Motion Comic Magic

2015 – WIP Motion Illustrations “Hero of Ink”

Includes Close Caption text on the video

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.


Video: Happy Holiday Dancing Alien!

Dancing Holiday Alien

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanzaa, and Lantern and Light festivals.

Here is a dancing alien (without music, sorry) to help you celebrate what ever you are celebrating.

Holiday Alien 2014 from Brian Kolm on Vimeo.

Note: The alien was drawn in photoshop and animated with the DUIK free add-on for Adobe After Effects. DUIK
is really pretty awesome. The art was distorted to have the head turn.

Dancing Holiday Alien


Motion Comic Magic – Comic and Picture book trailers

Motion Comic Magic

Hey all. Time for a post of trailers for publications that animate the art created for them.

First off is this trailer for QUEST by Aaron Becker. I believe Aaron actually did the animation for this book trailer himself which features mapping the artwork mapped to 3D shapes to add depth. Very slick. Find out more at

QUEST by Aaron Becker (official trailer) from Aaron Becker on Vimeo

Next is Prince of Persia—”Dinarzad’s Tale” motion comic, created by the Vancover Canada animation studio Sequence. They have done a whole lot more that can be seen on their Vimeo page. The lovely art is by Niko Henrichon who also illustrated The Pride of Baghdad.

Prince of Persia—”Dinarzad’s Tale” motion comic from Sequence on Vimeo.

Next of is the Astonishing X-Men – Motion Comic Reel by Atomic Cartoons. This is nice since it really gives you a lot of samples as well as the limitations of animating art that was created for a comic book.

Astonishing X-Men – Motion Comic Reel from Darren Bachynski on Vimeo.

First-Second books has been making trailers for their comics longer then most American Publishers have and this one for The Shadow Hero from Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew is excellent. It combines art from the comic with new animation to make a slick introduction to the work.


#motioncomicmagic monday

A post on re-purposing comics and illustration into animation

It’s been a while since I have posted on-line videos that feature Motion Comics or Motion Illustration i.e. artwork re-purposed into animation. For the 5 videos I am embedding here we see watercolor illustrations, comic books panels, classic fine art and wildlife photos brought to life through animation.

NOTE: If you are viewing this post outside of an internet browser and can not see the videos, please visit HERE

Using Photos — Make Productions uses photos from the World Wildlife Federation to give the illusion of slow motion beauty.

WWF PARALLAX SEQUENCE from Make Productions on Vimeo.

Using Classic Paintings — The elegant gentleman’s guide to knife fighting – animation by Jungle Boys. Excellent re-purposing of paintings to create some fun animation. A bit grown-up content.

Using Comic Book Illustrations —

Teaser Trailer for the Kickstarter campaign of the comic The Spider King ( By Josh Vann and Simone D’Armini. Animation: Nk’Motion. The art is great and the trailer really sells the story and concepts well.

The Spider King – Teaser from Josh Vann on Vimeo.

Using Watercolor Illustrations – – A trailer for the picture book JOURNEY by Aaron Becker ( The animation was done by the author who did some neat work of mapping his artwork to 3D CGI models to create some stunning scenes. Aaron also shared with artist James Gurney how he made the 3D sequences in the trailer on his BLOG.

JOURNEY by Aaron Becker (official trailer) from Aaron Becker on Vimeo.

Using Comic Book Illustrations — Batman: Black and White – “Silent Knight… Unholy Knight! – drawn by Dave Bullock. I love Dave’s style and it’s always cool to see his art brought to life.


#motioncomicmagic – Celebrating comics in Brussels with comics projected on a building

A post on re-purposing comics and illustration into animation

I just saw this video at of the presentation for the Comic-Strip Festival in Brussels. It’s a celebration of the history of bande-dessinee comics, presented in video projection mapping on the Royal Palace. The show is impressive and a lot of fun. It seems that much of the artwork for this years show is taking actual comic work and bringing it to life through the computer, mixed with CGI and other effects.

I wonder if they could do something like this at the San Diego Comic-Con with a history of american comics, but I fear that getting multiple corporate entities to work together would kill that type of project.

from the site…

As every year in Brussels, an entire weekend is dedicated to comics with Comic Strip Festival, held from 6 to 8 September 2013, with the highlight being the sound and light show in 3D Place Royale, which was transformed for the occasion into a giant 3D cartoon with lasers, fireworks and sound effects.

And here is the making of the 2012 edition of the show…

Belgian Comics Mapping from DirtyMonitor on Vimeo.


MCM: Motion-Comic and Motion-Illustration from around the web

A post on re-purposing comics and illustration and other art into animation.

Today it’s time for a bunch of new examples of Motion Comics and Motion Illustration techniques that re-purpose art into animation.

Our first example is here for technique. The youth at 826 LA re-told a fellow students story with live 2d cut-out puppets. I post it here, since the technique could easily be used with reproductions of artwork as well. Sort of an analog motion-Comic or motion-illustration production. The students at 826 LA writing center used Tabletop Moviemaking to create…The Fox and the Rabbit.

Next up is the picture book… STEAM TRAIN DREAM TRAIN by Sherri Duskey Rinker & Tom Lichtenheld, published from Chronicle Books. The motiongraphics an animation is simple, but effective as a trailer and also standing on it’s own. See more artwork by Tom Lichtenheld at

Next is a comic trailer for a new horror series Dark Horse Comics presents Lance Henriksen’s To Hell You Ride. Great mix of voice over, music, mood and simple animation. Amazing what you can do with the right ingredients. The artwork is by the incredible Tom Mandrake, see more of his work at

The next trailer is for Souvenirs de l’empire de l’atome (Memories of the Empire of the Atom) written by Thierry Smolderen with art from Alexandre Clérisse from Dargaud. I love how retro and groovy it is. More art from Alexandre Clérisse HERE

OLTREMAI by Lorenzo Mattotti is a great example of really just a nice slideshow of art, but mixed with the right music it sets the mood of the art right away. The dark fanciful art is really pretty amazing looking. Published by Logos Editions in Italy. See more of the art of Lorenzo Mattotti HERE.

Last is the classic French comic character Lucky Luke in Cavalier Seul. The comic focus on the the thieving Dalton Gang who split up. The trailer is quite elaborate with lots of nice of animation of the original artwork.


Daily Drawing – Sketchbook Animation test 03 – some color added

March 10, 2013

Cat sketchbook animation – test 03 – 3-8-13 from Brian Kolm on Vimeo.

Here is the third update on my Sketchbook Animation I am assembling from sketches done in January. Can’t see the video, go HERE.

Still to do…

– Color the rest of the sketchbook drawings in Photoshop
– Tighten the editing
– Add some slight digital manipulations
– Add music and sound effects.

See the orignal drawings…day 1-1/26/13, day 2-1/27/13, day 3-1/28/13, day 4-1/29/13, day 5-1/30/13, day 6-1/31/13.


Daily Drawing – Sketchbook Animation test 02

Can’t see the video below, visit

Cat sketchbook animation – test 02 – 2-19-13 from Brian Kolm on Vimeo.

This is the second pass at roughly building my animation from sketchbook drawings I created last month. The animation is simple (since it was drawn in my sketchbook), but the whole ‘story’ is there. I am still going to clean up and possibly color the drawings, re-time certain scenes, adding some missing birds, and try to make it as slick as possible. There are a few areas that I am going to try some digital tricks to add a bit more life to the animation, but you will have to come back again to see the final results.

It was really fun creating this animation and I might do a larger attempt one of the upcoming months for my Daily Drawings, but with a more elaborate piece of course. At the bottom is a sketchbook animation we created at an event I helped organize at the Cartoon Art Museum which shows what you can do.

See the drawings…day 1-1/26/13, day 2-1/27/13, day 3-1/28/13, day 4-1/29/13, day 5-1/30/13, day 6-1/31/13.

Can’t see the video, visit –> CAM-JAM 2011: (Animation May 22) from Brian Kolm on Vimeo.

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