Cartoon Sample 1


It’s been a while. The holiday season and projects galore have been keeping me away from ye old blog. However, I am now finding time to start posting some of my projects for the internet world to view. Lots of great stuff coming down the pike. Keeps me busy, but keeps me creative.

This particular sample is of a cartoon I had the pleasure making for AIMS Educational Foundation. This goes with an educational video regarding Archimedes’ Principle. This video aims to help explain what Archimedes’ Principle is in layman’s terms. So, Archimedes sets to chiseling out the technical words in favor of words that make more sense to the average student… like me. 😉

I used Adobe After Effects to create this and didn’t use any bells or whistles. I did it the old fashioned way…. I drew each frame out and synched them using pencil and paper on a light board. I know, so techie, right? I’ve found for cartooning there is nothing like the tried and true. It turns out more fluid and the artist ends up having much more control over the animation and spends less time fighting the interface of your animation program.


Cartoon Sketch Sequence
Here is a section of the walk cycle in sketch form. I put all of these (approximately 40 cells) into After Effects and tweaked in Photoshop to make it as smooth as possible.


I then scanned the drawings into Adobe Illustrator to ink and color the frames.

I also created the sound effects using Garageband and Adobe Audition. The chisel sound was the only toughie. I ended up using two variations of a clave sample and effects loop of a chisel breaking ice; blended them together in Audition and came out with a satisfactory chisel sound.

Here is the cartoon sample.




I’ll be back with some samplings in the near future.

Till then…

David (Cali Dingo)




Mix Song Creation

Jingle All The Way!

Here is a sample of my latest project.

This is a backing theme jingle that will play behind voice overs for an instructional video. Completely made in Garageband, which is a program I’ve long been a skeptic of in regards to it’s usefulness in professional settings. However, I think I’ve come to change my opinion. It is a wonderful program for creating simple jingles and I could see using it in conjunction with Pro Tools (or any major DAW) on a larger project. By no means do I see Garageband replacing Pro Tools as a primary go-to DAW. But, for this particular project? Garageband fit the bill to a “T”.

My approach:

I found (upon several hours of digging through the midi loop library) a simplistic latin beat that I felt would not be too problematic in restructuring. I went about replacing the rythmn and the majority of the percussion instruments that came with the midi loop. The only percussion I left was the high hat and ride cymbal. Man, I love midi. 🙂

Now for a bass line to hum us along. Hmmm. Well, this is going to back a voice-over giving instructions, so we need a tone and bassline that won’t interfere with the narrator (which is me, by the way). So I started searching for the correct tone first. Stand up bass to the rescue! Why stand up? It has nice round tone you can’t get with a standard electric or picked bass line. Remember, I’m using midi here. Had I been able to record it myself using my standard electric bass, I would have been able to get what I wanted after hours of setting up mics, testing levels, readjusting levels, etc. So, the bass line I found was pretty exact to what I felt would work, with just a few miniscule changes I put here and there to the walking bassline the midi loop presented to me. Again… man, I love midi!

Now for the money-maker. A simple melody. I knew that I would not find a melody that was going to fit right over the top with all the necessities I demanded. So, I elected to create it all myself using the computer keyboard (yes, you read that correctly)., I love midi!! 🙂 I put on the rythmn that I created and looped it until I figured out a simple woodwind melody. I knew I wanted a woodwind instrument to carry the tune. Woodwinds generally have a tone that can be soothing to a listener when used in these situations. They don’t tend to fight the voice actor for your attention. In this case, I was hearing in my head a flute that would carry the melody. Fortunately, I was spot on when selecting the flute as the melody maker. Nice airy tone, easy to the ears and not about to step on my voice-over. I did a few practice runs with the rythmn section, quickly found a nice melody run and recorded.

The last bit is the fun part…mixing. In this instance, the mixing is small potatoes. There were only 5 tracks. I adjusted some levels and panned the flute and some of the percussion elements in different areas of the sound field to give room for the narrator. Oila! Finished. This was a very fun project to work on.

I feel it could not only work as a backing track to narration, but I could see it as a menu jingle or pause game jingle for a game on the iPad or the like. 🙂


Backing Track To Voice Over

Until next time!

David (Cali Dingo)