Archive | siblings RSS feed for this section

Pinky Frink is Now 3 Dimensional!

16 May

Although you can easily create animated cartoons with 2-dimensional characters, it is not quite the same as having them in 3D. Three dimensional animation opens up so many possibilities for character movement that are just not possible in a two dimensional state. With the amazing software packages available in today’s market to help create 3D animation, it was a no-brainer that the next major undertaking was to bring Pinky Frink to life in the three dimensional world (see inset video for a very short example of one of the first animations I did of Pinky Frink in a 3D animated cartoon).

Notice in the video that in addition to the character movement and speech, that the water moves, plants bend and move in the breeze and Granny J is rocking in her rocking chair. Compare the 3D video above with previous two dimensional videos (view a two dimensional Pinky Frink video here) and you will easily see the major differences. Notice in the two dimensional video how the background and characters are “flat”.

Even with all the creative software available, this was no light undertaking. In a three dimensional world, not only must every character from all the Pinky Frink books be modeled, you must also do the same for every prop you will use (furniture, toys, plants, etc.). Then you will also need the terrain (land, water, sky, roads, walkways, parks, etc.). Plus if you want “working” buildings (where your characters can walk through doors, open windows, enter rooms, sit on furniture, use appliances, etc.), you must build them in the 3D world, just like you would have to build them in real life. This means creating the flooring/base, adding walls and ceilings, adding doors and windows, and don’t forget things like window treatments (curtains/blinds), area rugs/carpets, perhaps a fireplace – with a realistic burning fire!

Once you have all of your 3D modeling done, then comes the task of adding animation. Not only do your modeled characters have to move naturally, including their facial movement when posing, or when they are idle, walking or speaking, but many of your props must be animated as well. Trees, plants and bushes must move when a breeze blows. Doors, windows and drawers must open. Appliances must operate with motion similar to real life. Vehicles must be able to “drive” through your terrain. Animals (pets and/or wildlife) must have animations sets that mimic real-life motion and behavior. Even items in your terrain, like water, will contain animated components. Is it a gentle stream, a rolling river, a quiet pond or crashing waves at a beach that will make your project complete?

And let’s not forget the audio! This is not only a simple single voice – you will need audio files for each voice, animal sound, water sounds and any background music/sounds you need to make your project complete.

I utilized a number of different software programs to create the inserted video.

  • For audio editing: AVS Audio Editor
  • For 3D props: SketchUp, Archipelis
  • For terrain creation: Earth Sculptor
  • For animation: Reallusion’s iClone 5, Adobe Animate & 3DS MAX
  • For character modeling: DAZ Studio & 3DXchange & Autodesk’s 3DS MAX
  • For image editing: GIMP, Adobe Photoshop
  • For final video rendering: Adobe After Effects

These are just my preferences, but after investigation, you will easily be able to decide on what products work best for you. Some are relatively inexpensive, but others come with a hefty price tag.

 

New Book – Pinky Visits the Circus

12 Apr
Book Cover

Book Cover

As a youngster, one of my fondest memories was a family outing to see the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus at Boston Garden. My brothers and I were mesmerized by all of the exotic animals, the daredevils and the skilled performers of the flying trapeze and high-wire. It was my first introduction to the art of Aerial Silk, and to this day many years later, I am still enthralled with the men and women who gracefully entwine themselves in fabric while doing acrobatic feats high in the air.

In my latest book, Pinky Visits the Circus, those same circus acts that wowed me as a child also leave Pinky, her brother Peter and her friend Mary in awe. Just like every other Pinky Frink book, an adorable story with brightly colored illustrations are enhanced by the rhyming verbiage. Along with the big cats, elephants, horses and circus clowns, their are appearances in the book by jugglers, unicyclists, acrobats plus all of the traditional circus aerial acts. Young readers can share the joy and awe experienced by Pinky, her family and her friend as they watch the performance under the big top!

Pinky and I share similar levels of excitement about the circus, so we made a video together to announce the release of Pinky Visits the Circus. We certainly hope you enjoy our short video and invite fans to contact Pinky via email to PinkyFrink@grannyjsplace.com – Pinky will try to respond to each email with 48 hours!

Pinky Frink Stars in Her First Video!

8 Mar


How exciting is it to have your creation, the character you’ve written countless stories about, star in her first video? I can honestly say it just tickles me PINK! I am just so thrilled with how the video clip turned out and as a person who has always promoting literacy and reading to kids at a very early age, I am ecstatic that I have a new tool to introduce Pinky to wee ones and parents alike.

The video launched just in time for Pinky’s next adventure book, Pinky’s Special Present, which is scheduled for release by the end of this month. I want to thank all of the Pinky Frink fans out there – you make my world and Pinky’s a wonderful place to be!

Pinky Frink’s Adventures – What’s New and Coming Soon

27 Jul

Children’s favorite character, Pinky Frink, is a busy gal! Or perhaps it should be stated that Pinky’s kept busy due to the tireless efforts of her creator and author, Granny J, with new releases in both print and digital format almost every month. The latest adventure, “A Surprise for Pinky” just hit the market this past week, with the adoption of a new baby boy, Peter expanding the Frink family. Along with highlighting the changes the new edition causes in the household, the charming rhyming story also depicts the feelings a child may experience once the baby arrives.

Cover

 As with every book in the Pinky Frink series, we find a well-mannered, respectful young lady, who respects parental authority.  Though not perfect by any means, Pinky always takes responsibility for her actions and learns lessons along the way. Her family and friends are appreciated and cherished.

Two new Pinky Frink books are due out in August 2012. “Pinky Visits the Zoo” will be the next title in the Pinky Frink Adventure series, and “Learning Shapes with Pinky” will join the Pinky Frink Learning series. It is expected that both of these new books will be as warmly accepted by juvenile audiences as with all of Granny J’s prior publications. The following titles are available from Lulu.com, from Barnes & Noble for Nook, on Amazon (print and Kindle editions) and Apple’s iBookstore:

Pinky's Backyard Safari
Pinky Plants a Garden
Pinky Visits the Seashore
Pinky Bakes a Cake
Pinky Gets a New Bike
Pinky Gets a New Puppy
Pinky Makes a New Friend
Pinky's Happy Holiday
A Surprise for Pinky 
Count to Ten with Pinky and Friends

Granny J has several book signings and speaking engagements this fall. Even with her busy schedule, she still personally responds to email from her fans, both parents and children.