Thursday, January 31, 2013

Heavy Metal Garage - Car CARtoon Series (Caricature Joke Series )

New Car Cartoon Joke Series.....
We have put together a series of car cartoons caricature joke panels, and have published them at Amazon ....

Cool cars bikes, hot rods, customs, race, guys and gals, all being human. Boys toys, and possibly some middle aged guys that fall over a lot..... and make cool stuff. Yes, that is what they do on TopGear...... but they don't do much with custom or muscle cars..

The 30 second video overview:

We also have a cartoon strip, webcomic as well, and will see what the interest is.

Vist  Heavy Metal Garage - Car CARtoon Series

Contact us at Art & Technology.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Australian Blue Tongue in a 60s Hot Rod Monster tshirt

Blue Tongue Lizard Quality
Now available, the Australian Blue Tongue Lizard Quality Hot Rod Monster Tshirt.

Featuring the native Australian Blue Tongue in a 60s Hot Rod Monster (dear we say fink?) Format.

Blue Tongue Lizard Quality Logo

Wear it with pride. Available in white to show all the grease and spilt beer  stains clearly.

For other and custom design contact us at Art & Technology.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

NAMM 2013 Impact - Korg MS-20 mini and Analog Revival?

Korg MS-20 Mini + Original

NAMM 2013 has closed, the orders for product have been taken and so now all the manufacturers will be reviewing what they found and be planning their next moves.

From where I sit, the KORG MS-20 mini was the show hit.  It is the thing I would like. Analog, patchable mono synth, with a MIDI in at a reasonable price of $599. An original MS-20 goes for around $2000 at the moment.

The Moog Sub PHATTY also had an impact at a higher price with that MOOG sound. Amazing how Moog has rebounded. Will anyone who actually wants a Moog next year actually be actually able to buy one?

Apparently the Arturia MiniBrute would have sold a lot more if they could actually get them into the hands of the people that ordered them. So manufacture and distribution is not easy for new players.  And you cannot actually buy a  Arturia MiniBrute online from the Arturia website. BIG mistake guys, don't you realize the brick and mortar stores are closing!

I expect staff of Roland and Yamaha will being buying both of these for themselves.

The DSI Prophet 12, while not being all analog, may get some interest too.  The Prophet 12 didn't really do anything for me though. Doesn't do anything a Jupiter-80 cannot do...  or all the VSTs we have already.

So what will Roland, Yamaha and the rest be planning ?

Now I was in Roland and know what was discussed when the TB-303 became a big part of the new dance music of the time. Acid House and the Detroit Sound. There had been lots of talk by people outside the company to do just an analog TB303. At that time Roland believed the MC-303 was the answer, but it took a really long time to have the confidence to do it.

Now they will all be seriously considering bringing back something from their analog traditions.  For Roland, would that be a TB-303, TR-808, System 100, System 100M, SH-2, SH-5, SH-101 or something else? It would have to be something that currently has a high price second hand and is still in demand.

Roland System 100
I'm sure there will be much discussion in all these companies. I know the management of Roland didn't believe in going back to anything analog, but many of them have since retired.

We can be contacted at our website Art & Technology.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Adrian Bruce vs George Trosley - Dueling 1955 Ford Pickup Car Cartoons

Adrian Bruce v George Trosley Pickup Cartoons
George Trosley is an American car cartoonist who I now know to have become a regular cartoonist for the USA based Car-toons comic.  I never saw the original books here in Australia. Don't know if it was ever available in Australia. I have only seen them from Internet scans.

I was influenced by the earlier Dave Deal and Ed Roth cartoons, as I expect George was, as he is about 10 years my senior, and George doesn't look like he made the move to the computer, like I know Dave Deal did.

In the last day or so Trosley posted a Ford pickup cartoon to his facebook page. Interestingly, I did a similar pickup about 2 months ago.  In this case mine is rendered in CorelDraw, and George's looks like pen, marker and probably watercolor.  He does his stuff as 11" x 17" ( close enough to be A3), and my computer based stuff has no size limit for printing, but A3 costs all of $2.50 on heavy card here.

So I can do a side by side comparison of a similar subject. Not a lot to choose between them, I must say. In this case, mine is more realistic for a cartoon. I also do ink and markers & airbrush, but computer rendering is like using a computer instead of a type writer for writing.

We both charge between $200 & $250 for stuff like this.

Bruce - Art & Technology

And here is a different look from us. Here are Dueling 4WDs. The top by me was for a large flag, done for $160 for a one day event. It has in big letters along the top" Oh, what a feeling!" to make a very large flag printed by a sign maker.  It shows a Toyota having to help a Nissan that got stuck in the mud the Touyota just got through, without any sticking! It is scanned ink on paper that has been colored in the computer.  It doesn't have the detail I would normally put, and is more a graphic.

Below is a more realistic Trosley rendering of a similar car with background for $250 or there abouts.

These have been done for different purposes, with different cost, detail and realism requirements.


Some other samples and styles:

Other styles & Custom Cartoons by Bruce

I can be contacted at Art & Technology , and he at George Trosley.

Friday, January 25, 2013

V8 Supercar Cartoons and Caricatures

We have done a few V8 Supercar cartoons and caricatures. This has been the main GM V FORD motor sport till now in Australia. A bit like NASCAR...

But from this year, there is new competition. Nissan and AMG are joining the field.  This is the way things used to be.

More details at our website Art & Technology

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Drawing Chrome in a Drawing Package

Chrome components and variations 

We do a lot of Chrome.  Mostly on cars and bikes, but have been asked to put it in  signage too.

This is a short article on manually making chrome lettering in a drawing package such as CorelDraw or Illustrator.

The illustration above shows the components for one chrome look. Others are possible.

The lower blue and brown horizon variations are done as 3 or 4 components.
1) Blue to white rectangle.
2) Brown to pale brown rectangle.
3) Darker brown graduated horizon line. This may be straight or curved. Another lower layer can also be added for a different look.

The words themselves are cut into rectangle. with the words and the grouped ground and sky positioned correctly, the use of trim and intersection of objects can produce chromed stand alone letters or other effects.  Making the horizon thicker and thinner also changes the look.

The upper two also show a reflection. This is produced by producing just chromed letters and inverting and sizing under the original letters.

The top most also has a graduated transparency over the reflection letters for a more realistic look.

We do design and development, and a few other things.  For more info and contact see Art & Technology.

Electro Music Project and YouTube Video

Simple Electro Track Project

We have put a version of this on our open Facebook page, but with their EdgeRanking stuff not actually putting all news items in news feeds,  it isn't very useful.  Who needs an electronic "mail" system that is worse than the post office, and only delivers 20% of items sent? Facebook thinks that is a good idea?

Much of what we do is on the heavier guitar side, but synthesiser based music has always been on our own playlist, and a significant part of our technical career.

This quick project started off partly as the new ValhallaVintageVerb sounds wonderful on synthesisers.  It was also that I was listening to some stuff on SoundCloud, and thought it was way too simple, and could do better in an hour.

Even doing a simple electro track uses some virtual gear. 6 software synths in this case plus a Monotron. The whole thing took under an hour. All the synths used, except the Monotron are free.

ValhallaVintageVerb is a commercial product, as is Reaper and the track was mastered with Ozone5, and that is also a commercial product.

Could call it "electro BGM", but EGAD does just as well, as it is very much just E, G, A D and C at 120BPM. This track is not to be taken seriously and is very musically unsophisticated.

We haven't put this on SoundCloud yet, but see how it stands up over the coming weeks. It isn't a bad thing to ride an exercise bike is 5 minutes, and just looping it is ok, as it just goes on.....

It uses only four 4/4 grid entered drum patterns driving the LinnDrum Samples. The bass line was played on a mini moog like synth, and note starts quantized.... the other parts were just played on our PC-180 midi keyboard.

It uses two ValhallaVintageVerb  presets.  A drum plate for the drums and a nice room for the synths. Makes a HUGE difference to the track here.

We needed to make a YouTube video with it.  Something different this time that isn't a soundtrack to our illustrations.  5 minutes is a LOT of animation, and I didn't want to cut the track down, as the length is part of its magic. As the music is dance/trance/electro/whatever we decided on an abstract visualization. These things are in all the PC and Mac music players, but we need something more than that. Being program generated, it thus saved us weeks or months of animation work.

The result is here:

It looks like it could be clay animation, or a purple, wet slime mould moving in sync with the music. It is rather hypnotic AND creepy.  Will not go into the details of how I did it just yet.

We can be contacted at Art & Technology  and some of music tracks are on the usual sites such as SoundCloud .

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Car Rendering in CorelDraw.....

Early Stages of Rendering
This is some images from the work in progress of our 1959 Chevy Cartoon. We work with multiple layers and have developed a system of naming and placement over the years.
Such as a layers called "Body outline", "Body Color", "Highlites" and "Body colors".  The last is where we do the little areas with different color graduations to produce all the reflections.

We limit ourselves to simple graduations from one color to another.

There is a time during rendering when your adding small objects, changing the graduations and order, when magic happens, and the image starts to look the way you want.  We use reference photos, but get more dramatic images by not doing exactly as the photos are, most of the time.  As we are doing cartoons, we usually do chrome in a way that just looks more appropriate.

Rendering and Wireframe
This is another view with the wire frame and some of the rendered image from the final design, minus the speech bubble and joke. This is put together in Photoshop.

More details at our website: Art & Technology.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Technical Innovation - Then, Now, and to Come

I have been involved with a few technical innovations over the years.

CD audio quality 16 bit digital music production system being the biggest way back in the 1980s with the Fairlight Instruments CMI Series III.

And at Roland in Japan we were involved with their first polyphonic aftertouch keyboard controllers, A-50 and A-80.  And was behind developments such as the R8 Human Drum machine, Virtual analog JP-8000, COSM, VariPhrase and even the V-Synth.

Back in Australia for the last 10 years have seen a very different emphasis.

In Australia, Tech21 is a conference for Technical Innovation.  It doesn't have products and systems like the above. The CEOs of and are heroes there. Lots of SmartPhone app website things too.
I think this is a shame.

A Smartphone app may be relatively inexpensive to develop and distribute, but their ability to change the status quo and peoples lives isn't very likely....the case being made that facebook would be the most used app on any smartphone, mostly for rather trivial things.  I think this is a shame.

We know of a Nerve Stimulation system that can get paraplegics to walk that couldn't get any funding 4 months ago in the USA.  I think this is a shame.

We have a company like Cochlear, that 30 years ago dramatically changed peoples lives with the bionic ear. They haven't done much in the last decades, and in fact they are in the news more for having a product recall (which is completely inexcusable), and the CEO wanting more pay and options.

We hope that things change a bit for the better in 2013.