Latest animation

Just posted my latest animation on YouTube. It was done mainly with TB Studio and some of the last scenes in Animate Pro. The art was done with Xara Designer Pro and imported as PDFs.

Well done Zeb. Your style has a retro look to it that reminds me of the Jetsons for some reason. I’m curious: What is it about Studio that you can’t do in Animate Pro? Also, when you say, “art” are you talking about your backgrounds and what’s the advantage of working with PDFs?

Thanks, Tony! I had started this project about 3 months ago when I only had Studio to work with. Then I won Animate Pro in the TB/MOS contest.

For the art I mean everything you see–characters, backgrounds, props, etc. I do them in Xara Designer Pro, vector, and export as PDFs. That’s the best vector format I’ve found from Xara. You can export as AI but PDF seems to work better. Then, I import the PDF into Animate and am ready to do breakdowns and animate. I’ve been using Xara for over 10 years now and am very comfortable with the drawing tools plus I personally think they are superior to the drawing tools in TB.


I like everything about this. Great style and colour schemes. I don’t know why, but I was very attracted to the motion of the vehicles and especially the way the taxi distorts upon acceleration.

“Johnson and Johnson” is a good gag.


Cool stuff. Your style really is great- someone compared it to The Jetsons and it really does have that retro feel to it. Can I ask you what makes PDF files work better for you than AI?

Thanks Bob & Marty! It’s funny how I’ve gotten comments on my choice of colors. I have tried to study color schemes and downloaded apps to help with it, but I always just sort of wing it and do what I feel looks good–ha!

Marty, I think I use PDF because the export from Xara works better that way for vector. I export and use the “view after export” so I can immediately see how it turned out and if anything needs adjusting. I suppose I could export to AI from Xara but, and I think this is more an issue with Xara than TB, but it just seems to work better that way.

The Animation I liked, although it looked more like an american hamburger cafe than a bar. It reminded of Grease! (the bar that is).

You’re right, James! I called it a bar but it looks like a hamburger place and he orders a root beer float–LOL! I should’ve just called it Burger Shack or something. I was trying to make it kid-friendly but didn’t fully think it through. Hopefully I’ll get it right next time.

Very impressive!
I have some questions if you don’t mind: about the audio, was it recorded in studio or a similar setting? What software do you normally use for audio?
And color scheme softwares, I had no idea they existed, could you give an example of one? Thanks!

The main audio parts were recorded in two separate studios. I don’t know what software they used. The parts of the secretary and bartender were recorded by me. I used Audacity and an MXL 990 USB mic, no preamp. I do my compositing in Sony Vegas so I imported all the vocal parts into separate tracks and then edited them to get the timing right–the two main characters were recorded in two separate studios.

The music was done with Sonicfire Pro. You can browse their library and find what you want and purchase it. The sound effects were taken from various free sites on the web.

The color scheme software I have used are ColorSchemer Studio and ColorImpact.

I understand, it just really confused me. I thought he knew he was being followed and thus bought the root beer float, so the joke went totally over my head.

Well, I think this is an example of not making the action clear enough to “read” on my part. I don’t think it was you, James. The bar scene should have looked more like a bar so he could say his line, “Bartender!” and then proceed to tell his story. That much fits. The root beer float was simply to be more acceptable for younger audiences–that was my sole reasoning behind it–not to confuse the guys following him. So, yeah, it’s unclear.

Then there is the bit where these two guys are sipping on strawberry sodas which I included as a gag–two big security guys having sodas. But the scene was so short you hardly have time to “catch” it.

In all of my animations I am continually learning about the whole process–animation, story telling, compositing, designing, etc. Practice makes perfect, or at least each time a little better hopefully.