Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Book Trailer

So -- for my very first book trailer I tried some of the free software that came with my computers, Windows Movie Maker and Microsoft Photo Story for the PC and iMovie for the Mac, but they seemed a little limited. I didn't want to spend a whole lot of money for Adobe Premiere, so I settled on Pinnacle Studio Ultimate for $129 bucks and I'm very happy. For sound effects I joined "The Freesound Project" which is a really cool site (and made me go out to buy my own little Sony digital recorder so I can start recording my own effects.)

This was a really fun little project. A few hours yesterday doing a "first draft," then a few more hours today tweaking in all the great input I got from my friends.

Sound credits here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0N7XRBeyhI

Monday, April 14, 2008


. . . from my editor, Marcia Leonard, comes the upcoming Fall 2008 Clarion Houghton Mifflin catalogue. One side shows an illustration from David Macaulay's THE WAY WE WORK, and flip it over, here on the Clarion side is the cover from my upcoming book, KITCHEN DANCE!

KITCHEN DANCE begins as two sleepy young children are awakened by mysterious sounds from downstairs. They sneak down the dark stairs to see what is going on. Peeking through the kitchen door, they spy their parents who are dancing and singing in the bright, tropical-colored kitchen as they put away the dinner dishes. But, ¡HOLA! the children are discovered! What ensues is a joyous family dance that slowly turns to lullaby and finally ends with the children tucked cozily back into their beds. Umm-hmm!

On sale this October 6th, 2008.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Cintiq 21UX

Cintiq 21UX
I did it.

I said I didn't see the use -- I already feel 100% natural on the regular Wacom tablet, but watching the demo videos and realizing I could pivot the Cintiq around like an animation board was something I hadn't thought about. I've got a new picture book in the works with old NYC in perspective and I don't use straight edges so I've got to be able to tilt the tablet to draw accurate lines.

Here's how I'm set up, L-shaped desks (actually cheap Ikea dining tables) and my chair with arms removed and set at maximum height. I have a stool under my desk for my feet. I had thought to put the Cintiq straddling both desks (diagonally) and keep the keyboard on the left for typing software shortcuts in Painter/Photoshop -- but decided to go cold turkey and get used to using the Cintiq tabs for the shortcuts I use most often.

My other two concerns in investing in the Cintiq were messing up the screen with my palm (I'm the type to yell "DON'T TOUCH THE SCREEN" if anyone so much as points in the direction of one of my monitors) and secondly, it seems to me that perching bent-necked over a table again is a step backwards in terms of ergonomics. Time will tell. Stay tuned.