Just Draw! Episode 2 On You Tube Now

Hiya Everyone! So ya know that popcorn graphic I plopped in the ol “Free Assets” page the other day….here’s why I created it. My latest episode of  “JustDraw!” is finally live on You Tube. Here’s a brief synopsis:

“I attempt to pay a brief ‘illustrated’ tribute to the recently founded Studio Ponoc and their new anime masterpiece: “Mary and the Witch’s Flower”. I sketch, ink, and paint a still image inspired by the movie and you get to watch every brush stroke. (Sped up of course.)”

So you can watch the video right here if you like! :


I hope you enjoy, like comment and subscribe!

Thanks everyone and I’ll see ya next time!

Just a shout out…and update!

StillHiya everyone!

Just wanted to take a moment to mention a few things. First of all, I am still wrapping up the next episode of Just Draw! for the new channel on You Tube. I want to make sure I am releasing high quality videos that are informative and engaging, as well as fun to watch. (In case you missed last week’s episode, here’s a link.)  Just Draw! Episode 1 

Also, in case you haven’t heard, the next episode will be based on the theme of anime art… a topic very special to me. I’ll talk briefly about the inspiration for the illustration I create, and show a compilation of the creation process from start to finish. You’ll get to see the blank paper get all filled up with graphite, ink and paint! (Perhaps a little extra bonus at the end too.)

Secondly, a big shout out of thanks to everyone recently following me on Twitter, You Tube, Subscribing to me here… and everywhere else I share my art! I am very thankful that you all are finding value in my content and are appreciative of art as much as I am. I really do believe that sharing the creation process of art has a way of inspiring and motivating people’s inner creativity.

So again, thanks for joining me on these adventures… you’ll be hearing more from me very soon. Take care!

-RJR Design-

Ajin. What’s that?

Slightly skeptical of how good a ‘Netflix Original’ anime could be, I was pretty hyped after watching some trailers. So I headed over to Netflix, and well, I must say that this is very well done. Without throwing out any spoilers, (I may do a review in a few days anyway); I will just suggest you go and check this out for yourself. If you’re searching for a new anime with a good story and interesting art style…Ajin should not disappoint you.

I’ll just acknowledge the fact that I have not read the manga this originated from, so I can’t yet provide any comparatives. In my future review there will be ample time for returning to that topic anyway. So lets just kick back and enjoy this new morsel of Anime goodnesss. But be warned, it does carry a TVMA rating!


PaintsChainer: Testrun Two

After my initial experience with PaintsChainer, ( Autocolor Your Manga? ); I was compelled to run some more trials. This time I tried two versions of my image: the initial sketch and then a conversion to dark lines similar to inked appearance. This will be a fast moving article wasting no time displaying the results. So let’s get on with it.

I started with a pencil sketch upload to PaintsChainer.


Immediately after upload, the colorizing process began before I even clicked the button. Perhaps elements of color are assigned according to gradients of the scan. Not quite sure.


After adding my color sample overlay, some bright colors were bleeding from the image…


I also quickly converted my sketch to line art to see the results on darker lines.fightsketch_lineart_rjrdesigne

Applying new color samples over the darker lined image, the resulting autocoloring was noticeably smoother. The color picks also stayed within their chosen zones better as well.


Just for fun I applied the original darkened line art as an overlay to the autocolored image. Once again we can see how the PaintsChainer tool provides interesting and useful results.


If you still haven’t tried out PaintsChainer then what are you waiting for?

Auto Color your Manga?

Jumping right into things; the other day I heard about the release of an interesting piece of art software called PaintsChainer. Released from manga software developer Taizan. The program was created to automatically color line art drawings by utilizing color choices set by the user. I had to try it.

First off I headed to paintschainer.preferred.tech. The interface was simple. Click the ‘Choose File’ icon, locate your line art image from your computer, and upload. Initially there was an error created stating an image size limit was exceeded. This was because I chose a high DPI scan of my drawing, so I formatted a smaller resolution image and re-uploaded without error. The image below shows a screenshot of my image uploaded onto the PaintsChainer site.


Next I used the application’s simple tools to paint color selections over my drawing. There are pencil/ brush tools that allow you to select the size of the brushes, also an eraser and a undo button. The colors are selected from a simple color picker pop up box. As you can see in the image below I quickly applied color samples to various areas of my image using my pen tablet. I was obviously aiming for speed whilst doing this stage. 😉


The next step is the most intriguing one, it’s what happens when you press the colorize button. Your image is wondrously transformed to a fully colorized output image, as you can see below. While color has been applied, it appears to have done so in a strange manner. Some of the color information has been disregarded,  or completely blended out. This is especially noticeable in the background of the image, where some patterning seems to have been applied. There also appears to be a random coloring element in the characters right eye.

Again, the color sampling step for this test was carries out extremely fast; so we cannot denounce the capability of PaintsChainer. We must acknowledge multiple positive qualities which have presented themselves here. Such as how the shading of my drawing has carried over quite nicely into the colorized result. Also notice how the hair has been colored rather well, providing areas of lights and darks which give the feel of a natural light. The overall image is softly colored and pastel in nature. Its apparent there are most likely much greater results attainable when more time is put into the color sampling phase.


Make sure to head over to PaintsChainer and try this out for yourself. Have fun and take care until next time.

Looking back at Classic Animation

Hello all,

This is a post on something many of us have fond memories of: our favorite animated classics. Regardless of which studio or company these works came from, we can’t seem to forget the impact they had on us. The great things that made us love these classic films were the result of tremendous amounts of work by many individuals. That scale of work to accomplish such vision was of course much more less technology driven 30 years ago than it is today.

These classic animated tales remaining so embedded within our memories, provides reason for the many re-releases and re-mastered classics. Utilizing the new technology allows for improvements to be made to all areas of the films such as color adjustment, audio, as well as other more subtle elements. There are multiple reasons for utilizing the new tech of course. One such being that even though the old rotoscope techniques were stylish, much more fluidity in motion can now be achieved.

In the early days the animation process was a huge, time involving, multi person effort with lots and lots of drawing. This required numerous animators to work on the “cells” or (individual hand drawn frames) of animation. There was a strong belief in adding life to the imagery by use of reference as well. The animators were not only well documented artists of anatomy, but of real life study drawing. Much of the early animation process involved studying live actors as they acted out movements and motions for needed action.

In this way,the early animation was much akin to what is now days replaced by motion capture techniques in the digital film industry. Instead of small reflective spheres attached to an actor to record motion, the artists of these old animated films relied upon their keen eyes to capture realistic motion. The intricate and subtle motions of the actors were reviewed by the artists and translated into  two dimensions, providing that realism that we all grew up to love.

Nowadays, an animated short can be put together by a handful of talented artists wielding high tech software, pen tablets, 6 core hyperthreading PCs with unlimited memory, and an expresso machine nearby for late nights. Sure there are still great animated films being made, but how many of them can compare with those old classics that we love?

Elfen Lied: Intro Review


Disclaimer: The following review describes an anime series for an adult viewing audience, discretion advised.

Now on to the story…  Elfen Lied!

Since I enjoy watching many different types of artistic media, I occasionally like to do a review on them. This time around I have chosen to do a breakdown of the intro to the anime series “Elfen Lied”. I feel that people either hate or love Elfen Lied; I myself love it. I find it a very artistic work possessive of great story structure and high entertainment value…to say the least.

Elfen Lied is a 13 episode anime based off a Manga written and illustrated by Lynn Okamoto. Some may be deterred by the graphic violence and suggestive themes. Yes there is brief nudity throughout as well as a few gallons of blood….but thats’ not the point here. The point is that art is something which is meant to trigger emotion from its viewer and discretion is for the viewer to decide. So on with the show I say!


It begins by the eerie operatic vocals drifting to your ears. “Lillium” being sung by Kumiko Noma. The haunting music is merged with a gallery of images that slowly pan across the screen. We see the main character encompassed and intertwined with symbolist art. There are only a few effects used, but subtlety is an art itself. The slow pan, zoom in and out, overlay effects, tight close up, soft glow and gaussian; all effective tools used well here. Between the music and the beautiful imagery, you couldn’t ask for more. The way in which the artwork is presented as a 2 dimensional gallery is very refreshing in my opinion. So many intros tend try to be too much more than they are.

Looking deeper into the production motives here we find a few interesting things. The imagery itself is actually based in reference to an Austrian artist by the name of Gustav Klimit born1886. He  was criticized of promoting eroticism in his work; which focused on the female body. This style fits well with Elfen Lied however because those feelings of eroticism are interwoven into the story. The art speaks to the viewer of hidden and multi layered meaning. The art has depth as does the story and characters. The symbolist art style of Gustav that is prevalently referred to quite enhances the whole thing. You see all these intricate elements that incorporate so seemingly with ease. Its almost as if you are actually watching some art gallery exhibition or something. At least I thought it was beautiful anyway…maybe you wont.  But you won’t know till you try it!

Thanks for reading, -RJR-