Attention Artists: This Tool is Professional-Grade…and Free!



A piece of software may seem an odd thing to get excited about but bear with me and I’ll make the case.

Although I currently use Adobe Photoshop and After FX for all my manip work, my preferred tool is a compositing application called Fusion. I got turned on to it in college, got an academic copy, and quickly fell in love with its powerful feature set. Unfortunately, Fusion is a Windows-only app so I had to say goodbye to it when I made the transition to Mac years ago. Every now and then, I’d check to see if there were any movement on the long-rumored Mac version, but there never was.

And then, earlier this year the company that makes Fusion was acquired by Blackmagic Design.

Several years ago, Blackmagic bought a company called Da Vinci Systems that made professional grade color correction systems for film and tv. We’re talking about software that cost tens of thousands of dollars. Today, Blackmagic sells the high-end product with its bespoke hardware for thirty-grand. But, the software alone now only costs $995 USD. They even give away an entry-level version of the application for free. And, they ported what was a Windows-only product to Mac and Linux.

So, the news Blackmagic had bought Fusion had the entire visual fx industry elated. A Mac version was finally a certainty as well as a lower price point (Fusion costs around five-thousand dollars per license). This week, to my joy, Blackmagic did exactly what we all hoped they would.

Fusion is, officially, on its way to Mac. No timeline on its release, but the work has begun. For me, knowing that someday in the not-too-distant future I’ll be able to return to the compositing tool that I used to create Orientation, and many other early animated manips, is really exciting. Every time I start a new animation in After FX, I miss Fusion a little bit; its a tool that was a very good fit for me.

So, why am I telling you all this?

Because, I know most of you are Windows users and that means that most of you can go and download Fusion right now…for free. Blackmagic has released two versions of the software. Fusion and Fusion Studio. The Studio version now runs just $995 and includes some high-end features most of us will never use (tools for stereoscopic 3D, network rendering, plugins, etc). Aside from those features, Fusion is now 100% free with no strings attached.

So, what’s the catch? The learning curve. Fusion is a professional tool that can be very intimidating for an entry-level user. However, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of tutorial videos on YouTube that can walk you through almost anything you need to know about what the software can do.

And, what this software can do is almost anything. It can replicate nearly all of the functionality I use in Photoshop when doing manips. It can also do animation, 3D objects and text, visual FX, 3D particles. This is a very powerful piece of software. If you’re willing to tackle the learning curve and teach yourself how it works, you could conceivably use this single application to do any of the manips in my catalog. That’s how deep its feature-set is.

I get emails from many of you asking about the software I use and what I’d recommend. Just recently, someone asked for advice on achieving an effect that they couldn’t accomplish in the photo-editor they’ve been using. So, I wanted to share with all of you the news that there is a professional-quality tool that is now available to you (on Windows) that is limited only by your imagination.

I hope that this will facilitate all the artists out there to make even more great manips with great animations, and fx, and (especially) imagination. You can download Fusion here and you can start on a great series of learning videos here.

I can’t wait to see what you create.

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Lets Talk About My Next Video – Part 2



Welcome back all.

So last time, I spoke about how I had been thinking about making my own original erotic mind control films. But there had been three obstacles: personal stuff, legal stuff, and time.

I left off after explaining that the time problem recently sorted itself out. The personal stuff? Also got sorted recently.

Leaving the legal stuff. The situation is thus: I live in a very conservative state. It is illegal for me to produce and/or profit from pornographic material as a resident of this state. Now, there are lots of states that have these laws that are never enforced. However, a person in my state was prosecuted within the last twelve years or so for violating these laws.

Getting prosecuted is not an option.

So, I was back to square one. And then, an idea occurred to me: what if I made mind control films… that weren’t pornographic? What if I produced an ‘R-rated’ fetish film? I could do nudity, I could sexy, I could do erotic. I could do a whole lot with those things. I think my work has always leaned closer to ‘erotic’ than ‘explicit’ anyway. Stylistically, it wouldn’t be that different.

Shooting an R-rated movie would give me access to a larger pool of talent. Finding strong actors willing to do nudity would be easier than trying to find strong actors willing to have sex on camera. And, I would want strong actors for the kinds of films I’d hope to make.

Shooting R-rated also helps with a fundamental problem every production has: funding. A forward-thinking commenter made this recommendation:

Loupe
April 17th, 2014 @ 9:29 am
Two words, crowd sourcing…

I’ve been closely studying crowd-funding for several years and I do think it would be a good fit for me. However, almost every crowd funding site has a policy that forbids pornography. Another problem solved if I don’t make pornography.

So, all happy news so far. Unfortunately, I’ve saved the worst bit for last. Because, as you may have heard, there’s no more sure way to get blacklisted by a credit card processor than to to sell anything associated with the words “hypnosis, mind control, or brainwashing.”

We’ll tackle this issue next time.

To be continued…

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Lets Talk About My Next Video – Part 1



Wow, 2014 is turning out to be a productive year for me. At this point, I’ve created more material this year than in any other, except 2005. My creative output during those first twelve months was pretty abundant. Of course, I was only doing still images in those days and now I work almost exclusively with animation, and the occasional video.

Judging from some of your comments and emails, you’d like those videos to be more than “occasional.” Of all the work I’ve produced, the three things that people talk to me about more than anything else is Orientation, the accompanying Orientation Screen, and Decisive Results. People really seem to like those and they often ask me when I’ll be doing more.

And, that’s what I want to talk about over the next few blog entries.

I’ve thought a lot about doing more videos. They’re fun to do, the reactions are always fun to read, and I enjoy bringing my particular brand of erotic mind control to life. But, they are also very time consuming. Orientation took a few months to complete. Decisive Results was over a year.

That’s a lot of time. As much as I love working on them and sharing them with people, I don’t seem to be getting more free time as I get older; quite the opposite. I used to do manip requests with some regularity. These days, I have to politely tell people that I’m happy to work on commission but I just don’t have enough spare time to work on things, that aren’t fulfilling my own artistic impulse, without compensation.

But, I really want to do more videos. Which is quite a dilemma given the whole dwindling-free-time situation. I was ruminating on these things earlier in the year when someone left this comment:

kraig

April 12th, 2014 @ 2:29 pm

You should think of making full movies and posting them for sale because your work is top notch and there is a huge market for your kind and quality of work people would pay for it it gladly!

I sat and read it over and over. Wondering if he were right. I’ve thought about doing exactly what he’s suggesting numerous times. But, there were always obstacles. Some were of personal nature, there were legal issues I could foresee being a problem, and there was always that problem of free time. I’m very busy and film making (good film making) takes time.

And then, circumstances went and changed on me. A few months ago, one of my long-running freelance jobs came to an end. That meant giving up a little money I was used to seeing each month. But, it also meant that I had more free time.

I began to think about what I would do with this spare time. Catching up on TV shows or video games sounds like a lot of fun, but we all know I’m a workaholic. I’m happiest when I’m doing something.

And so, I began to think about what I’d really like to be doing with my new-found time…

To be continued

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Ridges – New Animation



Welcome back everyone. I’ve been working on a commission job this past week so I’m a bit late updating but I hope the wait will have been worth it. Read on for my Director’s Commentary but, for now, please go check out Ridges.

My original round of gas mask manips were really fun to work on. So much so that I promised myself I’d revisit the territory again when the right source material presented itself. Since I’ve been haunting Tumblr recently, I’ve mined a lot of great images that I’ve tucked away for future smutiness.

When I came across this image I knew immediately what I wanted to do with it. The original photographer really paved the way by making sure the inside of the mask was lit so we could see the model’s eyes. I knew I wanted to see what was going on inside the mask. All of my previous manips hinted at the assault of light and sound inside the rubber but now I’d get a chance to show it off.

So, it was very fun to work on in that sense. Thanks for reading, stay tuned for some very big news in the coming weeks and, as always, your comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome.

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Escape – New Animation



Greetings once more dear reader. I’m trying not to pat myself on the back too much but I am quite pleased with the amount of work I’ve been able to put out this year. Tonight, I’m even more pleased because I can finally put a check mark in the ‘complete’ column for my longest-standing in-progress manip.

Read on for my director’s commentary but first please go enjoy Escape.

I’ve had this image saved since 2007 and have been actively working on it through various drafts since 2008. For whatever reason, I was never able to get the animation of the orbs into a place I was happy with them. In some respects I was probably trying to be too clever. At one point the orbs were making much larger orbits and going out of focus as they entered and exited the focus plane.

Neat effect, but it just didn’t work for this image.

So a little while ago, I drug it out and started from scratch. I think I had built it up in my mind to be some sort of apex-manip or something. The source material was so strong and I felt like if the manipulation wasn’t *perfect* it’d make the whole thing garbage. The down-side-schwartz to my perfectionism strikes again.

So this time around, I let go of all those expectations and just treated it like any other manip project. I got the animation where I was happy with it, played with some light effects and then sat down to write.

That part was quite painless as I’ve had six years to write and re-write the story in my head. I knew exactly what I wanted to craft with the narrative when I first saw the image. I’m finally glad to get that out of my head and in front of all of you.

As always, your comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome.

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Compromised – New Animation



Happy September everyone. Checking in with another update tonight, a new animation from some lovely source material featuring Daft Punk and Milla Jovovich. Read on for my director’s commentary but first, please check out Compromised.

These things start, as they so often do these days, stumbling across a low-res version of this image on Tumblr. I stared at this photo trying to imagine what else, beyond mind control, the original intent could have possibly been. Satisfied that there could be no other intent, I concluded that the original artist intended erotic mind control as the central theme and, therefore, I should help that person out by pushing their work where they already wanted it to go.

So, what I’m saying to the photographer in question is…you’re welcome. ;)

Anyhoo, this picture is the sort that just immediately inspires everything that will follow. The spiral light effect and the general direction of the story formed in my mind quite rapidly. Then, it was just a matter of putting those pieces together.

I must also mention my good friend Tabico because I was quite inspired by the capture sequence that occurs early in her infiltration epic Rogue. The gloves the boys from Daft Punk are wearing suggested a sci-fi angle to the narrative and Tabico’s tale immediately sprang to mind.

A big tip of the hat to her for inspiration throughout the creation of this piece. I hope you enjoyed this latest manip and, as always, your comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome.

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Intake – New Animation



Welcome back dear reader. I’ve been away for a little while but have also managed to squeeze in some time to complete a new animation that I’m just dying to share with you all. Read on for my director’s commentary, but first please enjoy Intake.

The source material for this image comes from Gatsby’s Whore a tumblr featuring the sexual exploits of a woman named Daisy and her lover (the eponymous Gatsby). He’s also quite the shutterbug as there is an enormous number of quality photos of her; face carefully concealed from the camera.

This image was posted to their blog earlier this year and just immediately grabbed me with the strong composition and her lovely figure. I’m also a fiend for girls in heels, but we all know this. ;)

Anyhoo, I set to work on it immediately, knowing exactly what I wanted to bring to it visually. Whirling colors, endless spirals, and a techy-looking control panel to give some sense of infrastructure to the affair. I thought the image was so strong, I decided it didn’t need a caption. Satisfied, I dropped the finished piece in the “Complete” folder and left it there.

Which is odd because I don’t usually run much of a buffer in the way of work. When I finish something, I post it. But this one sat there for a week while my mind chewed on it. I realized that I really did want to add a caption, I just didn’t have any great ideas.

So, I went back to the project file created a text box and stared at for a bit. Then, I went back to that control panel and stared at that for a bit. I began to think about a row of these stalls with girls being brainwashed in each of them. The idea of an intake facility began to form in my mind. I started writing and the words just poured out. It was one of the quickest writing sessions I’ve ever had, in fact.

So, there you have it. Its an interesting case-study for the intuitive way I often work. Doing things without a specific plan, just leaving myself threads that I can return to if needed. Plodding along until I get to the finish line. In this case, I’m quite pleased with the results.

As always, your questions, comments, and suggestions are welcome.

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Answers – New Animation



Greetings and welcome back. I have a new animation for you this evening, a wonderful bit of raw-image I ran across on Tumblr. I do hope you enjoy Answers.

This image was the picture that kept on giving. With the model’s facial expression alone, I could have made something work and been very happy. However, I had so much more to work with here. The magnifying lamp above her face, the glass probe pressed to her forehead, the hand holding her head in place. I just couldn’t have asked for more in the way of raw material.

A very fun piece to work on.

Now, I’ve got a few other projects keeping me busy and I’ll look forward to sharing those with you throughout the month. I also have a very, very big project in the works. Something I’m quite excited about. Something that many of you have suggested and asked about. It will have to stay a tease for now but I’ll be talking much more about it in the coming months.

Stay tuned and, as always, your comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome.

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Another Tease



I’m horrible about not posting for ages and ages. Partially because I’m ADHD and partially because it takes time to do what I do and when I don’t have anything finished, I don’t have much to post. So, I’m trying to shake things up a bit today with a tease of something I’ve been working on here and there.

tease-pg

I have an idea of what the finished product might end up being but I’m still working on all that. This was just a quick experiment to test a couple of techniques that I’m thinking will end up getting used in the final piece. I’ve included a “PG” GIF alongside the full-monty version, for those who might be interested in sharing to locales where nudity is an issue.

Please to enjoy and imagine.

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Catching Up



Hi all, hope all is well with you. I’m checking in today with a brief update that’s mostly geared towards getting my gallery here updated with all the new work I’ve done recently. I started actually posting to my tumblr blog a month or so ago and ended up being really motivated by the experience.

As a result, I turned out a surprising amount of work in a very short period of time. I’ve actually completed one more entry in the first four months of this year than I had all year in 2013. Or course, one of last year’s manips was a twenty-plus-minute video so…that may be a factor. In any case, the gallery is now stocked with all of the work I’ve done over at tumblr in addition to a brand new piece that I just finished!

Cultivate is inspired by all the best sci-fi mind control fiction that shows us what happens when pretty girls get too close to nefarious-flower-type-things. Its taken from a photo series featuring the lovely Justine Joli and has some of the best trance faces I’ve seen from her.

I’ve often talked about stealing facial expressions from one photo to use in another, but this pic was really a difficult proposition because I had so many great options. Here’s a pic of all the faces I had to choose from:

cultivate-faces

See? A lot of great choices there. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the manip(s). I’ve got so many things I hope to get to this year, hopefully my spare-time meter stays in the green long enough for me to get to all of them. Thanks and, as always, your questions, suggestions, and comments are welcome.

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