ZeMarmot webcomic

Hey all!

In the latest news, we rebooted a long time project of mine with Aryeom. No animation this time, but a comic I have on my heart! You will find it at http://zemarmot.net. I actually used to draw there, but well… truth is I can’t draw! Also I was just to lazy, with like 1 strip every “never”.

So now we set a real schedule, with two new strips a week, every Monday and Thursday, and Aryeom will draw. We are only in the very start, merely posing the background of the character and only 4 strips so far. Basically it will be about a Marmot, but not any marmot! A very lazy one, I would even say professional lazy!
I hope you’ll enjoy!

ZeMarmot: born to be lazy…

Dance of the Sugar Plum Buttefly


well we are not very good at the “social” part of the job, so yeah we left the blog starving off posts for a few months. Actually quite a bit happened in the meantime. After Japan and Korea, we passed 3 months in France, then have been in New Zealand for a few months too.

Anyway we may tell more about it later, but first let’s catch up for forgotten things we should have advertized here!
And one of these is this nice promotional video that Aryeom did for the contemporary dance circle “Le Lien” (サークルルリアン) in Japan.

This has been drawn using rotoscoping technique over actual dance footage of Hysao Takagi, contemporary dancer and teacher of the circle “Le Lien”. Basically we shot the video of a dance improvisation, and Aryeom drew over the frames. And she added her own art to it of course. I would suggest you to check it out. Nice, isn’t it?

Studio Girin at Blender User Group of Paris’ meeting, the 4th

We will be at the meeting of the Blender User Group of Paris this Saturday.

Blender User Group meeting de mai 2013

Below the official description:

May the 4, the Blender User Group Paris (France) host Max Maurel (aka Blackschmoll) and Girin Studio.

Max Maurel, digital sculptor, show us the secrets of sculpting with Blender.

Girin Studio, animation studio, will present their workflow, video editing in blender, the combined use of Blender and Ardour with Jack.

With the help of Parisnux and “Citée des sciences“, open to all, within the limits of available seats, at the “carrefour numerique” of the “citée des sciences et de l’industrie”, porte de la Villette, Paris.

Report of our first Libre Graphics Meeting

As previously announced, we were present at Libre Graphics 2013 in Madrid last month. This was a really exciting time. Madrid was awesome, the Medialab-Prado — where the meeting happened — was great, and we met a lot of interesting people and projects.


We were lodged in the GIMP team apartment, which sponsored our stay there, as member of the core development team. So this was the first nice thing: finally meet other developers of this great piece of software (elsewhere than in IRC, that is!).

As “Studio Girin”, we made a workshop, titled “Libre Media’s creation workflow: sharing session”, not as many people as expected, in particularly as it happened in the same time as the Krita Sketch workshop which had a very heavy marketing this year because of the creation of their foundation, but it still happened well and we had several interesting and interested people in our workshop, which goal was to exchange creative workflows. In particular Konstantin Dmitriev, from the Synfig team and the Morevna project, was eager to share many of his own process. As a conclusion, this went great.



Then the GIMP team organized a Question-Answer session, with a few common “difficult” questions prepared. And as GIMP apparently knows how community marketing works, the project also sponsored the “Friday night party” with free drinks for everyone! Who cares about save/export trolls after that?

Of the other awesome projects I discovered or re-discovered, worth mentioning:

Synfig Studio

I often heard of it and never tested it, in particular because we haven’t done vector animation until now (doesn’t mean we won’t do any in the future). So it was very nice to see it in action, in the hand of someone who really knows the software well. And it is definitely powerful, even though the general feeling was still that it was pretty unstable (several crashes during the workshop) and many of the advanced features were apparently hacks rather than core features. Note that this is still great: awesomeness also starts like this. 🙂 And I’ll definitely keep an eye on Synfig.
Advanced Technologies
Though I already knew and even did things like these years ago, with an educational background in Artificial Intelligence, that’s always nice to see again Augmented Reality implementations or usage of 3D scanners, especially when they Free Software projects, as this kind of technology is now coming to the “common folks” world.
Well I knew this one, like most people who have been around FLOSS for a while. But I never knew it was still that actively developed. They even got a new website. The main feature presented was the recently developed real time collaboration capabilities, allowing to edit a same set of fonts (or even the exact same glyph) in the same time with a team scattered around the world. That was a big stuff.
Various Image Manipulation Software
In the better known topic of raster image manipulation, we discovered Krita. I only heard of it but never tested it until now. So Aryeom went to the workshop and made a very nice drawing on this interesting software. G’Mic image filters were also interesting, though I already knew about they, especially because they are already available as GIMP 2.8 filters. I sure hope their developers will begin to port all these filters as GEGL (the new GIMP engine) operations for them to be available in GIMP 2.10 as well, when it will be out, and all versions above!
Nina Paley
Of course we already knew of Nina and her awesome movie, Sita Sings the Blues, but we were happy to meet her for real. We had many questions we wanted to ask her, and so we did. If you still don’t know her work, go see it as soon as possible!

NOTE: if your awesome project was not in my list, it may simply mean we missed the presentation because we were lazy in the morning or needed some food in the afternoon, not that it was actually not worth mentioning. Don’t beat us! 😉

We will conclude by an awesome note! The Medialab-Prado facade is a huge screen-wall: 10×10 meters covered of hundreds of bulbs, making a huge 192×168 screen, big but low resolution. And at the top, a camera, and the screen is controllable by javascript code. For the LGM, an open-call was made, so we participated and sent a very basic animation: we had our huge space giraffe (I remind that “girin” means “giraffe” in Korean), overseeing the place and watching people as they went left or right, turning its head in the same time. You can check the GPLv3 code and the simulation on the Medialab-Prado’s programming interface, or see this awesome video of Aryeom running in the place, while the Space Girin on the Wall unmissably follows her.

Our conclusion? That was fun! We’ll be back! 🙂

Studio Girin at Libre Graphics Meeting 2013

Libre Graphics Meeting 2013

Studio Girin will be present at Libre Graphics Meeting 2013, an international meeting gathering developers, builders and users of Free, Open Source and Open Hardware projects for Graphics. This year, it will happen in Madrid, Spain, from the 10th to the 14th of April, with an emphasis on Future Tools.

The meeting will have teams from most known small and big graphics projects in Free Software and Open Hardware world: Synfig, GIMP, FontForge, Krita, LibreOffice, Inkscape, MyPaint, Apertus, and so on. Whatever you do: designer, drawer, film maker or animator, you should get a fit there!

And us? Well, Thursday the 11th, Studio Girin will host a 2-hour workshop from 14h30 to 16h30, which we called “Libre Media’s creation workflow: sharing session“.
As the title implies, this is entirely about sharing knowledge and experience — not just ours, but yours too! — and learning from each other. Because we felt this was the best way to learn actually.

Hope to see you all soon!

Firefox Flicks promotional movie: Interview with the Red Panda

Some people may remember, Studio Girin participated last year to the Firefox Flicks 2012 contest. And we won a first place in New Technology category, section “Asia, Africa, Oceania”.

Well this year we decided not to participate officially. But Mozilla asked us if we wanted to make a small promotional movie for them, to promote this year’s contest. Other winners had interviews of their own that Mozilla edited, so we decided that would be cool to have an interview of Firefox. Because he was our “super-hero” in our 2012’s submission, and also because after all, we do animation movies! So let’s do a Firefox Interview!

To have a look at it, you can either go to the Firefox Flicks 2013 homepage, and you’ll find our video with the name “Girin Studio, Firefox and You” (the name of our 2012 submission, the new movie being called “Interview with a Red Panda“), or directly in Mozilla official Vimeo page. that we also embedded below:

Flicks 2012 Winners: “Firefox and You” from firefoxflicks on Vimeo.

One important point to note about this video is that it has been made fully with Free Software. From the Operating System (Linux), to the software (GIMP, Blender, Ardour, etc.), though Mozilla did minor edits on the finale version and I don’t know what they used, so I can’t promess an absolutely full Free Software stack actually, but at least on our side.

I will write later a postmortem with more details on our process, and you’ll even be able to download our raw files! (GIMP’s XCF files, .blend files, etc.) if you wish.

Note: even though the Vimeo page says that the video is in CC-by-nc-sa, this is a small typo-mistake. We asked Mozilla to release in CC-by-sa and they were obviously OK with it. So feel free to use it, spread it, modify it and do whatever you wish to do with it. Just keep our names in your own creation. 🙂

First contributions of Studio Girin in GIMP are live!

A few days ago, the 5th of February 2013, GIMP 2.8.4 has been released. So what’s the fuss? That’s a minor version, no new feature, nothing that already existed before. This is only a stable release, with bug fixes (which is already good).

But for us, at Studio Girin, this is still a small but nice milestone: this is indeed the released first version with code contribution from Studio Girin!
You will see my name (Jehan) in the release announcement
As I said, our contributions are only bug fixes for now (including fixing a crash case case). But this is a start. We have already a few more fixes and features in the development branch for what will be the next major version (GIMP 2.10), and more coming up.
Note also that it is a little unfair to see only my name over there. I have worked closely with Aryeom. Basically our goal is to adapt our tools to professional usage. And she helps me by telling me all the problems she encounters, and what could be better. And that’s something already! Others just complain…

We are proud to be a small part in a great software used by so many people around. And we just wanted to say it. 🙂

Doctor Marmot fixes Bugs.
Doctor Marmot fixes Bugs.

Update of Mageia with Intuos5 support!

At Studio Girin’s, we use the GNU/Linux distribution Mageia. Though I have a Wacom Bamboo obviously supported, Aryeom uses a brand new Wacom Intuos 5. This particular family of graphical tablets has been available since March 2012 without official Linux support. So we helped to bring it in Mageia, and you can get it today: update your Mageia 2, and have your Intuos5 tablet finally working!

"It is alive", thinks the Marmot
Doctor Marmot-stein re-animating a graphical tablet…

That’s the core of the news. Read below for a retrospective of how this support got into Linux, and how Studio Girin has contributed at its modest level to bring it to Mageia users in particular. This gives a small insight on how works Free, Libre and OpenSource Software (FLOSS), if you were wondering.
Note: some parts may be a little technical.
Continue reading “Update of Mageia with Intuos5 support!”

Rebooting the Welcome

Welcome from Studio Girin

Welcome from Studio Girin

We have not been very present on this production log, and we plan on changing this with a little more news soon. So we “reboot” with this nice drawing that Aryeom made, featuring both of us, and a few mascots that are kind of part of the team now. A good point to anyone who will recognize them.

Lately we have been calibrating ourselves, discussing projects… About this, we’ll soon update you about our next and first big project. So stay tuned!

Starting working with Gimp on Linux

This post is a re-interpretation (rather than a translation) of 김프, 리눅스와 시작하다, originally written in Korean by Han Aryeom.

Studio Girin‘s Art Director, Han Aryeom, had an academical education similar to many digital graphics artists: she used to be taught and work with the Adobe proprietary suite of software programs. Our first project (Firefox and You) was no exception (2 weeks to make it and no time to change one’s habits).

Recently though we decided to switch to a full Free Software workflow. This includes working fully under a GNU/Linux operating system. We chose Mageia.
And the current choice to replace Adobe Photoshop is Gimp. This is not the only piece of software we chose and tried for professional drawing. More posts to come about other interesting tools later…

Yet as you can imagine, after a dozen of years using daily the same program, it is sometimes hard to get over the habits: shortcuts, knowing which feature is in which menu, etc. After some research, we found this nice page, quite recently updated for the last version of Gimp (2.8), translating many shortcuts of Gimp into common defaults of Photoshop: http://epierce.freeshell.org/gimp/gimp_ps.php

Aryeom still made these few fixes (note: we could not find any contact for the author of the original list), relative to the last version of Gimp:

Category Photoshop Gimp
Select Deselect Select None None
Tools Crop tool Crop&Resize tool Crop

Other than that, we recommend this page for a change of configuration to any (former?) Photoshop user.
So if you want to give a try to Gimp as well, after years of Photoshop, but are scared of losing all your marks, this list may be a smoother way to begin with. Not exactly the same (because still a different program), but at least you’ll feel less frustrated for not being able to work as fast.

And just for your eyes, here is the first drawing she made with Gimp 2.8, which may (or may not) be a concept art for our next project. 😉