Uses This

1281 interviews since 2009

A picture of Julian Frost

Julian Frost

Animator, illustrator

in animator, illustrator, mac

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm a 2D animator and illustrator and occasional game designer. My best-known work is probably the Dumb Ways to Die video and game, and the Skype emoticon animations.

What hardware do you use?

My back pain finally exceeded the pain of paying $3000 so last month I upgraded my small Cintiq drawing tablet to a large one. I like it so much I even got all the bubbles out of the screen protector. The tablet is connected to a 2010 MacBook Pro which is connected to a keyboard and headphones. Everything sits on an adjustable height IKEA table amidst piles of bank statements, old to-do lists, CDs, small heads made of Super Sculpey, and USB backup disks.

For scribbling ideas I use old envelopes and the backs of printouts. I've tried drawing in nice notebooks but I feel like I'm ruining them so I always come back to my old friend scrap paper.

And what software?

Flash. For animation, but it's my preferred tool for shape-based illustration too. You can edit the points in a shape (like Illustrator) but pushing and pulling the edges is the nice feature. It's like playing with 2D plasticine.

For line-based illustration and photo-editing and gif-making I use Photoshop. Neither Flash or Photoshop are perfect but I'm so good at the shortcuts now I can never abandon them.

Other: Flash CS6 (for exporting vector artwork, which Flash CC won't do for some reason), After Effects (for editing video and trying to make Flash animation look less sterile), Quicktime 7 (for crunching videos), Chrome (for reading news websites instead of working), iTunes, Spotify, Indesign (making sketches look respectable before sending them to people), Audacity (sound), Dreamweaver (web), Filezilla (FTP), NameChanger (renaming lots of files at once - e.g. animation frames), Skype (working remotely) and Time Machine (backup).

What would be your dream setup?

Animation is the tedious process of transcribing acting. It's easy to pull a face or act out a body movement, so I'd love a tool that recorded my motion and instantly turned it into editable 2D animation.

Also I would love to ditch the Cintiq for magical drawing paper where you can CMD+Z, CMD+C/V, CMD+T and CMD+SHIFT+S.

Also I would prefer not to work by myself because I wander into the dreary corners of my mind a little too often.

Otherwise everything's good.