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Happy New Year!

Hope 2017 is a great year for you all! 😀

Doodled on my new art package XD



#WeCreate Festive Katie!

Frankie Av

For the first time since I drew Robogirl, I decided to take a short break from writing and draw a new picture. I’d been a little poorly and was feeling sorry for myself, so drew this to cheer myself up!


You might recognise the character in the picture if you have read my first book; The Scientist’s Daughter. Katie, the yellow-eyed doll from the story, has always tugged at my imagination. She’s become somewhat of a muse, prompting me to draw her quite frequently when I doodle. This year she wanted to be drawn in a festive setting, and I can’t ever say no to her little self. I actually have a full sized, hand-made version of her which I made a couple of years ago. Maybe I’ll buy her a little Santa costume and sit her under the tree this year 😉 If I do, I’ll post a photo 😀

F.R. Donaldson lives in scenic Scotland. She is the author of the psychological sci-fi MALEVOLENCE

#WeCreate How I Make My Trailers: Part Three

Frankie Av

This is the final part on how I make my trailers, and it is by no means the least important; adding music.When making a video, choosing the right music is vital. Music sets the tone of the entire project. There are times when choosing the music for a video has taken me far longer than any of the art or rendering for the entire project.

It is always best to either use your own music, or–if you are like me and unable to create your own music–find free music and sounds. This sounds simple enough, but truly royalty-free music isn’t music you rip from the internet. What you have to find is music listed under a creative commons license. The way in which you can use this depends on which license it is under. There are six main types of creative commons license. The best way to explain them is to watch this short video which tells you what you need to know.

Creative Commons Kiwi from CreativeCommons AotearoaNZ on Vimeo.

There are a few sites I use for music, sound effects and such for my videos, all with content listed under various creative commons licenses. The site I use the most is by Kevin MacLeod. Music on this site is predominately licensed under a creative commons attribution, which means I can use it so long as I credit Kevin as the creator and provide a link or information back to the site.  He also has a handy page explaining the different licenses his work holds.

Another useful tool provided on Incompetech is the ability to search for music according to feels, length, genre and tempo. This comes in particularly handy when you know the length of the video and the tone you wish to set. The drop down menus make it easy to find the piece you want out of hundreds of songs.

By the time I search for music, I already have the video I’m making finished. If we take the short video I made last time as an example, I know it is only twenty-five seconds long. A search for songs of this length on the Incompetech still gives me a sizable list. By going through the feels filter, I find a song that is the right length and what I think sounds right for the video.

When you press the name of your chosen song, you can see that Incompetech has a handy link which includes the attribution which Kevin has provided. So it is easy to use the licence and attribute the music back on my projects by simply copy and pasting the information in the link.

Once I have downloaded the song and the attribution information, I can then use the song in my video. I can either add the attribution for the song in the end credits of the video as I did in my Malevolence trailer, or in the video information on Youtube, as I do for my vlog videos.

Once I have the song, I add it to the video using Movie Maker.

And that is it! Well, in short at least! The programs I used to make this tiny video were as follows:

Artrage (Drawing)

Photoshop (Drawing and creation of animating layers)

After Effects (animating layers and creation of video)

Wondershare Video Converter (Reduce size of video file, add opening/ending credits)

Movie Maker (Edit video and add music/sound effects)

Audacity (Edit music and sound effects)

F.R. Donaldson lives in scenic Scotland. She is the author of the psychological sci-fi MALEVOLENCE