NOTE: I originally wrote this in February 2020, and forgot to post it. Oops!

My primary hobby for the last few months has been making art. Most of my time so far has been spent on learning how to paint with acrylics from scratch (wrote a post about getting started).

Since finishing my last painting, I started looking for new ways to make art. One area that’s kind of always fascinated me is animation. It’s always been interesting to me that you could dream up a world, and create enough of a story and technical drawing skill to share that world with others. From nothing to unlimited possibilities.

So I started trying to digging into some books. Early in my journey, it became clear that if I wanted to animate, I was going to actually need to learn how to draw. Drawing is a skill I’ve always wanted to have, but it’s a hard skill to attain — I’ve always had trouble keeping a routine practice schedule, which meant I never actually learned.

In the last few months, I’ve naturally built some drawing skills, just by learning how to paint and creating visual things with my hands vs. a keyboard and mouse. So while I’ve always had a hard time learning to draw, my recent experience has made it easier to develop a more routine practice schedule. Part of that is that I plan to stream me learning to draw on twitch. To start I’m going to try streaming for a few hours one evening a week. If I want to share more I might jump on randomly, but I think committing to a specific time will help me stay consistent.

I was inspired to try streaming after I watched Nicholas Kole stream the making of this: It was such a cool experience to watch a great artist think and develop the overall style of the piece from very basic to very detailed.

Streaming Setup

I’ve always wanted to try streaming, but I’ve really never known how to get started. It turns out I already had most of the hardware needed for streaming, I just needed to get a few software tools to set things up. So I spent a bunch of time digging into StreamLabs and OBS to create the visual look and feel of the stream. I did a quick 20min long test stream of me playing with IORama Looom (an interesting animation app that tries to feel more like a musical instrument than a drawing app). I didn’t get any viewers, but I had a blast setting up all of the software.

My goal was to be able to stream Procreate from my iPad to twitch with low latency and also thought it’d be fun to set up a stream with chat, webcam video, and stream alerts like all of the other streamers I watch.

The Stack

  • StreamLabs + OBS – This is a very forward software that lets you create scenes of inputs that will be composited together and broadcast to
  • FonePaw iOS Screen Recorder – This is an app that lets you mirror your iPad display to windows with surprisingly low latency. I send this window as a video input to OBS, which is then stretched out
  • Logitech Brio Webcam – This webcam is that it has a wide 90° field of view, and it shoots [email protected] or [email protected]. The field of view makes my small office/studio look large, and the 60fps or option for 4k resolution is great. I actually picked up this webcam shoot some videos for, but it also makes for a great streaming camera.
  • Antlion ModMic Wireless – I bought this microphone a few months ago because I wanted to use my Bose QC35 headphones as a gaming headset — but couldn’t handle the “Hands Free” over-compressed lofi audio that got triggered whenever I tried using the microphone and headphone speakers at the same time. It turns out, the microphone actually sounds great, and does a good job at isolating the sound of my voice while limiting the sound of my mechanical keyboard.

This weekend @anotherjesse sent me a link to a tweet about this cool new animation app named Looom.

It has a very unique interface that is unlike anything I’ve used before. They describe the feeling that they were going for, and they nailed it:

Wonderfully musical
Taking inspiration from music creation tools, using Looom feels more like playing an instrument than operating software – exploring lines, shapes and colors through loopable time and rhythm.

You can fluidly flip back and forth between traditional frame-by-frame animation and live animation that feels more like a performance than drawing.

Their website also says that all of the brush strokes are recorded as SVG paths. This means that everything is a vector, and that it could support many different types of exports (as SVG is pretty portable). I think this app has a lot of potential, and I’m excited to see the direction they take it.

Anyway, here are the things I made, in the order that I made them. If you’re interested in watching the actual process of making these, you can check them out for the next 14 days on my twitch channel I’ll share some more details about the twitch channel soon.