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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Send Artistic Eco cards from Ojolie.com


I was asked to review Ojolie.com and see what I thought of there ECard service. I haven't sent an Ecard in years as they got cheaply done so when I saw how Ojolie.com produced there hand painted ecards I had to check it out.



Frederikke Tu the designer at Ojolie.com states "Our ECard are my work of passion, taking weeks of painstaking - but fun and satisfying - work and attention to detail to complete. First I hand paint many parts, and then the scanned images are combined with Flash animation to create a visually stunning story. Please browse our growing selection of Flash ecards and let us know what you think!"


I can not imagine the time it took to produce so many wonderful cards but it is sure worth it to have such original cards to send. We have all seen the usual cheap online cards that are very low on imagination and detail. Even the music of the Ecards was matching and of good quality.
The birthday animations are cute and a great way to send notes to extended family on those special days. Check out how the cards are made to see why these ECards are worth sending friends and family.

"The Story Of a Card on Ojolie.com

Inspiration
I often get asked where my inspiration and ideas come from. Of course there is no magical formula - although I love to tell people that the ideas are all conceived while "concentrating" in my magical reclining chair - some ideas are conceived spontaneously while doing everyday things like driving in the car, kissing the kids goodnight or day dreaming over a cup of tea.


But from there the idea has to be thoroughly developed to a point where it becomes a cohesive story that can be executed within the limitations of Flash animation and as Flash animators know, unless you want to end up talking to yourself and tearing out your hair, you had better take some creative license and short cuts when possible.
That said, my first goal is to tell a story that is not only beautiful to witness but will also ultimately bring home the message the sender was hoping to deliver.
From Storyboard To Canvas
To avoid too much unnecessary revision, the story is roughly sketched out on storyboards and the major elements created. Some are hand painted, my preference is for watercolor which provides a very story book illustrated look and feel, then scanned and edited as necessary. This is one of the aspects that I enjoy the most and in fact the word "work" really doesn't apply.


Other elements are created either directly in Flash or another illustration program such as Adobe Illustrator, which allow for the greatest flexibility in terms of editing and animation.
Characters, such as animals, that need to be animated extensively for movement in an highly organic and realistic style, are often made up of many different parts or "symbols" in Flash speak, providing the greatest flexibility when animating them.
As much as possible I try to avoid the shortcut of giving animals overly human character traits and behaviors, carefully researching their actual behavior, movement, environment and so forth to stay as close to realism as possible. A background in art and observing the movements, shapes, perspective and so forth of the real world provides an added advantage in what is often an "intuitive" process of figuring out how to best make these characters come alive.


Putting It All Together
Before too much work has been completed on the card, a music piece or several pieces as required are selected, providing a timeline and framework for pacing the action of the card. The music is one of the crucial elements that sets the entire tone of the final card and a great deal of effort goes into this part as well.
After a good many days or weeks of animation depending on the complexity of the card, the card is then completed with all the final text, buttons and finishing touches - and voila it can all start over again with a nice brain storming session in the magical chair! "



I would like to thank Ojolie.com for providing a membership to their website for conducting the review. I think this is a great way to help cut down on the use of paper cards while at the same time offering hand painted cards. I have picked my style and sent a few test ECard so that I can see what my final Christmas card with the family photo colage.

Please visit  Ojolie.com  and check out this great Ecard service
 

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