…I don’t (necessarily) have to put this thing together in order.  When there’s other work that pays your bills and keeps you busy, sometimes it’s hard to keep this side project moving forward.  But, I’m learning one way to keep this thing going is to work on images that inspire me to draw in the moment.

Over Christmas break, I found myself sketching embryos that, while barely recognizable to most, are a little more fun to draw than balls of cells.  In the coming weeks, you can expect some of these pages to get a little more chaotic.  If you promise to keep following along, I promise I’ll clean up when I’m done.

But, I occasionally get animated-related questions about those cells.   The most common being how, exactly, do I animate them dividing.

Truthfully, there are probably dozens of ways to do this.  But, when I animate, I’m usually looking for the fastest way to get the job done.  When I’m moving static images from Adobe Illustrator to After Effects (the program I used to animate) I arrange everything in ‘order.’ I’ll spend a considerable amount of time looking at an image to figure out the best way (for me) to animate it, and how to best break that image up to allow that to happen.  It seems obsessive but the time spent up front is well worth it.

And, sometimes, you have to start at the end.


The short clip above started with 16 cells.  Pairs of cells combined to make eight, then four…until I’m left with two. I delete layers (cells) as I go, so a composition that started with 16 layers (cells) ended with two. When I’m done tweaking and morphing layers, I take the entire clip and time reverse it so it plays backwards – meaning it now starts with two cells, and they keep ‘dividing’ until there are 16.

Then I finish the rest of the thing off.  Creating and animating cells (and flipping clips backwards) literally takes hours.  But, add a little music…and it makes the whole thing wwaaaayyy better.

Thoughts?  Questions?  Shoot me a line at, or use the handy little button below.


Get an insider’s peek at the process of art and prototype creation, thoughts on where this could lead, and how things develop!