Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I am still alive!

Hello! I am still kicking, and making art.
It's definitely not as intense as it was when I was in school.
Having a job now kinda impairs a lot of my creativity.
I try my best to set aside time to do shit.
Here's what I did last week.

I'm working on some t's right now.
One that has to do with Awesomenauts, this Samus idea, a Cha-Cha and Kayamba design, and a Peco design.
Only roughs right now. I'll get them up here soon so you can see my progress.

I'm working on some Pokemon drawings as well.
Christmas presents, maybe? I dunno.

So as far as my life goes it's been pretty busy and eventful after college. I miss college every day. I loved the environment and how inspiring it was to be challenged on a daily basis to be better and to just be something.
In real life it's just not as cool.
Regardless I got a cool job doing one of the things I love the most, dealing with video games and electronics.
I also stream still, almost on a daily basis. I love the shit out of that. I'm currently working on my list of video games. I'll be putting together this list of playable games in my possession and then on stream we'll tear through them. I kinda like this idea of killing my game library. There's some titles I have that I've never even played. It'll be a fun take on getting that shit conquered.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Check out the stuff I did.

Visit there to check out my demo reel and showcase piece!
There's even a link to my flatbook.
Thanks in advance.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Last official day of college...

Well. I'm in the last day of college and I'm still working on stuff. I hope that kinda shows how I am. I just work until the last minute. But I think that is what animation amounts to.
Every second counts.
I guess I will write more and reflect on it more in detail later.
I am finishing up a lot of things which will be posted soon.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

More, more more more more more more -

Hello, welcome back.
I've been kinda locked up and staying up late working on this animated piece that, as I presented it today, has a deep emotional impact on people.
I'm glad that what I'm working on is successful for once.
I've been working on getting my flatbook done, a demo reel going as well as possibly a showcase? Not sure / sold on one of those yet.
I updated my online portfolio with artwork and captioned it with what it is etc etc.
Did a little bio and about me, got in depth as to who I am and what is most influential to me right now.
I am done with school on Tuesday next week. It's a weird feeling.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Hey there!
Let me update you guys on what's up with me.
After a lot of critique over the work I've been doing I found that a focus of mine should be more on the animation side of things. Since I've been interested in doing short animations I decided to do a piece that means a lot to me based off of a short story I wrote for creative writing.
The design work I have done seems disconnected because the two lines of work don't make sense to the instructor.
But in the online realm they are hand in hand. These animators are making t's with their cartoon designs and using sites like to sell them.
I'm not too far off the mark with my plan and who I want to be in the realm of animation.
So I'm going to focus on this little cartoon bit here until the end of the term.
I will highlight my design work somehow.
Gotta do this little thing and then figure out my demo reel.
Trying to find a place to work right now.
It's not going too well because of school. I'm pretty stressed out, trying to get shit sorted out so I can move out.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Dealing with some issues!

Hey guys! I'm working on putting together a demo reel.
It's got all kinds of stuff in there.

Working on a little short animation.
A funny one about a gassy monk who is trying to achieve zen.
Then one that pokes fun at me and video games.

Working on getting two more shirt designs done.
A Brewster one from Animal Crossing.
And one I don't know about yet.

Working on getting a rendered picture of Marshal, Deputy J.R., The Secret.

Once that shit's done I can get started on doing my flatbook and everything'll be finished!

Something happened that really upset me though.
I recently submitted a written work to be published online.
After a while, an author to the site had omitted my name and put on theirs.
Needless to say I was scared and angry about this situation. Because, mainly, I've never dealt with this before. They attempted to steal my work.
Pretty nasty stuff, but I contacted them and it seems as though everything is resolved. Instead of being published with them any longer I just told them to remove my work because I refuse to have that happen to me again.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

5 weeks left.

 OK, so I finalized my Jho design. There it is. That's what'll be. On to the next stuff.
Some of the T's I wanted to do just aren't working out the way I had hoped. So I'm just going to have to drop them and think of other things. So far I only have 3 T's for portfolio. I wanted 4-5.
Working on the space western. Just getting out these ideas of design. So the first in light blue were the like, rough ideas and what's in my brain.  The dark blue is more of a focused thing. The Marshal, cleverly named Marshal was hurt by this 'secret' he's keeping from the town. Which is the focal point of his character. He's keeping this secret because he's scared of the damage it can do. He's felt it first hand. JR is a young man looking for something more to life than just this little settlement. He has a cybernetic eye that helps emphasize this. I want the designs to revolve around their one trait. The secret is something I want to be etheral, or ghostly. But also I want it to represent a kind of Eastern appeal. Like a samurai, or ninja. That way it can kind of play on samurai in the west.
I guess let me explain the story in better detail. Many years ago Marshal was hurt by this, thing... And he decided to build a settlement away from everything using technology. He resides in a dome that is programed to simulate a desert. He built old houses and what not to recreate a western town. He watches over the town with the help of his deputy J.R.. J.R. knows something more is out there than this 1 horse town. He wants more from life. He's tired of the Bently Boys running around and making trouble. J.R. suffers from big fish, little fishbowl syndrome. On a routine patrol on the outskirts J.R. sees a break in the wall of the dome, not realizing he lives in a dome. He sees the outside world and is assaulted by the secret. Everything J.R. believes is shattered and born anew with the idea that there is more to this world. He no longer trusts Marshal, but they have to work together to stop the secret.

I'll be fleshing out these characters more and more as the weeks pass. The idea is to have Marshal, J.R., Secret, some towns folk and the Bently Boys designed. I would like to have a background or two to give it a setting.
I will also try to work on 2 more designs for shirts.
One more thing! I'm going to record some stuff about video games and make a little voice reel with some pencil test animation. The idea is to do it kind of like a street interview. So I'll ask some questions and answer them in my silly voices and animate what those characters may look like to me.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


So after having some pretty hilarious conversations in Mumble with my FFXIV group... I became an idea thief and put together this T-
Now after some time working on it, I realized I just needed to keep it simple.
Here's what I got so far.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Another one down.

Working on the errors of the Animal Crossing T right now, as well as designing the Titan Cereal Box at the moment. Just finished the Deviljho / Ibirujo T. Very satisfied with that one.
Feeling like I'm making good progress.
I actually might take this into photoshop and mess with giving it some kind of texture. We'll see what happens. I'm stoked to have the base layer done though. If anything at all this just may as well end up as the final product.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


I realized I've been saying the same thing the last few posts, "I'm doing stuff."
Well let me get into more detail as to what I'm really doing. I mean I know I said I'm doing this, or doing that, but let's show you.

I have been working on an icon for me and my online name, Zachy Massacre.
So I have created a mash up of me and the Super Mario Bros 3 iconic image. You can see the old version in the previous post, here's a more recent, better version.

I had a silly idea while playing Animal Crossing and realized as Mayor of my beautiful town, I got 99 problems but a weed ain't one!  I thought it'd be clever to have a design that reflected that. Thus playing more with this idea of video game mash ups. I'm still not too sure / sold on this idea, so I'll just keep playing around with it.

I also was thinking about what else to do for designs and thought I would do a cool Deviljho shirt and combine it with a Godzilla feel to it. I hope to complete this sometime soon. This is a rough of what I'm working with so far.

Here's more stuff I'm working on. There's a game I am absolutely in love with, Final Fantsy XIV. And in this game I've been fighting a lot of iconic monsters from the series. I'm stuck on a particular boss and it made me think of a shirt that involves Titan. It's going to be like a cereal box.
It's in the rough stages right now and there's nothing really to show of that YET.

And that leaves my final design. I'm not too sure what it's going to be but it will more than likely have to do with my animated piece I'm working loosely on.

That leads me into talking about what I'm majoring in. Animation. Not design.
I just feel that making these designs is something I really like doing so why not do it?
But yeah, I'm not very strong in animating but I can do some voices and probably make some decent pencil tests / roughs, so why not?

That's what I want to have a showcase on.

I created a loose story of a Marshal in a little desert settlement. He keeps a close eye on things and makes sure to keep the peace. He also is keeping a dark, deep secret from everyone. Until one day his deputy learns his secret. Trust being broken they have to work together to overcome the challenge invading their little world.

So with this I'm going to do some voice acting, character designs for the Marshal, Deputy, some Bandits and Ruffians probably named The Bently Boys, some towns folk, and some rough pencil tests to my voice acting.

What this will show is:
I can create characters with appeal.
I can design them with a solid understanding of how they'll be animated. 
I can animate them. 
I can express emotion through animation. 
I can voice act. 
I can write, hopefully decently. 
I can create successful designs. 
I can create an identity.
I can successfully link these things together and make them mine.
I can be successful on my own.

So what's on the horizon?
I will be working on these designs more and more. I need to get that Titan rough done. I need to finish that Deviljho design. I need to get that Animal Crossing design reviewed and critiqued to see how I can improve it.
I need to design these cowboys and ruffians. I also need to write a script. Then I need to get in the booth and have some fun.
I will be working on the animation part hardcore for the last 5 weeks.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Status Update

Hey guys. I'm currently working on stuff that is going into my portfolio.
I've been making tshirt designs, working on some character designs, voices, and a script to do some voice acting and pencil tests, and my online portfolio / website. I have worked on an icon for myself and feel pretty good about it.
More stuff to come soon.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Working on stuff!

Hey guys, just wanted to tell you guys what's on the horizon.
I am working on completing some t-shirt designs for my portfolio.
I also am working on an online portfolio. It's not going to be the best thing, but it'll be something.
I have to compile a lot of the work I've done and put it together so it makes sense.
I am working on an Animal Crossing T, another Awesomenauts T, thinking of a Final Fantasy XIV T and another one I haven't conceived yet.
I have to get a voice acting reel going on and I'm thinking of doing some rough pencil tests with it to show I can animate too.

Sunday, May 4, 2014


WELL, guys... I did it. I finished this damned project.
There's an embedded thingy for you to watch it below!
I'm already working stuff to do for the summer so that way I can build a bit of stuff to show / have to be proud of.

I'll be updating frequently.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Hey everyone! Just wanted to put some stuff up as far as saying what's up with progress.

I've been trying to select a good music track for my piece but nothing really jumped out at me. I remembered something though... I did really well with sound design and sound mixing / editing.
Why not make my own track using the schools materials like Soundtrack Pro?
I sat down, buckled down, and started plugging away at something that I think accents my piece really well!
I think that this has come a long way... I can't believe how much actual work has gone into this damn piece.
I really hope the effort put into this shows.
I just have a few more things to do.
I have to animate this effect for a transformation.
Other than that, it's pretty much just finish up some drawings and I'm complete.
Also, it looks like I'm going to be graduating a term early.
I will be doing portfolio over the summer along with some business elective class.
I'm really stoked, even though I'm walking with my class on the 10th of May.
Things have been really up and down with this project because of how many changes it's gone through. Again, I just hope that it has the effect I intend on people.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Story is finally completed!

Finally after all this time, 13 weeks, I've finished my story ideas.
Golly what a pain in the rear.
I just intended on getting something short and cool done, but it turns out I have created something pretty deep and hopefully memorable.
Now to just get everything colored, cleaned up, and in place.
My laptop is acting buggy with my tablet. It's really putting a damper in my progression. It's honestly annoying. Luckily the school is equipped with everything I need to finish though.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


 Hey everyone.
Just working on adding the little bits of story that will hopefully give you the impact I'm looking for.
It's crazy- I should have just spent this term developing this idea instead of trying to work out everything. I dunno... I think it's making me a stronger animator.

I am currently finishing up my drawings and animating stuff in between. Coloring as I go along.
I watched some animation pieces lately that have kind of inspired me and gave me ideas on how to improve mine.

I am adding some story elements I liked from what I watched in hopes that it all fits together well and makes sense.

My story just wasn't reaching / grasping / connecting with anyone so I had to think of ways to combat that. I realized there's no reason to invest in my character or his trial. I had to show his struggle.

Just inching closer and closer to the finish line as I plug along.

Monday, April 14, 2014


I realize in my story I haven't really established what's at stake for my characters.
So I think that's what the problem is. I think maybe everything is just 'one note' maybe?
I'm trying to find ways to solve this problem as I go along.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I hate how you can hear the truth though silence.

it's hard to get past that.


it's hard to hear it but sometimes you need to hear what isn't working.

I appreciate that I've wasted all this time so far on something that's not working.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Excited about this!

Hey guys! What's up?
How are things? I'm asking you these things and there's really no way for me to find out. So I guess those questions are rhetorical.
I dunno. It's just a part of my personality. If I'm greeting you I genuinely care to hear those answers.

I'm working. Just workin'! Drawing and animating and drawing s'more. Oh and coloring.
This project already has given me so much.
I feel, though, that it's not the best piece. The more I think about it... The more I get sad. The thing is, is that, it's my second ever animated piece. Some of my peers are already so good at this animation thing and I just feel like I'm behind them. I want to stand next to them in skill.
I discovered that in following my path I chose there are lots of struggles and that I didn't really pick a strength of mine.
I picked things that I wanted to be better at. With that decision I hope it's clear of my intentions with what I create. I hope my idea and emotion come across in it. I might not have picked the best camera shots or angles but I did what I though was best. It also may not be as dynamic as others but I hope it has an impact emotionally.

I have a lot of self doubt. I think it's justified. It's a sink or swim world and I don't want to drown.

I have been still just getting my rough animation into cleaned up frames while coloring along the way.
I've been animating the things as they come up, basically just going from the beginning to the end.

Once that stuff is done I can finalize the music. I picked some stuff up from Incompetech. I hope to mix it well and use my audio skills to make something fun.

I've been working on this project pretty diligently with separating life with work. I've been setting aside a lot of time to get this done and work on it almost daily from 12pm to 7pm. It's been giving me a lot of headway and I'm proud of myself because had I been myself a year or two ago I would be procrastinating worse.

It's been tough to just do everything at once. This project is hard man. I hope to just get better at it so I can get working on my after school goals.

Monday, March 31, 2014


Hey everyone, just wanted to give you guys an insight onto my progress so far.
I've just been on the grind lately. What that means is I'm turning my roughs into finals. Getting stuff blocked out in full color so I can smooth out the animation in between. I'm also just fixing things as I go along. Like scenes and what not. It's been going along pretty smoothly. I have about 4 weeks left to get this done. It's looking pretty good on my end. Been working pretty diligently.
So currently it's just a lot of going into my scene and taking my rough drawing and just deciding on the look, cleaning up the drawings and coloring as I go. The style is looking pretty cool and I'm liking what is happening with the backgrounds and my characters. I feel confident that this will look cool. I just hope it is 'good' when it's done. I've been working on it so hard that I don't really know anymore.
I hope it hasn't lost its appeal or message.
I will be just drawing away and work pretty hard on finishing my animation ASAP.
The color choices I have been making have been working pretty well. I'm glad to see it's not as hard as I thought. It seems that once you get started and you trust yourself you can make some good progress.
I seem to take a while to get things done so I need to just accelerate my progress a bit.
Not sure how to combat that other than just find ways to simplify.
Overall I feel really good about the strides I've been taking forward.
Thanks for catching up with me!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Spring Break Wasn't just a break, it was time to get some work done!

I spent a lot of time working on backgrounds to my story. You know. I was so focused on getting a style I liked but I just started working on backgrounds and did what my heart felt.
This story is going to be in my style. Which isn't much like a style of flash I've seen before.
So, to give you guys an idea of what I've been up to:
I've been working on backgrounds for my story- Got most of them done.
I like them but there's a few that I'm still unsure about. It's nothing that can't be fixed with a bit of a critique.
That's what sucks about not being able to present work as you do it.
I'm also looking at mu
sic to fit the right moods in my piece. Since the majority of it relies heavily on music and mood.
It's not as easy as I thought.

I will be finishing up my backgrounds here next week and hopefully I'll have a good music base to start mixing with to get my story going in that sense. Then I can record some base sound effects for the bear and the people. Not sure if I want to do groans, sighs, mumbling for stuff in my story. We'll see what's up.

Lack of peer review has been kinda weird, considering I'd get it everyday so this week off has been kinda like, going off on my own little exploration adventure.
I hope people can see what I was going for.

Some music I've found has been pretty cool. Just still unsure of how it'll all mix together / if it fits. Still need to play around with that too..

So as you guys can see, things are working- sorta. I'm just plugging away. Little chunks at a time. It's been pretty productive, I think.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The answer is right in front of you. Sometimes quite litterally!

I have this picture hung up on my wall in front of my work area and I look at it every day but I forgot it's worth. The silly thing is, I'm struggling with my story and the answer was always right in front of me. It's ironic. The answer is always right there in front of you!

I'm going to put my story through the ringer with this list and make sure it's on par and working according to this.

Meanwhile I'm going to do some backgrounds since I have a solid idea on how things will look.
I noticed one terrible thing with my story and it's that my bear character isn't  doing what he would do. He's not being true to his character ideals. So it's one last thing to do with my story and I'll be ready to roll out. I have to make my bear try. He needs to try and fail. People will respond to the loss more significantly.

Here's the list in case you can't find it yourself.

22 steps to telling a good story according to PIXAR
#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.
#2: You gotta keep in mind what's interesting to you as an audience, not what's fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.
#3: Trying for theme is important, but you won't see what the story is actually about til you're at the end of it. Now rewrite.
#4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
#5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You'll feel like you're losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.
#6: What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?
#7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.
#8: Finish your story, let go even if it's not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.
#9: When you're stuck, make a list of what WOULDN'T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.
#10: Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you've got to recognize it before you can use it.
#11: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you'll never share it with anyone.
#12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.
#13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it's poison to the audience.
#14: Why must you tell THIS story? What's the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That's the heart of it.
#15: If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.
#16: What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don't succeed? Stack the odds against.
#17: No work is ever wasted. If it's not working, let go and move on - it'll come back around to be useful later.
#18: You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.
#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.
#20: Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d'you rearrange them into what you DO like?
#21: You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can't just write ‘cool'. What would make YOU act that way?
#22: What's the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.

Now, you don't have to apply everything to your path but a lot of these things are super helpful! 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Bear With Me. A halfway progress report, of sorts... The struggle is real!

Hey guys. I just wanted to give an in-depth progress report on what has been happening on "Bear With Me."
Like all projects there's ups and downs. Major breakthroughs and setbacks.
So I initially wrote out a schedule which I have glanced at regularly and stressed out about more so.
I can confidently say that I am on track.
Basically I intended on being in full on production mode as of the 6th. Low and behold! I am ready to get started. I'm going to be looking at music that fits the theme of my piece, and some basic sound effects.
I feel pretty accomplished that I could tell this story with out using a script. Which, when I first started it was. Man I was so stubborn and stuck on all the things that weren't working.

I really hope it has the impact I'm looking for at the end. I mean, other students in the class achieved their goals very easily. I feel like the struggle is real! We were supposed to focus on our strengths and to be honest I couldn't really figure mine out for a while. I did what I thought was best, which is focus on doing short cartoons. This'll really help me in the future because I hope to have a popular website of my own featuring my series ideas. I guess I focused on something that I wanted to be a strength of mine. I realize that animation alone is a long, trying, and difficult road. This is why teamwork is essential to meeting goals

I have until May to get this done and I'm just now stepping on the gas pedal.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Talking about solving my creative problems.

Something that's really important to me and my growth this term so far.
It's an internal battle every time we create something.
It's like we are fighting with ourselves at every moment, and every inch. 
Overcoming the basic issues when creating something is a good way to get better at your craft.
Basically what I'm getting at is that everyone who does anything related to the arts feels the same blocks you do when you're working.
There's just one major thing you forget when you're in the thick of it all, surrounded by all your issues, deadlines and everything else. That thing is that if you keep working at it you'll win! You'll do it. You'll get there. You'll finish! I swear.
A few things to keep in mind is that it's perfectly OK to be mad at your project or creation. It's OK to walk away from it. It's OK to take it and crumble it up and throw it away. It's OK to do what ever it is it takes to get to that finish line.
You'll find that starting over is common, or not liking things right off the bat. That's where critique is most critical. You'll get the feedback necessary to continue.
When you feel like giving up is where you should push the hardest.
In my situation, I felt hopeless but after pushing through I'm on the right track. I'm just behind a week or so of solid work. It's OK though! Because what I have now is worth the struggle.

I've been struggling with getting my storyboards finished. I'm not too sure what it is that has been blocking me. I guess it's mainly the fact that I worked pretty hard on what wasn't working.

But here I am. Still going forward.

So currently I'm tackling my storyboards. Again I say it's been rough. I'm almost done though, so that means I can start roughing out my animation and getting things rolling.

Next I'll be working on backgrounds and making sure things look fitting with the colors I chose.

One thing that has inspired me to keep working was watching My Neighbor Totoro. That sort of fantasy is kinda what happens in my story, even though it's not tied to any mythos.

Some things that haven't been working is me. I've been kinda stuck in a creative slump. I think it's just because I saw how much work was needed to do, but now that I'm on the ball again I can take things as they come and work on everything one piece at a time.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Breakthroughs are possible...

Hey guys. I just wanted to take some time to talk about what I've been up to for the last week.
Remember how I posted about how I felt like I was failing but I had a feeling I was near a breakthrough? I've been doing a lot of talking to professionals and the thing I always hear about it is that new artists aren't taking enough risks or even doing the things they say they are going to do. What that means is they aren't doing enough, and they aren't failing at it enough.
You have to fail in order to succeed. Period. It's a fact of the industry. Get used to acting on your ideas and if they don't work out, it's OK- You wont die, or lose anything that precious. It just puts you one step closer to being successful.
Alright, so here has been what's up with me. I've had a lot of one on ones with people who get story. It's been a learning experience for me, that's for sure. I know for this class we were supposed to focus on our strengths, which I thought I was. But it seems that I'm not as good as I thought, which is OK. I'm not stressing about it too much. The thing is, my ideas have appeal I'm just not good at executing them yet. So that is what I'm good at, creating things with appeal.
As I was saying my story got a complete overhaul. Which is awesome! I focused on what it was I ultimately wanted to say.
I wanted to tell a story about my adventure so far.
So hearing that I wasn't pulling from real life was kinda pissing me off. Because I was using my situation- I easily learned to channel critique better, and really sort out quality vs people just saying stuff to make it seem like they are participating.
I liked the idea of separating the character from myself because I guess I was just married to the idea of the guys struggle. But after finding out who the real protagonist was in my story, I was really able to grow and explore what the story really was. My story involves a guy who has a manifestation of his creativity. It involves a growth of character and a decision of what's it really worth?

I am currently drawing out my animatic redux. It's kinda sad that I had to start from the beginning but you know what? The story is so much more impactful and more interesting now. So I wont be animating some crap story to get through the class. It's something I'm actually proud of so far. I'm working on solidifying shots and making it visually interesting. I'm about halfway through the animatic at this point. I've been shown a lot of stuff to help make shots more meaningful, and ways to help get points across. I remember when I started school I was hoping to at least be good at storyboarding enough to get a decent job doing it. I don't think it's going to pan out like that though, since I'm more of a "worker."

What is on my horizon? Finishing this animatic asap. I want to work on getting a style down and colors so I can actually start doing backgrounds. Once I get backgrounds I can do some rough animation and get things timed out properly. SO much stuff... Taking baby steps and not trying to rush anything so I can make this as awesome as possible. This is basically my start into what I really want to do, which is make cool short stories. I'm hoping, that after I graduate, to run my own website with my own content updated frequently. I heard about how some of the internet famous animators take 7 months to a year to complete 2:30 worth of animation. I feel like if I really work at it, I can be a lot faster and hopefully as cool, if not cooler, than them.

Peer review and just "talking" about my project has been working for it so well! I love sharing my idea because it gets more and more awesome as it goes on. It's growing into something. I'm just stoked to see how solid my idea was and now I've got a good story to match it. Just share and share with people you trust and your idea can blossom.

I'm not too good with creating shots, so getting a lot of feedback on my shots has been a big focus of mine, since it's not a strong point.

Alright guys! I'm off, got lots of stuff to do.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

UPDATE: Project Bear With Me

Hey! Thanks for checking back with me.
I named my project, it's called: Bear With Me
It's a pun. It's punny.
It's good to get all this weekly progress down. It actually feels like quite a journey.
I think I've reached that point in which all artists reach when working on something.
Quitting. But I've been training the last few years for this. I know where I stand and almost how to combat it.
Let me tell you why I feel this way:
I created a poorly constructed animatic, which is just a bunch of my ideas for this story based loosely off of my life.
So when I first showed it there was a lot of stuff that didn't make sense. It's mainly because it's hard to tell a story with just images.
Some stories actually require dialogue. So I did my best.
Needless to say I got a lot of critique on it and it needed a lot of work. Obviously I started working on fixing it right away in order to get my idea to come across properly.
I worked out every little thing in the story and conveyed it the best way I could when I redid my animatic. Yet to no avail, it still isn't reading properly.
To get down to it, it's like nothing is working. But in all honesty, it is all working. It's just missing some final ingredients.
I'm a chef, in a way, and I have to prepare this meal to be the best damn experience ever.
Okay... This is what I think I can gather from the whole thing. I've given the story and the solution too fast. At least I think I have. Because no one is satisfied at the end. I haven't created enough of a struggle with my character. So I have to show a bit more of conflict with his issue.
All that takes is working in some scenes with him interacting with the bear in such a way that it shows it's not just work, it's everything.
I thought, honestly, that showing the problems with his work would be fine. As if it was all I had to do, but again I think I spoon fed it all too quickly.
2 + 2 = 4 is a good thing in animation but it helps when you give it to the audience slowly so they can arrive at it themselves too.
I'll be working on solidifying character designs this week and colors. As well as adding in those little extra nuances to help create a more believable world. I think I like the cartoon style of Venture Bros. It's kinda what I have visioned for this piece.

So in summary, I have some minor things to adjust to my story but to be honest I want to record my short script first and lay in the audio before I change anything. Maybe that will solve the problems. I will also be doing character designs, backgrounds, and layouts to get stuff going asap.

After the scratch audio, and if that doesn't work I'll be redoing and adding some stuff to the animatic just so that way I can start production. I need to start animating asap but I can't do that with a wack story.

To be honest it feels like nothing is working properly but I know that if I keep working, something will happen.

Nothing seems to be going the right direction for my piece. So like I mentioned before I've reached that point of quitting, which is an awesome landmark. It means I'm on the verge of a breakthrough.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Getting this old nostalgic itch.

It's crazy how music influences peoples life.
I have been listening to a lot of old video game music lately and it reminds me off all the times I've played those games. I've been jamming out to Jet Grind Radio's soundtrack lately.
I played the FUCK out of that game.  I loved the shit out of my Dreamcast. I was pretty sad that it failed, but SEGA had already done so much to make the video game industry awesome. They were so innovative. Anyways, I've been wanting to play a lot of old games lately. Getting that old feeling while listening to the music is just too awesome, maybe I don't want to play and ruin those memories.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Starting Production Soon.

Hey guys! I revealed my storyboards in a crudely timed out animatic in class on Thursday.
I got a lot of feedback with the issues I was having.
I finally defined a purpose for my bear. Also. I've got some advice on how to fix some things that weren't working overall in the story. It's good to have a solid base of peers who actually care about where you're going. It's like I can only trust a select few of them to give me real advice.

Some things I've finally nailed down are what my bear actually is. I was kinda just like, wishy washy on his whole idea. Unsure of what he truly was. He will represent the nagging sense of perfection everyone has. So every time my character goes to do something this sense of "it has to be perfect" nags him.

Also I'm rewriting / drawing some scenes just so that the story can be sillier and more relatable.
It's a lot tougher than I thought. I guess I'm not too good of a story guy. I can do stuff with some appeal but I guess I have a hard time developing events and things that happen.
It makes me think of my strengths as far as what I've completed so far.
I know that I'm good at doing things with appeal, like creating characters, scenarios and other ideas. I guess I've already learned a lot of what I can be for myself in the professional world.
America handles most of the development of most animation we see already.

Okay, so as I mentioned before, I'm working on changing some stuff on my animatic. It has some rough animation in it so it's like I'm doing two things at once.
It's pretty much just create better interactions that keep my character from achieving the goal but that are relatable to being a bit of a perfectionist.

What'll be going on after that is actually creating some base character sets / models for my guys in flash. I'll be deciding on some colors soon. I'm also going to finish up the design of everything so you guys can kinda see what's in my mind.

The main thing that has been working is a lot of peer review. If I didn't get that, I'd be worse off. So I appreciate all the useful feedback I have received and will receive.

The thing that hasn't been working is my ability to convey what it is I truly meant by the story. I'm glad people were there to kinda help solidify things.

Here's to another productive week! Keep your chins up!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Personal Growth. Progress report of senior project (still unnamed) to come by Friday.

Hey guys! I just wanted to talk about overcoming a fear of mine recently.
When I was turning 23 I started worrying a lot about my mortality.
It bugged me to no end knowing that one day I will not exist on this plane.
I was very fearful of the future which really bogged me down. Knowing that I wasn't the only person who felt this way made things a bit better, but something always nagged me. When I was a kid I would love to look out into the night sky and get lost in all the things that could be. As I grew older I had a small interest in space. Something about the infinite ability of possibility. Multiple dimensions, multiple worlds, multiple chances. I liked it a lot, but then I grew a fear. This limitless expanse of "nothing" is out there, just peering into me at night. Like it was examining me, dissecting me as I was doing to it when I was younger. I felt like I didn't have much to offer. I couldn't look straight out into the expanse. I would get anxious and frightened, and fear would grip me and force me to look away.  I grew more and more brave as time went on. Forcing myself to look up, breath it in, and trust in why I'm standing there at that point.
Today, finally- I am able to be comfortable and whole, standing there- Naked in front of the universe. Brave, and confident to explore my future path. It's just something I had to share.
I am at peace with my inner self. I am at peace with my fears, and the uncertainty of my future because I know that where ever it is I end up is the best possible place for me because I have worked so hard to get there already. 

I hope you guys find peace within yourselves too.

Monday, February 3, 2014

That feeling of "forward progression"

Hey everyone! How goes the journey? Allow me to spill my guts about mine so far.
I've been going through ups and downs like crazy with this project but I think that I'm on the right track. I'm about to start production!
I know! It's early but I'm following my plan. So, I posted some pics of my thought process above. You can kinda see what has been going through my mind as I develop this story.
I'm about to scan in my storyboard flash cards and time out a quick animatic.

So currently I'm looking at doing my animatic. I'll be scanning my files and timing it out in AfterEffects. I'll be looking for rough sound as well. I'm also building a new title card for my animation studio. "Yeah Ya Did" Studios. It's something I might use to label my cartoons in the future.

After that I'll be roughing my animation. Throwing it in flash designing my characters, and basically finalizing my look.

Things that are working is me following my schedule. It's like I'm in a routine now. I'm excited to start animation. Also, just gathering as much inspiration as possible really has been helping me a lot.

Things that aren't working are keeping myself separated from video games. I have to focus my two things I'm passionate about and it's been hard juggling both so I think I just need to make some adult decisions and but games on the back burner for a while.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

2 weeks in!

Hey you guys! Welcome back.
I just kinda want to talk a bit about what's been going on lately.
On Friday I escaped town and ended up in Phoenix for the Amazing Arizona Con!

I had a personal goal to talk to the artists there and find out what they did to transition from student / non-professional to professional / independent artists.

I spent a lot of time looking around at their wares and work, there was a lot of impressive people! The advice started sounding the same. There are components to becoming successful. It seems the major thing is to do what you love. Every artist clearly said that if you're doing what you love then it's never work and it doesn't matter how you end up doing it, you'll always find a way. Another thing they said was LUCK. Yep. They were lucky and said the right thing to someone at sometime or another and it got them mentioned for something bigger. So to say that clearly, NETWORKING, not so much luck. I saw what they meant. There was a lot of stuff and I ended up learning some valuable stuff just by creating conversation. If you think about it, they were once art students like me, or you, if you are, so they were in the same spot.

This made me think about the people who I look up to, and I saw that they all started hanging out because they all had similar goals in mind, as well as similar jokes. That made them friends, which in turn helped them produce work faster, and develop a better quality of work since they all could critique it.
This is why I love my friends. We are a group of people who inspire each other to be better and produce good work, while using each other to accomplish these goals. This is why I always push hard for critiques on my work as I'm developing ideas as well as working in full production. Advice and guidance are invaluable. It's also important to stay open minded. It's good to have a firm idea or belief but it's great to be able to mold and adapt it. It's how art stays growing and organic.

Cons are a great way to get inspired, at least for me. I came back home excited to see that I am loosely a part of this community and what shocked me the most was that these artists that I connected with had a small vested interest in my success. I guess they saw me as an equal and not some guy who's just a fan.

 Currently I'm locked in a battle of doing storyboards. As well as figuring out the events that happen to my poor protagonist. I have some good shot ideas and what not so it's a lot of writing, thinking what's funny, thinking about what happened, and then figuring out how to put it all together. Once that's done though I can throw it into AfterEffects and do an animatic, put in some scratch sound and work on my animation title card.

What I'm going to get done after this step will consist of figuring out if what I have for storyboards works. Making sure I don't linger too long on a shot, or send the wrong message with a bad shot comp. The story is a bit sad but it's about self growth and self reliance. So I hope it leaves a good feeling in your heart when it's over.

 Some things that are working right now are watching a lot of cartoons to get shot ideas.

Things that aren't working are me- It's been hard to actually break the page with my marks and get those ideas down on paper.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Senior Term!

Well, it's crazy to think that I've made it.
Everything I've ever done has lead up to this moment.
People have their eyes set on me.
It's time to chase my dreams guys!

I just recently got a laptop to do artwork on the go. It's a pretty powerful system. I just need to get some basic programs on there like Flash and Photoshop in order to be a mobile force.

I'm currently working on some senior stuff!
Sorry about the lack of posts in the past, it's just been really hard to get motivated to do stuff.
I got my watercolors home which means I can start doing some stuff that interests me as far as that goes.

This senior stuff is, hopefully, going to be pretty deep on a level that anyone can relate to.
I'm going to be doing a lot of posting here with in the next 15 weeks, and hopefully continue to post more as the year comes to a close.

So you notice how I said I'm working on my senior stuff? I'm going to tell my story.
I'm going to give the school what it is I went through to get to where I am right now, but in animated form.

Things going on with this are crazy!
I have a production schedule I'm trying to adhere to. I told myself this year isn't another one where I can procrastinate and do NOTHING all the time. It's time to do stuff! It's time to follow my dreams. It's time to be what I am meant to be. Which is a great storyteller, a good animator and a bad ass artist!
The schedule goes as follows:

Jan 15th        >        Feb 6th      >    March 5th    >     April 21st     >    May 5th
Development         Animatic          Production              Post                Final film

Now obviously, work will overflow into one another earlier or later than planned so that's always going to be a thing. As long as I understand it will get done I'll try and have as much fun as possible!

Currently I'm developing a few more ideas for my story, and essentially everything is already developed only because I have to pull from my own memories of how I got here. The pitch in class went over really well which shocked me. I need to work out how to tell the story without using any words. Now, this should be a cinch, but I just need to figure out the middle part with the conflict and how the resolution comes in and wraps it up. Nothing a little storyboarding can't help.

What I'll be tackling after that is some solid design. Since I picked Flash as my vessel, and I have my crew, it's a matter of plotting the course. I just need to figure out how to be a symbiotic entity with Flash, so I can use it to the fullest, while making some cool art. Style will dictate how my characters, backgrounds, and layout look.

Things that are working right now as far as my tasks go are setting a solid sleep schedule, work schedule, and life schedule. Juggling these things was tough in the past only because I never took things seriously enough. Nothing was life or death. This time I'm being as serious as possible. Something is just fueling me to be successful. I don't want to be someone who doesn't use their degree.

Things that aren't working... It's hard to say it but I can't decide on how to draw these characters. I just need to nail something down but I'm unsatisfied with anything that's come out of my pen. I just need to look at things that I love and maybe pull from some stuff I did in my childhood. Like my old stuffed monster companion who I'm loosely basing this off of. Another thing that hasn't worked, which I am glad for, is that my second idea was shot down. I wanted to do 3 animated pieces. Ambitious, I know! The fact that I thought I could do it was going to spread me too thin, and I'd rather have one solid piece that does exactly what I want versus 3 pieces that are mediocre.

The things that I went over for my story were received well by my peers, it's crazy to think that I can make stories with much appeal. It seems that when I actually try, I get the results.
I'm happy to see in the past that my designs and stories were appealing to all who have seen it. It excites me to do my best on this project.