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.