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.