Lots of blood, sweat and tears…..mostly over Animate crashing and problems trying to get After Effects to do the most simple of things.
It’s cheesy, full of old lazy drawings and animation that could be punchier…. but I learnt so much while making it. It’s pretty emotional for me to share it finally since I spent a lot of late nights working on this.
After some time working in the industry and improving my draftsmanship, plus seeing how Disconnected was well received on Youtube, I’ve gotten even more fired up about animation. Not even the concept of animation as a commercial thing, but the idea of actually having a go and making it myself. Even if my drawings are lumpy it’s really exhilarating to make my own stuff. My only goals I set when starting this was to make a new film and get better at animating so I think I can say I did that.
I learnt about planning and approaching animation in a much more efficient and smarter way, picked up some new After Effects tricks to speed up stuff. Even if it doesn’t look like much, I chipped away at this for a looonng time, I started it mid 2017 to be precise, so I’m not so proud of most of the scenes lol. I really wanted to stick to my gut and try and create a believable animated world the best I could within the duration of this story. I could’ve spent a few more months polishing backgrounds and re-doing animation like an absolute lunatic but honestly, saying something is finished is a skill in itself.
Also I guess I was haunted by teachers telling me you’ll have no time to make your own animations once you’re out working in the industry, so I wanted to prove people like that completely wrong. Don’t tell people they can’t make things just because you don’t. Some people make the time to make stuff because its’ what they love.
I initially story boarded this to Chrysalis Heart (Stereojackers vs Mark Loverush remix) by Delerium but once I decided I wanted to make it a real thing, I found a song that was instrumental and more suitable. I got permission from an amazing musician Onoken to use this song. I found his work through all the online searching I do to find good Touhou fan music, So I guess you can say my Touhou obsession indirectly got me somewhere. I thought i’d have more to say since I worked on this forever, but my brain is mostly mush so I gotta just binge shows and draw fanart guilt free for a looooong time now.
Also PS. the lanky character is a Bilby. That’s my way of getting a bit of Australiana into an otherwise fantasy story.
Here’s an odd assortment from ‘recent’ sketchbooks from late last year up until now, I thought I’d share before they get too old.
A little rambling update on my film progress.
It’s been a little tough finding time to work on my project this last month. I’ve actually been trying to manage my intensity of working on my film just because I do better work when I give myself breaks. On the plus side I’m on the last stretch of animating!! Polishing up 85+ backgrounds pieces to my liking however, will be a whole new level of perfectionism for me.
I’m really glad that people like the animation clips Iv’e shared, but I’m going to probably share less until it’s finished. This is just because the way I work involves jumping all over the place. Nothing is ever truly as polished as it could be until I get absolutely sick of it. I like to see how each scene correlates to others, even from when they are still just rough storyboards. Keeping characters palettes consistent (bless tagged swatches in Animate), making backgrounds consistent, making characters interact with things/others…etc. I was not prepared for the unending list of challenges that have arisen after working on this. Oh, and animating chains, yes I have attempted to sloppily animate chains. I want to write a more coherent post on all the thoughts that have blipped through my head through making this, but I’ll save that for after I’m done and deserve time to contemplate on it! WordPress is a more constructive and thoughtful place for me to share my thoughts, as opposed to social media, eck.
I also have a tendency to get distracted staying up past midnight making clouds and stars move or adding particles in After Effects, often when I have to be up for work the next morning*. I forget it’s an approximately 2 second long shot that people will probably only watch once and shrug at. *Yeah that’s what I mean about managing stress mostly, getting enough sleep.
I see a lot of artists online preaching about ‘setting deadlines’ and ‘finishing what you start’. Yeah yeah, preach on. For me this has been about the journey of making more of my own animations, in my own style, in my own idiosyncratic ways. I realised long ago that you can’t just sit around twiddling your thumbs waiting for a guardian angel to float down to bless you with a sweet salary in order to animate your OCs. Life is so short, just make things and block out the excuses some people use to not create. Meeting deadlines for a living is stressful yes. Life is big fat stressy. That’s why it’s great to just work on something at your own pace and explore a multitude of ideas through making it. Also, I still haven’t gotten YouTube Partnership advertising whatnot sorted, so I’ll worry about finishing content once I have that.
It’s daunting to start to see the light at the end of the tunnel for this project. All I can hope is when I’m done with it, all the effort I’ve put into every frame is at least mildly fun for people to watch.
On a side note here’s a odd assortment from ‘recent’ sketchbooks from late last year up until now. I thought I’d share before they get too old and I never post this article. Buying a scanner has changed my life. Don’t let grumpy Officeworks staff say you’re fool for wanting to buying a scanner. Keep creating, stay humble and thanks for reading~
Another year is starting to come to an end, so I thought I might as well ramble a bit about art things I did this year. For starters, I storyboarded all year on Harvey Street Kids, a DreamworksTV Show that will be coming out in 2018! I’ll get to update the ole’ portfolio with actual professional board work next year yay! It will be crazy to see the show finally out there. Another big thing for me was I committed to making a new short animated film, as I’ve mentioned in other posts. It’s 4 min long and I’m trying to keep mostly to myself until It’s all finished, but I cant resist sharing a gif or two.
I found it tough to get the ball rolling for this film. I only recently started sharing tidbits of it and that has been pretty reinvigorating and reassuring, since I forget I’m my own worst and most brutal critic when it comes to my art. Committing to a new project has made me realise that dammit, things are worth making if you love making them. To worry less and MAKE MORE ART is something I’ve tried to remind myself to do. It still has a long way to go but now that I’ve coloured most of the film, it’s starting to take shape and look a bit more ‘cinematic’ and polished, mostly due to fiddling around in After Effects.
Yes hand drawn animation takes a long time, especially just by yourself. I could rant about the process more but that’s time better spent animating. Animation is tedious and takes alot of blood, sweat and tears however it’s also insanely rewarding to see it start to come together and see drawings take on a life of their own. I’m super grateful to all the people who have given me kind words of encouragement along the way, you know who you are. 🙂
I feel like my attitude on art and stories has evolved a lot this year. People have commented on my improvements in my storyboards, but it’s great when you notice changes within yourself. Alright enough rambling for one post, I get carried away since I’m way too excited for what the next year has in store! Wishing anyone who read this the best for the new year, bring it on, 2018!
I participated in the Global Game Jam held at the AIE here in humble ol’ Adelaide last weekend. The theme was ‘ritual’ and I worked in a team with 3 super talented programmers, all of which I met at the mixer only hours before the jam. It was an amazing experience to say the least. We crafted a RPG of 9 levels with enemies that attack you, healing items and two alternate endings, all in under 48 hours! I hadn’t done pixel art in years, not since I used to own a copy of paint when I was 10 but I had a ridiculous amount of fun crafting pixel sprites for level tiles and objects. I think level design is my new addiction.
Our team won the ‘Best Art’ award and we are all determined to continue working on the game. I would say more about what I learnt from the experience and yada yada, but I think a successful game jam depends on having dedicated and awesome team. You can download the awesome game we submitted right here and follow us on itch.io for news. Over and out!