A few months ago I started short animation in homage to the Touhou Project game “Mystic Square”. I’m a massive long time Touhou Project overall (2013 was ages ago yall’).
Not everyone can appreciate the sheer adrenaline rush from playing the games, they almost always have a masterful soundtrack that accompanies absolutely B R U T A L gameplay. The joy I get from Touhou is hard to express, but animation is the most perfect medium to try doing so. Here are just some progress GIFS. Can’t say if I’ll finish it since I tend to drop interest in long projects like a hot potato lol, and I feel like the animation is already outdated. Onto other things.
Wanted to do a small post wrap up about my Global Game Jam Adelaide experience this year! The theme was ‘What home means to you’ but my team just honed in on the word home.
We created a point-and-click adventure style game called ‘Home Inspectre‘. Our team got dialogue, pushing objects, inventory systems in it in under 48hours. I’m really happy with the project since I was finally able to do what I do best, full handrawn character animation! I hadn’t even touched Unity before but since the jam but now see how a little bit of knowledge goes a long way for artists.
Game jams always inspire me to keep pushing my art ability, learn new skills and do more collaborating. Over and out!
Heres a short loop with an character I was writing a story about, named Silence by the way since people seem to ask for what my characters are named. Starting to get my wings back experimenting with my own animations, pun intended. Trying to keep things short and simple and get a faster pipeline for my own stuff, cause handrawn is hard yo!
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.
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~