Production Update 139: Newsletter!

It has been an awesome week continuing to see voice over auditions role in for the characters that have been announced. I feel so humbled to receive so many kind words about the project and also hearing all of the talent providing their spin on the characters. Very awesome stuff!

So this week I have been working on some freelance work again. Once I get the first episode of Cosmic Rage wrapped up, I want to take it on the road to plenty of conventions next year, so this is all travel money getting banked at this point. I have also been helping out the Sioux Falls anime club (SALM) getting some artwork done for a mini one day convention in August. It’s great to help them out and see the club’s growth over the last year I have been hanging out with them and watching anime.

So what did I get done on the Cosmic Rage front? I got back into animating the current scene I am working on. I swapped between 2 shots, I am hoping to find enough time in between freelance work to get them and others finished up. The rest of the character profile packets are made for the voice overs too. Now it is just a matter of releasing them and organizing auditions.

I also have some exciting news. You may also notice a newsletter feature on the right side of the webpage. That’s right, now you can sign up for a monthly newsletter and get some exclusives sent right to your inbox! The newsletter will be a way to have a bit more involvement with the project and also a way for me to interact a bit more with the fan base.  Some content would probably include more behind-the-scenes content and also more polls and voting.

Production Update 138: Behind the Scenes Work

It’s been a bit of a behind-the-scenes type week here. I have been wrapping up character profile packets for all of the characters that will eventually be posted up online for the voice over talent. With that, I need to post around to message boards, send emails and reach out to other people to help get the word out about the opening of auditions.

This week I am getting back to animating the scene I was working on a couple weeks ago. The other goal this week is to unveil 3 more characters that will be open for auditions. I will also be doing some freelance work this week.


Production Update 137: Audition Information on the Way

Worked on a bit of freelance work this week. All income from these projects go towards Cosmic Rage production and promotion during the con season. So with that in mind, let’s dive into Cosmic Rage work!

This week (outside of the freelance work), I was able to wrap up the scene building and light compositing work. So what does that mean? Well, in the current scene I am working on, it features Zeth and Fenix fighting. These scenes require me to build the audiences for the shots. With building the audience, I need to layer the artwork so the crowd fits behind the ring and other objects (compositing). I will get more into this type of work in a behind-the-scenes post.

I am ready to begin animating these shots hopefully this week. However, before I get to that, I need to wrap up audition packets for potential voice actors. I have a character map left to build and then I can start promoting auditions, which should be later this week. I want to have a few people look over them and make sure all of the information I have would be things the talent would need before auditioning. So look for those and more information regarding the voice acting auditions later this week!

Behind the Scenes Part 1: The Beginning and How I Became an Animator

I asked and you voted. The winner of the poll was more behind-the-scenes content on Cosmic Rage. So let’s jump down the rabbit hole and go back in time a bit.

I wanted to share how I even became an animator in the first place. It’s not very often a kid that grows up on a farm in the midwest turns animator. As a kid, I was always fascinated by moving pictures. My core consisted of Disney movies (especially Robin Hood), Bruce Timm’s Batman (which still holds up today as a series) and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (which doesn’t hold up).

In school I read a lot but when it came to book orders, I always ordered drawing books and would try my best at replicating Garfield, Monsters and anything else I could. I worked to blend things I learned from the stories I read with the drawings. My first attempt at writing a book came when I was in the 4th grade. I don’t mean a short story, I mean a full length novel.

After moving to small city, my interests started changing. As I prepared to set off for college I planned on becoming a teacher. During my final semester in high school, I had all the credits I needed to graduate. I contemplated graduating early and either working for a semester before college or just starting early. In the end, I decided to stay in high school but I was going to take a lot of art classes. The reason, a show called Dragonball Z.

I was so fascinated with a show that killed characters off, and included so many side characters that played vital roles. The good guy didn’t always win. I was amazed. These were the types of stories I wanted to watch. Ones that weren’t predictable. Ones that had a robust world and cast. To this day, the fact that Goku learned the Spirit Bomb so early in the show but didn’t actually use it to defeat a villain until the end of the series is brilliant.

In that short semester I changed directions and decided to pursue art. My first couple years in college I didn’t really know what area of art to get into. I bounced around a few colleges. In my first year at South Dakota State University (SDSU) (and third year of college) I actually had a teacher ask me where I was planning on going to school the next year. After that I knew I found home.

I studied Graphic Design for a couple years. As I got closer to graduating, I decided to take a semester off from the design courses and take some art education courses and also took the first animation class at SDSU that was offered to me. I couldn’t take it the year before because I didn’t have the proper classes taken. The success of these somewhat experimental animation classes opened the doors for SDSU to start an animation certification program. I committed to animation just a mere 2 classes away from graduating with my graphic design degree (hence why I am going back this fall to finish it).

I graduated from SDSU with my degree in General Art, but an emphasis in drawing and animation. My animation class was a mere 4 students but we were a talented bunch. At this time I started experimenting around with different platforms to tell the Cosmic Rage story. I started off working in a graphic novel format. My first attempt at a graphic novel was actually an entry in TokyoPops Rising Stars of Manga competition. I took a few independent studies in college and put together a small graphic novel (around 40 pages).

I loved drawing the characters but longed for things to move. It was when I was living in Minneapolis that I would stumble across another show that would change the course of Cosmic Rage.

Production Update 136: Post-4th of July Recap

Last week I mentioned that I wanted to get some artwork colored and also wanted to get all of the crowds composited into the shots that make up this scene. I didn’t get that done this week, but that is because I picked up a freelance project to work on to continue to fund the project. So I logged hours during the week and weekend on that project. With that said, I did get the piece of artwork colored that I needed to and I also was able to get some crowd work done, just not all of it. I have 3 shots left, which I aim to wrap up tomorrow night.

I spent most of the holiday weekend working in the garden. I had a lot of weeding to catch up on and I also needed to build a couple supports for a few plants that are growing. Both garden plots look really awesome now and should now just require the occasional weeding session instead of an entire day.

On the actual day of the 4th, I went hiking at Split Rock Creek State Park in Minnesota. It was a nice little park that had a dam you could check out and also about 3 miles of trails to hike. I would like to go camping at the park sometime before the fall. After hiking, we came back to Sioux Falls and worked in our gardens again.

Finally on Sunday I spent some time on the freelance project and also went to the garden for a bit and did some cooking. I spent the later part of the day working on Cosmic Rage and getting caught up on a bunch of small things that have piled up. The goal was to free myself up for the week to work on Cosmic Rage. Building crowds tomorrow and then looking to get into animation!