Production Update 203: Script Work

Last week there was some work to do on the back end of the site, routine web maintenance, so I didn’t get a chance to update. So let’s get into it!

I started working on polishing up the script for the second episode. It has been a while since I had a chance to look at it so it was a nice time to work with it some more and get familiarized with the contents again. I got about half done with it this past week, so my goal is to finish it up by the weekend so I can get some more eyes on it to look at and see if they can poke some holes in it.

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While the script will be with a handful of people to take a look at, I will be spending the time after that to prepare for a local art show, giving Cosmic Rage the chance to get in front of more people but also to help explain the animation process to people who may not know. I am very excited to see my work hanging up in a venue again 😀

With convention season approaching, I’ve been working on getting a few panels submitted to some conventions I have planned out to travel to. Most of my convention season is going to be late summer and into the fall since this is a pretty busy summer but you will get a chance to see me at conventions in 2017!

I am starting another freelance project which is needed. Since my Patreon page hasn’t quite covered my VO costs for the second episode, I needed to pick up a project. This will also help with my convention travel this summer as well so it’s just a small price to pay. But in terms of timing it works out really well since the script will be making the rounds to trusted friends and writers and while some files will be at the print shop for the art show.

Thank you everyone for checking out the blog and as always, thank you to my Patreon supporters for their continued support!

 

 

 

Production Update 201: Back to Work!

Lot’s of things have been going on so I haven’t been on the blog as much as I would have liked to for the month of February. However, things have calmed back down and we’ve got some catching up to do. So much, it required a video update. Take a look!

Production Update 199: Back At It

Hey everyone, my apologies for the multiple week break here. I’ve been hard at work putting in some extra hours and also started a new session of teaching assisting so everything kinda bottlenecked a bit over that period of time.

I have some personal things to get caught up on this week but my goal is to get back to my lip syncing animation tests and doing some work on planning the upcoming convention season as well.

Stay tuned and thank you for your support!

Work Break

Hey everyone! Things have been a little quiet on the update front last week. I have a lot of work I am catching up on so I need to take a break from the blog for probably a week or two to catch up on some work and I need about every waking hour I can get on some of these projects. I will get back at it as soon as I can and look forward to continuing work on episode two and animations tests.

Thanks again for the support, it is greatly appreciated!

Production Update 198: Pause

It has been a little bit of a rough past week. I ended up tabling my animation tests due to migraines all week. The previous week before I had a cold and a sinus infection and I am not sure if the subsequent migraines were a result of just getting back to full health or if they are part of something else. I have been exploring a new diet recently to see if that will help, it seems like when I try new things to see if they work it solves the problem but then it comes back. It could also be a result of not being able to get out doors and naturally spending more time in front of the screen too. I am going to find a solution to this.

On the animation test front though, I completed a minor test that I mentioned before, using 4 mouth shapes of dialogue scenes. The next test I want to do involves using 7 shapes and seeing if that offers a more fluid solution. My aim is to render these scenes out side by side and share them.

This past week I also started a new session for teaching assisting through School of Motion, something I have been doing for a year now. I love to help get people into animation and that is what I love doing at School of Motion. My aim is to bring some of that animation eduction to Cosmic Rage as well, I am still working out the best solution for that. But this also allows me to build up some funds to cover the recent tablet I purchased and also going to help cover costs of VO for episode two along with funds from Patreon.

I really appreciate all of your patience as I get back into the full swing of things this week.

Production Update 196: Animation Test 3

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday break! My holiday break was much needed. It offered me a nice chance to unplug for a bit and get away from the computer. I spent some time over the break doing some reading and playing some new board and card games which I always enjoy. After several attempts, my family and I were able to complete Oregon Trail and we even got in a good game of Walking Dead Risk, which saw so many zombies take over that we had to use colored trucks that come with the game to make up all of the zombies because we ran out of game pieces.

I scored some goodies for Christmas, some new anime and manga. On the anime front I got some new movies and series like Death Parade, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Coppellion. I got two more volumes of Bakuman, which I need to complete the series. I have a few more volumes I need to get as well. I even got the Archer art book too, which offers a lot of information on the history and process of the show. But enough about the holidays, let’s dive into the first production update of 2017!

I wrapped up my final animation test this past week. I spent some time experimenting around with a new plug in for After Effects called Paint and Stick. It offers the artist the ability to draw frame by frame within After Effects. I loved the idea of that, since I work with the program daily but I didn’t like the brush set within it. On the surface, it doesn’t appear that  have full control over the brush like I would have with Photoshop. I can do a lot of the other things in Paint and Stick as I can do within Photoshop, such as creating various layers, coloring and more. However, part of my hesitation to fully commit to Paint and Stick, is the unknown of future updates and workflows. So with this in mind, I am going to do my in depth animation tests using the Anim Dessn extension for Photoshop. I will post these up when I get them done. I am going to start tonight on my first test, and working with some lip syncing tools to get more mouth movements for the characters.

On a similar note, as much as I love my Wacom Intros tablet, it was time for me to upgrade. I ordered up a Cintiq this past week so I have more control over my drawings in the second episode and also for frame-by-frame drawing. I am very excited to get started with this new tool. I will use this on one of the other animation tests I will be working on in January.

Finally, I also have been doing a bit of reading this past week too. I recently ordered a book called Independent Animation by Ben Mitchell. It covers a wide range of elements in independent animation, ranging from music videos, collaboration, funding and more. I am about 25% done with the book. I have really been enjoying it so far and it’s quite nice to hear another perspective on the independent animation scene. I will be offering up a full review once I get it completely read.

Thank you for your continued support!

Production Update 195: Animation Test Part 2

Another week, another animation test. I love testing out new workflows and seeing if there are areas that I can improve and make more efficient. I’m really excited to test out the potential winning workflow and give it a more in depth look. Last week I explored Adobe Animate or the equivalent of Flash.

This week I dove into Adobe Photoshop to do some testing. There is a tool available online called AnimDessin, which gives the artist more of a traditional timeline and tools set, similar to Flash/Animate. Things such as onion skinning, inserting blank frames with the click of a button and more. The appeal of this workflow versus last weeks is the fact that I can use a variety of brushes to help get a more traditional look, some nice line qualities and importing these files into After Effects is going to be much easier. So far I am leaning towards this workflow but I still have one more to test out.

The remaining workflow is a unique one, using a tool called Paint and Stick in After Effects.  This tool let’s you draw frame by frame right in After Effects. My initial concerns center around brushes and file sizes. On the plus side, if I have any issues, I can hopefully resolve them right in After Effects.

It was a pretty good weekend to do some animation tests, we had some very frigid weather and snow that needed to be removed when things warmed up ever-so slightly. I went to see an animated documentary called Tower, which I am going to be reviewing this week yet before the holidays. Check out the trailer below, and come back mid-week for a review of the film!

Production Update 194: Animation Tests

I spent most of last week getting caught up on some work and other random things that have been piling up. So my plan this week is to execute some animation tests and explore a couple different workflows. The purpose of these types of tests is not only determine the best software to use but also the most efficient way to layer artwork, composite and the overall look and mood of each scene. In terms of animation, I will still use the same aesthetic or look as the first episode, characters done in 2D and the environments will be done in 3D. However, I want to push the character animation farther and that requires a bit of planning ahead so I don’t come across any limitations in production.

I will release some videos for each of the workflow tests I have been doing as well. Hopefully by sharing these I can shed some insight into other to the animation process for other animators but also if I am overlooking something, then someone can also help me out.

The first animation test I did was a combination between Adobe Animate (used to be Flash) and After Effects. I used to use Flash when I was in college so I have some familiarity with it. Some of my initial thoughts are, while I enjoy the timeline and being able to see the keyframes, I am not entirely sold on the brush or pencil tool in that program. That might be the deciding factor, but we’ll see. Like I said before, I will do a video soon about my exploration.

The next workflow I am going to explore is going to be a new plug in for After Effects, called Paint and Stick. This allows for frame by frame animation inside of After Effects with a visible timeline for each frame. My initial thought is that it also supports brushes from photoshop, so I can have more of that hand drawn feeling as opposed to the clean vector look of Animate. My concern however, with this workflow, is that file size could get out of control. All of the Paint and Stick data is saved outside of After Effects. If my initial testing looks like this is going to be the route to go, I will do a little bit more of an in depth animation test to see if I can gauge how large files could get.

Production Update 193: Con-Season Recap and the Future

The 2016 con season has reached it’s conclusion for Cosmic Rage. It has been a successful year debuting Cosmic Rage at a variety of conventions. I’ll recap the convention season and discuss what the future holds for Cosmic Rage as well as planning for Episode 2.