Sunday, March 22, 2009

Looks like my spring break's over.

Dang, new quarter already and I still haven't finished animating Jacquestar. It's that ooooooone scene in the very beginning of the second sequence that just doesn't want to leave that very-very-very-rough animatic stage. I really should have finished the thing back in France. Darn those final projects getting in the way of the funnies!

I want to finish it before I get to the point where I've been doing so much animating that it tumbles into that "old stuff that is so old it's embarrassing to look at" category. I lose so many projects that way.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Process in a Nutshell

Oh sweet Oz, where to begin? During this project I found that I work best in Montgomery Hall...or really, anywhere except my residence, which I learned the hard way. It helps to surround myself with people who are working just as hard as I am. I would have definitely spent more weekends at Monty, though two of those lost weekends, I had personal matters to attend to that I honestly couldn't avoid.

And although everyone says not to wait until the last minute to do your work, there is definitely something about that Finals Weekend atmosphere that just pumps you with adrenaline. The clicking of keys reverberating down the screen-lit halls as somehow people find the time to wander about and see what everyone else is just don't get that during the regular season.

I pretty much did everything, and I mean everything, directly in Flash. My layouts are in the flash document that eventually progressed into my final project. Because computers have this overwhelming tendency to corrupt my files for no good reason whatsoever, I saved versions (the latest of which is in the dropbox). I had about six, luckily I didn't run into much trouble.

I also think it was smart of me to break my production schedule down into hours instead of weeks. It helped alleviate the stress a bit and allowed for more flexibility. If it had been week-by-week, I would have mentally beaten myself up every time I missed a deadline...which would have been inevitable.

Flash is sooooooo much nicer than Maya.

D-Day Has Arrived

Dang. There were a metric ton of cuts and I still managed to keep the song intact.

Even if the final product doesn't fare too well grade-wise, and even if I randomly change keys in the middle of the song in that nasal prelude to what I think might have been a disease, that little video made a lot of people laugh at the pinnacle of Finals Weekend even in its half-finished state, which has got to count for something. If anything, I know my audience.

In fact, while I was animating this...I kind of formulated a parody of Alan Jackson's Midnight in Montgomery...

EDIT: Crap, this upload quality just plain sucks.
If anyone knows how to make it less sucky, please let me know asap!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Coffee Break

My performing arts class rocks. I doubt any of them will even see this, but they've all done wonders for morale-boosting in terms of this project and are definitely going in the "Special Thanks" part of my credits. I strongly advise everyone in animation to take at least one performing arts class with Martin Noyes, just because you learn a lot there.

And there are weapons. Lots and lots of weapons. Mark Tymchyshyn's class was fun too even if there were noticeably less weapons involved.

Either way I am kind of glad my production schedule was measured in hours and not specific dates because I sort of knew I'd be floundering about the last few days in a state of panic. In retrospect I should have allowed about three hours for "caffeine consumption, self-doubt, and sheer panic." And I think I severely underestimated the amount of time it would take to do the backgrounds, especially the really simple ones, though most of the time it took for those was really more like "stare at blank flash screen and mentally spaz."

Wait. I don't think I ever scanned in my schedule. Ampersand-pound-percent!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Do You Hear the People Sing?

Of course not, there is no singing in Montgomery! :P

The backgrounds are done. My recording has a cruddy microphoneish quality to it and my first line's totally flat but it's better than anything I can possibly do now. My voice is completely shot. I'm probably still sick.

Right now I'm setting the backgrounds into a new flash file so all I have to do is plop in the characters...which means that yes, I am done with scene four. This is going to be the most epic Finals Week card EVER.

Monday, March 2, 2009

One Day More!

Okay, okay, enough is enough!

I tried for another Vault again today but the same deal was going down with the machine. The Vault was there but the apparatus kept telling me it was sold out. That thing is clever, I'll give it that...hoarding the drinks all for itself. I doubt it even realizes it doesn't have a mouth.

So Byte wasn't even OPEN. There was this immense line just waiting by the entrance. They finally let us in at 7:40, which is completely ridiculous, and THEY didn't even have Vault. They had Mello Yello, but it just doesn't feel the same so I got a Coke. Besides, a name like 'Mello Yello' doesn't sound particularly caffeinated, even though it probably does have more than Coke. I guess I just wasn't in the mood for citrus. By that time I just stopped caring and didn't want to have to risk getting a coke out of that machine, the way it keeps telling everyone it's sold out. The guy at the counter let me cut and get my Coke because I was getting nothing else, so at least they're doing something right.

And to top it off the file on my USB drive got corrupted when Monty got mad at me for making fun of him. I lost everything I did in Flash this weekend, which thankfully wasn't much, no thanks to that disease I can't quite seem to shake, yet non-thankfully wasn't much, simply because it...well...wasn't much. The song is still there. Backgrounds 1-7 are still there. I'll live.