Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Thank You, Gary Vaynerchuk!

A new production record was set! I completed Episode 07 in a record 7 days. I saw an opportunity to knock the scenes out and I took it.

The reason I've doubled my efforts recently is because of the man whose name is in the title of this post, Gary Vaynerchuk.

Gary is an entrepreneur with a simple message: if you're complaining about your life, start fixing it with hard work and patience. It's a message that speaks loudly to me and one in which I have a deep belief.

After watching some of his videos, I realized that I wasn't working hard enough. I THOUGHT I was doing everything I could to complete this project but the REALITY was that I wasn't. I was working hard but not hard enough.

Once I decided to hustle harder, I completed two episodes in record time AND I'm now on track to complete this project on my Choice A deadline, Dec. 31, 2016.

Here's Gary on hard work and patience:

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Universe of Trouble Episode 07 Storyboard

"A Universe of Trouble" Episode 07 storyboard (I still call it "The Repairman" on the storyboard sheets because it's less to write.)

My production pace has picked up and improved.

Episodes 01-03 were the true learning experience episodes. I was beginning to figure out how I wanted the series to look and how to create that look.

Episodes 04 and 05 took less time and involved more pre-production and use of other artists' artwork and the 3D program Cheetah3D.

Episode 06 flew mainly because it didn't have a lot of scenes.

I'm about to begin production of Episode 07 with an efficient system in place. The main part of this system is reusing art and animation from previous scenes. For example, I may draw a new Repairman figure but I won't paint her. Instead, I copy the painted parts from other pieces of art and paste it into the new drawing. That saves a tremendous amount of time in not only painting but retouching as well.

I keep reminding myself that this IS a learning experience, I'm not an expert and this is a normal part of the creative process. And with this new system in place, I'm more likely to complete this project at my preferred deadline—Dec. 31, 2016—as opposed to the B deadline of May, 2017.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

F.O.C.U.S--Follow One Course Until Successful from Tyler Perry

This is one of my new mantras. I got it from Tyler Perry:

This wass a HUGE mistake I made 15 years ago. I was trying to do too many things at once and the result was that NOTHING got done! Now, it's simple: I'm making a web series and I'm practicing my drawing. That's. It. And already I've seen results and improvement.

Follow one course until successful.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Four Lessons Learned While Creating an Animated Web Series

Now that I've completed 5 of the 18 episodes for my web series "A Universe of Trouble," a few lessons have been learned:

1.  Reuse/Re-purpose Art

For the first 2 episodes, I did a lot of drawing and watercolor painting of the art. It wasn't until I got to episodes 03 and 04 that I realized that I should stop thinking of every scene as a new painting and should instead think of how I could reuse an old painting. Instead of physically painting new art, I simply cut and pasted the textured paint from old art into the new art. And we're done! Also, with every new episode, I try to reuse art and/or animation from another scene whenever possible to save the time of creating something new. If, however, the only solution to telling the best story is to create new art, then I design the easiest solution.

This works best if each element (for example, eyes, eyebrows, eyelashes, etc.) are kept on separate layers. Then the individual layer can be altered without affecting other parts.

This was drawn and painted for Episode 01, Scene 03.

This is the same art as the previous for Episode 03, Scene 14. Instead of drawing and painting it again in a new position, all adjustments were made in Photoshop

2.  Important to Stay On-Model

Despite having made a model sheet, after the 3rd episode it became obvious that the Old Man character was looking different in almost every scene and in every episode! It was such a glaring mistake that I took one week of my staycation to fix it. I was annoyed that I had not kept the character on-model in the first place but I was pleased with the results of making him more consistent. Now those episodes look a little less amateurish. Now I know that I need to carefully stay on-model or simply reuse the old art in order to maintain the character's consistent look.

Yes, all of these are supposed to be the same guy! This is how the Old Man looked in different scenes in Episodes 01 and 02. Although I like all of these variations and his look improved with time, since the majority of the art looked like the top, far left version, I made that the standard to which all the others would be matched.

3.  Let Go of Perfection

This was one of the easier lessons to learn. Once I saw how long each episode was taking, knowing I had 18 of these to complete, I stopped being precious with details and instead focused on "good enough" remembering that my goal is simply to get the work out into the world to the best of my ability.

4.  Create a Plan of Attack

Before starting Episode 05, I went through the entire storyboard and planned how each scene would be approached. I determined which scenes needed drawing, painting, digital retouching, 3D art, stock illustration and stock videos. Then once I got to each scene, I had already started thinking about it and the solutions and output came faster. Pre-production is just as important as production.

Those are all of the lessons for now. I'm sure there'll be more as this continues.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Universe of Trouble--Episode 05 COMPLETED!

I've gotten so into grinding and hustling to get these episodes completed that I've neglected the blog.

No more!

Episode 05 is now completed:

Repairwoman checking her location.

Flying Eye remote camera leaves repair ship.

Flying Eye traveling over terrain of mysterious planet.

Production on Episode 06 has begun!

"A Universe of Trouble" Episode 06 storyboard.