Sunday, March 22, 2009

:: it's my birthday and i'll try if i want to ::


I'm not getting any younger, but I'm getting more pissed off that I'm so effing lazy and wasting too much time doing trivial BS.

so on this blog I've pledged a lot of "i'll get this done in such and such" sort of things and haven't done jack. Or I've attempted overly ambitious learning things like "the megabrain" that fell apart.

I have a new idea. But this time I'm going to need help getting it together.

It's a little looser and not as totally stringent as far as education goes and it works in a few steps.

This was the goal of "The Megabrain" but i never made it far enough, and I kept it a secret. Now I don't freaking care so I'm putting it out there.

Thanks to a lot of animation gurus out there we have tons of animation resources. one of my favorite blogs out there is Kevin Langley's Model Sheet Blog. This is an insane resource of magical goodness! And a while back Kevin was awesome enough to send me some extra Avery model sheets.

Here's what I think we should do if we want to learn [because I'm totally burnt out with doing clunky flash animation and not learning anything about how things should ideally be done...i've spent more time lately figuring out how to repair a gramophone than trying to find work...]

I'm going to look into a meeting space for this to happen. And we can come up with a schedule that won't screw with work and real life outside of cartoons too much.

Step 1) Get people together who are sick of this $#&% we are doing all day for work and want to get better at real animation. [I've got quite a library of people from all the other times i've said this, so i'll get on getting in touch!]

Step 2) Find model sheets [preferably more than one] of an awesome well constructed, preferably avery character or 2, using resources like kevin's site: Model Sheet Blog

Step 3) Learn those damn model sheets without injecting your "personal style" into them. Compare notes and get super aggro crit from your peers. but super posi reinforcement too!

Step 4) Animate a walk or 8 with that character you now know how to draw "on model". crit again you slob* [* talking in the third person here]!

Step 5) Settle on a general setting, bookend story and framing/field with the crew. [the actual animation of the bookend can come later/last]

Step 6) Come up with ideas for blackout gags. Scribble and loosely board. Compare notes with your totally brutal cohorts. Make sure there's no crossover, make them funnier. Just make sure that they're staged similarly and that they are in the setting allowed by the bookend.

Step 7) Settle on a general tempo for all the blackout gags. That's right i went there TEMPO. If you change tempo within your chunk then change it back by the end. I'll go though this when we get there.

Step 8) Layout ya jerk!

Step 9) CHART THAT $#!% OUT! I don't care if it's 2009, use charts and stop whining* [again third person]. "but i can just go into flash and set keys why do i need an exposure sheet?" first of all...are you really going to make your director go into every flash file and set keys? are you that lonely? you need his personal touch? Put it on an X-sheet, you've got the tempo, so you know it will sync with the music track if one is added. use that as a guide for your major actions, feel free to deviate but listen to a metronome and see how it flows. impacts that fall off the musical beat will be more surprising than those that fall on. it'll help create a subconscious flow. once it's charted, you can get someone to help you inbetween, or at least have a handy reference guide in case flash explodes [or preferably the paper you're working on spontaneously combusts]

Step 10) 9 and 10 go together, but key it up!

Step 11) now that you've actually planned you can get inbetween know what...go do that! buddy system! let's trade amongst ourselves and inbetween other people's scenes. don't leave more than 3 drawings for the inbetweener. Karma is a bitch.

Step 12) Let's put these suckers together!

Step 13) Let's figure out a way to bookend our retarded gags. Setup ASAP then gag it up! Then resolve in the most absurd way possible. Iris out.

Step 14) Apply the same things we've learned in making our blackout gags in a larger scale. The setup will probably have more character and more going on, let's work together to board it, time it out, key it, inbetween it, etc.

Step 15) We know our animation will fit with the tempo we picked, none of that matching up to a waveform bs, let's make music [we can actually have this happen simultaneously if we board to our timing and STICK TO IT which is one of the points of this exercise.]

Step 16) Clean it up if we gotta! I suck at cleanup which probably means we should!

Step 17) watch our film because we just made one and it's totally hilarious!

There it is, my...apparently 17 step plan to make a short film about nothing in particular with my friends. it's an exercise that's meant to keep each other going, have fun, make something that's animated well and actually funny. This is mostly a rant because I'm mad about getting older, but I want to do this. I think we can, possibly on paper, God forbid.

I think every few months I make an angry post, hopefully they get less general as time goes on. This one is pretty specific.

I just want to make a Blackout gag cartoon. If you don't know what that is. get out of my house.



Man has some goals..

I'd call this a mission statement...
and I wish you the best of luck with it all..


Bill Robinson said...

Happy Birthday, Tom! Also, I'm down for your 17 step plan...but from the west coast. :D

mikecarloooyeah said...

I'm in happy birthday

Peter said...

your blog has a "rant" tag. Choice.

Let's tear it up. Rock on!

Josh Frost said...

Dude you have a great style! I was wondering if you ever have done a Darth Vader? I am creating a tribute book to George Lucas called "100 Ways to the Darkside" where I am having 100 hand picked artist create Darth Vader. I would love one for the book in your style. Please let me know if your interested!

Thanks a million

- Josh

Dagan Moriarty said...

yo smo!

makin' the blog rounds (been a little while) and wanted to say hello. :)

happy belated birthday...

btw, that vader project sounds amazing... did you do one?!