Powered by a surge in views on Grave Mistake, my YouTube channel has crossed the 10,000 subscriber mark! This is an awesome achievement that I honestly never thought I'd get to hit! In celebration, I made a short video, bringing back the character that really did the heavy lifting in getting my channel to this point, using original animation assets and backgrounds from Grave Mistake, dug up from an old hard drive.
Big thanks to everyone who's clicked that subscribe button so far, and hopefully this will just be part of launching onward to bigger and better things when I do eventually make a proper return to professional animation!
So the results came in on the Royal Television Society student awards, and the winner was the environmentally conscious "A Messy State of Affairs" by Arty Hunt. A very topical film, given the Paris climate accords last December, the news that 2015 was the hottest year on record, AND the fact that Bristol was the European Green Capital for 2015.
And on top of that, all three of us nominees were interviewed by a writer from Skwigly, and our films all featured in the article! So if you fancy seeing what everyone had to say and watch the nominated films for yourself, then check that out over here!
So, the story of "Grave Mistake" is not quite over yet! Alongside hitting 10k views on YouTube, and getting noted recognition for being featured on the front page of Newgrounds (where it has another 8k views) when they introduced that new trophy, it has been nominated for the RTS Student Awards West of England in the Animation category! It faces stiff competition in the form of Frank Harper's beautifully crafted "Between the Trees", and Arty Hunt's politically charged "A Messy State of Affairs", but I still can't wait to see it up on the screen at the Watershed on February 11.
"Grave Mistake" achieved a few honours after it was posted to Newgrounds at the start of September. It won the Daily Feature, and was placed 3rd for the week - meaning that it is in the running for the Best of the Month competition at the end of September. Even if it doesn't place in the top 10, it will likely earn a slot among the runners up. It also got a score of 4.39 at it's highest point, making it the most highly rated submission to Newgrounds that I've ever done.
Newgrounds was the site that first introduced me to Flash animation back in 2005, so to receive such acknowledgement after all this time feels like vindication for everything I did up to where I am now, and encouragement to keep going on with it.
So, not only has Grave Mistake been featured on "Show Me the Animation"'s Student Showcase, but my entry to the Do It In Ten competition won this month's round! It's now in the running for the Best of the Year prize as well! So yeh, thank you to Show Me the Animation for helping my work reach more people, and thank you for selecting my entry as the winning one!
Quite possibly the last character in this film who gets a full turnaround and symbol breakdown! This is a Viking who appears about 2/3 of the way through "Grave Mistake" for a few shots. He's not too significant, but he's got enough unique animation to justify the extra effort in him that won't be placed, for example, in characters in crowd scenes.
And with only 10 animated shot elements remaining, the end is definitely in sight now...
So the composer for "Grave Mistake", Henry Mitton, yesterday sent me the first full track for the film, and it is sounding pretty damn awesome. There are still one or two instruments yet to be added, but all in all I'm really excited to be able to show you guys the finished film - it's gonna be awesome.
So yesterday I managed to reach the 85% mark on completion of animated shot elements, and finish animating both Death and the Girl, meaning that all three of the main characters have now been completely animated, 5 days ahead of when I was hoping. It's a great milestone to hit, and means I can be confident that the time I'm about to take off won't jeopardise the quality of the rest of the film.
If I get some of the smaller remaining shot elements done in the meantime then I'll be even further ahead of schedule. I had ruled out applying a texture to the film to give it a similar feel to "Under the Weather" because I didn't think I would have the time, but looking at how I'm going, I think I may have to re-evaluate that.
I'm now at a point where 70% of the animation for "Grave Mistake" is complete - and all of the Guardian's appearances have been completed. My aim is to complete the remaining shots for the two other main characters by the 25th so I can enjoy the Easter break and still have time after it to complete the shots involving extras and complete the remaining backgrounds.
So I've been getting on with the animation phase of Grave Mistake, and I'm really getting into the swing of it. My current strategy is to go through it and focus on animating one character at a time, going through their shots chronologically. It's working well so far - I'm a third of the way through the shots featuring the Girl.
While making one of the longer shots today, I found a piece of animation that, if you reverse it, looks like dancing. It was funny, so I went ahead and made it.
I asked around at uni to see if anyone else was doing anything like this with their stuff. Apparently, it's not unusual.
So, I've finally got enough symbols together to start having test animation done to see how it looks. First results are fairly promising, and incredibly reminiscent of being at Sun and Moon.
Speaking of Sun and Moon, my updated CV is now available on the Work page to view and download. Once I'm into animating the actual shots of Grave Mistake, I'll probably update it again to reflect that, but until then, consider this one the most up-to-date one.
Today I've been working on symbols for the Girl character. Already got the three key angles done. I also have the same angles for Death too, so I should be getting some animation tests done with them soon and see how it's looking.
So, after the week working at Sun and Moon, I've returned to working on "Grave Mistake", firstly focusing on symbol creation for the character of Death. I've created an assortment of mouth shapes, arm shapes, hand shapes, etc, for him that should speed up the animation process and keep him looking consistent throughout the film.
I am quite keen to move quickly into the animation portion of production, so these symbols for Death and the other two main characters may well form a reference base to draw from and use when convenient, but I don't think I'll feel too badly about breaking off from the symbols for the sake of better animation.
Another thing I'm keen to get out of the way is the backgrounds, but that's more just because I don't particularly enjoy creating backgrounds so I want to get it out of the way as quickly as possible.
The animatic for "Grave Mistake" is complete! Not only that, but I've redone the website I had set up for it due to the hand-in of work today, so it now includes a bunch of the other preproduction work I've done on it. With credits, it's almost exactly 4 minutes long, but I think I can manage. I'm already in contact with a musician willing to work on it, so that's a plus.
If you don't mind spoilers, the animatic will be embedded below the Read More!
I'm at 1:28 of the animatic so far for my final film, "Grave Mistake", a film about Death trying to undo the mistake of reaping the wrong person. I'm aiming for the film to be around 3:30, but it's currently looking to hit more around 4:00 given how far through the story I am at this point. I'm pretty pleased with the cinematic angles I'm managing to include, and the story's becoming more solid by the day.
Ok, so there's a lot going on to talk about at the moment! Firstly, quick note, "This is Normal" is still updating on schedule, so the most recent comic went up yesterday. Go check that out!
Onto the main stuff, I have here a small gallery of sketches done in preparation for "Is Your Fridge Running?" that were done over the summer and in September, leading into the production of the film.