The first animation is (almost) complete, I’ve asked around for some feedback and might make some changes before saying definitely, but it’s pretty much there.
The main problem I’m becoming aware of is the pace at which I’m talking in the voice over. It’s fairly rapid and dynamic, which would be fine but it’s consistently so for about 12 minutes on each recording. There is reasoning behind this; the initial first draft ended up being 45 minutes across both recordings (or would’ve been, I stopped when I realised how long it’d be). I then proceeded to work on it with the goal of cutting it down, removing all ‘unnecessary’ pauses, breaths, breaks etc to get to the point that both recordings are at now (roughly 12 minutes each). However, now I’m thinking it’s fairly relentless and consequently easy to zone out during it. I don’t know what to do about this; re-recording the second piece is a possibility but that’ll take an extra couple of days (which at this point I don’t want) but the first is far too integrated with the visuals to even attempt something like that. Thinking it through about all I can do is break it up into ‘chapters’, adding pauses and title cards at various points. At the moment the plan is to ask a few people for opinions then go back and add those gaps if need be, see how that goes. If it works decently I’ll likely do the same for the main tournament, which thinking about it might actually work quite nicely, it’s already divided into individual battles.
Realising this did make me a bit disheartened with the project. I typed this out as a draft on Wednesday evening, and I think it’s fair to say I’m over this now and happy with it all but it’s worth making a note of this I guess.
I think I’m getting to that self-doubting stage a lot of people seem to have when creating things, where you’ve put so much time and effort into something and yet it feels like the whole isn’t nearly representative of that input (or, to put it another way, you’re worried the project you’ve spent 3 months on is sh*t). There’s rough parts of the animation that I know look bad but which I can’t justify spending the time to sort out; there’s sequences that look ropey (usually character movement) where I’ve spent hours working on a fix and only mildly improved it at the expense of moving forward to a new scene. The whole project ends up ‘behind schedule’, yet still with that dodgy moment. There are parts that I really like, watching the whole thing back the animation I have accompanying Rotom Heat’s analysis is one of them (Rotom Heat is the orange oven I featured a gif of last week). My Rotom has an item (Choice Specs) to increase its attacking power and also very high speed, so I put together a sequence where it overheats, catches fire and runs around madly trying to put it out. It fits the context well, illustrating my point whilst being an effective and entertaining animation to watch. There are several moments like this that I really like and am pleased with but it’s difficult to keep things like that in perspective when you’re watching the whole thing back and just seeing the moments you didn’t get right, the things that you should go back to and ‘fix’ yet know you can’t justify the hours required to do so. Viewing the footage back it just feels a little too shoddy to me overall, and I guess that is proving discouraging. My consolation (is that the right word?) is that this will likely be viewed once by most of the target audience, and consequently won’t be scrutinised all that much.
Looking back at it I probably just needed a break and a little perspective; I have been working on this almost non-stop for about a month now, from about 10am each day through to late evening. The point I touched on at the end, about keeping perspective of who the audience will likely be and how they’ll view it, is perhaps the most useful thing to take from it. This animation is taking a long time, and whilst I anticipate a fair number of people viewing them I don’t think many of them will be re-watching them (this would almost be like a ‘disposable’ media, like a magazine or newspaper). With that in mind I think I should perhaps worry less about getting specific animations perfect and more about the whole piece; even if a section is terrible it’ll likely only last a few seconds before moving on, but it’d be more problematic if this took a month or two more to release, however perfect it might be as a result.
Anyway, enough analysis of that, here’s a Goodra running as fast as its little legs can carry it.
On a seperate note, I spent Monday in Bristol doing a variety of things (I took the time to see Boxtrolls, a film I was certain I wouldn’t be able to spare the time to see until it was on DVD) but primarily to see my cousins new house where I will be staying for a few months. The building needs quite a bit doing to it, and in the process of clearing things out in preparation this was apparently found. Whilst I was really into print making during my first year at Uni in second year I had less time for it and only visited to give tours during my final year, so its been a good while since I’ve been involved in making any of this kind of thing myself. I love the detail in these images, and this particular example you can see all kinds of little things about this street (presumably in Bristol?); the wooden support beams, shop fronts, clothing etc – my print tutors from Uni would be ecstatic about this. I remember thinking when I did some of these myself that it’d be amazing to create an animation like this; etch hundreds of images in sequence, scan, then sequence them with an audio track. It’d take forever, without a doubt, but the end result could be incredible if done well.