My newest feature animation has been released!
Watch it here:
It’s only been a day since releasing this thing to the public. Camila and I even livestreamed our animations in a pseudo movie premiere thing on Twitch. It was a lot of fun seeing everyone’s real-time comments and reactions to our work. Although I am very proud of the quality of my part of the battle, I feel the biggest achievement was that I felt very little “grind” while making it.
By grind, I mean the feeling that I was “stuck” in this project. I’ve felt this throughout most of my games and movies. When the initial spark of inspiration and motivation is gone, and you’re months into production. You begin to use the word “procrastination” a lot more.
This was definitely not the case for Gildedguy vs Jade, and I think the camaraderie was the key!
Camila (the creator of Jade) and I pushed each other to keep working these past months. We held each other accountable via live-streaming on Twitch. Whenever one of us would get tired or unable to work, the expectation was on the other to begin animating. It was great, since I knew people were watching and expecting me to work every single day. And I was glad to, because I got excellent support from Camila in the chat. And I kept her engaged when it was my turn to watch.
It’s like the “gym-partner” system, except with art!
Also, productivity went up for me:
Rhythm & Rockets: 4.5 minutes long. 7 months of hardwork. Felt like a year.
Gildedguy vs Jade: 7.5 minutes long. 6 months of “work”. Felt like a bunch of weeks.
Having a supportive art friend is very effective and I highly recommend it.
The purpose of this anim
In fact, I enjoyed our workflow so much that it influenced the ending of my animation.
You see, the overarching theme of Gildedguy vs Jade was supposed to be “break the rules”. Way back in June, I was trying to figure out what next project I should tackle. I had shown off my non-stick full-body skills in Rhythm & Rockets, and I had just finished my speed RHG against Hamen. I was a little bit lost about what to do next. All I knew was that I wanted to grow my body of work. Then Camila posted a comment on my speed rhg:
I was a hesitant about taking on a battle with such a notable stick animator (I see her as a veteran, considering how involved her works are with the RHG world). I was worried my detailed style would suffer from another speed RHG. I was also playing around with a multiplayer game prototype at the time.
Buuuut the allure of integrating Nemesis (her clan) into my animation was too enticing.
And so I said “screw it” and committed myself to another RHG battle. Then I realized I didn’t want this to be just “another battle”. As I was doing my initial research on my opponent, I discovered a rather in-depth back-story. And since Jade is connected to other RHG’s stories, there was actually some pretty rich lore I could tap into.This must be how directors/writers feel when they’re hired to make superhero movies. I wanted to make this a full-blown story (and do it justice!).
So, fairly early on, I asked if Camila if we could forgo the due date, and make it an unofficial battle. I’m very thankful she said “uhhhhh OK!”. That was an risky decision, because projects with no due dates often fail.
Fast-forward to November, and I had to tackle the plot’s finale.
My original ending was more in-line with my “stick it to the man” theme:
After Gildedguy wins the fight through breaking the rules, he goes to get the last hors d’oeuvre, but Umbrella (the black guy) has grabbed it. Gildedguy would then snatch the treat from Umbrella, and happily eat it with confidence. This would show that Gildedguy has accepted his rebellious nature with no shame, since “rules” are what got him in trouble in the first place.
And that was my original intent for the entire animation. I really wanted to break the rules/conventions of RHG’s by using fully bodied characters, no dialogue, no due date, and no voting for a winner. Just an awesome fight featuring Gildedguy looking bad-ass. I was ready to claim my fame!
But after months of fun and love, an “edgy” ending felt wrong.
I notice this a lot in other animations. They go for the shock value of disregarding canon, brutalizing their opponents, and claiming victory as the top dog. This is likely due to the desire to create an influential, legendary character. There is nothing inherently wrong with this. But when I tried to do this with my original ending, it felt “half-assed”.
Sooo I took the complete opposite route. The disney/pixar ending of compassion, respect, and friendship. This more accurately reflected how I felt while I was making this art work, which is actually much more fulfilling than “Gildedguy is a rebellious bad-ass”.
I hope to see more RHG animations go this route, where animators are expressing themselves more than being impressive. I have to remember that for my stuff as well, because I almost did the wrong ending. I have Camila and all the new friends in the community to thank for helping me do it right.