My newest feature animation has been released!
Watch it here:
and the behind the scenes video here:
Although my big projects usually take many months to finish, I’ve never put this much concentrated effort into a work before. I learned a ton of things while working on this animation. And most of the things I learned weren’t specifically animation-related. Unfortunately, I’m feeling particularly lazy today, so I’m going to just throw out my thoughts in the form of a bullet-point list.
Stuff I learned during Rhythm & Rockets:
- Full-bodied characters take 10x the line-work as stick figures.
- Shading characters with shadows and highlights multiplies that line-work by 2.
- A lot of the effort you put into far-away shots will not be seen. Focus your time on medium-shot / close-up details.
- Breaking up the project file into multiple “temporary” files lets you save the document much faster.
- You can draw characters using the brush tool, but then draw the shading lines using the pencil tool. This lets you easily cleanup the shading lines later. (thank you Terkoiz)
- Picking a title for your animation can take all day.
- Keep .zip file backups of all your project materials. It eases the mind.
- It’s awesome when you know how to draw your characters inside and out.
- In comparison to character animation, backgrounds take no time at all.
- The first couple weeks no one will be watching you.
- As people do start watching, they will most likely be the people who were watching yesterday.
- These people are surprisingly consistent viewers, and will tune in at the same time you broadcast.
- Since people are watching, you are obligated to work minute to minute. This can help achieve flow.
- Viewers are fun to chat to, and keep you company.
- The question “What are you working on” will be asked countless times. Have a link to a blog post/description of your project ready to go.
- It feels horrible to be stuck in a project that’s taking too long.
- Keep an eye out for time-saving techniques.
- For efficiency, setup your work so that you can do generally the same thing, at the same time, for the same duration everyday. This way, you can go on autopilot.
- Thinking too hard about the end-product diminishes flow. It is best to stay in autopilot during grinds.
- Take caution when breaking routine. It makes it hard to resume work at the same pace you had before.
- It is a struggle to find listening material (audio books, podcasts, commentaries) that can engage you without being distracting.
- During autopilot, the finish line will appear out of nowhere. As a result, there will be little catharsis (feeling of relief). Instead, it feels bittersweet. More like a “Oh, I’m done. Now what?”
- Ignore the thought of giving up for as long as possible. If you must consider it, only do so when you can rationally weigh the pros/cons.
Please note that these are my personal observations, and the advice does not apply to everyone the same.
Thanks for reading! I gotta go decide what to do now.