Gag writing AMITS over the week has given me a bit of fun material to work with, but it feels too much like I’m stalled again. I’ve given the project a month and it’s in a far better place now, but I’m getting bored with it again and I want to work on something a bit more spontaneous.
So I’m starting another interim project this weekend and giving myself until the first weekend of October to finish it off. It’s another step along from the abstract freeform happy times of RYGCBMK◯ towards the more structured story of AMITS.
Just like RYGCBMK◯ there’s a set of rules for me to follow, key among which is that I am to make all of it up as I go along, scene by scene. No planning ahead is allowed. If I try to work out an ending in advance, I’m instantly barred from actually using it.
I’ve been on some much-needed holidays for the last couple of weeks. After a stressful three months, I’ve been taking it nice and easy building analogue synthesiser modules, making noises with said analogue synthesiser modules, enjoying MST3K Series 11 and going to Perth Zoo to catch up with their quolls. It’s been very low key and relaxed and without any particular obligations. Just what I needed to relax and recharge!
I’ve been thinking a little bit about Pointy and Gronky and robots but I don’t have anything much to reveal just yet. Perhaps next week! 🙂
That’s been 26 February to 4 March 2017. And it is both tired and rhythm. One because the other.
On Wednesday, I made the decision to step away from “A moment in the sun” until I finish this heinously draining temporary internal transfer at Easter (mid-April). A narrative animated short film is the wrong project for me until the work stress eases off. Something little and time-boxed would be much better.
So it’s time again for a brief change of creative direction.
I took a couple of months at the beginning of last year to sculpt and do character animation and that refreshed me nicely. This time I’m going to learn Animation Nodes with the intent of making some groovy procedural animation.
The working title is RYGCBMK◯, though RYGCBMKO is fine too. You can probably guess what the letters R G B and C M Y K stand for. The circle is just a circle. The finished piece will be pleasing rhythms for the eyes and ears.
I’ll be working on it until Easter and I’m targeting an Easter Monday release. I’ve written a project brief and set particular limitations around creative methodology, but I’ll talk a bit more about those next week. 🙂
Roughly by the middle of 27 November to 3 December 2016, the project had reached a crisis point. After a month of rewriting, tinkering and procrastination on “Sombrero” since Blender Conference 2016, progress had ground to a halt. I’d completely lost confidence that I could deliver “Sombrero” next year – injuries, stress from the office job and family-related stuff are already pain points in my life, and I didn’t want Pointy and Gronky standing in the same queue bringing me down.
After about twelve months of development, I’ve shelved “Sombrero”.
I rethought things with the new central notion that this project is meant to be a fun and fulfilling use of my spare time. and I want a movie to show for it next year. So on Wednesday I downscoped the project to tell a shorter, funner and funnier story.
There’s a lot of fun to work with already. Gronky and his playful antics are already fun. The consequences of Pointy’s characteristic lack of forethought should also be fun. But that bloody hat just wasn’t bringing the fun.
So now there’s a robot. It’s a very helpful robot – at least, it’s trying to be helpful…
The new story is much shorter. I’m retaining the characters as is and snatching up fun ideas from previous rewrites and generally avoiding the foul Gordian Knot of character motivation and story logic that comes with sustaining a longer film, so AMITS is back to being short and sweet and weird and funny, like it should be.
So it’s a fond but possibly overdue goodbye to “A moment in the Sun: Sombrero”, and a warm hello to “A moment in the Sun: Robot”. 🙂
Krita’s animation branch just hit public beta. You should definitely check it out.
Krita is a free/open source bitmap paint program – think SAI or openCanvas, maybe even Photoshop. Recently the Krita guys did a crowdfund to add new features like the ability to animate on multiple layers. It’s already a super-capable painting program, but this new feature makes it something like the open source answer to TV Paint – not as spiffy or fully featured as TV Paint, but still..
The Krita devs very kindly helped me optimise
Krita’s settings for my particular setup so it runs noticeably
faster. Here are tips which apply to the beta:
For AMD CPUs, go to Settings > Configure Krita > Performance and make sure “Disable vector optimisations” is checked.
NVidia graphics cards are slow to convert between float and int. If
your card is affected, set your colour space to a float format (16 bit
float or 32 bit float) and not an int format like 8-bit or 16-bit. You
can use Image > Convert Color Space to go between colour spaces.
View > Instant Preview mode speeds up drawing to screen.
Hope you enjoy these two little loops of Pointy and Gronky. Gronky seems especially excited while Pointy appears to be doing the Hertzfeldt Wiggle. 🙂
If you haven’t heard, Brecht is taking off to work on Arnold Renderer. Sadly, this means no moonlighting on competing products like Blender’s awesome Cycles pathtracer – Brecht has been the lead developer on Cycles since its inception.
This is more smoke. It took about 47 minutes to render at 1440 x 1080. It is different from the other smoke. Honest. My spare computer has been rendering volumetric smoke in Cycles for literally days now.
Meanwhile, I’ve been cutting together a tutorial about using sound-driven animation in Blender.
I’m making it to enter the CGMasters Blender 2.70 tutorial competition. I don’t expect to win, partly because I just figured out you might need a Facebook account to even enter, but I do expect to have made and released a tutorial about something nobody else has made as thorough a tutorial about. So my expectations have been met.
It’s taken me a week and a half, hence the prolonged radio silence. It is a foul and all-consuming obsession. It is forty minutes long. I have quickly disovered this is too long for a first tutorial – the folly of inexperience, quite likely. Properly reviewing something of this size recorded in so many parts sucks. The narration becomes more unhinged and irritable the further it goes.
I want to watch Ikiru. I want to get to sleep on time for once this week. I want to do something that isn’t this tutorial. But it calls to me with its siren song, baked to f-curves and slaved to the emission strength of a material in a robot’s eyes…
…so I’m starting the upload the second it’s finished rendering. It should autopost to Twitter once it’s ready to view on YouTube. NO REGRETS.
The alias “Kewey” hails from my more overtly Discordian days when i thought possibly too hard about names and their deeper symbolism.
Specifically, Discordian teachings consider the numbers 5 and 23 to be significant. TheLaw of Fives, for instance, is an important teaching about the nature of perception.
The name “Kewey” is 5 letters long. As for the letters themselves:
K is the 11th letter of the alphabet. 11 is the fifth prime number. K has further significance in Discordian lore as the first letter of καλλίστῃ (for/to the prettiest), the word inscribed on the golden apple thrown during the Original Snub.
E is the 5th letter of the alphabet. 5 is both the sum of two prime numbers and a prime itself, the lowest number to hold this distinction.
W is the 23rd letter of the alphabet. 2 + 3 = 5. It also contains three points at the top and two points at the bottom.
E is still the 5th letter of the alphabet.
Y is the 25th letter of the alphabet. 25 is 5 squared.
It’s short, makes for a compact enough signature and keeps with a personal tradition of using aliases beginning with the letter K, if not a K sound (e.g. quollism). So that’s that.