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December 2018 retro

December 2018! Western quolls at the Arid Recovery desert site appear to be doing well, and (as feared) all but one of the team-mates at work has resigned. Also I have a new-fangled block-based editor to play with for this blog. Gosh.

The sun and moments therein

I finished a cut of the AMITS: Hello! story reel at the beginning of the month. It’s just shy of 90 seconds which is a nice compact running time. And here it is! (Spoiler warning, obviously.)

After literally years of struggling to write a story with these two characters, this story reel is a quietly magnificent relief.

I modelled and rigged the Hellobot in the Blender 2.80 beta. It’s a simple rounded cylinder, with the eyes rigged to change colour and shape. It should be more than enough to get me through layout. Here is a short demo. (Very slight spoiler warning.)

There are now eight assets left to build, including scenery, a few props and two characters. Producing AMITS to any kind of deadline or schedule is completely unthinkable at the moment, unfortunately.

Blender 2.80 beta is coming along nicely but I haven’t made any updates to Keyframe Tools just yet. Hopefully the API to access keyframe data is not as convoluted as it is in the 2.7x series.


This month mainly I’ve mainly been studying Japanese. Or should I say Kongetsu ni watashi wa omoni nihongo wo benkyou shite-ita. Or should I say 今月に私は主に日本語を勉強しいた。I can do that now. 今は出来るよ。OK, I’ll stop.

I’ve shifted gear from five minutes a day farting around on Duolingo to at least an hour a day learning Japanese characters, vocabulary and grammar. It’s really worth a blog post of its own. IOU!

That’s about it for December. I’ve got a yearly recap blog pencilled in for New Year’s Day or thereabouts, so expect that soon!


Greetings from Amsterdam! A recap of 18 to 24 October 2015 is now in session.

Saturday and Sunday were mainly spent running around ensuring I could board the airplane on Monday morning with as little fuss as possible.

Monday lasted for 30 hours – I drew half a dozen gags for A moment in the Sun while I was in transit. I wanted to try for a gag every hout but it proved too ambitious.

Amsterdam feels different from last year and I think mainly it’s me: I
know the people better, I know the city better, I’m actually using the
trams to get around instead of just getting out of their way on
Leidsestraat. There’s a slow embrace going on. Even the tourists out on
the piss across Leidseplein tonight are funny instead of annoying.

As for the Conference itself? Also different, also because of me. I am no longer an excited newbie film maker with a dull animatic. I’ve been showing people my sketchbook of gags and they’ve been generally pleased with the material. One guy was so impressed that he flat out told me to just make the damn film and get it over with. I’m hearing “it’ll never be ‘good enough’ for you” a bit more than I like.

Today I did an honest-to-goodness pitch with Beorn Leonard (the director of “Glass Half“) to get his feedback. I’ve never pitched the movie before to anyone. Much more clear than “here, read this”. What really made me grin was when I said to him it was a plot in the vein of the old Road Runner cartoons – he warned me that those pieces live and die by the execution of their gags. Don’t I know it! It’s why I’m writing so many of the damn things.

The Conference itself has been great this year. Some of the tech being presented is fantastic – and blend4web are two stand-outs. The quality of work at the Suzannes (the Conference’s mini-film festival) was incredibly impressive. Beorn’s “Glass Half” went off, “Alike” made everyone weep, and “Spin Da Floor”.. well.. let’s just say I generally hate watching stuff in movie theatres but that was the funnest audience experience I’ve had in a cinema for ages.

Every day I’ve added at least one gag or story draft onto the pile. Slow, steady progress.

Next week’s post will probably be late due to air travel, so I’ll see you when I see you. Tot ziens!