Friday, November 14, 2014

One Week to Go!

The deadline is upon us and its exciting to see things getting done and that there is an end in sight. Its been a busy time for finishing this short project with family returning from a trip to Chicago, 2 back to back birthdays and next weekend's CTN Expo 2014!!!

The CTN Expo in Burbank, CA is 3 day event with tons of creative talent from guest lectures, animation studios, artists, authors, etc. Its like Comic Con, but without the crazy costumed fandom. Greg and I will be there in our official WatchCat Logo Tshirts, which I still have to make. If you see this logo on a shirt, that's us!


Also this week, I finished animating the last scene and I'm working on coloring and backgrounds. These two things are not my specialty, but during this project I've had to create backgrounds and ask my Color Consultant for her color choices. 

My Mom has been in art all her life, from art school to becoming a commercial artist for the Daytona Beach NewsJournal, doing watercolor paintings and painting on old furniture. She has an expert eye for color, unlike her colorblind son, who often chooses a odd red color when he should have a dark green instead. So, she picked the colors that I couldn't figure out and I entered the info into the computer. 

Here's an example of what I thought looked like a Pizza Guy with a tan, but Greg alerted me that he looked green.


That's better.


My Mom knows her colors, but she hates using a computer. When I was a kid, she wouldn't even talk to the speaker box at a drive thru window. She said she didn't like to talking boxes, so I would have to lean over and yell my order out the her driver's side window. Sometimes I would use a silly voice, just to bug my Mom and confuse the cashier around the corner.

Its late as I attempt to write this and have it make sense. I've been putting all the shots together in After Effects and fixing anything that looks a little odd or that isn't suppose to be there. Working late hours sometimes can work against you.Tonight, I discovered a big black gap between two scenes, until I realized that I accidentally deleted a shot when I was fixing something else. Luckily, I can replace it tomorrow.

And then, there are things that pop up that cannot be explained, like when I returned to add animation to the dog character. The police car's title changed to this? Little fixes sometimes turn into bigger ones, make sure you have the time to fix your or your computer's mistakes.


I'm composite each shot to the next and add extra sound effects here and there. Little mistakes pop up and must be fixed, all this attention to details in a part of the "Tweaking" stage. During my first 3D job at Will Vinton Studios, I learned all about this often tedious, but necessary, stage of production. I thought all I had to do was animate a character and move onto the next shot. Instead, animating was only have the battle, tweaking or polishing your shot is where you have to fix minor problems, sometimes even frame by frame ones. Things that the viewer will never even notice, sometimes have to be adjusted or fixed to make your work as perfect as it can be.

Presently, I am in the tweaking stages and trying to fix any errors that I have overlooked. We just sent out our final cut to our music friend Marcello to revise and make the final sound track to picture. I'm also trying to add little sound effects here and there to add the shots without stepping on Marcello's music track.

I have to wrap this up, very soon you will get to see what we've been working on all these months. Its been a lot of work and I've learned a lot of what I need to do to improve for next time. Our goal is to keep doing what we love to do and hopefully others will want to see more too. 

Thanks for blogging with us.
Jim and Greg
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