Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The struggle has been hard fought, but an end is in sight.

So what's a really smart thing to do? Well, changing software versions mid production for one.
I got all hot and bothered reading about the changes made to ToonBoom 3.5, assuming that it couldn't be anything but an improvement of the current version. I was, it seems... Incorrect.

It's a whole new world, which is good in theory. However in practice it turns out to be a whole new world of bugs and glitches. Toonboom has basically been reset and everyone who got the new version is playing "Hunt the bug" for a patch that will be out by the end of the year.

Long story short, it's made production on the new episode very, very frustrating. I've finally wrestled some decent results out of it however, so I'm finally into the meat of the animation.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Okay, couple of notes.

1) Production is still going on. Albeit at a lessened pace, work/school for folks on the team has really been a pain in the backside. (As far as getting stuff done.)

2) because of point 1, the website isn't going to be up until late December. This really disappoints me, but I don't want to do any of this half assed. Andrea has done a great job so-far on the design and development of the site.

3) The focus for the first little while is going to be on content development. While I'm going to try my hardest to stick to the "New episode every 2 weeks" ideal, I'm really more concerned about generating content for the website while there's little to no audience. Once a good number of people start complaining about the lack of regular updates (I.E. We actually HAVE an audience.) I'll take it as a sign to start really getting stuff together on time.

4) Once the ball is rolling we're looking at another project that'll be less involved than the web-series, but will help there to be content every week as opposed to every other week.

5) Here is a trailer I did for the first series a while back. Uh, beware some foul language. And I guess ignore the whole november 2006 thing.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Whoa, almost a month since the last post eh?

So we got everything done in time for Chicago, though I was literally working until 2 hours before our flight left... Hell I was burning DVD's at the booth.

There was much drama on the first day. When Andrea and I arrived there was NO booth for us, that is to say that we were supposed to have booth 2039, but no such booth existed. A quick check of the program revealed that "MaverikAnim" The name that all four of us (Matt H. Matt S. Andrea P. And Steve S.) were going by was located in booth 1237. So we find booth 1237 and it's occupied by "Cool Customs" or some shit. We locate a harried Wizard world employee and he manages to find us an empty corner booth. We requisition the table and chairs, then we steal 2 more (They were supposed to be $15 each, screw that.) and Maverik anim is good to go. EXCEPT that both Matt's are MIA. This sucks cause they're missing the show, and also Matt S is the only one who knows where we're staying. So until 5 minutes before the show closes Andrea and Steve figure that they'll be sleeping on the streets, until we see the Matt's making their way across the show floor.


So af far as production goes, the last 10 episodes are in production as we speak. And we're hoping for a backlog of six or more episodes for the premier in November.

There'll be a meatier post some time next week I wager.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Episode 2. Wrapping soon.

The light is there at the end of the tunnel for Episode 2. This weekend will see the end of Primary animation and hopefully the completion of effects and sound.

I realize now that I haven't really talked that much about the show itself, who the characters are and other stuff. I haven't got too much info like that, because this show is really just an experiment to see where the limitation lie and figuring out the process of producing a series like this. (FYI The limitaions are many, the process is epic.)

Anyway, here's what we've got scribbled on the back of the DVD cover, this about sums it up.

"It's a story as old as time. A young man just starting to make his way in the world- no ambition, no prospects and in no hurry to get any. Job is stuck in a dead end career that a half retarded monkey could perform. And he's happy as a clam about it.

Joining Job on his voyage of mediocrity is Mel; the crass, foul-mouthed tech guy and Rachel the bubbly, cute, oh-so-phony intern. Their lack of respect for the workplace is matched only by their poorly camouflaged disdain for one another.

So join us wont you? On a journey into the center of unimpressiveness as we view people just like you - lying cheating and scraping their way through the life of a button down slave wage, just to make it to another $2.00 margarita night.

This is the Show of Job...
...And these are terrible people."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Work continues at a pretty good pace.
With regular type work started up again the amount of free time that can be devoted to the project clocks in around 9 hours a day. So basically ALL free time goes into the animation of Webisode 2.

On the plus side, episode 2 is ramping up to be pretty damn funny.

Got a couple of good idea's for future episodes kicking around. The writing team is going to have to have a tet a tet sometime soon. (Soon after the convention I suppose.)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Work on episode two is well under way. This weekend will be a busy one for all of us here at Upon Animation intl, ltd, worldwide.

Scene 1 is almost complete. Thanks to the brave directorial decision to remove all the talking. A glance to your right will give you a hint as to why.

In other news, the role of musical director will NOT be played by James Hanson of "Evil Josh and Billy" fame. But rather by Darren Bird, of "Captain Placeholder" fame. The change in staff comes a little late in the game for my liking. Unfortunately Mr. Hanson and the Studio had conflicting schedule's. Mr. Bird (Or Birdman as he shall henceforth be called.) is a multi-talented musician who will doubtless bring honor to the production and himself. (If he knows what's good for him.)

Andrea received all the printed material from the uh... Printers today. It looks great, DVD cover slips inserts and the whole she-bang. And a very nice 2x 2.5 foot poster to hang on the back curtain at Wizard world Chicago.

Anyway, enough loafing... Back at it.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Episode one is DONE sort of.

Okay, all animation is done on episode one of the web-series. A couple of day's later than I thought, If I was to offer an excuse it'd be that both Andrea and myself began full time work back at Mercury.

Episode two is underway. I have two or three secondary characters to design, and a couple of BG's. But most of the design work was done for episode one along with bit's and pieces of re-use animation. (Thank you digital medium.)

The deadline is going to be tight tight tight, but it'll get done for the simple reason that it HAS to get done.

Andrea finished the cover, label and insert for the DVD. As well as three business cards for each of us, They look quite keen.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Tick tick tick...

So very, very close to being able to wrap episode 1.

Animation for the last part is about begin, when that's finished it'll be time to slot in the music.
unfortunately I'm still waiting for word on the music. If worse comes to worse I'll tap someone I know to throw in some sweet slow acoustic jams.

This leaves less than a month to start and finish the second episode, Close... But not impossible. It'll be nice to take a little time on the other episodes. (We have until November for the web premier.)

In other news ToonBoom is helping to host an animation compition that Upon Animation will be taking part in, check it out here:


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

What's been Happening.

Okay, to recap.

-My computer went tit's up.
I had been backing things up just in case, but not very often. I lost ALL of my A-project stuff since I'd been focusing on The Show of Job. I lost a little bit of that, ALL my scripts and ALL my sketches. THAT is what pisses me off the most... Oh also all my life-drawing.

-A web page.
If your reading this you probably got here from there. But just in case, it's over at:

-Re-write and read through of the first two scripts.
Based on random physical notes, rough audio tracks and what my sleep addled brain could remember I pieced together some REALLY rough drafts of the first two episodes. Then I got some cool cat's by the names of: Mike Fillion, Matt MacKenzie and Andrea Peters. To sit down with me and massage the crap out of them.

This read through accomplished two things: First, my dialogue is stilted and mechanical, I need to work on it. And second that Mike could do a darn good job of voicing Job. A task that I didn't quite feel up to myself.

-Audio record.
A few days after, we gathered around again this time with my new USB mike in tow, and managed to pound out the first episode's vocal tracks. It was a harrowing experience, silly me had booked the record for the same day that the new World of Warcraft patch was released. And all three of my actors are very very into the game.

We were supposed to do two episodes, but I suppose some people are more interested in gaining their +5 reaving cod-piece than becoming internationally re-known stars of the world wide web.

- I animate
and animate and animate... The first scene is done, It clocks in at around 45 seconds. The audio tracks are about 3 min 24 sec long. So I'm not at all worried about falling short of my totally arbitrary 5 minute mark.

-Sweet Jams.
James Hanson is the cat who's laying down the tracks for this project. He sent me the first draft of one of the theme's. It's quite re-assuring to get some feedback from that end. The music is the only part of thr project that I'm completely un-involved with.

James work on Evil josh and Billy over at KeenToons sold me on him. And it also serves to quiet my steadily poundign nerve's as augusts Black shadow slowly creeps forward.

Okay enough out of me for now, final word is that we're looking at two episodes FOR SURE on the DVD for the con. One done by the end of ths month and the other done... Before august I guess. I've ordered the DVD labels, and the printing for inserts has to happen in the next two weeks... OH SWEET LORD!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Joeb Test

Joeb Test
Originally uploaded by sloan_man69.

rachel test

rachel test
Originally uploaded by sloan_man69.

Okay, so this is the inaugural post for my little side project "Upon Animation" (www.uponanimation,com) , henceforth known as UA.

A little about UA first I suppose. It stems from a hundred thousand ideas that flow through my head and the heads of my friends and co-workers. It gets supplemented every time I see a flash cartoon on TV and wonder why the heck something like that isn't being delivered via the web. And finally UA was conceived during my time working in the trenches of the animation industry. Seeing the shows that get bought up and the ones that are left to the wayside. Really cool and fun concepts that get left behind because the folks with the money don't wanna take a risk.

Macromedia supplied us with "Flash" and the deluge of quirky funny animation began. Unprofessional and far from polished, these works regardless found their way into as many homes as their televised counterparts. Animation studio's started using flash as an inexpensive tool to create content for TV, quality suffers however because Flash is a web design tool and NOT animation software, certainly not developed for animators. Ask any classically trained animator who's had to work on a flash show and he turn the air blue with artfully worded comments on it's shortcomings.

Enter ToonBoom. ( They've been developing animation software for years. Mostly for post production and compositing. Then came USOPUS and CONCERTO. I worked with early versions of these at Mercury Filmworks Ottawa. (, they were buggy but dynamic. Each animator was producing around 40 seconds of animation a week, and soon we were popping out a full 11 minute show every 3-4 weeks. Mischief City, Gerald McBoing Boing and to a lesser extent 6teen (good because of the writing, our hands were a little tied by design when it came to animation.) are great shows and don't have that "FLASH" feel to them.

Anyway, inspired by the work we were doing I dropped the bones for a home copy of ToonBoom Studio. (A slightly neutered version of the software, the commercial version clocking in at 18 grand.) And after a trial by fire doing one of the animated segments for the "Final destination 3" DVD features. I decided to take a crack at developing a series of 5 minute shorts, to air for free on the web and to inject some of the professionalism acquired so far in my career.

It's tough going so far, I'm shooting for a general release of the website this summer with the help of Ms. Andrea Peters. And to start premiering the first 12 episode series in October/November 2006. ( I want to have a nice backlog of shows.) And to have a new show premier every two weeks. This summer I'll be at wizard world Chicago with a DVD containing three episodes and some supplementary material to spread the good word.

So that's that. Thanks for reading, and I'll try to keep this as updated as my crazy assed schedule allows.

Here's some of the character designs completed thus far.