A vaguely emotion thank you, and my new movie,"A New Machine" stop motion animation--give it a look.

Hi Everyone,

So I just stuck this video on the main page but I realized that wasn't really what I wanted to say (I'm still not used to the new format, so I'll just write here instead).

I just finished my biggest movie (or at least it's the longest and most complicated one--over 12 minutes). I had a ton of help from people here. Ron, Nick, and GrecoDan in particular gave me a ton of guidance. I wanted to show you the results of what came out from discussions of the silicone, to water animation, to lighting issues--everything. Thank you guys very much.

It's here: https://vimeo.com/47920074

as well as on the main page. Tell me what you think. It's certainly not without plenty of mistakes and flaws, but I'm still happy with the overall result.

I've been coming to this forum for about five years now. This medium means a lot to me, and it all started from trawling the handbook here and asking very dumb questions. I never went to school for any of this (I'm an English teacher and a writer), so I've needed (and will continue to need) a ton of help. It means a ton to know this place is here and that other artists support each other like this. I'm hoping to one turn this into a career, so it feels good to be ready to build more and learn more for next time.

So seriously, thank you guys for the support. Sorry to be sappy, but as you know, making things like this can be emotional, but it's exciting, too. I hope you like the movie!


Tony

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Tony, I've only had time to view your title sequence - I'll watch the rest tonight - but all I can say is...WOW. 

When do you start teaching ME?

A "vaguely emotion thank you", Mr English teacher?  (Just kidding, I know it's just your fingertips tripping over the keyboard.)

When I see a film like this completed, I feel all the time we spend sharing information on this site really pays off!  It's clear from this that they weren't dumb questions at all!

I like the story and the production design a lot.  The setting has a timeless, anywhere/anywhen feel about it.  And what's wrong with a bit of steampunk anyway?

I especially like the rough textured look of the characters.

Not as sure about how well the very stylised felt ocean goes with the more realistic look of the land, but it does give you great flowing motion. Nice how it flows around the bigger rocks as the waves come in.  You've made it work for waves, splashes, and sucking the water up into the machine.

An audio file appears to be missing - in the hand drawn sequence of the two on cycles, the mother says something, I see the lip synch, but I don't hear a voice. I have the feeling that she said something important, too.  If you do need to go in and tinker with the audio - there is also a place where a light goes on suddenly and I thought it was a lighting glitch (such as is all too familiar to most of us), but it turned out was the grandfather turning on a light - a clicking lightswitch sound would help there.

The animation could be refined a bit on your next film, but it works well to tell the story and doesn't feel out of place with the style of your characters.  

You have a great deal to be proud of!  Thank you for sharing your film here.

I didn't want to delete the post for that--I was hoping I could write it off as having lived in South Korea for a few years but of course my carelessness strikes again!

Thanks so much for the feedback. Regarding the audio the light was a mistake (I meant to put it in and just missed it! I need to fix that if I'll submit it in festivals), but in the hand-drawn part, the mother I meant for her just to mouth "I'm sorry" rather than say it, because the situation was out of her control... But it'd be simple enough to fix--good to think about.

I think you're right about the water. At the I thought "hey! That looks reasonably like water." but given the style surrounding it, more realistic water would be better. I'd rather learn how to do it digitally than to crawl under the table to move that felt and ten crawl back every frame! What a workout.

I've got a long way to go on the actual animation itself, but I'm sure I'll have tons of dumb questions to help me get better. Thanks so much for watching and for the feedback.

Also, Dan, watch the rest--you'll rethink that question! (but thanks!)

Okay, I've seen the whole thing, and I still say, wow! For all it's faults (and of course, there are always those.. ) it had a lot of really nifty stuff going on. 

First and foremost, I love the sets. Amazing detail, especially the interiors with all the drawings and stuff. Very nice. 

I actually really liked the ocean waves made of the fabric. I wanted to see more of that. The way they looked in the title sequence was just stunning.

It would be good to work on your animation, not just the smoothness of it, but also the "acting." I may be a bit biased, but I think you could have told this story without dialog. Your puppets are so stylized, I'm willing to bet if you found more dramatic ways of posing them at key moments, their actions alone would tell us what's going on in their heads. Anyway, like I said, I'm kind of biased in that regard. 

My only other real concern was with the 2D animation at the end. I almost felt as if you switched the medium in order to finish the film faster. I didn't really get the jump.

But once again, congrats! Good job. What festivals are you shooting for?

Thanks! But yes, sadly lots to still work on. I think the best way for me to get better at the acting/smoothness is to just watch others. I'm at the point where no formal studying is no longer an excuse not to have gotten better at it from personal studying--watching what other artists have done, what other people have done. I don't know if I'd want this to be silent, but I need to work on a lot of that stuff. The smoothness will come, I hope, from building better puppets and just being more careful. I had 30 days to shoot the stopmotion (a one-way airplane ticket to a different country told me it was done in 30 days or it wasn't going to happen), so I didn't sleep, and settled on some really awful shots that I should never have settled on.


As for the 2D, I wonder about it, too. Despite my time constraint, it was always my plan to do the underwater part like a dream sequence, and I thought it would be fun to try and draw it. Not sure "thought it would be fun" always makes for the best art, and I think the change in style might not have been good. Something I definitely need to think about.

Finally, I want to put it in festivals, but I haven't been thinking about any because I've never done anything like that. Is there a good spot on the internet that lists stuff? Wouldn't I need to be present to submit things (I am kind of strapped to east asia at least for the foreseeable future). If you have a suggestion or can point me towards where to hunt, that would be great!

Again, thank you for the help and the comments and for watching. I wish I could (and probably should next time) seek more help in the middle of the process rather than just the beginning. With my writing, I'm constantly getting feedback and revising, and I think as a solo animator, it's something I often neglect to consider.

That's pretty fantastic for 30 days' work!

So you teach in Korea? That must be interesting. What kind of writing do you do? 

It was kind of a nightmare 30 days, really--I'd basically do anything to avoid something like that happening again (I got really weird, to say the least, by the end of it).

South Korea is reasonably interesting, though today I just failed a placement interview to get a harder Korean class (didn't we chat with each other in Korean on the previous incarnation of this board? 예전에 너는 한국어 공부했어요? 너의 안내(여친구?) 안국사람이죠? or am I confusing you with someone else) and I'm really upset.

I write short fiction mostly. My MFA is in fiction writing, and I wanted to be a novelist, but I haven't published anything... kind of not sure what to do in that department, other than that I should probably keep writing. But then animation! And having a job... I don't do anything well, but I do a lot.

Great work! It definitely has a beautiful look, especially the outdoor set. The color palette of the pale blue ocean looked amazing against the earth tones.

I would have to agree that at points, the "acting" was a little stilted. I think that your puppets had great potential to express more emotion, but maybe the scene/puppet wasn't staged properly in every case. The one scene where Sujin had her back to the camera, and the ocean loomed in the distance conveyed so much emotion that I would love to see more of in the future.

Again, SO GREAT.

그래, 그게 나였 어. 나는 옛 친구로부터 약간의 한국어를 배웠습니다.

Good luck on the fiction. I didn't have any luck getting publishers interested in my novels, so I published myself. They've done okay, though I'm not quitting the day job any time soon.

I hear you about "doing a lot." I'm the poster child for "Jack of all trades, master of none." If I were younger I'd blame ADD, but that excuse didn't exist back when. 


Tony Clavelli said:

It was kind of a nightmare 30 days, really--I'd basically do anything to avoid something like that happening again (I got really weird, to say the least, by the end of it).

South Korea is reasonably interesting, though today I just failed a placement interview to get a harder Korean class (didn't we chat with each other in Korean on the previous incarnation of this board? 예전에 너는 한국어 공부했어요? 너의 안내(여친구?) 안국사람이죠? or am I confusing you with someone else) and I'm really upset.

I write short fiction mostly. My MFA is in fiction writing, and I wanted to be a novelist, but I haven't published anything... kind of not sure what to do in that department, other than that I should probably keep writing. But then animation! And having a job... I don't do anything well, but I do a lot.

Thanks a lot, Chris! This was the first time I actually took the color palatte into consideration, having been looking at a lot of illustrations before this (and always loving the way that the care of something like the Australian sets in Mary and Max looked), and I've lately felt like limitation of color actually opens up more opportunity--an excuse to have human characters bleed blue, for example. I wonder if the solution to these acting problems would be solved with something like storyboarding. I draw more now than I used to, so I feel more prepared to do something like that--to have the acting thought far more in advance to show much more expression in a thoughtful way, and to ensure that the good shots are perpetual, and not just something that pops up now and again. I always wonder how much other animators storyboard, and I imagine I could probably get some good examples here (and maybe take it upon myself to compile them for the handbook? I'm up for some research assignments!)

And Dan--do you have a link to where you sell your books? I'm backed up a bit book-wise at the moment but I'm interested in the kind of fiction a fellow animator would churn out.

This is excellent. Well done! We can always find things to improve in our work. I do like the ambience of the set.

I have a few choice words to say about this video :):) WOW! INCREDIBLE! TERRIFIC JOB!

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