Hello again, it's been a while! I made an animation for the first time in a few years:
So how did I arrive here? Why did this take so long?
Well, let's go back to high school. After finishing NATA in 2013, I was pretty burnt out. I was also bogged down with work, stressed, and depressed. In 2014 I was graduating high school and starting university, so I started making another animation about that process of moving on. I was setting out to make a coming of age story as someone who hadn't really gone through that process yet myself. I wanted the scope to be larger than something I'd make in a month for NATA, too, so it was larger and more ambitious than I was used to. Needless to say, I never finished it. I think I have the source files lying around somewhere so maybe one day I'll come back to it, after revamping the story. But it's unlikely.
I went to the University of Waterloo for software engineering. I've made posts on here before about programming, so it's nothing new that that's something I have a lot of interest in. It took a while to get into the flow of university life, though. Although I like what I do, programming took up all of my time. My university program is a little weird. It's a five-year program where every four months, we alternate between a school term and a term interning at a company. We don't get summers off. In order to get the sorts of work experience I wanted, I had to (and also wanted to) spend a lot of my time improving my programming skills. I think I've come a long way, and I've made a lot of things I'm proud of. My end goal is to bring computing back to the arts at some point, so I've been doing some computer graphics stuff recently. I made a raytracing 3d renderer that can do stuff like focal blur and motion blur, so that was a big learning experience. Recently I also made a thing where you put in a midi file and it plays All Star to the tune of the midi as a project for TerribleHack, a hackathon I helped start in Waterloo where you take a terrible idea and make it. I've worked at Shopify, Athos, and Remind so far, and I'm going to be working at Google in Mountain View this summer. I've been busy, clearly.
It took a while, but I'm at a point again where I tihnk my life is in pretty good shape. I'm feeling better than I have in a long time, I'm doing stuff that I love, and I'm working with great people. Part of having your life in order seems to be getting a bit of free time. I sort of stopped posting it to Newgrounds, but I haven't stopped making music this whole time (maybe I'll start uploading those again.) I also make crappy, sarcastic cover songs with my roommates every term. And, recently, I started making animations again.
I've made small looping animations as jokes with friends, but I hadn't really made anything significant (defined, to me, as "longer than 30 seconds and with sound maybe") until recently. I'm taking a public speaking course to get an English credit, and we had to make a video essay for one assignment, so I ended up making this:
What can I say, I liked the feeling of making things. So I tasked myself with making an actual animation again. I tried to keep the scope small to make sure I'd actually finish, and the animation I released today was the result. Interestingly, my animatino style changed a bit. At first I thought my drawings were shakier, but I've come to realize that that isn't entirely true. In the past, I'd have a separate layer for the heads of characters, where I would drag around the same drawing on top of the frame-by-frame animated body. This way, the shape of the head barely ever changes, and it doesn't look shaky. Now, I don't like the feeling of dividing everything up into a million layers and making everything pristine, so I generally have one layer per character and I redraw everything. So my animation isn't any shakier than before, but since it's all being redrawn, including the head, it visually looks a bit shakier. Which is alright, it's a looser style, and I think it allows for freer acting.
I also learned you can import video into Ableton Live so you can sync up sound to video. If you use Ableton and don't use it to score your movies, I highly recommend it. I feel like I've been doing audio editing in the dark ages up until now.
Anyway, don't expect things from me too frequently, but I don't think I'll be gone for as long this time. Animation is a big part of my identity and I'm glad to be back.