Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It Figures...

Long story short - I'm not going to get my entry finished in time for Reallusion's Sci-Fi Movie Competition. I'm so bummed. Beyond bummed. But man, did I try! Of all the competitions, this was the one I was most looking forward to - anyone who knows me knows sci-fi is my thing! :) But as others can relate, RL tends to rear it's ugly (yet necessary) head at every inopportune moment to thwart my efforts to get something completed. Grrr! *I shake my fists at thee!*

So here's how the last few months have gone. Attempted to get an entry in for the 'Pinhead: Get A Job' competition. Failed to get an entry in for the 'Pinhead: Get A Job' competition. RL got in the way as the deadline loomed closer and closer. Phooey. They had a great turnout though - that was some pretty good competition. Maybe next time?

Anyhoo, knowing I'd still have the course to deal with, I waffled on whether I should still try for the Sci-Fi comp. With some encouragement (thank you, Darth and Jorge) I decided to just go for it. So, I'd get an idea, scour the net, build, hack, tweak, buy and assemble my props and sets - only to find that a) my idea wouldn't get finished to my satisfaction in the time I had left b) something won't animate/texture as I'd like and trying to fix it would take way more time and effort than it's worth or c) the plot wasn't good enough to win (IMHO). And let's face it - if I'm spending every sparse, spare moment I've got on a film, I want it to be good. Not just OK or 'meh' - good! I want to be excited to watch my own film. If I'm bored with it already and I'm still creating the darned thing, how can I expect others to enjoy it (let alone hold it's own against other talented animators)?

So what movies may never see the light of day? Well, first there was the "Iron Man" tribute. Clone boning and retexturing the sucker (while trying to maintain animation ability over all those tiny flaps and stuff - oy!) took forever. It looked awesome... until you tried to make it move. :( Then you've got gaps at every joint and limbs at skewed angles - it was a mess.

Ok, so very limited mobility with the Iron Man suit so it's either clever camera angles, lots of tweaking and script changes or come up with a new plot. New plot - "Iron Man/Terminator" showdown. Less Iron Man suit, more Tony Stark, throw in a T-800. Fast forward. Tried to replicate Tony's home foyer overlooking the sea with curved glass windows that I could shoot out as the T-800 comes looking for him OR his work room down below - found another gray hair. A good modeller I am not - that stuff takes time, skill and a helluva lot of patience! 1 out of 3?

I think my plots (and hence my sets) were a little too complex for my own good so I thought let's simplify it down. Enter idea #3 - just the T-800, arriving in his little glowy ball of electricity and robbing some ignorant soul of his clothes with typical Arnie tact (thank you, Killian). Weeks of building, hating the builds, caving and buying decent looking props, re-assembling, pathing up the wahzoo... and STILL nowhere near done. But besides that though, the plot wasn't engaging me. As a movie tribute, it was fine but as a piece that could stand on it's own, it just felt 'meh' to me. So, too much invested not to finish... someday, but for a competition, it needed to have a little something extra.

So now I've hit mid-June. I've got just over 2 weeks left. Situation looks grim. Updated the ol' widget with links to some of my freebies and there I find my "Vertebrate Evil: Excretion" outfit from last year's comp. An idea starts to formulate. What if I tried to do the movie that I couldn't last year 'cause the project kept crashing? I've got more RAM now - hopefully the ol' computer can handle it. Load it up, cross my fingers and hip hip hooray, it opens! But 2 weeks??? :( All I've got is a sparse, extremely high poly set (before I knew any better) and a now defunct plot. It's not great, but hey - it's a lot more engaging than the previous ones. A few all-nighters, copious amounts of coffee (because apparently I'm now immune - nooooo!) and some sugar in whatever form I can obtain it and I might JUST squeeze it in.

But then I had to think - voiceovers? ambient noise? soundtrack? post? 2 WEEKS?? So nix the VOs altogether or do it all myself... again... (last resort I swear - not fair to drag others into this insanity). And then I've learned a thing or two from Stuckon3d's classes that I didn't know back then so they HAD to be modified otherwise I'd hang my head in shame. And of course, others *hack* *cough* Animatechnica *wheeze* Allpoint *sputter* are bringing their 'A' game and raising the bar so you know what that means. So, rendered several shots, started to edit, not feeling it - something's missing. Tweak, revamp and yes, finally - the excitement is BACK! *insert maniacal laugh*

That was yesterday.

Today, RL had other plans for me. A good chunk of the time I had left has gone bye-bye. Rightly so - you've gotta have priorities in life, but man!?! :( I won't do a rush job. I hate, hate, hate half-assing things and ruining a perfectly good idea.

So here's where things stand. This iteration of my film won't be completed by the deadline. But, it also won't be abandoned. I'm gonna finish this badboy - take my time and do it right. I'm excited about this one and that's what's key for me. It can stand on it's own and it'll be a challenge to create but I'll learn a lot in the meantime. And without the deadline, I'll stress myself out a little less and maybe drink less coffee... hmph... nah! :)

Ok, that's what I'm doing for me. Now what am I doing for other people? Rage's voiceovers for 'MEG' are getting wrapped up this weekend - finally! After months, I'm finally seeing the end of this darned laryngitis and I couldn't be happier. Animatechnica's VOs for 'The Nobbit' (this film is going to be so wrong, lol) are going to get wrapped next week. I know there's a couple more VOs in queue so I'll be getting those done as soon as possible. Also, hopefully (fingers crossed) I'll have some work to do in RL with my volunteer work so really looking forward to that.

Alrighty, think that's the last few months of my insanity in a nutshell. If you've stuck it out this long, you're awesome... or just as crazy as me! :D

'Til next time!

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