Author Archives: Thomas M. Watt
Here By My Garage
Keyboard Warriors – Widescreen
This is the same animated short I posted yesterday but the widescreen version. I was hoping to find time to write a meaningful post today but at the moment that time is lost. Looking forward to updating soon.
Online Arguments Be Like
2nd short, this one is in the required aspect ratio for youtube shorts. I want to call it “pillar box” format but I’m not certain if that’s accurate. Regardless, I’m not crazy about the tight screen but well see if it helps generate any traffic. Enjoy.
I’ve completed my first animated short. I’m disappointed to learn that youtube requires 1080×1920 aspect ratio for a youtube short but lesson learned for next time.
Digging Up the Dirt
I’ve been developing a plan following my crises yesterday. The fun part about being completed with the episode is that I don’t have to showcase my best possible work with the shorts. I think this plan has evolved from a better understanding of the purpose behind my actions.
The purpose of the youtube shorts is to generate clicks. That’s it. It doesn’t have to be detailed, extraordinary, or anything special. It only needs to be topically relevant and funny.
I am rapidly discovering the importance of incorporating current issues into the comics. By including hashtags that are trending the amount of views each comic receives increases substantially.
The big problem with choosing current events is the risk of becoming controversial. For a long time now I have kept this blog clean of any of my personal political viewpoints. It is with great regret that I now see no clear road ahead without risking controversy. Featuring a political leaning will undoubtedly cause me to lose followers, but it also presents the oppurtunity of engaging new ones. I will continue to try and keep this blog free from any politics, as I much prefer discussing the craft of anything artistic, but accept the reality that engaging an audience of non-artistic consumers will require me to speak of more topical events.
My goal is to complete the short today and possibly release it tomorrow. I may hold onto it in order to do a batch release of shorts. I’ve got to admit, however, that I am well beyond exhausted at creating media that has yet to be viewed or complimented by anyone.
Hope your week is still going strong and you know what you are looking for. If you don’t then you will never find it.
I went through a bit of a crises yesterday. Year after year has passed where I’ve worked passionately on a project only to chew on the seeds of my fruit. I’m comforted by the knowledge that I’m not alone in this – spend time on any creative platform or forum and you will discover that there is a surplus of unrecognized talent. It is also why I take issue with artists who are cherry picked by an industry and vaulted toward success because of their marketing potential rather than their skills. I actually take more issue with the idiots that defend them but that’s a whole other subject.
Since Monday I’ve been allotting more time to social media projects – such as the comics I’ve published here and a youtube short I’ve been working on. The youtube short has really bothered me because it requires designing a new character and adding a few elements to two already made characters. This doesn’t require much time, but allow me to break down the process of a scene’s creation for you:
- Record the audio for the scene. A youtube short must be 60 seconds or less, which actually adds complexity due to the nature of restraints. Because the audio is the foundation for the entire scene, it must be funny and communicated clearly. I think 30 minutes to an hour is a fair estimate per minute of voiceover recording. This would be condensed with a pre-written script, but of course the time would only shift to writing rather than recording.
- Draw the elements for the scene. The short I am working on requires a barbell, a mustache, a radio with receiver, and a new, rapidly drawn character. This could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on the level of detail.
- Programming the character(s). For this scene I’d imagine that would take an hour or less.
- Record the character movements for the scene – 1 hour.
- Render out the characters, place them in the same environment, draw the background. I could imagine this taking 30 minutes for this short.
Altogether I envision I would be able to complete this 1 minute short in about 5-7 hours, or two days time. And that’s with cutting corners and ignoring impactful details.
I am devastated that quality content will always take significantly longer to create.
I can do the comics in a minimal amount of time, but nearly everything else requires multiple steps. I am even considering the idea of having one of my characters host a conspiracy or news type program. But even that, where all I’d have to do is record the audio and plug the character into a basic background, would still require time for the research.
I remain bothered by my realization; however, I place hope in my belief that I am sculpting the rotors of a machine that will eventually perform more work with the same amount of input effort. I have come to one realization, however.
No matter how much effort or time it takes to create something, it only truly “exists” when it is submitted for the world’s judgment. All the thinking, planning, executing – none of that can be consumed. If I drew a stick figure on a napkin, took a picture, posted it on twitter and a few people thought it was funny, I would have done more to grow my audience than I have in the past 6 months.
Clearly the work you do in private is meaningful and significant – worth quite a bit more than drawing stick figures on napkins, regardless of how many “likes” that may receive. With that being said, posting anything for the world to view will move me closer toward my goal than spending additional time sharpening the corners.
Safe and Effective
Let’s Bailout Another One!
Finished – 3-13-23
I completed the sound mixing Saturday night and rendered the video and audio together yesterday. There are a couple of minor sound adjustments I will make but it is completed. I may add a title animation in the beginning and something at the end. I don’t have a credit scroll as I literally did everything but I would like to add something for the outro music.
I plan to make the episode available free for viewing in 2 weeks, and of course will host a link here. Leading up to that I intend to release short clips and some comics to showcase a few of the main characters. This will be low effort but valuable for generating traffic.
With episode 1 completed I am excited for what the future may bring. Having created an entire set of characters and backgrounds I anticipate future projects using these elements will be 10x more efficient. I will enjoy writing, animating, and mixing again, but more importantly I will be able to steer myself in a specific direction.
It does not require money to produce an animated story, only time. I’m going to treat this series as though it is the foundation for my filmmaking future. By recycling assets I have already created I will be able to distribute content more regularly and grow an audience. As my following increases so will my monetary avenues toward financing a live action film.
I should begin putting together the short clips but won’t be animating anything today. Instead I hope to make a song because it has been far too long since I’ve gotten to work with music.
Hope your week has started strong and you remain courageous in your trials.