Tag Archives: EMS
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.
All Aboard the Printmaster
After a week and a half since I animated the last scene I’m 75% done with the sound design process. I’m happy I elected to use splice for the majority of the sound effects. Downloading sounds that are already EQed makes everything much easier. Most of the work I’m doing involves bussing different tracks to different reverbs and speaker locations.
Once this is completed I’ll share the full episode with some close friends and put together a short trailer. I think it would be wise to piece together short intro videos for the main characters to build hype for the episodes release. More important than that, I’d like to use the Youtube algorithm to my advantage. Posting regularly for a couple of weeks will increase the likelihood that the cartoon is recommended.
I’m considering splitting the episode up into a few parts. It has a runtime of 28 minutes. I’m undecided about this, but feel I’ll make my final decision based on what will help it receive the most views. Viewers may prefer a 15 minute chunk, but youtube algorithm may favor the longer runtime.
It’s been a joy working with my speakers but I really can’t wait to be done with this. I’d love to work on some music and begin writing a new project. I think it’s equally important to begin work on the second episode immediately, though with one strong caveat.
Future project involving the characters must be produced with far greater efficiency. I will treat what I’ve already created as if they are chess pieces on a chess board. The amount of moves they can make are limited and must always remain within the confines of the board. Even with these limitations, there is an infinite number of combination moves that can be made. By refraining from creating a whole new set of assets I will be able to complete production of a second episode much more rapidly. Entertainment favors minutes of content over quality, and I must keep that in mind if I am to gain viewership and eventually a budget for a live action production.
Hope your week is going well and you keep your nose to the grindstone. Life is empty without purpose, and purpose is empty without strife.
Finishing Up – 2-17-23
I’ve got 2 scenes left to animate and have 25 minutes fully animated. The process continues to move along faster each day. I have created my final character for the episode, Nurse Becky, which took the bulk of my week. I have to say that created a new character is by far the most time consuming part of the process.
I have some ideas for how I’m going to promote the episode prior to its release. I believe animating a short 1 minute clip for each main character and releasing them as daily youtube shorts will do much to get the ball rolling. I’m going to limit myself to 1 character and one background angle per short.
My final 2 speakers should be arriving in the next two days. This will enable me to begin editing in surround sound. I believe the sound effects and foley design may move very fast. I will be using sound effects from “splice” in order to avoid spending time recording and editing sounds. The fun part is choosing the reverb, delay, speaker placement, and panning for the sounds. These tasks are simple and quick but allow me to be more creative than simply dragging and dropping the sounds into place.
The final part of the project will be adding music. I imagine at most using 1-3 songs for the entire episode. The more important “music” will be sounds that assist emotional transition. If you watch Southpark, there are several musical cues that indicate a scene transition or emotional moment. I hope to design high quality sounds that I can reuse for each episode.
I am very excited about what is to come and even more excited about watching my hypothesis of repeatability play out. When I begin work on the next episode, I will already have 12 main characters fully drawn and programmed. I will have 3 primary locations with a wide variety of camera angles.
I have chosen to make this comedy about private paramedic workers because the setting is relatively simple – each episode will feature the same 3 principle locations and 12 main characters for 90% of it. That means I may only have to create 1 new background and 1 new character each time I set out to create a new show.
Looking forward to the future and I hope you’re doing the same.
Comic #7 – Aliens
Progress and Pontification
I’ve made significant progress this week and have settled on a 23 minute run time for episode 1. I have 20+ minutes fully animated and am now working on the climax.
It’s time for me to get more serious about the marketing and building a sense of anticipation for episode 1. I have been releasing weekly web comics that are generally scrolled over but have nonetheless received 1-7 likes on social media, which in some circles is called “going viral.”
I am convinced youtube algorithm can be successfully maneuvered through purposeful planning. Releasing videos in batches, posting Youtube shorts, and live videos are known methods to attract viewers to your channel. Finding your way into the “suggested” pile is a surefire way to get a long form video viewed.
Starting this week, I plan to begin releasing short 1 minute scenes of Paramedic Robot that have nothing to do with the episode I’m currently working on. They will likely feature 1 perspective, a basic background, and sketch so funny viewers will have no choice but to keep scrolling and forget it ever existed. The key here will be the amount of time required to complete the scene and the amount of viewership this can gain.
I would like to employ the use of a stopwatch during editing at some point in time. I find I can be relatively quick when it comes to backgrounds and the physical actions of animated characters. When it comes to designing watches or more minute (My-nute?) details of a character I am prone to wasting large sums of time until it looks just right. After this first episode debuts, I must make a set of ground rules for myself in order to keep production efficient. Have you ever seen those videos about Middle Eastern bakeries? The workers never stop! They move like clockwork until they are soaked in sweat. That is what it takes to turn a profit in the private sector, and creating a successful film production company should be no different.
*Below is an internal discussion I’ve been having with myself regarding the audio mix. It doesn’t really belong here but I already wrote so I see no sense in deleting it now. Hope you have a wonderful day.
I ordered some new gear recently – a 2 terabyte nvme card, 64 gb of ram, and my first set of studio monitors and a subwoofer. The first two items were necessary so that I could edit on my desktop computer. Since the completion of the last episode of Mountain Cult, I have not had enough room on my C drive to operate any programs. I literally had to juggle programs like After Effects, Adobe Audition, and Ableton Live in order to work with files on a separate drive.
I am determined to complete my set of speakers so that I can edit in surround sound. Unfortunately, that will also require me to order more cables, 2 standing monitor stands, another desktop stand, and a TV stand. It’s not cheap and I do not have enough room for all that equipment. I am willing to work extra shifts for the gear, in fact last week I worked a 36 hour shift to pay for the aforementioned items.
Surround sound – multiple independent streams of audio coming from various speakers. This provides a more immersive environment that allows the listener to hear background noises independent from the dialogue coming through the center front speaker.
Stereo – Sounds are limited to 2 speakers (left and right). A subwoofer may be included to promote frequencies generally at or below 80 hz.
One simple solution that I have all but decided on is to improve my abilities at stereo mixing before ordering the additional speakers. Paramedic Robot will debut on Youtube – which does not support surround sound anyway. Many modern day streaming services do, however, and that is why I’ve been wrestling with doing it in surround (it’s easier to downmix from surround to stereo than vice versa).
Another advantage of working in stereo is that the music we listen to comes from stereo files. This means any songs I create in Ableton may be uploaded as downloadable tracks on a site such as spotify. If I decide to mix the film in surround, I will have to export what is known as “stems” so that I can send different instruments/tracks to the Left Side and Right Side speakers than the Left Front and Right Front.
Ultimately at this point in the game I feel I would be much wiser to mix in stereo. Episode 1 of Paramedic Robot will be lucky to break 1000 views on Youtube. Preparing for the future is generally a smart decision, but in this case I feel the effort will not be worth the reward. One additional component of my consideration is that mixing in surround now will help me mix with more efficiency in the future. I may even able to find work in sound design for a legitimate film with that experience.
2023 Early Self Destruction
Happy New Year!
I saw an intriguing video this week by youtuber “Why Files.” His channel is excellent and I watched it grow from 100,000 subscribers to 1,000,000 in one year. He credited much of his growth to the popularity of his YouTube shorts, which eventually influenced the Youtube algorithm to recommend his long form videos.
I am still animating the 30 minute episode I’ve been working on. Considering the success of the Why Files, I am contemplating putting out Youtube shorts on a weekly basis. This would add more work but if I can keep the animated scene simple it may be to great benefit.
Anyways, hope you enjoyed this little comic. Don’t worry about Ricky too much – he’s that over analyzes everything.
I’ve got 20 minutes to write this before I attend a work required class. Not enough time to do anything of significance but maybe I can get something out there.
I hate watching days pass as I continue to work on my current project. As I’ve noted throughout, the belief in what I’m doing for the current episode is based in what it may provide for me in the future. I came to a realization that frequency and quantity of content is a better predictor of success than quality alone. If you make a perfect song as a no name artist, you may not have anyone to give it a listen. Pop stars, on the other hand, will have their bullshit replayed over radio waves until even the non-complicit listeners know the words. Film and novels are no different – there are tremendous stories out there that nobody has ever heard of, and maybe never will.
I think about Van Gogh a lot. We all know he was an insanely talented and tormented artist. But what amazes me most about Van Gogh is his inability to sell a painting. He lived in his mind, constantly improving his craft with a non-stop output of material. But his personality was abrasive which I believe led to a lot of personal rejection. I believe Van Gogh thought that strangers would see the magnificence of his work without having a personal relationship with him. Today’s “influencers” are the polar opposite – they don’t produce a product, they’re personality is the product. For me it is proof that the majority of people value social status over the invisible truths – beauty, love, faith. Today Van Gogh is universally praised as an artistic juggernaut because it is the accepted social norm of a view. In his day, I’m certain the common man would respond to his name with a “Who?”.
All this is to say I believe in my current project because it should enable me to produce more content faster in the future. I can return to making music and include a new track in each episode. I can reuse the characters I have already designed, programmed, and replicated in multiple perspectives. The show itself is about ambulance workers – so I don’t see why each episode shouldn’t include an ambulance and a hospital for 75% of the runtime. That means I can reuse backgrounds, which again promotes efficiency.
The lag I have experienced is related to this repeatedly. Reusable background are created in multiple perspectives, as are the dynamic assets within them (passing vehicles, phones, chairs, desks, etc.). But why design one vehicle in 3 perspectives, when you can simply change the color and create 10 vehicles in 3 perspectives? This same thinking applies to everything. Why create a picket fence for the scene at hand and not save it as a PNG with alpha to be reused later? It’s millions of small tasks like this that drain the day. I do not enjoy any of it but stand by my philosophy.
A few days ago I ordered some studio monitors (aka speakers). Last week I purchased a new focusrite interface that will allow me to mix in surround sound. I am extremely excited about this possibilities this provides. Even if I should start mixing other filmmakers work, that might produce better long term results than spending more hours at the job I currently have, which is unrelated to any of this.
Any way, it’s time for me to head out now. Hope all is well and you find joy with your day.