Contact Info / Websites
First off if you haven't already, go check out The BloodQueef Anthology!!! It was Team ToeJam's submission for the recent Game Jam that took place! The team consisted of me, JazLyte, JordanD, and Rig. We animated three stories by bloodqueef. I had a lot of fun working with everyone even though I was a shit team member and decided to get sick during the weekend and couldn't contribute as much as I wanted or planned to. Sorry.
GO CHECK IT OUT!!!
In other news, 2011 is here and I have big plans for myself. So far the year has been great! I've declared my major as Political Science, I'm pledging a fraternity, and I've got a lot of great goals and ideas that I plan to see through by the end of the year. Flash-wise, it may be difficult getting some of my newer movies started, including an awesome Pico Day movie I wrote out, but by summer I should have time to get some things started and finished. Instead of getting things started though, I also want to try to finish some of the animations that have been on hold for months, even though some of them shouldn't see the light of day.
I've also been working on some web comic ideas that I want to get serious on. I recently took a class just for fun on web comics (got an A!) and I found that I really really really enjoyed making them. I've had some stories stuck in my head for years that I would love to see get out there somehow, and a web comic is the perfect place to do that. I'm even toying with the idea of staring my own site if I truly get serious about my own comic, though that is a long term goal that will wait to see if I can actually keep up an update schedule for a comic. Its hard to do that with school and all.
In conclusion, go check out the above link!!!
[ As requested by YungJazz here is what I think of Newgrounds ]
[ CLICK HERE for the Halloween Collab 2010 Information and "forum" ]
I've been visiting Newgrounds since I was in 7th grade. I've seen what Newgrounds was, how it evolved, how it came to be what it is today, and hopefully have an idea of where Newgrounds is heading. Newgrounds used to be a place I just visited because they had great games, funny animations, and sadly...a free collection of porn that was as entertaining as it was sexual. That was then. As I grew, Newgrounds seemed to grow. I began to notice the talent the website offered, or perhaps the talent just got better and everybody finally took notice. I don't know, but Newgrounds did evolve.
Soon I began to see the hard work and talent that animators and artists put into their works. The games got more complex and more entertaining and I immersed myself more and more into the community. I began to see that past the porn and the immature games and such there existed a large and strong community of talented individuals who had a place to show their work, whether it be their art, animation, games, or music. I began to see Newgrounds in a new light, and with the re-design and more tools offered to the creators of such content, my views of Newgrounds changed drastically. Newgrounds was no longer a site that I went on for twenty minutes after school, but a site I would sometimes browse for hours on end just to discover all the content people were throwing out, or to get into arguments with people on the forums about politics or why the new Star Wars movies are horrible compared to the old ones.
Newgrounds can be viewed many ways depending on your perspective, but I believe you can group these perspectives into two categories : developer and user. By developer, I mean somebody who creates content for the site, from art to music. As a user, I mean somebody who simply views the site and interacts on the forums. For the user, Newgrounds is simply another portal on the internet where they can go and get high quality entertainment for free. They can play games, watch movies, or if they're so inclined, browse the forums and get in internet arguments with strangers half a world away. For this user, Newgrounds hasn't changed much since the initial launch of the automated portal. Newgrounds has always offered high quality entertainment for free, just the amount of content has changed, and arguably the quality. It is now easier for strict users of the site to find what they're looking for, and Newgrounds has made it easier for them to find something else when they're not expecting it.
For the developer, I think Newgrounds has changed a lot since the launch of the automated portal. Newgrounds has always been a place for people to freely host their content and get feedback, but over the years, these people have grown in number and have created a large community. As the community grew, Newgrounds evolved to meet their needs and continues to do so. The community has helped hundreds, if not thousands, of people expand their work, expand their talent, and further enjoy their respective hobbies. Some have been lucky enough to get noticed and now work in their respective industries. Newgrounds has also made it so that developers, especially game developers, make money of the advertisements in their movies and games. While it may not be enough to support a family, or even yourself unless you make it big (Toss The Turtle is a great example), the fact that Newgrounds has this option separates itself from the other portal websites on the net. Newgrounds also sponsors many games and movies, and although I don't have first-hand experience in this area of Newgrounds, I can only imagine that it benefits the developer even more.
Another way Newgrounds has grown from its large community is that Newgrounds is widely known on the internet. As the community grew and Newgrounds began to create better and better content and showcase it, the community went out and spread the word of Newgrounds on the web. Newgrounds has spread by its community, and Newgrounds has taken care of its community (see MONEY above).
Still, what sets Newgrounds apart from many other websites is that it has a face. In fact, Newgrounds has many faces. Not only are major developers and users recognized among the community, but the staff of Newgrounds is very present in the community. A quick glance in the forums and you'll notice that the staff are very friendly to the user-base, especially when the users are asking for help. They are around and they treat everyone with respect(if they deserve it). Sometimes you forget that these people are the reason Newgrounds even exists, that you're talking to the founder or the major programmer or whatever of Newgrounds. They have created an atmosphere of community and friendship that is hard to duplicate anywhere else. What's even more impressive is that the Newgrounds community regularly meets in real life locations, where users, generally the older crowd, meet up and discuss whatever they want. It shows that Newgrounds is a strong community when you can get people to meet up in one location.
Newgrounds changed its slogan from "The Problems of the Future, Today" to "Everything by Everyone" when they re-designed the header, and it as the right thing to do. From where Newgrounds was at the time to where it was going and is still heading, Newgrounds has and continues to live up to its slogan and name. Newgrounds is breaking new ground with their userbase, their content, and the way the community takes care of each other every day. Newgrounds is truly a website where everything you see is created by everyone on the site. The artists create the art, the animators make the movies, the programmers make the games and apps, the musicians create some of the most creative and best music the internet has FREE access to, and the fan-base keeps the energy alive. Newgrounds is hard to describe, but easy to get involved in and feel why the community is so strong.
Until we get permission to post on the BBS, this post will serve as our make-shift forum for talking about the collab.
Halloween Collab 2010 Information
The main idea of this collab is to show how Halloween changes for people based on age,
starting from when we are little kids to adults in their thirties and beyond.
Here is the list of parts ( in order ) that will be animated.
1. Children go out trick-or-treating and are scarred by everything
2. Children ( a bit older ) go out and get candy
3. Children ( a bit older and bigger ) go out to further places and get more candy
4. Now the teens are too old to trick or treat. They get sad when nobody gives them
5. The next year they decide to be mischievous and cause destruction ( toilet papering
houses, egging cars, etc, maybe even steal candy)
6. Now they go to parties and their costumes are more extreme ( sluttier and more
7. Now they go to college where they party harder, get more drunk, and act crazier.
They go trick or treating, but for shots of liquor. They might trick or treat around
dorm rooms instead of houses.
8. Now they are old. They go to costume parties, but they are WAY less intense and
kind of lame. Imagine 30 year olds at costume parties.
9. Now they are old and hand out candy to children. No fun for them anymore
How To Animate the Parts
The genre of this collab is comedy, so every part should be its own funny story that when
combined with the other parts will form a funny collaboration of Halloween goodness.
There currently ( this is subject to change ) a list of character guidelines and a list of who is voicing which character, so if you join the collab this will get sent to you.
FPS : 24
Animate the movie on one movieclip on one keyframe in the main timeline.
Please make an AS2 file.
All sounds set to stream.
If you make any background images in Photoshop or any other program other than Flash,
please put them as a .png. I want to keep this thing as small as possible.
I only have Flash CS3, so please save the .fla as a CS3 file or under.
A widescreen ( 16:9) ratio of 720 x 405. A lot of space to work with so make the best use of
No sprites. Nothing against them, but I don't want them here.
Post WIP's on Dumping Grounds and show them frequently, either on an email list (to me or
One person can have a maximum of TWO (2) parts. If we really need people to take on three
parts or more, that will happen later on.
Early October at the latest, so lets make it October 1st. This will give me time to make
menus, get bios, and just string it all together. It will be submitted anytime between then and
October 31st. Also, make sure you add me as a buddy on Newgrounds so I can co-author
Because I can't post on the forums yet due to the collab rules, this post will serve as our makeshift thread. Treat it like you would a forum.
List of Animators and their Parts
Part 1 :
Part 2 : dirtshake -- DONE
Part 3 : iceimp -- DONE
Part 4 : Tystarr
Part 5 : ColdReaver
Part 6 : Tyler
Part 7 : YungJazz
Part 8 :
Part 9 : SupraAddict
If you have any questions feel free to post here or PM and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.
Wow, its been a while since I've updated this thing. School kicked my ass these past two semesters but it is finally DONE! I survived and enjoyed my freshman year at Michigan. Even though the academics kicked the shit out of me I can't wait to go back! I made great friends and discovered many things about myself that I could have never discovered before. College does change you into [hopefully] a better person and it's only been the first year! I wonder how I'll feel after three more!
Anyways, one negative thing about college was that I got NO time for flash, at least no time for working on it. I came up with many ideas, wrote most of them down, even wrote a plan for a few scripts and all, but very little time to open up Flash and get to work. The only noteworthy artistic accomplishment I made was making a research poster for a research project with InDesign (which by the way, I have fallen in love with). That was a fun experience.
But on to what my plans are for summer besides working as a receptionist again. I've made a production schedule for at least two movies, a collaboration (more info below) and plans for reading about Actionscript 3.0 and C++. So far putting these on a calendar have helped get most done and I hope that continues for another three to four months.
I am organizing a Halloween collaboration off of Newgrounds due to the rules for posting a collab and I am looking for people who may be interested. The collab deals with how Halloween changes for people as they grow older and has ten parts. There are currently five animators on board and I hope to get five more. If you're interested post below or message me and I'll send you more information on it.
As I previously said, I am working on two animations this summer. Both are comedies, both stupid, but something fun to do. The featured voice actor in both is my good friend and oh-so-funny man YungJazz. Be sure to watch for his new movie which could be out...well...I have no idea, but just keep an eye out for it! He's cooking up something special for you! I hope to have my animations done within the next three months, but with working for both parents, we'll see.
I posted some new art yesterday. It's called Mexican Sunset. Check it out if you get the chance! Comments and critiques are always welcome.
That's all I have to say right now. I gotta get back to work.
Happy Madness Day everyone!!! Before you watch any submissions, check out mine.
I was able to throw this together during my first three weeks of college life at the University of Michigan. I won't bore anyone with the details, but life here is sweet. After putting this out I really think this year will be a productive year. Animation keeps a lot of the stress off of school.
Anyways, happy Madness Day everyone! Enjoy my movie (along with everyone else's)
For the past couple of weeks Yungjazz and I have been meeting up in my basement to work on animation together. The results were amazing and I decided to write up something because everyone should know how awesome the experience is.
Animating With Friends
Almost everyone, artists, animator, game designer, or average Joe, knows what it feels to have little to no motivation for a project. As students we've slacked off; as employees we've acted like zombies. Even with personal projects that we may find interesting we've slacked off due to stress, a lack of drive, or procrastination. Some of us have figured out how to get past these roadblocks with certain techniques, work habits, or just telling ourselves to, "Get Over It". Despite these methods many of us still may have trouble working on whatever project we have assigned ourselves to do. Recently my friend and I have discovered one way of working which not only increases productivity but also makes working infinitely more enjoyable.
Throughout my entire time as an animator I have had a hard time staying focused on what I am working on. Mixed with my already horrible procrastination trait, it has made making anything in a timely manner difficult. I have tried many different ways of combating this flaw. I have tried working on two projects simultaneously thinking that maybe switching back and forth from them could keep my focus. This worked, though not as great as I had wished. I have tried making deadlines for myself, which utterly failed. I've even tried making a spreadsheet of the various things I have to do to complete an animation. While making me more organized it didn't help me make anything more quickly. Since nothing worked well I used the wonderful method of telling myself to, "Get Over It" and plowed through. For the most part, this worked, but it wasn't enjoyable despite my love of animating. Roughly three weeks ago I found a great solution; parties.
How would parties make anyone more productive? They are filled with people, distractions, and everything to make you less motivated to work. However when I say parties, I don't mean the college style, filled with kegs, drunk fools, broken households and dreams. An environment such as that is unsuitable for working, unless you're the videographer type. In that case you can make a fortune. However, most of us are not those people so the parties I will talk about are a bit different.
My friend Kalen (aka Yungjazz) has had similar problems in terms of completing (or in some cases starting) animations. He has been working on a very long and ambitious project called "Necropolis: Xenophobe" and the work load at times has burned him out. I suggested we meet up one night in my basement and each animate something quick and stupid to submit to the portal, similar to how "Queers of War" came into existence. One fateful night we set up our laptops and microphone and along with our non-animator friend Joel recorded the most hilariously stupid dialogue ever heard in my house. We immediately began animating. Unfortunately nothing of value was finished that night as originally planned, but we found ourselves being more productive than if we had animated separately. We decided to try it again.
The next week we again set up our animation station in my basement and started cranking out frame after frame of animation. This past weekend was our third and by far the most productive session. We had animated for a few hours with anime playing in the background for inspiration and food between ourselves to take away from the munchies. I finished sketching a new movie and Kalen had drawn and shaded 100 frames (for a frame-by-frame fight scene). Afterward we talked and realized these were the only times we were very productive and it was benefiting both of us greatly.
Allow me to further explain the benefits in greater detail.
Many of us already set aside time to work on projects. Though when we are alone we may let the distractions of life interrupt our time. When you animate with others you setting aside time for them as well, which naturally gives you more motivation to work. You don't want to waste your friends time as well as your own, so you work longer than you would normally.
Animating with a friend provides support for you and your friend. If one of you needs help with something you have others there to aid you. When Kalen tried out a new way of showing magic I was there to provide instant feedback, which benefited his work. When I needed help animating Kalen was there to provide some of his tips and tricks, which made animating more efficient. We were also able to watch each other's movies and provide instant feedback on that as well. It is invaluable to have this kind of support when animating, and even more invaluable if you have it right next to you.
Distractions are in our lives. They will never go away no matter how hard we try. Even if we somehow manage to eliminate all outside distractions there will always be internal distractions trying to force us off our game. However, some distractions can be positive. Concentrating on animation for hours at a time can be exhausting, even if you love it. Having someone across the table from you to talk to you about something other than animation can reduce stress and boredom and make animating more enjoyable.
Something different inspires each of us to do what we love. Our ideas are inspired by things we see or do in our lives. Even if our ideas are original we receive inspiration to act on them from our idols. When you animate with someone else you can receive that same inspiration, even if it is on a lesser level than your idols. Ideas or the drive to do better can be inspired by friends just as it can be inspired from professional animators, artists, or game developers.
This is arguably the most important thing you can get from animating with a friend. Very few activities are less fun in a group and animating is no exception.
I hope this advice helps and it would be awesome if more people started to work this way. It truly is invaluable.
O T H E R N E W S !!!
As the above article suggests I have been working on a new animation. I am keeping the details secret for now until closer to the release date, or possible until it comes out, but I have been working.
Work has kept me busy otherwise, though it has allowed me to brainstorm many ideas, all of which I am writing down. There is no shortage of content available for any movie I decide to make.
Highschool has ended and a new step in my life has begun. Yah, it is an over-used cliché', but I guess it fits. When you're in highschool you don't realize how much time it takes out of your life until you have that time. For the past few weeks I have been trying to waste as little time as possible until I go to college in the fall. I've been taking care of a few personal projects that I have been meaning to finish, and those are coming along nicely now that I have six more hours of free time in the day.
Oh wait...I don't...I have even less...sort of.
I started my summer looking for job. Unfortunately as many young people know, the economy sucks and it is very hard to find a job. Michigan's economy is even worse, so finding a job in this state is damn near impossible. Somehow I found one, but it was a lucky break. I had been searching for a while and thanks to help from my friend's mom I was able to track down a job at a local McDonalds. No sooner than I had filled out the application did my mom come in and offer me a job. She is a partner in a small law firm and they have been understaffed recently since one of their secretaries quite unexpectedly. She offered me the job of being their receptionist for the summer. I took the job and started my journey into office work.
I've had the job for just about a week now and I must say I enjoy it. I get in around 8:00 a.m. and make the coffee, then I sit down for eight hours and answer phones, take messages, and do other tasks that I am asked to do. While it may sound boring on paper, it is actually enjoyable, and the pay is great for a summer job. I also get to enjoy the company of everyone working, and they are a bunch of crazy characters.
Another great part about my job is the free time I get in between calls. With this time I've been able to do a lot of different things, including researching a new laptop to buy for school. I decided to get a Toshiba A305-s6916. It's a beauty for the price and should be perfect for flash work, as well as the daily tasks of school work. I've only had it for a day, but I already love what it can do for me(I'm posing off it right now). With the free time I also have time to work on flash projects.
Hmm...that was weird...just got a call and nobody was on it...oh well....
Anyways like I was saying, flash projects. While I can't animate on this thing until I install Flash on it I have been able to continue storyboarding on my next movie. It's embarrassing, but I've been sketching on and off since the beginning of September, but I am proud to say that I am ALMOST done with it. Better late than never I suppose. I hope to have the storyboards done by the end of next week. Then I can start production on the actual movie and get out of this nine month pre-production thing I've got going on. I guess it could be worse. At least I have ideas.
I also have news about actual animation work. The third Disturbed Collab piece I'm working on is coming along nicely. Primary animation is nearly complete. Once that is done I can go back and add backgrounds as well as shading, lip syncing, and other snazzy details that make movies good. I'm not sure if I'll take another part, or even if there will be parts to take, but I will definitely have something to work on once I'm done with it.
Now onto some other news. First I have a call...
... Hmm..that one was actually a person. I prefer those calls. Back to the news.
I went down to the Newgrounds Michigan Meet Up a few weeks back along with YungJazz , Pijju, and my girlfriend island_chick. We met up with Jonas, SardonicSamurai, 36Holla, and soncimega. Jonas has a better write-up of it than I am going to bother to write, but I thought I'd write something about it.
Everyone was amazing to chill with for a day. Everyone was nice, funny, social(save for Jonas who kept wandering off, but that's where those pics came from), and overall great people to hang out with. Lunch was where I realized we were all dorks, but I loved it. Sonic and sardonic started talking to each other in their various voices and when Yungjazz joined in we scared some families. The arcade was awesome and we got a lot more time to socialize. Sardonic and I played a game of pool and he beat me, but it was a close and fun game. While we were there Jonas whipped out his prototype Tankmen the Card Game deck and taught everyone how to play. The game is relatively easy to learn and a whole lot of fun to play. The basic idea is to capture areas through battling each other, and there is a lot of hilarity along the way. If I remember right, Jonas is passing the game back and forth between the NG Office so it can be in the store eventually for everyone to buy. I highly recommend that everyone should buy it when it comes out (whenever that is) and if you ever go to a NG meet-up with Jonas to play the game. You won't regret it. Overall the meet-up was an amazing experience. I hope I'll get the chance to attend more in the future.
Well I'm going to get back to work now. I expect the calls will start flooding in like they always do in the afternoon. I'll try to post a screen shot of something when I get the chance. I took the cue from Yungjazz to try to post artwork with every post...even if his last post was some dude taking a dump.... >_<
This weekend I experience something that I never thought I would enjoy. The opera.
A friend of ours took my brother and I to Madama Butterfly, an opera about the tragic love between a Japanese girl and an American naval officer. The local movie theatre projected it live from the Metropolitan Opera House, which was amazing in itself. It was nothing like I expected it to be. The singers were FUCKING AMAZING and the emotion felt was very real. I found it very exciting to watch and I would gladly see another one.
Everyone should at least give opera a chance. I realize it is one of those "love it" or "hate it' sort of arts, but it should be given a chance. If you happen to have a theatre in the area that shows live opera then take a chance to see it. It's more expensive than a movie, but WAY cheaper than going to the opera house.
In other news, I finished that calc doodle I posted in my last update. It is one of the better, if not the best, backgrounds I have ever drawn. I also love the no lines style. I'm going to definitely use it more in future movies.
School has been hitting me hard for the past few weeks. English threw me an eight page literary analysis paper(which ended up being ten pages), calc has been murdering me, physics has been dropping me at 9.8 m/s^2, and the school play has kicked into high gear, meaning time to build a lot of shit(including an eight foot balcony complete with stairs that I'm in charge of building). At least I love technical theatre, but school couldn't end sooner.
Luckily for me school has started to slow down in terms of workload and brutal murder of my soul. Calc and physics have somehow merged together in that we have started solving the same problems in both classes using slight variations of the same formula. Though it does make sense, considering Newton did invent calculus and that is what a lot of physics is based on.
But now I'm rambling about school...so lets move on to flash news.
As usual, school has kept me away from working on my own projects. Little Frog Duel II has slowed to a halt. Right now I'm giving up on this project. I have no current motivation for it and my art and animation skills have improved so much that I would want to start this project from scratch if I were to tackle it again. Luckily I have many new ideas for movies that I can work on instead.
I view this as a positive, negative, and sort of a hypocritical step for me.
The negative is that I have given up on a project to focus on something else. This is one of my personal flaws. I give up on ideas to focus on new ones and rarely get anything done. I have been trying to combat this weakness in recent years and it has paid off, though it is hard to get rid of in my flash environment.
The positive aspect of this decision is that I can focus on new and exciting projects. Projects that might keep my interest in the future and projects that I may actually be able to finish on a quicker time table. LFD2 was a huge project and some of the movies I am planning on making are shorts. It also means the quality of LFD2 will be greater than if I was to work on it now. If/when I start to work on it my skills will be greater than they are now. This ensures a higher quality of work, but at a greater time away.
The hypocritical side of this decision is that it goes against my own advice to my friend Kalen. I have given him advice in the past to never give up on his projects just because he lost focus. I feel that if I am doing this now than all my advice will have no meaning. I am a big believer in practicing what you preach. I guess this is just how life is, but I still can't help feeling a tiny bit guilty.
Enough about Little Frog Duel II though. Let's move on to things that I have actually accomplished in flash.
While I have not been able to work on my personal projects, I have been able to produce a nice part for the "Prayer" by Disturbed Collab. I produced a part for it back in July before the school year. Over the busy school weeks I have been able to make a new and better part for the collab and have just finished it. Since anyone can find these parts in the thread, I thought I'd post them here for everyone to see. This is just so you all can see my parts when the actual collab comes out. =D
...I'm so selfish....
I've also started working on a third part for the collab. These parts are great for me to improve my skills because they are so short, yet can be so expressive and creative based on what you want to create. Based on the lyrics in the song I am able to create a great visual as an accompaniment. These short parts also allow me to work on creating a higher quality of artwork and animation than I have been used to in making my past movies. They are helping me greatly and these skills I'm practicing and learning will benefit my longer projects once I get more free time.
Here are the parts for the collab.
I'll post shots of Part 31 soon, though you can always find recent updates in the thread.
Finally a doodle for you're enjoyment. No info on it yet, just a random doodle I drew in calc on day when I was bored and in a threatening mood.
For many many months I had on my body a beard and long thick hair. Apparently my girlfriend of almost two years didn't like the shaggyness of my beard and a coin toss ensued which changed my look.
It was the night before I was getting a haircut. My hair was getting long and it was in need of a trim. Amia told me how she didn't like how shaggy it was and wanted me to finally shave it(not to mention she was pissed at me that night). I had a baby face when we started dating and she had forgotten what my face used to look like. I told her I would trim it or at least get rid of the hair on my jaw line but she wanted it all gone due to its shaggy nature and her attitude towards me at that moment. Since neither of us would budge, we decided to decide the fate of my face with a coin toss.
She conveniently had a quarter. I called heads; she called tails. If I won I would only trim my hair and beard as usual and shave off only the jaw line of hair. If she won I would cut my hair short like it used to be and shave off my beard.
The coin was tossed and my fate would soon be decided.
That day I went to get my haircut as usual and left with it short as hell, or at least shorter than what I was used to. However it wasn't too radical of a change since I still had the beard. Unfortunately for my beard I went to my bathroom only a few hours later, trimmer and razor in hand.
First I began to trim the shaggyness away from my face, leaving a well trimmed and handsome beard staring back at me from the mirror. Then I took the razor to my face. With each stroke I began to feel younger and younger until I was starring at the freshmen version of myself. I was shocked and appalled, and intrigued that I now resembled my dad instead of my uncle.
I left shortly after the job and realized how warm my beard kept me in the winter. I traveled to her house and saw her reaction as she starred at my baby face. She actually was shocked and couldn't believe her eyes. That night we went to Kalen's house and I'll never forget the quote he said as we walked to his basement.
"Who the hell is this white boy with you....WTF DIRTSHAKE!!!!"
My friends honestly did not recognize me.
Now after a few days have passed I am waiting for the day until I can grow it back. I honestly miss the beard. Luckily I'm getting used to the new hair style, so maybe I'll keep that in some shape or form.
PICTURE INCLUDED!!!! O_O =O