In-Depth Post #2

I haven’t really done much so far, to be completely honest. I did make several character designs but I couldn’t save them because I have the beta version of the program. But I did figure out what I wanted to animate and have decided on a design. It’s going to sound incredibly nerdy, but there’s this bit in a Naruto opening theme where the titular character is running and growing up. That doesn’t make any sense, so I’ll just add a link into the post. running gif (sorry for low quality)

Other than that, I just had a second meeting with my mentor and it was pretty interesting. We talked a lot about how the animation industry works and kind of how successful cartoons are made. There’s a lot that goes into an animation, even a 2 minute short. There’s a whole process, really. One idea is handpicked out of several, and that idea has to get approved before it gets to the scriptwriters, storyboard artists and design. Then the design teams create designs which are then approved and sent off to the storyboard artists so they can create the guidelines for the actual animation and the scriptwriters create the story for them. A lot of time and money is invested into this process, so you can imagine what happens when an animation doesn’t capture viewers attention. Millions of dollars are wasted.

For me, I had somewhat of an idea about this, but to hear it from an animator himself was pretty shocking. There’s so much risk involved in this industry but pioneers like Disney and Catmull have done it anyway. We also talked about 360 marketing, such as using youtube and generating ad revenue and creating merchandise. I definitely agreed on this point. You can see short animations all over youtube, and I’ve even watched several of them myself to get ideas for this project. There are a lot by CalArts students and they’re absolutely amazing. But there’s usually an ad before the video plays, so ad revenue is generated. More views, more money.

One difference I found with my mentor was that he said you should make yourself an extrovert. And I would generally categorize myself as an introvert. But I actually had a conversation with Ms. Mulder the other day, and we were talking about how the world actually needs introverts, the quiet people. I can definitely see where my mentor is coming from, since forming connections is so important in society but at the same time I would usually agree with what Ms. Mulder said, that the world needs both introverts and extroverts. Obviously my mentor’s opinion is based on the competitive world he lives in while my opinions are based on prior experience and much thought after the aforementioned discussion. Either way, I hope the next two weeks are productive.

gif courtesy of


Jean-Jacques Rousseau-Final Address

Final Address

It’s been quite a while since I’ve died. Honestly, with all of the bleeding and fighting it’s hard to believe I was reading and writing for this cause. I was an orphan who never received a formal education, yet everyone thought of me as one of the most important Enlightenment philosophers, Jean-Jacques Rousseau. I may have created my legacy and paved the pathway for the revolution, but honestly with the way Robespierre turned out I somewhat regret my contributions to this. Even Jean-Paul Marat died recently.

If only there was a way to reform France without the whole Reign of Terror. I do admit the government system was corrupt, but we could’ve also continued with a new and improved version of the monarchy or even aristocracy, like I said in my infamous Social Contract. Of course, the idea of democracy was also circulating around. But we were largely staging our revolution based on America’s success.

What would have happened to France if America wasn’t successful? Would Louis have continued his reign? Well, I suppose I shouldn’t trouble the good people of France with my hypothetical thoughts. I have plenty of time to ponder the great mysteries of life now that it’s the afterlife and no such critics like Voltaire can trouble me. Oh wait, he’s here too. Oh, joy.  Until the next philosophical movement, then.


In-depth post #1-animation!

Art is pretty much the only consistent thing in life for me. In fact, I still remember the drawing I did on the very first day of kindergarten, with those awful crayola crayons. No offense crayola, but I’ve moved onto to bigger and better things.

I probably discovered digital art in middle school. Honestly, it was difficult and totally different from traditional pencil and paper art. I worked on my iPad without a stylus at first so it was totally like finger-painting. Then I found out about wacom tablets. You basically plug the tablet into your computer and instead of using the mouse you use a pen on the tablet. There isn’t any display on the Wacom intuos though, my current partner in crime. I really, really wanted to get a Cintiq, which pretty much doubles as a another monitor, allowing you to look down like you would normally, but it was too pricey. So I settled for the Intuos.

image courtesy of I’m using this tablet currently :)

wacom’s cintiq! image courtesy of

So when it was time for in-depth, the first thing I defaulted to was art. But we were supposed to learn a skill that was pretty much new to us, so when Phia suggested animation to me, I jumped at the prospect. I’ve pretty much grown up to Spongebob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer, Pokemon, and other childhood cartoons. And when I was about 10 years old I was introduced to anime, Japanese animation. I honestly could not dream of producing something so amazing, especially seeing as I’m a beginner and a one-man team. But I’m ready to take this on!

However in-depth isn’t just about acquiring new skills. In fact there are two goals applicable to everyone:

1. Know something about everything and everything about something.

2. Learn what others tell you is important and learn what you decide is important.

More specifically, I’ll be working on 2D animation. I haven’t quite narrowed it down to character animation as of now, but it’s starting to seem like I’ll be taking that path. I will be doing everything from character designs, backgrounds, storyboards to the actual animation. This is an incredibly extensive project, and I haven’t even figured out what I’ll do for the audio! I wanted to use mp3 files but if I’m going to be using Adobe Flash then it won’t work apparently. I might have to ask somebody who knows how to convert them, and apparently Deon’s sister knows. But then there’s copyright issues, which I won’t get into…

As for the storyboard and character model sheets, I have a dilemma on my hands. The program I’ve always wanted, PaintTool SAI, is finally coming out with version 2! Now I’m stuck between using the free trials of clip studio paint and PaintTool SAI version 1 or the beta for version 2. Hopefully the actual program comes out by the time the free trials have run dry… I am a despicable human being.

Luckily for me, my mom had a coworker whose husband did animation. We had our first meeting this Sunday, and it was honestly so amazing. He works at DHX Media, and he does designs for My Little Pony: Equestria Girls. He showed me some designs, backgrounds and even an unreleased 2 minute animation! Let’s just say that a brony would’ve killed to be in my shoes right then.

gif courtesy of Pinkie Pie is really highstrung……

As for now, I’ll be familiarizing myself with my tablet and drawing more often. More on in-depth soon!

Enlightenment Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau

To whomever it may concern:

I am Jean-Jacques Rousseau. You may have heard of The Social Contract, or Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men. “Man is born free but he is everywhere in chains.” As you all know, everything is a remix. I was greatly inspired by the philosophers directly preceding me like Locke, Montesquieu, and Hobbes though I was never really formally educated.

In The Social Contract, I wrote about a social contract (unsurprisingly) that was agreed upon by all citizens for the general good. This group of citizens is the “sovereign,” and in many ways it is like an individual person. Each person has their own particular will for their own good but overall the sovereign expresses the general will to aim for the common good. However the sovereign only has power over public concerns, but this authority is absolute. In fact, I would recommend death penalty to those who fail to follow the the social contract.

The sovereign takes care of the legislative aspect, but a government is still required to exercise their executive power over the people. Many different forms of government exist but they can be divided into monarchy, democracy, and aristocracy depending on the government’s size. Monarchy is the strongest form of government especially suited to large populations and hotter climates. While different states are suited for different forms of government, I believe aristocracy is the most stable.

Though my ideas are brilliant, there are two ends of the Rousseau spectrum. On the one hand you have people like Robespierre who end up killing thousands of people. On the other hand you have Voltaire and Diderot, my formerly good friends who I’ve had a falling out with. I influenced a lot of pro-revolutionaries to take action but there were still many harsh critiques of my work. However I am glad that this under-educated orphans ideas could reach so many peoples ears.