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.