Tuesday, March 20, 2007

G-Netech Work Experience Log

This a log of the recent entrees. I've been working for a local Gold Coast company, G-Netech, for the past 3 weeks as part of work experience. I must say It's been a really good experience. Workers are nice, and the office is pleasant.

The entrees are as follows:

Friday 23th February - Work Experience Interview

Met with Joshua at the office and discussed the work experience. He was quite happy to accept me on the grounds of my skills in character development and animation. We talked about the main project and what was required: A 2d animation to be displayed on the Gold Coast Titans website.

Because the Titan mascot, Blade, had no official full body image, I was asked to recreate the character as best as I could, from the main logo and one small source image. This allowed me to be quite creative in designing the mascot.

Confirmed the days I would come in to work (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) then went on home and started working on character drawings.

Monday 26th February – 2:00-4:30 – Day 1

Joshua set me up at an unoccupied computer to work at. Before commencing, I displayed the character drawings I did the night before and he was pleased. We then discussed how the scene would play out and I quickly drew rough storyboards which we clarified.

Once done, I got to work, starting with the first few scenes depicting snippets of Blade. Due to the small graphics tablet provided, this proved difficult; the pen applied no pressure to the small board and made the line work quite rigid. After fixing up the storyboards a bit more, I asked if it was ok to head home early and work from there.

Josh said it was fine. I went home and on my own computer, with my graphics tablet, constructed a few of the scenes with ease. Completed the hand clenching sequence.

Wednesday 28th February – 2:00-5:30Day 2

Arrived with my own graphics tablet in hand (note: the workers there were quite impressed) and showed off the short snippet animations I had made. Josh was quite pleased with them. I had constructed Blade’s hand clenching furiously, entirely drawn and rendered in Flash.

Spent the rest of the day working on the other scenes, such as the close up of Blade’s helmet, and even added the shine to the close up of Blade’s chest armour.

Friday 30th February – 2:00-5:30 – Day 3

Commenced work on the first of the major actions: the run cycle. Within Flash, I drew a rough run cycle of Blade, paying special attention to the way his armour would move, his weight and power point (his chest). I’d developed this way of working in second year for an assessment: completing the rough and full animation within Flash, capable of editing as I go.

I was 3 frames into it when Josh approached me with both good news and bad news. The good news: the NRL had finally released a full drawing of Blade. The bad news: they’d finally released the full drawing of Blade. We checked up on it and for most part, my interpretation of the character looked fine. The only drawback was the significant large column-like boots and the spiked shoulder pads.

With a bit of tweaking, this proved no trouble. I did a makeshift drawing on paper and then corrected the design into the run cycle I was working on. This was a good example of working within the confines of a client. I was pleased that, despite this development, it worked out just fine. Josh was happy with the fix (even though he reckoned my version of Blade was good too).

I later finished the full run cycle for Blade. While rough, it perfectly gave the grounding for a strong running character.

Also did a bit of constructing of what the long hallway segments would look like. Seemed to work for most part.

Monday 5th March – 2:00-5:20Day 4

Spent most of the day outlining the rough sketches in Flash for Blade’s run cycle. After that was done, commenced colouring them with a bit of shading. Fairly productive day.

Friday 9th March – 2:00 – 5:20Day 5

Commenced work on the second run cycle, completing a rough outline. This time I was able to cheat a little, since Blade was facing the camera. I needed only to construct the first half of the animation, then merely flipped them horizontally to create the full animation.

Took a bit of time too to begin work on tattooing the Titan logo onto Blade’s chest in both run cycles. Rough drawings didn’t take too long, but outlining and colouring took longer.

At the end of the day, Josh discussed with me the impending deadline which they had aimed for the following Wednesday. As before, it wasn’t that the animation had to be finished by this time, this was the deadline for the website. or the animation, we discussed that it could be completed at a later week.

Viewing what I’d done, he thought that perhaps the first half, the teaser section, could be uploaded to the site on the Wednesday with the rest of the animation provided later. We decided to see how things went on the Monday and go from there.

Monday 12th March – 1:30 – 5:30Day 6

Didn’t have scriptwriting today, so I showed up 30 minutes earlier. Continued working on the second run cycle and finished it up near the end of the day. Started working on the final stretch of the hallway running scene, mixing in glimpses of Blade’s two run cycles while the impending doorway drew ever closer.

Talked to Josh again about the deadline. Considering that the first Titans NRL match wasn’t till Sunday of this week, and that the animation was coming along nicely, he thought perhaps we could aim for its release on either the Friday or the following Monday. The website would release as normal, and the animation would be uploaded later on.

Josh also wanted me to work on editing the hallway scene, since the “light at the end of the tunnel” graphic didn’t appear right. He suggested trying to make the light stretch as it would down a long corridor.

Friday 16th March – 12:00-4:30 Day 7 – Production Complete

With no uni on today, I went in early to get a good head start. Worked heavily on the final scene: Blade running out into the open air and slamming his chest against the camera, leaving the Titan logo behind. This took a good portion of the day, combined with constantly editing the final hallway stretch.

Once the final scene was completed, I showed it to the other workers and everyone was quite pleased. I was unable, however, to fix the “light at the end of the tunnel”. With Josh’s help, we got a nice royalty free image off the web (cost 5 bucks to download) and I edited it into the scene. Now the scene looked much better.

After tweaking the last few scenes, the animation production was complete. All that remained was importing sound and any text into the final product. Josh said he’d get a guy from the other department to start collecting sound together and test it with the animation (he’d send me a copy to see what I thought of it). On Monday, we would edit it all together and have it nice and ready for upload.

Monday 19th March – 2:00-5:20 Day 8 - Post Production

Despite the plan, I wasn’t able to help much. Josh soon arrived after I did and explains to me that the sound guy was unavailable last weekend. Discussing with Josh, we fixed up the ending of the film to include some text, then exported into an AVI.

He emailed the copy to the sound guy. It was hoped that he would have the sound together by the end of the day, but we got no word back. Josh decided we’d finish the project on Friday, sound and all.

Friday 23rd March - 2:00 - 4:00 Day 9 - Post-Production and side Projects

Once again, things didn't go exactly as planned. While I did get to witness a pre-finished copy of the final animation with sound, there were still elements missing, so it wasn't finished yet. In the meantime, Josh got me to help out Ben with a side project.

His client required a logo design for his online racing poker game, a sort of fun parody/poker game. The client was not happy with the design Ben has created, so he called upon me to do a more "cartoony" design as the client desired. So I sat down and did some simple designs, varying in how "cartoony" the character could be. After a few designs, I approached Ben and he was pleased with the variety, taking a scanned copy and would send it to the client for approval.

At the end of the day, there was still no word from the sound guy. We decided that I'd come in the following Monday and HOPEFULLY the product would be finished.

Monday 26th March - 2:00-4:00 Day 10 - Final Day

No word from the sound guy. Spent most of the day hanging around Josh, hoping for something constructive to do with my skills.

Ben approached me again with what the client had said about the Poker/Horse race logo. Seems he didn't want it "too cartoony", but cartoon like Spirit Stallion off Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. Ben helped me obtain some reference images and I began my second attempt at the logo. After a few more designs, I approached Ben, he liked them, copied them and would send them off to the client for approval, once again.

After that, I pretty much approached Josh with a proposition: since I wouldn't really be needed for the upload of the product, I asked that I not come in the following Friday. Should the product be ready for upload, they could call me and I'd come in to witness it, or else watch over the internet. Josh was fine with this and thus concluded the work experience with G-Netech.

Total Time commited:
Approx. 36 Hours

Monday, March 12, 2007

Getting Started


First time with my own blog service. MSN My Space ain't too flashy, and I'd prefer to keep most details off my deviant art site. So, thought I might give this a go.

Mostly intend to use this for work-experience related blogs. Its a requirement for uni, providing them with a nice insight into what I've been up. Once I get use to this, may even use it as an artistic outlet to show off my artwork.

After all, I'm an animator in training.

Just so you know, this is the Wolf.
He's my character and this is his HQ. I'm just borrowing it.

The Wolf (c) Dave S (aka, myself)