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Eric Miller Animation October 2015 Update

Is it really October already?  Wow this year is flying by.  I’m already starting to see Christmas advertisements online and in my email inbox.  I have not been doing the best job at posting every week.  It is challenging to find the time to think, let alone write a post for my blog.  I will do my best to keep posting, so I thought I give you all a quick update on what is going on.

Animated Short:
In my previous post I mentioned I was considering naming the creature character and the short “Bink”.  I had a lot of very interesting reactions from different people.  While it still seems the majority of people like the name Bink I thought I share the other name I was considering.  The name I first I really liked was “Neap”.  I liked it because it was different, but also had reference to the ocean.  A neap tide is a tide that occurs when the difference between high and low tide is the least.  A neap tide comes twice a month in the first and third quarters of the moon.  I thought having a name that is in reference to the ocean would tie the creature to his back story about him being a seafaring species.  The main reason I kept looking for names was because the need version of the spelling meant “the remnant substance left over from vaporizing marijuana”.  I’m not sure how common this word is used, but was not sure it be a good way to go.  There is also a character called Meap on Phones and Ferb.  I’m still leaning towards Bink, but would love to hear what everyone thinks about Neap as a name option instead.

We are making some great progress with the short, and we have started rig wrecking and surfacing the creature character.  For those that don’t know what either of those are here is a quick and simple explanation.

rig_wreckA character TD will take the model and add a “skeleton” with joints to allow the model to move. Then they have to tell the geometry how to behave when a joint is moved.  Sometimes when a joint is moved in a certain way it does not look right.  Rig Wrecking is the process where an animator tests the rig trying to find things that don’t look right(Trying to wreck the rig).  This is then sent back to the Character TD with the animator’s notes of what issues need to be fixed.  This image is an example of things that were found during rig wrecking that were sent back to the Character TD to fix.  It is not uncommon for this back and forth to happen several times to get it working properly.

Surfacing is the process of adding a texture to the models so that when lighting is added and you render the scene everything looks amazing.  This can also be the stage where fur is added, where you define how shinny or reflective the surface is, and many other attributes that influence the final look of the characters and environment.

Both stages are very exciting because the characters become more and more realized.  We also will have a lighter that will be starting in November to start getting things ready to be rendered.  All surfacing, and animation has to be finished before lighting can do their final renders.

Company Update:
I mentioned earlier our company was changed from a sole proprietorship to an S-Corp, and the corporation started on July 24, 2015.  Once the corporation was formed then I needed to elect it to become a s-corp.  This process took a little longer, since we had to wait to hear back from the State.  I just received word that everything has now gone through, and the S-corp is completely setup.  Our first annual meeting will be held January 30, 2016.  I’m currently reading through the incredibly interesting corporate bylaws, so that I can sign them.  I’m reading sections at a time with breaks in-between to avoid falling asleep.

Client Projects:
I have not talked about client projects for a while now, and there is a good reason. While I’m still getting businesses contacting me about projects I’m not actively pursuing clients.  Instead all my energy has been going into the shorts.  I believe that it is important to have the shorts finished and in my portfolio before I spend marking money to find clients.  If they come to my website looking for 3D animation they won’t see much in my portfolio.  Once I have the shorts finished and on my website I will then invest in marketing to find new clients.  I’m also learning a great deal from making these shorts, and refining my processes and pipeline.

This is scary and a bit risky, since currently I’m spending more money then I’m bringing in, but I feel it is the smarter way to go.  Lets hope I’m right about this.

 

If you have not already, I hope you will join me on my journey by subscribing to my blog.  If you have any thoughts or advice I would love to hear what you have to say, so please feel free to leave me any comments below. Otherwise, be sure to stay connected with me on Twitter (@MillerAnimation). Only Time Will Tell.

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