Saturday, May 29, 2010

Mildred's Adventure

I figure after making such a huge deal of it you guys might want to see this. Let me know what you think.


Ok, so I WAS going to post about how much of a pain iMovie is for not importing my video tracks that I needed to edit, but THEN, I figured out how to do it! I am so unbelievably happy. I thought i'd have to submit raw files for my Type in Motion assessment on Monday. BUT NOW I DON'T HAVE TO!! YAY!

This post just shrunk dramatically in size...

I know, I'll tell you what I was going to write anyways.

So, if you read my recent post about my short animation of Mildred the Spider, you will know of my plans to continue animating and posting my beloved character on THIS CHANNEL.

If you haven't, I will fill you in now, although you're more than welcome to check it out after... or now if you want... i mean, I'm not your mum, I can't tell you what to do...

So, I had this animation assignment for my Photoshop class*. We were supposed to animate something around the theme of "Self Expression" which is code for "We couldn't be f***ed thinking of a stimulating topic, so we'll give you something loose and ambiguous to play with. Good Luck." As a result, I hated everything I came up with that came anywhere near matching the brief. It was only last Thursday (not the one just gone, the one before... the... 20th? Yes. The 20th) that I had an epiphany. With these new skills, to create basic** animations, I would animate one of my most beloved characters. Mildred the Spider.
If you haven't been subbed to my channel (no point now, I've deleted all my videos) or to my collab channel Snailmates (currently on extended hiatus) (not intentional, school just does these things) you will have heard of Mildred. In my very first vlog ever, I told the story of how I met Mildred. Oh, yes. It's true. She is based on a real-life spider.

Anyway, the story goes, she (this huge, massive, ginormous huntsman spider) (i can tell it was a girl, because only girl huntsman spiders grow to this size) snuck into my room whilst I was indulging in some late night YouTube bingeing (spelling?). I was watching the screen when I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. I ignored it at first but then it moved again. I looked and saw A DIRTY GREAT BIG FAT SPIDER. Right there. On my carpet. Thankfully I am not one to be scared off by such a thing, No. Bugs do not phase me***.

So, like the crafty, resourceful girl I am, I crept past, avoiding scaring it anymore (Fact: humans are bigger than spiders. Spiders move quickly when they are scared s**tless. Don't scare them, and they won't scare you. Unless you are a big baby. And I mean that in the most affectionate way) and I ran to the laundry to fetch the broom. Long story short, I managed to coax it onto the broom and I took it out to the garden. Spider stays alive. Bedroom becomes spider-free. Everybody wins.

This was not her first appearance in our house though. No. She'd snuck in once a few weeks before, when she was on the outside of the glass sliding door. Someone opened the door to let the dog/cat in/out, and she must've snuck in then; because next thing you know, she's on the inside of the sliding door. We did manage to get her out then, too. She was more subtle the next time, yet still she was caught out.

I'm not afraid of bugs/beetles/critters of the 6-8 leg variety. But at the same time, I recognise that killing them isn't always the solution. I like to keep them alive. I'm actually quite affectionate, when it comes to bugs, now i think of it. I suppose this is where the whole naming-and-personifying-bugs-and-other-various-critters thing stems from. Hence, Mildred. And Bob the Ladybug. And Cedric the Bee, and Linus the Snail (beloved mascot of the Snailmates) and Evangeline the Caterpillar. The family of bugs seems to grow with each letter sent between me and Sean and Beth, although not atm, since, like i said, hiatus.
I think it was only Cedric and Linus who didn't actually have a real-life counterpart. Or did they? I can't remember...

Anyway, I have been wanting to do stuff with this Mildred character for ages, and now, this assignment in all its glorious ambiguity provided me with the means and reason to do so.

Then, after I successfully finished my 31-second animation (limit was 30 seconds, but then, there were people who submitted 10 second clips when the minimum was 15 seconds. Pretty sure 1 second over is no crime) I attempted to upload to YouTube. No luck. I tried and tried to get iMovie to accept my .mov file, but it kept rejecting :(...

I then semi-successfully uploaded using QuickTime Player, but the first few seconds were obscured... which i had no explanation/fix for. It also cut off the last second or so... which was annoying because that was the part i put the most work into.

After messing around for ages, I discovered how to IMPORT the damn thing into iMovie, and now am able to fix everything. I haven't re-uploaded yet, because I want to make changes, and extend the story a little. It'll probably be about a minute long when I finish up. Then my brother will be composing a track for it... and only then will it be ready... I will be replacing the piece of poop version up now.

EDIT: am replacing it NOW. You can view the better version here

Anyway, it is really late and I've babbled way too much for someone who has to work in the morning. I'll be posting en masse when I finish assessment next friday :D. Including coursework! So you'll be able to see what I've been up to while I've been avoiding the internet.

I seriously miss this. Miss you all.
I'll be back soon.


*sidenote: my commitment to this class has wavered somewhat, with my whacked out sleeping patterns and way too much work to do on account of my amazing procrastination skills.
**and by basic, I mean "make images move across the screen". Nothing fancy schmancy. I mean, we were using Photoshop. Not exactly purpose-built for hardcore pro animation...
***Bar cockroaches which I don't find scary, either. They just gross me out.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The little things...

So this may or may not come as a surprise but I am a closet fan of The OC. Do you remember that show? Got cancelled 3 1/2 years ago, angsty teen drama, not altogether different from Gossip Girl (funnily enough, created by the same guy) (Josh Schwartz, if you were wondering). Anyway, at the time, my obsession was as such that I forced myself to acquire the boxed sets. And by forced myself, I mean I couldn't stop myself.
It was just one of those things, and, apparently, at least to me, still is. For years, after me and a couple of friends from highschool who were equally obsessed had finished marathoning them, the DVDs sat in my bookshelf. Kind of like a secret shame. Something I saw as a thing of the past. A memento of my teen years, if you will. But, just recently, I've kind of rekindled this hidden passion.

Truthfully, I just polished off season 2. I nearly cried (again) when they staged an intervention to get Kirsten to go to rehab. I gasped in shock and called Marissa an idiot for shooting Tray. And it's funny. It's funny just how efficiently a tv show can throw some light down onto your own life. Shows you what you're missing. I don't mean drugs and alcoholism and extortion and the constant stream of drama that the characters seem doomed to endure; I mean the simple things like, a social life with a solid friend group equipped to deal with any and all crap that gets thrown their way. Like a rich private school education to ditch whenever I felt like to run off to the beach. Like enough money around to not need a job throughout said education. Like a bulletproof family. Like, dare I say it, a boyfriend.
Don't you just hate how good they seem to have everything? They make the hard stuff look breezy.

Or maybe, I dunno, maybe it really is easy. Is it? Because I wouldn't know. Bar like one guy who conveniently (for me, at least) asked me out in time for Formal, I've never had a boyfriend. I wouldn't know the first thing about relationships. I make excuses all the time. I'm too busy, I'm not ready, I still need space and time to figure stuff out... But I gotta say it. I want a boyfriend. I want to sit at family dinners with a partner there to back me up. To sit there with their arm around me while watching a movie (and I don't mean the classic smoothie yawn-hug either. Here's a clue: those don't work. Even if a girl really likes you, it's far too cheesy.) To enjoy the company of on long walks not necessarily at the beach. To make valentines day an exciting event to look forward to and enjoy instead of the most boring insufferable day of the year; a day to dread. To fight with over stupid stuff knowing that they won't leave over such a trivialities.

I don't actually know why the heck I am writing this here. I guess I figure no one I know in person will read it.

Man, I need a life. I wish study wasn't so crazy like all the time so I could actually have time for a social life. I wish there were people in my course who I actually wanted to hang out with.

Maybe this is stress. Maybe I'm burning out. I don't know, though either, or both for that matter, would not surprise me. I wish I had more focus, more motivation. I've only been to class like 2 days this week out of 5. On Tuesday I was actually sick, but the other days, I can't pass off so easy. Assignment deadlines approach thick and fast and my first reaction is to run and hide. Geez, Lucy. Way to prep yourself for a cutthroat industry. Cutting school, missing deadlines to watch the OC, sleeping all day after another killer allnighter. It's like I'm wallowing or something. But I can't, for the life of me figure out the reason.

Sorry guys. I know this post is a far cry from recent ones, but I'm actually a mess right now. Thanks for listening to me whine about my pathetic little life. You guys are troopers.

I should probably get some sleep...

- Posted using owl post from me pocket iParrot. Arrr

Friday, May 21, 2010

Making Progress and Mildred's Channel

So, that brilliant idea I had before seems to be working.

If you're wondering what this master plan is, I shall explain, as I don't think I did a very good job of it in my last post.

For my photoshop class, I have an assignment to do utilising the "animation" function. The brief said it had to be based on a self portrait we did earlier in the semester. Since, even though I liked my work before, I only just passed, I didn't want to make the same mistakes over again. This left me with nothing to use. Literally nothing. Boring. And no matter what I did I could not think of any ideas that I really liked and knew I could execute well and be left with something I am proud of.
Eventually, I decided to scrap the idea altogether and go with something different. No more emo crapness. No more "expressssssss yourselfffff" bullcrap. No. Instead, I, wait for it...

I decided to animate Mildred the Spider.

Oh yeah. You read correctly. Mildred is GETTING HER OWN SHOW!

I got her a youtube channel to commemorate the occasion, so, if you want to subscribe to mildred's channel, I'm pretty sure she'll love you forever! Her channel is:

Omg, I need to get her a twitter too!
*EDIT: Mildred's twitter ID is @mildredspider. Follow her! Send her ideas and challenges!

This kind of thing takes forever, as I am learning. But, it's fun and rewarding :)

If you are a fan of Mildred, and want to see her do anything in particular (or any of her friends, for that matter) let her know, or leave it in the comments of this post.

I am stupidly excited about all of this... :D

Anyway... Progress is going well... I have between 10 and 15 seconds done, which meets minimum requirement. BUT I'm not stopping. I'm going to keep working on this until I am DONE.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The day my willpower died

So it seems that the more urgently something needs to get done, the less i want to do it, and the less power I have to make myself do it. I probably won't sleep tonight, as I have a huge photoshop assignment to do, which is actually a short animation. I'll probably post to youtube if I can figure out how to upload this particular filetype... but yeah.
It's supposed to be 15-30 seconds long, and I have had over 3 weeks to get this done, but so far I am up to a grand total of 2.9 seconds. I am not even one fifth of the way to fulfilling the minimum requirement.

AND YET here I am blogging. WHY am I doing this?

I may have an answer to that. (I am clearly going insane. Now I answer my own questions)

I am doing this because I need an outlet. There is no one here to talk to, and I skipped class today to work on this (well, it IS kind of urgent...) and I just need to say this to someone instead of thinking it over and over to myself. I gotta get it out of my system, so that I can continue to function long enough to get this assignment done.

So far I hate what I've done. It isn't any good, honestly. It's crap. I guess that's part of why it's so freaking hard to get through. I hate the topic, I hate the requirements, I hate my attempt. I want this over with, but I can't bring myself to do it. I didn't sign up to learn animation after all. Although, I might have been more excited about it if it were less "express yourself" and more "animate this:...". These assignment briefs just have no imagination.

I think that's the problem.

I might just start over. New angle. New attempt. Not like I'll be losing much.


Let's do this.