This isn’t a story about a client from hell, but I know for a fact that it is advice that comes from dealing with them.
I was studying 3D animation and visualization, we did customer projects as a
part of our education. For each project we had a tutor, someone who worked in
the industry and knew the ropes. This is legitimately one of the lessons one of
our tutors gave us:
In our company, we have what we call an “Ugly
Red Blob” method. When a design has been finalized, and it’s time to send it to
the client for final review, the last thing we do is we add a big, red blob
somewhere in the design. The client will look at the mock-up and say: “Okay,
that’s good, but take out that red blob, it doesn’t work with the rest.” The
client gets a feeling that they’ve contributed to the design in a significant
way, and we can get on with our work, without the client trying to micro-manage
every font and color.
I’ve been doing a lot of movement studies lately to finally get the “full figures and dynamic poses give me headache” problem out of my way. These are in large part referenced from invaluable motion sequences by Eadweard Muybridge.
Of course I imagine it’s Corvo training, because it makes my life more beautiful.
It’s time for another Hiveswap development team interview!
Hey there, Hiveswap and Homestuck fans! Ash here once again, and as promised, it’s time for another interview with the talented folks on Hiveswap’s development team! And don’t worry – if you missed the first interview, with our environment art director Rah, you can find it right here!
Who’s in the hot seat today? Why, it’s Adrienne, our lead animator! She can tell you far more about her work on the project than I ever could, so without further ado, I’m going to hand things off to her – after reminding you all to take good, long looks at the wonderful examples of her work peppered throughout this interview. Take it away, Adrienne!
Introduce yourself to the fans! What is your specific role on the Hiveswap team?
Hiya! My name’s Adrienne and I’m the lead animator for Hiveswap. I work together with Angela, the animation director, on roughs, cleanup, background and cutscene animation – anything that moves!
When and how did you get your start on the Hiveswap project?
I was hired full-time in January 2016, but I started doing some sprite conceptualization in late 2015 in tandem with [S]:Collide work (I animated sprites for the main big bads and did thumbnails for some of the sequences).
Tell us a little bit about your career background! How did you get your start in animation? Do you have any advice for others looking to enter this field?
Homestuck is basically my career background, ahaha.
I drew a lot of fan art for Homestuck after I finished catching up in late 2012. I got some attention from my work and I was asked to do comic pages for Paradox Space. Then I did work for the Homestuck calendar. Then I just became more involved in the comic after that by doing thumbnails, sprite animation, comic pages, snapchats… and now I’m working on the game… it’s been a wild ride from fan to full-time fan.
But as for how I got started in animation, a lot of it was influenced by anime and then DeviantArt while I was growing up. I grew up with Naruto and loved Norio Matsumoto’s work in it (he did the key animation for the best episodes!). And on DeviantArt, I liked following OCTs (Original Character Tournaments) and was particularly inspired by Unknown-Person’s work.
My general advice would be to value learning and exploration, and have less expectations of what life should hand you – it makes a lot of circumstances feel like a pleasant surprise and a good opportunity to learn something new. That’s how I felt when I stumbled into this field anyway, haha.
We’re making a video game, so of course the question must be asked: what’s your favorite game of all time, and what games are you playing currently (if any)?
Agh, what a difficult question. My most-played genre is colorful multiplayer shooters like Team Fortress 2, Overwatch, and Splatoon.
I finished Nier: Automata recently and now I’m working through Persona 5. But when I’m not working through that game, I play Breath of the Wild (most of my time is spent riding my horse around Hyrule – it’s very calming).
Are there any games that you currently use or have used as inspiration for your own animation work here on Hiveswap, or just in general?
I generally use Homestuck flash animations as an inspiration for Hiveswap sprite animations.
When I’m working on cutscenes, I look to Professor Layton stuff. I love how they integrated cutscenes with gameplay in that series.
As an animator, you must have some favorite cartoons and/or anime – tell us about them!
My recent favorite is Mob Psycho 100. The raw and rough quality of the animation for that one is my jam and the main cast is really inspiring. Avatar: The Last Airbender is still my top favorite for its epic storytelling and world-building. Naruto always has a special place in my heart since it’s one of the earliest things that inspired me to study animation.
Other big influential works for me were Princess Mononoke and How to Train Your Dragon.
What’s your workstation like? Do you like to listen to any particular kinds of music while you work? If so, tell us about it!
Here’s a picture of my workstation! If you squint at the bottom screen closely, you can see me taking the picture. But anyway… yeah. I am a little embarrassed for people to know how saturated my workstation is with inspirational quotes (there are papers of handwritten motivation on the walls behind me), but that’s just how I deal when the anxiety gets a little rough.
When I want to focus (usually for rough animation and concept art), I pull up an electronic or classical playlist on YouTube (and recently Spotify) or have no music playing at all. But for everything else (cleanup, in-betweens, etc.), I dig into different genres once in awhile but Imagine Dragons and Americana/folk stuff are my go-to. Acoustics sound really nice in these speakers.
Favorite Homestuck character?
Egh, this is impossible… I’m gonna say it’s between Rose, Jade, Roxy, Kanaya, Terezi, and Vriska… um…
Favorite Homestuck ship?
Rose/Kanaya has never once failed me! c: (I think John/Terezi is really funny too.)
Favorite Homestuck flash?
Urgh… I don’t know, there’s so many that I love. In terms of like… cool and creative setup, [S] Cascade probably? [S] GAME OVER is cool too, because everyone died and the stakes just got so much higher. Oh! I just remembered [S] Make her pay as well!
This question is impossible.
(In the above animation timeline, the first frame is held for 4/24 of a second, the second frame for 2/24 of a second, the third for 2/24, and so on.)
Do you have a personal message you’d like to relay to all the Homestuck and Hiveswap fans out there?
Thank you for all your support, and for your patience in making it through the Giga/Mega/Omegapauses intact!
Where can people find more of your work? Link us to your own little corner(s) of the Internet!
If you want to see more of my stuff, my Tumblr is the place to be!
Thank you, Adrienne! Well, folks, I hope you’ve enjoyed this second Hiveswap development team interview – and don’t worry, there are still plenty more to come!
Now that we’ve gotten things rolling, from here on out we’ll be bringing you a new interview every Wednesday, so be sure to check back every week for a new behind-the-scenes look at the development of Hiveswap and the talented people behind it!
@ everyone considering a job or studying animation, almost all of the 2d industry has moved to rigged animation (usually toonboom) so chances are you’ll likely be working with stuff like this, not drawing frame by frame
@scowtee-ely@eliana55226838 My teacher was picking on my foot. “Are U studying animation? Stop playing games and go Study!” So, well, I started to animate Bendy for training, and! this was the result, Ah! one more thing, I don’t know the name of the artist that made the little comics, this was animated using the comics as a base like a, Storyboard. <3
Many students, teachers and family told me studying 2D animation in school from 2009- 2013 was foolish because there were already no more 2D animation jobs, and that I should study 3D animation. But I hate rigorous, technical work, I honestly hate computers all together. I’m not built for that kind of thinking, and I’m not interested in it. I was and am far more interested in drawing and film making than mastering technology. I’m almost four years out of school now, and have now had far better career opportunities than many of my 3D classmates because I am passionate about what I do.
My senior year of college, I narrowed the parts of the animation process that I am most interested in to writing and storyboarding. But, I was afraid to pursue those jobs because I knew from interning in studios that they were highly coveted positions. So, I went for cleanup and animation jobs, hoping to work my way up. I even got lucky and landed character design work down the line, though I’m not particularly interested in design. It was only when i started taking storyboarding classes, making storyboards in my spare time, pursuing storyboarding jobs, calling myself a storyboard artist, that those opportunities started to become available to me. And it turns out, I’m far better at storyboarding than I was at those other positions, because it’s the thing I enjoy the most. This is not to say “don’t take that cleanup job that pays the bills.” Take that job, and do online storyboarding classes at night, and read storyboarding blogs on your lunch break, make storyboard samples and comics in your free time on nights and weekends… Then, ask for storyboard tests, and test and test and test. It might take a while, no worries. Go ahead and put ‘storyboard artist’ on your website in the meantime instead of ‘illustrator’ or 'cleanup’ or whatever your more accurate fallback job is.
Don’t work in a studio in your fallback job and wait for someone to give you the opportunity. You might think because you are hard working at your compromise job, the management will reward loyalty with the job you politely asked for, or maybe were even too polite to actually ask for. They won’t give you that job. They probably won’t even help you get that job. So test within that studio if they’ll let you, and apply other places in the meantime while you keep paying the bills with that job.
There’s no excuse to me. Even people who want to direct can direct their own animated shorts in their spare time and build up a commercial directing portfolio from those shorts. You can do the same thing making crappy live action films with borrowed equipment in your spare time. It’s costly and time consuming, but you can throw your musician friend a couple bucks for the score, get a compositor buddy to throw effects on your short in exchange for some animation she needs, and buy a bunch of friends pizza to help you clean up scenes or hold lights or whatever. I’ve done it before.
I used storyboards as an example above, (read blogs during lunch, etc.) but apply that same tenacity towards whatever you want to do: vis dev, character design, comic penciler, stop motion fabricator, 3D modeler, whatever. I want to be a writer now, that’s the next hurdle for me. I’ve written two pilots and I’m taking it seriously, going to writing events, talking to people, refining my work and writing new material, and generally conducting myself as a writer. I have no idea how long, or even if this will take, but I’m pursuing it like it’s real because I enjoy writing, so I think I’d be good at it. Please don’t be one of these people that talks about all the stuff you’re “working on”, when you are really just thinking about working on that stuff. Too many of those in the world, please just go and get things done. “There are those who write, and those who talk about writing.” An adage I like. Apply it to whatever you like “There are those who design characters, and those who talk about designing characters…”
So please, everyone, go for what you want, don’t stop short now. You’ll be a lot better at your job when you’re doing the thing you like.
The blackout is coming to an end today…and I have a few things to share. What it showed me- and realizing how bad the reposting issue has become.
During these two weeks I’ve witnessed a few cases:
-I’ve seen my art been being reposted without permission, mostly with ‘credit to the artist™’ or nothing at all on insta/vk/etc.
-I’ve seen my newer drawings with my new watermark being cropped from the picture with the same careless credit
-Someone even attempted to blur the whole thing and leaving a weird stain where the watermark should be (saved it before reporting just in case)
-Also youtubers have been monetizing my work without my knowledge. In some cases, they assumed that when I gave them permission to dub one of my comics, that it extended to having permission to upload other works of mine. An assumption that was completely wrong. So not only was I not informed that they were using more of my work, but they monetized it and gained money from my work. I no longer allow dubbing on my comic anymore because of it.
-Recently, I asked another youtuber to remove a dub they did long ago on one of my comics, and while they eventually removed it from their channel, it didn’t stop them from giving permission to other youtubers to repost MY ART. And while it was their dub, the foundation of that work was my art. No one can give others permission to use my art other than me. However just 4 days after that video was removed, it was reposted onto another channel and monetized. All this I had to find out from people telling me.
-And even worse—yes, it can get worse—yesterday I found out that one of the drawings I made for Adrienette month was being sold on phone cases on Aliexpress.
I never thought *this* will happen to me. Why would someone…do that? Why would someone make money out of our hard work while we create for fun to a fandom we love on our free time?
To be honest, after seeing this—I wanted to quit drawing for the fandom.
But I won’t.
As much as it hurts, the fact that there are people who don’t give a damn about the artist’s wishes and care more about their fat pocket—it won’t mean anything to them. For them I’m *just* another artist–it won’t hurt them losing another one.
I draw ml because I love the characters and the fandom. It makes me happy to see that I can make someone’s day a little better because of my drawings. I made friends through this fandom that became part of my everyday life and to be honest, they boosted my confidence. ML revived my dream again to study animation, it made me want to draw more and brought back the will to learn and improve. I have so many good things to say about the show, the people I encounter- you really changed my life, and I love you all!
And I don’t want this to end because of some nasty people who care more about their following count or the money they can make from a stolen illustration or a silly comic.
I’m just going to continue arting but not share everything…and make the watermark bigger.
So for other artists out there, I just want to share this information. This is just a drop of the ocean of what I have experienced in my short time of posting fanart online. As exciting as it is to have people dubbing your work or asking for permission to share your art on other platforms.
Ask questions, ask for links to their pages, look at how they conduct themselves online, check to see if they monetize videos (you can use apps like the heartbeat app to do this as some youtubers like to not share this information), give proper credit/link to your original posts, etc. Some people are looking to use you and use your art for fame, for money, for whatever, and its abuse. It abuses your copyright and hard work. This is something I do because I love art, I love the show, and I want to share that love with others. It is NOT something I create for others to take advantage of or steal…or sell, or to stick an advert on in order to make money.
look i know a lot of people are upset about lemonteaflower & markiplier being involved in Villainous BUT: can we please not kill this project because of two (2) people that were involved with it
As a mexican girl who will probably study animation: if yall kill Villainous’ shot at becoming a full show im gonna scream into the void for years. the animation industry over here is dead enough as it is just let us have this??????