workflow tip

2016 - Quick Tips

With a new year on the horizon, I think back on various tips and wisdom I’ve learned to utilize in 2016.

Here they are in quick-tip form!

  • Keep project files very well organized. Have a common sense structure easy to remember.
  • Track hours worked, noting start and finish times. Pay attention to how often distractions and breaks occur.
  • Frequently make TO DO lists. Being able to cross out completed tasks is deliciously motivating.
  • Balance work and play. Always be progressing, but allow yourself to take worry-free vacations when stress is high.
  • Find the audience that shares your passion, instead of targeting one beforehand.
  • Don’t neglect health! Quality food, sleep, and exercise has a massive impact on performance. Who woulda’ guessed?
  • Put good effort into art and visuals. It’s really important – even more than you think!
  • Utilize the power of color at every opportunity. Moods, contrast, light, feedback, etc.
  • Temporary “programmer art” is useful, but try starting with good fidelity.
  • Befriend a wide diversity of minds to consistently bounce ideas between.
  • Throw away preconceptions when diving into the unknown.
  • Have fun. Seriously.

    // YES!

    // DON’T YOU DARE!


“In this tutorial, Atomhawk Lead Concept Artist, Charlie Bowater, takes you through her approach to rendering skin. Charlie demonstrates her workflow and the tips and tricks that will help take your digital artistry to the next level.”

Mini!Shironeki gif process

Put together some process recordings to help anyone visualize a workflow/see how I operate when making still pictures move using Photoshop and After Effects 

1) Original picture of Shironeki looking sinister af like damn son

2) Cleaning/redrawing in Photoshop (approx. 1 hour)

 Cleaning/redrawing/separating the eyes, skin, and hair (I use a red background because it helps me to differentiate any gaps)

More cleaning/redrawing/separating of the eyes (using a ref picture to try and match the art) and then the body

3) Movements/animations in After Effects (approx. 2 hours)

Moving the pieces (note: certain parts, such as hair movements, were hidden/omitted from this timelapse)

Color adjustments and text

4) Result + comparison (total time: approx. 3 hours)

Please check out the final gif post here!  (´⌣`ʃƪ)

May 5, 2016 tip: A common theme in all art forms is to start with big ideas and save the details for later. When starting a shot, too many controls can mean unnecessary clutter and confusion. I avoid secondary controls until after I have my shot blocked out. Yep! #animationtip #animtip #cganimation #studiomomentsatdisney #characteranimation #rigs #efficiency #workflow #tip #disney

williamholkko-deactivated201504  asked:

I heard you use Evernote to write your books, what exactly does your general workflow look like? I just have a bit of trouble visualizing how that would all work out.

Hello there~ ♥︎

I like you, because you’re one of the few people who ask me technical questions~ It’s kind of refreshing to get a few of these as opposed to the writing ones c;

For those of you wondering, I did a long talk on Evernote and why I use it for writing above all else. You can read that here.

Let’s say that I just decided to start writing a book. I will go through my own steps and will show you how I do workflow.

Step #1. I create a ‘notebook’ in Evernote especially for this Book.

This will be used to hold everything related to said Book.

If I ever get an idea, I will add it to this notebook. If I clip an image, it will go here. This is the designated box where everything about this Book will go.

Step #2. I begin the brainstorming process.

I make a fresh note and follow along the steps of my planning guide, though really whatever you use is fine c;

Step #3. Having your book as ONE note can be overwhelming, and having INDIVIDUAL notes per chapter can be equally as overburdening. So, I break my story into sections.

I like to think of it as the three-act format, but you can just as easily break your story into quarters or halves. This also helps look at your story as a set of pieces, as opposed to a timeline. Nothing makes a big plot easier to understand like breaking it down into pieces!

With this I brand each of the notes as ‘ALPHA’ since this is their first version. Naming the files helps in searching and finding your way through the notebook :D

Once you have all the pieces, you get writing!

Step #3 and ½. During the process of writing the book, I make sure to create additional notes for everything related to the book.

This includes things like: songs that I have been listening to, or notes for the revision! The latter is super important for the next step :D

Step #4. Once the book is complete AND I have given it a few weeks to sit. I make copies of the ALPHA book notes and rename them as BETA.

Then I read over them and make all the edits necessary.

Make sure to look at your notes!

You may be asking yourself “Why not just edit the ALPHA files?” and personally I like to keep copies of EVERYTHING. I prefer being able to go back and see previous versions of the same file. Just my 2 cents, though.

Step #5. Once I have reviewed the BETA file enough (my revision process can be a post on its own, let’s just say that I try to do at least six passes, one of which is reading out loud). Once I feel the book is ready for human eyes, I create a document for my BETA readers.

I like to use Word for this, but really any word editing program would work. You could also use Evernote, true, but I like the ability to add page numbers and so. This is the only place where you will hear me praise Microsoft Word :p

Then I print the file and give the copies to my Betas.

Step #6. Once I have gotten the feedback from them, I create copies of the BETA book files and rename them OMEGA (because it sounds cool c;).

I look over my Betas’s notes and apply their feedback accordingly.

Step #7. Once I have re-read the book and I’m confident it’s ready for my Editor, I create copies of the files and rename them as EDITORIAL.

Then I share the note with my Editor. This is a Premium feature of Evernote, but you can just as easily email your Editor the note, or save it as a text file and give it to them. I like doing it through Evernote since it means that my Editor’s changes are saved automatically :D

Step #8. Once I have all of my Editor’s changes. I create a copy of those files, and rename them ULTIMA. I review the changes. I read the book 2-3 more times, and when I feel the book is finished, I save the changes and prepare to create the print files (for the paperback) and the eBook files.

That, is a post all on it’s own, but the process is similar to what you have seen above c;

Now, do you think this is a little too much? I personally don’t think so. I like being able to see my book change over time. Since Evernote is saved on the cloud I rest in peace knowing that my book is saved~

Also, when you look back on your files is kind of like seeing a Pokemon evolve! They start out kind of… well, shitty, but in time they grow better — and better — until they become something truly awesome :D

I hope this was helpful! Please let me know if you have any questions~ I would love to answer them. This was a blast to write~ ♥︎

animation advice!! Ive been asked a few times what I would have liked to have known before getting into ~the industry~ so I’ve compiled a list. I definitely need to take my own advice though, I by no means follow this as well as I should. Most of this stuff is pretty damn generic but I still hadn’t considered it until I started working, so maybe you’ll find it helpful! I dunno!

work smarter, not harder.

I’m gonna cover the second half of that saying first - Do not work late every single night so the next day youre too tired to get any real work done until 2pm. 

  • take breaks
  • download a time management app
  • understand your health and your work ethic 

Breaks are necessary for better work. There will be days where you have to power through and work late, but it shouldnt be every single day. If you’re working late all the time, you’ll end up being unproductive the next day, which will mean you’re working late again, which will me youre unproductive, again. 

DONT WORK ALL NIGHT!!! its not worth it, trust me. Unless the next day is a day you absolutely do NOT have to work, a day where you can for sure sleep and do nothing, do not work all night. To work smarter you need to:

Ask questions!!!! 

  • ask if there’s quicker ways to do things
  • dont be embarrassed that you dont know stuff 
  • (thats what asking questions is foooor)
  • ask others about their workflow 
  • ask for tips and tricks and scripts/pluggins(if you’re working digitally, seriously ask for them!!!)
  • ask for clear expectations and directions
  • if youre still unsure, ask for clarification

if you dont ask questions you’ll slow down the production and people will wonder why you didnt just ask when it comes up. They hired you to know stuff already, sure, but they also want you as an employee to seek out information if you dont know it. All of your coworkers are wells of knowledge, and most are more than willing to share and to help.

Kill your ego

That sounds pretty damn dramatic, but its true. 

You wont know everything and people who are at your level or not quite at your level will often know things you don’t. Sometimes you’ll feel that the way you’re doing something will be better, or a choice you made is smarter, but your supervisor will disagree. You’ll need to learn that they are in charge for a reason.

It can (and will) be embarrassing, but this doesnt mean you should never stick up for your ideas. Just make sure to pick and chose you battles, and go in understanding, not aggressive and fighting

Done is better than perfect.

We all want to showcase our utmost skill and finesse in everything we do, but sometimes, things just wont work out. Deadlines, pipeline issues, challenging scenes, so many things will affect your timeline in your work.

This would again be a point where you’d need to let your ego go a bit. Production would love to have it perfect, but they’d much rather have it done by the deadline.

Still try to do the best work you can, but remember its the best work you can within a time frame. If you’re struggling, ask questions, ask for help!

and seriously - take care of yourself! 

  • Drink water
  • go for walks around the office
  • drink even more water
  • stretch your back
  • your arms
  • your wrists
  • Take care of your eyes
  • wear sunglasses outside
  • download f.lux 
  • or get fancy tinted glasses to combat the light from the computer  
  • Get enough sleep!! 

and take care of yourself socially and mentally too. Find people to lean on, put an emphasis on team work. Help others and let them help you. I’m only still trucking at this because I have people at the work that are like a support group. Having people like that at work makes the hard times a lot easier and makes the struggles a lot more worth it. 

Make time for you

that of course means 

  • self care
  • relax
  • socialize
  • visit friends and family
  • to go to the doctors
  • take a sick day (try not to come into work sick, pls,,)
  • keep up other adult obligations
  • (go to the bank if you need to go to the bank already!) 

but also!! make time to create outside of work. its gonna suck, sometimes youll be way too tired. Try to make something of your own everyday, but dont punish yourself for needing time or a break. It’s not shameful to be burnt out. If you can draw most days, or plan personal projects, or write, or any sort of hobby, you will feel better. 

Sometimes work consumes so much of your life that you’ll feel like nothing exists outside of it - thats when sitting down and making something for yourself Really helps.

That’s the generic stuff!! but seriously, if you have any questions about animation, don’t be afraid to ask.