HowardWimshurst's News

Losing NATA and other ramblings

2015-07-29 14:04:05 by HowardWimshurst
Updated

It's time for another update and ramble!

I was very close to getting into the Pro round of NATA with my Submission. My opponent (Amazingspin) gave a really solid entry and we ended up drawing on points.

My submission was unfinished because I only had 2 weeks to make it. I spent the other week on a holiday with my family.

Honestly if I had gone through to the next round I would have dropped out anyway. The last two rounds have been exhausting, and commission requests have been mounting up and I was foolishly turning down money to be in this tournament which is really only designed for high-schoolers in education who don't need to spend their summer making bank. I've got nothing against that, I'm just saying that I no longer fall into that group of people unfortunately.

I'm going to add colour and finish the un-finished parts of my latest NATA entry before uploading it to NG because I know how rediculously pedantic some of you are about animations being finished.

Although I might be able to enter NATA next year as I will actually be in full-time education at Portsmouth University. "Why would you go from freelancing full time as an animator to being a poor uni student with no money?" you might ask. Because I want to! I'm not going to miss out on the experience of taking an animation degree, even though I don't think I need it. Hopefully I will sail my way through the degree course whilst also building up my Animator Guild audience

By the way, I also cut together a new showreel- with the addition of my latest NATA entries. I quite like how it turned out. Although maybe I could have found better music. I think my showreel demonstrates my movement away from character animation with dialogue and into body language, story-telling and aesthetic movement.

https://vimeo.com/134355512

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In other news, Animator Guilld remains in on-going development. Entering NATA gave me a chance to mass-produce tutorial footage at the same time as animating my entries (this was the other big reason I joined NATA). Now i'm in the process of editing them down and adding commentary to some of them. This is by far the longest and most tedious part of the process. But they are coming out steadily, hopefully once every week from now on.

I recently got to talk to Bepleron Skype. Bepler is an animator who I greatly admire and get inspiration from. We are thinking of joining forces on AnimatorGuild to produce more content together. I'm very excited for that as I find his tutorials to be the best out there for flash animation. He is truly remarkable.

I'm doing a lot of updates to both my commissions website and also  Animator Guild. When they are done I expect to have a lot more commissions coming through, in both animations, graphic design and also in private tuition for beginner animators. I predict that these new customers will be too much for me to handle by myself, as I'm only one guy and right now a single commission can last for months at a time. I'm looking into setting up a network of artists who I can outsource or refer new commissions to. I think by now anyone who was reading this has since clicked off the page, so this is more like a personal journal. But this is the part that i'm most excited about. I want to scale up the size of my one-man business into a larger-scale team of people and it will empower all of the artists and technicians who are a part of it. And the best part about it is I will be on top MWHAHAHAHA. It won't take a day, or a month, or even a year. But I will keep working and I WILL be successful in this barron wasteland of an animation industry!

Howard



Hello there friends,

Last year I did a lot of planning for my future on Newgrounds and YouTube. I found that I would never be able to produce regular content purely through animating short films, since full animations take a long time to make. So I have turned part of my attention towards teaching animation in walk throughs, time-lapses and behind-the-scenes style videos whilst creating original content.

IF YOU ARE AN ANIMATOR WHO WANTS TO LEARN USEFUL ANIMATION AND DRAWING METHODS PLEASE LISTEN!

I have created a WEBSITE exclusively for teaching animation to animators ranging from BEGINNER to PRO

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I know, there are a few organisations that go by similar names. But to me that's not so important.

The important thing is that I'm making top quality video tutorials and downloadable resouces such as Flash source files to all those who subscribe to the mailing list. With the mailing list, I can reach you every few months with updates and new tutorials. To clarify, this is not stuff you will find on Youtube. I am releasing videos on YouTube for publicity, but I keep the good stuff for the Animator Guild website itself. So if you're with me, sign up and let's make some awesome content together! 

 I am also entering NATA's open round. Not only that, but I am documenting the entire process of animating the film. I am going to edit the recordings into easy tutorials which will have valuable insight into the animation process. It is going to have information useful to all skill levels. And it's all for free (at least for now mwhahahaha) and should be ready in about 3 weeks. When I am done editing there will be masses of videos available.

 

Here's a couple of tutorials which have become quite popular over on the Youtube channel

 



Hello, it's Update time!

I made a music video! It was a commissioned project by the Crosswinds. You should check it out!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFDALHG_SVA

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In other news, I went to Pico day and then stayed over at the Newgrounds office for a week with @Catfat @Dudul @Almightyhans . I met so many cool people from the NG community! All in all it was a fantastic week. When I get more time, perhaps I will make a larger post about the whole experience. There is certainly lots to talk about.

While I was chilling at the NG HQ, I was struck with lots of ideas for animations! All of those creative tallents must have rubbed off on me. So now I am trying to develop them with any time I can spare.

A HUGE thank you to the man @TomFulp and the rest of the NG community for being so welcoming and generous! I love you all and I wish to return next year.

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Me with Tom Fulp, Dudul and Catfat, about to dig into some Philly cheese-steaks

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Recording a SleepyCast episode at the SleepyCabin with RicePirate, Catfat and Spazkid



I got a lovely invite to Pico Day from mr Tom Fulp and he asked me what's new with me. So here's a life update.

So much has happened in the last few years. I passed my A-levels and decided to pursue a career in 2d animation. I spent a year at Farnham university to get a foundation degree in art and design, and I created a couple of short animations (one of which I will be releasing on Newgrounds very soon). 


I have now taken a year out of education to explore online freelancing. Turns out it's very difficult, especially getting off the ground. My client and I launched a Kickstarter for an animated web series which i was going to animate (I had my hopes on spending the year working on this project) but to my dismay it failed to reach the funding goal. i had already committed to a year of work, so I was desperately searching for freelance gigs in animation, illustration or anything I was able to do. It was really tough to get rolling as no one was willing to pay a decent wage and I refused to work for pennies like most artists are tricked into doing. For a while I was frustrated and poor and It looked like i was going to have to work at a reception desk. But after months of hard work and self-promotion I got a few lucky breaks. 


My most recent project has been a fantastic opportunity for me. I am making a music video for an up-and-coming music group called Crosswinds. I've got a feeling that the project is going to lead to a lot more opportunities and I can't wait! It is turning out really well so far but I am under the clock to finish it. I just really want to get this project done and for my client to be thrilled with the result.


I'm going to start my animation degree course in September and I look forward to interacting with humans again. This year has been pretty isolated and i would probably go mad if it wasn't for our little animator community on Skype. I also have plans for starting up my own business as a pet project, but it's a long way off. You can see my early attempts at this here:
http://animatorguild.com/
http://www.animatorguildstore.com/tutorials.html

Yeah... it's not great. But I think there is potential there for me to make some kind of money from doing what I enjoy, who knows... I'm going to continue building it once this music video is finished.

Oh I almost forgot! Working on this music video has re-sparked my Interest in music production. I've finally seized the day and bought some software and now I make some music tracks as a way to relax. I would really love to collaborate with some artists, particularly rappers and singers, so if you're interested don't be shy. Contact me!

Here's some samples of things to come. Lots more on their way.

 


New Timelapse videos

2014-10-20 19:25:24 by HowardWimshurst

Hey, here's some new timelapse videos i've been uploading. More coming soon

Download the source files for free HERE if you want to.

Thanks to Keepwalking and LuisEC for letting me use their music.

Subscribe here


Going mad with speedpaints

2014-10-10 21:04:50 by HowardWimshurst
Updated

Hi people,

So this week i've finally got into doing speed paintings. It's something i've wanted to do for so long but up until now, I've been discouraged since everything I would try to paint looked like crap. But now they look... less like crap? AND IT'S ALL BECAUSE OF TWO METHODS

1) I've taken colour out of the environments entirely and my god, it's helped so much. It makes everything so much easier. Only thing is, I don't know how to properly add colour into a black/white picture so for now, they are staying colourless.

2) I've searched the web for the MOST BADASS COMPOSITION TEMPLATES in the world. I decided these templates should not be kept secret, so I'm making some basic tutorials for using them on my YouTube to come out shortly. And more importantly, I've taken the best ones and made them into a FREE DOWNLOAD zip file. Head over to my site and get creating!

The middle picture took 30 mins, the other two took 1hr each.

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I'm saving the best ones for my next post! Stay tuned

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Hey there,

So I've started making a "weekly" newsletter (although It will probably start out as being monthly). I'm still finding out how this works, so they might be a little crude at first. It's for artists/ animators/ film-makers of all kinds, and it's completely free!

 It's going to be packed with exclusive tutorials, artist resources, reviews, trade secrets, inspirations, updates and more! A free service that you don't want to miss out on. To add yourself to the mailing list, submit your email below. This is completely secure and your address will not be shared with anyone.

Email Address    

If this input doesn't work, you can use the page on my website here:

http://www.howardwimshurst.com/newsletter.html

I leave you with this Work-In-Progress character designs.

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Hey there,

If you didn't catch it, this post is the second part to a longer discussion I had with a potential client. You can read it here and it will probably give some more context to this. To recap, I applied for a job and a few weeks later was contacter by that client. This client has very little experience in hiring animators, so instead of just ignoring the offer, I educate her about how to pay clients. I would invite all animators to do this when they are offered an underpaid job. You can't expect first-time clients to know the ropes. Also, be very weary of projects which depend solely on the success of future crowd funder campaigns.

Her reply

Yes the funding from the fundraiser greatly depends on the payment. I will understand if this turns you off from the project.  I will not hire/pay any animators if the project is under funded.  

I have never done anything like this before, and sadly I'm just an individual. And my online friends who very passionate, about this project are anmaturs, we all are.

I really don't know how budget an animated film and what to pay animators, as much research I have been doing over the years and these past few months. ..I know nothing. 

The reason why I did the fixed rate was the only way I could figure out a budget that was just enough to pay a very small team(of talented anmaturs.) I estimated $12,500....yes it's a very small, low budget. ....

I'm willing do the weekly/monthly $200. But I need to know how much of a budget I would need to pay ,let's say 5 animators.(I know it's got to be way more  $12,500, way more)  

I do like you idea of doing the storyboards/animatics and a teaser trailer to get "investors".(no major corporations, I do not on the rights to the characters,investors as in fans)   If we go that route, how much would I need to paid you? Keep in mind you won't get paid until after the fundraiser.   And I know that this is a bit iffy as well.

We really got a great solid story and if we get the fans attention from the animatics and teaser the support will pour in.

Sorry for rambling. ...well, even if you not interested. ...can I ask you for your advice and experience?. ..about how to get animators working together in a group, all work will be done online.....and I don't know how to organize this , Also some of the animators skills are not on the same level but they have the potential and told me that it would be a great learning experience to work with someone with more experience. 
Also they have not not worked in a group before. 

Anyway, thank you so much for responding! 

 

My reply

Hey that's alright, and you're always welcome to ask for my advice when you need it.

I would only be able to commit to this project after the fundraiser is successful. That goes for all animators you hire. They can only work for you if they are guaranteed payment. So by all means, contact me once the fundraiser is over and I'll be happy to work for you.

Based on what you have told me, I would advise that you do these 4 things.

1) Hire fewer animators. I would hire one or maybe two if they have worked together in the past. This will massively reduce the difficulty/ complexity of organisation, continuity, finances. If you hire multiple animators, you have to split your costs accordingly. 

2) Scale your project down. A lot. Reduce the run time, the story complexity, the NUMBER OF LINES (this is the easiest one to cut down on). Strip it down to the story's essentials. If you can get it down to 15-30 minutes that would be better. Sacrifice quantity for quality. Even if you got it down to 15 minutes in length, you would have to be VERY efficient with your budget and probably have to do a lot of the work yourself. If you completely re-scaled the project to be around 5 minutes in length, then you would have it in your budget to make a good quality animation.

3) Use a style of animation which is quick and easy to produce. If you don't do this, you haven't got a chance of finishing this film. Use LIMITED ANIMATION techniques to be efficient.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limited_animation
Read this article to get an idea. I would suggest studying animation in TV animation where a lot of limited animation techniques are put to use.

4) At the end of the day, you are going to have to make the choice between either: A well made short film made by a professional animator, OR a fairly odd looking short film made by a handful of inexperienced animators.

Also take into account that animation takes a very long time. For a 5 minute animation, I would estimate it to take half a year to make. if you ere really rushing it, 4 months. For a feature length animation on a limited budget, that could take anywhere from 3 to 5 years. That's the reality!

One more thing. You mentioned that you don't know how to organize this. Trello is a great tool that I have used in the past for organizing group projects. Read about how it works and consider it.
https://trello.com/

Hope this stuff helped you. Keep me updated on your progress.

Howard

 

Her reply

Thank you for your feedback! I have a group discussion with my team members, and came to the conclusion that it would be better to do a series of short films instead of one film. And hopefully the animation quality won't be too low. And budget can be more manageable.

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Hop this has been informative for anyone who has actually read this. Not all employers are out to get you. A lot of them just don't know what price to charge so just make a random offer. Of course there are people who do exploit artists and for them you need to be very firm in your self-worth. Cya next time.

Here's some links to my stuff for those who are interested:

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Financing Animated Films

2014-09-20 19:40:17 by HowardWimshurst

Hi there,

Recently I was contacted by someone with an offer to work on an animation with a small team (not the first time). Basically this person had a fairly small budget and clearly didn't have a lot of experience in this area of production. I thought I would upload my response to give people an idea of how to handle someone like this (I hope she doesn't mind if I share this with people). But anyway here it is (First is her offer, then is my reply). Notice how I didn't immediately ignore her because the payment proposal was too low. MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW THE COST OF ANIMATION. It is our job to tell them.

Hello! I message you awhile ago about my 2d animated fan film project. I was thinking of doing a fixed rate. $100 USD per scene. I estimated that there will be 13 to 14 scenes. Also there will be four other animators working on this project as well. I just hope the fundraiser for this goes well in the winter. I will keep you updated on the project and if the fundraiser goes well or not. Does this sound good?


My Response

Thanks very much for getting back to me about the fan film project. I am currently available for work and this project sounds very exciting. 
Firstly I would like to ask, does the payment of animators depend on the success of the fundraiser? If there is any uncertainty with paying the animators for their work, I cannot commit to the project. 

In terms of payment, I have left my advice for this below 

I would encourage you to choose a different method than fixed rate. I understand that it can be difficult to measure the costs of animation. Don't worry, we can figure something out. 

Here's a few strategies to paying your animators. 
Paying hourly- This is the fairest for animators because an hour worked is an hour paid. I tend to negotiate anywhere from $14 per hour upwards- depending on the difficulty level and other factors. The worker keeps a timesheet detailing when they worked, for how long and doing what. This way you can see what they were up to during their work hours. You can cap the amount of hours paid for at any number. 

Weekly/ monthly quota- Set how much you would be able to pay your animator per week. Let's say it's $200. Every week your animator will do $200 worth of work and will not go over that (Keeps a timesheet). This way, it's easy to not lose control of production costs and you can plan ahead. It also gives your animator lot of flexibility and allows them to do part-time work. 

Fixed rate- good for not exceeding your budget. However it is very difficult to make a fixed rate estimate. Generally, fixed rates are a massive up-front cost. And your animators will be VERY grumpy when you ask them to redo part of a scene. They might just flat-out refuse to redo something if it gets out of hand. 
You could stick with your plan to pay $100 per scene. But here is the problem. The only animators who would be willing to work for that amount of money would be very inexperienced animators with a poor grasp of fundamentals, no experience in group animation and just not ready to undertake a project of this size. Any qualified animator would abandon the project for better paying projects very quickly. 

In any case, you should know that $100 USD per scene is not enough. Even if the scene was only 20 seconds long, it would not be a fair price. That is coming from an animator who charges very little in comparison to other 2D animators. I would invite you to re-read the break-down given by Sean Husmann. To put things in perspective, here's a quote from him. 
"Some may charge You 80$ for a Single Character *animated* over 12 Frames, completely Colored and Cleaned - some 200$" 

If you are on a tight budget (which I assume you are), I would consider what Sean suggests: 

"What You could do is first hire less people, so spending less money, get something short & attractive, with good presentational value done, and then use that to attract more "investors" 

I would volunteer for this. I could make the entire storyboard for you, or I could work on my own to make you a small trailer or cut scene to get investors interested. You mentioned that you needed an animatic for the opening of the fund raiser? I could make that for you. We could test a payment method during that time to see what works well, and then bring in other animators when you are ready to. 

Because creating a feature length 2D animated film is a mammoth task, I would advise that you start small. Hire one worker at a time. Pay that animator a fair amount to get something substantial and see where to go from there. This is what I would do. Even if you have a fairly low budget, we can make something, but it might mean that you have to scale back your project to something smaller or more basic. 

I have undertaken quite a few tasks like this, so I'm only talking from my experience. 

I hope this advice helps you out, and I await your response. 

Kind regards, 
Howard 
www.howardwimshurst.com 

 

Hope you found this resourceful. See more videos on this topic on my YouTube channel.

Or if you would like to see my artwork and animation tests, I post a lot of cool stuff on Tumblr

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CWF Mini Series

2014-09-17 08:05:27 by HowardWimshurst

Here's an update. All 4 episodes of CWF are now up for viewing, and i've recorded material for more episodes. The editing is the thing that takes the longest, but I'm keeping to my weekly schedule with videos up every Thursday(I've decided Thursday is a good day to upload). 

If youy haven't already you can SUBSCRIE here or you can check out the CHANNEL here. I've got some good videos planned.