Animation

Comics and virus and animation

Hannifin World – Season 2 begins!

The second season Hannifin World begins today! So be sure to check that site daily for a horrible corny joke… there are 84 comics waiting in line, so the second season will run daily until November 23rd. Woohoo! Should update everyday at 8 AM eastern time…

Virus of doom!

Everything on my computer seemed fine and dandy and then all of the sudden “Security Suite” popped up and said “You have a bunch of viruses!” … though of course I quite suspected this “Security Suite” was the real virus. (According to Wikipedia, “AV Security Suite can infect computers using Adobe flash or other Adobe components found in regular websites, and so does not require voluntary download of software by the user.” How nice.) So I quickly erased my hard drive and destroyed my RAM to ensure safety. OK, actually I turned off the computer and used my other computer to do some research into this nasty virus. Upon logging in, the virus basically starts itself up and locks your computer up so you can’t do anything, like run anti-virus software. It then wants you to pay for “Security Suite” so that it can remove the viruses that it pretends to have detected. It’s like a hostage situation.

So I restarted the computer in “Safe Mode with Networking” which allowed me to update and run my Windows Defender software, doing a full system scan. It found some stuff and deleted it, but unfortunately didn’t get rid of the virus. So I spent some time online looking for free non-scam anti-virus programs (it’s amazing how many are scams), finally found one, did a full system scan, it found some nasty looking stuff, deleted it, and finally everything seems to be OK… for now… hope it stays that way!

(Some people on the Internet reported that they couldn’t even restart in safe mode; thankfully that did not happen to me.)

By the way, the ordeal convinced me that everyone should always have two computers… in fact, it’s about time for me to buy a new desktop… OK, not really. I’d like to build one eventually. Someday. Hm.

Animation Mentor

It’s week 10 of Animation Mentor! Just three more weeks of the first semester left! Then we have a week break before diving into Semester 2!

Here’s my progress from the last three weeks:

The first shot is of “Tailor” … a little squirrel like sphere thing. The point of the exercise was to show the overlapping action of his tail. It’s always a step behind him, and the last segment of the tail is always a step behind the the middle segment of the tail, and so on, so you can sort of see a wave travel through it. There are some things I might change about the animation, the bounces especially seem rough, but watching Tailor die tragically brought me much happi… I mean, it was very sad.

The last two shots are of the “vanilla walk” which is just a plain ordinary average walk. The first phase is “blocking” … planning how each third frame will look. The second phase is, of course, to do all the inbetweens. I found the assignment to be quite difficult, there’s just so much stuff to keep in mind. In the end, I finally got the knees and head to move nice and smoothly, but you can see that I had to sacrafice some of the head’s up-and-down movement, so now the legs look too straight and stiff. When the ball shifts his weight to his forward foot, the leg doesn’t bend, causing the ball sort of lack an illusion of weight. Hopefully I’ll have time to continue to work on this and refine it.

Anyway, this week looks like a lot of fun. It will still be some hard work, but we’ve got to animate a personality walk … that is, a walk with personality, duh! It can be anything. Maybe he’s excited, tired, drunk, arrogant, scared, stupid, etc. Should be some great fun.

By S P Hannifin, ago
Drawing

More comics soon and novel plotting

Appendix or no appendix?

The last poll about whether or not I should put an appendix with all the “magic rules” at the end of my fantasy novel as a resource to readers only got two votes, 1 yes, 1 no, so that’s no help! (I guess I might have gotten more votes if one of the choices was “Who cares?”) So the issue remains open for now… not that it’s really an issue, or something I should even be worrying about at all… it’s just blather really…

Plotting The Designers has begun!

Now that the rules of magic are just about all in place (there are a few little issues I haven’t quite worked out, but I don’t think it’ll matter for the purposes of this story), I have begun plotting. Act 1 is pretty much done, easy intro stuff, the conflict starts, seems like fun to write. Haven’t outlined specific scenes yet, but the overarching story is all there, I don’t foresee any problems with it. Act 2 and 3 however are quite tricky. I have a bunch of Act 3 done, and I pretty much have half of the climax figured out, but I still need to decide what exactly will happen to certain characters. And I still need figure out Act 2, how they get from the end of Act 1 to the beginning of Act 3. I’ve got some of it, but the details are tricky to work out.

Anyway, that’s how I’m plotting, just kind of going all over the place (though I like to get the ending set in stone as soon as possible, as it helps figure out what should precede it).

And, as I said before, I’m resisting the urge to turn this into a huge long epic (since I don’t trust myself to actually finish writing an epic). The rules of magic allow for tons of possibilities, but I must resist the urge to allow all those possibilities to be explored, which, I must admit, is hard! But I can always write sequels, I keep telling myself. KISS!

Hannifin World – Season 2

I’ve been continuing to draw comics for Hannifin World, it’s just a pain to scan them all in and resize them, upload them, etc. so I think Hannifin World will be a season thing; I’ll save up comics, then scan them in and upload them all at once.

So Hannifin World Season 2 will start on September 1st! I have about 70-something saved up, so it will run daily until sometime in November.

By S P Hannifin, ago
My life

Goals for 2010

I don’t think I really like the idea of giving myself goals, at least not these kinds large goals that are so easily influenced by uncontrollable events in my life.  But I’m going to do it anyway just to see what happens.  It might give me a bit more focus throughout the year.  Or I might become too disinterested in them and try other things instead.  I guess they can be considered “Goals I currently think would be interesting to achieve in 2010” and not so much “Goals I will use to judge myself at the end of 2010.”  In other words, I’m not going to strictly hold myself to them; it will all depend on where my interests lie when I have the time to pursue them.

And so here they are, the Goals of 2010:

1)  Get a full time job. I kind of have to put this on.  Obviously.  The alternative is to go to grad school.  But, c’mon, can you see that happening?

2)  Continue keeping Hannifin World updated daily for the entire year. This shouldn’t be too hard as long as I can keep thinking of ideas and don’t run out of ink and paper and the scanner keeps working.

3)  Finish writing a novel. Or a novella.  Or a novelette.

4)  Continue practicing sketching. I hardly did any sketching at all this year, but I got some extra drawing supplies for Christmas, so I should try to spend some time practicing with them.

5)  Finish writing screenplay for The Melody Box. This was a screenplay I started this year that needs to be finished.  I don’t know what in the world one does with a finished screenplay, but it was fun to write; I really need to get back to it.

6)  Get started on animating a short film. This is something I’ve been meaning to do for the past few months.  It doesn’t need to be long, it doesn’t need to be drawn very well, but I should at least get started.

7)  Finish album! This is something I’ve been working on since the end of 2008, and I’m still not finished!  2010 should be the year for that.

8)  Listen to all of Mozart’s work. In other words, finish the Mozart Listening Project.

9)  Make some sort of progress on a machine creativity program. Either make progress on my music generator (which still doesn’t generate music), or try creating a story generator.  This [machine creativity] is the subject I’m most fascinated by at the moment, but it’s also the most frustrating and hardest area to make any progress in, as it floats near the invisible edges of the impossible.

10)  Become a millionaire. While I’m at it.

Well, there are only 2 goals I know I definitely won’t achieve!  A-heh heh heh…

2010… a nice decade-ish number…

By S P Hannifin, ago
Drawing

Watch the movie first, don’t read the book

I woke up with a really bad headache today.  Fortunately by the time I had to go to work it had subsided enough that I could act normally, but it didn’t fully go away until about 10 hours after I woke up.  So I didn’t do anything but rest and pace around in the morning.  After work, though, I did draw about a week’s worth of new comics for Hannifin World.  It gets addicting when you start doing a bunch of them.

I’ll probably start watching Dollhouse on Hulu again because, from what I can tell, the creators are indeed going to try to wrap up the story as best they can in the final episodes, so hopefully there will be some closure.

And now I shall dedicate the rest of this post to talking about why you should watch a film before reading the book, or at least why I prefer to:

WATCH THE MOVIE FIRST

I know a few people who, when a movie based on a book comes out, they refuse to watch it until they read the book version. When such a situation comes up, I prefer to watch the movie first for a couple reasons:

1) Time Investment – The movie will take less time to watch; reading the book could take ten times as long, or longer. If the story ends up to be stupid, it’s better to spend less time experiencing it, in my opinion.

2) Books always seem better – Books and films are two different art forms. You tend to get less *story content* with a film, because films only have a couple hours to tell the story. Reading the book first gives you a high risk of comparing the stories of the two different art forms, and of course the film’s story will then seem like a “watered-down” version of the story, as they almost always have to take things out for a film, because of time and pacing considerations. In other words, reading the book first tends to taint your expectations for the film, which sets you up for disappointment. If you don’t read the book first, and you find the film to be good, there’s a greater chance you’ll also enjoy the book, as it will then seem like the story has been expanded. If you don’t enjoy the film, you may or may not enjoy the book, but at least you won’t have wasted more than two or three hours with the story.

That said, my favorite films based on books tend to not only just take out story content, but also change the story content, so that what’s left flows and fits together nicely. The Prestige is one of the best examples I can think of at the moment. The Harry Potter films, on the other hand, I find terrible, and not just because of the acting. (Actually, even though it would’ve made far less money, I think Harry Potter would’ve worked much much better as a TV miniseries.) (John Williams’ Harry Potter themes are brilliant, however. I cannot imagine more perfect melodies to fit the Harry Potter world.)

So, when a film comes out based on a book, I just watch it!

Some people might argue that watching the movie first makes them think of the actors playing the character in the movie when they read the book.  To which I say: well, then, you must have a weak imagination!  But I suppose it’s a valid argument…

By S P Hannifin, ago
Philosophy

I hate Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

19 days left until Christmas…

Didn’t really do anything today, except go to work, which was exhausting.  And now I’ll probably go to bed early since I’m… well… exhausted.  But brownies are in the oven, so I suppose I have to wait around until those are done so I can have one.

I changed Hannifin World so that you can only view one comic at a time.  For some reason viewing more than one on a page seemed cluttered to me, while only being able to view one at a time kind of makes each particular comic the center of attention, kind of “frames” it.  Which I guess is what a lot of webcomics do.  Some kind of weird psychology-of-humor property behind it perhaps?  If you “frame” a joke as a single entity, it will seem funnier than if it is seen as only a part of a collection of jokes.  If it’s in a collection, there’s more of a chance one will compare the jokes, and not give some jokes much attention.

Also, on a completely different note, I really hate the show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, where they build new houses for people who they think deserve them and then film them as they cry when given a new house.  To me, it seems to put too much importance on material items, while at the same time trying to spread the message that they’re not important.  It’s like Oprah sharing a sob story with a poor person and then flying her personal jet somewhere.  Hypocritical.  Annoying.  But I guess when a network is offering a free house, who cares?

By S P Hannifin, ago
Websites

Snow… and the Amadeus wigmaker

20 days until Christmas…

Didn’t do much today… I hardly ever do much on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays because of work (imagine how worse it would be with a full time job).  It snowed quite a bit today, but it was too warm for it to stick much to the road; it only got it slushy and annoying.  Now if it freezes in the night, the morning roads will be terrible.  Which stinks, because I need to go somewhere in the morning.

I uploaded a bunch of comics, so I’ll have enough content for Hannifin World to update everyday at 8 AM until at least December 22nd.  Isn’t that exciting?  Yes, it is.

Oh, I found something interesting on YouTube.  If you do not yet know, one of my favorite films of all time is Amadeus, the true story of Mozart’s murder.  In fact, I memorized Amadeus really well; I can recite it right now, and have you rotflol.  Anyway, it looks like the guy who played the wigmaker (in a short 30 second scene) has his own YouTube channel.  And he also uploaded some unused takes of them filming the scene.  He says somewhere that they shot the scene for around 7 hours, with him ad libbing his lines.  That’s a lot of work for about 30 seconds of film!  Anyway, it’s some really fun stuff to watch (if you’re an Amadeus fan, at least).

Oh, by the way, Amadeus looks fantastic on blu-ray.

Well, there it is.

By S P Hannifin, ago
Drawing

My new webcomic

Is it “webcomic” or “web comic”?

Anyway, I spent the day creating the Hannifin World site, my new web comic.  Not sure how long I’ll be able to keep it up.  Not sure I’ll keep the name either, but I couldn’t think of anything better.  I definitely won’t keep the web design, but it’s something to start with at least.  I spent a while scanning in at least a week’s worth of comics, so it’ll at least keep going for a week!

Other than that, I enjoyed the Monk series finale.  I would’ve written it differently, but it definitely gave a sense of closure.  And the montage at the very end was nice.  Gah, I’m really gonna miss not being able to look forward to new episodes of Monk! *sigh*

By S P Hannifin, ago