Sunday, January 4, 2009

Catching up with County Ghost

Mike Geiger just posted episode three of County Ghost to YouTube, so I have some catching up to do. Here's episode 2 and 3, enjoy!
Episode 2

Episode 3

Mike talks about his process over on
On his process: i used flash and then dropped it through after effects to apply the glow to the ghost. the backgrounds are all drawn in flash and then painted with painter and imported back in as jpegs.
On the time he puts in:
maybe 250 hours?
its a little skewed because id say about half of my time spent on these is exporting png sequences, dividing layers for after effects, exporting quicktimes for final cut, rendering files, etc,etc,etc.
so minus all that technical stuff, id be guessing maybe 120-150 hours to have it completed in flash?
i sorta set boundaries up front so that i could allow myself to actually complete these on top of doing my normal daytime animation job without losing all of my sanity.
i told myself that i wouldnt allow myself to go back and "fix" anything. once its done, its done and i would just continue to move forward with the trade off that they would actually get finished and out the door.
so far, it seems like a good way to avoid a lot of frustration. it can be a little unnerving to be releasing work that you know have some obvious mistakes. but again, the trade off is that you are actually releasing work, instead of sitting on it tinkering with the small details.

So great to see Mike continuing with these. Just making the first one is an accomplishment, but to have cranked out two more, in a relatively short period of time, is more than admirable. Mike's done something here that I've always tried to share with students, he set out to make the film he could make.
Animation students are in a unique position that they rarely realize, their job is to make a film. That rarely happens again in a career in this industry. Sadly, they usually lack the experience or even the maturity to approach this task effectively. Too often, a young aspiring animator decides to make their opus, the film they've alwasy wanted to make, and usually, under these circumstances, bite of way more than they can chew. I've seen far too much unfinished work over the years. It's too bad. But Mike really nails that issue here. He made the film that his time would allow. He let the limitations of his situation (working a day job and not wanting to go crazy) dictate aspects of his approach. The simplicity works and he ends up with a great couple of cartoons.
Great job Mike, hopefully we get to see more of County Ghost.

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