Contact Info / Websites
Well I have been for months and months... but for those of you who dont know.. here I am...
For those of you who dont know who I am, I used to make a few odd shorts ("The Portal" Clock crew matrix parody... "For Illwill" Neurotically Yours parody.... "Bananabeard II" and anything under the name 'Koalaclock')
Although I'm not doing much now apart from games over at work in a specific video games company I cant say.... I've been working on the past year on a point and click engine, based upon the crude "WADEANGRY" I made years ago... Its about 85% there now, and once complete, I'll be producing a full game with Munglai (Best known for 'Easy Way Out', nominated for best movie of 2008 on Newgrounds)
Griswold.. be afraid!!! Be very afraid!!!
I hope to get an engine preview complete for early Summer this year.. Follow my twitter, and maybe you can have a try sooner!..... OH FUCK IT, heres a work in progress version right about now....
PLEASE BEAR IN MIND.. I'm developing the engine only.. so graphics arnt particularly nice... I'm after functionality right now... It might be buggy too...
Koalaclock returns once again in this Clock Day special!
Take a watch, I gave it some love :'(
Hello thar. My name is Simon, and I feel like sharing some advice. For a couple of years around 2003, I created some Clock Crew movies which were fairly successful, as well as some original work which performed well. I then followed on to animate in an episode of "Tomorrows Nobodies", as well as study a computer animation degree. Souly focusing on the development of my animation skills outside of the web, I produced my CGI short "The Mascot", passed with a first, and I now produce video games.
It all started with flash animation though. It is the perfect platform if you start to look at digital animation as a hobby. It contains the simplicity to quickly make an animated short, yet it houses a number of advanced features to develop something much grander. A lot of people make one or two simple, avoidable mistakes though, and can be put off by the flash experience, or stuck down to a poor production value. Follow my tips and you must do better I swear =)
1. MASTER THE BASIC TOOLS
There are five key concepts in Flash you must fully understand if you are to succed. Although there is actionscripting and other advanced functions, they are not essential to developing a basic short.
The essentials you must really focus upon are "Layers", "Frames", "Keyframes", "Tweening" and "Symbols". If you fully understand these basic concepts, and how they function in Flash, then you will learn more advanced tecniques and skills exceedingly quicker.
2. THINK SMALL
ALmost everyone I've spoken to when it comes to flash always plans something ambitious and huge when they learn some basic skills, and realize what is possible. Tempting as developing something big might seem, avoid it. Even if you dont realize it, animation is a lengthy process, expecially for those with no art or video experience.
I recommend developing something short to start off with, perhaps two minutes long maximum. If you have ambitious plans for a large story, consider splitting your idea into an episodic form.
3. FOCUS UPON YOUR KEY SKILLS
For your first few flash movies, consider what you really want to achieve in flash animation, and focus upon the primary skill required. If you want to present something good looking, dive into the drawing tools, but dont worry so much about animation. Or, if you just want to experiment, dive into the animation tools. If you want to focus upon menu or graphic design, focus upon symbols and tweening. The idea is to get fully adquanted with the Flash package, rather than really impress people online with your work.
Of course, you can explore other areas! However I really recommend knuckling down your key strengths fairly early on, so you do not hit any unexpected delays or bumps later on in development.
4. ONE PROJECT AT A TIME, NO MOVIES
If you settle into the 'start small' ideal, then you may be tempted to juggle various projects at once. WIth a lot going on, it may become hard to focus upon one, or stay motivated. I'd suggest attempting to stick to only one project whilst you explore Flash, however for a lot of people, juggling many projects seems to KEEP them motivated!
5. DONT BRAND YOURSELF
Whilst developing your skills in flash, its not irregular to grow a little of an ego. Thats normal, the life of a Flash animator! However, creating a 'brand' or referring to yourself as 'we' will seem quite abnoxious. Unless you already have an established website, refrain from using a 'sting' at first (An intro for your name). If you do not have an impressive body of work, this approach will be inaffective.
6. DEVELOP AN ANIMATIC
It is all too easy to consider jumping straight into an animated project without any planning. Sometimes this works ok, however if you want a real polished feel to your project, develop an animatic first. This is to make a very VERY simple storyboard set to time. Use quick doodles and text boxes to set up where you want characters, how you want shots to feel, and time everything out smoothly. You could also develop your soundtrack, this is very helpful. Once you're done, shift keyframes about to get your project unclogged out of your head and into clear motion.
Once your animatic is complete, replace your shots with finalized, polish artwork and animation. Voila =D
7. DONT DWARF YOUR FEATURE WITH CREDITS
Once you have discovered the basics of flash, you may be tempted to focus upon quantity rather than quality, and never is it more clear in opening and closing credits for a flash movie. Television shows will usually have ending credit sequences of around 30 seconds or so, however this is justified since the feature itself is typically around 25-50 minutes long, and a large team would have produced the show. Lengthy credits sequences is very very offputting for an online user.
I'd recommend sticking to the 'creator', 'animators', 'music' and 'cast', and if possible, stitching these in with opening visuals so viewers arnt forced to focus souly upon the text. (For example, shots of landscape, with "Mister Animator Presents" ontop).
8. LISTEN TO CRITISM
Constructive critism is the best thing you can ever wish for, however do not be put off by souly negative comments. It is easy to take insults and harsh comments personally, especially if you have not spent significant time on a social animation site, like here or Youtube. However you must remember than many of these people are looking for a quick personal laugh. Unless they go into magnificant length about how GHEY you are, you should not take the comments to heart.
Amongst the unimaginative one liners are occasionally very VERY helpful comments, and if you state you are after this kind of thing, then even more so. Learning to accept critism, good and bad, will help you knuckle down areas you may be finding difficult, or want to develop furthur.
I might be totally wrong, but I do hope some of this helps you out some. Stay cool and keep it real guys.
For all who dont know me, hallo there. I've been a long time fan of Newgrounds.com, and have submitted movies such as "The Portal" (2003, Matrix parody starring Strawberry Clock and Tomorrows Nobody), Bananabeard II (2005, Clock Crew epic), "For Illwill" (2005, Neurotically Yours parody), ThirtyThousandTher (2006, Movie related to NG news) and most recently, "The Mascot" (2007, CGI short).
Well I got my university degree results through, and I managed to gain a "First Class Honours", in "BSc Computer Animation and Special Effects" at the University of Bradford, England UK. After jobseeking, I managed to attend an interview with a small gaming firm recently aquired by Travellers Tales, (Creator of games like "Sonic 3D" and "LEGO Star Wars") expanding due to the new aquisition, and now working on a seires of DS and Wii games.
Well a week after the interview, I recieved a phonecall confirming that I had been accepted for a position with the company. I'm soon going to be moving north closer to Manchester, and I'll hopefully be starting work from mid-August. Everythings rather exciting.
I'd really like to thank Newgrounds viewers, particularly fans of my Clock Crew works from 2002-3, since without your kind reception, I would most likely have not considered pushing what was then a hobby, into a full time profession / career. I do hope to produce the occasional flash movie and contribute toward this brand new Newgrounds. I love the new features, particularly the extended Audio portal, and user pages, and I cant wait to see what surprises the Newgrounds team have in store for us in the future!