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AUTHOR SUBJECT: A L I E N
mokkimachi
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Posted: 10/26/2017 10:40:33 PM
Is there life out there in outer space? Well, something anyway lands on Slobbies' house and two green creatures come out, looking for an earthling to experiment on.

They get their slimy hands on Goldwyn Phishee, and it is up to Slobbies to save his fishy friend from questionable practises aboard the flying saucer.

WATCH "SLOBBIES: ALIENS!" NOW!


REPLIES:   21

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Posted: 10/27/2017 8:20:55 AM
 I watched!

Marius, I had no idea what Slobbies is.  I thought that maybe it was the name of your puppet program. 

Since I never saw Slobbies before I'll take a minute or two to critique it. 
     The animation is terrible but it has a charm that makes it not only watchable but also entertaining .  Did you do the animation?  I assume you did since you don't seem to have anyone else working in your production company.  Did you use an animation program?  Looks like maybe you drew the characters using your computer mouse instead of a graphics tablet.  I do like the look of it but it might benefit from a little refinement.
     The soundtrack is good but seems a little bit lifeless.  I don't know what it needs.  Maybe someone other than you doing most of the voices.  You have a good voice but I don't think it lends itself well to the graphics.  Maybe if you brightened it up a bit in an audio program.
     I love the bright colors and the way you handled the animation layers to separate the foreground from the background. Very nice.
     The canned sound FX could be updated with something more interesting.. The sound over all is good but the dialog track sounds like it was recoreded in a shoe box.  Maybe you need a better microphone.
     The ALIENS episode started out well enough.  I mean, it really caught my attention although it felt a little long.  I'm talking about title sequence.  I liked it but would probably shorten it. The story is pleasant enough. Non-offensive so that younger viewers will enjoy it.
     Keep going on the show. I don't know how much money you make with the commercials that show during the episode but you should consider putting the series on Amazon.com.  Maybe you could find your audience there with the right marketing.

Oh, and I'd think about changing the title.  Slobbies doesn't  tell me anything about the series and actually sounds like it might be about disgusting people living in trailers.
     

 

mokkimachi
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Posted: 10/27/2017 12:42:03 PM
How very kind of you to watch my good man!  Glad you're no longer keeping good things from yourself.  

Yeah you can watch just about anything I make.  It'll all be a nicer treat than cream cheese.  But have the cream cheese also.  

Ah Slobbies... now there's a story to tell behind the story.  But I'm not going to tell it now.  But I will give you a brief background. 

It all started in my childhood when I wanted to make a very nice animation.  And I started making a swell animation, but it was taking very long because up until that point, I did all animation by hand, no computer required. 

First animations I did on a computer were tests I did on an AMIGA.  It was going faster than doing it all by hand, but back then the AMIGA had only enough memory to do one shot at a time.  I had to record it to tape and then delete it and do the next shot.  It somehow worked but of course there was no going back to fix anything once a shot was deleted off the computer. 

But around 1995 the IBM (I think it's IBM) was ready to do such things.  Unfortunately as you may know but have forgotten, the first digital video hardware was so expensive that I could never afford the right things. 

But with a presentation software called Astound, I could make animations in a seperate program inside the program called Astound Animator.  Its drawing tools is terrible compared to other, modern animation software that can round off lines and have varying thicknesses etc, but that's all I had then.  It wasn't really for industrial work, but that didn't stop me.   

So in my teens I started making a very, very nice animation, but it was going slow because I didn't know the software or the hardware or the computer at all yet. 

So I decided I need a trial run to get to know everything before I do the proper animation.  I didn't want it to be my excercise run;  so I designed another thing to learn everything with.  And that's how Slobbies was born. 

Slobbies was supposed to be done REALLY quickly, hence the designs: 

Slobbies is all white with only a black nose, so that there isn't a lot of painting to be done.  Ol'Mom wears a completely yellow dress with yellow shoes, etc.  Every character was initially limited to two colours, at the most three.  Initially no special colors;  just the default colors of the computer.   

The drawing was supposed to be done REALLY fast, no matter how rough it came out.  Speed was the only goal, as well as learning and gaining experience of the software and hardware REALLY fast. 

But as these things go, they develop.  First there was only one story, then five, then five years later there was another five (one was never made), then two years later there was another three (not in chronological order).  Then ten years later there was another attempt at finishing the one that was never made, and it was half finished and never completed.

The end result is there is really rough animation and some neater animation and some lazy animation and some nice animation and everything inbetween.

It's been packaged in all sorts of formats with many different edits, from feature length to shortened theme-based edits to exactly 7 minute cartoon format to this here now.  I think what it is now is its final form, for I'm done with it.  Except I'm still planning to make that last unfinished episode some year.  

I'm glad you believe it's now nice, pleasant stories that even younger viewers can watch.  That's a good form for it to be in.  Originally however, there was some stuff you would laugh at and then call it "vulgar". 

For example, in this story, There's something fishy about my new pet, originally Slobbies asks Ol'Mom why she's taking care of him in a way that suggests he might as well be asking about the birds and the bees.  

Ol'Mom then gets red in the face with an uneasy grin all embarrased, "I knew this day would come - the day your kids start asking questions about... life", in a way that certainly suggests she's about to have "the talk" with him. 

Then she goes off to find a suitable book on the subject, but is obviously caught off guard and can't get her head together.  The only book she can find is one of her smutty magazines full of erotic studs.  She opens one of the fold-out posters and gets overwhelmed by what she sees, as the fold-out continues to have to be folded out again and again and again to unroll the whole thing, for whatever is so long on that guy.  And so forth and so on ;)

Only a handful of people saw that version in the making, and although they laughed themselves silly right out of their guts, they all recommended that perhaps the program be made for a more general audience, suggesting it's too vulgar.  

Hence the final edit in which Slobbies asks Ol'Mom why she looks after him so well, and she shoots off screen suggesting they check the encyclopaedia, to which Slobbies replies that she should just use her brain this time.  Not quite as funny, but whatever.  At least nobody's embarrassed.  And in a pre-google time, perhaps the answer to such things was in encyclopaedias.  Meh.  

Anyway yeah, in the end I never got around to make the original grand animation I wanted to, because life happened throughout the whole thing too.  But I did make a fine Slobbies series to be sure.  It ain't Disney, but it sure happifies!

Thanks for watching, Rogers! 

SLEEPTILLNOONPRO
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Posted: 10/28/2017 10:10:23 AM
 Nice history Marius! I'm always interested in how geniuses get their starts. So Slobbies came way before International Treasure?
mokkimachi
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Posted: 10/28/2017 1:07:37 PM
Some years earlier. 

Glad to see you're alive btw! 

SLEEPTILLNOONPRO
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Posted: 10/28/2017 3:11:10 PM
 Thanks little buddy for the kind words!

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Posted: 10/28/2017 3:21:14 PM
 I've done a little cel animation years ago.  I can't draw very well but I'm at least good enough to draw Beavis and Butthead quality stuff. 

I have to admit, your series has kind of rekindled my interest in 2D animation.  The idea of making a series of  10 minute episodes.........  Plus, once a good process is set up, you could reuse drawings in so many ways; long shots, close ups....  Disney would draw 24 frames for each second of film but I think I would be more likely to do 12, plus, use all the tricks like using one drawing of the character but  animate the arm moving as a seperate layer.  Less drawing time. Episodes are finished quicker........ anyway, I'll do a couple of shots to see if I think it could keep my interest.

mokkimachi
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Posted: 10/28/2017 9:37:29 PM
Yeah you'd think you'll reuse but I found that I never do.  Don't think I ever reused more than three elements throuhout the entire series. 

Disney's characters move at 12fps generally. 




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Posted: 10/29/2017 4:06:58 AM
 Hmm, I am 100% positive they are 24 fps...   Warner brothers cartoons were probably 24 fps also.  

Animation like that is a thing of the past. Saturday morning cartoons today look like shit.  Slobbies blows all of them out of the water.

mokkimachi
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Posted: 10/29/2017 8:25:34 AM
Yes the film runs at 24fps but for general character motion, they only draw 12 cells per every 24 frames.  Go put Lion King into your DVD player and play it frame by frame when they're not doing things exceptionally fast. 

"Saturday morning cartoons today look like shit.

Cartoons run 24/7, not just on Saturday morning.  Yes, they're kinda up there on the screen but I can't care about it.  Just more assembly belt garbage.  Except Totally Spies is watchable sometimes. 

Whatever happened to quality things like Nils Holgerson or Brakanjan (Dogtagnan).  Or my favorite one for a long time:

 


"
Slobbies blows all of them out of the water."

Thanks Jamesy!  I'm printing out your words and framing it. 

(Blows out of the water means something good, right?)



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Posted: 10/29/2017 9:30:54 AM
 Yes... Think of the other cartoons as boats on the water.. Slobbies blows them out of the water, like a cannon ball fight on the open seas.

I do hate to beat this to death but Walt Disney cartoons; Snow White, Cinderella, etc.. where drawn at the same frame rate that the film runs at, 24fps.  24 drawings per second of film...  It probably is true that when you watch one of those cartoon on DVD and step through it, frame by frame, it looks like ever 4th frame is a duplicate, thus, without doing the math, you might think the drawings were 12 fps. - BUT - NTSC DVDs run at 29.97 fps.  Since the Disney Cartoons were shot on film and film is projected at 24fps so,  if the cartoons were indeed drawn at 24fps (they were) then inorder to put the cartoon onto a DVD you would have to do the same thing you would have to do with a live action movie that was shot at 24fps.  You would have to employ a process called the 3:2 pulldown.  A simple process that allows movies shot at 24fps to be turned into 30fps (29.97 with dropframe used).. When you watch a DVD of a movie shot at 24fps it will appear that about every other frame is used twice.  It's because the 3:2 pulldown uses the odd and even fields of each image to create the additional 6 frames to turn 24 into 30.

Take a look at this:


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-two_pull_down

mokkimachi
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Posted: 10/29/2017 1:29:48 PM
Sigh.  How many animated films have you made, and how many have I made, mmmmmmmmmmm?

The only "pulldown" i'm interested in is when my girlfriend and I both pulldown our pants and start doing the nice. 

Now while America uses NTSC like some crazy senseless maniac, the civilized world uses PAL which is 25fps, so it's very, very easy to check on a normal DVD player that can forward one frame at a time how many film frames a character's cell is displayed for.  No pulldown required except the optional aformentioned pulling down of the pants in order to make passionate affections easier to display on relevant parts of the body with no clothing getting in the way.   

While an actual new frame or cell may be used every first frame for scrolling and panning shots and some fast shots and smooth motion shots, 2D Disney animations display a new cell only every 2nd frame for general motion.  For Japanese anime, this is generally every 3rd frame, while sometimes even every 4th frame when they try to make something seem to move majestically, but in my opinion this seldom works because such a frame rate is just too low.

Of course with 3D turned into 2D, frame rates of cells can actually be 24fps/25fps/30fps, because the computer does all the motion.  No need for animators to draw every cell. 

Well, I'm gonna go practise some more pulldown.  You can watch some Nils Holgerson if you like hand drawn animation.  It's about a boy who abuses animals then get magic'ed into a miniature: 




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Posted: 10/29/2017 2:51:00 PM
 OK. I give up. Animated films can be shot with whatever number of drawing per second you want but it is true that the Disney films always did full animation; 24pps.  I didn't know that Africa used PAL. Now get in there, my son, and get on with the pull down.

 

mokkimachi
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Posted: 10/29/2017 9:23:17 PM
Allright, I'll try one more time but then I don't know how to explain it to you further.  Let me see how specific I can be. 

Jamesy, if you take Disney's Alice in Wonderland, and you take the scene of the cheshire cat speaking in the tree, and you look at the film frame by frame, you're going to notice that yes, the film is made at a speed of 24fps, however, the cheshire cat only changes every 2nd frame.  Every cell counts for 2 frames.  It is still fast enough to look like motion.

If you take The Lion King, and you look at the scene of Simba and Nala walking to the watering hole, then you shall notice the same thing.  The background may scroll at 24fps past them because for some reason a background that scrolls past at a slower speed doesn't seem like smooth motion.  However, the characters on it are changing cells only every 2nd frame, in other words they're done at 12fps. 

It is only for fast scenes that need the action clearly depicted that the characters may have a new cell every first frame.

If you take Skateiland, which is Japanese made, and you play it frame by frame, you shall discover that although the film runs at 24fps, in general a character changes cells every 3rd frame for a character frame rate of 8fps, which when drawn well may still give the illusion of motion.  



Ah, loovleh.  

And no, Disney doesn't do "full animation", whatever that means.  It wouldn't have been cost effective.  Maybe for Snow White because that was Disney's first animated venture, but none of the animation films that followed drew a new character cell for every single frame.  It's not only unnecessary but doubles the work.  Remember that film is a business thingy?  It's got like expenses that need to be kept as low as possible so that the profit can be as high as possible?  Yeah.  

Well I hope you enjoyed today's animation lesson.  :X! 


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Posted: 10/30/2017 10:49:16 AM
The delivery guy will be bringing me a flatbed scanner tomorrow so I can scan in some of the pencil drawings I've been doing the last couple days. I have some animation paper and a registration block coming on Wednesday. I'm so exciting about this! ... If it turns out that a light table would be useful, I'm going to build my own,,, or maybe I'll buy one for $25.00.... The thing about cel animation that I've always liked is that you can be as free as you want. If you can draw, you can draw cities or planets or aliens with 10 heads... Unfortunately for me, I can't draw BUT, I can trace!..... Thanks, Marius for reminding me of the wonders of animation!!
mokkimachi
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Posted: 10/30/2017 11:27:35 AM
I'm glad I inspired you but what in blazes are you doing now?   Cell animation?  Scanner?  Pencil drawings? Light table????????  Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaa there!!  Where in blazes are you going with this?

What you need now is a drawing tablet and an animation software package. (Click on aforementioned links for examples). 

That's how these things are done.  And they'll look much nicer than Slobbies.  Not even my own animations look like Slobbies anymore. 


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Posted: 10/30/2017 12:23:30 PM
 Not to worry.  I have things well out of control. I mean, under control.. but, what are YOU talking about?  All I'm putting together is a basic animaiton set up; paper to draw on, a scanner to scan the images and some software to put everything together.  I'm using Mirage 1.5 .  The light table is just a tool to help you see through the paper to make it easier to trace the drawing below it.  Like holding the paper up to a window on a bright day.  No big deal. Every has cost less than $100.

The drawing tablet is sweet but too pricey for me right now.  That software looks like junk.

mokkimachi
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Posted: 10/30/2017 12:41:34 PM
Oh right, you're going for the whole nostalgic thing.  Cool then, carry on. 

I just meant today you don't need a light table because you have a tablet that lights up itself.  Or even a screen:



You draw directly on the screen. 

And the animation software usually does "onion skin" so you can see the previous picture and the next picture and any pictures you want in ghost image. 

It also saves on paper and scanning time because you need no paper and scan nothing;  it's already saved in the computer.  And you can export the images in sequence to a video file so they're already assembled.  No need to assemble your thousands of images after scanning them.   

So in the end this is going to save you money in paper and time.  You're not saving by drawing on paper.  Unless you can get ten billion pages of paper for nothing.


But nevermind Jamesy, you carry on and create your nostalgic 1928 setup.  Sounds cool.  Remember to wear a white shirt with a seperate collar you can press with starch, and a bowtie and a flannel suit, and style your hair with pomade.  Then you should look the part when you sit down and draw. 

Sounds cool! 

Goodnight yo!  Time for sleep. 


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Posted: 10/30/2017 6:57:49 PM
I have no interest in drawing on a computer screen.,, and yes, maybe it's my age but I've always loved the idea of a physical presence such as hand drawn pictures ..... I would love to get my hands on an original cel from Beavis and Butthead or Heavy Metal..  If those shows were drawn on a computer, there would be no cels to buy, or even dream about buying.  Once you turn the computer off, the artwork is gone... I'm sure you'll have a bunch of smart ass comments about that but it really is a shame that computers have killed so much of what use to be traditional art; drawing, painting, sculpting. Computers are being used to do it all..

That animation program you recommended in your post above, it features bone rigging for your model.  Do you know what that is?  it's a way of rigging a drawing so that you can bend it without having to redraw anything.  You can bend the arms, fingers, neck, anything you want. Fast and easy,,,, but it looks like shit and it take no effort to do.  It is unearned results and that is a problem to me. 

On the other hand, there is the fact that no matter how easy a computer program makes it for you, it can not infuse you with creativity. If you have nothing to say then will continue to have nothing to say, the program just lets you say nothing quicker and easier.

Oh, one other thing.  I know you'll think this is overkill, Marius, but it's important.  My setup includes a webccam animation station that I can use to quickly capture  pencil tests before finishing the drawings and scanning them in.  It's just a tool... Let's say you want a character to skateboard down a hill then around the camera and continue down the street.  You could do a simple stick figure test (pencil test) that shows the motion and timing, quickly capture those drawings with the webcam then review the footage to see if the timing is right.  Cool huh?

mokkimachi
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Posted: 10/30/2017 9:22:00 PM
Just saying it sounds like the film output is going to go really, really slow.  I've done my share of animation films and it goes slow enough without deliberate slowdownations.  We don't want you losing interest after 2 days.

But you'll learn it all for yourself, so carry on.  

 

"If those shows were drawn on a computer, there would be no cels to buy"

But you can print out drawings. 

Doesn't sound like you're going to create cells either.  In fact, it's not clear to me how you're going to paint and superimpose your characters.  But I'm sure you'll find a way.  


"That animation program you recommended in your post above, it features bone rigging for your model."

Doesn't mean it can ONLY do bone rigging.  I'm sure it'll let you draw and paint and superimpose digital character cells onto your background, like the standard kind of such programs do.


"webccam animation station that I can use to quickly capture  pencil tests before finishing the drawings and scanning them in"

You do know we're talking about every single frame being only a small fraction of a second of just a single shot, right? 

The more time you spend doing each with all your extra steps and tests and whatever else, you're increasing the time your film takes.  We're talking considerable time here. 


Anyway, when you're up and running with your setup, do make us another episode of The James Rogers Show, showing off your cool retro animation studio and some animation shots you've done.  

Sounds cool dude!  Looking forward to it.   


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Posted: 10/31/2017 4:01:20 AM
I know what your thinking and I know you're just trying to protect me from undue frustration but I have done this before. Not nearly as much as you but I have animated little people using drawings and the computer.  There really isn't anything about this that hasn't been done before and documented to death.  It does work..

You know me, I'll post some pictures of my little art studio then I'll post tests.  I already have a running man pencil test set up.  I'll scan them in, paint them, set up the frames then have the little guy run until his heart explodes.  Yes, I also have some backgrounds for him to run against.......  Right now I'm just enjoying the excitement of the moment but I'm also letting my mind do what it does best; set things up, organize, be efficient...  Don't be so quick to dump on the ideas I'm working with, I didn't invent them but I do see their value.  A webcam can save time.

I am impressed by Slobbies but, as I said from the beginning, the animation is not good.  The colors and the presentation is what I love about it. 

One thing I'm noticed about your project, Marious is that you seem to hurry through them. Yes, you get them done and they are all pretty good but imagine how much better they would be if you focused on making them just a little more polished.  Slobbies was something you did in the past but, in my opinion, it shows perhaps your greatest potential.

mokkimachi
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Posted: 10/31/2017 11:30:45 AM
Philosophical me believes in quality. 

Practical me believes in quantity. 

Idealising me believes it is important to put so much work into my creations that they can stand proud forever. 

Real life me knows in a million years, all I created will have long seized to exist so it's really a waste.


"Slobbies was something you did in the past but, in my opinion, it shows perhaps your greatest potential."

Potential for what exactly?

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