January 15, 2021 : Adding C4D To The Arsenal

I still haven’t installed Lightwave 2020, but it’s on the To Do list. Also on said list is getting more familiar with Cinema 4D. I’ve used the program on and off over the last few years, but I wouldn’t call myself a regular (or proficient). That said, the software is great for motion graphics and complements After Effects really well.

As such, I am trying to make a more concerted effort to use it. I have identified a few professional projects where I can inject some C4D work in the pipeline. It’s not intended to create anything Earth-shattering. Instead, I want to give the final video some added flair. The goal isn’t to become a master but to get more fluent.

posted by Pi Visuals at 11:19 pm

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December 30, 2020 : Lightwave 2020 – In The Arsenal

I finally got around to purchasing Lightwave 2020 this week. For tax reasons, I planned on doing it before the end of the year – and I did just before the deadline!

The last version I had was 2015… so yeah, it’s been a while. I haven’t installed it yet, nor do I have any plans to use it in the near future (or projects to use it on), but I’m excited. Lightwave is far from industry leading, but it fits nicely in my pipeline for certain things – and I always advocate using what works.

posted by Pi Visuals at 9:59 pm

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December 11, 2020 : Tis’ the Season – For This Year’s Holiday Card

During the Me and Me wrap up, some time was allocated to this year’s Holiday card:

The lift was minimal, compared to previous years; but it was nice to hop into Photoshop… it’s been too long. Small projects like these serve as a good break.

posted by Pi Visuals at 11:42 am

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November 29, 2020 : Well, What’s Next?

Whenever I complete a project, there is a mix of emotions. Obviously a sense of accomplishment is there. However, I start to feel a certain anxiousness because I know a question to myself always arises: What’s next?

In the short term, there’s usually a list of items related to the recently finished project: uploading it, sharing it with peers, potential submissions to festivals (ugh), etc.

The past few weeks, I’ve been preoccupied with that along with a few non-Me-and-Me related things. Still, I’m starting to wonder what is next. At the moment, the answer is “I don’t know.” I’m always hesitant to jump into a new project, knowing I need some time to unwind; but couple that with the limited time I currently have to work on new projects, I’m not surprised that I don’t have an answer to the initial question.

At the same time, not working on much of anything is weird and won’t sit well with me. Therefore, I’d like to think I will try to occupy my time with something, even if it’s not intended to amount to anything. In the meantime, my goal is to enjoy the Holidays… and I’ll probably purchase and install the new version of Lightwave before the end of the year (for tax purposes).

posted by Pi Visuals at 12:51 am

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November 12, 2020 : ‘Me and Me’ Complete!

My new short, Me and Me, has finally been certified “Done”:

The last month was spent wrapping up loose ends and endlessly tweaking things. Since there wasn’t much of a deadline, I found it tougher than usual to put the pencil down.

That said, I liked how it came out. I will probably touch on a few pieces in future posts; but for now, I’ll just savor the feeling of a job well done.

posted by Pi Visuals at 11:28 pm

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October 30, 2020 : Deep Dive Into Akira’s Animation

I’ll be honest, I’m not really a fan of Akira. I found the story to be both ‘bleh’ and confusing. Plus, I also could never get past the main character’s name (Dick Army… I mean Kaneda). As such, I’ve only seen it once and pretty much moved on.

I remember the animation being solid, but not enough to save it for me. The video dissects the big intro action scene and gave me a better appreciation of the movie:

It’s pretty technical, but not enough to prevent someone unfamiliar with animation to enjoy it (and appreciate the work). I still won’t say I like Akira, but I might at least give it another watch one of these days.

posted by Pi Visuals at 11:53 pm

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October 17, 2020 : Making Some (Sweet?) Music

With animation and editing for the short nearly complete, I’ve moved on to the music. The music won’t take as prominent of a role compared to prior projects.

I only have three musical pieces for the short, each one about ten seconds. Still, the recording and mixing (both within the song itself and into the short) takes time.

The music component is the last major hurdle, and it’s easy to rush through this part just to get to the finish line; but that’s never a wise decision. Particularly with audio since it can easily ruin an otherwise solid project.

posted by Pi Visuals at 11:54 pm

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October 2, 2020 : First Pass Animation Complete

All of the sequences for the short have now been animated. I have also completed the associated After Effects work and even added sound effects (although these haven’t been properly mixed). As such, I have a solid first draft.

I have viewed this version a lot… A LOT. I want to watch it some more, but the goal is to create a comprehensive list of needed revisions. I have reviewed previous iterations and made a fair amount of tweaks already this draft is already further along than normal.

That said, I still anticipate a lengthy list – at last count, the tally is up to 27. While I don’t expect any huge overhauls, I know some changes will take time. While doing this, I also hope to get started on the music tracks, which is the last major hurdle in production.

posted by Pi Visuals at 11:37 pm

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September 20, 2020 : Production Homestretch

The last two weeks were spent working on a very After Effects heavy set of sequences. It was a fun twenty seconds of footage that had challenging pieces, and I really like how it is coming together. Once that is out of the way, there are only three sequences left to animate – totaling about ten seconds.

Even when the Lightwave and After Effects work is complete, there will still be several things on the ‘To Do’ list. Notably, writing two musical elements, creating a Title Card, and audio mixing. I also still need to go through revisions. Although since I’ve been regularly reviewing and revising pieces as they were completed, the revision process will be truncated.

That said, things are coming together, and we are in the homestretch. Here’s hoping there aren’t any last minute issues or surprises that spring up.

posted by Pi Visuals at 12:46 am

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September 8, 2020 : Venture Bros. Is Cancelled? Huh.

Last night, Jackson Publick posted on Twitter that Adult Swim has cancelled Venture Bros. after seven seasons (and 17 years). I found the news surprising – particularly since he also mentioned they were in the middle of writing season 8.

While a lot of people expressed confusion and dismay, proving the show still has a solid fanbase, I gotta say my response was more subdued. I used to be a huge fan; but between the increased complexity with the show’s mythology and the crazy long time between seasons, my love of the show has long since twindled. Couple that with the fact that I just don’t have that much time to watch TV these days, and it’s no wonder my response was mostly indifference.

I suppose a streamer can swoop in and continue the show, but I won’t lose any sleep if that doesn’t come to fruition (how did the last season end again?). Ultimately, I’ll reflect on the show’s early years, which captured my interest… and even inspired a pretty sweet, albeit esoteric, Hank costume. If anything, perhaps I will be on the look out for a rerun here and there late at night on a weekend when I can’t make up my mind on what to watch… but still want another few drinks.

With that said, Go Team Venture! You are still the source of many random references of mine that few people actually get.

posted by Pi Visuals at 11:27 pm

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