Haven’t spoken about Howard & Nester & Metroid in a while so I figured I’d throw a few blurbs out there. It’s actually kind of hard to think of something new to write about! I feel like I’ve written about this short so damn much that I’m out of things to say! So, I might be going over the same territory again, I apologize if that’s the case.

First, no new photo for the top of this write up. You get a new photo in the form of that little “coming soon” ad over there. If I show anything else, there won’t be many surprises for you now would there?

It’s kind of amazing how I wanted to make a motion comic because I thought it would actually be easier than animating a whole short, but in a way it’s probably taken me more time than any other ROM short yet (with maybe the exception of Pizza Links, another one that gave me trouble). The other three episodes of ROM were all kept pretty basic, just a background or two, a character model I was able to use for most of the shots, and very minimal animation. Little did I realize that making a bazillion different illustrations would take just as much if not more time. Okay, a bazillion is pushing it, but there’s a lot to draw and paint here.

I don’t have much experience with comics, so making a motion comic is kind of new territory for me. I had a long debate about whether or not I actually wanted any of the art to move (like a head tilting to the side for example) but I decided that the images should be mainly static. That brought up another issue, now things were sort of boring to watch. I spent a lot of time coming up with a whole aesthetic for it asking myself how I can make it interesting without the characters actually moving. How do you make a static image come to life? Well, there are plenty of amazing pieces of art out there that tell a story, so the hurdle is in trying to make interesting pictures. I hope that I was able to do that. I’ve also tried to use interesting camera movements and the way the panels appear over one another. So while the images aren’t animated themselves, there is plenty of motion going on, and plenty of things to look at.

I’d say at this point I’m halfway through all of the main illustrations. Thankfully with the animatic I was able to pretty much build the entire flow of the short, so I’ll simply be plugging in the final art and most of the short will take care of itself. I have a few timing issues I’ll need to iron out and other effects to add, but I’m hoping it won’t be a huge deal. Of course whenever I don’t think something will be a big deal it turns out being a big deal!

Then there was the issue of voice work. I rerecorded Howard’s line so many times. I have audio of me doing about four different voices for the guy. At one point I had the entire thing timing out to what I thought would be Howard’s final voice. However I let Frank check out the animatic and he suggested redoing his lines. I gave Howard another voice and this changed up the flow of the animatic drastically. I needed to retime nearly the entire short, but I think it was worth it. It works better, even if his newest voice isn’t as goofy as it was before.

Anyway, I’m still hopeful it’ll be done by the end of the month. I’m able to get about an hour to an hour and a half on it a night. I’ve been going strong with that for about three weeks now taking a few nights off here and there.

All I know is that the next one is going to be a lot more focused and smaller in scale than this one. Or so that’s what I tell myself.

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