Aaaaalllright. Here we are on the other side of Kickstarter-ville – and although the campaign was unsuccessful, we are just as determined to finish “Geo-Me!” as we were when we started. Without the help of some extra animation hands, it will simply mean a more scaled back “version 1” and a few more all-nighters for me at the animation desk. But, really, it’s a fun gig, so who cares? 😉
As we re-gather ourselves to take this to the finish line, here’s some random status updates:
I went back to LA to visit my mom, hang out with old friends at DreamWorks, and to attend the 3-day long CTN Animation Expo in Burbank. Man it was fun. Not only did I get to hang out with animators I knew, but got to meet so many I didn’t. I also got to meet many former and current students, whom I had never met in person (I teach via webcam). And, I got to talk to a lot of people about Geo-Me ad nauseam. To be fair, people asked about it, so I merely answered questions. But, boy did I get good at making it brief. I might be dangerous in a pitch meeting, now that I’ve honed this baby down to about 500 words. I was really appreciative for the curiosity and genuine interest. My goal for going there was to meet independent artists and small studios that may be good candidates for the future collective, and I feel it was a mission accomplished. An abundance of good vibe, and handfuls of promo cards were tossed around. It was a great recharge for jumping back in to complete the final stretch.
And speaking of completion, while all that attempted fundraising was going on, Mr. Bill Hayes was still keeping his mind on the code. On the database, more specifically. Anyone vaguely familiar with the challenges of this project knows the vast amount of geographical data we are trying to wrangle. When a user makes their own Geo-Me it should be fun, and fast. Up until recently we hadn’t assembled a model of the data that returned enough positive results; meaning, most outfits you dressed your Geo-Me in did not match any city. A total bummer if you are a kid trying to play around and learn something. But logic and many hours of meditation prevailed, and the code has been cracked! Bill found a way to organize the data tables to produce a virtual 100% match! Bam! And it’s fast! Double Bam!!! That was a major hurdle to overcome. So we are on the road to assembling the final pieces.
In animation news, I am currently animating Wen-Long from Hong Kong. Creating the backgrounds was a challenge, as it is such a dense city, filled with iconic shapes and locations, all laying on the backdrop of a beautiful coastline. Getting all that complexity to properly fit in to the Geo-Me aesthetic was a trick. I’m feeling ok about it for now, and I’m heading in to animating the actual character of Wen-Long. He’s pretty playful and happy, and he flys around a lot (in his mind), so the drawings will come out loose and quick. And he has easy hair to draw. Finally! 😉
After Wen-Long is done, I will be moving on to Yasemin from Istanbul, Turkey. She will be the last character for now. Since we didn’t reach our funding goal, I will only be animating the first 6 characters for the initial release, with the remaining 6 to be released in subsequent updates. It’s gonna be a long haul this spring, but I can’t wait to finally put it out there.
A good portion of success is finishing what you’ve started.