Sup newgrounds, first off, Happy Halloween! If you haven't yet, please take the time to check out my SPOOKY halloween animation Cadaver:
I wanted to take the time in this post to discuss the crucial role that collaboration has always played in my work on newgrounds. From House of 1000 Cats, to my most recent animation, Cadaver, collaboration has always been the key. Especially recently, with my time being eaten up so much by school and other commitments, the only way I can complete projects is to collaborate. I've never been the best artist, or animator. But my most consistent strength is my ability to ask for help when I need it.
House of 1000 Cats:
Back almost 5 years ago, and still my most ambitious project to date, in terms of scale. I was very lucky to have Afro-Ninja and Eronn on my team for this one. Remember how awesome the intro screen was, with the bloody metal, and the scene select? Afro Ninja was responsible for all of that. Not only was it functional, but it looked so much more professional and appealing than I could have made it. Interface design is a huge weakness of mine, but Afro Ninja has mastered the art. And remember the 'introduction' with all of the screenshots of previous flashes scrolling through? I simply explained the idea to him, sent him the screenshots, and he made it happen. It's important to realize that if I were to do this scene myself, I would have had to individually tween each screenshot one by one. With my lack of knowledge, this is the only way I could have done it. It would have taken me weeks, but with Afro Ninja's AS3.0 knowledge, he was able to make the entire thing in a day, and he made it look more precise and impactful than I could have. Not to mention Eronn, who animated the flashback scene and the dialogue between Tom Fulp and Justin Timberlake, scenes which I otherwise would have had to cut out completely due to time restraints. The flashback, in particular, ended up being possibly the most successful and important scene in the entire animation. Eronn did such a good job with it, and wasn't afraid to bring a fresh style into the mix. FInally, with newgrounds celebrities Luis and Mindchamber voice acting, the animation was further enhanced.
Pico Portal Party: This collaboration was Fleckogold's idea from the beginning. He wanted to assemble the best animators possible to have Pico represented in many different 'genres' unique to Newgrounds. That April I had a brutal exam schedule, and it was a year where my grades were particularly important, so I couldn't animate much. The collaboration was perfect for me, because it gave me the opportunity to make something small but not have it stand alone, and instead be seen alongside some great animations. On its own, my animation that year was pretty weak, but as a piece of the whole collaboration, it was greatly enhanced.
Pico Pinata Party: Again, Afro Ninja provided the title screens, buttons, etc. Again, he did a great job. The interesting part of this flash was the dynamic of the collaboration between myself and Hulalaoo. The way we set it up, not only made it possible for me to finish the flash, but it played a huge factor in the motivation. This again was a difficult year for me in terms of school, but the motivation I got from working with Hulalaoo was invaluable. Failure to complete animation was NOT an option for either of us, since we were both relying on each other for our animations to come together. This goes to show the importance of collaboration not only to improve quality, but also to encourage eachother to keep working and making time to animate.
Cadaver: My most recent animation, and another example of how important collaboration has been for me. Firstly, working with the musician Chris Yenney was incredible. I usually manage to find some really good stuff on the audio portal, but it takes months of sorting through crap, and it's rare to find a 'perfect' song. I usually have to settle on something that's 'good enough'. But to have a score that was perfectly synced to my work gave me more freedom as an animator than ever before. Not only that, but the fact that I HAD to get the animation done in time for him to score it put the pressure on me to stay on top of my time management to get it done in time. Finally, the inbetweening provided by Jaxxy (from Yotta Studios) made it possible to get this flash done. All I had to do was send her the keyframes, and she filled in the extra frames perfectly. Without this help, entire scenes would have had to have been cut from the final flash, or they would have just looked choppy, because I only have so much time myself.
I have always been lucky that when I ask for help, I manage to find people so perfectly skilled for the tasks I need, that the final results of my projects represent the strengths of each contributer. Newgrounds is an incredible hub for networking between independent artists, so that together we can combine our strenghts to make things that would never have been possible otherwise.
One type of collaboration that I've wanted to explore further is working together with programmers on games. Jungle Destruction with EviLudy was a great success, in my opinion, but I have been unable to find consistent, dedicated programmers to collaborate with since that project, almost 4 years ago. If there are any programmers who want to work with me, please contact me :)
How has collaboration affected YOUR work as an artist?