Episode IV is now live !
Episode IV is now live !
The third episode of Seven Gates Where Angels Fall is close to completion. I set out a year ago working on this project, the goal and vision was clear. I was going to teach myself animation and tell a story at the same time. I knew that each episode would be a major leap from the previous one as my knowledge and skill levels increased. Episode three doesn’t fail to follow that model. Subtle things are sometimes what really seem to be the area of improvement.
I have tried to always keep peoples comments and suggestions in my mind as I move forward. One question I get a lot is , “Why post the episodes while you are learning and teaching yourself this?“. The answer is I learn better that way and If someone else can learn from my mistakes all the better.
Everyone has an opinion these days on whats the best way to do something. I’m not one of those people. I do what works for me and as I learn more I adjust as needed. I personally work better that way and tend to learn faster. Every one is different and there is no one “fits all” approach to learning or developing new skills and knowledge sets. So If i were to give advice, it would be this. Do what works for you and learn along the way. Every mistake is not a failure, its just a chance to do it again.
The above image is a new character concept created in DAZ 3d using Iray render. Iclone will have this type of render coming in the next few months as well. (Iclone being the software I currently use for animation.) As I continue working on this project I am also planning new episodes and continual story lines, well beyond what has already been scripted and recorded. This is just how I work sometimes, I just keep throwing ideas and concepts around as I work on current episodes. It helps to keep me focused as well as keeping the ideas from being lost over time.
Episode 3 production is well underway, roughly a third of the episode is completely done. The remaining two thirds are roughed out and in the works.
Seven gates has been a great learning experience as well as a whole lot of fun. The creation of each episode, forces me to improve and push my ability. While I know that I have a lot to learn still, I feel I have learned a lot in the last year. I just hope this improvement is evident in each episode.
There are three things I try to focus my attention on. The first is to take each day and try to improve or learn one new thing, that pushes me a step ahead of the day before. It could be anything new or even a revisit to something old that I needed to refresh myself on. The idea is to progress and improve in a meaningful way.
The second item is remembering everything takes time. I know where I want to be and I know what I need to get there. However, I need to remind myself that it takes time walking the path and learning the lay of the land on the way. It’s easy to forget this, we all tend to focus our gaze on the horizon and try to see what the future holds. We forget to look around in the moment and realize that the journey is just as important as the destination, maybe even more important.
The third and final item is to continue the process of creating, new stories and new ideas. It’s OK to take a break for a few days and just have fun creating something new or play around with a new idea. When I return to the last scene I was working on I feel refreshed and I see sometimes things that i had not seen before. I may have taken time to study new materials or watch tutorials and that new knowledge now helps me move the project along.
I’m a storyteller and that will never change. The world inside my head is a strange one, full of exotic worlds and creatures. Maybe I never gave up my imaginary friends from childhood, instead I brought them along with me and allowed them to invite their friends.
Episode two is finally released!!
As I mentioned before all episode’s are now running at about 10 to 15 minutes long. This means that the actual episode two script that was given to the cast is now broken into three parts (Ep 2 , Ep 3, Ep 4).
So if any of the cast are wondering where their lines or parts are in this episode, do not worry they are all there just in upcoming episodes 🙂 .
I hope this episode is an improvement in production and presentation over episode 1. I tried to give this episode a grittier feel to its color and lighting schemes, while trying to not make it appear as if the lighting is to dark.
As always I hope you enjoy this episode and I’m excited to start on the next episode.
Only a few weeks away from the release of episode 2 – Dawn of the Fallen. I’m currently working on the last few minutes of the episode and then just final edits and sound mix.
I personally feel this episode is much better than the first, both visually and story wise. I’ve made so many improvements in various areas since I’ve started this project, it’s wild looking back and seeing what I didn’t know in the beginning compared to what I do now. However, that has always been the point to improve, learn, grow and expand.
My approach to projects and learning new things has always been just jump right in with both feet. Wrong or right that’s the only way I can personally learn something and enjoy the process at the same time. Many people will tell me that I shouldn’t approach things like that, especially in an area like animation. Sure I could spend years working on small little things, like bouncing balls and faceless characters walking around in blah grey voids. I could also spend years writing short scripts and stories about bears wearing hats eating picnic lunches and stress about trope, and cliches and if I followed this rule or that rule. The problem is that’s not fun. It does nothing to push me forward and want to keep working and creating.
I’ll study and I’ll learn along the way. My stories will be told and new ones thought of as I move along. Those who don’t agree with my methods and criticize my reasons, I understand and honestly nod my head to their opinions. It’s what they feel and believe about creating and story telling and whatever creative endeavor they are involved in. I think that’s great, everyone needs to pursue their dreams in any manner they see fit. I will however continue doing it my way and offering it up to anyone who wants to see it.
As always you can watch the previous episodes, trailers and teasers at the following places.
(screen shot of episode 2 edits in Hitfilm Express)
Production update time once again. The next episode is well on its way to being ready for release. The shorter time format has made it easier to make progress in a timely manner. I hope to see a release very soon with in several weeks. I’ve learned a lot of new techniques and skills over the length of this project and strive to continue doing just that.
As always I have taken everyone’s feedback, concerns and criticisms and done my best to correct those things and or avoid them. Somethings I know are personal preferences such as style, music,artistic approaches and so forth. Those areas I take everyone’s feedback on as well and weigh it against the projects goal and vision before I make a change. In general I don’t want anyone thinking I am ignoring their comments and feedback.
( the above screenshot is an initial rough lighting/placement for one of the sequences in episode 2 as it is being setup in Iclone 7.2 )
I’ve been asked if I have plans to take my Afallon series of novels and create an animated series. I have toyed with the idea and decided that in the future that will be the next project after Seven gates. The two projects will connect in some way since there are references through Seven gates that allude to the Afallon series, in indirect ways. The leap between the two would be tricky but not that hard to accomplish. So that will be the next project in the future after Seven Gates. In the meantime there is a lot to be accomplished with Seven gates still.
The trailer for Episode 2 , Dawn of the Fallen has been uploaded and ready to view. I hope to have the entire episode finished in the next month. As I noted before all the new episodes are now going to be 10 to 15 minutes in length so that I can produce more at a faster rate.
Special recognition goes out to Maria Usher for doing the voice of “Vixen” in this trailer.