Since I decided to start a blog, I thought I might as well repost an old blog I made after I finished an animated project I spent way too long making due to personal shit. Enjoy! I'll come back later in this blog with an update on what's happened since then.
Ladies, gentlemen, boys and girls, anything in between or outside of that, children of all ages and fully grown adults, if you are into Megaman I have something exciting to show and share with you, and an important task for all of you to do. Right below this picture!
Believe it or not, this took me three years to accomplish. And here's why. Get comfy folks, this is gonna be a personal one.
Three years ago, I joined GetMeOffTheMoon. I always had the idea of making some kind of epic animation with a bunch o' Servbots in it, as an advertisement for the movement. But I just didn't have most of the tools at the time. In august of 2011, I noticed all the awesome stuff the higher ups of GMOTM were doing, and felt that I just wasn't doing enough for the cause. So I then, the (now former) leader at the time, co-organized this event with one of the founders MDP. (which you don't have to do anymore, as this is oooold.) I pitched the idea to the guy, hoping that it would put me on a higher plateau and guy me something to do as a GMOTM member, and he instructed me to work his event in there. I said "sure! I'll put it at the end of the video. I'll get it finished by Christmas!" (or something to that effect,) and immediately commissioned Dashe for voicework. Little did I know the adventure I would put myself under.
I wanted the animation to have a lot of symbolism. For Roll to symbolize how us cooler headed fans were saddened and dismayed at Legends 3's cancellation, and disappointed, but ultimately decided to do something rather than stay in an angry rage for years. (though I too admittedly wanted to riot Capcom's offices on the day OF the cancellation.) I wanted Tron, to represent the anger we all felt, but also the gusto a lot of fans have. For Data to represent Greg and Kinako for spreading the news, but also being on our side. And for the Servbots, to represent our growth, our speed ups and slow downs, and perhaps most importantly our unity as a fanbase and movement when it comes to fighting for this game's revival. I added everybody else as just nods and for continuity's sake. But I guess Glyde would represent the trolls we used to ban almost weekly within the first year of the movement.
So I PM Dashe asking for voice work. She corrects me on my grammar, (which was spotty at best when I was 19,) and told me she would get the voicework done by the deadline. I was impatient, so I pestered her a bit, and constantly asked her when her animation "Do you hear the fanbase sing?" would be done, and she actually sent in her tracks on the deadline in a zip folder titled "here." So I immediately started work on the storyboard on paper.
Things were going smoothly, until my pen gave out. I was out of pens, and I couldn't figure out how to properly transition frames. So I was stuck with artist's block for a while, and I was also heavily addicted to Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D and Cityville. And Restaurant City. So needless to say I had too many things on one plate. I told Dashe about how long it was taking me to make the thing, and she told me it would be best to slow down on the gaming a little, and work on my animation. The artist's block lasted until January 2012, when I commissioned Jessica "Tron Bonne" Diamant, Score6 and his girlfriend Hope, to send me some of their voicework. Score and Hope took for-freakishly-ever to send their tracks because they were already busy with other stuff, a whole bevy of it, and Tron took even longer because she was sick and busy. But the tracks they sent were fantastic like Dashe's. Then I got my sister to record her lines. That took a second because we were living together with our parents at the time.
Also, by the Christmas of 2011, (just to briefly go back a bit,) my mom bought us both Wacom BAMBOO tablets. So that REALLY helped a lot with this whole production. And because I had already installed all the software the BAMBOO came with, one of them being Sumo Paint when it wasn't browser based, and I installed and learned how to use GiMP, I just decided it would be easier to scan the storyboards now, edit them into cels, and just make the rest of the thing on GiMP and Sumo Paint. I didn't and still don't have any animation software, so this is the closest thing I could get to it. Plus I get to experience the endurance test that is manual animation.
What I did was scan the storyboard, edit it as best as I cam in GiMP, paint it in GiMP, color erase the white stuff surrounding, and then when it finally decided to work, bevel it in Sumo. For added effect, I would keep in some of the pencil outlines and pen bleedthroughs, and smudge it just right for a natural shadow or a semi-realistic jacket texture. Which worked wonderfully. I was still a noob at this thing, so of course the animation during the first quarter would be wonky. And I also had to resize every single cel I made to fit the 720 x 1280 ratio.
Once that was done, I made three backrounds, and got to work. This is where I found out that animation is more time consuming than you'd think. Here I was thinking Youtube animations take a week to make, but that's only if you have a fancy Flash based animation software. I didn't. So I was stuck with animating manually, frame by frame by frame. It was tedious at worst, but kinda fun at best. So I carried on.
Within a few months, scene 1 was complete! Oooor the first quarter of it at least. But my skills would improve quarter by quarter. management at GMOTM would switch over, (I am not obligated to reveal how or why just accept it,) and I was initially still gonna use that campaign the former leader set up, oooonly it was for garnering new fans. And the Japanese message was poorly translated. And it was too much work. And didn't make much sense at all. And looked even spammier than what I decided. So I decided to change the message, only use the petition thread and Capcom japan's inquiry form, and enlist the help of one of our translators at the time Jack, to translate the message into japanese as he semed skilled at it.
Another thing that delayed it within the first two years of production, was that every other month or so, my mom and sister and I would go to indie wrestling shows in the Chicagoland and sometimes Milwaukee area. Fun times were had, I actually pitched GetMeOffTheMoon to a few of my wrestler friends who game like Gregory iron, (who's a BIG Megaman fan by the way,) and it was a great way to relieve stress.
So then, by the middle of 2012, I had finally gotten most of scene 1 and all of the storyboard finished. Since I'm a stickler for detail, one of the reasons why it took me so long to make this was that I would spend days and weeks on end, meticulously trying to get everything right down to the smallest pixel. Sometimes, I had to pull a South Park and reuse body parts. Most of the time, I animated from scratch. Some small assets like the Bonne logo were even ripped from the Mega Man Legends Station forums, (Just that little Bonne logo sprite,) just to save time on drawing the Bonne logo.
By Christmas of 2012, I was still pushing for this to be released by the holidays just to get Megaman fans hyped! Buuut stuff like more wrestling events, (which I'm damn grateful for,) the holidays themselves, (I'm one of those Jews who celebrates both Hanuka and Christmas,) and partaking in my first MMLS Secret Santa got in the way. (though I was never forced. Just lightly nudged by Dashe who just wanted more artists there..) So times got a bit hectic, but like I always do and always will, I carried on.
2013 rolled around. Here's where stuff gets more hectic. I had set out to get it done, by that year. At least on our 2 year anniversary. And production was really picking up, because I was finally getting scene 2 started, Things were looking phenomenal as my art skills and editing skills improved, I had went back and tried to clean up at least a little bit of scene 1, and I was determined to get it done! ... But then, my house back in Hammond Indiana got foreclosed. it was under foreclosure for a little longer than Legends 3's been canned actually. So, in the summer, my sister moved in with her now fiancee John, (a really cool dude who runs a wrestling promotion Kentucky called PWF,) my parents FINALLY got divorced, and my mom and I were scrambling to find a new place. Some relatives from down south found the best place they could, my sister and grandpa got a truck, and helped us pack up and move. We left a lot of stuff behind because the truck was medium and couldn't fit it, plus we just had a lot of clutter to throw away as well. (not counting some stuff my mom will really miss, half of her book collection.) So we spent that week packing and moving, I was initially happy to move because I started to hate Hammond and their politics, but then we moved down south and frankly, it makes Hammond look like Chicago heights.
Within the first week of being there, I had unpacked and could finally go back to my animation work! But we had no internet for a week! Because AT&T's kinda scarce! Boo! So I had to work off of memory when it comes to getting certain aspects like the Geselleschaft accurate. (yes, I know that it crashed in MML1, I just wanted to throw in a little nostalgia.) We finally got internet access back, and with access to MMLS for referencing and accuracy, the project went along smoothly.
Within the first few months of being in the south, I gave it the benefit of the doubt, it didn't seem too bad, uuuntil my mom got a new job. She works nights. I would have small panic attacks on some nights, not because of being left alone mind you, I can more than handle that being an adult and all, but because of the neighborhood being worse than back in Hammond. I carried on with my project up through December, but I fell into a situational depression. I had cried for the first time since I was 14. I was going through small panic attacks. I continued to work on my project, and played more games, aaand then had a massive anxiety attack. I was worried that I had lost it, (which I didn't and never would,) and started having dreams of being in the Seattle area. Much like most dreams I had been having since my teens of the area, I didn't know it was Seattle. But then my mom showed me some pics she was seeing of the place, and it looked exactly like the dreams I was having. the happy and sometimes epic and RPG like dreams. I knew then and there where I should go. Where I need to be.
So I carried on throughout the early part of this year. I would work a little less to reduce stress, but still have anxiety attacks. Most of the animation was finally completed, and since December I had been actually taking snapshots of Capcom japan's actual address and the streets leading up to it on Google Street View, and rotoscoping them and pasting them together to make it look super accurate and detailed. I had an awesome birthday, I met my idol WWE Superstar Kane the day after, which I'm super grateful for, he even signed my copy of WWF Attitude for the Dreamcast, but was still depressed. I worked on my animation and battled anxiety and depression for more months, until I had another big one just three months ago, and it was at that point I decided I needed therapy to help combat and get rid of my depression. (Apologies in advance to any family members who may read this, since this is being auto-posted to my Facebook. Sorry for not telling you about it!) So I saw a psychiatrist, and she set me up with an appointment with a therapist. She thought I needed anti-depressants at first, but I simply refuse them because they've only been proven to cause even more suicidal thoughts or even make people violent, when you're only situationally depressed. I've seen it happen to every friend my mom has who has depression, OCD or anxiety except for like one or two of them, And I don't wanna lose it, or hurt myself or others, or die ever, by any capacity, (which I will never ever do by the way, don't worry about me if you are,) and since January I've been battling the fear of winging up like JewWario even if we're nothing alike outside of being Jews into gaming and Japanese stuff, sooooo I'm very glad I'm just seeing a therapist instead. Which I still am. Even now. Hoo boy! So back to the production.
Even through all that, I was trying to get it done. And succeeding! I got Capcom's building to look really damn close to the real thing, I had gotten even better than ever with my art skills, and I even improved my audio editing skills. Since I was about 99% done already, and GetMeOffTheMoon's anniversary was coming up, I have been spending the past several days scrambling to and succeeding at getting this finally friggin' finished. I even last-minute recorded the crowd sound effect from an old ROH Wrestling match since the clacking of the barricades (Which ROH fans do as an alternative to clapping) sounds like robot feet clanging, and the tunnel effect from Chris Jericho's old entrance theme circa 2002, and did some last minute voiceover work myself. And while if I had more time, I would have gotten this done on our anniversary and not just a day or two later, I am really happy and grateful to finally have this weight off of my shoulders and to finally have this done. Mind you, I am a first time animator so if you saw anything weird in the animation quality, blame my software, the fact that I made a few too many frames and had to make it fit the song better in tempo, and my computer's CPU. Sometimes just scrolling can make it sound like an espresso machine and grind everything to a screeching halt. Which, aside from glitches with the software I was using, was one of and probably the main reason besides time, circumstances and the fact that I was being a one man team, as to why it took me so freakishly long to make and finish this 6 minute 29 second video. Obviously you have seen how my art skills have improved over the years, just with this one video. I've poured my heart and soul into every second of this vid, and I have an endless truckload left for anything else I will make in the future.
It is very important that you share this video around, and if you too want MML3 to come back, follow each and every step at the end. If enough people flood Capcom japan's e-mail with this message, then it just might get them to make the game as a hail mary attempt at staying afloat. And if anybody asks why should they follow a fanimation, send that guy or gal this blog. I've worked too damn long and hard for this to not be utilized.
Be vigilant, but not rash or immature, stay strong, and as always,
Legends Never Die!
Whoo! That was a lot of drama tribulation. So here's he update.
Since then, I've gotten therapy to combat the depression I suffered down in Knoxville, I still have anxiety disorder, panic attacks and OCD but not anywhere near as cripplingly bad as back then, if anything more manageable even during panic attacks, and I MOVED OUT! Which I cannot be more grateful for. Seriously I hated every other moment in Knoxville besides meeting my idol Kane, the food I had at family feasts and getting much needed therapy.
As for the animated project this was about, it's since then reached over 3,169 views as of this post, and is now featured near the end of the buzzworthy Megaman Legends 3 Documentary. At least about 8 to 15 people have followed the tutorial at the end and sent Capcom the message pre written in the description.
It was a long time coming, but I'm glad I made it in the first place.