Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Well, that's phase one completed. I actually finished and sent off the last episode just over twelve hours ago but I needed to catch up on sleep before I could be bothered signing onto Blogspot.

This thing has been hell to animate on top of the pressure of a 50-credit-point semester at university. I'm still wondering how I managed that. I am one man and so far I have animated TWENTY MINUTES AND FORTY SIX SECONDS of Okki the Octopus.

If no one gives me an award for this I am going to invent one and give it to myself.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The client didn't like the look of Coach Eel so I gave him a facelift. I'm glad they pulled me up on it as the new Coach Eel not only looks better but is also much more expressive and smoothly animated.

In other news, I am finally onto the last of eight episodes of Okki the Octopus which should hopefully be finished in a few hours. It is by far the longest episode, but thankfully it is not that complicated compared to an episode like Okki's Game where there is a lot of action and everyone is wearing a soccer uniform. Tiny little technical perks like that can ramp production time for a two and a half minute animation (about the length of Okki's Game) to the same amount of production time as a longer but simpler episode such as the final episode, Okki the Team Player. It utilises many pre-established backgrounds and characters from previous episodes, though the episode itself goes for three minutes and twenty seconds.

Upon completion of this final episode, phase one of the project - which will constitute my WIL Project for university - will be totally complete. From there I will be moving into the 'feedback' stage where rather than producing entirely new material, I will be refining and making changes to episodes as per the client's request.

The last two episodes have both called for small-role characters who nonetheless appear a few times during the animation. Every time I must make a new set of parts it adds hours to production time, but the end result is usually quite satisfying.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Okki - Complications and progress

Medical problems have been seriously halting up production lately. I wanted to have all eight episodes finished by the 17th of May, but on the 16th I suffered a major burn to my abdomen. I was unfit for work until Thursday that week. On the following Saturday, a tooth-filling in the front of my mouth fell out, exposing one of my frontmost teeth's nerves to the air! I couldn't get to a dentist's until the next day, so I spent Saturday in agony. Sunday was spent travelling to and from a dentist's on the other side of Brisbane. At least now I know the value of working in medical emergencies into buffer time for a project's schedule.

Currently I am in the final three weeks of my semester, so the completion of Okki is absolutely imperative. I have given Andrew Spark the worst case scenario that they will be completed by the end of the month and the best case scenario of having them done by Wednesday - we'll just have to wait and see.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Home Stretch

Well, this is it! Okki is officially due by the 17th. That's a week from now.

I am currently working on a few episodes at once and right now I am close to finishing Okki Meets the New Kid.

Don't choke!

Monday, May 4, 2009


Just about done on another episode, specifically episode 3-2, "Okki Meets His Match". This episode was a pain as it was mostly dialogue, though the jellyfish bully was loads of fun to draw.

The final due date for the remaining five episodes is May 17th. Here goes nothing!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The intended date of completion for Okki has been pushed back while I sort out some 'house issues'. The new plan is to get the animation proper for at least seven of the episodes, preferably all eight, totally completed by the end of this week. The voice acting has all been done, but the rest of the month will be devoted to David Williams' sound design and my musical composition. The project may not be going as quickly as I initially planned but things are coming to a head.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

More "renders"

Two more for you because they were so much fun to paint and they're too good not to share.

Slaving away

Although the official deadline is the end of the month, I am aiming to have all eight episodes of Okki the Octopus finished within the week. This will be a tall order, but not impossible as I am on holidays.
I'm really having fun with this. I hope the client doesn't want much changed because these movies are becoming my little babies; I am really enjoying working on a silly Spongebob-style show with an educational side.
My soundman, David Williams, and I have been working on 4.1: Okki's Excursion today and here are some of my favourite shots so far.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Okki the Octopus is officially in production!

My aim is to finish the first animation by the end of the weekend, though it will probably have scratch sound until my sound designer gets back from Byron Bay.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Production has begun

I have verified with Louise that the Okki the Octopus project will be classified as my Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Project.
Thus far, I have had a great deal of artistic freedom, which I have exercised mostly in the form of editing the rather verbiose scripts we were given to a more animation-friendly, streamlined format.
I have been in regular contact with Andrew Spark through email, and intend to meet with him in person for another meeting soon. We will further discuss the logistics and time-frame of the project, as well as budget.
David Williams has completed a scratch track of the pilot (currently, I am voicing the mother as a placeholder), and we are waiting for a second batch of lines from Hannah Walsh, my American voice actor who has a brilliant 'motherly' voice. Her first set of lines was delivered perfectly, though she was using an inferior microphone - with instruction from David, she is redoing her lines and is sending them to us as soon as she gets them done.

For now, my objective is to complete this pilot episode as soon as time allows, and for the future films, I will be laying down deadlines with Andrew for more solid scheduling.
Actual animation and production is very fast thanks to the simplicity of Okki's design, and therefore, the other characters in the show as well.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Okki is go!

I just received news from Andrew Spark that Okki has been confirmed and is currently underway!
I have been sent two revised scripts for the initial two episodes. My instruction is to make the first and send a link through to Andrew when I'm done and from there we will move onto other scripts.

This is very exciting and I can't wait to get started.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Okki - Outline and Initialisation

Okki the Octopus is a project for UQ Social Sciences which deals with the problems faced by inattentive students.
I have been selected to create eight short films in Macromedia Flash starring Okki for a website for students and teachers to view.
The aim of the animations is to teach lessons through the main character, Okki, a smart, well-meaning octopus boy who has difficulty concentrating in class. When frustrated or bored, he yells at other students, draws in class or speaks to his classmates instead of paying attention and doing work.
Each story has a negative situation, a solution to the problem and a positive outcome. The films vary in length and situation, but are all thematically linked to overcoming problems by communicating.

Thus far pre production has not begun, but the initialisation process is being finalised.
I am acting through a freelance agent by the name of Andrew Spark, who I have submitted a budget/production outline to. The approval process with the lecturor heading the project is currently underway.