My posts have come to a halt since a certain point in the development of top level music related work. As deadlines closed in, our team realized that what once was a good idea became extremely difficult to achieve in the time we had left. Having to rush to complete the music videos, I neglected myself the time to update on progress here on my site. The videos were completed mid-august, and exhausted from the amount of work it took, I took leave from animation and began honing my programming skillset instead. I am currently working on a new project, Arx Catalyst, a prequel to the fantastic game known as Arx Fatalis. I will be contacting Arkane Studios for their permission and blessing very soon. For more information on this project, please check my normal blog, which should soon have a link to the website I will be using to promote my game.
 
 
Last nights meeting was powerful in comparison to the previous meetings we've had. We gave our first music video an end date, and Reggie shared his ideas for the second one, which is more special effects intensive. That put a smile on myself, and then I also realized that I've been tasked with the job of creating a short animation promoting Top Level Music every week. How did this make me feel? Despite an increase in workload, it made me feel  more like a part of the team. I now have a bigger role in making Top Level music known to the world out there, which is something I'm more accustomed to. Keep an eye out for my new creations.
 
 
Our "money shot" is going to be the pouring of the champagne and the Top Level Music logo emerging through it. Carson, Cyrille and I were in the lab yesterday working on various things, and Carson voiced his desire to have a logo that pops out on his blog. After some more failed experiments with the fluid effects, I mentioned an idea I had for the logo long before we started shooting. After bouncing it off of Carson, I began working on it on the spot. Today, this is what I have so far. It's not animated, but it's a damn good start. The photo shown is now Version 2. :D
Picture
 
 
It has been a long time since I've posted here, too long to be honest. But straight to the point: Our Top Level Music production is making good process. For a group of talented individuals who have never collaborated on a music video before, we are excelling above the average expectation. Carson tells me stories of publicity that people are expressing towards our work; His website hitting close to 2000 views in a month speaks wonders itself.
    Nothing ever goes according to plan, so we've stuttered a bit on our intake of raw footage; however, Cyrille and I are making up for it through our post production tasks. I am currently stabilizing a lot of footage that was taken while in a vehicle. Once the camera shake is removed, the footage will be ready to include in the first cut of our first video! While our footage is stabilizing, I'm also working on the special effect that will be used as Top Level's Logo. It involves controlling fluid so that it will splash and then their logo will form out of it. This is the first time I've messed around with fluid, so I've been running several tests.The first below is my first successful test, where I use a wine glass as an object that interacts with the fluid. The second one uses a higher calculation of fluid simulation. In this one, you can see me begin to control the water as what will be the logo rises out of it.
    Now that the full team is in effect, I feel like a stronger part of this production. On the back burner is a poster I had an idea of creating, which will utilize a full panoramic image taken at scenic view. Cyrille, Carson and I have discussed returning to the same point to capture a night shot; however as I stated before, this is a related side project, so I work on it when I manage to get both footage and visual effects into render time state. The beat goes on, and I'm excited that regardless of minor hiccups here and there, every day we get together to work on this project, we take large steps towards
 
 
With the second meeting underneath our belt, it has become clear to me the desired pace of our production. We're already hopping into scheduling times to meet, equipment to film, and other necessities. The storyboards presented were extremely helpful; to sit down and view them myself really solidified my idea of what our final product can be. These index cards, such a simple representation of an idea, are what will drive us in the direction we need to go. Once the storyboards are completed, we'll not only have a solid direction; we will have a destination.
    I listen to the song, to the lyrics, and to Reggie and Carson's elaboration on the subject, and try to imagine it my mind what I can do to make this video shine above others. Whether it be through editing, visual effects, or animation, we will have something that will turn heads and capture our target audience.
    Currently I am away, visiting family in Colorado. While here I will set time aside to experiment with Top Level Music's logo, as well as create and edit an animatic, once the storyboard is complete. Summer session has yet to officially start, yet I have my work cut out for me already. Just the
 
 
We've sat down and begun bouncing ideas for the first out of three music videos. Our star Reggie has a big dream of how this will come out, and everyone seems to be on board. With this kind of initiative, we have the potential to do something great. Cyrille, our main visual effects specialist and my fellow animator was sure to emphasize the importance of pre-production, which I agree with 100%. If we're going to make something noticeable, something large enough to move Top Level Music to the top, we need a solid foundation. This backs up my drive to create an animatic. With storyboard's laid out, we will be able to plan every stage and supply we'll need before diving in. Think of it as an insurance policy for the future. With our initial meeting, I believe we have clear skies to navigate all the way to the end.
 

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    A dream come true means a job well done in my book. Here documents my experience throughout the progression of my part in the creation of several music videos.

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