Animator's block

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slice11217
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Animator's block

Post by slice11217 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:57 am

Anyone ever had it? I've been struggling with it for about 3 months now. I've been working on the climax scene of a 30-second animation that I've been animating. I want it done well, but I just don't seem to want to do it. I find everything and anything else to do instead.

Anyone know how to break through the block?
Genete
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Post by Genete » Wed Feb 10, 2010 7:10 am

Anyone know how to break through the block?
What I believe I had something similar. This is how I solved it:
I had fear of my own critics. I am very perfectionist which is a bad thing for an animation untalented person like me. I have a realist style that tends to create things exactly as they look in the real life. That makes me unhappy with my own results most of the time. Just when I told me: "This is just for fun", I started to work. One project that took me 2 months was overdue about one year and a half.
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lwaxana
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Post by lwaxana » Wed Feb 10, 2010 7:28 am

I sometimes feel this way because I'm thinking about all of the little details at once and getting overwhelmed by it. It helps me to write out everything in my mind; tasks I have to complete, the broader objectives, things to keep in mind, techniques I want to use, what constitutes good animation etc. Then I reorganize and edit it into workable steps. When I actually get started, I try to focus on only one step at a time. So I guess it's a matter of mental house cleaning for me.

I also agree with Genete. Sometimes I'm afraid it will never be as good as it is in my imagination. But then again, I don't expect to get things right the first time. That takes the pressure off of starting, but it makes it harder when it's time to call it finished. :D
F.M.
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Post by F.M. » Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:54 pm

I have left so many animation projects half done. I found that trying to perfect something is endless and you work on something for so long, you can get bored, also spending so much time in front of the computer just kills your drive. I have made it a point to go for walks, that is helping me.
"and then Man created god!"
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super8mm
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Post by super8mm » Wed Feb 10, 2010 7:56 pm

You have to figure out what is the blockage first.

You can't say that you are lazy or else you wouldn't have gone this far if you were. Make an assessment of your project and the area you work in.

It could be that your resistance is based on a subconscious desire to repair something already done on that project that needs improving. Watch over and over what you have already done and see if you can spot a problem.

It may even be that your initial inspiration for that project became radically different than your near final product. Make sure it's not that before continuing.

Maybe you need to change your work area. Invest some time to make it more pleasant to work at.

Queue your work time. Maybe you need that pot of coffee and your favorite cup when it's ready and on your desk is your queue to get at it. That set of tunes you only play when you work, when the music start that is your queue to attack the project. Just make sure those queues are set by you and not your environment like waiting till it's quiet in the house when it's lived with a hectic family.

When you are close to the end make a checklist of what is left to do with a percent done for each item on the list and update it each time you work on the project. And here is where the list needs to be to work. Send it to someone who is encouraging you to complete it but not for nag sake. Or to a site where others look forward to seeing it. If it's a commission send it to your client, it really helps you if it's out there, also the client will appreciate an update more than hoping and guessing when it will be done.
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robj
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Post by robj » Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:12 am

This link will take you to the answer:

http://www.awntv.com/videos/10-ways-to- ... tist-block

Rob
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Rhoel
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Post by Rhoel » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:14 am

F.M. wrote:I have left so many animation projects half done. I
Oh God tell me about it - I stopped writing on a project (to work on a paid job) then discovered my original train of thought had gone when I returned to it ... all I could see was a huge problem. Never finished the project as it means a big mountain to climb to get back to where I was. Crazy considering the time already invested in it, and 80% of the work was finished.

The longer you leave it, the worst it gets.

Rhoel
JCook
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Post by JCook » Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:07 pm

This link will take you to the answer:

http://www.awntv.com/videos/10-ways-to- ... tist-block
Oh, that was excellent.

Jack
slice11217
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Post by slice11217 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:19 am

Rhoel wrote: I stopped writing on a project (to work on a paid job) then discovered my original train of thought had gone when I returned to it ... all I could see was a huge problem. Never finished the project as it means a big mountain to climb to get back to where I was. Crazy considering the time already invested in it, and 80% of the work was finished.

The longer you leave it, the worst it gets.

Rhoel
This is pretty damn close to how I got into my block. I was working on my project when a pretty big gig came in. A week and a half later I was staring uphill at four no-sleep-all-nighters to hit a hard deadline. When it was all over I was too exhausted to even think of working on anything and I preferred to experiment with cooking because it had absolutely nothing to do with video or animation.

Like you, about 80% of the work is done. This fact makes the block frustrating. The only difference between your aftermath and mine is that I still have a pretty good handle on what needs to be done and on what I've done so far, I just have very little inclination to do it.

Like I said, I want it done, I want it done well, I want to be the one who does it, and yet paradoxically I don't want to do it anymore.

S
bartender
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Post by bartender » Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:48 am

this topic is relevant to me, and at times i feel like im the only one in the world that cant seem to finish projects.

This thread currently has a bunch of great ideas, in my 5 or so years of working with this great program, i will impart only a few tips to keep going at it even though the outcome might be another project in a folder you don't open again.

- I think of every project i start, every rig i build, even ones i never end up using, have taught me valueable things i use to make future projects more efficient and i tend nowadays to spend alot less time finicking with technicalities and more time adding depth and character to my animation.

- Every once in awhile, change up the environment you work in. visual stimuli seems to make your brain work in different ways. Same for music, listen to something different, or, as Richard Williams quotes in his book, "The Animator's Survival Kit", turn the music off. I for one can't do that, in fact thats one of the reasons that lipsyncing is my least favorite activity, becuase i love to have music when i work!

- Breaking projects down into lists of smaller tasks works! Getting overwhelmed by a project is pretty easy, especially if it involves lypsinc, more than one shot, music, sound fx, etc. A 30 second animation with all those becomes a behemoth.

-when its all said and done, no matter what you have at the end of a render, you've done something that most people can't or havent done. When you hear someone you know talk about "the situation" or pants on the floor guy from american idol, and you have no clue what their talking about becuase you were in anime studio creating things and learning instead of letting your brain turn into a pasty glue.... thats all worth it no matter what comes of your animation anyway in my opinion.

-If your not enjoying what your doing, do something you enjoy.

bartender.
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FCSnow
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Post by FCSnow » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:22 pm

There are many kinds of blocks, some envolve planning and some are enviromental. All can be dealt with and overcome. I recently hit a block which seems easy to get around, but you may not want to.

Judy Hall is someone who is a great background and landscape artist. She agreed to help me with an big animation project, providing sets and landscapes. Her help would allow me to concentrate on characters and their animation. Then last Spring she stop sending me marteial. She said she had to spend some time babysitting a granddaughter. Then on Christmas night I received word that she had died from cancer of the esophagus.

Judy was not just a good artist but a good friend. While I can replace the artist or do the work myself, it is more difficult to replace a good friend.

Until I decide to go around, over or through this road block, the animation project is on hold. I have been working on other projects. I will return to it someday soon when the memories aren't so intense.

I will deal with this block like all the others, I will chip away at its edges until it's small enough to take out with one blow. So stay with it slice11217 there are bigger thing to come.

F C Snow
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lwaxana
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Post by lwaxana » Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:16 am

FC Snow: I'm sorry to hear that you lost your friend. It helps to face that kind of grief with others who understand what you're going through. So if you have a mutual friend, you may be able to help each other through this. I'm sure that when you do get to the right place emotionally and finish your animation project that it will honor Judy's memory.
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swrecordings
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Post by swrecordings » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:05 am

FC Snow: i am sorry to hear about your friend.

the last project i worked on was the "ob-la-di, ob-la-da" video thats currently in my sig and in the "share your work" category. i started that animation back in mid november and i was working on it until about the middle of december (nights and weekends as i have school and homework) then i hit a block with the torture known as history fair and i did some animation for that. thats were i came into contact with animator's block. i found that my view on it had changed. i decided just to go for it, i had a 4 day weekend were i managed to get a few scenes done. the time apart from it gave me time to think it over.

i hope you see my train of thought

sw
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