I was looking for a thread where I could solicit opinions and feedback. There wasn't one, so I made one.
So, yesterday I posted an episode of Steven Universe Universe that utilized the animated puppet I've made for Project Phoenix (my yet unnamed anime review/analysis show). It was my first real live-fire test of it and I think it came out okay.
Only two short segments were animated and they were done two different ways: the front segment was done without eye tracking, the end segment (starting at 8:53) was done WITH eye tracking. (Eye tracking is when the puppets pupils look where I'm looking during MoCap.)
However, while it came out okay, I can't say that it looks amazing. I did the best that I could but it definitely feels like amateur hour level stuff and, honestly, I don't know if I'm okay with that. I like to put out content that looks professionally produced. Every new show I've put out has been getting consistently better production values. We went from foam core taped to the walls to a built and painted set; normal, residential level lights to uniform lights with a high CRI; better camera, better lens, better teleprompter, better audio setup... I've made home made motion graphics and made deals with musicians and labels to license music.
Trying something new is always a risk. I know this. Character animation isn't something I've done before and I can't be awesome at it my first go. I know this too. But here's my dilemma: Is it better to try something new and produce a mediocre product that MIGHT get better over time or stick with what you know and make a solid product? Is it better to work from my strengths or start from a weakness and build a new skill?
I've been working on this puppet and his virtual set for the last 4-5 months(-ish) and I've got the mechanics of how the puppet works down pat. What I lack is the artistic skill to make it LOOK better. Yes, I COULD take the time to develop that aspect, but in the mean time I'm sitting on a show that is already just about ready to go. If I go live action on Project Phoenix I'd be shooting at a different set from the one I use for SUU just so it looks different but it would very doable since I'd essentially be using the same workflow as SUU.
I dunno, what do you folks think? Should I:
- Go ahead and launch the show with the puppet you have. It looks fine.
- Launch the show with the puppet, but work on it as you go.
- Hold off and take the time to work on the puppet more.
- Go live action for now, but work on the puppet until it's right then, implement it.
- Forget the puppet and just go live action.
Votes are public.