Response to Latest News Post

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Response to Latest News Post

Post by coute21 on Mon May 19, 2014 2:11 pm

Thanks for saying you'll be more open with the project in the future. I'm an animator and I was considering joining this project for a while but I came at a time when it seemed like everyone was leaving and I kinda lost hope that the first episode could be finished.

When I first discovered this project, I was really excited about it and I read through a lot of the old posts but, what I read was really discouraging. It seemed like you guys were more focused on building the structure of an imaginary animation company rather than just finishing the first episode. I thought all of this talk about groups, leaders, and future plans Ex: far off arcs, voices for characters that would not show up for at least another 15+ episodes was really distracting and pointless for a group that hadn't released even one episode yet.

I know it's nice to dream but damn, with all the people, artists / animators etc...coming and going and all the apparent confusion in the project, I was afraid that even when you DID release an episode, it was going to be an inconsistent mess and even MORE people would leave when the first episode was done because they realized that they'd have to go through the same thing again for the next one. But of course actually releasing the episode would bring in an influx of new talent but episode two, if you were able to make it, would probably look completely different from episode one because all the original artists were replaced.  No 

Even if artists try to emulate one style for the whole episode, with most, if not all artists involved being amateurs and with so many people coming and going, avoiding that messy, "obviously animated by a bunch of different amateur artists" look is nearly impossible. I already see so much inconsistency in your "reference images" (please tell me why there have been 4-5+ different character reference images for RED all in completely different styles?! The whole point of those is that there should only be one!). That's my biggest worry for this project ATM. I'd rather watch a show that was completely animated by one artist that's not so good (I watch a lot of fanime by very young artists) than watch a show that has no consistency in the art. It really is way too distracting for me.

In the end, I decided that being involved in such a project for me is a waste of my time and effort if the result is going to be one of my biggest pet-peeves of animation. But with all the people involved being so "hush, hush" about the project, I couldn't even tell how far along it was or if my inconsistency fears were correct or not. But I didn't want to work on an audition or make any commitments until I saw that this project wasn't the train wreck I thought it was at the time.

Please don't take this the wrong way. It's only because I'm still really looking forward to this project and because I still have so much excitement for a Pokespecial anime that I even bother to say this. But, I think if you guys were more open to constructive criticism before and took a real, hard look at what was happening, you might have gotten your act together in time. You don't have to agree with me, this is only the observations from someone that has never been included in the inner "loop" of your project. Just opinions from watching this project and lurking around the forum for a while.

The fact that you are taking steps to make positive changes now gives me the hope that the project can still be revived and be run RIGHT in the future.

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Re: Response to Latest News Post

Post by Memieko on Mon May 19, 2014 4:31 pm

I think you haven't read my announcement post. Those are really REALLY old reference sheets that are no longer being used. We are using a different one, with the art style of Guest who has long left us, to the best of our capability, but I am not at all concerned with consistency in regards to that. A lot of your claims are ones I actually agree with that occurred during the start of this project. I find it a little disappointing that you based your judgement only on the forum posts here rather than bringing this issue with the only obviously active staff member as I clearly explained in my announcement page that I felt the staff kept a lot of inner plans to themselves before releasing them to the public and plan to open a little bit more of the project details to everyone. I also already shared much of your concerns as I started to work on this project as a simple line artist.

I understand you made no intention of making this come across the wrong way, but explaining your discrepancies and how our problems affected you is what made it feel a little insulting especially because I could have easily explained a lot of these to you without the need for a long post, but you completely ignored the possibility of my input on these matters.

Anyway, sorry I had to put that in. Back to the personal side of this:
What I liked that Guest(the latest retired director) tried to do was not get animators to follow the EXACT same style, but try to resemble the art style of Mato's artwork in the manga(granted which changes frequently due to new artists), but he defined the line or standard the animators should be trying to goal towards when making this. He also shortened it and just wanted to cast voice actors for only the FIRST arc. I find this was still being too far down the road as well. I just want to get the ending and opening themes done and only cast voice actors DURING the actual animating of the first episode and only voice actors for that episode. The project did indeed die due to too much attempt at industrialization. We tried to be too big too fast rather than gradually grow the project up from the roots. I used to be a part of a a large Minecraft server and owned a couple of servers in Ragnarok Online where the first one almost failed due to the same issues. So I understand this more than anyone.

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Re: Response to Latest News Post

Post by MrMaster on Mon May 19, 2014 7:31 pm

I'm not sure if there's a good place to post this, but it's nice to see you back, Memieko.

I check the forum a few times every day, and usually there's nothing.

So to come in and see multiple posts... Well, it made me pretty happy, to say the least.

Okay, pointless-ish message over! Yay!
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Re: Response to Latest News Post

Post by Memieko on Mon May 19, 2014 7:51 pm

Haha that's alright MrMaster. I'm just glad to see another staff member around here other than me. I thought I was the last one left.

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Re: Response to Latest News Post

Post by Tsurugi on Tue May 20, 2014 6:36 am

I've kept my eyes on the forum every so often, just haven't posted that much. But it's nice to see the project is still in progress at some level.

On another note, maybe we should merge this thread with the update topic?

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Re: Response to Latest News Post

Post by Memieko on Tue May 20, 2014 1:21 pm

Yay, more staff! And I might consider that, but I don't want the original poster to lose where his post was by merging it before he knows its been moved. When the conversation or discussion is done, I'll move it.

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Re: Response to Latest News Post

Post by Giest on Wed May 21, 2014 9:58 am

coute21 wrote:It seemed like you guys were more focused on building the structure of an imaginary animation company rather than just finishing the first episode.
Let me explain my reasoning behind this structure. (Members with access to the staff section can just look up the "Restructuring" thread.)
When I joined this project, these teams were already in place but I'm pretty sure I would've done the same thing. Most fan animations are made up of one animator, and because of that it would be silly to have any form of structure. We, on the other hand, had to manage many people (at first) that did not exactly know what to do unless they had some sort of leader. Since everybody had their specialty, we decided to split those up into voice, animation, and sound. It wasn't really an attempt to create some imaginary company, it was more of a "Hey you, handle that group of people because I don't know anything about that."
coute21 wrote:I thought all of this talk about groups, leaders, and future plans Ex: far off arcs, voices for characters that would not show up for at least another 15+ episodes was really distracting and pointless for a group that hadn't released even one episode yet. I know it's nice to dream but damn, with all the people, artists / animators etc...coming and going and all the apparent confusion in the project, I was afraid that even when you DID release an episode, it was going to be an inconsistent mess and even MORE people would leave when the first episode was done because they realized that they'd have to go through the same thing again for the next one. But of course actually releasing the episode would bring in an influx of new talent but episode two, if you were able to make it, would probably look completely different from episode one because all the original artists were replaced.
The posts from the beginning of the project reflected the same mentality that you have. We even got far along episode one. I then realized one thing: People are going to leave the project. Quickly. This was okay for artists but what about voice actors? Are we going to have to recast Red every episode because we took forever to make the last one? Because of this, I proposed that we should write all the episodes and create the reference art first before we recruited anybody else. When this was completed we would then record all the episodes in bulk and then begin the rest of production. Even if the entire cast were to leave we would still have the audio to work with.
I even wrote a Special Show script detailing how we were going to proceed but, ironically, the voice actor for Orange left the project before it could be produced...
coute21 wrote:But with all the people involved being so "hush, hush" about the project, I couldn't even tell how far along it was or if my inconsistency fears were correct or not. But I didn't want to work on an audition or make any commitments until I saw that this project wasn't the train wreck I thought it was at the time.
We weren't really "hush, hush". We even created the Pokemon Special Special Show in order to keep everyone updated. One main reason we didn't say much was because we weren't really doing anything. Most of the people worked only during holidays so that left the rest of the year devoid of activity. Would it have motivated you if we posted "We drew a keyframe today" every few months? It would probably be more hurtful than helpful. I also noticed that things changed a lot so instead of posting the many iterations of an episode I decided to only post when it was final. Release of material was probably hindered by my feeling that things are only final when their done ^^;. Our previous director though, felt very different:
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuKuwkB-mVrpBKevuxzy8qQ
coute21 wrote:But, I think if you guys were more open to constructive criticism before and took a real, hard look at what was happening, you might have gotten your act together in time.
We have an entire section for suggestions and criticism. (Which is probably where this post should be...)
http://pokespeanime.forumotion.com/f11-suggestions-and-discussions
coute21 wrote:The fact that you are taking steps to make positive changes now gives me the hope that the project can still be revived and be run RIGHT in the future.
I'm sorry you felt that way about what we were doing but Memieko is in charge now. I wish her luck and I hope that anybody that feels like coute21 isn't deterred from auditioning.

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Re: Response to Latest News Post

Post by Memieko on Wed May 21, 2014 11:22 am

Giest wrote:
We weren't really "hush, hush". We even created the Pokemon Special Special Show in order to keep everyone updated. One main reason we didn't say much was because we weren't really doing anything. Most of the people worked only during holidays so that left the rest of the year devoid of activity. Would it have motivated you if we posted "We drew a keyframe today" every few months? It would probably be more hurtful than helpful. I also noticed that things changed a lot so instead of posting the many iterations of an episode I decided to only post when it was final. Release of material was probably hindered by my feeling that things are only final when their done ^^;.

If I recall, Guest, a lot of the same staff members had the mentality of not revealing much. Aki usually made those videos as reference for future illustrators of the project and it took months for some people to convince everyone it was okay to release the colored video of the Red teaching the kids how to catch a Pokemon(if it is even released). I also do remember some illustrators specifically argued against releasing any of their progress for fear of someone else using it for their own since it was fairly new. But I think showing our progress just helps inspire us to continue working on it and increase support.

But either way, thank you for revealing a bit more of the project's past for him and why things developed the way they did since you were here long before I was. Thank you for leaving all your reference sheets too. I already started practicing for myself Razz

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Re: Response to Latest News Post

Post by coute21 on Thu May 22, 2014 1:11 pm

Memieko wrote:I think you haven't read my announcement post. Those are really REALLY old reference sheets that are no longer being used. We are using a different one, with the art style of Guest who has long left us, to the best of our capability, but I am not at all concerned with consistency in regards to that. A lot of your claims are ones I actually agree with that occurred during the start of this project. I find it a little disappointing that you based your judgement only on the forum posts here rather than bringing this issue with the only obviously active staff member as I clearly explained in my announcement page that I felt the staff kept a lot of inner plans to themselves before releasing them to the public and plan to open a little bit more of the project details to everyone. I also already shared much of your concerns as I started to work on this project as a simple line artist.

I understand you made no intention of making this come across the wrong way, but explaining your discrepancies and how our problems affected you is what made it feel a little insulting especially because I could have easily explained a lot of these to you without the need for a long post, but you completely ignored the possibility of my input on these matters.

I understood that those reference sheets weren't being used anymore. I was just worried that they were being used at all at one point, and that the style for the anime has changed that many times over the course of the project. I've heard that you're trying to follow the style of the manga but a lot of the images you put out...don't really follow that style in my opinion. That's no fault of any of the artists. I find it hard to copy other artist's styles as well but some look like they weren't trying to follow that style, for example, they made Red look like an older teenager when he looks really young in the first chapters. I guess all that really matters is how he looks in the anime rather than the images you guys use to promote it but the last bit of animation you released that's actually going to be part of the anime was released quite a while ago.

I'm sorry that I insulted you. I knew that I would probably insult a few people that have been working on this project for years but I want you to know that my previous post wasn't meant to be full on accusations, as in I was judging all of you with little proof. It seems that I failed to convey that, sorry. My intention was to state my worries and questions about the project and have them discussed, answered, or even refuted here. I'm pretty happy with the responses to my post actually. I didn't expect so many within the last couple days and they did answer a lot of the questions I had and refuted some of my criticisms. I had considered sending you a PM but I wanted to ask out in the open to promote a little free discussion and debate.

Giest wrote:Let me explain my reasoning behind this structure. (Members with access to the staff section can just look up the "Restructuring" thread.)
When I joined this project, these teams were already in place but I'm pretty sure I would've done the same thing. Most fan animations are made up of one animator, and because of that it would be silly to have any form of structure. We, on the other hand, had to manage many people (at first) that did not exactly know what to do unless they had some sort of leader. Since everybody had their specialty, we decided to split those up into voice, animation, and sound. It wasn't really an attempt to create some imaginary company, it was more of a "Hey you, handle that group of people because I don't know anything about that."

I definitely agree with you that there should be leaders and some sort of basic hierarchy when you have many people but it seems as if you took it too far. I saw some arguments about it and it seems like you spent more time than was necessary working out the details and integrating it into the forum (with the different colored titles and whatnot). Especially since it turned out that a lot of those people weren't going to stick around. I just think it wasn't such a good idea to stick everyone into such specific groups such as "colorist" and it's better to keep the feeling of one big group with people that have different specialties / talents. If I want to be an animator, line artist, and colorist, I don't want to have to submit three auditions and be split into three groups. (I just want to make it clear that I'm not sure this is how it's done in your group, I'm just bringing up the question/concern.)

Giest wrote:We weren't really "hush, hush". We even created the Pokemon Special Special Show in order to keep everyone updated. One main reason we didn't say much was because we weren't really doing anything. Most of the people worked only during holidays so that left the rest of the year devoid of activity. Would it have motivated you if we posted "We drew a keyframe today" every few months? It would probably be more hurtful than helpful. I also noticed that things changed a lot so instead of posting the many iterations of an episode I decided to only post when it was final. Release of material was probably hindered by my feeling that things are only final when their done ^^;. Our previous director though, felt very different:

Yeah, I think that was a term that Memieko used, that's why I put it in quotes. I definitely don't want a "We drew a keyframe today" update, thank you. Just a little more transparency would be good. Like, how many people are still on the team, what you guys are currently working on, a simple screen shot of what the anime looks like so far, update when you guys go on hiatus, etc... Just so you don't go for months while your fans wonder if you guys all dropped dead or not.  Wink 

Giest wrote:I'm sorry you felt that way about what we were doing but Memieko is in charge now. I wish her luck and I hope that anybody that feels like coute21 isn't deterred from auditioning.

I hope not too. Also to what Memieko said in response to my post, I haven't been here long and it's not like my reservations kept me from auditioning for months or anything when I could have just asked or posted this earlier. I've been busy with school and work but now that finals are over, I can give you guys a hand. It's good that I posted this first though so you can see how bullheaded I am. You can choose to toss out my audition after I submit it if you don't want to deal with me, hah!  Laughing

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Re: Response to Latest News Post

Post by Memieko on Thu May 22, 2014 2:24 pm

When we say we're copying Mato's style, we don't mean we're copying his every character in EXACT detail, we're just copying the basic and general premise of how Mato draws his characters and repeated features he uses. The point is to create a resemblance to Red, not an exact depiction of how Mato draws him. Also, (I get this from taking a few art history classes) art styles can be recreated so long as you have your own style of art and know the structure of another artist's. I see plenty of people recreate Van Gogh and Da Vinci's style. There was even a time when artists had to follow the exact same mathematically correct art form of ancient Rome and Greece and most artists bore a lot of resemblance to each other. Sorry, I know you don't want an art history lesson, but I'm just pointing that styles can be recreated, it doesn't mean someone can make the exact same image of another artist, but they can follow their style. You should look at the Mona Lisa and then a copy that one of Da Vinci's apprentices created along side him. They're same style, but not the same image.

Anyway, I already planned to talk about staff members when I get through my own schooling for this year. I had ideas lined up to talk about the previous staff and history of the project. (I.e an old Ending theme we were 99% going to go with until someone pointed out it sounded too similar to another song and who created it etc. ) So really, see what I can do first before giving criticism. All I'm asking is for some patience as I've only been on this project for about 3 months? since Guest left. I have yet to really show what I can post or not and I wasn't posting the Keyframing scene to say "Hey look, we did this!" No. I was sharing it because that thing has been sitting in the DropBox folder for almost a year with almost no progress on it since it was created. So I shared it to show people a few bits of our project. Secondly, I wish you would explain which Social networking site you see us "put out" things. I post on Twitter, Tumblr, Youtube, Facebook, and on the forums. So it would be nice to know what you were referring to. The point I really just want to emphasize is this: We are not trying to be exact with characters, just make a resemblance so I would ask that you do not compare us to the manga.

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Re: Response to Latest News Post

Post by coute21 on Thu May 22, 2014 7:26 pm

Memieko wrote:When we say we're copying Mato's style, we don't mean we're copying his every character in EXACT detail, we're just copying the basic and general premise of how Mato draws his characters and repeated features he uses. The point is to create a resemblance to Red, not an exact depiction of how Mato draws him. Also, (I get this from taking a few art history classes) art styles can be recreated so long as you have your own style of art and know the structure of another artist's. I see plenty of people recreate Van Gogh and Da Vinci's style. There was even a time when artists had to follow the exact same mathematically correct art form of ancient Rome and Greece and most artists bore a lot of resemblance to each other. Sorry, I know you don't want an art history lesson, but I'm just pointing that styles can be recreated, it doesn't mean someone can make the exact same image of another artist, but they can follow their style. You should look at the Mona Lisa and then a copy that one of Da Vinci's apprentices created along side him. They're same style, but not the same image.

Anyway, I already planned to talk about staff members when I get through my own schooling for this year. I had ideas lined up to talk about the previous staff and history of the project. (I.e an old Ending theme we were 99% going to go with until someone pointed out it sounded too similar to another song and who created it etc. ) So really, see what I can do first before giving criticism. All I'm asking is for some patience as I've only been on this project for about 3 months? since Guest left. I have yet to really show what I can post or not and I wasn't posting the Keyframing scene to say "Hey look, we did this!" No. I was sharing it because that thing has been sitting in the DropBox folder for almost a year with almost no progress on it since it was created. So I shared it to show people a few bits of our project. Secondly, I wish you would explain which Social networking site you see us "put out" things. I post on Twitter, Tumblr, Youtube, Facebook, and on the forums. So it would be nice to know what you were referring to. The point I really just want to emphasize is this: We are not trying to be exact with characters, just make a resemblance so I would ask that you do not compare us to the manga.

It seems as if we have different definitions of "copying someone's style". What you said about that doesn't make anything I said invalid and you're acting as if I think you guys should trace the manga. You say that you're trying to copy his style in one sentence and then in another you're saying that you're not trying to be exact and just trying to make a resemblance. Which is it then? If you're copying his style then just say so. If you're making some sort of new, quasi-Mato style that kind of resembles his but has your group's own unique look to it then say so. But I wouldn't call that "copying his style". Calling it such is just confusing, because it implies that you're trying to stick as closely to his style as you can.

Like you were saying, there are people who work very hard to "copy" some famous artist's style and can get their art to look just like or very close to them. They are intentionally trying to replicate or "recreate" like you said, that person's style. That's what I'd consider "copying so-and-so's style". What you're talking about in your second paragraph is something I consider different, like being "inspired" by a style but creating a different style altogether. Even if you make a small change, like making all of the character's eyes in Pokespecial a bit smaller I don't think you can call it "copying" if you intentionally changed his style to make it look different. It's no longer his style anymore but something else. You like his style and you're imitating it partially but you're throwing aspects of other people's or your own style in there purposefully. What is a person's own unique style if it's not a combination of aspects and imitations of other people's styles of art or other inspiration?

This doesn't really matter to me either way. All I wanted to know is if you're sticking to the same style throughout the anime, whether it's Mato's or not. After your reply earlier, I thought that was the case, but I'm not sure anymore. Like I said, I don't care what style it is, as long as it doesn't keep changing around as I find it distracting. When I said I understand how that can come about and that it's hard to copy a person's style, I said that because it's ISN'T easy to get a bunch of amateur artists together and follow one style throughout. Also by "amateur" artists, I didn't mean BAD. I mean inexperienced, which most, if not all of, your artists are. It's not easy to find professional, experienced artists that would do this as a hobby for free because they're usually older than Pokemon's fanbase average and have families to feed. But, as it seems like our definitions of copying styles differ, our opinions about "following the same style" are most likely different as well.

I visit all your social networking sites so I'm referring to all of them. Most of what you put on them are the same anyway. Also, most of the time when I say "you" or "you guys" I'm addressing the group, not you personally. I'm sorry if that was confusing. I don't know what you were involved in before you took over and like you said, you haven't been leading for long so I have nothing to say about you personally. You seem to be doing a fine job so far, like I stated in the first post.

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Re: Response to Latest News Post

Post by Memieko on Thu May 22, 2014 7:56 pm

I don't see where you saw that I took "you" personally. I knew it was impersonal. All I'm saying is there is a difference between copying an artist's style and copying an artists work. His work is what his style creates which is almost impossible to recreate. Sorry, what I MEAN to say is that a style can be taken in by someone else and learned, and though the final product may be affected by the artist's own original style, it still bears a resemblance. I'm sorry I didn't articulate that more clearly or contradicted a little with myself. The reason I take "you" personally in some way is because I'm the only staff member active, so it references to me to some extent (though I don't take much offensive when you refer to the past.) Anyway, though I know your actions were to advise to some degree, I really can't follow any of it due to how new I am. All I can tell you is just to wait and see. I haven't even started with a new animator so I have no idea how the style will work from now on. Just know we'll (any future animator and I) will try our best. I'm sorry if at all I sounded annoyed, I'm tired so I'm actually rather emotionless at the moment. (And a bit hungry) But thank you for your support.

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