Animation Video Progress

I finally finished the animation video I posted about before. I had to use a royalty free song and make my own sound effects. It is actually pretty funny. I guess if you watch the video from a professional standpoint, there are a ton of things that are not that great. However, I hope that people will get that it is a little bit tongue in cheek. The video is not meant to be serious and I never claim that I am a great animator. I just hope that people will be able to laugh about the parts that are not great.

New Routine

I started a new morning routine. I decided to take a shower first thing, before eating, before working, and most importantly before checking my phone. That has been pretty amazing. It makes waking up way better.

The next part is that I don’t write in my journal first thing. I actually start with the most important work I need to do. That means that I still have a lot of focus and no problem doing the work. I do these more routine daily things later when my focus is waning a little bit. The whole routine has been working really well so far.

1on1 Practice

Not a long post today. Just wanted to say that practicing 1on1 and jamming the whole time is really the best way to practice. You dance all the time, you have the pressure of having someone watch you, and you can completely focus on someone else to be inspired by.

Animation Video

I wanted to finish my marketing video for Choomza already by last Sunday. It is now Wednesday and I am still not completely finished. I at least finished all of the current transitions and screens. There are just some details left now. However, I can already tell that I learned a lot by making this video. First of all, I learned that I am able to make a decent animation video. It actually looks fine. I used a lot of different animation techniques and I feel a lot more comfortable with them now. I do not know whether I did everything with the best practice but I guess I don’t need to worry about that. I also learned that the hardest thing to do when it comes to animating is actually timing. It is so hard to look at the video with fresh eyes and accurately judge how much time you need to see everything and what actually becomes really slow and boring.

Time Management

My time management is awful. I think I write about this topic more than anything else. It is probably the area in my life that I struggle with the most. There is so much stuff I want to do and only very limited time to do everything. It means that most of the time, I do not actually get all of the work done I want and I still procrastinate way too much. The worst is that stuff like cleaning or cooking food have such low priority that I basically never do them. There are two things I could do:

  • I could try wasting less time and optimizing everything a lot more. This is what I try to do but it is not working that well.
  • I could accept that there will always be limits to my focus and willpower. I could accept that I cannot do everything and I need to do less to do everything properly.

I do realize that the second option is the more realistic one but I am still stuck on the first one.

Beatboxing: Lip Rolls

Lip Rolls are a really advanced beatboxing technique. It is a sound that is made by oscillating the side of your lips loosely. The sound is really crazy. I never even got close to getting it. However, for a few days I have been playing around with my lips and I got a sound that is super similar to lip rolls. It sounds so good and it also feels really good. There is just one problem: The technique is completely wrong. Lip Rolls are supposed to be an inward sound but the stuff I do is outwards. I just hope that having the feeling of how to make this sound will help me also learn proper Lip Rolls.

Breaks during Battles

Nobody likes to take breaks during battles. They are always way too long. The dancers never want to take breaks. Normally, the time between battles is long enough to catch a breath. There are just two reasons you should take a break during a battle.

You should take a break when your judges need a break. They actually have to stay concentrated the whole time and that can be difficult. They also need some time to eat something.

You also need a break between the preselection and the battles. Obviously, the judges need the time to properly select the people who get into the battles. Every other break should be way shorter.

Feeling instead of Technique

Lately, a couple of people are telling me that I should be feeling the music more. For that, I should let myself go in the music and not focus on my technique at all. I think I get what they mean. There are some rounds when I just feel really good afterwards. Everything just seems to fall in place automatically. I want to get more rounds like that but I have no idea how to reproduce that feeling. I guess I just need to dance a whole lot more.

Artistic Ability

I am working on an animation video for Choomza right now. It is supposed to draw in more people and get them excited. I want to create a nice looking animation video that shows some of the stuff you can do on the site. This means that I need to animate a whole video. Technically, I am able to do it but my artistic ability is not enough to actually make it look good.

I have been drawing some of the characters and you can clearly see what I mean but they look more like scribbles than professional animations. People might be able to forgive that. If they know me, they probably don’t expect all of the drawings to be perfect. The point of the video is probably more important than how artistic it is. However, I want to use this to advertise Choomza and the video will hopefully be seen by lots of people who don’t actually know me and those might be a lot more critical of the drawing style. In the end, I have no choice though. I cannot do it better than I can do it and I cannot afford to hire somebody who can.

Marketing & Development

There are two views of what needs to be done for Choomza. I might think that the system should sell itself and the failure to keep people from coming back and recommending the system to their friends is a failure of my programming. I still have a lot of ideas to improve Choomza and to make it more viral. If this view is true, I should probably focus all of my time on developing more on it.

The other view is that the system is already really good but I need to change user behavior and that takes a lot of effort and time. In this case, I should not develop more on Choomza but spend more time selling it. I still have a lot of ideas of things I can do for my marketing.

However, the truth is probably that I need to do a mix of both things. I need to remind people more about Choomza and effectively communicate with them. However I should also improve Choomza so that when they visit the page, they are more inclined to stick around and recommend it to their friends. It is just that it is really hard to find the right balance between the two.