End of 2016

Hey guys.

So. The end of 2016. What a year, what a year. It’s truly been one of the busiest years I’ve had. Went overseas. Disney trip to LA where they kept telling us we’re the future but we’re wondering if they really mean it, a road trip with buddies from LA to San Francisco over a few days, Joburg and Cape Town a few times, Afrika Burn, Otter Trail, I put in 2 offers to buy a house but both were refused (kind of thankful for that, but also it had an amazing big study with a view. Hmm), Mauritius to make video games, and loads of kiff stuff inbetween. I also reconnected with an old flame which was quite amazing, and though it was brief it was nonetheless special.

Firstly, some artwork from my ‘Dogshow with Cat’ show mini pitch bible that Disney and Triggerfish invested in, and is now being shopped around to various interested parties and distributors.

I guess this is the part that’s called ‘Production Hell’ because Disney will only invest further once a distributor’s on board, so with so much money at stake, I guess it’s tricky to ensure returns and to instil that confidence. All I know is the show is amazing, it’s changed a lot since the 2-min pilot, it’s got a killer pilot script, the characters are awesome, they have a great thing going between them, and we’ll see if the distributors see the same kiffness that I do. I have a couple regrets I guess, that’s letting my guard down once or twice with decisions made to what should be included in the show bible – I did a great cactus dude that was taken out, I was tired by the end of it so didn’t challenge the decision enough to get him back in. A few silly jokes that I thought were funny that I’d have wanted to include but didn’t because I wondered if others may not get it. The whole experience was a fight from start to finish to get what I wanted and to protect that still small voice / flame that can so easily be destroyed by louder voices or blown out by committee-decisions, and it left me exhausted for a while. If nobody buys into it, s’all good, learn from this, move on to the next thing and make it even better.

With my brief experience on Moosebox and Dogshow with Cat, I can boil down the advice to this. People can explain away anything. ANYthing. And they’ll make it sound like something should be this way or that way. Don’t listen to them. AT ALL. IT’S A TRAP. They’ll lead you down the garden path, YOU ARE ALWAYS RIGHT, EVERY TIME. Even when everyone else thinks you’re wrong, YOU’RE RIGHT. It’s your show and you KNOW when something should be this way or that, you don’t need to explain it. Better to fail on your own terms than try and get a better chance of success trying to please everyone else, and still fail. It’s also easier for everyone if you just say THIS IS THE WAY IT IS and leave it at that. Trying to be a gentleman / nice guy / people pleaser and going ‘hmm that’s an interesting idea’ when you KNOW it’s wrong for your show is a BAD IDEA and WRONG, unless you’re into wasting yours and everybody else’s time. If you bend easily you’ll end up with something that isn’t a unique point of view, but rather a generic idea that’s fine for a committee. I’m going for that unique point of view, and that may mean saying ‘no’ a lot.

Now we’re in December, we made a bunch of Kiffness t-shirts to sell, they sold well at gigs. Though I’m probably going to keep KIFFSTUFF.COM for my own wares, you can still buy the few ‘Brokaleh’ shirts I have!

#Repost @lindutoit with @repostapp ・・・ #kifffans #kiffshirts #kiffnight #thekiffness

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yoh yoh yoh. Sold out show, had to turn peeps away, sold lank merch. Nice one @thekiffness

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I’ve ordered a Yoco credit card machine that I ended up not using due to me not really being part of The Kiffness merch situation, it feels like I should step away from that. In all fairness though, the shirts are cool and I’m glad I decided to print the ‘Brokaleh’ design because at first my brother was going to pass on it and I decided to just print some anyway. It’s been a best-seller. Earlier in the year I’ve met with Clayton, the owner of Surf Cafe in Plett to have my bro play some gigs there. We eventually got it together and the first Kiffness this last Friday was sold out! Great success.

I’ve been busy with a couple projects for this end of year. I finished a new animated Goldfish music video a couple weeks ago but it hasn’t been released as their record label has a release plan for the song, and that impacts the release of the video. Here are a few sneaky stills:

I’ve also been doing this fairly big project, a 6+ minute retrospective narrative story from a previous Olympics 400m relay silver medalist. It’s all been done in 8-bit pixel art style. I’ve brought on Ben Rausch who I (finally) met in Mauritius who did some great stuff, and unfortunately another pixel-buddy from the US who’s previously done some great work for me, let me down after repeatedly assuring me he’d send through the remaining big 16-second shot, and then going silent. Anyways, I’ve done the shot myself this last weekend, learned some Aseprite (a pixel program) in the process, and the short is pretty much done, and THAT is my final commercial gig for the year!

Here’s some footage of a game called Yojimbrawl that I helped with in Mauritius. I did quite a few pixel animations of the fighter, and 2 backgrounds – the brown forest with a Buddha levitating, and the brown bridge with the bell.

I’ve put a pencil-line through Jan to work on Bru & Boegie 🙂 and I’m looking forward to that. I’ve made enough tom this year to support myself for a month or two, and for a holiday to Japan next year hopefully, so, that’s all worth looking forward to.

Here’s also some footage of ‘Frog Smashers’, a game I made with Ruan Vermeulen from Free Lives. It should be getting a public release as soon as I can finish off some of the art for it:

It’s flippen’ fun to play. The idea is to try hit the other frogs out the screen. Local co-op. Here are some videos of us playing it in Mauritius:

❤️

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Also, they filmed a documentary while we were there in Mauritius and I starred in a few of them! It’s worth watching the whole series (link) from start to finish as it gives a great behind-the-scenes peek into videogame development:

I did these 10-second shorts with my buddy James Wolfaardt for a company in Boston called ‘Cartuna’ that were doing them for a company called ‘Brother’ for SnapChat. I got a few lines brief for each short, explained to James the tech specs, he drew the still images, I added animation frames and got stuff moving, my bro David Scott aka The Kiffness did the sound, and there ya go:

All in all, busy year, really looking forward to resting. Already been surfing these last few days, has been lovely. Even tried stand-up-paddle boarding in the sea, and my partner and I did an evening Moonrise paddle board with a buddy and a crew he took out which was nice. Unfortunately a Great White Shark took a big chunk out of someone’s canoe recently in Plett, so, that’s been a bit of a cooler for the surfing. Damn. I thought the shark activity had died down a lot.

Games-wise, highlights are Rocket League, Batman: Arkham Knight and INSIDE on PS4. Worth a mention – other games I enjoyed a lot this year: Parappa the Rapper 2, Grim Fandango Remake, Day of the Tentacle Remake, Journey HD, Wipeout 2048. Got a PS Vita and recently got a 32GB card for it, so I can install more of my library onto it. I just got Overwatch for PS4 but haven’t really tried getting into it. My next game is prob ‘The Last Guardian’.

Thanks for reading, even if it’s only my friend James and my mom that comment. They’re da bes.

New Stuff end Oct 2016

Friends. My friends onna Intanet. And real friends. Welcome to the house of PAIN. Jks. Thanks for reading.

Some new things!

First up, I designed this mascot dude for the first ever ‘South African Adaptive Surfing’ championship that took place in Muizenberg, Cape Town. Here’s this bunny:

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Kiff. And then I designed a sticker set for iOS 10! Funimalz, available on the App Store!

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Aaand then, I inked and coloured some stickers for Triggerfish’s ‘Khumba’ sticker set, sketched up Lorraine Alvarez Posen. I don’t know if they’re available yet in the App Store:

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And then my bro and I collab’d to make this single design for his new song with Josh Wantie, which is a kiff song. My bro did all the concept work, I just neatened it up:

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Then I did this Medical Chronicle cartoon:

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Then I’m busy laying out a book that my mom Susan Scott and her friend and collaborator Susan E. Schwartz, Ph.D wrote called ‘Aging & Becoming’, it’s pretty much done and looks like a great book. Been an interesting challenge because traditionally my type layout skills haven’t been that hot, but, I’m learning. I followed this great tutorial on how to lay out a book properly and set it up the right way in Indesign. I figured I may as well learn how to do it right from the start:

aging_becoming_v1

Then I got a job from this Boston / US based company that’s making 10 second shorts for another company for SnapChat. I gave the boarding and character design work to James Wolfaardt and my bro did the music and sfx. I animated it. This is the result:

ysthumbs2

Then I did a review of my Wacom Cintiq 22″ HD vs. my olde Wacom Cintiq 12″:

Then my Pac-Man vid Carl Douglas and I did for Take has clocked over half a million views! Rad:

I’ve also put up a couple tutorials for using Toon Boom Harmony Premium 14. I bought the upgrade recently and have to admit, I’ve been loving it. Has sped up my workflow a lot, the node view has made comp’ing way easier, the top light is a life-saver for dimming other layers when onion-skinning, I take my hat off to Toon Boom because I’ve slated their previous stuff, I bought TB Animate 2 and it frustrated the heck out of me.

THEN I’ve pretty much finished a brand new Goldfish music video! Hopefully it’ll be released soon. That’s been on the cooker for a while now and most of the production was done this month (it’s been a busy month).

Crunch time weeeoooeee!!! 🙂 going kiff.

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A video posted by mikdog (@mikdog) on

Full list of contributors to this vid on release. Has been a pleasure working with others on this.

AND THEN tomorrow I fly to Joburg, and then off to Mauritius to join Free Lives who are busy making videogames there! Rad! You can check the video documentary they’ve made about the experience thus far here:

I also finished making this short for some US comedians but will post that once they put it up.

In other news, put in an offer for a house three times, offer wasn’t accepted. Planning to spend January working on Bru & Boegie stuff, the voices we recorded for this new Beatboxing Dave short are (I think) hilarious, and I recommend a free program called ‘Post Haste‘ for generating a consistent folder structure before you start projects to make backing stuff up easier and general workflow better, and I’ve been enjoying this (paid for) app called ‘Paste‘ for Mac that lets you keep 500 or more ‘copy’ histories, you know every time you CMD+C to copy something then accidentally copy over it with something else and think ‘ah man’? Now you can copy loads of things and paste selectively. So obvious that this should be incorporated into an OS.

Also, shout-out to some hardware: my 2011 iMac that is still running like a beast. It earns me bucks by being fast and responsive and reliant, it’s a maxed out custom-order iMac with a fancy graphics card, and SSD and HDD and 16GB memory and has done me so well ever since I’ve had it – I can run Photoshop smoothly while Premiere’s rendering video and loads of other apps are open at the same time, without it breaking a sweat. Great machine. I found it off Gumtree from a guy who had just taken order of it after waiting the 6-8 weeks delivery it takes for a custom order, and he just got a job at the Apple store so he was able to get an even bigger discount for himself.

My RCT 2000 VAS UPS, a recent addition. I plug my Wacom Cintiq and iMac into it and when there’s a power outage it kicks in automatically and keeps things running, allowing me enough time to save my work and power down properly. Has paid for itself very quickly. I’d consider a UPS a must for anyone owning an iMac.

Wacom Cintiq 22″. I was skeptical about the outlay to get this thang but it is so kiff and WAY better than my Cintiq 12″. Amanda told me she’s spend anything if it helps speed up work, and she’s right. As my friend and ex-boss Andy Wood used to say:

“Don’t Neglect Your Tools.”

New Interview: AnimationSA Julia Louw interviews me

Julia had the impetus to start a new podcast series and I’m the first guest! We chatted in Cape Town about how I started out, about my spirit animals ‘Bru & Boegie’, Jozi Zoo and eTV, Goldfish music videos, Happy Land, Adventure Time, ComiCon, Moosebox, Dogshow with Cat, freelancing and a whole bunch of other stuff. She’s a super interviewer and I look forward to more of these podcasts with other animators.

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