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Sunday, August 13, 2006

coming down the home stretch

I'm delighted to say that the freelance illustration job I picked up just after my book ended is nearly over. Although it has been fun, I need a rest before classes start in September. I'm on schedule to finish up early next week and then it's West and Wewaxation at Wast (ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.)
Gizmo has been her usual sweet self while I worked up to fifteen hours a day at this computer. Focal Press loved the presentation (the other authors at that firm may be upset that I got it in eight weeks early, but them's the breaks.) A DVD insert has been nixed for this edition but I took the precaution of asking three RIT students whose work appears in the book whether I might also use their Leica reels, animatics, and previz with scratch track for a later edition. All three kindly agreed and so I have the paperwork and the film for the eventual update.
It's very hard to write about story reel and editing to scratch track and animatics and previz without showing it, so these chapters are necessarily a bit short. I have instead directed readers to specific DVDS that contain excellent examples, notably SHREK and THE INCREDIBLES.
Anyway, the publisher explained that new editions must legally have 25% new material in them; so the disc would be a good example of 'new' and chapter 19 will be expanded.
I just wish that something had been worked out earlier, but the deal for this book was: no DVD enclosure. They are already confident that there will be a second edition.
Tony White's ANIMATION FROM PENCILS TO PIXELS arrived last week and now I finally have time to read it. It's from the same publisher and I mentioned that it's one of the few books I've seen that had the artwork printed at a workable size. Focal is actually hiring the same design firm and production manager (yes, they have them in publishing too) so they obviously want to give me a first class sendoff.. This is very nice to know.
Of course I can lie awake at night wondering if I covered everything I needed to cover but I'm told that it is normal for authors to fuss and worry, and the book is really 'done' at least til I see some proofs. Sample pages should be forthcoming shortly and we're on track for the January publication date.
Speaking of Tony White, he is setting up a nonprofit called the Animaticus Institute which will help further the art of hand drawn animation. He plans a '2D or Not 2D' film festival that sounds really nice--I'll be announcing it in the blog and will also notify the RIT seniors of last year and those who are still in the college.
The Animaticus Institute is just a placeholder website now but things should be getting interesting now that Tony is at his new job at the Digipen Institute in Seattle.
In an unrelated incident I got Gizmo a nice new kitty palace for her unbirthday. Actually she was probably born around this time in 2001 since it's what is called 'kitten season' now--I had no idea there was such a thing but knowledgeable people say that this is so. Anyway, I got her a new perch since she was not happy that I gave away the second office chair that formely served in this capacity. Think of it as payment for her excellent editorial services on the book project. She had a very important job: keeping my head from exploding and reminding me that it was important to get up and play with mice every two hours. She also gets a thankyou in the book even if that sounds a little twee. I figured, hell, she worked on this nearly as hard as I did AND modeled for the cover.
Here she is enjoying her present.

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