Skip to main content

Featured GoAnimator: TheseStars - Hoot and the Yellow Canary

TheseStars
GoAnimator TheseStars is the November winner of my GoAnimate, Get Featured in TET's Blog contest. TheseStars has had her account with GoAnimate since April of 2010 and in that time has amassed 965 followers and published 21 animations.

TheseStars chose to feature her animation Hoot and The Yellow Canary, saying...

I choose this video to be featured in this article for several reasons. The first being that I strongly feel it is my best production thus far as an armature animator working within the GoAnimate Studio. The second reason for my choice is that I would like to share this particular spotlight with the other people who contributed to the success of the production. And lastly, I choose this video because I strongly believe in the message the story line serves to tell others. That they too can create a little magic in their own life.
This video production tells the story of how I literally found a yellow canary on the same day that I told a canary breeder in a pet store that I would, "one day have a Yellow Canary when the time was right".
To this day, it blows my mind how the events of that day unfolded. You see, the timing was perfect. I had an extra bird cage since I was travelin' with Ginger my pet cockatiel and kept an extra larger cage at my other home in New Jersey. 
Anyway, I figured since the story was going to be about birds, I would use my HOOT, the owl character and his side kick Stick figure to advance the story. But I was strugglin' for a storyline to introduce the canary. Which I feel silly about now because the best stories are the true stories. 

Watch TheseStars' animation below and then read about her inspiration and challenges in creating the video.

HOOT! and The Yellow Canary by TheseStars on GoAnimate


Inspiration

The overall inspiration for this video production had some very magical and extraordinary events surrounding it right from the start. So, I'll tell you about them and start from the start.

 The original inspiration came when GoAnimator EnjoyingLifeinSeoul (otherwise referred to here as ELIS) noticed that I was sharing pictures and news updates with friends and family on Facebook about the Yellow Canary that I found on my front lawn in New Jersey. It just so happened that ELIS was in the process of teaching himself how to animate props and characters using the software program, KoolMoves. ELIS asked me if l would like to have a yellow canary animated to join my other original GoAnimate character, HOOT! the owlet that likes to play around with anagrams. Of course, I was thrilled, and said, "absolutely".

Main Challenges

It was on March 2nd 2013 that I first saw the yellow canary come alive for the first time. So now I had this wonderful little moving canary who could dance, talk, close his eyes, fall over in his food dish, and of course, just stand still. The problem was, as I mentioned earlier in this writing, was that I was strugglin' for a storyline to use him. You have to understand that in my head I knew the video would have to be a great production because someone put all this effort into making this character for me. I knew I had to honor that time with something special. I had nothing.

So now time is still passing and it's now June, and I still have no idea how to introduce the Yellow Canary. No idea how I was going to make ELIS proud of his work. Then enters Gypsy Grass, the music. Written and performed by Shawn Gonzales.

Blues Musician Shaw Gonzales is an acquaintance who I had met in November 2012 through New Jersey Hall of Fame Blues Guitarist, Dean Shot while doing some promotional work for a night club.  The quick back ground story on Shawn is that he played slide guitar on one of Johnny Lee Hooker's last recordings before he died. It's now July.

Shawn sends me a link to hear some of his new original music that he just upload online. In just a few short notes, BAM! I knew instantly what I was going to do with the Yellow Canary. I was going to tell the amazing story on how I found him. And I was going to use Shawns' Gypsy Grass to do it. It was the music that sparked the initial inspiration to sit down and start the process in the studio. And it was the music that revealed to me how the story line would flow. Now I had two people to make proud. ELIS and Shawn. The pressure was mounting.

Since I wanted to use all of the music, which was 5 Minutes and 32 seconds in length, I now had time to play around with another story line, besides the true story of finding the canary, to make the work more fun. And who better than to give a story line too, but too my other alter ego personality, Stick Figure. I love setting him up for trouble, and I needed the time filler.

I didn't ask Shawn Gonzales' permission to use the music until after the video was complete. I figured if he heard my amazing true story being told alongside his own original music, that it would be easy to get his permission. So that's what I did. On May 18th, I presented the work to Shawn Gonzales asking his permission.

Yes, I did all that video production work, prop making, and story writing to his music knowing the whole time that there was a good chance he would say, "sorry, I would prefer that you didn't use my music". But thankfully, that's not what happened. This was his response, 'You have no idea how special that was for me. Thank you for such a wonderful experience Renee. I lost my bird "Brutis", of 12 years only 9 months ago. He looked very similar. It was so well done. I would be proud for you to show this to anyone. Thx again for even considering using my music in that way.'

 So besides the amazing story of finding the canary on the same day that I told someone I always wanted a Yellow Canary, is the finding of the music that immediately sent the story rolling through my head was written by someone who had his own personal and touching truth about a bird. Does life get any more uncanny than that? I don't think so.

 I believe the content of the production and the story behind it, could help others learn two things, 1. That they too could drum up some of their own magic in life if they just believe in the power of their own thoughts and words. And, 2. Allow a piece of work to have its own place in time for when it's ready to be, ---don't rush anything that doesn't come easily. I'm not saying you shouldn't try over and over to get a prop right, or a scene right---your should work hard on it, you should probably make several and choose the one that fits best, what I'm saying about story line is don't rush the telling of a story ---especially if its not flowin out on its own.

In the end of it all, I think I made a production that all three of us could be proud.

Here are two more funny things about this production. There is more truth hiding inside the scenes that no one yet has ever noticed. The first is with Stick Figure when asked by HOOT!if he, 'read the script'. Stick figure replies, "don't tell anyone Hoot, but I usually wait till the last minute". It's true--- very rarely do I stick with a script. I rough one out to give me a start, but than the story itself takes over and well I let it go its own course. 

And lastly, there is something in the video that no one ever noticed. It's the name on the directors' board prop I made. Kent Seehem. You can't see him. He is hiding behind my character Thesestars, who I also only give you a cutoff shot of, because I am trying to make it feel like a real studio production getting ready for the big introduction of the characters and the entrance of the Yellow Canary. Thought I'd give this a mention before signing off, and wishing everyone Happy Animating while following your own true stories.


If you've enjoyed TheseStars' work then why not check out more of TheseStars' animations on GoAnimate.

Runner up Featured GoAnimators for the month of November included:

Comments

  1. Congrats, TheseStars! What a hoot! Enjoyed reading your comments. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congratulations TheseStars!!! What a great month for you!!! Winning 2 contest back to back! The karma be good these days! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. BRILLIANT web site and I just discovered it!

    I've been obsessed with this video since it came out and I am ecstatic that the video has led me to this site dedicated to my passion.

    ReplyDelete
  4. TheseMerryStars, congrats on winning.I really enjoyed your vid for the contest. I actually watched this when it was first posted, but I couldn't comment. I finally got my lazy behind back here.

    I am tickled "yellow" that you choose this as your animation to be featured. It was such an honour to make your special friend for you and cool that you appreciated it so much and Shawn Gonzales'' music and contribution as well.


    I enjoyed watching the animation again and reading your interview and the making behind it as well and what it meant to you. :)

    As always very cool that you run this contest etourist.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

I welcome, read, and respond to genuine comments relating to each post. If your comment isn't that save me some time by not posting it.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Popular posts from this blog

Real Human AI Text to Speech Voice App by Replica Studios - AI voice actors for games + films

Replica Studios TTS App. Image: Replica Studios It really pays to attend Reallusion's free animation demonstration Webinars. At a recent webinar, host, Kai DeNeve, featured Replica Studio's A.I. Voice Actor system . Replica uses Artificial Intelligence to learn a real voice actor's speech patterns, tone, and inflection, which can then be used with their Text To Speech (TTS) system to produce the most realistic computer generated voices yet (or at least that I've come across). You can even fine tune how individual words are said and more. Their TTS system works through a downloadable desktop app for Mac and Windows. There are also bridging apps if you want to use their system for voices in UnReal and Unity Gaming systems. Sign up for a free account and get 30 minutes of free voice downloads (that's 30 minutes of recorded audio - not 30 minutes to download audio - that you can download a line at a time). After that you can purchase 4 hour blocks for just USD$24.00.

Animating Warwick Hays Skateboarder Ed Character for Cartoon Animator - Can Ed Kickflip?

Skateboarder Ed. Character by Warwick Hays. Warwick Hays has built quite a sizeable collection of characters, props, and backgrounds for Cartoon Animator that I've yet to really explore, however, being the tragic skateboarder that I am, it was surely fate that I would buy his Skateboarder Ed G3 character as my first purchase. Now I don't know a lot about Warwick but, based on the design of the skateboard prop that comes with Skateboarder Ed I'm fairly certain Warwick doesn't know much about skateboarding, and/or probably didn't use a good reference when designing his skateboard. Bart's skateboard has changed over the years, though curiously, even later versions, barely get closer to what an actual skateboard looks like. To be fair, Warwick's holding up a tradition of animators who clearly haven't seen a skateboard or noticed how skaters actually ride them. Just check out Bart Simpson's flat plank of wood with wheels from the opening int

My First Anthropomorphic Character with Reallusion's Character Creator 3 (Pipeline) & Reviving My TETAnimations YouTube Channel

Skateboarding Cage Monster - Heelflip. Reallusion's Character Creator 3  is a pretty incredible application for creating any kind of human digital 3D character quickly. Its power comes from the way it can totally deform a standard human base template character into a seemingly infinite number of body types and shapes. While I wouldn't recommended it as a your only 3D character sculpting tool, it is very powerful with just how much you can edit a character's form at the vertex/mesh level. I've experimented a little with CC3's Edit mesh functions, mostly using it to hide areas of an object I don't want seen. Bat Storm's cape is a good example where I used the ability to hide vertices to completely remove the assassin's hood from the neckline up. Just on a whim I wondered if I could create my Cage Monster character entirely in CC3 (with exception to his skin textures which I edited in Krita). The character is basically a stylised human body with a monster

Voice All Your Own Animated Characters with Voice Changer

Voice Changer by AVSoft is real time voice manipulation software that can be used for a wide range of purposes including (according to their website); Voice-over and voice dubbing for audio/video clips, presentations, narrations, voice messages, voice mails, E-greeting cards, broadcasting, etc.; mimic the voice of any person, create animal sounds, change/replace/remove voices in songs, videos,etc. I bought it for the specific purpose of changing my own voice, to extend my vocal range, for voicing characters in my own animations. I was fortunate enough to get this software at a significant discount that made it difficult to refuse, given that I'd never tried it, or even heard of it before. I'm not sure if I would have bought it at the full price given that much of what it can do (for my needs) can also be done with the freeware audio program, Audacity . AV Voice Changer Interface. Voice Changer is relatively easy to install and set up. Once installed simply

Your First Look at Bat Storm Animated and Launching My Patreon

Bat Storm. Traditionally my Bat Storm character has always been a parody of whichever movie Batman is in the limelight. Back in the GoAnimate days that was Christian Bale, but now we have a new, upcoming Batman with Robert Pattinson. What better way to greet the new guy than with Bat Storm's own 'camera test' teaser just like Robert Pattinson's suit camera test. This is actually the very first public release of my new Bat Storm character model animated. Prior to this it's only been 'leaked' still images (does it count as leaking when it's the show creator deliberately posting images publically?). Anyhow Bat Storm pays homage to two Batmen ahead of their time (Val Kilmer and George Clooney) who had the balls to wear nipples on the Batsuit. Clearly a diversionary measure designed to disarm unsuspecting bad guys with laughter.  If no one is taking you seriously that's clearly an advantage! Visit my Patreon Page for more information. L

Artbreeder - Using AI created Character and Background Content in your Animations

A selection of User/AI generated images from Artbreeder. If you're looking for an endless supply of 2D character and background images for your animations then Artbreeder , an online Artificial Intelligence (AI) that generates image mash-ups you can tweak as much as you like, could be the ultimate content library. What is Artbreeder? Artbreeder is free to use though there are various paid plans, that give you additional features, such as higher resolution download images or more settings to play with. All images created on the site are Public Domain (CC0 License) and can be used in commercial projects. Using Artbreeder's online app you can generate head shot portraits, full body characters, landscapes, and other scenes simply by choosing two or more existing images to mash together then, using a series of sliders, to select which traits from each image you wish to lean toward in the final image. Photo Comparison - Top is my original uploaded photo. Bottom is Artbreeder's ap

#XPPenanimationchallenge - How I Created My Entry for XP-Pen's First Animation Competition

XP-Pen's Mascot, Fenix, in A Change of Art by TET. XP-Pen , the makers of a range of pretty sweet pen display monitors, and Reallusion , the makers of some pretty sweet animation apps, teamed up for XP-Pen's very first Animation Challenge with the theme of 'Change'. Any form of animation was acceptable with entries needing to be a minimum of ten seconds in length. Entries closed on June 16th, 2020 (sorry, this blog isn't really a breaking news site, I probably should've mentioned it back in March when entries submissions opened) so it's too late to enter, but I wanted to tell you the tale of how I ended up creating my entry in a really late evening, the day before the deadline. Watch my entry below. Remember the theme is 'Change' and XP-Pen suggested in the rules that including their mascot, Fenix, somewhere in the animation would be looked upon favorably.   The Ideas Scenes from Skater - My First XP-Pen Competition Idea. This was not my first idea