Monday, December 27, 2021

Creativity and Skill (Thoughts from 2017)

Something I posted to Facebook in 2017. 5 people seemed to have noticed.

I think about these things a lot..
You can do something that requires great skill, like playing a perfect copy of someone else’s incredibly difficult guitar solo. But that isn’t creative. Still art though.
You could draw a vehicle, robot or furniture, that no one has ever seen before, absolutely original, SO creative, but not actually draw it technically very well.
Same deal for photo-realistic v expressionistic images... my own comic work goes expressionist/ cartoony mostly as It is faster. ("Opportunity Cost" of doing it for me is another thing I think about 🙂 )
Skill is improved by practice, but there is always someone better. Creativity is just this magic thing some people do better sometimes than others. Lightning in a bottle.
I tend to think a lot of really new things are just combining old things in new ways. A bit of this, a bit of that, and you have something new. Sometimes it then becomes something completely original, other times it doesn’t. There is no difference between the technical work I have done and the art stuff in this regard. But technical work is generally conservative as you are spending others money, for a short time, and want an outcome. It MUST work, but how well and with what features is “flexible” after a certain minimum.
When it comes to the commercial world, people are much more willing to part with money for something they are familiar with, than not. Cover bands are popular, but it isn’t creative. Doing some “art” thing in a style similar to X and Y is less risky.
Maybe Skill is more commercially useful than Creativity.....
... just saying.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Comic on My YouTube Channel Experience


So YouTube has had some dramatic changes over the last 10 years, and I'm not the kind of creator they encourage. Still convenient to use though.  I'm not going to do anything like Rick Beato though!

I recently did 6 Youtube shorts for my recent songs.  One of them got 162 views in 48 hours. The most views I have had in a few years. The others got nothing. So I'm in some kind of  Google Algorithmic Black Hole, where what I upload isn't recommended to anyone.  

An acquaintance on Twitter who mostly does hiking in Kyoto Videos,  uploaded a few, even shorter things and got hundreds and thousands of view overnight. Definitely get that "why do I waste my time?" vibe with it all.  Social Media makes most people miserable, and I am one of them.

I have a blog post from a few years ago how I documented an Algorithmic change Google made where my website just dropped out of search for a year.  Absolutely nothing I could do about that then, and expect this is the same kind of thing.  

Recently in some change Google made I had to answer the question " Do I trust Google?"  and really, I don't!  Not at all.   At one point the owners had said "do no evil", but they have long since left the building, and Google is as bad or worse then Facebook for it's Surveillance Business Model.  They just haven't gotten the press they way Facebook did.

Art vs Artist 2021 Version And Year Summary

 Something from Twitter again:

I also did a version with all the art in squares, but it doesn't show as much, so putting this version here instead.

Kind of a summary of the Visual Art year in 9 images, but there has been much more than that. Also I'm not getting any younger...

I keep a Diary and was updating it yesterday to what our main "achievements" were this year.  Without mentioning the significant events in our kids lives, they are:

1) Read more Japanese language manga, in Japanese then ever before this year. 

2) Wrote and recorded 5 songs and updated our music making system. 

3) Was fully Vaccinated against C19

4) Got a Mobile Phone here in Japan, on a plan that doesn't cost us anything if we don't use the phone.

5) Wrote and produced more of my own comics than before.

And I though to myself, that feels good.

Friday, December 10, 2021

DREAM: Music Video Animated in Moho Pro 12


First attempt at animating a 3 minute video using a puppet we made from our comic character of me and our original track, DREAM.

This is the whole one man band, home recording experience.  Many of the comics I do are "Slice of Life", and this is too.  I actually recorded the Dream track several years ago now.

1 of the 8 pages of the comic on recording my music, for example:

The comics I do are done in CorelDraw and I made the character with extra hands, mouths, eye positions and body components on separate layers. I saved the character as an illustrator fil

In illustrator I output it as a multilayer Photoshop file. That way all the components are on separate layers, but still form a complete character. 

What some of those parts look like if you separate them out

That Photoshop file is brought into Moho and a skeleton and switch layers used to select 1 of n options for eyes, browse, mouth and hands.  I haven't used the Moho drawing tools yet, and don't know if I will.

Moho Pro 12 is such a huge improvement over Anime Studio Pro 5 I used previously. 

I made a few video segments between 74 and 300 frames at 24fps to assemble the video from. The lip synced videos had 11khz 8 bit audio of just the vocal in them to help align with the mastered music track, then muted once in the correct place. 

All assembled with lyrics and title added in Movie Studio. 

A more typical way to do a music video is to put the 4 different players in each corner of the screen, but that would need 4 times the amount of animated segments to work with, so I used the one shot at a time approach. Cutting on beats between clip variations makes it a bit more interesting, as the studio experience is very static.