Friday, April 30, 2010

That's All Folks (or is it?)

Well guys, 4th year (and my post secondary education) is over, and I've got to say, it's been a blast. I mean, high school for the quiet artist type like me was not the most enjoyable experience, but coming here where all the quiet (and some not so quiet) artist types from around the world have gathered to do what we love was the best decision I ever made.

The program here was a little hit and miss, but the atmosphere and the people here have made the last 5 years the best I've ever had. Non-animators don't understand when I tell them that I spend every waking hour at school and still love it, but I guess what they don't realize is that we are all doing that. While other college students go to lecture halls filled with hundreds of people they will never talk to, and then spend their off times getting drunk enough to forget how boring their homework is, we go to an open studio space, hang out, draw, and try to figure out how we can make a living doing it. I think that is an amazing way to spend our college years. And the people in our class of 2010 have made it all the more amazing.

Being with the same hundred or so people for the past 4-5 years has been an incredible experience. Looking back on it all, I've kind of thought of our relationships with each other like this: In Art Fundamentals, we became acquaintances, strangers, with common interests (which, considering how weird our interests were was a pretty big deal). In 1st year, we became friends. In 2nd year, when we got our open studio space and really started living at the school, we became a family. In 3rd year, when we had to work together on a group film, we became a dysfunctional family. And in 4th year....well...I don't really know. It feels like I'm moving away from home again. It feels really weird to be leaving this place behind forever. Its kind of a relief to be done, but I'm really going to miss this place, and especially the people that have inhabited it. But I guess there's no sense dwelling on the past when the future could potentially be even better.

I was fortunate enough to get a job at a studio in Ottawa called Mercury Filmworks and will be working on a very cool looking TV show, the details of which I should probably not disclose here. And it seems that many of my Sheridan bretheren will be joining me in a couple weeks, which is awesome! I had contacted the studio pretty early this year and was able to land a job even before industry day, so I guess preparation and persistence pay off. Although part of me wishes I could stay in a state of limbo and relive the past five years over and over again, another part is excited to move on and start my career. And Mercury seems like a very cool place, and with some of my old classmates being there as well, I think it will be all the more awesome.

I think I recall about 5 years ago my high school guidance councillor thought I was nuts for going into animation. I had pretty good grades so I guess he thought I was going to go to university to get a fancy degree in business or something like that. I mean, why have a fun, art based career when you can sit in an office and type in numbers all day, right? But a relatively smart guy going into animation? He thought I was crazy. Nah, I'm not crazy. Crazy are the people who choose their careers based on the size of the paycheck. Crazy are the people who spend 40 hours a week doing something they hate for money. Money doesn't matter. Money is just something you have in case you don't die tomorrow, and if you give it any more value than that, then you've got it all wrong. I'm not crazy. I'm the only one who's not crazy. Well, not the only one. I can name about a hundred more not crazy people. And its been a pleasure working/hanging out with/growing up with every one of you. I wish all of my classmates the very best of luck in the future and I sincerely hope we'll meet again some day. (reunion in 20 years, anyone?)


Adam P

Carol of the Elves (alternate music)

Carol of the Elves (Alternate Music) from Adam Pockaj on Vimeo.

My 4th Year film again, this time with music arranged by U of T student Trevor Hewer. It was a collaboration between Sheridan animation students and University of Toronto music students to work together to make a soundtrack that we actually get legal rights to use on our films. Thanks Trevor!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Carol of the Elves

Carol of the Elves from Adam Pockaj on Vimeo.

Well, I finished the film last friday, so here it is. I may be tweaking a few things here and there over the next couple weeks, but this is pretty much it. I had a lot of fun making it, and I hope you have fun watching it!

P.S. I recommend Vimeo for uploading videos. The file was almost 300 megs and Vimeo took it like a champ. I think most video uploading sites limit it to 100megs, so if you want to keep good quality, Vimeo's the way to go

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The First 30

The First 30 from Adam Pockaj on Vimeo.

The first 30 seconds is now DONE. Although since its mostly just a zoom in to a background its not that much work. I've still got a ways to go before the rest will be complete.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Another 24 Hour Film

24 Hour Film from Adam Pockaj on Vimeo.

Decided to take a break from the film by making another one. This time the word of the day was: curiosity.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rough Animation Reel

Rough Animation Reel from Adam Pockaj on Vimeo.

The rough animation for the film is essentially complete. I'm kind of refining things a bit during cleanup, so hopefully it will look a bit better in the end.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

What Happened on Virmire

Well, I just recently finished playing through a game called Mass Effect, and it got me thinking. Video games are awesome. And not just in a "that was pretty cool" kind of way, but in a spine tinglingly good, amazing storytelling kind of way.

Mass Effect, like Fallout 3 (another game finished recently) had a better story than most films, books, or TV shows I have ever seen. And I think the reason for this is simple. Storytelling can lend itself better to video games than any other medium. In a film, you've got to cram in as much story as you can into two, three hours tops. But a video game can be thirty hours long. A story can be so much richer and more complex when there is more than enough time to tell it.

Although few games have caught on to that, a couple (namely Mass Effect and Fallout 3) certainly have. The stories are so good, and there's character development and plot twists that rival the best Hollywood films. And because you spend so much more time with the characters, it has an even greater effect.

And especially in RPGs like Mass Effect, a lot of what happens in the game is based on the player's choices. Entire story arcs are often affected by what the player chooses to do. Sometimes its simply how other characters will react to what you say, or sometimes its a matter of life and death. In Mass Effect, there's a planet you go to called Virmire. There's a part where two of your teamates are in trouble and you have to choose which one to save. And the one you don't dies! And not just "oh, we'll bring him back to life with a phoenix down," but actually dies for good. I remember how big a deal it was when Aeris died in Finaly Fantasy 7, but in Mass Effect, you have to choose which of your teammates, and you can't save both. That kind of thing can never happen in a film. You just watch what the characters do, so there can only be so much emotional involvement. In a game, you are the main character, and its how you act around the other characters that determines what the story is going to be like. There are a whole lot of other WTF moments that happen on Virmire, as well as at many other times throughout the game but I won't give anything else away.

On top of all that, there's still so much more to come with video games. Books have been around for millenia, and films for a century, but games have only been here for a few decades. They are only in their infancy in comparison.

Basically, my point is, video games get a bad rap for being a waste of time or money, and the people who play them are generally looked down upon by film buffs and book enthusiasts, as if they are a lesser form of entertainment. But they shouldn't be. Don't get me wrong, I love films and TV shows and books too, but video games certainly belong on the upper tiers of entertainment with them. And if you don't think so, then you obviously haven't played Mass Effect or Fallout 3.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Feb 8 Reel

A few more additions. Still need to update the sound fx.

EDIT: I've been told the videos aren't loading for some people. I think it has something to do with blogger's video uploader. Here's another version that should work:

Carol of the Elves, Feb 8th Rough Cut from Adam Pockaj on Vimeo.

Friday, February 05, 2010


Some background paintings. It was slow going at first but I'm starting to get the hang of it. The whole painting thing, I mean.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Scene 026

The first "finished" scene from the film. I'll probably be tweaking a few things, and I think the BG needs work. I don't know if I mentioned this but I am drawing it all on paper, not tradigitally as I had previously said I would. I kind of like the scratchier lines, not that normal people would even notice the difference. It was coloured digitally in Digicel Filpbook, with two tone, and a slight gradient over the whole character which I think looks cool.

There's a better quality version here: