Around 2008, I decided to use my god-given skill in art as my way of living. While ogling around the net to have an idea in what's the best art medium during that time, I realized that I'd been far behind compare to my co-local artists. Almost all of them are savvy with Photoshop, Corel Draw, Paint Sai, Gif Animator, and even Flash, Premiere Pro, After Effects, and some 3D animation softwares such as Maya, 3DS Max, Sketchup, Autocad and Maxon.
The only thing that I have was this skill of drawing and painting on paper or any tangible canvas. And even with that, my techniques was not as diverse as those who took up art-related courses. My line quality was somehow acceptable, but my shadings were not as assorted as what other artists here in D.A. can do. My principal style is "still life" and for a current viewers, it's not as appealing as those arts that made through computers while using popular anime or cartoon characters as an icing on a cake. For them, other artists, opportunities are just stone-throw away to reach.
Because of this, I'd accepted the fact that somehow, I should consider myself as a "novice" if I want to be a "general artist". But I always kept in my mind that one of my major goals is to come up with a full-length animation of one of my light novels that hasn't been publicized yet. I started observing and paying for some crash course with an airbrush artist, he taught me how shadings, perspective and depth can go hand-in-hand, as well as making an appealing shapes out from a person whom as basis for a caricature. His charge for the tutorial was not that expensive at all if I will consider the impact of his teachings to my latter styles.
For me to have a more varied skills, I need to befriend with other artists regardless of the medium. The earlier ones were traditional artists as well, but they are knowledgeable with PS, Illustrator, and Corel Draw as well. Then comes those who are very shrewd in creating quality film clips. Sooner, those who are living in art as if they're breathing through it. They've shown me that those unperceivable things (which non-artistic minds can't sense) can make a big difference with your artworks. By means of interacting with other artists, it's not tantamount in being not an introvert anymore. I dearly love my cave and I'm not going to compromise it just for a popularity.
During that time, I already have an idea of basic principles of animation, but not with the fundamentals (12 of it), techniques, and the common trend right now which is combining 2 types of animations like traditional & digital, or 2D and 3D. I was so lucky that during that time, there was a show in a Japanese cable channel called "Digi-Sta" or Digital Stadium. The show showcased some masterpieces of professional and amateur animators, artists, and videographers in Japan. It tackles the techniques that isn't noticeable in anime shows yet makes a huge difference, like line styles (solid, broken, rippled), proper use of screen in shooting a subject and it's background, and well-staged sequences to name a few. Every weekend, I religiously watched it and jotting down some pointers which I can incorporate with my personal animation project.
I'd committed my full 8-month of 2009 just to create a 3-minute length traditional animations which showcases my inbetweening skills. It'll be more impressive to know that it was all cut-out (because it's fucking hard to create) but all I want is to show my newly revealed animation skills. It took another 1 1/2 of 2010 to tweak the timing and proper staging that completely follows the song I used in that clip. Believe me, when I first watch it, I felt that I'm luckier than that guy who won P700,000,000.00 in local lottery. It really paid of that I even recall the time that I was a child who are fascinated with animated shows and wanted to work in an animation studio someday.
After several animations, I searched for some new things that I can make my works more diversified. It should be something that I had'nt tried before. One of those that was screaming as f**k is 3-dimensional computer-generated images or "3D CGI". The few thing that hurdles me to explore it was my low-spec system unit and a legit copy which would cost me as much as a second hand mid-sized sedan. My father hired me as his part-time personal driver and after 3 months, I'd saved enough fund to buy a computer set that's good for 3D animation. To have a legal copy of a 3D animation software, I had 2 options, first is to register as a student in the website of 3D software company, the other one is to use a freeware for a while. I'd chosen the latter.
The freeware is 3D Canvas, currently known as 3D Crafter. It has enough features, but compare to what I was seeing in the tutorials of 3DS Max and Maya, it's quite basic. I can only create a non-moving models during that time. No bones, morphing, action-script (or anything-related), and the only complicated thing that I'd done was applying bitmaps, textures, and bumps to objects surfaces.
Time comes that I felt that no matter how eager I am to explore more mediums, as long as it's home schooling, it's still limited.
I decided to be enrolled in a course where it can satisfy my purpose. It must be accessible and the schedule will not compromise my concerns in house and my personal project. I took a course where animation and game development is integrated. My knowledge in animation stands out, yet in programming, I only learnt basics. Somehow, it met my expectations and I graduated with special mention. But like most of a college course, it's not an absolute preparation to a desired career, it taught us the usual basics with the demands in the industry, but still, we are the ones who will explore each certain softwares that most companies require.
Today, I'm still studying independently in my room like what I used to 7 years ago. But unlike what it was, I have more assured career and my credentials are enough to satisfy their requirements. But what really makes me glad is I can easily recall my humble beginnings which reminds me of my purposes on why I have chosen this path.