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One Day Voice Acting Woes

Voice acting's no easy business!

I finally got around to trying my lines for a collab I'm participating in. The animator asked for them this week, and it's currently the last day of this week, and I'm not really feeling at the top of my game right now. Some of the lines require laughing like a black man, and never mind the black part, but laughing, naturally?! It may be one of the hardest things you can try. Especially when you're acting.

In real life I've always been somewhat proud of how naturally laughter came to me. When I was younger. When I actually laughed out loud.

I still do just not as frequently; not with the same ease as I did back then. Now it sometimes feels like I have to force authentic laughter just to keep myself happy, and in the realm of voice acting... no dice. Can't do that. Gotta make it sound not forced no matter what.

To make things worse I am running out of voice! I should've started on this when I had plenty of time to spare, for consecutive warm-up's and recording sessions, not one final day after a week without particularly much voicing, where it's all the more difficult to warm up to the warmer tones I need right now. Reminder to keep your voice consistent. And constant. At all times. Always ready.

I voiced a quick role earlier this week, just two lines then, but with this particular project I'm in company of three professional voice actors, of which one usually always does her lines for money, and it'd be a lie to say I'm not slightly intimidated by working with such greats. Like I have a place in their bastions of vocal mastery. Like I can actually do accents. Like I didn't start rapping more because I can't sing than because that's my true passion... or is it?

Maybe it is? Maybe it just really is the best modern day amplification of poetry there is, where focus is on lyrics more so than music and voice; the elements that I feel really matter?

But I better get back to my black voice now. Almost wish I wouldn't have applied for this; that I'd have let the animator find a black dude instead. Or any dude who's good at sounding like a black dude.

But I am good at black dudes! I have the perfect black dude voice.

You'll hear when this collab comes out y'all.

I over-dramatize a bit but that's why I blog you know. To clear my mind and so. And it's good to get out of your comfort zone. Just gotta relax, sound natural, laugh a little, and move onto whatever other dues await today...

They're piling up lately. And making me go crazy. Slightly. But it may be.

Okay.

You Gotta Know The Power...

You gotta know the power of your quiet.

The Root Of The Problem

I had a jam game today. Deadline at midnight. Hoped I'd get it done way before then (I'm actually typing in this post around 5 PM - still have barely made it past the interface design - writing this a little ahead of time) but of course it's probably going to be done at the last moment possible...

Technically I have a few hours extra before midnight EST, but work awaits tomorrow and I didn't sleep well last night (tailbone pain all of a sudden, can't lie on my back - can't lie easily on my sides either - very problematic) so I really don't want to stay up that late if I can help it.

This is all beside the point though. Neither here nor there. Nor over there. Nor anywhere.

But anyway, the point is: I think I finished up my interface bit about an hour or so ago. Maybe even earlier. A complex mash-up of movie clips and tweens and buttons as to give the game a floating kind of feeling (you'll see if you play it) and the only thing that remained was adding in some actions to those buttons to direct the users to the relevant frames within said game... and it just wouldn't work! I used an action I'm pretty sure I've used plenty of times before, namely:

on(press){_root.gotoAndPlay(1);}

...but it just didn't happen! Nothing happened when you pressed it.

I tried copying the button outside the movieclip it was embedded in.

I tried copying it outside the additional movieclip it was embedded in within that (had one for a rotating question mark in addition the wave FYI).

I tried swapping out _root for _parent, and adding in the scene number along with the frame, and adding in a frame name instead of the number, and then actually copying the button outside the movieclip and removing that _root bit there... and suddenly it worked fine.

What's the problem? _root is an accepted parameter, so why wouldn't that work?

I've been looking through code examples and tutorials and what-not trying to figure this out, wondering if maybe a button can't be clickable within a tween, or with layered MCs, or with too many MCs on the same frame, or if there was maybe a problem with the MC name (it had a space in it, could that be it?). Tried applying the code to the MC itself instead of the button too. The MC doesn't play then, but debug doesn't say there's anything wrong with it, might actually work with button actions on an MC - finna need to test that a bit further some other time.

In the end though I settled for a working workaround. I cut out the _root bit of it all, and instead just added in a regular gotoAndPlay within the MC, beyond the last frame of the loop, with this:

_root.gotoAndPlay(4);

...and...

gotoAndPlay(1);

...on the last frame of the loop, as to keep it looping seamlessly without automatically taking the user to the aforementioned frame in the root of all should the user not click said button.

And it worked! For some reason it works when the action's applied to the frame itself, but not when it's applied to the button.

I'm battled, and slightly frustrated I spent one or two hours on this tiny thing, but that's that. And that's it for writing/spending all the more time on this thing that I don't really need to spend time on. It's functional though. Documentation and vent in one.

Now onto the rest of that game...

Lies & Tricks!

Want to join in on a random four five seven day game jam hosted by the highly spontaneous @ChibiWilli who just asked if I'd help spread the word about a jam if he'd decide to host one and then moments later hit me back with this link that holds all the details you'll need to get started on said game if you so choose to join?

The theme is lies, games that'll tell you one thing, but aren't actually telling the truth. First place wins 10 USD, and digital trophies await for all top three. :) The jam starts in an hour and a half and the deadline is February 27th 2021 at 12:08 AM! (EST? Maybe? Click link above for counter.)

If you have a moment to spare this weekend and two three five days and feel like delving into the realm of falsehood and trickery maybe this is just the thing for you!

Never made a game before? It's never too late to start.

Could possibly enter your game into the Flash Forward Jam currently running at NG at the same time if you happen to dabble with Flash too! Direct potential ponderings regarding the jam here plz.

Good luck. And/or may the best jam win.

UPD: One more day to deadline! And I just joined.
UPD: And two more!

Fat Tuesday 2021

Fat Tuesday 2021

It's that day again! Or was, this Tuesday, just been a bit too swamped to post any pics.

Of course we're still going according to tradition though, this year with a batch of home-baked oat-based buns that'll probably be lasting at least a couple weeks. No commercial ones this year.

They didn't turn out exactly as planned - a bit more flour than necessary and as such a bit more compact than they may have been meant to be but - still good. Soon as you add in that cream and almond honey.

Happy Belated Fat Tuesday y'all.

The Work Thing

Midlife crisis? Work-related crisis? Life-related crisis? Whatever the crisis my vice is: thinking too much about this.

I can't keep work off my mind even during the weekends lately, and I wonder if that has to do with working from home so much, and not differentiating between locations for free time and work time. It's not ideal, but driving to the office everyday's not ideal either. Not for finances, nor for time, nor for the potential health detriments that might come with all too much mobility in these crazy times...

But the problem isn't really that work's always on my mind. The problem's the work. I'm not working with something I fundamentally enjoy, and somehow I seem to have moved further and further from the realm of optimal creative design, and more monotone but acceptable regular IT work and administration, to the realm of server administration, command-line, and digging through code and trying to figure out how it works as to solve company problems I'm not really qualified to deal with...

It's taking a toll. And dues pile. I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere, and that I'm being underappreciated for what I do manage to do considering the overwhelming complexity of all the more of an effort I make to actually keep up with it.

I have years worth of education within the field of design and basic programming languages linked to web-related ditto. I'm self-taught initially. I honed my skills with further university level learning. I love design. And content. I love tinkering with sites like this. I tried a C++ course once and realized that wasn't my thing, yet the gap between design and code these days seems to be shrinking. Not only do the same agencies deal with both - with combined efforts from programmer/designer side - but plenty of talented individuals really delve as deep into one side of the business as the other one. The old cliche that programmers focus only on the functional aspects of something - and how the design always comes second and ends up looking like shit - doesn't seem to apply anymore.

Maybe for some. I don't see it though. Everyone's hella talented these days.

I've never considered the opposite as much. That those who consider themselves primarily designers might focus all too much on the visual, and that their work instead ends up lacking in functionality. Does that apply? I feel like functionality's a part of design too. Interface design is a thing. It just might be my specialty. Though implementing desired interface functionality in code if it isn't there already, if you don't have a programmer to help you with it, is another beast entirely.

Maybe I'm just not cut out for this kind of work.

Computer work.

I doubt by the burdens that pile, and observe for a while, it's so verdant outside, as I curl in denial, always bursting with rhymes, never searching to fly, only biding my time while the vultures come circle. A circle of jerks.

I'm a worldly observer.

But really though. Stressed out.

Don't want to let the company down, but can't keep going like this all too long either. Energy depletes, focus becomes a challenge, getting up in the morning's difficult, I try all sorts of self-affirmation tricks but no serious meditation yet. Momentary experimentation only goes so far. D-vitamin no longer seems to be the cure-all for my winter depression... cause this no longer has much to do with winter does it? No darkness is due. Our weather's beautiful. Both sun and snow for three weeks now. It's incredible. I should be so uplifted.

Nor do the cold showers kickstart me as they initially used to. Nor does coffee work as a viable replacement for that kick - it just gives me a headache if I skip a cup, and deep-breathing, music, writing, all this shizzle... it's not enough! Not when I'm not actually doing something about my great hurdle; keep on letting it grow to unsustainable proportions. Some day it's gonna fall.

My job. Such a central part in life. Whether it's me or them - or a combination thereof - I need to either regain a sense of purpose and peace or get the fuck out of here. Find something that truly matters. That gets me where I want to be. That lets me feel free. Or more so just: let's me feel.

Something good. Something real. Something that syncs with my ideals.

For now though: venting. This work thing. Lamenting. I'm searching. But spending. Still maybe a bit too much time on other things... but some of those are grueling too. Overload. The usual cue. No true solution, so do I brood. Hopefully, slowly, moving through. Work.

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