Back by popular demand. If you are unfamiliar with what the sketchbook is, use the links below to see what was done the past two years. In a nutshell its a giant collaborative who's-who of ng artists and personalities merged into a sketchbook which eventually winds up in the ng office.
Due to overwhelming interest, the project is now all booked up. If you strongly feel like you need to participate send me a PM.. who knows i may give you an extra.
Below is the list of the usernames that will be getting a sheet at some point. If you want to monitor whether your sheet has been mailed out goto this Google Doc and look it up. Updated weekly.
69. UnderARock (x2)
83. BryceMilburn & NathanielMilburn
I finally got my ass in gear and put together a small mini-gallery of the NG @ NY Big Apple Con shenanigans. I merged photos I've found floating the forums as well as 40 of my own. That should just about wrap up that whole experience. Again thanks to everyone for coming along to show your support for that.
A number of people asked me if there would be a NG Sketchbook Tour this year... my original answer would have been no, it just takes a lot of time and effort to put together and I wanted to just be lazy all summer. However, due to the overwhelming interest in it I think I will go ahead kick it off at the end of the month. The specs on that will be provided then, my pal Mogly had a pretty cool idea for it that I want to spin-off of. This year I will definately limit the amount of entries. As much as I want to include everyone, it just becomes really hard to manage. So stay tuned for that. I dont have a concrete timetable but I'm thinking that you'll have all of July to express interest and for me to mail out all my entries. After July the mailing process will be over and you'll have roughly a month and a half to fill your entry and mail it back. If all goes well, maybe the project will be over by the next convention appearance later this year. More info later.
The last piece of news is that people have been asking me where the next newgrounds gathering is going to be next. For the sake of making your life easier i've provided some info of things I have in my radar:
Comic Con San Diego July 24-26
PAX Penny Arcade Explo August 29 - 31
NG London Meet 3 August 30
I literally just got home, just wanted to say thanks to everyone that came out to show your support for the site. It was kind of a big gamble on Tom's part to step aside and see if we could pull it off this convention without him having to roll his sleeves up and I'm pretty happy to say that we held our own. I definately know that it could not have been made possible without the efforts of everyone behind the booth in particular. It's kind of a lame way of expressing thanks but you've all gained a HUGE amount of respect from me and im sure from newgrounds itself to not only getting yourself to New York but then making a proactive role in trying to make the NG booth as vibrant and exciting as the site itself.
I'll be throwing together a mini-site much like the Pico Day Art Contest thing that I did, I'll hopefully have that up by Wed., If you have any photos or would like to contribute any, please feel free to PM me .. in fact I highly encourage it.
Again, huge thanks to everyone that came out. We've set the tone and hopefully with repeated attempts the userbase will not only grow but become more vocal and proactive.
Thank you Tomamoto for your huge enthusiasm to fill in the cracks that we overlooked. Thank you Eric Black for working behind the scenes to even make the idea of the booth at this con even possible... Thank you Krinkels for making such a long trip over.. to The-Swain for being the face of NG's creative voice and spirit.... to Afro-Ninja for helping us out in prepping up the booth and handling all the book keeping... to Bob for prepping all the merch. at the office so all i literally had to do was pick it up. To EyeLovePoozy for 'making things happen' ... dont really need to explain it, we all already know what that means... you bailed us out of some close calls and you totally deserve kudos for it. Thanks to Tom and April for making the trip up and providing some street cred to the NG booth. Special thanks to everyone who helped us load shit up after the con was over, I'll do something more elaborate in regards to thanks later but i just wanted to just get that out there.
Last but not least thank you MindChamber, you were literally my partner in crime in this whole crazy idea, I'm extremely grateful for you knocking this out of the ballpark... and by that i not only mean this past weekend but waaaay before when it was just an idea.
Thank you everyone.. feel free to drop me a PM, i'll totally get back to you. See you at the next con.
Well im off to the office to prep for that Big Apple Con I've endlessly plugged. See ya thar!
If you come by the booth and say the phrase 'more cock jokes = more profits.' i'll give you a sticker. I think Tom was thinking of changing everything by everyone to that.
If anyone wants to mod over the weekend just drop me a PM!!!
I'm back posting interviews, I took a break last month since the interviews and pico day clashed and i chose to concentrate on that. Sorry. Anyway they are back now.
Before I get to the interview, check out my Previous post on Big Apple Con going on this weekend!! Come on out and say hi if you are in the NY area. Secondly, check out TommyLM's new flick titled, Art in the Playground... its one of those feel good movies and he barely ever makes something so when he does I have to plug him. I do host his site afterall. And last but not least, its my dear Splapp-me-do's B-day go pop in and say hello.
OK enough of that, on to the interview! As usual you can see this interview with pretty pictures here
Greetings, the first question is the basic one to get things kicked off... this question actually might be more useful to people than it usually is because you are not as heavily in the public eye as some past guests. So first question is, who are you? How did you fall prey into the clutches of animation and / or flash animation in particular?
My name is Kevin Okulolo and I've been a fan of Newgrounds and flash animation for years now. I go to UC Davis, but I was born in Oakland, raised in Berkeley, and loved every minute of it. I'm half Nigerian ("African") and half Michiganian ("White"), emphasis on the mix. I grew up skateboarding, drawing, and exploring my mind (know what I mean?)
To be honest, the very first animation I saw on NG was probably "all your base are belong to us", back when it first came out. Me and my friends used to just DIE watching it. But what really got me into flash animation was when I took a summer course in "digital animation" that taught me the very basics of Flash. I knew, probably from the first day of working with it, that it was a ridiculously powerful tool for traditional 2D animation. I've never been interested in making 3D animation (though I love every Pixar movie to date), so when I started working with Flash and started seeing crazy good animations pop up like Paladin's Synj vs. Horrid, or Phillips' Bitey of Brackenwood, I couldn't help but get deep deep into this thing called Flash Animation.
Ahh yea Synj vs Horrid is a classic. I still find myself watching that movie and thinking up ways to port over some of the techniques. Ok so as I've mentioned already, you've recently released the sequel to the highly anticipated Story of Khale series, before actually diving into a discussion about the sequel itself, could you tell us a bit about the series itself? Maybe a quick 15-second pitch for those unfamiliar with it... What inspired you to create the character Khale or even the world Khale lives in (Rellitrea)?
The story itself was born of many days where my friends and I would kick it in my room, getting creative and writing down cool ass shit to put in a story. Eventually, through the years I've been working on it, it has developed into a completely autobiographical piece. The story will follow Khale, trained as a warrior with the forest elves of Gunda, who will be sent to war 'for his country', and will find a lot more than courage along the way. I don't see the series as a fantasy, but rather as a way to express how the world the way I've experienced it. I don't think reality is realisitic, but rather it will always have a ridiculous, fantastical, rushing feeling of life always hitting you in the face for the first time, or filling you with wafting sorrow. I've felt life very intensely (due to Bipolar Disorder) and I wrote this story to try and express how I have experienced life. So the friends in the story are my friends from real life, my real mom even plays the Mama character, and my dad (in real life named Baba-Ken) plays Baba, Khale's father.
That's pretty cool that your parents are very supportive and even take an active role in helping you put your visions on screen. I remember interviewing SickDeathFiend last year and he got his drive by doing what his parents DIDNT want him to do. It's interesting.
Well while we are on the subject of Khale, I noticed his proportions changed drastically from back when he was first seen in Khale vs. Fooh 'N' ceO. Do you have any juicy tidbits as to why you went with an almost total makeover?
Khale vs. Fooh'N'ceO was the first animation I ever completed. It is the product of that four week summer class on 'Digital Animation'. So that was WAY before I ever really went 100% with the designing process, or with my animation studies, or had the right tools... So, suffice it to say, look at the dates =P. The Story of Khale will evolve with my skill as an artist. With a timeline of one episode every 6 months (the slowest it could possibly go, IE the speed it is going now, without any outside help, while going to college and working part time), the series' 42 episodes will last the better half of my life. So you ought better get used to some evolution of the characters. But, in case the change between the trailer and episode 2, Khale will start his adventure as a small child in middle school, but will grow to a full fledged adult by the end of the series, so he changes a bit in size and proportion every episode.
42 episodes, Jesus Christ! You certainly have your work cut out for you to say the least! Speaking of episodes, one of the interesting things about the series, was that the first episode in a way doesnt really feel like a first episode... the real backbone of the series comes in this latest one. What was your reasoning for opening the series like that?
Well there are a couple reasons. I see the series as eventually combining into a long movie, to be watched as a piece as a whole. Secondly, when approaching the series, I wanted to first set the mood, and let you know what direction the series is going in. Also, I knew I wanted my skills to improve before I really set into animating the storyline, so it was kinda like a practice run for me too =D
I liked that you didnt dive into the storyline. Alot of series have a tendency to overload you with info from the very start and it starts feeling like a CHORE watching it. You know what I mean? Ok, so fast foward roughly a year later after the first episode, this episode obviously had a bit more sophistication in its delivery and technique than the first one, but was there any particular challenges that you faced this time that perhaps were unique to the episode OR is there any particular change in your execution that you can recall that perhaps might be overlooked by the casual viewer?
Well, the biggest change in my work style between the two, is that after I did Gangsta Bean for 6 months (and really worked on my animation skills, reading all kinds of art/animation books), I used the prize money from the MaxGames challenge and invested in a Wacom Cintiq (which I highly recommend to anyone who's considering buying it). It totally changed my process. With the Cintiq, I could not only draw more easily/better, it allowed me to draw much more quickly (due to the natural feel of the stroke (that's what she said)). This allowed me to add more frames into the movements, to get that smoother movement, while actually animating much faster than before still. The climax of Episode 2, with the huge skate trick over the gap, and the traditionally animated response of the vendor JoJo, was animated in under a week, including colored lines, all the hair/muscles on JoJo, and the movement of that cloth. That scene was especially hard, but satisfyingly quick to animate due to the Cintiq.
I'll have to look through that sequence again to overanalyze it now that you've told me that. So one of the things I love/hate about the portal is that moment of tension when you've just submitted something.. no matter how awesome (or not) its like waiting in pergatory waiting on jesus to let you in.... where in this case you wait for the general crowd to hopefully accept your hard work. Its not so much that one fears that it will be blammed but you're like really interested to know what people will think of the mini hell you went through to entertain em for a few mins. So my question is this, first of all, do you feel that way at all when you submit and more importantly what did you make out of the response to your second episode in general? Any particular mental notes you've been able to make based on some feedback that perhaps you see yourself considering on the next episode?
Well I was coming off of a couple of submissions that a really thought went underrated (not to toot my own horn) and felt a bit disappointed in NG for a bit (as with how there are so many very poorly generated flash animations that are so well-received by NG, cough Halo in general cough cough). I was overwhelmed with the way Episode 1 was recieved, but shocked and completely disappointed when it got 6th place monthly, losing it's spot to none other than a Starfire (pedofile much?) Rape Hentai. It was like a kick in the soul. Then after a few serious bugs hurt the score of GB (but lost to the very deserving Age of War), I was overjoyed to see the tremendous reaction to Episode 2! I've received so much love from the community, including a generous donation from you =D. I'm very excited to see how my next release, Gangsta Bean 2, will be received.
Ahh yeah, to be honest I saw Story Khale through a link that Tom sent me, usually I am able to run into really awesome animations on my own. Sometimes things just slip through the cracks, I guess.
Ok I think I've exhausted all my Khale-related questions, on to something different.... what are you up to besides that series? You started to talk about Gangsta Bean so I may as well steer the questions towards flash games, how do you feel making animations for games compares to making animations for movies? What do you like or not like about it?
I love games, I grew up on games. The sega genesis and DOS were my god-parents. So I'm crazy stoked to finally have the ability and the sponsorship (now from AddictingGames.com) to make games all by myself!! How nuts is that! I'm having a lotta fun making games, I feel like that's when I really get to be the silly me and have fun killing stuff at the same time. Games are where I feel like a kid again. But here's the wonderful part, the Story of Khale, after episode 3, will go hand in hand with The Fights of Khale, a Story of Khale fighting game that will have new releases with every new Story of Khale episode. The Fights of Khale's characters will get older as the Story of Khale chars get older, and new characters in the series will appear in the game. That way, like with series' like Naruto or DBZ, you can PLAY the characters you just watched, and even fight out the same fight you saw in the episode. After Gangsta Bean 2 is released in August, production on Episode 3 and simultaneously The Fights of Khale, so that about this time next year, there will be two more Leafworthy games, and another episode of The Story of Khale.
That'd be pretty cool for the series to really embrace both the animated and game aspects of the Flash medium. That would make the series super-immersive from all sorts of angles.
What's next for you anyway? Both flash-wise and maybe career-wise? Where would you say you see yourself in 2018, and dont give me that world is gonna end 2012 bullshit just so you dont have to type alot!
In 2018 I'll be ten years older and have a LOT of the series and games done, as well as hopefully be starting up a studio of my own by then. I'd love to work for about a decade in the industry, working at the major studios and working freelance for a bit, but I would hope to someday be able to have my own studio, where I could produce Khale faster and with a much higher budget. That way episodes could come out monthly instead of every 6 months, and could be longer, with more original music and with the money to buy legitimate licenses for copy-written songs. But lets not get ahead of ourselves, after UC Davis, I'm heading down to L.A. to find work in the industry. My brother Kalil Wilson and my parent's are thinking of moving down, so I'll probably be in LA for some years. Until then, I'm try to build a big fat portfolio with The Story of Khale, Gangsta Bean, and freelance work (to anyone who needs ANY animation, shoot me an email at Kevin@leafworthy.com).
Well you certainly have the drive for what is shapping up to be a really monster series. The whole integrating the games into the story is just brilliant if you are able to manage to do that.
Ok laaast question, this is kind of nerdy but I'll go for it anyway.... ok so lets pretend you've won the Flash lottery and you have the money to commission one major upgrade for the next installment of Flash, what sort of thing would you pick?
1) Get rid of the ridiculous number of crashes/audio bugs that have been in Flash for upgrade after upgrade.
2) Include arcing/bowing skewing effects that Illustrator has.
3) Get rid of the weird random sensitivity-less large dots that happen when drawing with the brush with a pen tablet.
4) Include a way to select a bunch of frames and convert it to a graphic/movie clip symbol, instead of having to copy and paste it into a symbol manually.
Thank you very much for the interview!
Booo... the bugs are what make flash loveable arent they???
Come on out and meet:
and others whom i forgot about! (sorry)
Come out buy some shit and support the site that has breastfed you all these years. There will be some stuff available for sale that isnt available at the store, so if anything you can go home knowing you are just a tad cooler than the rest of the users who cant go and will just sit at home and make masturbation topics in the general forum.
Anyway if you have never been to a comic con then you should try and make it out to one at some point in your life... theres always some unexpected things that come up. such as shooting people in the balls and declaring a flash-off with akshinskript 3.0.... and conversations about tentacle dicks.
Heres some highlights from past comic conz:
San Diego Comic Con 07
San Diego Comic Con 07
San Diego Comic Con 06
I've been feeling very retro lately... and i love rediculous villians.
How many sexual innuendos can you count?
I also had this song stuck in my head........... actually i just realized this was uploaded by ng's own scribbler .. small world i guesss
I've been listening to alot of foreign shit lately... anyway i had a spur of the moment idea to goto the Airwaves Festival in Iceland. So I just booked my shit. I'll be in Rekjavik, Iceland in Octoberrrr. This is probably the most random place ive decided to get up and goto...
My pal Hakon just showed me this clip and i thought id share it. I feel like fightin somethin right now!
Ok I didnt vote yet. I'm gonna probably just wait until the last day and go with my gut. The problem I'm having is that i know which ones i like i just cant decide the order.. and this type of voting system puts heavy burden on what order things are ... and its not like voting on the portal where my vote means shit... for once in my life my voting power might actually make a difference.
Anywho, in other news... I'm setting up the return of the Artist of the Month interview. I took a break from it last month cause i was so busy with Pico shit.
I really enjoy interviewing people and I do have some people lined up who were interested in that shit so thats coming back on June 1st.
Speaking of June, on June 7-8 me and some NG peeps will be in the NY area with a Newgrounds booth at BigAppleCon. If you recall not long ago, Mindchamber blogged about how we were considering it and well we decided we're going to take that leap. Considering this is a very rare thing for an NG booth to have an actual east coast appearance it would be great for people to swing by say hello, buy some shit to support the mothership. It's all great to be part of newgrounds and for Tom and his goons to introduce new features and shit but sometimes its cool to show some support for the site and keep it thriving.
Last bit of news, since BoMToons is out in Italy and I have nothing to make sprites for :(
I've decided to do a short for the RWD. I'm going to work on it hardcore this week.. maybe i can have it out before the month is out.
: SORRY TO BE SUCH A COCKTEASE ABOUT THE TROPHIES I REALLY WOULD TELL YOU WHO I VOTED FOR IF I DID. COME ON. <========3
I think I'm going to take a break from my regular projects and work on somethin for the RWD....
As for what my regular projects actually are, well i am workin on more games mostly.
I have this one game I'm going to be workin on that i want to synch with the anniversary of Tom's Luis Day Song... I'm still unsure what angle i'll take with it but i was talkin to Kenney earlier today and he suggested i call it Luis CastaNUN. and you play as me dressed like a nun... i was intruiged by it and i couldnt resist testing it out.
What do yall think?