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Prelude

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Well I was originally planning to wait until I released the next episode before I made another entry, but I keep getting requests for one despite answering questions in the comments (I don't have a forum). First off, Episode 4 is getting close to done, I plan to have it out in less than a week. It's an obvious step up production-wise from the others and so far I'm pretty pleased with how it's looking.

That said, working on this episode turned into somewhat of a negative experience for me. It feels like I'm wasting so much time setting up the scene, animating mundane things, and constantly working around the bugs and shortcomings of the Source engine. While I did have some help on this one, I didn't see the workload savings I was hoping for. This episode will span multiple maps and I invested at least a month in simply creating one of the maps. What it boiled down to mainly was that most people weren't able to spare the same kind of psychotic time devotion to this that I was, or that communication wasn't very good in that I would have to explain things in such detail or correct existing work that it would be faster to do it myself. Ultimately I think it's a safe estimate that I ended up doing about 95% of the work on this episode.

The reason I don't update more frequently is because I don't want dozens of updates and no progress to show for it. I'm becoming very frustrated with the production rate since mine is horrific. Machinima is supposedly a time-saving medium, but so far I'm not seeing any of it. For these reasons, after I release Episode 4, I'm going to put the series on hold until I find a better way of producing these. I'm convinced there are better techniques out there, since I think most machinima makers don't seem to have the same kinds of problems I do, which makes me think I must be doing something wrong. I'm going to explore different options after I finish this and I will probably have to learn new software in order to do so. Right now, the process is simply too time consuming for me to keep it up for much longer the way it is. As it is, in making the first 3 episodes, it was essentially a solid burn where I just sacrificed my free time in order to make it happen. To put it in perspective, I'm an avid movie fan and I've only watched 2 movies since I stated making this in October. While that's not a hardship or anything, it does discourage me from wanting to make more of these episodes. I feel like most of the time I spend on these episodes is the result of not having the right tools or resources for what I'm trying to do, so this is what I'm going to focus on in the future otherwise the work/production ratio will be too much for me to want to continue doing this in the future. The best analogy I can make is that I feel like I'm trying to cut down a forest with a hatchet and I want a chainsaw.

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It will all come out ok in the end. The idea is that you, the creator, feel comfortable with what you are intending to do. If it doesn't seem right to you, it probably will suck for us. Put it on hold if it's really necessary, but don't end it. You have a growing fanbase that believes in you and won't give up on the series. You rule, dude, and so does your series, your characters, ideas and your imagination. Don't forget about your fans, (being that now you have many) Good luck in the future, hope you get around your present "bug"

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So the animation I did was less than 5% of the total work load?!
I knew you had a lot to do but not that much. If there is anything else I can help with just tell me. I'm on summer break now so I have plenty of free time.

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Yeah man, it's insane. The one large map alone sucked up a ton of a time. Also don't think I'm not grateful for the work that you did do. Even though I had to edit a few things afterwards, you still saved me a lot of time. That's the point, the time load on this is ridiculous right now, which says to me that my methods are flawed.

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I don't think the methodology is flawed, it simply sounds like you are creating a lot of custom content, which is always difficult. Look at Bloodspell, or any new game, or heck, even Pixar's movies. Hopefully, it will be worth it in the end, especially if you can reuse some of that content (which means that maybe a series is the way to go).

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hey ross.
Don't think that you are doing something wrong here which is slowing you down. as pretty much as a single person, you have produced machinima that is above par of those who have dozens of people doing the same or less amount of work(i'm looking at you, roosterteeth). This is the BEST stuff out there. you are an animator. you actually make it look like these people are speaking, like the objects were filmed in real life and digitized (such as the radio in Aliens). No matter how much you do or don't do, it is still the same. You are the BEST one out there.

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i hope you didnt feel pressured to release the episodes too soon. i think that a lot of people wanted you to give a release date on the videos but things just dont get done like that. making these videos can eat up much time but that is how some things are. i hope you can find better ways of making CP in the future.

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your machinima compared to others is far superior. which is probably why it takes so long to complete. I congratulate you for your efforts and am a bit sad that you will be putting it on hold. I do enjoy your episodes but heck. I don't want you to miss out on transformers and other block buster movies this summer. Just take your time

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Don't give up! The hold won't be so bad, because most of us will have summer break now. I hope you'll find a way to have more fun making the episodes then we have watching them

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I am sure everyone appreciates the work you are putting into this, and will be pleased with what you produce. Don't worry about silly things like posting and comments, we know you'll bring us something great in the end

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Civil Protection are more better than red vs blue so alot of people are willing to to help hell i would help if i knew anything about source (but maybe doing the voices) anyways take ur time finding out how to make this easier and get more people to help u. i think the people from garry's mod can help u. i think their site is called Facepunch Studios (http://boredatschool.net/index.php?q=aHR0cDovL2ZvcnVtcy5mYWNlcHVuY2hzdHVkaW9zLmNvbQ%3D%3D)
or something they should know alot about source. hope that helps

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Wow, lot of responses.

D.ex: Don't worry, even though I've been getting kind of frustrated, the end result is looking killer, so the quality isn't suffering.

Bilius: I haven't gotten around to watching Bloodspell yet, but I know they have over a dozen episodes, so that's still substantial. Do you know how long the series took to make? As for Pixar, I'd hate to think that's where I'm headed, they have armies of people animating their movies as opposed to my limited means.

anonymous dude 1: Thanks, if you think it's good now, just wait until 4.

anonymous dude 2: That's another reason I don't update much.

hlfan: Don't worry, it's not being rushed, that's for damn sure, once I set a certain standard for myself I can only do it so fast.

anonymous dude 3: Thanks, I do have some ideas for efficiency, but it's still in the experimental phase. Also fyi, I intend to have Dave be a fan of Transformers also.

Tori: I'm not, which is why I'm trying to approach this differently so I don't burn out. Believe me, there are some episodes I REALLY want to make still.

mike: Well I only type these once my computer is choking on CPU cycles doing motion blur or compiling or something, so there's not too much wasted time

yet another anonymous dude: I'll see, I really do have an idea that could overhaul my efficiency, but I need to experiment first.

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What about asking the other Hl2 film makers for advice?

Better than learning for yourself the hard way.

Oh also Civil Protection is AWESOME!

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i cant wait

i hope you enter this in some vid com

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To save some time it might be a good idea to use existing HL 2 maps or pull modded ones off of the net and fix any flaws in them. i don't know ifyou've done this but i thought it could help.

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Wow I can't wait to see it

Hopefully you will find a way to let your creativity roll like it should.

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Hey Ross,
The work you are doing here is awesome, and like anonymous 1 said it is better than any of rooster teeth's work. Also from your description of the pressure you are under, if I was you, I probably would have quit by now. You are doing an awesome job and I believe I speak for a majority of you fans when I say that we have the patience to wait a year for each and every episode you make. That is how good you are.

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You've begun to develop a fanbase, as you can see. Worth of mouth is spreading. Keep up the good work, man. Power through the hard times, you'll be recognized more and more for your efforts.

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big adam: Most others that I've seen tend to be using Garry's Mod, and for Ep. 4 especially I'll be doing some things that simply aren't possible with it.

anonymous named dude 1: I do that for every episode. I'm certainly not a mapper even though I did way more than I thought possible for this episode, but really I'm borrowing Valve's material. Even Ep. 3 is a conversion of a canals level.

daredude: I don't think you speak for everyone when you say you have the patience for a year. The thing is, a lot of my time is lost to things that I think I can find faster methods to. Stuff like writing, voice acting, editing isn't going to get any faster, but that doesn't bother me.

StormTrooper: Yeah, it's weird, I'm not used to having fans. I feel like I should be doing something with you people, like starting a cult, or hiring you as henchmen so I can take over the world. I guess you have to take these things one step at a time.

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