The past year was nothing short of challenging, but it was a challenge that overall I came to enjoy. It was exciting to explore new areas and investigate new techniques, developing the skills I had gained. Over the project I definitely felt like I was getting faster as I got better accustomed to the techniques I had picked up, techniques I had learned though trial and error allowed for faster and smoother operation, The intensity of the project as well was a positive as it allowed for an immediate application of my improving skills.
I was ambitious in my goal for the project, three characters and a scene included in a full animation . In some areas I felt I was highly successful, in others there could still be areas for improvement. Although this project was a struggle, at times looking like the goalposts were miles away, and while there were days that taking my mind off the project was very appealing, there were few times where I spent significant periods dwelling on whether I could have done something else. There were indeed times where moving to a different project was enticing, in these cases I learned I was able to solve these feelings by moving to a different aspect of the project (i.e. if model making was taking too long I would spend a few hours either painting or sound compositing). In later stages, afternoon projects unrelated to the main project provided a similar sense of relief. There were times when a smaller project was more inviting, or a different idea entirely, these feelings were often satisfied by the afternoon relief projects.
Being mindful of mental fatigue was one of the more significant lessons I learned over the project. When exhausted, it is not just work quality that slips but unless maintained, mental fatigue can create more significant problems that can build up over weeks and months. As much as I felt the urge to continue working, even on the most productive of days I had my limits. To balance sleep, diet and workload has given more productive results than maximizing my work hours at the cost of other needs.
The project gave me a better understanding of workflow and work practice. I gained a refreshed appreciation for the process it takes to turn a story idea into a visual reality. The project - particularly the search for the right voice artists to go with the project's characters - has given me a strong amount of confidence in the various skills and processes required to make a film a reality.
Overall I am proud of what I have accomplished. I set out on an ambitious goal, and at times this goal felt very far away, but to reach it despite the magnitude of the challenge that was before me has felt like an enormous accomplishment.