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"Why anyone would choose to live in a city where a purple hedgehog watches you have sex with your significant other every night is utterly beyond my comprehension"

Harry Partridge @HappyHarry

33, Male

Animation Sensation


Joined on 7/26/04

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My Problem (don't worry, It's nontransmissible)

Posted by HappyHarry - June 30th, 2014

Last saturday I set to work on a pretty standard 2 second shot to be included in a 70 second animated project. Now, this post is already one giant thinly veiled whinge so I'll try not to get too specific about the details and milk every opportunity for a micro-whinge as I go, but I'll say that I ended up spending 12 straight hours on the bastard and then another 10 straight hours on it the next day (though they may have been gay or bi hours, I honestly can't remember).

The point is 22 hours! 22 hours to draw and colour 24 frames and add shading and lighting effects as well as create a background plate.

If that sounds shocking to you then the kicker should come when I tell you that's it's only shocking in its positively un-shockingness. The shot is no more or less ambitious than the 30 or so like it in the short and is just as uninteresting in its concept as it is in its completed form.  The shot lacks the deft grace, flawless draftsmanship, clever colour palette and inspired design choices you'd get in a classic Disney film. It's the typical Harry Partridge fare of just-about-TV-worthy-for-1993 but it's sadly the best I can do in that time.

Time. Bloody time. If I had more of it I could have made something so much better but then it just wouldn't have fit in among the other factory produced shots it calls brothers, and taking longer to make stuff is something I need to avoid like the space-plague.

I like the production line/factory analogy for two reasons. Firstly I'm on the job every day, this is full time work. Secondly, things still get rushed along the conveyor belt and I never feel I spend long on anything...

But my problem is, objectively, I do spend a long time on it. A second of animation a day nets me about 6 minutes a year and I can't stay afloat as an internet content creator with output that small.

I guess I'll wrap this self-loathe-a-thon up by preemptively rebutting the suggestion that I make simpler (uglier) animation which can be pumped out much faster, and quit bawling.

I guess that's what I'll have to do.


Comments (42)

I love you Harry.

for some reason reading this post reminded me of this Twilight Zone clip

i hope that in all the frustration and suffering running trough those words you wrote at least you can find some comfort by knowing you inspired many others to start drawing and animating and not to give up and keep working hard, im one of those. thanks

Assistants, one day you must have them, along with carte blanche and a nigh infinite budget both of which an executive person will grant you.

If not, we and by extension the world, have failed you.

It's important to let fans know what goes on behind the scenes so we know why you might not pump out 20 toons a year or why aspiring artists should take pride in their craft. You're a craftsman and should treat it with the love and attention it deserves, even if it is for a 2second clip. Your work speaks for itself and that's why I've always been a fan!

You're not a Korean production company, you're just one man who accepts a little help now and then.

It is sort of a selfish comfort to know that somebody as amazing as you is struggling. I can totally relate, even though our situations are a bit different. Deciding wether to spend more time on something vs being able to pay rent and buy food next month is a constant battle.

Just like you I am working constantly, every day. The amount of time I put into my games compared to the amount of money I make from it is just absolutely ridiculous. I am broke all the time, but I still love making games as an indie dev and I'm constantly hoping that my big break will come one day and all of this hard work will pay off in the end, but at the end of the day, all I really want is to be able to do what I do now with just a bit more free time and enough money to pay the rent and buy food. I literally cannot keep this up forever or I will lose all other aspects of my life and I wil become in empty shell.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you are not alone... if that makes you feel any better. I really hope things become a little bit easier for you. You have the moral support of many fans, including me.

I know it's a bit different, but I've made next to no money from the games I've made. They've all been received fairly well, but sponsors just don't seem interested and certainly not for enough money to even cover a month of rent.

It sort of becomes a trade off in that you have to give up time working on them and making them their best to finding other ways to earn money to continually support yourself. The worry is that you'll have to work so much to support yourself that you'll not have time to work on the projects that you really want to.

It's rough for sure, but you've got a substantial fanbase to be proud of and I'd kill for a following like yours. We'll all make it eventually though so it's just a matter of pushing through until that day.

" It's the typical Harry Partridge fare of just-about-TV-worthy-for-1993 but it's sadly the best I can do in that time."

I can say, with complete confidence, that television animation is/was NOWHERE NEAR as good as the work you produce, especially in the early 90's. Even 3D animated television series produced nowadays aren't as smooth, polished or appealing. Let's not forget you're just one guy, ONE. They have teams of up to 30 animators most times! Your work is definitely higher than the standard of television.

I don't think you need to create simpler (ugly) animation to satisfy the time restriction! Maybe just simplify other elements, like removing the fully painted backgrounds every now and then or trying black and white? Whatever changes you make, the focus will still be on smooth, sweet animation. You'd simply be removing the extras. That's not to say you'd have to do this every time, just occasionally.

It really sucks to see you so down mate. I've been a fan of yours for years, and I'm constantly inspired by the amazing work you put up time and time again. Regardless of what changes or doesn't change, you have many fans out there who will support your work (even if you think it's ugly, which I'm sure it won't be).

P.S - If you had a patreon or kickstarter, we'd be cramming our wallets into the screen haha.

Ugh, just buy some Koreans...

Wow what a crybaby #owned

You always take so much time to add so much detail to all your animations. I know that feeling of things taking forever because you try too hard to make your stuff as perfect as you can. But you really go all out! You're only one guy and yet you make some of the best animation I've seen.

But you're too hard on yourself. I'm sure people won't mind if you give yourself a break to save some extra time and work. I know I wouldn't! I'm sure whatever you make will look amazing!

I'm sorry you're down, but you totally have my support! I can't wait to see your next ventures.

can we see this 2 seconds ???

You could hire/kidnap some other animators to color or in-between for you.

Let's do it like ancient people: forget about the time and just enjoy what we're doing, slowly (as if the clock is not invented yet). All the stress comes only when you realize that you're spending too much time, so why are you keeping that in check? You can train follower-animators who will continue your work for you after you leave the world. Those adepts would continue your work, then their adepts, and so on for generations. That way you could have a perfect quality movie done in just a few centuries.

use goanimate

Start a new series with less ambitious animation and character designs! Look at Psychicpebbles, he's now uploading half-baked-storyboard-type animations every once and a while just to get some extra content out there. That's not to say you should completely follow this to the t (to the tea? Is that a british saying? What the fuck does that even mean anyway?) but just make some shorts on the side that are much quicker - and more fun - to produce.

I think your style and skill level is something you should definitely preserve, not that you don't already know that, but I'm just saying. Even if you're not uploading as much as Pewdiepie or whoever, the quality of your stuff truly does surpass every other animator on YouTube and NG. I get that it must be hard to survive on an upload every couple months, but don't sacrifice quality for quantity, man. Easier said than done, I know, but still.

Just take more shortcuts man. Make a poll or something among your fans and pick the style that is fastest and they find acceptable enough.

HARRY. YOU INSPIRED ME TO BECOME AN ANIMATOR. then i found other art styles that fit my style. and i have to tell you right now that you can always find other ways of designing your style to speed up the process and also use short cuts bro. i have to tell you right now that if i would work like you do i would never get my work done at all.
use bloody shortcuts. find ways to get your point across in animation with out making too much sacrifice. you have any idea how many dam people are waiting for you to produce stuff? to get your work out there. for real, dont kill yourself for it. we love your work and want you to be happy making it as well. do it for love, not out of stress or pressure.
*pats on back.
now then. find a way that will make you happy, as well as re invent your style and work load to make it easier on yourself as well as discovering shortcuts.
thumbs up and best wishes.

Nice post, but the gif was way too distracting too read it all.

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