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The last couple of days, out of nowhere, my pageviews spiked up to about 600% of my typical measly daily numbers. But no images got slammed with faves or comments, nothing at all to indicate what might have suddenly brought a rush of people to my page for about 48 hours. Wha'appen?
I'm at 69,999 pageviews, people!

Send a screen grab as proof that you're #70K, and I'll try to come up with some kind of reward. Don't pressure me, I'm neck-deep in Portal short work and only just noticed this right now!
A little press never hurt anybody!…

Portal and Portal 2 ©Valve Software
Chell Theme Music for Companionship by alexzemke

Hey all!

For those who've wondered about the progress of this short, it's kind of a long story. After the major coverage that emerged over my Portal fan film, "Companionship", a ton of people wanted to get involved, and thanks to my artistic naivete and my inexperience with such overwhelming attention, I fell into an age-old pitfall: "scale creep".
The short version: what started as a tiny little personal project quickly ballooned into a major one, and last year it essentially collapsed under its own weight! What normally happens at that point is that the film simply dies, gets abandoned, and becomes a regrettable memory.
But too many people had already devoted too much of their talent to the pre-production of that oversize mess, and for my part, I'm not really into quitting things these days.
So after a much-needed break from the frustration, I rolled up my sleeves and got back into it. I took the overlong script and streamlined it, cutting the length by more than half while retaining the overall story and theme. I looked at the production elements we'd been struggling with, and made some deep cuts to limit it just to what we know how to do now, instead of what we'd hoped to eventually learn. Anything that threatens to stall the project from here on out will simply get worked around with some creative problem solving, which is something I'm actually good at.
I'm working with a few other people now to put together the new story reel, and so far things are looking pretty damn sweet. I honestly think the film will end up a good deal better for all the lessons learned in that first attempt, and as we create more substantial material worth showing, I'll start sharing it here again. Thank you to everyone who has worked on and/or supported this project. You people are awesome!

Jesse Eisenberg is Lex Luthor, and it won't make a lick of difference.

Here's why:…
Seems we've hit the front page of Reddit again! Same old image, too. Still making the rounds out there, I guess.…
Looking forward to getting the teaser trailer out there, wonder what kind of reaction it'll get!

Portal and Portal 2 Valve Software
Guess I'm pretty shitty about watching the meter. I missed when my account hit 50,000 page hits, and this week I missed when my car hit 200,000 miles.

Obviously, I feel worse about missing the page hits. The car's an inanimate object that I'll drive until it collapses from metal fatigue. But proper dA artists post some sort of thank-you to their visitors when they hit a milestone like that, and I just totally let it slip by. I know I've been super busy this year, but I still feel bad about it. A real opportunity missed. I should do something for 55,000 maybe? 60,000?
I just deleted a lengthy entry on the obscene workload that's kept me away from my film almost the entire year so far, because who gives a shit about that?

There's been a teaser trailer in the works for a while, but for the longest time our ship was rudderless, as the director (me) was physically incapable of contributing substantially to production.

That time has been over for a couple weeks now, though, and progress is swift! We're moderately bottlenecked right now by some short-handedness in textures and fx animation, but those few crew members are putting their very best efforts into it, and pushing hard to get things done. The teaser is only 30 seconds long, but in order to render the dozen or so shots we first have to finalize the look of all the assets in those shots, and that's quite a bunch of stuff to polish up before lighting can even get started.

The animation part of the teaser is finished, so while the look dev team keeps plugging away, I'm prepping the animators for the inevitable arrival of full sequences in their in-boxes, hence little face tests like the one I posted Sunday. We're getting geared up at long last, because although life sought to delay things a bit, the day I've been waiting for is coming soon: FULL SCALE ANIMATION WILL BEGIN.

So happy!
I'm putting out the feelers people (lock up your kids)!
My Portal animated short, Companionship, now needs a dedicated hair person. After a long time stubbornly sticking with geo hair, it simply isn't working out. Chell needs sim hair, and for that she needs a hair artist.
If you have the stuff, send me a note. If you know someone who'd be perfect for it, have them send me a note. We're hard at work on a teaser trailer, and Chell needs her hair!

Thanks you much.
  • Playing: L4D2
Big Ba-da-boom

Going online for a little bit to KILL FUGGIN ZOMBEHS
Looking for a Maya TD to help overcome some tech hurdles in the completion of the teaser trailer for my Portal film, "Companionship". We also need to develop a hair sim rig for Chell. It's strictly a fan project, and we're all working on it in our spare time, but if you're a Portal fan and have the TD magic, I'd love to bring you aboard!……

Getting close to the wire now! With a little over a week to go, my friend :iconmartheus: is tantalizingly close to his fundraising goal. And here's how he told me :)

Turra : Gun Angel 9 DAYS LEFT!! by martheus

That's a page I did for him several years ago for a web comic about Turra (plus some crafty Photoshop), and now he's on the verge of putting together the movie he's been after for so long!

There are some solid rewards for contributors; I'm getting an original sketch from the creator (I requested Chell, of course). So hit up his Indiegogo page… and contribute what you can. Consider it good practice for contributing to MY film later on!…

EDIT: He did it! Cleared the remaining $2.5K in under two days! And with several days left, let's see how much higher we can get!
My friend :iconmartheus: has teamed up with filmmakers to get his OC Turra: Gun Angel on the big screen!
Turra Tribute Final Lines by alexzemke
Check out their Indiegogo page!…
  • Playing: L4D2! Death before death!
Time to kill some stuff!

Profile name:  Big Ba-da-boom
I'm in dire need of some kickass light/comp geniuses for my Portal short film, Companionship!

Shots are finally going to animation, but with the teaser trailer I'm trying to put out, we're just too short-handed with only two guys in lookdev.

So if you've really got the skills and want to help out with the film, send me a note and a link to your reel!

PS-- This production uses V-Ray and V-Ray Materials. Our awesome VFX supe, Daniel Hayes, has helped lay out some standards for the team.
Haven't played the game, but I'll still take a moment to pat myself on the back for being an animator on Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale! www.playstationallstarsbattler…

The little rigs were a lot more simplistic than the ones we normally work with, since the game needs to have a ton of them all interacting in-game, but we still managed to get some solid performances out of them, all things considered. Fun stuff!

So buy it, rent it, borrow it from your tween cousin, but definitely give it a try!

(I've worked on some pretty sweet titles, don't know why I chose THIS game to start bragging myself up!)

EDIT: Okay, we played the game (while a little tipsy) at work the other night, and it was a good time! Some of the rules/gameplay differ from Smash Bros., which is good because otherwise it's just the same game with different characters. Fun stuff!
Drives me nuts. When I'm at work, going through my dA inbox. An image loads, and instantly the buttons appear to "Add to favorites" or "Remove from Messages". In theory, it should work that way for every image, right?

Not for boobs!

Mature Content

Abandoned T-Shirt 5 by alexzemke

I can speed right through pictures of frogs or spaceships or Super Mario Bros., but god forbid the next image should be a naked woman curiously discovering that she has these strange growths on the front of her chest. Suddenly those buttons are nowhere to be found! The picture just sits there, giant and boobtastic on my screen. I can't click to the next image, can't click back, can't even close the fucking window because apparently digital boobs have magical powers over my browser!

I'm not complaining that there are boobs in my inbox. I LOVE finding boobs in my inbox. I just wish they wouldn't totally fuck with my shit!
For those who don't know, My portal animated short, Companionship, Has a Facebook fan page:…

And there's an official website for it as well! I've even picked up some really great animators who found me through this site:

So check them out, Like it on FB and share it with your friends! My producer and I are very close to pulling the Kickstarter trigger, and I hope to have raised awareness of Companionship dramatically by then :)
I've mentioned this, but I should mention it again, for those who missed it:

The Kickstarter video has been completed, and we're all pleased with it, especially for something shot on a phone, but the business end of the Kickstarter launch has proved to be more complicated that we'd realized, so for the time being it's on hold. It will happen, without any doubt. It's just not going to happen this week. I'm disappointed, as I know many of Companionship's followers are as well. But take heart, it's going to get here eventually!
Looks like there's a few more hoops to jump through than I'd expected. Between Kickstarter and Amazon, there's a number of things we have to take care of before we can launch. Not sure if this will set us back days, or set us back weeks, so I'll update as soon as I know.

Please be patient, it's still happening!

UPDATE: The Amazon stuff may not be as rough as it first seemed, so that part should be done fairly soon. Then it's more a matter of getting through Kickstarter's approval process, which apparently isn't too strict. So here's hoping for next week!

UPDATE UPDATE: Blargh! Delays, delays! The pitch video's pretty much set, we have our backer rewards pretty well figured out, but now there's a business aspect (yuck) that needs tending. Can nothing about this project be simple???