We made a pretty big transition from the last episode to this one introducing a new animation technique using a program called Crazy Talk. Instead of just flapping our cartoon mouths open and closed and having Pablo do all that manually in Flash, this program automatically animates the mouths and eyes, allowing for a pretty wide degree of puppeteering and expressions. It also automates a lot of that process, making it possible to do this kind of animation much more quickly.
The problem was getting the program to output separate animations for two characters, getting it to export transparently so it could be imported into After Effects and several other hitches that I was lucky enough not to have to deal with myself. Long story short, it ate into our production time for Pablo to learn how to get all this to work, but now that it does work, it should speed things up considerably and make the animation quality a lot better. That's probably way more than you want to know about the behind-the-scenes, but there you go. We're hard at work on episodes 5 and 6 (well, 5, at least), but not as terrified about doing this every week as we were at one point. Thank you, modern technology!
I also have a new Smallville recap up. There's only two episodes left until the show goes on holiday hiatus and I can't wait. I have no problem doing the recaps, but 10 episodes in a row without a break is really brutal and I can feel the energy draining out of me with each subsequent recap. A break will be very, very nice.
Zoneno! -- Clark returns to the Phantom Zone, this time with Lois in tow, because of some dumb crystal. There, he finds Kara, who returns to Smallville, then quickly says goodbye again. Also, Lois is possessed by Zod's wife, who came from the planet Days of Our Lives. It's a welcome change.
I'm on All Things Considered today in the first of its weekly "All Tech Considered" segments. The piece is about iTunes/Google Android apps and it was the one I recorded when I went to D.C. Much fun was had trying to wave the iPhone LightSaber app while trying to avoid RF noise interference in the studio.
"All Tech" will air every Monday. I won't necessarily be on every week, but I think until further notice, I'll be on more weeks than not. I'll give you a heads-up when those segments air. Between recaps, "Trailers Without Pity," the day job, Videogamey.com (which I think has been great lately, I might add), Lilly and some other projects, my brain is running in 10 different directions at the same time. That's OK. I kind of like running at this speed.
Edited to add: I just listened to the piece and my favorite part was edited out of the radio broadcast, but is available as a Web extra on the page where it says "More from the interview." Click it!
I'm a bit late with these, so my apologies. The first thing is that I worked in the newsroom on election night, which is one of the great experiences that I hope doesn't go away as the future of newspapers (and journalism in general) continues to change. There's really no substitute for the energy of a roomful of journalists when big things happen. My favorite memory of the night: the collection newsroom reaction to CNN's hologram experiment. It was like everybody had a thought balloon over their head that said, "WTF?!"
Our "Trailers Without Pity" show has gone weekly and we've had some issues on our end trying to streamline our process and experimenting with a new animation technique that will be a lot better than what we've been using (for one thing, it'll actually be animated, at least where our cartoon mouths are concerned). We have an episode we're finishing tomorrow and another one with the audio in the can and have of the visuals done, but here's where the work is really going to start to get challenging. The good news is my brother seems to be having a blast doing it and I'm loving how they're turning out, so it's work, but very happy work at this point.
Lastly, I had a recap of Smallville that went up earlier in the week. Here 'tis:
Unlucky Streak -- Jimmy Olsen's camera catches a blurry photo of a mid-whooshing Clark while he's saving Lois from an oncoming vehicle. Now if he can only figure out who around town wears bright red and blue clothes all the time. Meanwhile, Chloe reveals the hidden Brainiac inside in a most deadly way.