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Thread: How to make your Collab succesful!

  1. #1
    Left SPP Rather Cheesy's Avatar
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    How to make your Collab succesful!

    I know theres already a "Guide to a Successful Project" sticky, but the community projects section still tends to get alot of really crappy collabs and such. I'm going to hopefully mend that!

    Sorry but this is a bit of a read, so get comfortable. This will save you alot more time in the long run than it takes to read it though.

    First off not everyone can make a succesful collab. People generally like to be in a project with someone they know, have heard of before, or are awesome animators. If you join, no one knows you, or people know you but your animation skill isn't very good people most likely won't want to join your collab. If stickkiller324587 made a "running collab" and Oscar Johanson [OJ is the creator of Castle III] made a "running collab" people would rather join OJ's collab than stickkiller324587's

    Secondly, to make a succesful collab or joint you need the idea for the collab. This can range from anything from skateboarding to washing clothes. But the idea has to be good in order to be succesful. But, how do you know if your idea is good?

    Well "The suicide collab" never got finished "The Choose your Death Collab" was never finished either, nor was "The Killing Collab". STICK(S) KILLING STICK(S) COLLAB AND JOINT IDEAS ARE RARELY SUCCESSFUL! The violent but not stick(s) vs. stick(s) collab ideas get more popular and more succesful. Why?

    Because 95% of animators animate fights, deaths, and other generic violent animations against sticks, all the time. Violence is however good for collabs, because alot of people find it funny and entertaining. But only creative violence works best from the animators stand point. One stick killing another [or any combination of sticks killing other sticks] is boring for most animators to make because its been over done by not only themselves, but every other stick animator around.

    Tribute Collabs are also different. A tribute collab is a collab made in honor of someone or something usually another animator or series. A tribute is usually done in a copied style, so if the animation you're tributing doesn't put heads on their sticks, you wouldn't either.Tribute collabs can be very succesful depending on who you give tribute to. If you said "Hey lets make a tribute collab for Oscar Johansson!" [Creator of Castle III] or "Lets make a tribute collab for Cosmoseth!" [Creator of One mans doomsday 1 & 2, Rage 1 & 2, Knife, and alot more] People would probably join it if they liked the animator or series. But if you do a tribute for someone nobody knows, lets say "Bobthestickmurderer" No one would want to join it because they don't know who the animator is. Let alone know how to mimic their style. So if you choose to do a tribute collab choose someone everyone knows.

    Now where do you go from the idea? Well now you need restrictions. If you say "Ok make an animation of a guy falling down a hill, GO!" it won't work. You need some boundaries. You don't want to little, but you don't want to much. heres some simple ones.

    Background: Its best to say "no set background, but you're encouraged to draw one!" Because most animator can't draw a good background if their life depended on it. But good back ground bring up the quality of the animation. So its basically an "either or" scenario.

    Set restrictions on the sticks or fullbody. I generally say a black stick. If you have 20 different color sticks through 20 different entries your eventual audience will be distracted by the constant change in colored sticks. stick to one color and no details. So your audience focuses on the animation instead of the changing stick color.

    Set a frame rate, this is a MUST. 24 FPS is the average animating speed right now. Beginner animators use lower FPS rates. If someone needs to animate at a slower speed list it as 24 FPS or 12 FPS. when you receive a 12 FPS entry, add a frame in between each one then change the FPS to 24, it will play at the same rate while still allowing the other entrants to use 24 FPS.

    Set dimensions this is another MUST. Or you'll get 100x200 entries and 1200x300 entries which won't work together. 550x400 is the default size for flash, if you don't care what your dimensions are choose this. But its usually best to change it so that animators have a change from the norm plus it keep the animators "on their toes" as it were.

    You need to set a due date or your collab or it will never end or no one will join because they have to plan they won't be able to schedule your collab around their real life and other collabs. Its usually best to set it to 3 weeks after you create the collab.

    ALERT ANIMATORS OF YOUR COLLAB. alot of animators would probably join your collab if they knew it existed and what its about. The sooner you alert them they more time they have to work on their entries and the better their entries are. PM animators you know are good or want in your collab [B]AS SOON AS YOUR COLLAB IS MADE[/B. Also make a link in your signature to your collab, the bigger the better. I usually make it my entire sig.

    DO NOT SET A RESTRICTION ON ANIMATION LEVEL! alot of animators "think their not good enough" when they are actually average level. And lets face it ranks suck. Allow anyone to create an animation for it. But create a separate part of the animation for the crappy entries. That way you end up using all entries. If you don't know how to make one then just say that anyone can make one and that you reserve the right to decline any entry. You'll get more entries, and everyone feels like they did some good.

    Don't set long restrictions for animation lengths, just tell them to make an animation for 2-10 seconds. 20-30 second animations take weeks of long work in order to get a good animation. 2-10 seconds is 2-3 days of work for the average animator to get the best quality from his/her work.

    Half way through the collab send out "Reminder PMS" to all your entrants to remind them that they said they would submit something. Do the same thing a week before the deadline.

    Tell your entrants to sign their animations, when you tell them to sign it, tell them to "break apart" their text. If you end up not having the font they used installed on your computer it will not show up the way they wanted it to and then you receive the blame. To break text apart you highlight the text box and press CTRL+B TWICE it will then turn into a fill.

    tell them to put their username in their symbols, including tweens. Because if two animators end up using the same name they will over write each other and ruin their animations

    Give them details in how to send you an entry. For flash they need to send you their fla file. So supply your entrants with a hosting site such as www.savefile.com or www.mediafire.come or www.4shared.com then tell them to PM you the entry, and not to post a link in the thread. Cause if they link to it in the thread then anyone can see the entries and every will have seen the animation before its released!

    Create a list of entrants. If you're not on enough to update it daily then say so, and tell them not to worry about the list. When an entrant says they want to make an animation for your collab write their name on the list. Make sure you spell their name correctly, some people will quiet a collab simply because you misspelled their name. It makes you look like an idiot and not knowing what you're doing, not making them want to make and entry for you. Use a system like this to organize who has submitted animations or not.

    - Rather Cheesy = has signed up to animate for the collab but has not finished yet.

    $ Rather Cheesy = has signed up to animate for the collab and has submitted one entry, add one of these for every animation your recieve from them

    ? Rather Cheesy = is unsure if they can make an animation or not.

    X Rather Cheesy = Had once signed up to animate for the collab but can not for whatever reason.


    Here is a template I have made for you to use. Enjoy!
    _________________________

    Code:
    The Title of your Collab goes here.
    Promotional Image of your collab goes here [optional, but helps] Description of what the animation is about goes here. Provide as many details as you can.
    RULES: Program: [if you use Flash 8 let the entrants know so that way the ones who use CS3 can save their files in flash 8 format. Other wise when you try to open it you will recieve a "unexpected file format" message. If you use Flash MX You can't tie them together FPS: Dimensions: Sign Your Animation, and break apart your text [Highlight text box and press CTRL+B Twice] Name your symbols INCLUDING TWEENS. Such as "Rathercheesy1" or "RatherCheesyhead" When you finish your entry PM me the fla [or gif] using www.savefile.com ENTRANTS: - = no entry submitted yet $ = has submitted an entry ? = Might submit something/unsure if they can or not X = Dropped out - - - - - - etc. If I am missing anything let me know!
    Countdown Timer:

    Countdown timers help to let your entrants know how much time they have left in to make their entry. I've had half a dozen people PM asking for it. So I'm supplying it to you. This was free download of a tutorial site so you don't have to give me or anyone else credit for its use.

    http://www.savefile.com/files/1458458

    In the code on the first frame look for the

    Code:
    eventDate = new Date(thisYear, 2, 21);
    Change it to fit your date. It is currently set at march 21st 2008. Keep in mind the months work on a 0-11 instead of 1-12 so 2 for march [March is the 3rd month so it looks inncorrect] is in fact correct. if you want to set it to lets say this year's Christmas it would look like this
    Code:
    eventDate = new Date(thisYear, 11, 25);
    Thats all you have to change, export your movie, [CTRL+ENTER]

    Go to anitup.com host the swf file. grab the direct link.

    Copypasta the URL

    use swf tags like so:

    [swf=URLFORYOURSWFFILEGOESHERE] Height = 100 Width = 450[/*swf]

    make sure your remove the * in [/*swf]

    Tying the Entries together:

    If alls gone well up to this point you should have half a dozen to a dozen entries, it takes roughly a dozen total entries to make a collab a reasonable size. But of course the more the merrier!

    Now how do you make all these into one fla correctly? Well I organize everything as I get entries I have a folder setup like this in my flash folder

    Flash>
    _____Collabs>
    ____________Inprogress>
    ______________________Nameofcollab here>
    ______________________________________ACCEPTED>
    ______________________________________DENIED>

    The Accepted folder is where I put all the animations I will put into the main animation
    The denied folder is the ones that I will put in the unused section, if you chose not to have an unused section and simply just don't use denied entries, you don;'t need to worry about it.

    When you receive an fla file from an entrant that you have yet to decide on which section it should go in, put it in the folder above Accepted and Denied. Once you make your decision file it accordingly. You don't have to do it this way, but its the way I do it.

    Once you have all your entries its time to put them together. create a preloader and menu for your collab. If you don't know how to make a menu see if one of your entrants knows or contact someone who knows. Be polite and ask if they can make a menu. Once you have the preloader menu set up how you want. create a layer folder above it and put all the preloader and menu layers into it. make sure you put blank frames at the ends of all non-blanks. this prevents you from accidentally making menu items or parts of someone elses entries appearing longer than their supposed to. You should now have one folder full of the preloader stuff.

    Now on the frame where you need to start your animation part of the collab [contact your menu maker if you don't know which frame that is.] you need to put your first entry. So open your first entry's FLA file. Double check to make sure everything meets the requirements, and triple check the library to make sure all symbols including tweens have a unique name so their not overwritten.
    now right click on any frame on the timelime.
    select "select all frames"
    rightclick again
    select "copy"

    Now go back to your collab file with the menu.

    create a new folder and name it the name of the entrant then the number of their entry, so if I got an entry from Tolin I would name it "Tolin 1"

    In that folder create one layer,with a blank keyframe starting where the animation should start.
    right click that blank key frame and select paste.
    that entry should now be added to the collab. at the end of their entry put a blank frame. now repeat the process above with the second entry creating a folder above it with a blank key frame at the blank frame you added to the last entry, repeat this with all your entries and you'll be done in no time.

    Now add credits to the end. Don't make them to long or your audience will get bored, their there to see and animation, not a 2 minute long credits roll for a 1 minute animation... To give credit to yourself as creator of the collab list it as such "Collab Director: *yournamehere*". Give credit for the music, list the animators and list the menu and preloader creator. [if you were using premade ones such as the NG or SPP preloader ignore this]

    Now add the music. Create a new layer with a blank key frame on the frame where your animation should start. Import your music and add it to the frame. tell it to stream NOT START start gives better sound quality but on slower computers the animation might lag and the music will go on and by the end of the animation your song could be miles off from where it should be.

    As for choosing the right song: ALWAYS ASK FOR SUGGESTIONS FOR MUSIC UNLESS YOUR COLLAB IS ABOUT THAT SONG Music suggestions are awesome. Your entrants will usually unanimously agree when "the right song" comes by. There might be one or two that says "nah" but 90% of your entrants should agree with the song.

    Once you have all your little bits and pieces together of the collab test the movie [CTRL+ENTER] it might take a long time to export the movie depending on how long the animation is and how crappy your computer is. Walk away and go have lunch or something. Now TEST YOUR COLLAB ON ANOTHER COMPUTER You computer is not the same as everyone else's so it might look awesome on yours but crappy on another, so if you have a crappy computer try to use a friend or family members good computer to try it on. or if you have a good computer try it on a crappy one. If everything looks fine, host it on the portal.

    I'm sorry if this last section isn't very organized =P
    I'm done with SPP's shenanigans, I'm leaving.
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  2. #2
    zerzavy
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    Well played man...well played.
    its a awesome tutorial and should be sticked but u shouldnt rip on other collabs because they dont survive.

  3. #3
    IRISH WRISTWATCH BloodFruit's Avatar
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    You forgot the number one rule:

    DON'T DO A MANIA!

    What a badass

  4. #4
    Left SPP Rather Cheesy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zerzavy View Post
    Well played man...well played.
    its a awesome tutorial and should be sticked but u shouldnt rip on other collabs because they dont survive.
    I wasn't trying to rip off anyones collab in particular and I tried not to name collabs that are currently in progress but every few weeks a "Killing Collab" or a "Death Collab" or a "Suicide collab" or something similar will show up and die two days later.
    Quote Originally Posted by BloodFruit View Post
    You forgot the number one rule:

    DON'T DO A MANIA!
    Actually the mania fad is mostly over, one or two will show up every now and again and they'll hang out for awhile. But its no where near as bad as before when nearly this whole section was nothing but manias. Manias are annoying yes, but I see no reason why I should say no to manias...

    EDIT: OMG, I love your sig blood fruit...
    I'm done with SPP's shenanigans, I'm leaving.
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  5. #5
    Whatsup Boss? Shanto's Avatar
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    Bump?

    More people should see this.

    Awesome, man.
    Check out my group Faux Paz on Spotify!
    Faux Paz Figure 8

  6. #6
    Mr. Sleek .Aklemo.'s Avatar
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    Thank you very much, Rather Cheesy. =]

  7. #7
    SEELBOI
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    I love to see this BUT:

    You said fighting collabs are rarely succesfull, which I don't disagree with.

    Even better would be if the animator COULD do action if he/she wants, and it still wouldn't ruin the collab.

    If they don't want to do fighting - fine. Let them choose.

    IMO. Lol

  8. #8
    Senior Member Miccool's Avatar
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    You should make a collab about how to make collabs successful.

  9. #9
    Left SPP Rather Cheesy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by strills View Post
    I love to see this BUT:

    You said fighting collabs are rarely succesfull, which I don't disagree with.

    Even better would be if the animator COULD do action if he/she wants, and it still wouldn't ruin the collab.

    If they don't want to do fighting - fine. Let them choose.

    IMO. Lol
    It all depends on the situation. You could make a collab in which you have to think of as many ways to force someone to eat a pickle. You could have a fight in that to force him to eat a pickle. Or you could convince him to eat the pickle. It could be violent, or it could not be.

    I'm talking about the purely violent ones where its "have a 1 on 1 battle between a red and blue stick!" That aren't succesful. does that make sense.
    Quote Originally Posted by Miccool View Post
    You should make a collab about how to make collabs successful.
    Lol, oddly, I don't think it would be succesful.

    But this did remind me that your collab idea needs to be widely accepted as well. It'd be rare to have a "Shakespeare collab" in which you would remake a a Shakespeare scene. Because not many animators will want to remake a scene from Shakespeare. It needs to have appeal to a wide audience and not just one. A "naruto collab" or a "DBZ collab"would not work well because only naruto or DBZ fans would want to join. Try to choose a subject that appeals to most everyone and not just one group.
    I'm done with SPP's shenanigans, I'm leaving.
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  10. #10
    lol good fotoshop NTG's Avatar
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    wow this is ironic

    i was just about to pm you and ask some tips on how your collabs are so successful and then i saw this

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