The best way I can describe Sea of Debris is that it is to Haunted Mirror Forest Studios what Looney Tunes is to Warner Brothers. It’s basically a collection of animated cartoons produced by Haunted Mirror Forest Studios. It was an idea I had a few years back. Rather than work on a cartoon that focuses on one person, or group of people, I’m much more interested in having a series of random shorts. However, some characters are more developed than others, and will most likely return time and again.
Cartoon animation is like my “first love” regarding art. After all, it was my introduction to it. I’ve always cartoons it and have always been sort of an elitist regarding animation. There were shows I avoided as a kid because the character design was “dead” looking or boring. I decided to pursue animation back in 2006. It was a very slow process. I began by trying to teach myself how to animate with a program that was much like Flash. I shelved it for a few years and tried my hand at it again in 2013. I’ve tried doing it many different ways – from drawing with pencil, inking it, scanning it, digitally coloring it in Photoshop and putting it on a timeline in After Effects to drawing the images piece by piece in Illustrator, and putting those on a timeline in After Effects. Both of those pursuits were pretty grueling as I was doing everything myself.
I had produced a few short cartoons that way, but ultimately resented ever having done so because the product ended up looking much less like a cartoon I’d watch and more like a corpse that was dragged along with animation shortcuts. It was like watching Weekend at Bernie’s, where Bernie was one image and motion tweens were the two guys trying to convince everyone that Bernie was actually alive. That’s what my cartoons have been like. A conspiracy to convince the audience that somehow there’s something there, but when they look closely, it’s just a mass of something that ought to be avoided.
Around this time last year, I had been working in Photoshop and decided to try and animate with its timeline. I liked how unpolished it looked, and how much easier it was to work with. It’s essentially creating a very long animated gif. I put out about 4 short animations this way, and was extremely happy with the results. Despite this, I’ve recently messed with Flash animation again on a commission. It has a lot of helpful features, but the brushes make it impossible to commit to exclusively. I plan on also trying ToonBoom. But for now I’ve decided to stick with good ol’ Photoshop animation. I’ve also put together a small team that can help me with writing and story boarding. No messing around anymore.
It only seemed necessary to blow the dust off of the Haunted Mirror Forest YouTube page and start using it again. It now has been updated, and will continue to be so long as I am able. I wrestled with whether or not to remove my earlier and embarrassing animations, but ultimately will leave them up as a reminder of a place to which I should never return. The page can be accessed directly by clicking on the “Videos” section in the menu to the left, or by visiting http://www.seaofdebris.com. For now, check out the YouTube channel trailer here: