Life turned around

The last post was very project focused. Not so weird, considering the blog has had that as sole focus since day 1. But talking about my projects and ideas just doesn’t cover my life anymore. And that is why I had to continue with another post right away. A post that tells the rest of the picture. A picture that can’t be shown by purely discussing “career/professional” choices.

I have suddenly finally become a happy boy. Why? Well, as most nice stories where a boy becomes happy, I met a girl. Not only the best girl in the world, but also a better girl than I thought could ever exist. And now she is mine. And I will never let her go. MOAHAHA (Not joking though).

I am not gonna lie. Some of the reason the short film went on hiatus is because I suddenly for the first time in my life had a person I wanted to spend every second of the 24 hours with. So no, it was not me ignoring what I had set out to do. I was just prioritizing happiness.

And now we are both at the university. We moved to another city together. Living together. And even though I don’t work on any projects on the side right now because school is keeping me busy, I know that when the day comes, I will be motivated like never before. Because suddenly, I am not doing things just for my own. I am doing them for the person I love. And building my life with her will always be the biggest and most important project of my life.

A different Project #2

Well, almost a year ago (!) I said I would be making an animated short film and present all the details shortly, yada yada. Obviously and apparently nothing happened with that. So, why?

The truth is simply that I lost focus and faded away, as is so easy when things get too complex and involved. Don’t get me wrong, I like what I have a lot and I want to see the script realized one day, but that day is not today. Instead, I have chosen to do what I firmly said I never would do unless it was my last resort. And that is to study. I am currently studying to become an engineer in computer science, so my “super-focus-100%-of-my-life-projects” like the short film has been moved to the backseat (or more like noseat at the moment. It is pretty, pretty hectic).

So why did I change my mind? Why study anyway? Well, I grew tired (and insane) by just working alone on my own thing in front of the computer 12 hours per day. Motivation is super hard and it becomes too much in too short of a time. I couldn’t stand it in its current form. I needed a break. University became that break.

And let’s face it, no matter what I tried to tell myself, I did not learn as much or as effectively on my own as I do now at the university. The pace is in my eyes pretty brutal, and therefore not something I would choose myself. University makes me learn more.

I am not completely giving up the idea on doing something on my own. Far from it. With an education I will get knowledge to make such things better and faster. Plus the safety of (perhaps) being able to get hired at some company making a living so I can live a life. And therefore be able to spend my spare time one dreams and such nonsense. School is good, after all. I feel bad for ever having thought otherwise.

Project One Done

Nice ”rhymey” title, huh? Anyway, Project #1, the Training DVD, is now done! Woho, yay, and all that. I am even going to add a smiley here, just for the occasion 🙂 It took some time, but now it is finally completely complete.

So, how can I summarize it all?

First of all, I learned quite a bit on the way, (which is kind of unavoidable even if you try not to when you work on something like this), including how to teach better, perform better with my voice, planning and execution, testing the whole spreading the word on social media, etc. However, considering how much time it took and how much of the work was just the same thing over and over again, I did not learn much in relation to the time spent.

When it comes to making a living, I did make some money off of it, but definitely not proportional to the time spent. But I never expected that anyway. This Training DVD was the niche of a niche. Ridiculously small target group. Not only are there few Blender users, but the amount of Blender users paying for training AND are interested in drivers, which does not make renders prettier (which is what basically everyone wants to know) is SUCH a small percentage.

So, why did I pick the subject? Well, I simply didn’t think there was any training out there that covered it. I felt like I could teach something that no one else had done before. And that will always be more exciting to me than creating yet another tutorial on how to make a pretty character.

So it might be a small market, but I am at least the only one there (to my knowledge).

Now, with all of this complaining you might think I see this project as a failure, but I don’t. The thing that really made it feel successful in the end, regardless of the amount learned or money made, is the response I have gotten from people.

A lot people have watched my videos in one way or another, and I have yet to receive a bad comment. The worst anyone has said was something like “silly voice, but good information”. Silly voice? Yeah, I can take that.

And that is it! Other than that people have only said how much they like it, which makes it feel worth it that I went the extra mile when creating the DVD.

The “ultimate recognition” was when Adventures in Blender, whose reviews I always read, gave it a score of 95%. From what I know, nothing has ever received a higher score than that so I couldn’t ask for more. (And shockingly enough I didn’t feel bad at all for not getting a 100%. Am I… growing or something?).

So to summarize; my time could definitely have been better spent if I had done something else, but I did finish something and people liked it, so in the end, it was a good experience. But I am also glad that it is over so I can move on to the next thing. I can now leave this behind, and focus on what is next.

So, what is the next thing? What is my next personal project?
Well, I am going to do something I have always wanted. My own animated short film! Yep, my own (roughly) 5 minute 3D animated beauty. And you will be able to follow every step on the way.

All the details are not ready to be revealed today, but hopefully sometime in February. But, I think it is going to be pretty good. Prettyyy, prettyyy, pretty good.

I will write more about it when everything is decided. So long for now!

Release date

Oh, it is getting close now. I have finally decided on a release date for the training DVD. On November 26 it will be done. Finished. Completed. Yiha!

Obviously, this makes me happy. It is not that I don’t like my training DVD, far from it. But it is always nice to complete something that has taken a long time to do. Being able to look back at it, relax, and think “that turned out well.”

Because I do really believe so (Yes, I take out the victory in advance. But I can’t imagine successfully FUBAR:ing it this close to the goal). When I started, I seriously doubted I would be able to produce something that I could be proud of. Something I could put my name on and show everybody and not feel ashamed. But, I feel like I done have just that!

Sure, the vocal performance was especially bad in the early videos, but I still feel happy with the overall quality and result. I am happy with WHAT I say in every  video, which is what really matters. And, after a few videos, getting used to talking, I started to feel okay about my vocal performance as well. (However, in a couple of the preparation videos I speak so badly it is too much for me to bear, so I will re-record them before the release…)

So, how did I achieve a tutorial quality I am satisfied with? By spending insane amounts of time. People would not believe me if I told them how much time I spend on each tutorial. Or well, I suppose they can guess since there was around 3 weeks between each one of them. Either way, they would think I was crazy. “Jesus, it’s a 40 minute tutorial, just sit down for 40 minutes and record it!”. If only…

Anyway, I don’t regret spending so much time on it, being petty about every detail, wanting everything being perfect (Yeah, I understand that it doesn’t always show… Even my desire to make it perfect has its limits. Thankfully. Or else I would still be on video #2 by now) since it makes me so much happier with the final result.

My goal was to make a Training DVD where every single word counted. And I do believe I succeeded with that. Thanks to me reworking the scripts over, and over, and over again, trying to find the best way to explain everything, I am happy with what I teach. As I said, the vocal performance could have been better, but it is the content that is the most important part, and you can always turn on the captions, right?

All in all, I am happy. My own little training DVD, sharing my little knowledge with the world. It will be interesting to see what people have to say now when they finally will be able to review it as a complete package. Giving a number on the DVD. 1 to 10.

And even if people don’t love it, I really did my best on this one. So, I am happy either way. (Unless they hate it. That would not be so fun.)

Onwards and away!

Things takes longer

than you first thought. To complete the title.

Originally the “estimated release” was in July, and now it is in November. Holy moly, a 4 month miscalculation!? What went wrong?

Well, first of all, things just take longer than you expect them to. I have never, ever experienced the opposite at least. It always takes longer than I think. Often double the time. Which tells me quite a lot about myself and my view on my ability to produce, I guess.

But this was actually not (entirely) me going “oh, sure I can do that much in a day. And there are 30 days in a month, so I should be done by July.”

The biggest reason it took so much longer is simply because the project ended up being bigger than I had first intended. More videos. Longer runtime. Better and more thoughtful things created in the tutorials.

So even though I feel for the poor people who has pre-ordered the DVD, those who have waited day and night for me to finish, I hope they agree that it was a good thing that I took the extra time, because in the end, they do get more in this training DVD than I first promised.

Also, as a last little defense, there is a reason I had a pretty low pre-order price. Sure, I wanted to reward people for trusting me as an unknown with no merits at all. But besides that, I also knew things would not go completely according to plan.

Those who pre-ordered got a better price because I knew they would have to put up with a product that gets constantly changed and updated, which naturally leads to some problems along the way. Those who waited the longest (i.e. bought it from the beginning) basically got it for half price. At least that is something of a “compensation” (I hope!).

But yeah, no more changed estimated releases now. I am so close that a 100% time miscalculation will still have it done in November. November it is. An exact date? Well, that will have to wait a while. I did say I was bad at estimating, didn’t I?

Still alive

The name of that amazing song from that good game. Or the name of that good song from that amazing game. Or the name of this post.

No, I haven’t written anything in a long time. Like, a really long time. Three months on the day to be exact. Why? Laziness? Partly. Lack of something to say? Mostly.

You see, I am still working on the training DVD. And even though I do like my training DVD there is nothing exciting to share from the production. I write, record and edit. And that’s it. An uninteresting cycle repeated until my head spins. I don’t learn anything new, have anything exciting to show or anything to share. I just produce.

But fear not. I plan to have it done by November. And then I will move on to my next project which will hopefully allow me to write a bit more since it is more on the creative side than churning out instruction videos.

Well, frankly, I am already working on that next project on the side. (You figured out I did other things as well considering how slow I am at pushing out videos, didn’t you? Don’t feel too smart, the absolutely biggest reason I am slow at making videos is because I spend so darn much time with each and every one of them. It is a tough life, being a perfectionist that produces mediocrity)

A second project in the works or not, I don’t want to have more than one thing public at a time. Keeping focus or whatever. But on the other hand, I always want something public. No gaps. Always moving. Whenever project A is complete I make project B public, and project C remains a secret until project B is complete. Sweet but simple. A pattern I intend to follow for a while. Always having one thing to do in the eyes of others, while in reality having several.

So, short post even shorter: I don’t intend to write anything more until the training DVD is done so I can move on to more interesting stuff. Unless I come up with something brilliant I just have to share with everyone. And knowing myself, that is very likely to happen (knowing my tendency to think everything I think is brilliant that is).

Market is okay

Three weeks later after the pre-order started. And I am happy to say that it all went okay.

Sure, I am not rich, but the pre-order did what the pre-order was supposed to do. Prove to me that what I had was not worthless and that some people actually like it.

I was prepared for the worst, selling to only my mother and then refunding her, but luckily it didn’t happen. My mother never bought it. But hey, that is not because she is mean! It is because I haven’t told her about the training DVD yet. I wanted to wait and see if it did okay before I said anything. Better an unknown failure than a known failure, right?

So yeah, tomorrow I guess I can add one more to the sales. Thanks Mom.

With the doubt if I should do it out of the way, I am now focusing on just finishing the rest of the DVD. And I must say that it is much more fun when you know that are real people waiting for you to finish your work. Instead of just, you know, working for yourself.

The first of the tutorials, ”The Ladder”, will be posted tomorrow, so if you have pre-ordered, get ready for some sweet Blender action. (I hope. NO ONE, has actually watched this video, unlike the introduction videos which I had people I knew comment and critique. So who knows, it might be a CATASTROPHE. But most likely no.)

If you think I was slow posting this first tutorial (Three weeks? And you plan to have it all out by July”?) I must admit that I took somewhat of a vacation after the pre-order release. Breathing out. And waiting to see if it was worth continue. Which, it was. As you know.

And now, with the first tutorial done (soon), I have four more fun tutorials to do. Yay! I honestly look forward to it.

I hope you do so too.

Testing the market

This blog will be kind of a plug, as you hip Australian people seem to call it. I think it means forcing in some advertising where it doesn’t really belong? Anyway. Pre-order of my Training DVD is up!

Why a pre-order and not just wait until I can release the whole thing?
For a reason I would like to call “testing the market”. Which also happen to be the title of this post.

By putting it up for pre-order, I can check if anyone wants it. If no one does (not counting my mother here), I can refund the few that did (my mother) and scrap it before doing everything, saving a lot of work and time, allowing me to move on to something else quicker. Super neat!

Some may argue I should have done this check earlier since I have already invested a lot of time, and I can’t really argue against them. If it turns out that it was a shitty idea to begin with, I will have wasted many, many hours on… something shitty. Not really smart.

But if I am supposed to listen to the feels inside, I do feel like everything I have made so far had to be made. It is not until now people really know what they get when they buy it. If I try to sell people something, I don’t want to sell them a vague idea of what might be. I want them to really know what it is before I ask for their support. And to do so, you kind of have to finish it (just not do everything, quantity wise)

So, if you want to learn some Blender (3D software) and support me, my blog and future projects, head over to and get a copy for a discounted pre-order price (That lower price is as a thank you for your faith in it even when it isn’t completed yet).

Every euro earned will go to my second (bigger, and unannounced) project. If the Training DVD doesn’t turn out well, I’ll find another way to fund it. There is always another way.

But hey, a straight road is quicker.

My love for statistics

If someone found a way to give me statistics about everything in my life, I would never live again.

Average amounts of times I scratch my nose every day and how it clearly increases in the summer. My sleeping patterns, and how they fell apart the day I got access to these statistics. There is nothing about myself I would not enjoy having data collected about and displayed in a graph.

It is not healthy.

When it comes to my music, the great has already got me covered. I basically enjoy looking at my listening statistics more that I enjoy listening to the music.

Very much not healthy.

And when we start talking about statistics that actually kind of shows how I am doing in life, I get worse.

Say I threw together a quick YouTube video one afternoon. Not a big project, just something short I did for fun. But still, after I upload it, I end up checking statistics for it a couple of times a day for months.

And if things that small creates that kind of obsession, what would an actual project do?

I fear for what I will become once I have an actual reason to check statistics. Like with the upcoming release of my Training DVD. Or even worse, a future, much bigger project.

Therefore, I have promised myself to only check once per day. That’s it. One single five minute session. If I don’t set limits like this, I would never get anything more done. I would do what a kid would do in a chocolate factory (except die) and just go at it without rhyme or reason.

When I put up the Training DVD for pre-order, I will go so far that I will unplug my internet and turn off the 3G on my phone for 24 hours. Otherwise, I will end up refreshing every page remotely related to it every 5th second until I fall asleep in front of my computer. And then wake up and do it again.

Super so very much not healthy (come on, I had to top the last one).

So, if you try to contact within the 24 hours after the release of the pre-order, don’t fear if you don’t get an answer right away. I haven’t run away to Mexico with all the bags of your sweet, sweet money.

I have just escaped myself for a while.

My accent

As you know, I am working on a Training DVD where I have recorded myself performing with my voice.

Just trying to learn the whole performance thing (something people spend decades to master) would definitely be enough of a challenge on its own, but why settle for that when you can attempt speaking English with a thick, foreign accent as well?

You see, born and raised in Sweden is indeed a wonderful thing, and I would not trade it for the most awesome American accent in existence (Hey come one now, I was also born and raised on Hollywood movies. You can’t expect me to want to sound British!?).

But it does make some things hard to say. Not everything. I am lucky in that regard compared to, say, someone from Asia (India excluded…?). But some things. I can make (most of the) the individual sounds decently, but when I am supposed to put them in a flowing string of words, my tongue ties. I just can’t go between certain sounds without doing a pause. And I suppose it doesn’t help that I never, ever speak English either. Sure, writing, reading and listening, I get my fair share of thanks to the internet. But talking? Never.

And so, it was time to compromise. Pronouncing each syllable correctly. Or speaking somewhat fluently.

Not really a difficult choice in hindsight. So! The training DVD will be full of “dis and dat”. But hey, if that is annoying to you, just mute the sound and rock the captions. Guaranteed free from mispronunciation (bad grammar, not so much).

Sure, this will have to do for now, but I do hope I can master it for real one day. Every syllable correctly, with a flow, making it easy for people to understand me.But I don’t think it is something I can do on my own. I will have to find some American speech therapist for that.

And if the speech therapist can’t help me, plan B is to just write everything on my phone and then say “Cortana, read the note out loud.”

“Sorry, I didn’t quite catch that.”