Ask @kinucakes:

Hey! When doing hand-drawn animation for games, what framerate do you animate at? The standard 24fps, or do you animate to match the game's framerate (i.e. 60fps?)

The closest approximation is on 2s at 30fps (just cutting 60fps in half), so I guess it's basically animating at 15fps? But we don't really stick to that anymore, we just animate whatever looks best, if that makes sense. It just generally varies - smears might be held for 2-3 frames, holds can be 8 or 12, etc. It's also decided by MikeZ a lot, because ultimately what matters most is that it works and feels right in game.

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When you took art seriously were you aiming for a certain style? is it better to try out different art styles or one for a job you want?

I think this can go both ways. I think if you really excel at something and are known for a specific thing, people will come to you asking you to do that thing. But for many artists (like myself), I find I get work consistently because I can adapt to a lot of different styles. I do have what comes naturally to me, but if I'm told to draw Batman, Barbie, Scott Pilgrim, or Skullgirls (all of which I've done), I'm able to do it well enough. But I personally enjoy working in different styles - it's a lot of fun and I like the challenge. So I think it's just up to you and what you want to do.

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What can you do when someone you worked for starts spreading rumors about you and turning your colleagues against you? How do you even deal with this without wanting to kill yourself?

In a perfect world, I'd like to think that anyone who knows you wouldn't fall victim to rumors, but I know it's not really that simple. I've had it happen before - not rumors that affected my colleagues, but definitely people online - and I guess I just try to keep my head down and continue working with people who know the real story. I guess I just feel that if I keep producing work the best I can, and not air my shit publicly, it'll just go away. The last thing I want is to bring attention to drama and drag shit out unnecessarily.

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what advice can you give to someone who plans to sell artbooks/prints for the first time? I'm really nervous about the outcome (no one will buy etc.)

Do you mean at at a con? You might not do well the first few years you do it, to be honest! I certainly didn't. Even though we had a small following online by the time we did our first AX table in 2009, we didn't have many people come out and I didn't sell very much. It's something that you have to stick with to get a sense of what works and what doesn't, and every year I find I do a little better as I figure out how to present my table, what sells, etc. Definitely don't get discouraged the first few times. It's a lot of fun anyway just to have people look at your work, and you'll figure it out more the longer you stick with it.

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Can you explain why Asuka's MP Eva fight in EoE is such a well-animated scene? I've heard that you loved it and I'd like to hear how it uses the fundamentals of the trade to create something so fluid and life-like. Thanks!

Yeah, I think that's still my favorite sequence ever. It has to do with the weight of the Evas fighting - just the weight and scale of the Evas as they move around is so effectively conveyed by the animation and it still just blows me away. In general, the better animated sequences in Evangelion really gave a sense of how massive and heavy the Evas are, and that's something that I find really hard to do in animation. That, and the fight is just super cool >_<

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You always seem like you're either stressed out or tired. Even during an interview you commented on being a workaholic. Why is that?

I think freelancing long enough made my hyper aware of every second I'm not working (because when you freelance, every moment not working is time you're not making money). So now, even though I'm paid a salary, I still work nonstop because I have horrible guilt around not working.
And I also legit just have too much to do. I have four jobs at Lab Zero and there are not enough hours in the day to do them all.

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Do you have any tips or advice you can give to people who want to animate high action stuff like on what you do with Skullgirls ? I just love the animation there and i cant wait to play Indivisible !

Good keys!!! You need good key poses with strong silhouettes. Some of my favorite games to reference/study are Street Fighter 3rd Strike, Darkstalkers, and Capcom vs SNK 2. Having good keys that really convey strength and motion will really carry most of the animation.

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I'm a freelance soundie who's been doing some game sound design + composition for the past year or so. I know it's not your area, but from your experience how does audio fare in game dev? Does it have a place in the studio these days, or does it always get outsourced? Love your work, by the way. :3

I'm definitely not an expert, but it's my understanding that a full time, in-house audio guy in games is on the rare side. We had one on Skullgirls (hi Vince!), and I believe he's mentioned that most of the audio work in games out there is contract. And thank you!

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A few weeks ago you expressed interest to build a pc or a hackinstosh. Have you decided yet or are you staying in the mac ecosystem?

I think I decided against a Hackintosh - it'd be my primary computer at home, and I don't want to subject myself to any potential problems. I'm waiting to see what the fall Mac refresh looks like. I'll probably still end up staying with Apple anyway - as much as I don't like their offerings, I dislike working on Windows much more. I have to use Windows at work and I'm sure my coworkers are sick of me screaming at it by now

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What was your entry into art design in gaming and what would you recommend someone seeking that career path do?

I went to college for character animation thinking that learning to animate would provide me with a bunch of skills - good art foundations, storytelling, storyboarding/film editing, and of course, animating. But it wasn't until I was already in college that it occurred to me that games were maybe a thing I could work in, even though I was always more passionate about games than I was about TV or film. So my path was kinda weird, but I guess it worked out for me because I started freelancing for game studios towards the end of college and went from there.
I think anyone who has a career in games will tell you a very different story of how they got there - I don't know if there's a singular recommended path. You might want to go to art school to get better, but you might be able to dedicate yourself to self-study and get proficient enough on your own. It really depends on what you think you need to do.
FWIW, I think there are a couple benefits to either going or not going to art school:
- If you go to a school that'll give you a bachelor's degree, you have the opportunity to work outside your country (I believe many countries require a BA to get a work visa). I almost got a certificate from CalArts because I was lazy and didn't want to take general ed, but I realized that I'd be shutting out opportunities in other countries so I finished the degree.
- If you DON'T go to art school and self-study, you'll be sparing yourself a lifetime of debt. I don't know of any employers who care much about what art school you went to, or if you went to one at all if your portfolio is good.
Soooo yeah, it really just depends on what you want. Either way, if you want to be an artist, the most important thing is to keep drawing and get better!

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How's learning the piano going? Any piece/song that you're enjoying playing currently?

Uh, hm. I bounce around a lot of stuff; I get tired of practicing one song too much, so I usually jump between, uh.. actually I have about 11 books in rotation and I just play a bunch of stuff from each. Is that normal? I don't know what's normal.
One thing I'm getting through right now are all of Joe Hisaishi's Piano Stories books. Maybe the hardest thing I can play decently is Howl's Moving Castle theme (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alUZb6Bu2Uo - though the part from 3:10-3:30 trips me up. And also that's not me playing obviously). I can't play it perfectly or anything, but I'd say that's probably the upper limit of my skill level right now. I need to practice more :/

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Can you explain the tweet you made where you said '"I'll get Indivisible when it comes out" that's, um, not how it works"? Are you saying that people who don't fund the game can't play it?

I didn't think this would be a confusing tweet, but it seems like it was so let me clarify:
When I made that tweet, the Indivisible campaign was well on its way to failing. The campaign had launched very shortly before and I was almost positive it was just going to fail, straight up - we just didn't have that big early spike that most successful crowdfunding campaigns had. It looked really bad.
I kept seeing the sentiment online that people thought the game looked cool, the demo was fun, they were excited, etc - but that they were going to wait until the game was out to play it. Which is fair! I do that myself for a lot of crowdfunded games. But at the time, it was NOT going to make it, so I was just thinking, "There is going to be no game to play if the people who want it don't put their money in now." That's all. I wasn't making a remark about being deserving of or entitled to people's money, or that the game would be unavailable to people who didn't back. It was just, "If this is something you'd be getting anyway, contributing now would be the way to make sure it happens."
Now that the game IS funded (thank you ;_;), it's kinda weird to see that tweet circulating because it does look pretty entitled without the context of the miserable timing. And, I suppose, it's easily misconstrued either way, which is my fault. I would delete it because it's irrelevant now, but that's not going to stop people from talking shit so oh well

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hey I was the anon who asked about the anti feminism twitter. I'm incredibly sorry if I came off as accusatory; i was more shocked and confused than anything! i love your output and the games you work and I'm really sorry if I made you uncomfortable

No no, thank you for telling me! I'm glad you mentioned it sooner than later because that was pretty awkward, haha. And thank you for the nice words too.

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Is there anything you could just gush over? Like a fandom or hobby that you could describe every in and out about. Like gun nuts who know about every gun in existence, every ammo type etc

I WANT to be that way about horror movies and games, but it is so time consuming to become an expert! But also I'm incredibly forgetful and very often forget the things I like period

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