Tank thanks

2008-06-01 22:46:12 by chluaid

I feel honoured, blown away, light-headed, nauseous and proud to have taken the first NG tank for Waterlollies. If it weren't for Newgrounds I've no doubt I'd still be working in a studio churning out crap.

Everyone who has congratulated, commented and shown their support for the win, I truly appreciate it and this has inspired me to make more Brackenwood shorts in Flash (I had previously said that Waterlollies was the last Flash Brackenwood).

Ever since I submitted hitchHiker there has been a feeling in certain people that, having professional experience in animation, I should somehow be disqualified from the site. This seems to intensify whenever I win a daily, monthly and now annual.

In the beginning of my time here on NG, I was mortified that a handful of people felt this way so I spoke with Tom about retiring some of my movies. He convinced me that the community benefits from having high quality submissions (whether from professional or maverick) as it helps everyone lift their game a notch or two.

I don't think I've ever responded to the people who think I shouldn't be here, but here's what I have to say:


Short Version: I developed my skills in my own time. Disney hired me because of this.


Long version: My skills weren't handed to me on a plate at some elite studio. I only have a high school education which meant I worked in kitchens, factories and farms. In my free time though (every day after work and entire weekends), I worked my arse off to improve my drawing skill. I had big dreams of becoming a famous comic book artist, just like many people here have their own big dreams of becoming highly skilled animators.

I was employed by Disney only because I had worked hard to improve. If I had never worked on my skills on my own time, I never would have been employed by Disney, it's that simple.

When I was at the studio, I was an inbetweener (the starting point for a career in animation). I desperately wanted to become a character animator.. I did loads of tests to prove myself but they were rejected and I wasn't accepted. Meaning? I had to improve first.

I had also done some tests for effects animation and the FX supervisor was impressed with my test. So once accepted, I worked hard in order to graduate from the 3 month probationary training period.

Much of this work was in my own time. Whenever I was on holiday or just a day trip to the mountains or something, everyone else would be enjoying the sights while I'd be taking photos and video of water, wind, fire or smoke. My hard work paid off and I graduated from training. Once out of training though, every drawing, every scene and every day was a battle to prove that I was improving. Stagnation means you're out.

Finally, I WANT to be here and the numbers (and awards) tell me that most people want me here. Numbers aside, it's the best thing in the world for me to see someone else's work who has been inspired by my own and any of my characters making cameos in other people's films. I love helping people improve and offering advice (which admittedly is almost impossible to do 1-on-1 nowadays) and I will always be completely willing to help people get up to and beyond their goal standard.

You cannot fail if you can commit your life to your craft. I haven't stopped drawing or thinking about drawing for most of my life and as a result I landed a dream job where I was paid, not to sit back and go 'aaaah', but paid to improve.

You can do that too.



As a final thought, I was never a professional background artist, storyboard artist, layout artist or character animator. These are also skills I taught myself and am still working on improving.


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2008-06-01 22:49:58



2008-06-01 22:50:11

yey first comment =)


2008-06-01 22:52:57

Great job, you are a very talented artist. And i'm sure you will move on to big and great things.


2008-06-01 22:53:57

Congrats man, you deserve it!

just wondering, whats your job now? are you freelance or is brackenwood being turned into something bigger?

chluaid responds:

I've been working on freelance animation from home since I quit Disney in 2004, so I'm using my 'free' time now to write a Brackenwood feature film.. it's a long way down the track but it's starting to roll now :)


2008-06-01 22:54:11

You completely deserve it as you are one of the most amazing animators out there.


2008-06-01 22:56:03

You deserve the first tank award, congratulations! Post some pictures when you get the trophy... if you get one. :\


2008-06-01 22:56:43

Don't worry too much 'bout what some poeple say. You belong on NG.
Ya fit in with the odd bunch of us. :3


2008-06-01 22:57:22

Living life your way is always a tough battle. It is one that never ends. But who cares about the battle. Those who can liive by their dreams are the happiest of mens !

Congratualtions, Bravo, Chapeau, and every other synonyms !



2008-06-01 23:01:16

more bitey????0_0

nice and congrats on the Tankie win


2008-06-01 23:04:13

You deserve every award and positive comment you get.

Your work sets the bar for most people and it lets people know what flash can accomplish if applied correctly.

Keep up the great flash work!


2008-06-01 23:04:19

You better keep up the good work, Adam, cause' I'm planning to give you a run for your money. *Evil laugh* I expect to see a Brackenwood movie coming out to theaters soon.

Best Regards,


2008-06-01 23:04:30

You inspire all!


2008-06-01 23:11:02

I don't comment much, but I think your post deserves a few words. I'm one of the (I'm sure) many fans of the Brackenwood series. I've enjoyed your animations and have also watched all the little mini-animations on your site. I'd just like to say that you opening up and letting all us newgrounders know where you came from and your history of animating is really inspiring. To be honest, I was quite moved by your story, and it makes me feel like you deserve the award all the more. By sharing with us all you went through and all the work you put into your craft really pushes all of us (even the 16 year old students like me) to strive for our best. I just now logged onto newgrounds to procrastinate a little and waste some time. But after reading this post, I find myself compelled to go back and do some of my schoolwork =P. So again, congrats on winning the award, and I'll be looking forward to more flashes by you.


2008-06-01 23:12:44

You deserve every second of praise that you reseive!
You've obviously worked at becoming the best your whole life, and now you have a trophy on behalf of Newgrounds to show that your hard work is worth something to a lot of people!


2008-06-01 23:18:27

Congratulation !!! That awards is exactly what you and your animations deserve ! :D



2008-06-01 23:19:17

It's awesome to see artists connecting with their audience. I mean it's good that you actually show that you're not some soul-less machine churning out intense flash movies. Also, congrats.


2008-06-01 23:21:20

Good Blog, Im glad to hear you strive to help improve those around you as well as improving yourself. It is a sincere gesture that i am sure all of us here at NG appreciate and thank you for.

chluaid responds:

thanks man :)


2008-06-01 23:22:03

Congratulations on the trophy. I love your Brackenwood shorts, and am so happy that you are making more. If you ever do decide to make a comic, you should definitely make one about the Brackenwood shorts. I would buy it as soon as it hits the shelfs.


2008-06-01 23:25:11

I always found your work rather inspirational, I can't see why people would want you to leave.


2008-06-01 23:31:11

Stupid people say stupid things. And jealous people say even stupider things. So don't pay attention to people when they try to drag you down. Hard work always pays off. ... Not that I can say that from experience. My natural talent is figuring out how to manipulate people into doing things for me (except for my writing, which is quite possibly the only thing I ever take that seriously). And your natural talent is obviously being quite a BEASTLY animator, so don't quite anytime soon. Hell, do what the Walt did and get yourself frozen before you die, that way later generations can experience the magic that is Brackenwood! Anyway, I just wanted to say that you really deserved that award.

chluaid responds:

cheers! Don't worry I'm not quitting any time soon (that I know of) :D


2008-06-01 23:33:22

You deserve it, CONGRATULATIONS.
Waterlollies inspired all of us.


2008-06-01 23:33:42

You deserve everything you get. It doesn't matter that you have skill. You got that with practice and everyone could learn from you.


2008-06-01 23:53:28

I find you very inspiring, I must say. You're story has touched me. Its like... Cinderella, but with more Bitey. You're a great inspiration to me, and you're one of the reasons I started making flash. When I first saw Bitey of Brackenwood, I said "Wow, I want to make that..." I moved out of making comics, and started to animate in Powerpoint (yes, it was painful). When I eventually got flash, I began to train myself. Right now, I am trying to improve my drawing, like you used to. You have re-inspired me with your post, and I am going to push myself harder. You're probably just going to read this and say "Oh, look, another fan.". I am a fan, yes, but I am an aspiring animator. It would really mean a lot to me if you replied to this, or PM'd me some tips for animation. Normally I would PM you, but I'm sure your inbox is already filled to the brim.

So don't think you don't deserve the award, you do deserve it. You're an inspiration to more than just me, and I thank you for that, man. Good luck with your future projects, and thank you for reading this.

(I'm probably missing something to say... oh well....)


2008-06-02 00:00:28

You make newgrounds a better place adam and obviously make people like myself strive to be better at what we do. I look forward to your next project as always.

chluaid responds:

dude that means a lot coming from you. Thanks :)
tbh it's writing like yours that inspires me to write dialogue.


2008-06-02 00:00:55

You have no idea how much do i understand all that you are saying. YES you should be here and you should win a lot of stuff. I mean, youve earned it, right?

Be sure to enjoy that tank a lot.

chluaid responds:

that I will.. and I will post photos!


2008-06-02 00:01:22

This is the response I've been waiting for. People suggesting that Waterlollies couldn't be allowed to win because the man behind it was too good irritated the crap out of me. It goes against what the site stands for. If there were a cut-off point where once you got too good, you couldn't qualify, then what would the point be in surpassing that?


2008-06-02 00:01:35

I look forward to your future animations, and once again, congratulations. if anyone deserved this award, it was certainly you. ^.^


2008-06-02 00:04:09

I think it's actually pretty ridiculous that people are pissed that you won. Before you came along, we were looking at animations by Legendary Frog and thinking they were more and more amazing after each one he submitted. When started submitting, you set a standard with your attention to detail that just blew our minds. I mean, it was still flash, you could tell that, but it was incredible. It's like being raised off of the dollar menu at McDonalds and then getting some five-star restraunt stuff all of a sudden.

No, man. You gotta do what you love, and you did. Your animation is teaching aspiring actors what that blank frame their looking at in flash is CAPABLE of. Not making a flash into an animation, but conveying a story WITHIN a world.

I would've been really pissed off if anybody else got the Golden Tank. You earned it. Just because it's Everything by Everyone, that doesn't exclude you.


2008-06-02 00:07:16

lol, sorry not actors...animators...aspiring animators...

Either way, you got the point, I'm sure. Congratulations! We all look up to you!


2008-06-02 00:11:58

You're a true genius and noble person. It's an honor just writing on your blog and you will truly go down in history of this site, no doubt about it. I always enjoyed your work and it was actually some of the first animations I seen from the site that attracted me to it, and now I visit it daily. Your work has also inspired me to put more effort and time into everything I do, and confidence that it will pay off one day. Thanks for everything and enjoy your Tank Award, you truly earned it.


2008-06-02 00:13:29

Great job man, I for one think you truly earned this award. Keep up the good work, dude...and don't let people get you down. I did that once, and look at me, I'm permanently flaccid now. PERMANENTLY.

chluaid responds:

thanks for the support bud.. and never say never! It's only permanent if you believe it's permanent.


2008-06-02 00:57:08

You probably answered this question a hundred of times already but if you liked it so much at Disney, why'd you drop out?

Also, the award is well deserved.

chluaid responds:

I dropped out of Disney because after discovering Flash I saw opportunities in animating freelance from home and on my own ideas. Besides, I had been at Disney for 11 years by that stage and the lack of new opportunities and room to move/improve frustrated me.


2008-06-02 01:10:25

Congrats. But still, a little modesty would be nice. Sure, you worked hard to improve your skills (and it makes sense that you don't want people judging you because you're an ex-Disney animator), but you should recognize that you've got a serious advantage over the rest of us.
After all, the majority of us are in high school or college (you're thirty-seven). I and nearly everyone else here as no professional art training (you have several diplomas from art schools).
You're like eighteen years older than me and have an even larger age advantage on about 90% of Newgrounds.
With another eighteen years of practice, I hope I'll have improved a good deal.

Now everyone is going to complain I'm stirring up drama, but I'm not intending to.
I love your work (it's on my favorites list). You're an awesome animator. And your stuff really brings a great new life to this place. I show so many people I know your animations when they're released. I've even studied aspects of your animation that I liked hoping to imitate areas you've mastered.
And while there were a few other artists I was hoping would win, I suppose you're FAR more deserving than most.

I was just saying, this post is kinda lame. You have an advantage over nearly all of us, but that's no big deal. No one's trying to assassinate you because you won this award. You don't have to defend yourself. Just accept you've got the upper hand and be proud of your abilities.

Anyway, congrats on the award. And, as always, I'm really looking forward to your future animations.
You're awesome, man.


2008-06-02 01:27:43

Thanks for your post, it's nice to see that dedication pays off. Much props to you and your skill and especially your skill of HARD WORK.

@ Squeaky Toad, there's a difference between humility and false humility. When someone has legitimately made valid statements about the time, effort, and skill, they've put into something, it's not boasting, especially when it has the potential to inspire others and show them the way to success.

To say the post is "lame" because Adam has more experience seems silly, there will never be a level playing field on NG nor in life, so whining about one person's perceived advantages over someone else is a pretty useless endeavor, just get to work and earn your place among the stars...and that won't happen by tearing down the existing stars.


2008-06-02 01:31:08

The best on NG.... just don't win next year or your fans will be your worst enemies. Lol


2008-06-02 01:35:43

you deserved it! got any name on a new brackenwood short?

chluaid responds:

I think it'll be a day-by-day account of how Bitey came to be the last of his kind. But ssh, it's a secret :P


2008-06-02 01:44:49

I have never really liked your work, particuarly as a story writer, but I have to admit that I respect what you do, and Waterlollies wasn't bad as far as a story is concerned. Good job, and congratulations.

chluaid responds:

then I appreciate you taking the time to comment here. Thanks :)


2008-06-02 01:50:11

@BoMToons: Whining? I wasn't doing anything of the sort. I was just pointing out that Adam was complaining about things, and rather than just ignoring those people, he tried to present a situation where he had no advantage.
That's all.

I wasn't "tearing down" him at all. As I said, I love his stuff.


2008-06-02 01:57:50

squeakytoad, could you please stop hijacking this post with your inane rambling.
I swear to god you just stick your head, say something stupid, then spend the rest of the night hitting refresh just to defend your stupid opinion.

Nothing about what adam said was "lame" or "complaining". Where does your logic come from?

Anyways congratulations adam, and if I see squeaky post one more time here..so help me god.


2008-06-02 01:57:57

Yeah screw those people who say you're to good for this place... maybe this post will talk some sense into them. You deserved the award and, along with many others, I'm glad you walked away proud.



2008-06-02 02:11:12

I wantz moar Bitey.

chluaid responds:



2008-06-02 02:26:53

Me and my friends knew waterlollies would win. The animation is so smooth.


2008-06-02 02:47:12

I actually had to teach myself to animate too. The only intro I got was for Swish V2.01 last year (and I still use that program fro animation as Flash is expensive and I'm not able to enter a highschool yet that would give it to me free cuz I'm really young) by my mom who was doing graphic logo designs for her company for extra cash.

RIP Mom :(

But anyways I've developed my current skills in a year or so with my only intro being that things could be drawn and slide across the screen.

I had to think of a way to add sound.

I had to learn how o make things move without then coming from offscreen at the start.


So I actually wish to one day be as good as you, even if it's just to entertain the mass, and hopefully I can get paid.

Grats on your Award, by the way.

I hope to see more amazing drawing and smooth animation that keeps it's high level of creativity and entertainment for a full 10 minutes, and maybe for a whole 120 minutes, if you still are planning on that movie.

I'm waiting for news :D

chluaid responds:

Keep working on it, and you'll get there eventually. It doesn't happen in an instant and like I said it's a lifetime commitment, but if it's doing something that you truly love, the hard work won't seem like hard work ;)
Sorry about your mom.. keep your chin up and all the best with your stuff.


2008-06-02 02:54:57

What exactly did you focus on whilst improving your artistic skills? Anatomy? Landscapes? Everything? Did you use reference/model sheets? I must know :(

chluaid responds:

My first real push to get serious was learning human and animal anatomy. I had a love of technical drawing at school so I've always been quite passionate about perspective too, so I guess those are my two big recommendations. Anatomy (human and animal) and perspective. These are building blocks for pretty much any scene, illustrated or animated. Of course I'd recommend lighting effects and colour as the next two :D


2008-06-02 03:03:08

Without your cartoons to remind us of what we're all shooting for as young artists, I fear Newgrounds would be a duller place. Even the naysayers know it; they're venting because they hate knowing they stand little chance against the work that you have set your mind and life to.

Unless you're submitting content that you did FOR Disney and under Disney's explicit supervision, then you've got nothing to defend yourself from, my friend. The playing field here is completely even. You have no advantages other than what you yourself are capable of.

They separate boxers into divisions based on physical attribute, not skill. NO ONE should be discounted from a competition based on level of skill, because then it ceases to be a competition. That's called "rigging". So unless you're taking Flash steroids, or you've got a Cintiq in place of your left hand, then I fear we're all playing the same game, and next time everyone will have to try just a little bit harder to take you on.

I'm done with the sports analogies - congrats Adam! And expect stiff competition next year you son of a gun :D

chluaid responds:

you know I almost used a sports analogy in the post but decided to keep it simple haha! Thanks for your support too man, much appreciated :)


2008-06-02 04:01:58

Big congratulations man,you deserved that award with no doubt. And don't mind the haters man,they're just jealous of you,and you being a "pro" isn't something that separates you from us - you like to draw and create as much as we all do - you have just improved yourself to the professional level. In fact,you inspire us all to improve,when we're watchin' your movies. Hope to see more movies from you

peace :)

chluaid responds:

cheers man :D


2008-06-02 04:03:01

yup ^-^

we want you on NG
always somin I can watch when I'm feeling a little low on inspiration or something XD


2008-06-02 04:13:40

The awards was for the best artist (and movie) of 07, and professioinal or not, you've proven worthy of this. Newgrounds isn't about "the best amateur", and NG itself definitley benefit of your works on here.

That was an interesting blog, thanx for sharing. It's an inspiring read, whether you're a drawing artist or not! :)
I (and many others:) can't wait to see more from you on here. Keep doing what you do!


2008-06-02 04:27:44

It makes me angry that people say you should be disqualified...

I think it's probably because they are the sort of people that half-ass stuff then don't understand why it's bad... Good thing you are going to stay here though, your movies are fantastic. This sort of thing has happened before with LegendaryFrog, but it's good to see you aren't really affected by it. Also, very glad to hear about more Brackenwood, they were brilliant. I studied The YuYu for hours to work out how to draw a decent forest background (I did get it eventually, but yours is still better).

So basically, what I'm saying is: keep up the good work, you deserved the tank.


2008-06-02 04:28:21

You absolutely deserve to be here, if for no other reason than to serve as a beacon to others that hard work and dedication with bring you what you want. I feel that is an inspiring message that deserves to be heard.

Your work is a joy to so many here and rightly so. I wish you all the very best.