I'm overwhelmed and elated at the response my recent animation has received! On Youtube it's already rising past 600k at the time of writing this. I haven't seen this kind of viewership since my old studio channel was still active, years back. And the response here on Newgrounds has been incredible.
Truth be told, the project met a lot of frustrations in development, from Premier wrestling with me and desyncing audio and refusing to make links to After Effects, desyncing due to me animating at 12 fps and it translating to 23.976 instead of 24, and the fact I tried to 100% frame by frame it like an idiot early on, only to realize I was just making needless amounts of work for myself and salvaging what I had for a more partially-rigged approach that looked literally identical but with 1/8 the work. I was super frustrated with the hits it suffered to visual quality from the rigging complications. I couldn't fit in as much movement and visual gags as I originally had planned, at least not without redoing a significant chunk entirely (on top of what was already redone).
This was my biggest Toon Boom animation yet, and screwed up big time by trying to animate similar to how I used to in Flash, where you can have all scenes are in the same document or timeline. In Toon Boom, each shot gets its own file or display group, at least ideally. The way I did it, I wound up with a 4700-frame timeline, which was a nightmare to navigate and even worse to tweak audio on.
A lot of these struggles you can't really notice without comparison, or even at all in the final product, but it turned an expected 1-2 month project into a 4 month one. I had a lot of personal mismanagement, but the fact it was still well received still makes it worth it. And I feel like a lot of its success is also owed to the voice acting by Jello, Courtney, Jen, and even Rev.
This was also the most focus I've ever put into backgrounds. There's still room for improvement, I'm very amateur with background work, but the responses I've gotten on them has made me feel like the effort was well spent.
The success on youtube is particularly interesting given how hard it is for original animation to thrive there. IMO part of what also made it a hit wasn't just cause of crude humor (which definitely helped, I'm not clueless), but also timing. My channel had a tutorial somehow make it to the 'animation' category on the front page the week prior, so I had an influx of fresh subscribers and activity on my channel. I can't say for certain, but I feel like releasing the following week took advantage of Youtube thinking my channel was 'active.' I also had done a stream the day before release with a live viewing to test this further.
Or maybe that had no effect and it was still entirely a fluke. Tough to say.
A sequel is definitely on the table, though likely not soon. I've got an 18+ Shantae animation on the backburner to get back to before anything. I also want to participate in a few of the animation contests here with approaching deadlines (one of which is next week. Might skip the first one.)