Monday, July 26, 2010

Animation Tag Attack WIP #5

In the home stretch! I procured an 8-bit sound generator for this one shot.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Animation Tag Attack WIP #4

Well, I'm up to about 40 seconds now... I'll probably get about 15 or 20 seconds more depending on whether I put in this last sequence. I'm pretty happy with it thus far, particularly the second scene. You'll know it when you see it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Animation Tag Attack WIP #3

I don't want to post too much for fear of ruining the final impression, but here's a small fragment of a frame. I'm pretty happy with how this is rolling along and would love to spend a year making some longer-form thing in this style, which is kind of a combination of some of the stuff I've worked on this year. Only with more animals talking with the wrong sounds.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Animation Tag Attack WIP #2

This will probably be a reel shot.

Things are chugging along. I'm officially over the 5 second minimum. How far will I go in just under three weeks?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Animation Tag Attack WIP #1

So I've thrown my hat into the ring and am the next artist to contribute to Animation Tag Attack, an awesome exquisite-corpse style project from the supremely talented and friendly Christen Bach. I'm excited and more than a little intimidated to follow up such incredible and interesting talent. But I here and now pledge to make my roughly 30 seconds so amazing, so awesome, so earth-shattering that all around the globe you will hear the cries of adulation and sorrow.

Here's where we are thus far. In particular, the last two guys are Angry Natives, and they do absolutely stellar work.

I'll post a few things here and there as I work.
And the style frame.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Post-mortem - Abigail recommends.

Hey kids! I totally forgot to post this! Enjoy!

The Project : We wanted something to further introduce the character of Abigail. She's got her own somewhat involved backstory, but that will be doled out at a much more leisurely pace. I mean, ever wonder why she is bipedal and speaks some sort of translatable language? Because let me tell you - not all cats can. Not even in our bizarro universe. Also, we like books. And history. And Reading Rainbow. Bethany reads a TON of history books (I'm the philosophy dept), so a book recommendation show was really an inevitability.

Ah, Monticello. We are fascinated by you. So fascinated, in fact, that a future storyline will center completely on a trip to you. History buffs may notice that my depiction above is not completely historically accurate. In edition to various creative liberties, my Monticello differs from the real one by being made entirely of solids and a fabric texture, not bricks, and set apart in 2.5d instead of 3d. One of the things I love best about AE is that it meshes with my natural inclination to construct scenes as if they were stage plays. For those of you who aren't After Effects people, check out this low-res pan around of the set, before it was composited in the final scene.

During the main week I was doing this spot, I was alone in the house as Bethany was visiting family. After several days of not sleeping well and staring at this project, I decided to tackle the proposed flying turkey scene. I cannot describe how happy I am with how it turned out.
What Worked : Darn near everything. It was slick enough to be viewable and had just the right amount of rough around the edges charm. Bethany's vo was also pretty great, I thought. In particular, I was happy to add some depth to the relationship between Tadly and Abigail (which isn't hard. this is only the second cartoon). Everyone who knows us knows that Tadly and Abigail are VERY broad caricatures of Bethany and I, and I think that goes double for the last shot in the piece, down to initial annoyance softening into fondness in the face of blaring attempts to be amusing.
What didn't work : NOTHING. IT WAS PERFECT. Well, actually, I'm not completely happy with the shape of Abigail's head in that last shot. She felt a little mushy. She's supposed to be a soft lap-cat type, but she was perhaps a bit marshmallowy. It's hard to explain. Also, Tadly catching the hotdog in his mouth is far to light. It needed more physics on his part and a louder sound effect. I also never quite found a good place to put that grill hiding in the background.

Final verdict - In describing this whole thing to a friend a few weeks ago, he remarked that it only made sense because he knew us - our obsessions with history and literature, our fondness for cats, our sense of humor. I do worry that it will bewilder some, but I also like the idea of some part of us as people shining through in the final cartoon. Long after we are gone, people will look at this and say "Hmmmm".

Tadly Episode 2 WIP #3

So few explorers nowadays. You should've seen it 70 years ago.

Production on The Floating Island is lurching into motion. It's going to be an exhausting but hopefully rewarding 7 weeks or so. So much to do - finishing boards, finishing the script, figuring out music, casting and recording, finding time to sleep. I'm also looking forward to further honing the aesthetic of the show as I go. Also of interest to me right now is the general tone. We're definitely going for something that is for all ages, but certainly not a "kids show". Trying to strike that balance between our senses of humor, telling a story, and being visually adventurous is probably the biggest task right now. So we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Abigail recommends 1 work in progress #3

Getting closer to the look of the series. I'm enjoying the iteration and am hoping others enjoy watching the look evolve over episodes.