I have finished the animation for Mr. Babaloo. It has been tough while being in class as well. I now have to do the audio. I need to record balloon and vacuum sounds. The balloon should be easy in theory. Take a balloon and slide my hand accross the surface and or bumping into it. I am looking for that hollow POING sound that balloons make when they hit another object. The vacuum will be a little tougher. I have recorded some sound down...and not bad. But not great either. It is missing something. I think it needs to be more comical or cartoony. I have purchased a Kazoo for the job. I have yet to record anything to see if it will work. I think it should sound better than a real one. We will see.
I was on vacation last week in Washington so not a lot of work got done animation wise. However I did manage to work some upcoming shots out in my sketchbook. I also managed to get a second or two done yesterday.
Above is the opening sequence. I am much happier with the new direction and the changes I have made. Still very excited to be working on it.
This week starts my journey on the Animation Mentor program. I am starting the Maya springboard class. Starting now time will now be limited on when I can work on Babaloo. I still hope to try and crank out the rest and get it done before the class kicks into high gear. However the class comes first.
Over the last couple of months I had been slowly loosing steam on the Babaloo project. The further along I went the less happy I was with how the project was unfolding. I knew when I started I believed it was a good idea... but a few adds and snips to the project really made it not read the way I intended. The gag seemed flat and it I felt it was running too slow. At this point I was not sure what to do. Well the remedy was a dose of The Animation Show . Went down to see the annual Animation Show year 4 in San Diego. Being able to see a crowd react to other well done animated short with great timing really helped. On the drive back I was replaying mr. Babaloo in my head the way I intended it. All of a sudden I was excited for the project again. I could see it working in my head again. So as soon as I got home I quickly sketched all my new ideas out. This cause me to trash most of what I had animated all ready. However that did not bother me as I was excited to be re-energized and moving again!
Speaking of the Animation Show I highly recommend checking it out if it comes to a city near you! Great line up of animation. Only a couple I thought were a little lackluster. However I was still able to find something enjoyable in them. It was great to see Bill Plympton's latest Hot Dog from his dog trilogy.
Below a working shot of Mr. Babaloo in progress.
After watching Mr. Babaloo over and over I am starting to think the pacing is running long. After all it is meant to be a quick gag.
I have an equation that I have come up with. It is "XHumor + XTime= Payoff". Really it can all be filed under "timing". However If you doing an animated short that has a gag ending you have to be aware of Humor + Time= Payoff. Will the viewer find the payoff (gag) at the end worth the amount of time they invested watching it. This rings true especially when it comes to animation on the internet. You have to realize people have a very low attention span when surfing the net and are NOT a captive audience. So you have to constantly ask yourself "Is the end funny enough for the time it takes to it set up?". Sometimes the exact same gag can be funny depending on the set up time. If it took only 15 seconds to get to the gag people may feel they did not invest a lot of time and find it funny. The same gag could fail if it takes 45 seconds. That's where the tough part comes in. Is the gag funny enough? Funny enough to make people wait a minute of set up? If not, is it possible to set it up in less time and still have the viewer understand and follow in a believable manner? In the case of Mr. Babaloo there is a abrupt ending. If it is short I believe viewers will get it and find it funny. If I make them wait too long they will feel gypped like there should have been more. So now I have to decide if I cut out a few seconds of animation for pacing.
On side note I changed the color of the carpet for the background. It was brown. I felt the overall background was too warm color wise. So I changed it to add some cooler colors to the pallet. To see the old one you can scroll down to an older post.
Animation Mentor starts on June 30th. Once that begins there wont be anytime to work on Mr. Babaloo. Which means I have a little over two months to finish. It is a tight schedule and will be a challenge. I got a few more seconds completed over the weekend as well as polishing up some of the existing shots. I also have the music score finally selected. Now it is just a matter of acquiring the rights to use it.
Looking to scrape some more time this week and get more done. I have freelance work as well so time will be limited. You may notice the post-it note on the computer? It reads "water the jasmine plant". Below you can see how well I have done thus far pre note...
Yeah, it's that twig in the middle of the pot. We took the dead leaves off and moved it to the backyard. Backyard + Puppy = empty pot. So we moved it to the front of the house. We will see if it lives.
Here is a shot of the background for Mr. Babaloo the Balloon.
Finally got a good start on the animation. I have completed roughly 10-12 seconds worth. Although there are still some parts that I would like to go back and polish up. Hope to have another 10 or so completed by next week if time permits.
Here is a little preview of the storyboards.
Almost finished with the side projects and should be back on Babaloo by next week or so.
The new episode title for Mr. Babaloo the Balloon is ...
I have mainly been working on freelance side projects which has kept me from making any major advances on the short. The last project should hopfully be done before or just after the new year. Then I hope to jump back on full steam. I still have a few storyboard pannels yet to show off. Stay safe and have a happy New Year. Happy 2008!
Here is the first look at the character turn-arounds for Mr. Babaloo.
Since being a basic round balloon he has a very simple design. Just the same there has to be a model sheet to make sure things don't vary during the animation. There are subtle things that make up his character that need concistancy. One eye is slightly bigger than the other and on a tilt. His smile is not perfectly round either. The only change I can see happening between this design and the animation would be the ribbon. I have not done animation tests yet to see if it can be animated and still look natural with all the twists. If not it will become a string.
My next film is in motion. It is called Mr. Babaloo The Balloon. I have the storyboards completed which I will post a frame or two soon. I have a series of them written. They are to be little quick cartoons roughly under a minute. The plan for this is to submit them to festivals as little vignettes. I hope to have the first one completed before the new year, however time is very tight. Stay tooned as I will have some art from the project to show soon!
One Story to the Next is finally finished! It has officially been on the web for a day. It is showing on Youtube.com (embedded above) , Newgrounds.com and Aniboom.com. Because of compression, You Tube and AniBoom have some distortion and comes off a little grainy. However Newground is in it's swf format and plays sharp if you want to see it there.
It is Already getting positive reviews! There has been some comments on the audio for the dialogue. I knew this would be an issue as I discovered something about my computer after some research on the web. It has a bad soundcard when it comes to recording. You have to eat the mic in order to be heard. Then of course when you are that close your S's and T's have a loud blasting sound. I am hoping to get a mixer to resolve this in the future. Also might be adding a mac to the studio. So I have my ways around it from here on out.
I could probably still spend months fine tuning it but at some point you have to let it go. However being excited about a new project it makes it a little easier. I still plan on creating real episodes for one story to the next but the new project is a little more flushed out and ready to go. I will have an announcement on that soon as well as more upcoming projects.
I had a small test screening a few weeks back. Amazing how quick you discover what works and what does not. All in a matter of seconds. A gag flashes across the screen.... no laughter. Too subtle. Write in notes to rework gag or delete shot all together. All in all it was a great. It let me know I need to retool some of the dialogue between the characters and ad in a shot. From there I will try another screening and hope my ideas come across the way I intend them.
Not a huge update. I'll let the photos fill up most of the space. I am about 3/4 of the way done with One Story to the Next. I am working on the last scene. Once I finish I'll go back and work on corrections that I have been jotting down each time I watch what is completed. After that it will just need the opening title and credits created and it is on it's merry way.
Computer Station while working on "One Story to the Next"
This Presidents day weekend was smooth sailing for creating animation. I plowed right through scene after scene. Felt really good to make such progress. The process was simple. Create, then watch it. Create more then watch it. Go back and tweak a little, then watch it. Go back and tweak some more...you get the point. Not nearly as exciting talking about it. I threw down some bucks for the soundtrack song. Found a great cheesy elevator song that will work perfect. In a month or so I just might go crazy with how many times I will have had to hear it!
Here are some thumbnail rough sketches of the elevator operator being flushed out design wise. The characters are so simple in nature that it takes almost as much time to draw them on paper as to create them on the computer. They are inspired from the simplistic UPA cartoons of the 1950's /60's.
The title for my next short is called "One Story to the Next"
It was originally under the working title Elevator Stories. I feel pretty good about this title. It is the story of a elevator oporator and who he encounters throughout the day. This is more really a pilot episode. If the pilot is good then I will continue on to make more. I am not sure how I will release them just yet. I might release them as I finish or splice them together into one. Currently I am animating the opening sequence and laying down voice tracks needed. I am also hunting down music for my sountrack. I think I found a great elevator song to use. I have no target date currently set for when I will complete this.