Music Video

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Mikdog
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Post by Mikdog » Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:58 pm

Newer version:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3rufGqFPPQ

I'll post a whole thing on the process of how I got the job to how I did with tech specs and all that stuff when this is done ;) Thanks for all the help guys. You rock!
Last edited by Mikdog on Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
funksmaname
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Post by funksmaname » Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:22 pm

looking good man, i like the pose before he starts walking (inside the hole)

why a month?

also, i tried downloading your comic PDF but it failed (about 3 times)... it downloaded but then said something about a mismatch or something so it didnt open... :(

:)
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knunk
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Post by knunk » Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:21 pm

Really really really good. Love your timing and lovely posing!
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3ton
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Post by 3ton » Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:56 pm

Hey Mikdog,
Just discovered yours animation for Goldfish music. It is really good and I like it very much! Characters, timing… everything work. Congratulation!
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Mikdog
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Post by Mikdog » Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:48 pm

@ slow> I agree it would be better to add some extra frames. However I'm using iMovie for compositing and its kind of fiddly with precision editing, so I'm just going with the beats I've specified exactly in my animatic. ;) I tried the kitchen jump cut, somehow just didn't look right. I think its because he bounces on the ground immediately, so there's just this empty space when he lands. Worth experimenting with though, shot.

3ton & knuk>thanks for the vote of confidence buds ;)

funk>hmm. Thanks for letting me know. I'll try host the file on my own server maybe. Or you could buy it, but that costs money. I'll see if I can get some free bandwidth at an internet cafe sometime. Hmm...I couldn't figure out that first beat thing with the fish in the beginning. Looks fine to me. I'll have another closer look. I'll also change the headphones, thanks ;)

re: your question, I'm drawing everything in Photoshop CS3 on a Macbook Pro with a Wacom Intuos 3 A5 tablet (using my storyboard thumbs as layout pics to kind of trace over) on. I use 800x600 documents at 72dpi, brush on '10'. Really like the consistency/graininess/raster feel at this setting. I tried a couple things, bigger documents, bigger/smaller brushes. This just feels right to me. Then once I've drawn and coloured everything, I use a script from PS that comes with AS in the 'Extra Files' directory called 'Export layers to Anime Studio Pro' or something. This saves all the layers as .PNGs and creates an Anime Studio document for me. (Remember to add the .anme extension when it asks you to create the file!) Awesome thing is, it preserves the positions of all the layers. Nice. So there's no fiddly importing images and rescaling into AS. Saves me a lot of time.

(As a side, if you want to import something into the project at a later stage and it imports at a weird size, its probably because you changed the project size in the project settings box in AS. So, I set the project to 25fps and 'web' preset, which is something like 320 x 240. So when I import an image after I've changed it from 800 x 600 (export layers script preserves the original document size) the image imports huge. I change the project setting back to 800 x 600 so the image imports correctly, and then I change the settings back. I work on web setting so I can quickly render a frame to see how all the layer blending and shadow settings look, stuff that doesn't show up in the editing view.)

All in all I've been pleased with the project. Just having fun now, although I'm under a bit of 'deadline looming presence' but still enjoying the process and not worrying too much about minor details now and more concerned about forging ahead and meeting a daily 5 second minumum, keeping the fun in it, trying to not focus too much on the outcome. Shew. Keeping loose like a goose.

Put the next little installment up:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AtuHjFmr4Y

Ta
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slowtiger
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Post by slowtiger » Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:08 am

A-ma-zing!

(And did you notice the hills reacting to being walked on? Pure sillyness!)
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KenW
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Post by KenW » Tue Aug 05, 2008 4:55 am

You are in the zone with this one. Its great following your progress. good stuff man. :o
funksmaname
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Post by funksmaname » Tue Aug 05, 2008 8:28 am

Hey man,
I'd happily buy your book and support the cause :) but you now removed the link from your footer! :d where can I get it in the UK? maybe you can send me a copy and i'll transfer you some funds directly via paypal? that way you get to keep all the money! ;)

in other news, its coming together nicely! my only complaint would be that the monkey looks really flat when he opens the door. I suggest you create 3 frames just showing the arm in different perspective, and flick them to the beat? closed / slightly open / 3/4 open / open... and do some sort of 'bounce' scale like youve been doing throughout to disguise the fact theres only 4 frames :P

other than that i really like it, especially the crazy perspective looking down on the globe building - really nicely done, gave me vertigo.

oh - and the flapping plant is really well done too! nice.
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Mikdog
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Post by Mikdog » Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:24 pm

Ahoy dudes ;)

Here's the music video in full:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRuro9xvK-A

I guess I'd like to ask for advice regarding changes, but I'm pretty happy with it as is, and time's up for me, sending it this week, but if you notice something glaring, please do let me know.

Very short post of HOW:

I was working as a runner in the art dept of a series they're filming in South Africa called CRUSOE which is coming to NBC in October. They're filming the beach scenes here I gather. Anyway, I wasn't digging the hours and one or two other factors lead me to quit, so I decided to send a short animation sample of a fish walking to a band whose music I had recently purchased and I loved. They agreed to let me do the music video, so, happy days, I did it ;)

Did it on a Macbook Pro 2.4, used Photoshop and Anime Studio 5.6, and had each shot its own separate file, and put them all together in iMovie. The song's 125 BPM, so I'm working in PAL, that works out to 12 frames a beat.

I listened to the song and made a storyboard. Decided to just do a wacky free-roaming thing where whatever came into my head, I put down, based around the premise of the song; "No matter how much you wanna leave you're gonna come back". Seeing as the band's name is Goldfish, I had a goldfish in a bowl, who leaves his bowl and embarks on an adventure (mind trip I guess) and gets far, but in the end, returns to his bowl. Kind of metaphorical with a lot in life I guess - you leave a place only to return in some way or another, with new experiences. Didn't want to get too heavy on meaning and calculate it too much, so mostly I was just happy to have a fun time animating cool stuff with a provided sound track - a song that I really dig.

Used Photoshop CS3 with the Export layers to Anime Studio script. All my software's 100% legit, something I'm very proud of.

Then I animated pretty much EXACTLY to the times I set out in my animatic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_6RIBJ4OI0

Tried a more realistic style, tried loads of things, like an animated line, and varying depths of layers for backgrounds, until I tried just using the storyboard shots as layout pics, and that seemed to work, so I decided, and with the advice from funksaname and my brother, to go pretty much according the storyboard I'd drawn out. I stayed with the colour theme too, but found that in some areas I needed to put a coloured layer over the background set to COLOR blend in order to seperate the characters and background enough to make the action clear.

I worked in 800 x 600. I find that HD's overrated. SD is fine for now, even SD looks OK on HD, so I wasn't going to worry about that for now.

Then I just went about animating the scenes, one by one. I'd draw the whole scene in Photoshop with a Wacom Intuos 3 tablet, then colour it, then export the layers to an AS document, then I used AUDACITY, a great open source audio program, to create a clicktrack at 125BPM, and used that as a guide to 'hit' the beats in the scenes.

For the live stuff, I kind of had a long workaround because I don't have a real video editor - I would import a clip into AS, then find a scene I could use and render that out. I'd compile all the live stuff in iMovie and render the live section out as one long movie, then re-import that movie in AS and add colour changes and flashes.

For the live section combined with the animated fish when there's a live crowd and the fish at the door, I used a mask in Anime Studio.

I was amazed at how AS handled large movie files. And I could scrub with ease! And it rendered out live stuff so fast! Man! Really rocked my socks!

So, the more planning I did on paper the easier I found it to be to execute an idea. Otherwise I just fiddled. A couple notes before I animated a scene made things go a lot faster when I actually came to animating.

Kept things simple - as Richard Williams says, be a member of KISS - 'Keep It Simple, Stupid!'

Instead of multiple planes to give depth, I found I had more control when I just used scale and blur and translate layer. Setting layers at different depths can be fiddly to get the right effect. However, when the fish and cat zoom through space, I used layer depth, because things 'speed up' when the layer's close and 'slow down' when the layer's further away...a lot more accurate than trying to fake it with scale and translate layer. If that makes any sense.

What else...mostly I just had fun. I read a lot of Richard Williams 'The Animator's Survival Kit' that helped with walks and runs, so that was a huge help. And didn't deviate too much from my animatic.

All in all, very pleasant.

Thanks to slowtiger, funksaname and synthsis75 for all your help, very cool ;) This forum's fantastic and a real gem. Long live Anime Studio.

The band, by the way, is Goldfish and they're from Cape Town, South Africa. 2 legends. I still love their music.

www.goldfishlive.com
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toonertime
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goldfish

Post by toonertime » Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:15 pm

real nice job mr mikdog!

i will bet it was a beech to keep the animation
in step with the music tempo!

anyway, i like your style and spirit of cartooning
and wish you good luck in establishing an
animation career!
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slowtiger
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Post by slowtiger » Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:12 pm

Wow. *bows*

Congratulations to a finished project in excellent quality. I really like it. Lots of stuff in there, as it should be, and no cheap repetitions. In fact there's so much to see that one can't spot everything at first sight.

And I don't find much to criticise. I will only mention two scenes:
- The fingersnapping isn't with the beat, it's too slow somehow.
- The animated photo of the band looks too pixelated, and has too much contrast in comparison to everything else. Maybe a slight blur and an overlay of colours changing with the beat can help.

And two things should be added:
- For the finished thing, add some 3 seconds to the last image - broadcasters like to have something to crossfade. (Same in the beginning, but only 1 sec)
- Title card before and after, plain white bold text on black, band's name, song title, and animation credit. Only for 5 frames. This is important for distribution.

Everything else is just fine. Some characters on the dancefloor were too fast for me to follow, but that's possibly OK with the kids of today ...

And now - show it to the world!
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KenW
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Post by KenW » Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:39 pm

great work. I'm no expert at finding flaws but the band should be pleased with your efforts. This is a very entertaining video. perhaps you've found your niche in animation .
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synthsin75
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Post by synthsin75 » Sun Aug 24, 2008 3:25 am

Great work Mikdog! I loved the whole thing. The only thing I miss was the longer flute solo wavy armed guy, but there's definitely enough going on there to make up for it. :wink:
DarthFurby
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Post by DarthFurby » Sun Aug 24, 2008 6:10 am

Among the best I've ever seen made with Anime Studio, and goes on my list as one of my favorite music videos ever maybe. This could take you places. Incredibly catchy.
muuvist
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Post by muuvist » Sun Aug 24, 2008 9:06 am

Great work mikdog it has all come together beautifully; good character design, nice snappy timing on the animation, good layouts. From the wavy guy dancing right through to the gorilla bouncer is the high point for me. Good decision to focus on getting it finished, you can show it with pride.
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