5 min Industry Film

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slowtiger
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5 min Industry Film

Post by slowtiger » Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:37 pm

Finally I can present the result of the last 3 weeks' work. I did this all by myself, except the text which was provided by the client, and I could hire a professional voice actor.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DUtNHVBB98 (The english version will be available on Thursday.)

Image

All scenes where done in AS. The character drawings were done in TVpaint, the props I painted with ink and a chinese brush on paper. Colouring effects and typography were done in Photoshop. The BG was one single watercolour wash on paper which I processed in PS to get different colour versions.

Editing done in Final Cut, music and sound processing in Logic. Production and upload format was 1280 x 720, 30fps. The file I uploaded to youtube was 226 MB big, an .MP4 with a data rate of 6400 bit/sec, for those who want to try this setting. I'm quite satisfied with the YT quality.

I would've preferred a longer production time, but the film is to be presented on Tuesday. Fortunately this client is a very reasonable one who doesn't demand many changes, I basically worked from a very rough storyboard I presented to him and added things while going along. You will of course notice the many re-uses of stuff. The purpose of the film is to explain the product (a software) to execs who don't understand the technical details.

I set up all scenes in v5.6, but rendered in 5.6 and 6.1 in parallel (on the same machine) to save time. Production files ate up as much as 16,5 GB of disk space - because all scenes were rendered in full resolution and PNG codec, and because the artwork was hi-res as well.

I made some observations during this tight production.
1. It was too tight. I didn't have the chance to just drop the work for 2 days, then look at it again with a fresh eye. This was especially true with the soundtrack, where I was completely off the track with my music first. Fortunately some weekend visitors had a look and gave good advice.

With just one additional week I could iron out some minor mistakes, add some two or three drawings, and maybe change the sequence of scenes a bit (and skip one). Then it would be really polished. Right now it's just "good enough". At least it looks much more expensive than it was.

2. It pays to prepare stuff in advance for re-use. The dotted line was created only once, of course, as well as the walks. It's only one BG, basically. The typing fingers have been done only once as well, and then coloured differently.

3. Use different programs to combine their benefits and avoid their weak spots. Drawing these characters in TVP was fastest, like doing all those pans in AS - no other program beats it in this discipline. The self-drawing diagram was done in TVP: start with the whole thing, then work backwards and erase bit by bit - fastest way to do so.

4. Do stuff in the correct size from the beginning. This way I was able to re-use character movements from an early scene, but still could add additional drawings without having to adjust sizes.

5. Use groups. They're such a time saver! A typical scene had one root group layer which held all stuff, and this group was moved for all camera moves (I prefer this over camera moves because I have more control over movements). In this I had groups for each character and his desk, where the character had some switch layers. As a rule, I did all size changes on the highest possible level, so if there were 12 dotted line groups I put them into one group and scaled only that.

6. Use masks. The dotted lines where done that way as well as all those logos-inside-boxes. (The dotted line was made with 2 layers and 2 keys.)

7. Set your origin points carefully. The green filling rectangles where done with layer scaling, not point motion.

8. Animate first, then multiply that layer and adjust animation in time.

Overall this was fun. I had the chance to use a favourite style of mine, a bit like the advertising films from the 50's and 60's. I definitely should draw more with ink and brush, it's fast and expressive, and it makes for a strong image on screen.
Last edited by slowtiger on Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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lwaxana
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Post by lwaxana » Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:25 am

Nice animation! I'm impressed that you made it by yourself in only three weeks. And thanks for providing us with the tips you learned from this project. Reusing the hand animation is such a good idea!
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Post by muffysb » Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:28 am

Very cool! A nice unified style...like you said, similar to the '50s workplace education videos, but still distinctive.

The watercolours are definitely an asset.
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Post by sbtamu » Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:47 am

LOl im in wrong forums, what forum do i go to for noobs like me?

JK bud, awsome work.
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Post by Uolter » Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:10 am

Great animation! I agree with muffysb, watercolours give a lot of personality!
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Post by Genete » Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:21 am

Really well done. I just dislike that IMHO the software logo is out of style compared to the whole animation.

-G
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slowtiger
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Post by slowtiger » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:15 am

Well, I wasn't allowed to change any of the logos ...
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Post by Mikdog » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:46 am

Nice! Didn't watch the whole thing because I have limited Internet remaining, but I like the ink and brush look and background textures. 5 min in 3 weeks is pretty heavy going. I like the simple and effective characters. Reminds me somewhat of a show I saw on Nickelodeon called THE COOL CROWD or something.
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Post by robj » Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:55 pm

Very nice work Slowtiger. That's a good deal of work to complete in such a short time.
" ... a bit like the advertising films from the 50's and 60's ... "
Yes, I did get a UPA feel from it at times.

I do agree though with the comment that the logo / text does not quite match the design style of the animation. I understand that the logo / text could not be changed, but may have framed it a bit different to separate it a bit from the animation. All in all, very well done; consistent and well executed.

Rob
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christopherjd
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Post by christopherjd » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:03 pm

really good.. I wish I could produce this much work to this standard in 3 weeks... envy lol
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Post by neeters_guy » Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:10 pm

I enjoy your indie stuff more of course, but at least you get to work in your style and get paid for it. Very effective, and thanks for your observations.
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Post by jose1984alberto » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:15 pm

well, i know its kind of a delicate question, but, how much did you charge for that? i would really like to know to have as reference, if you like you can send me an email.

if you just dont want to give that info, i completly understand
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Post by slowtiger » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:30 am

Jose: No, it's a completely legitmate question! But still ...

Charging for a project is an art in itself. Most graphic design stuff I'd charge for the hour - my usual rate is 60.- € (+ tax). The official guideline for designers in Germany says 76.- € per hour. Designers in Berlin don't get as much as designers in Munich. But OTOH life in Berlin is much cheaper than in Munich - that's why ao many artists from abroad live here, which further heats the competition!

A project like this isn't calculated by the hour. Usually you charge an overall price. The budget for this included 500.- for 2 voice talents (1 hour each). My client is a smaller company, the film doesn't have a big audience and will not be shown on TV. If it were to be broadcasted, the budget should have been between 10.000 and 50.000 €. This is because one has to hire more specialists to assure technical quality.

In the end I charged him enough to pay my rent for 3 months (after paying taxes), while actually working 3 weeks on the film. You should calculate at least the same, starting from the rent you pay and what you eed for a decent living. Always remember: any job needs to pay at least for the time you're working on it.
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Post by slowtiger » Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:11 pm

Addendum:
Like always, some of the best ideas come to you right after a project is finished.

I made heavy use of the dotted line in this film. Its zig-zag path was constructed from two separate source lines, one horizontally moving, one vertically, with careful adjusting of masks. Still a keen eye could see strange artifacts in the corners.

How much nicer would have been round corners - but how to achieve? Today it hit me like a brick: use the snake technique!

I tried it, and it works like a charm. If I would give the black rectangles some more points, they would even bend nicely. (Create the bone chain and the rectangels always while using the grid!)

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Post by jose1984alberto » Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:55 am

slowtiger wrote:Jose: No, it's a completely legitmate question! But still ...

Charging for a project is an art in itself. Most graphic design stuff I'd charge for the hour - my usual rate is 60.- € (+ tax). The official guideline for designers in Germany says 76.- € per hour. Designers in Berlin don't get as much as designers in Munich. But OTOH life in Berlin is much cheaper than in Munich - that's why ao many artists from abroad live here, which further heats the competition!

A project like this isn't calculated by the hour. Usually you charge an overall price. The budget for this included 500.- for 2 voice talents (1 hour each). My client is a smaller company, the film doesn't have a big audience and will not be shown on TV. If it were to be broadcasted, the budget should have been between 10.000 and 50.000 €. This is because one has to hire more specialists to assure technical quality.

In the end I charged him enough to pay my rent for 3 months (after paying taxes), while actually working 3 weeks on the film. You should calculate at least the same, starting from the rent you pay and what you eed for a decent living. Always remember: any job needs to pay at least for the time you're working on it.
so you charged 500€? and it pays 3 months of rent!? jeeez, your rent is cheaper than mine!! and i live in Ecuador! or is it 5000€ that yould seem more logical...

so do you think for a tv comercial of 30 secs, $1500 yould be alright?

i think its alot tougher to charge for your work back here in ecuador, cus, although now, life expense is alot like the US, small clients are still not used to pay what you and i would consider fair...

BTW, with $1500 i would pay 7 months of my rent...

and, i almost forgot... your animation looks great...
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