For our final project, Sarabi and I worked together and created our self-drawn, somewhat morbid animation, “For the Glory of Satan of Course”, featuring guyblob, girlblob, and a rather pitiful elephant. We started off by drawing all of our components using a tablet and Photoshop, and eventually began to put them together in After Effects, which I found to be a little iffy in terms of organization of files and layers. The critique we received in class was based on the 5 seconds of animation we had gotten together for the first scene – in which girlblob falls down from the sky after school to share guyblob’s umbrella and fall in love – as putting everything together only commenced after we had sufficient components drawn, which took a while, and we had to redraw some parts because of some colour-filling issues due to my sketchy drawing. The suggestions we were given included manipulating the background a little more, perhaps making the clouds move, to give the whole scene a little more motion, due to the fact that the blobs’ features do not allow for repositioning; e.g. they don’t walk or run, they glide. Animating all the scenes was a slow process, but we got it together eventually by the final presentation class, minus the scene in which the blobs burn and sacrifice the elephant to Satan and receive money. We also removed the rainbow rain that we were to include in the animation, as it took a very long time to animate so many drops. The gasps and amusement from the class, in particular, upon witnessing the swift murder of the elephant was particularly pleasing to me, as I had the elephant die abruptly and it was satisfying to see that it invoked some reaction. We included the burning scene afterward, as well as select music to accompany and finish the whole thing off. If I were to go back and make an adjustment, I would edit the swoop of the elephant’s tusk when the girlblob turns it around, by changing the anchor point and having it rotate on the spot. It was a great learning experience to be able to create an animation, and I look forward to making some personal projects in the future.
I’m not sure how much I can say without being redundant, but here goes.
When the animation project was first introduced to the class, three ideas immediately came to mind. I ultimately decided against those ideas because another student and I planned to execute them, and I wanted to work on them outside the realm of the class. Later, when we watched “Sita Sings the Blues,” I had the desire to have “falling things” because they’re aesthetically pleasing. After a bit of discussion, Ferwa and I decided to use her characters and create a creepy-cute story. The “falling things” were supposed to be rainbow rain, but that turned out to be difficult to animate. We may revisit in the future, when there’s more time.
Important notes – AfterEffects doesn’t like to import folders, at least not in my experience. The folders will import but it creates an unnecessary level of difficulty in organization and animation. To start the animation I had to take Ferwa’s character layers out of their folders and redraw/fill some of the pieces because they were transparent. It took quite a bit of time (mostly because I didn’t know what the problem was right away) but it only needed to be done once. I also learned that the background layer MUST be unlocked. It’s actually better to either delete it or turn the visibility off so you get an accurate picture of how the asset will look in AfterEffects.
This project was super helpful in acquainting me to AfterEffects, which I’ll apparently be forced to use in the future. In between now and then I’ll create the three aforementioned projects (time allowing) and implement the skills I learned over the last month.