Title: Photoshop Tool Basics (feat. Pacman)
Link to my animation:
Description: Learn how to use tools in Adobe Photoshop with Pacman!
Credit: music: Rags 2 Riches Rag – Audionautix on Youtube audio library
sound effects: all from freesound.org, public domain
My blog: https://sherry-zc.tumblr.com/
Actually my idea changed a lot throughout the second half semester. Initially I wanted to simulate a side-scrolling game, but extra actor of the main character would be needed to help me finish the animation and having someone that wasn’t enrolled in this class spend much time for my animation seemed to be impractical. Therefore, I changed my mind and decided to do an animation about color mismatch, but due to a property accident there wasn’t enough time left for me to shoot some scenes, and I also found that it was hard to keep consistency between different takes of the same scene because they were filmed in different days and time (and I didn’t use dragonframe). So I kind of kept the idea of doing something interesting as well as having a weird/mismatch feeling and finalized my idea — to do a photoshop tutorial with paper cutouts simulating effects of different photoshop tools. I expected that after a short time of normal demo, things will go wild and become funny. I received feedback that I could use pacman as the character fighting against the cursor in order not to be photoshoped. I didn’t mean to let pacman interact with cursor, but I thought it would be really funny to do so, so I took this idea and developed my final story.
For my animation I mainly used Dragon Frame to shoot frame by frame stop motion animation (the canvas) and scanned the paper collage Photoshop UI as the workspace. I used Premiere to edit, stabilize and merge Dragon Frame video clips, Photoshop to draw cursors and tool icons, crop out useful items (such as mac close buttons) from photos, and do other photo editing, and After Effects to composite my final animation and add sounds to it. I thought shooting photos would take up the most time, but the fact is I spent several times more time on After Effects. I need to take care of many subtle changes and details to make it look like what we actually do when we are using photoshop. For example, cursor is different when it’s on the canvas or on the workspace. Every time I switch to another tool, the tool bar should be replaced to the version where this tool is selected.
One of the most important thing I learned is to try to look at the bigger picture from the very beginning of a huge project. I changed my idea twice because I found new problems as I did the animation. If I could think over the potential obstacles and problems beforehand, some of the unnecessary trials could be avoided. Apart from that, I really learned a lot about AE. Before this course I knew nothing about it. But now I start to get familiar with it and learned how to organize files / compositions for a big project so that I won’t mess up when I want to modify only part of it. The last but not least thing I learned is sound really helps a lot tell the story in animation. In my animation if there were no sound effects, mouse clicking and character actions would not be highlighted, and audience wouldn’t have that strong immersive feeling.