Friday, December 05, 2008

Stuff of Life Video Online!

Our new graphic novel, The Stuff of Life, will be in stores on December 23rd, just in time for Christmas, if you hurry. To whet your appetite until then, we have a cartoon to show you that will give you the gist of the book. Click the image to watch the video.

If your computer can handle it, click on "watch in higher quality".

For this animation,
1. Kevin wrote the story and storyboarded it, then
2. Kevin colored the characters from the book and digitally painted the background, then
3. PUNY started the process of preparing the characters for animation, then
4. I did the voices for Bloort and Floorsh (Kevin has a cameo role; see if you can find it), then
5. PUNY animated the characters to match my voice, then
6. PUNY added sound effects and music, then
7. I recorded my voice singing along to the music, then
8. PUNY put it all together (magically, as far as I could tell).

I expect that PUNY will put up a post about some of the animation techniques; I can only offer what it was like to do voices for a cartoon. First, I went down to record in PUNY's high-tech interim sound booth (a foam cartoon character costume about 2 1/2 feet in diameter hung from the ceiling with a fancy microphone electrical-taped to an incompatible mike stand all wired to a laptop three feet away), .

Will Shepard did the directing and sound editing (I actually spoke all of the lines several times before moving on to the next one, and I did the characters separately) and tweaked it all together to make it all sound funny and natural. All the little "ohh..."s and "A-ha"s were recorded completely out-of-context as a long stream of interjections, and he figured out where to put them in and make me sound like a pro. Nice work, Will!

Every time I went down to PUNY to do voices, I saw the incrementally-more-finished sound booth in which one day, ONE DAY, I will record some voices. Probably for some energetic, educational cartoon dog.

Finally, I offer my stunned amazement at how beautiful the animation was for this sequence. PUNY will have more detail on who did what, but all I can say is I think it looks fantastic.  

The video can be seen at:

Not to mention
which has Mike Owens' insights about animating the short, as well as some photos of the swanky sound booth.

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At 2:47 PM, Anonymous Carl Nelson said...

That's completely awesome, and Kevin's understated cameo made me laugh out loud. We can only hope that Adult Swim options it as a series. (Kevin can correct one pronunciation error per episode) Definitely a book I will pick up. Hats off, guys.

At 4:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, just fabulous!

At 6:05 AM, Anonymous Jessaroo said...

When I watched this on YouTube, the next "related video" under the BigTimeAttic Flash demo reel was "Michael Phelps Brings His Vegas Girl Home For Thanksgiving!!" No further comment.


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