This is the first part of an animation I made for Heidi Dahmen’s class on monetizing digital media.
Our team’s business plan is based around fairy tales. I can’t say more than that because it is a working business plan that will be developed this coming year.
Terry Short, Jen Huss, Yi-Jen Wang and I set about writing and recording audio for this short podcast about four weeks ago. After recording a great audio podcast that could easily stand on it’s own I set about making the animated version.
This is my first attempt at animation. Of any sort.
Instead I used the tool I know best: Final Cut Pro.
I spent the larger part of two days in the East Asian Library at UW photographing ancient Chinese paintings, looking for landscapes and animals that fit the story. Occasionally I could not find exactly what I was looking for, so I either drew or altered photos to create characters for the animation.
Once I had the photos I needed, I opened them in Photoshop and cut them into layers.
This part is very tricky and I learned as I went. Needless to say, later characters are layered much more carefully than earlier characters such as the Ox.
After cutting each character into layers and creating a layered PSD file, I imported into Final Cut and began to animate each scene by building motion paths.
(This crude Final Cut Pro animating process is described in more detail here.)
The final result comes from over 20 hours of tweaking these motion paths so that each characters head, tail and other body parts move at the same time, roughly along the same path.
Next time I will animate it will be in the same style but with After Effects instead, which has more refined motion paths and object behaviors.
I hope you enjoy it!