This video is a project that I have been working on since November. I did an earlier posting on it and can now post the final bits, as the video is now live and officially released. I will start with the same pieces I had up before, so if you've seen that just scroll through the first part.
This is an animated/live action video for Jesca Hoop. It's a very cool track called "MONEY". The images/text to follow show some of my working process.
Here is the rundown on a music video: First my agent sends me the track, then I have to come up with an idea/proposal, usually in a couple of days at the most. This is all done "on spec", which is normal in the animation world I'm told, so I usually can't spend days and days on one. It really isn't that much different from sitting down to do sketches for an editorial project, except that you are working with a timeline rather than still images.
This proposal is written out in a one page document called a treatment. I also include a style sheet, which is screen grabs of other animations/illustrations I've done, and maybe some loose sketches.
Most times I don't get the gig, but when it does come through there is usually a conference call with the record label, the musician, agents and me. We then talk about the treatment and put together a production schedule.
Here's the sketchbook ideas from writing the treatment.
A simple storyboard. This is pretty much just for me to know what I'm doing.
I break down the song into segments and find some type of organization. Here I have printed that out (after effects timeline) on a large sheet and started writing / drawing on that sheet, which I used as a guide to go further. You can see that I have color coded the chorus in yellow, which helps me start to get a feeling of pattern/pace in the timeline.
First we shoot on blue or green background, then key out the background color so the image can go into any environment, just like a photoshop layer.
This is the blue keyed out.
Once the background is keyed out, I build 3D environments to put the characters into. In this scene I used pyramids as a primary element, playing off the pyramid/eye on a dollar bill.
I also take layered psd files and import them into after effects. Here is a gorilla in pieces.
This is the gorilla put together in after effects and animated as a single gorilla. Then I brought him into another scene and stacked them on top of eachother in a 3D world.
Here they are in a scene, with 3D space, lights and camera. There is also a plane buzzing around him, which had to be built and animated separately.
Here are a couple of different objects being put together in after effects 3D space. You can see the camera highlighted. I usually work with 3 windows: TOP, LEFT, and ACTIVE CAMERA.
cat tin toys with no background
cats with background and lights
another angle on the cats
eyes in 3D space
eyes full scene
eyes full scene with lights
dog scene 3D
tiny guitar. The background was keyed out, then I played with a bunch of textural layers.
brooklyn from J train
I shot all the street scenes with a little cheap pocket digital camera. These clips were then treated and sometimes I put my original sketches on top.
A combination of a bunch of still images of Jesca. One of her outfits was a Mary Poppins theme, because she was the nanny for Tom Waits and many people know her as that.
Here she is on a star (cardboard).
This is what the Poppins / star scene looked like in the studio. We shot at DUCK STUDIO (agent) in LA, and they were very kind to let us shoot in their space. We needed to keep it simple as the budget was limited.
Thats it. It was tons of work, but very rewarding. I love working on these animation projects because it is still very new to me and I feel like I'm really just scratching the surface. The technology is amazing and not really so hard, all you have to do is put consistent hours into it, which isn't hard when you're having a ball. I had a lot of great people helping with the video shoot in LA, and SONY and Jesca were very cool to work with. There were absolutely no bumps in the road, which is a testament to a great crew and my agents/producers really cheerleading and making it happen. Thanks for looking. The video just went live on my site, check it out when you can.
http://www.richardborge.com (click on animation)