Mike Belgrave and the “Rough Animatic”

The other day for my main project, I showed my completed storyboard with recorded dialogue put together in Premier.  This is the project previously called Sausages and now called Cuz.  I asked my tutor Pia what a storyboard with recorded dialogue was, because it isn’t quite a storyboard and it isn’t quite an animatic.  She thought for a bit and said it was a “rough animatic”.  For those of you who are not sure here’s a quick diagram to show the difference.

It took quite a while to put the “rough animatic” together but once I’d created all of my assets, it was quite easy to move the characters’ arms and legs around to create new poses.  And it even inspired me to do some scenes differently.  For example after the fight with the chicken staff outside the Chicken Hack, I slightly redrew the staff that had previously been beaten up to look dead afterwards.

I also reused the characters outside the 1989 Berlin Wall for the German sausage shop in the present day.

One of my favourite things about this picture is the weird character with the bald head wearing the bra and panties.  I was very tired when I was drawing this and it just looked awful.  I have to admit, Photoshop Elements 4.0 isn’t the best drawing tool in the world, but I like using it for the layer properties and the fact that it’s such an old program which works quickly on my PC.  Anyway, I was just about to delete the character and start again, when I suddenly thought, “Why not make this character a grotesque?”  I’m a big fan of The League of Gentlemen, so I gave him a big nose and dressed him in saucy underwear.

Later in my scene I needed to have a restaurant full of people in order to recreate a scene from the movie Downfall.  I particularly wanted to use the scene that gets parodied over and over again on YouTube.

In this scene I needed a group of people standing up.  I balked slightly at the idea of having to draw yet another group of characters and suddenly thought, “wouldn’t it be funny to have the characters that were in the Berlin Wall scene but in colour”.

Now when I showed my “rough animatic” to the class it went down well and Paul came up with a helpful suggestion which has given me yet another idea on how to do the final  animation.  He said he enjoyed the “rough animatic” as it was, with each frame following another.  So much so he maybe I could just do a technique that is used with photographs where there is just a little bit of animation.

If you can’t see any movement then check out the following website.  Check it out anyway, there’s loads more lovely examples.

However as beautiful as those photos are, I’m not really sure if that’s the way I want to go with this project.  I quite like the idea of animating the characters as well as I can.

Later that evening I showed the “rough animatic” to my wife and she enjoyed it, but missed that fact that the Matrix like character at the start was the shop owner later on.  She said she was tired, but I think maybe she had a point.  So I will rethink on either making it clear it’s the same person or I’ll make him stand out a bit more.

On another inspiring and helpful note, Pia said it would be fine to do my lip syncing in Toon Boom Studio which will save me a ton of time.  From what I remember it’s not an exact science and would need a bit of tweaking, but it will save me endless hours of matching each word to the mouth shapes frame by frame.


About Mike Belgrave

I am Mike Belgrave, stand up comedian. animator, outsider music musicologist, shambolic ukulele player and music video director extraordinaire.
This entry was posted in Animation, Animation MA, London Met, Major Project and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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