This article explores my creative and technical processes used in the creation of an animated marketing video. To see the finished product, click here.
The objective of this project is to create an animated marketing video for my latest art piece, “Otto and Goldie,” featuring a cute raccoon and his fishy friend.Shop Artwork →
Writing the Script
The first and most important goal is to clearly describe the offer: an original piece of framed artwork. Secondly, I wanted the video to have a light conversational tone. After a period of ideation, I thought that Otto could describe the artwork while he’s on his way to meet a friend. The scenario necessarily implies informality and friendliness.
Having Otto running throughout the video requires a couple of animation basics: a running sequence and a scrolling background featuring a parallax effect.
Illustrating Otto’s Run Sequence
To emphasize the hand-illustrated nature of the artwork, I cut the original from a scan and used it was a reference. I drew the wireframe digitally to get the movement right and then morphed the hand-drawn artwork to match the digital outlines. I needed to keep everything to 10 frames, so I used a repeating silhouette for Otto’s legs and illustrated a loop which gives the effect of each leg taking the front position.
Illustrating the Scene
For the background style, I took inspiration from 60’s animation. The background artwork done for Disney’s 101 Dalamations is exemplary of this style, which is characterized by simple line work and blocky often off-register fills. If you’re interested in seeing a historical example of this type of illustration, take a look at the work of painters Raoul and Jean Dufy.
Due to time constraints, I didn’t have time to do a full set of paintings, so I settled for austere suggestions of homes and bushes. I put a little extra time into the bushes, which I illustrated with watercolor and inks, to inject some organic textures into the background. I combined the house graphics to create a patterned background as well.
Music & Sound Design
I’ve never done any voice acting before, so I wanted to give it a try. It was important for the spoken words to coincide with the lettering that was appearing on screen despite the script for each not being identical, so I synced them up carefully. I feel like this approach suggests a less formal feeling, which is appropriate for this video.
I chose mandolin for the background chord progression to create a friendly and airy kind of feel. Any excuse to play my Weber Gallatin is a win in my book!