A terror all artists hope never to have to encounter.
I chose to use photo backgrounds and digitally drawn characters, because I wanted it to be very easy to differentiate between the background and the foreground, so that one could focus on the narrative.
As I planned to use photographs as the background for each image, I had to begin by choosing a location and taking as many photos of it as I could- which is exactly what I did. I picked one of the t-intersections in Alfred’s technology building, as it was accessible, easy to take photos of at multiple angles and locations, and because the lighting wouldn’t change in the event I needed more photos- which I did. I took several hundred photos, but only used four.
As the photos were taken on a cell phone, they had to be edited to remove most of the static. It was a tricky process, as the noise produced by my phone is luminous noise, which is light-related rather than color-related. In the end, my process for noise removal was to duplicate the photo to a new layer, then apply a 1-pixel Gaussian blur and noise removal filter at 10 strength and 15% detail preservation. The new layer was then set to 65% opacity.
The characters themselves were drawn separately in a drawing program, FireAlpaca. With the edited photo as a placement guide, I would sketch, ink, and color each frame one by one using a Wacom tablet. The drawing itself was a simple process, but the amount of frames (36) made this step the longest. When all the frames were drawn, they were imported into Photoshop, made into animation frames, and saved as JPEGs.
Said JPEGs were then imported again into Premiere Pro, along with two clips and several sound effects. The frames, clips, and sounds were timed and arranged by eye. The finished video was then exported into Vimeo format and uploaded to the site.