Elsinore - Wooden Houses - Animated Music Video

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Final Storyboards part 1 of 3

In an effort to better estimate everything that needs to be done on this video I have fully storyboarded the video. I'm going to break this up into three posts because I think it would be absurdly long as a single post. Anyway, the first few storyboards will look very familiar from my Backgrounds post, but they'll start to look new after that. Also, I made them all in grayscale so that the would look the way I expected them to when printed.

In the first shot we will see two pigs standing in front of the castle. As I mentioned before, I will most likely move the text from the frame to a sign in the foreground of the photo, so that it is not initially obvious that it is a photograph. The camera will zoom out and the hand will come into frame and lift the picture frame away.

Oh I got the pig's brother made. I originally planned for the two of them to look very similar but this is how he ended up:

He cracks me up every time. Anyway, back to the storyboards.

We then see the whole room. the pig sets a note down on the counter and exits

The pig closes his door and pauses for a moment to collect himself before leaving to the left.

This shot will start in the same way that the opening shot does. The text on the bill board will initially be the only visible object. Then, one window in the building on the left will light up. The rest of the windows will light up in sequence as indicated by the squiggly arrows. The rest of the scene will then fade into view.

Here the pig will leave his building and start down the sidewalk. He will encounter a pigeon. The two will stand off for a moment. the pig will eventually move out of the way letting the pigeon pass.

Further down the block, the pig will get into a cab.  Ideally I will time it out so that the entry of the cab is in sync with the fade in of the percussion at the beginning of the song, as though it is being heard from the car's radio.

 The cab will drive past different backgrounds. The first more urban, the second filled with "Mc Mansions".

Finally the pig will arrive at his house. The sun will set behind the house and the screen will fade to black.

In part 2 of the storyboards, the wolf sets out in search of the pig.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


After a brief hiatus to work on another video project, I am back to work on the Wooden Houses video. Over the past few days I've put these two backgrounds together.

I made this one first:
 This will be the second shot of the video. The pig stands at the wooden countertop to the right. He picks up a framed photograph which we have just seen in close-up in the first shot and then sets it down face down.

While working on this background I discovered that I have a tendency to fuss endlessly on details. As a result I spent far more time on this than I would have liked. As with everything on this project, though, I learned a lot in the process and will be able to do the same things faster in the future. I decided after this background that I would do an initial pass on each background and then go back later to do texturing and shading and to add other details. I think that way I'll be able to better allocate my time.

One detail I want to point out is the wine bottle. A few weeks ago, Kinzie and I were at a grocery store and decided to get a bottle of wine. We came across a bottle of red wine called "Special Pizza." Anyway, I decided it needed to go in the video:

I then started in on the first background of the video, a framed photograph.

At some point there will be a wolf and two pigs in the foreground of this photograph, but I need to get them to face forward first. I may also move the  text from the frame to a sign in the foreground in front of the characters. The Video will start showing only the word Elsinore, and the rest will fade into view as it zooms out to reveal the full frame. The pig's hand will reach in to pickup the frame. the video will then cut to the view in the first picture I posted.

This castle is traced from a photo of Elsinore Castle. while that can be a tedious and time consuming process in Illustrator I worked pretty quickly and didn't fuss over every detail of the castle and I was able to employ some of the tricks I picked up while working on the previous background.

I followed that up with the third background, in the hallway outside of the pig's apartment:

One thing that I realized while drawing the original background was that I don't really know how to draw things in perspective. I spent some time on some websites investigating vanishing point perspective. I may not add any detail to this hallway until I'm almost done with the video as I suspect I may have to cut this. As it stands, I'm worried I might not be able to start the song until about 20 seconds into the video. I'll have to get further in before I see how the timing works out.

I have a few other odds and ends completed including a walking pigeon and some new sketches, but those will have to wait for next time. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

It's Alive!

I present the pig, walking in place.

There have been some changes since I posted this fellow in November.As you can see, he has grown a fine mustache. People tell him it makes his nose look like it sits lower on his face and sticks out more. He also got a longer coat for Christmas. When he got it he said, "Oh boy! this will make my legs so much easier to animate!" He also got himself a new watch and a manicure. Over the holidays, though, he did some heavy drinking, and has developed a pinker hue to his skin. He claims he likes the color. It makes him feel closer to his piggy roots.

Anyway, I know the motion's not perfect yet. There's something not quite right in particular about the motion of his arms. I expect I will be doing a lot of pacing around my apartment and staring at my arms to help get this motion corrected.

From here I plan to start working on some backgrounds for the first few scenes. I'd like to get those put together so I can have something substantial to show and to set to music.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions or thoughts either about the character's movement or about the change in the character's design.