This project was a collaborative effort between myself and my friends Tiffany Salone and Krista Christophe. We made it for Aniboom’s Sesame Street Competition. Until May 9th you can go vote for it here. You will have to register for Aniboom and then rank it 5 stars. (You can also watch other animations and rank those.) Because I’m sure people are very curious, here’s a quick behind the scenes explanation of how we made it.
When the contest was announced on February 20 I got very excited and immediately e-mailed Tiffany and Krista. They are both huge fans of children’s television and are working on developing a concept for their own educational children’s program. Two days later we had our first meeting via conference call where we discussed the contest and brainstormed ideas about what type of video we wanted to do. This meeting was followed by a number of group gChat meetings over the next few weeks where we refined our concept. Krista made some great storyboards and Tiffany and I did a preliminary animation test.
Tiffany and I spent three afternoons over the course of a couple weeks doing the animation. We built the city out of my ample collection of LEGO bricks, the characters out of Claytoons animating clay and used some posterboard for the floor and background. We build the characters and buildings at two different scales. For the overhead shots everything was half size to make it seem further away. We also had to build the pyramid and cube in two different colors (more about that in post-production).
All the animation took place on my kitchen counter. We used three desk lamps for light and took the pictures on my Sony DSC-H7. Seth Maxon helped us out with photography and animation on our second day of animation. In total we took 786 pictures.
Meanwhile, Krista rounded up her younger sister and a couple of her friends and got them to record the voices of the three characters. These voices really brought the characters to life. Krista used a microphone she bought at Radio Shack connected to a computer running Audacity.
We turned our 786 pictures into movies using Quicktime Pro. Then we edited the resulting .mov files using Final Cut Pro. The most complicated piece of post-production was making the shapes change colors. For the shots where the shapes were hiding on the buildings we used a different color clay than white. We needed to pick a color that wasn’t anywhere else in the scene so we could isolate this color and use color correction to make it a different color.
I made a quick little video that demonstrates the different steps in the process for the most complicated shot.
The music we used is a royalty-free track included with Soundtrack Pro called Buddy. I think that’s just about everything, but if you have specific questions please feel free to comment on this post. Thanks!