Friday, 21 June 2013

Birthday thing and Monkeys thing

It was recently my friend Blanca's birthday so I drew her a card with some of her favourite characters on it! At least the ones I know. Clockwise from top left is Rarity from My Little Pony, Batrider, Puck, and Bane from Dota 2, and the Pokémon Nidoking. Alot of them are purple. I could also have added Luna from Dota and Lulu from League of Legends and that would've been even more purple. This was the first time in years I'd broken out my old coloured pencils (I've had the same box for about a decade). I'd forgotten how hard I find working in any sort of natural medium. You can't even erase or patch up mistakes with coloured pencils. And there's always the temptation to add just one more layer of colour. Also my browns were all really short so doing a chocolate cake was taxing. Overall I'm a little ashamed of how naive my technique feels, but it was rewarding to do again, and she liked it! She is lovely and extremely talented, so if you haven't already, make sure you check out Dungeons & Drawings, the blog she co-runs with her partner Joe Sparrow. They just got done with a really good elementals week.

I also recently finished working on a music video for the Arctic Monkeys' new single Do I Wanna Know, once again directed by David Wilson.

I was "head of design", though I feel my role would be better described as a layout artist. I drew most of the key compositions for the animators to work to (the "storytelling" images, a bit less than what you'd call full keyframes), and animated on a segment or two. It was an insanely fast turnaround, but somehow we produced the whole thing in about three weeks thanks to a huge team of unbelievably talented people. Blanca was one of them. I haven't seen a full credits list anywhere, so here's what I can remember of what all the animators did.
  • Alex Grigg/Jasper Trenfield/Simone Tartaglia - All of the oscilloscope (which was done in Maya).
  • Sean Weston - Smoking lady to tyre running over two ladies (a monster of a section!) and the mushroom cloud just before the buck-toothed mechanic lady I think.
  • Joe Sparrow - Strutting girl stomping on oscilloscope and subsequent procession of girls setting down tyres.
  • James Lancett - Girl stopping rolling tyre (he got stolen from us to work on a different project).
  • Nicos Livesy - Various transitions, including the crossing legs, the zip, the AM lady that eventually got used for the iTunes album artwork, I think the lady sitting on the car, and finishing off the girl that James Lancett started on.
  • Sean Buckelew - Booty lady, flag-waving lady, drivers leaping over oscilloscope hills, everything from the buck-toothed mechanic lady holding the tyre to the diving lady. Yes, all of that! He was the hero of this project, it seemed like he basically animated half the video.
  • Mak Ying Ping - Closeup engine blowing out smoke.
  • Me! - Large lady getting blasted out of a pipe to James Dean man in a cartoon car leaping over bumps on the wing of an eagle.
  • Frankie Swan - The eagle and everything else up to the mushroom cloud (I can't remember if he or Sean did the mushroom cloud itself).
  • Tom Bunker - Little fish flying into the mouth of the mouth-car (I think).
  • Blanca Martinez - Car driving into the giant fish's mouth up to the kissing couple, and the burning man in the ending sequence.
  • Linda (I'm sorry I can't remember your surname ;_;) - The entire ending sequence minus the burning man.
If there's anything I've misattributed or anyone I've forgotten hopefully somebody with a better memory will be reading this and will correct me. There were also lots of random little bits that had to be attended to by different people towards the end, but these are the things that people were largely responsible for. Everyone really owned their sections and added something to the video!

Compositing was done by Thomas Ormonde (who also did the same on the Tame Impala video), and Monica Domanska was our heroic producer, coming blind into the project about a week and a half in and taking excellent control of everything.

Special thanks to all the interns, including Duncan, Elisa, and Morgan for massive help with cleanup and colouring.

And massive kudos of course to David Wilson himself for coming up with a visuals pitch that the band liked so much they decided to make it a full video, working up that pitch into something even more amazing in less than a week, and constantly coming up with awesome and fun ideas and working harder than anybody else right up to the end!

And finally props to the Arctic Monkeys for making such a great song!