I think I’m starting to see things in 2D, or at least I’m definitely thinking in keyboard shortcuts.
I actually tried to ⌘Z when I dropped my phone today (‘undo’, for all you normal folk). I’ve spent the entire week pulling, rounding and tweaking shapes, adding outlines and bizarre patterns, ever slowly losing my mind to the consuming world of animation.
While I’ve palmed off my Kong UX wish list to our poor devs to deal with, I’ve been illustrating my first full storyboard for one of our group companies, Parcel Monkey. They’ve asked Mike, our video guru, and I to come up with a short animation as part of their recent relaunch as a parcel delivery comparison site. I’ve left all the mind-boggling, bajillion-layered, After Effects stuff to Mike, while I’ve been working on the visual style and assets.
And might I just say - we have ourselves one funky looking monkey. I mean, he’s got cooler shoes than me! It was pretty fun to experiment with various styles and, despite how frustrating the initial creative barrier can be, it’s super satisfying to zoom out and realise you’ve made ridiculous ideas manifest into a legitimate storyline, Banana-mobile included.
Creating a well considered storyboard has been trickier than I expected; all those itsy-bitsy bits between frames which you don’t even notice (when done well) suddenly rear their inconvenient head. I’ve found that there is a pivotal balance between the illustration detail and the animator’s intuition; my aim is to provide Mike with enough detail in order for him to execute the frames easily, but also to allow his imagination to guide the actions. For example, I’ve given him a brief that goes something along the lines of.. “I want this character to dance like you did at our boss’ wedding”. I’ve provided the assets, and he knows how to work them.
While I’m by no means an expert, I now very much appreciate the time, planning and detail that goes into clever animations. Keep an eye out for a fashion-conscious monkey, as well as some smoking hot dance moves.