Making the Mailmen (After Effects Puppetry)

Posted on May 18, 2014 in Animation, Illustration
Making the Mailmen (After Effects Puppetry)

I actually love being asked for help. As an artist, I think I share the anxiety of a lot artistic people in constantly doubting my own worth as a creator. It doesn’t matter how many times I tell myself that I’m pretty great, there will always be something I can improve on. So when someone comes to me for help because they believe that I’ve got just the skills they need, it’s totally thrilling. At the moment, I’m helping out a friend who works largely in live-action film making, but would like to learn more about the animation process. I’m all for that, too few people understand how animation works and I would love it if everyone could know what I’m talking about when I use (seemingly) basic words like “animatic” or “keyframe.”

 

kyle_characters

Initial Character Render

This friend of mine originally thought that a good way to learn about animation would be to take an animation class. Reasonable. Trouble is, they chose a class that, rather than being introductory, is meant for students with more advanced skillsets who are looking to create animated short films of their own. Steep learning curve, to say the least. Fortunately, the professor of the course is being very understanding as to the individual goals of the students and my live-action friend is allowed to recruit help for his project. That’s me! When he came to me, he already had his script and a pretty good idea of the aesthetic that he wanted, which was very helpful (my favorite kind of client!). I designed some characters based on the script and his description of them, we worked on a storyboard, and now am finishing up making some puppets in After Effects to use in our final short.

I think they came out pretty cute.