Thursday, April 09, 2009

Traumas Animations: Snowblindness

I thought I'd cap a week of animation posts by featuring the third in the "Top 10 Traumas on the Trail" series. This one is probably the most cinematic of the bunch. I was tasked to create a funny but horrific tale of destruction. Watch the animation below—note that it may take a little while to load because my blog is overflowing with animation right now. (visit my blog if you are viewing in Google Reader)


Watch in full resolution.

Probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of snowblindness, right? It's basically like getting a sunburn on your eye. I was amazed to discover that our eyes absorb oxygen cells right from the air to heal the cornea. Maybe you learned something, too.

It was obviously a treat to create a UV Monster villain. As with all these animations, I tried to keep the characters simple so they would be easy to animate, using painted backgrounds to enhance the visual oomph. Here's the painting for the destruction pan, which I created in Art Rage.

I handled design, storyboarding, and layout. Allie Biondi animated the entire piece. And finally, here's another plug for the new Expedition Health exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science where these animations are featured. It just opened last weekend, so be sure to visit if you live in the area.


Eddy said...

Hi Bob
these are great. always believed sound and music is a huge part of animation. Its almost that you have to animate to the audio.
i love the way your audio drives the animation.

Bob Flynn said...

Thanks, Edward! I can't take credit for the sound design, though. The amazing Tony Lechner did the score in post, and he knocked it out of the park. So in this case, we didn't have any audio to animate to.

But I couldn't agree more. Sound can bring so much to animation. Tony did the sound design on all the traumas animations.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on another big project well done! These look great Bob!

Eddy said...

Hi Bob,
i have reading a great book on Disney called Walt Disney by Neal Gabler.
one of Disney's earliest animations (Tommy Tucker's tooth)

was for a Dental company. he showed bacteria using pick axes to hammer away at teeth. Your wonderful animation have that same spirit.

Chris Houghton said...

Sooo fun!

Jason Curtis said...

Great production value on this one Bob. The score really adds depth to this little animation, and of course, the backgrounds are lovely.

I really dig the simple characters. They really tickle my funny bone.

Bob Flynn said...

Thanks again, everyone! I'll be posting more of these animations in a little while. Edward, thanks for sending along the Disney animation. I loved how they hammered away (cute, and painful), and I of course love seeing early animation.

Mike Rauch said...

Hi Bob. Been following your blog for a while. Absolutely love your artwork. I'm always impressed at how you use the computer for really quality results that feel very organic and approach a hand-made feel. Thanks for the visual treats!

Bob Flynn said...

Hi Mike! Thanks for stopping by. I should add that I've been following the recent "Xtranormal" thread over at Cartoon Brew about the automation of animation. And was a bit flabbergasted when you included me in your mention of EastCoast animators. Mighty kind compliment, sir :) But I do go into Flash with a certain mindset. To create animation that retains a handmade quality (while admittedly using a somewhat limited approach).

In these animations I definitely tried to do that with the backgrounds. And we designed characters that wouldn't be labor intensive to redraw. It's tricky to turnaround this approach to Flash animation quickly, but do-able—if you know what you're taking on, have the right people working with you, and you plan ahead.

I also have a flat out bias to animation that looks shamelessly tweeny. I would rather the animation be limited and a bit choppy, using unique drawings from frame to frame. Plus, my influences are from hand-drawn animation, so it only makes sense that I would want to recreate that.

Anyway, thanks again for the compliment! But this business of talented EastCoast animators? There are plenty of them—I work with half a dozen on a daily basis. Its just a matter of convincing folks to think around the shortcuts of Flash, and get back to basics.

Mike Rauch said...

You're probably right there. I just see so many people NOT doing what you do - which is put real drawing skills to work throughout a project. There just seems to be so much wonky, slidy, animation these days. It gets me down, but work like yours gets me excited again.

Bob Flynn said...

Well, I think we're on the same page there. I come to animation as an illustrator. I animate because I love to see drawings move. And I do try to consider all aspects, so that each frame stands as strong image.

I wouldn't let "wonky" animation get you down :) There are a lot of great independent animators and studios making amazing work. A lot of the animation you see here was the combined efforts of the people I work with at FableVision (myself on lead). You should check out our studio, though our website is severely out of date (working on it now).