When Nonsense Collides!

Pre-production 3: Slightly off-model!

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Author Notes:

Cartoonist_at_Large 30th Jun 2021, 3:54 AM
The good thing about doing an animated short film: you don't have to worry about hiring actors, or managing a film set. On the other hand, you do kind of have to build the actors, and the film sets, from scratch, in your capacity of someone-who-apparently-thinks-not-filming-in-live-action-is-somehow-easier. I wasn't going to let that stop me, though: Cosmos was going to come to life on the screen, and to Snap with the consequences! Deciding to start with the Cosmos gang themselves - as they already had well-established designs, that I didn't really have to change in any significant fashion when rendered in vector art - I drew up a set of five character model sheets, showing Artie, Gene, Ax, Macy and Jenny in front / 3/4 / side view. This was both to maintain consistent proportions (and scales) across all three views (and between characters), and give me a base to build the vector art versions on; which (as I thought at the time) could then be separated out into arm / leg / body / head / face layers for animation purposes. However, I soon realised that these generic models would need a ludicrous number of layers - presumably replicated in all three views, for all five characters! - in order for them to perform the multitude of actions required of them (jumping, running, crouching, freaking out etc.); and Adobe Aftereffects would probably have a fit trying to handle such huge Illustrator files! It actually turned out to be easier to create simpler models (based on the same basic components) that performed a specific action in a particular shot in the animation - such as, for example, running across the screen away from a monster. That meant quite a number of files to juggle, but at least I knew each one was going to do exactly what I wanted ahead of time. These model sheets never went any further than this stage (which is why Artie and Gene have one pose each, and Ax, Macy and Jenny are pencil art only), but they were still very useful for reference purposes as I created the actual animation models used in the film....