Once upon a time in a GroupMe chat frequently plagued by random chatter, a conceptual conversation arose on the topic of human burial. A friend stated he would prefer his body be ejected into the endless vacuum of space which sparked a tangent which I could not refuse to entertain…
Cinematic introduction aside, I decided to make this animation in part because I had no idea what I was going to do for my animation project and this conversation occurred right at the perfect time. I asked my friend if I could use our conversation as the topic for my animation project and he agreed. The main characters of course would be us, along with the angry alien race whose planet would be bombarded by my friend’s hypothetical corpse.
I wanted the animation to have a color scheme and audio clips that follow reality closely. The colors on the alien planet however, were very cool, peaceful colors which I deliberately chose to represent the innocent peace of the foreign world. It was an attempt to engage the viewer in the simple alien family’s antics and sympathize with the soon-to-be-orphaned children in order to deepen the impact of the destruction of their family and home. I wanted the sound effects to reflect real-life sound and decided not to use any music.
Just about every part of my animation was self-made so I tried to keep everything a
consistent style. Almost everything that moves I converted into a symbol: the aliens, spaceships, newspapers, phazers…etc. There were three graphics I chose to incorporate that were not self-made; the Earth, Tombstone, and Galaxy were all free-to-use vector graphics I found online. In addition, every sound effect I used were found on SoundBible. The issues I encountered were mostly with figuring out HTML compatible fonts. The font I had originally used for the Alien newspapers titled “Mathematica3,” I had made unreadable on purpose. I had also
chosen a Sans Serif font I thought best matched typical newspapers headings. Lastly, I chose a sans-serif Bradley Hand MT font for the chalkboard in the background of my opening and closing scenes in the classroom. (These were the only fonts I had issues with, the font used font used on the Earth Body Pod I had no difficulty with). Dr.Delwiche was kind enough to help me trouble-shoot and in the end I resorted to substituting in different fonts than I originally intended, and turning them into bitmaps so that the browser wouldn’t mess up the font type and size. In the end, the chalkboard Bradley font stayed, the symbolic font for the bodies of the alien newspapers was changed, and the newspaper heading font was changed to a serif font style so the audience could read it quicker.
There were a few new animation related techniques I used. Dr.Delwiche assisted me with one when I was having difficulty with fonts. You select the text, break it apart and then you can turn it into a bitmap so animate treats it like a picture and doesn’t mess it up in different browsers. I also experimented a bit more with shape tweens. After the alien’s house was destroyed I made a massive shape tween over the stage and increased the Alpha slowly to make it appear as though the scene was fading to black. I used Anastasia McCune’s Chapter 10 Shape Tween videos as inspiration. I also experimented with adding in multiple audio clips and editing them in Adobe Premiere Pro. I used a few sound effects but only one (the Tornado Siren) needed to be edited this way.
Overall if I could do this project over again I probably would have worked harder on creating more complex motion tweens. I feel as though the ones I used in my animation were satisfactory, but not quite as diverse as I would have liked them to be. I spent a large amount of time on this project working for at least 2 hours a day since it was assigned, so I can’t complain about the results. I wouldn’t have spent any less time on it, but if I had the time to improve it in the future, I would jump at it.
- Earth Vector Graphic- http://4vector.com/free-vector/planet-earth-clip-art-106326
- Tombstone Vector Graphic – http://vector.me/search/tombstone
- Galaxy Clip Art – http://www.fun-lover.com/graphic-shop/Clips/index.php?sort=newFIRST&perPage=9&album=Galaxies
- Sound Effects – http://soundbible.com/tags-explosion.html