Sunday, June 30, 2013

"Invisible to You" Animated Sequences

When I was still working at MAKE back in 2010, I was tasked with designing and supervising some animated sequences for a feature documentary entitled Invisible to You (2014) directed by Ramon Nuñez. The film details the stories of troubled youth who are the victims of abuse and abandonment.  Each animated sequence is a roughly one-minute flashback narrated via actual interviews with the victims or their counselors.

Cartoon Brew featured these animated sequences in their entirety as an early first preview for the film.

The onscreen incarnation of my first concept sketch for the project.

Aaron Quist, Alec Mueller and I developed a workflow in Photoshop that evoked charcoal and other rough media.  When the aesthetic was approved, I storyboarded all three sequences and edited animatics to the interviews.

Production stages diagram courtesty of MAKE.

The art direction was meant to evoke the feeling of distant memory, along with a sense of "stream of thought" in the animation.

Out of necessity, I directed the animation like a quick-turnaround television production. We only had six artists and a few weeks for actual production on each sequence.  Rough layout and rough keys I blocked for every scene with Photoshop and After Effects, extremely faithful to the boards. Artists could easily dive right in and flesh out the rest of the animation.

Here are the model sheets I drew for the animators.


Here are some of the key storyboard layouts as depicted in the final animation. We tried to maintain "comic panel clarity" from concept to completion. Some character poses are straight from the model sheets.

Shaphan's Story








Trudee's Story







Roger's Story









Character animation was completed by Justin Weber, Aaron Quist, Niklas Norman, and myself.  Effects animation, compositing, and painted elements were the handiwork of Alec Mueller and Ben Bury. Although I did rough golden poses for every scene, Trudee's Story was the project I had the biggest hand in after pre-production. Justin Weber animated predominantly on Shaphan's Story and became the other supervisor, and Aaron and Nik did the lion's share of animation on Roger's Story.


Here is the reel of  the shots that I animated myself or with some additional follow-up from Justin Weber:



Invisible to You was a really rewarding project. Working with friends to animate content with a significant message was a welcome experience! Many thanks and a firm salute go out to Danny Robashkin, the creative director at MAKE, for having the desire to produce and finance the animation.

2 comments:

  1. Beautiful work, Andrew, and certainly a very worthwhile project. Bravo.

    ReplyDelete