Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Raketu - George Liquor - Lip Synch Can Be Fun

I guess you all know I am trying to revolutionize both entertainment and advertising at the same time with these Raketu things I've been working on, huh?

Well here's some stuff I was doing with George. I keep trying new ways to combine traditional cartooning with Flash.

I did my pencil layouts of all George's key poses on paper.

pencil layouts:

I already knew in my head how George was feeling about this new-fangled commie technology.

George is suspicious and afraid of anything new - as all decent Americans should be, but the one factor that might sway him is an opportunity to save a buck.

That always speaks to him as a good middle-American trying to live the American dream.
Since Raketu practically eliminates long distance and pesky charges for extra minutes, I knew I could convince George to give it a try.

So I knew all his basic emotions and changes and I drew them the old way with these pencil sketches.

Then I went over to the great Mike Pataki's house. By the way, Mike has been very sick and has had a horrible year. He's recovering and should be fine but still has a knee operation coming up.

He's a tough sonovabitch but he has a heart just like cowboys and you and I.

I bet he'd really appreciate some kind wishes from all you George Liquor fans out there. George wouldn't be the man he is, if not for Michael's great acting and pure unspoiled soul.

Tell him how much you love him in the comments, ok?

Here's the soundtrack of Mike reading George's lines:

After we recorded him, we brought the voice track into Flash, and I decided I would try to animate all the mouth positions on the Cyntiq with a stylus. It would save paper and scanning and importing.

pencil layouts without mouths:

Marc went into Flash and cut out the one mouth position from each pose and plopped them onto another layer where I would animate the rest of the mouths.

mouths drawn in flash:

Animating lip synch in Flash is a great improvement over the old way. I can actually scroll through the voice track on the timeline and see every frame of every phonetic sound.

This way I could draw each mouth the way it sounded it to me. This is a new and very fun experiment for me.

The sounds in my ears projected images of funny mouth shapes into my brain and then I copied them straight into the computer right on each frame that was making the sound.

Now this cartoon, being Flash and a webtoon and not a huge budget, has to be what they call "limited animation" - a somewhat derisive term to many folks-like Eddie.

But that's because so few cartoon studios ever used limited animation in a fun way.

My theory is: Just because you don't have as many drawings in limited animation as you do in full animation, doesn't mean that those few drawings can't be funny.

Almost all cartoon animation has lip synch-mouth positions, but the mouth positions are usually stock preplanned and boring drawings. Even in "full-animation".

Here's a real dandy!
(That mouth looks like it's only good for one thing)

Drawing funny (or specific) mouth shapes doesn't take any longer than drawing boring mouth shapes.

I can't stand the idea of "stock" anything! Every time you sit down to do a new drawing you oughta make it NEW! Isn't what we do called "creativity"? Create something every single time you sit down to make something in a cartoon. Or give your paycheck back!

I'd go nuts if I had to just do the same poses over and over again for years. How do comic strip artists and Disney animators do it?

Oh, and these mouth shapes weren't made up arbitrarily just to be funny. (although that'd be better than pure boring too) I wanted them to match the inflections in Mike's voice.

Like I've said many times, the creative opportunities in every cartoon should never be finished until the whole cartoon is finished. Everything you touch should have entertainment value.

Well, that's my wacky theory anyway. I like to have fun all through the process of making a cartoon, not just at the story stage like the execs and those dopes that call themselves "writers" want.

Raketu is great. Greg, Martina and Oliver encourage me to make their spots fun-as long as they sell the product!

That's a logical trade off to me. I want to do a thousand of these, so when I give you a heads-up, then go to the Raketu site and see all the cartoon ads I did for them.

I'll let you know when they go up!

I'll keep posting more behind the scenes crap like this in the next few days. Thanks for giving a hoot!


Dudley says hi too: