Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Testing out an animation sample

I had a dream come true.

I wrote about 14 short animated cartoons for McDivot during my stay at Big Fish. When I say "wrote" I mean that I wrote a synopsis followed by an illustrated storyboard for each cartoon. I also created animatics for most of them although these files appear to have been lost.

I had absolutely no experience creating an animated cartoon. I studied how-to books and videos and I had always wanted to create a cartoon since I was a kid. Here was my chance!

The first nine cartoons I animated myself using a combination of Photoshop and Flash. It may have been an inefficient approach in retrospect but I pulled it off. I had a lot of help from two fantastic artists name Bill Meyer and Rhonda Conley (I believe in giving credit where credit is due) who digitally painted the backgrounds. 

Somehow through a combination of drive, desire and a big heap of blissful ignorance I did it. I completed nine cartoons and they were sent to Clean Cuts on the east coast for audio sfx, voice-over and music. There is no way I can even begin to describe that feeling of seeing a character I created not only come to life but once that first audio came in I was nearly in tears. I was floating on a cloud with joy. Shortly the cartoons appeared in the game (Fairway) as rewards for progression. JOY!

After this set was complete we got budget approval to make a few more and make them better and quicker by contracting Calabash in Chicago. Calabash is known for Lucky Charms and Trix commercials among many other creative pieces. They really leveled up the quality of McDivot cartoons. The audio files were still done by Clean Cuts.

These are like crowning jewels in my professional life and I am so very proud of them.

Here then is Chapter 2 in a serial of 5. I hope you like it!

Copyright Big Fish.

#mcdivot, #gopher, #gopherwrangler, #fairwaysolitaire, #jeffwillis, #jeffwillisartist, #animation, #cartoon

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