Saturday, December 12, 2015

Making of the "WatchCat Holiday Card"

Last Christmas, I had an idea for an animated holiday card featuring WatchCat, but I couldn't do it in time. And so, I started it again this year and thought I would document the process of making this project. Each day, I added more to the blog, please let me know if you can't view the animation below. What do you think so far?


Xmas_002 from Toondini on Vimeo.
The above was started on December 11th and shows the rough timing of the beginning and the man exiting the scene.



December 12: Roughed in more animation of the cat sitting up and taking off after the man with the scarf.


Xmas_003 from Toondini on Vimeo.

December 13: Currently looking for sound effects for when the cat attacks the man off screen. I will be combining a lot of sounds which I hope will achieve this effect. Also need to work on the animation of the man entering the scene. I will use the same animation for the exit, however remove the scarf and flip the drawings in the right directions.

December 14: During the second day of production, my Animate Pro suddenly decided it didn't want to save the drawings I started to draw on my Cintiq. I tried everything I could think of to fix the problem without losing the work so far. So, I did a lot of copying, pasting and repositioning the animation of the exit to reuse for the entrance. I also did the same thing with the cat returning to the snowman.
 

Xmas_004 from Toondini on Vimeo.

December 15: I need to establish the timing for the off screen cat attack and built the sound effect with a bunch of different noises and moved them around until I got something that sounds like a man being attacked by a cat. It may be a little over the top, but it made me laugh, hopefully you will like it too...


Xmas_Sound01 from Toondini on Vimeo.

This might be all I will be able to do if I can't figure out how to draw on a different layer. Usually this process works fine, but Animate Pro is fighting with me and has no Christmas spirit. The animation waters are getting rough and I'm worried I won't be able to find a solution. If anyone out there can help out, please do so asap!

I make a layer in Animate Pro, I begin to draw, once I lift my pen, I cannot continue to draw and after a pause, then I can. Looking at the timeframe, I can see there is no drawing block, and so, when I click forward, the drawing I have just drawn is gone. Animate Pro laughs its wicked laugh and I try to find its weak spot... 

I reopened a new project in Animate Pro, thinking I can animated the other scenes and import them in during composition. Its not the direct route that I wanted, but I have no options. I tried drawing in a new project and got the same results. Now my Cintiq begins to chuckle, joining in on the joke.
Why are my animation tools against me now? I re-calibrate my Cintiq just to piss it off more. I try again, the same problem. I can select items using the mouse, copy and paste parts together, even attempt to draw with my brick of a mouse and it all works, but drawing with my Cintiq is not happening today.

I drew everything several days ago with the Cintiq, looking forward to animating on it again, but have no idea why things have changed. If anyone can help, please send it soon...

December 16th: I'm still not sure if my problem is with the software or with my Cintiq or a combined effort. My only solution is to draw the way the cavemen use to, by using a mouse and my laptop. I'm starting to color some of the elements and get use to drawing with a mouse which is like drawing with a brick, but hopefully nobody will know the difference but me.
Here's today's daily animation, work in progress...

December 17th: Finished the animation by carefully drawing on my laptop's touchpad with my finger. I'm in process of adding the color and this version does have sound. I created the "Cat Attack" using Audicity and a bunch of sound effects I got from Freesound.com.

And after a week of work, here is the final Holiday Greeting Card for all to see and share with friends and family. I would appreciate any comments or feedback you have


WatchCat 2015 Xmas Card from WatchCat Films on Vimeo.
Happy Holidays!
Jim and Greg

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