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Making the animated trailer #5 – animation Friday, 12 February 2010

Posted by Helen in Animation, Behind the Scenes.
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Previous instalment: Making the animated trailer #4 – storyboards

Although there aren’t any characters in the Carry a Poem trailer, there were plenty of things to animate. The biggie was the poetry cloud – thousands of particles that needed to be wrangled into position. Then, the camera movements had to be created, the Carry a Poem logo had to dance down the street and the poetry-carrying objects needed some spin.

The animation technique we use here at Binary Fable is 3D CGI – three dimensional computer-generated imagery. We use software called 3DS Max to build and animate computer models. It allows “particle systems” to be created, which made the poetry cloud possible. A particle system lets the animator control a large number of objects at the same time – by setting up rules and then adding a bit of randomness – rather than animating each object separately. This is what the interface looks like:

Carry a Poem animated trailer - animating the particle cloud

Here’s a “rough” of the short teaser film. The rough shows all the animation, but the visuals don’t yet look polished. It’s important to agree an animation freeze based on the rough so that work on the soundtrack can begin. The composer and sound designer need to know that the timings of the action aren’t going to change.

Helen Jackson will be writing each week until the end of February about the production of the Carry a Poem trailer. For more blog posts about animation, take a look at Binary Fable’s blog.

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