Thursday, 13 September 2012

When crabs dance... and martians fly (an original animation)!

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I like being creative: having an idea, playing with it in my head... and coming to the point where I can't resist anymore and I need to make it "real", whether it's going to end in a video, an image, a score or an audio file!

Sometimes I end up with a multimedial project, involving both drawing, filming, composing music and editing all of the stuff above... like it happened in this case!

Because of that origami crab for which I made a tutorial (it's right below)

I came up with the idea of showing him dance around... now, don't imagine million frames and such... sometimes you just can suggest the idea of the dance, by a few well-placed touches... and the illusion is there, real!

I usually have more ideas than the time to actually apply them (xD) and even this time I quickly began to play around with a music which is symphonic, yes, but only made with the percussions... I mean, think to a crab snapping its claws: how would you render that sound, if not using the orchestral castanets?! ;-D

(Sometimes I wish we all had an USB plug at the base of our head to better let us download on a Pc the ideas we get... sometimes, I said: not too often, I add. Still, running against the time to take note of all the ideas in order not to risk to leave any detail behind is a run that never misses to make my heart beat faster!)

And after the music the drawings... I'm not new at drawing toon characters... but each single time it's a challenge, especially for someone like me, not officially trained to do that, because I fear not to be able to give to my character the look & feel I want...

And after the drawings there come the video editing, which is a complicated back and forth between Windows Movie Maker, on which I easily render the patterns that will be used all around the video (the longer, alternated clapping of both the claws with the crab's eyes pointing up, the sequence of combined clapping and alternatively standing on one leg), and Wax, on which I compose (chroma-key à go-go!) the various layers forming the animation, with figures in the foreground, and other figures behind and in the background...

And after that there come the special effects: in this video, I like to point out how I recorded all of them (apart from the sea) with my mouth, and then I digitally processed them until I achieved the effect I was searching for! Yes! That's how I made the starship effect too: with my voice... and some heavy post-processing, of course... my natural voice doesn't naturally sounds like that, haha! xD

And then there's the final montage, with all the pieces and the movements and the sounds to be combined!

I don't want to bother you with how many layers there are and technical stuff like that... but let me tell you, for example, that that "deconstruction" effect during the abduction wasn't so easy to achieve... and that quite some tuning was needed!

Ok, enough talking for now. Here it is the "Crab dance" video, in all of its glory (I presume, haha!).
Only, please, watch it till the end... you'll be surprised! :-D

Creatively yours,


  1. Sometimes, I also thought in it have a USB connected to the mind. Not always we have the time and the tools to do everything that we can imagine.

    In terms of the work, I understand you perfectly. And in the same way I think of the work of many artists who have been affected by the most extreme piracy. Few people have the respect that you deserve the work of others (all jobs). It doesn't matter if you, me, the Baker of the corner or Steven Spielberg.

    Congratulations for your work! :-)

    1. Enough time and the right tools really can make the difference, when being creative! :-)

      Eh, piracy... today it's become so easy to exploit someone else's work without paying anything... especially with creative works that the Internet makes too easy to share around!
      But it would take a little to think "what if after the work of months and months someone stale it to me, without paying anything to me?"
      There's no doubt, all in all, it's a matter of respect!

      Congratulations in return to you for your work... and thank you for stopping by!