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Post from Animation for Syrian children

Animation for Syrian children | Projects | Kate & Molly | Portfolio

  • We are beginning an animation project about the children of Syria during the revolution. Harper wrote a poem about it and Molly and I are in charge of animating the last stanza. Saeed showed us gruesome pictures and videos on the first day. They were upsetting. What a world we live in.

    We began story boarding. We came up with ideas first about what the poem meant and then decided if it was a literal or abstract interpretation. Then we went through the poem again and came up with ideas turning each abstract interpretation into a literal one, and vice versa. We took the best interpretation of each section of the poem and went with it, regardless of whether it was a literal or abstract interpreatation.

    I am in charge of the music for the animation. A solo cello line has been requested. My mom came in and helped Harper record the poem on Garage Band. Then the three of us discussed where we thought the high points of the poem were and what kind of music we thought should go underneath it all. I used my electric cello through Garage Band to explore ideas with them. Then I went home and later that night improvised music to run underneath the poem. It was going to take some time and I didn't want it to cut into my animation time. Ultimately it took about two hours to record the cello part. We adjusted levels several times. We were going for a "hint o' cello" to add to the emotional experiene but not detract from the poem. Voilà. It's done.

    We are using Photoshop and After Effects to make our animation. I am familiar with both programs, so you would think it would be easy, but its not. First we scanned in all the story boards I sketched, then we began animating them. It was extremely frustrating because it takes forever to do one scene but we got better at it. We have 20 scenes to do, which translates into 50 seconds. That's a lot of animation time. This studio is so heavily computer oriented that there is hadly any time to blog!

    On the last day we turned in our scenes and Amro combined them and put them to time. The video came out great. It was powerful. When we all watched it the room went silent. After the silence we watched it again. It took twelve people 45 hours each to make a two minute video. Wow.