Ancient Animatic

I present to you an animatic I made when I was sixteen, for a book my sister was writing. I asked if I could use her writing, and she loved the idea. Unbeknownst to her, she had agreed to being tortured through the whole process by my incessant whining, but at least she liked the end result. 

But here’s the thing: I never finished the full scene. I told her I would eventually, but years passed and the animatic remained untouched. Then, last year, I told her I would finish it for her Christmas present. Except that I did not, in fact, do that. She was disappointed. I told her I would finish it for her birthday in October. That was also not true. Cut to eight hours before this very moment. I decided I would really do it this time. 

I have actually completed it, and behold! Here it is. 

All of this art is from when I was in high school, except for exactly four frames that I had to ink because I forgot to save the ink layer back when I first made it. You may be wondering, “why was it unfinished for so long if the art was (almost) all done?” This is because I began the project as a storyboard, and then began transferring the storyboard to an animatic format. It was annoying, tedious work, and I never finished it. So basically, all I had to do all this time was copy and paste stuff into an animation timeline, add some simple frames, adjust the timing, and add subtitles. It’s been five years.

The villain in her book is an evil scientist named Caesar who is secretly experimenting on the protagonists. He has an underground laboratory complete with employees and an intern. Although he’s the antagonist, Caesar is a goofy guy, and the scene my sister chose for me to do is comedic. I don’t think I got the point across super well; he’s wearing earplugs, so he can’t hear them, etc. 

If I’m honest, looking at this is hard—the art is seven years old and I can see all the things I would do differently now. The real challenge was not redoing the whole thing from scratch. The frames that I had to ink, I decided to match to the rest as well as I could, which was painful to do. I would change the framing to emphasize that he is wearing earplugs, among the numerous other things I want to improve. Also, why on earth did I choose that brush for the ink? What was wrong with me? What was I going through?

The moral of this story is that I am an awful sister and completely unreliable. Also, if you’re going to add subtitles to an mp4 video, check that the random website you’re using allows you to export the video for free when you’re done working on it, BEFORE you spend thirty minutes on the minute details of subtitle timing.

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