Cutscene Animation

Last semester I took Digital Illustration with Kevin O’Neill, which I really enjoyed. The final project was a short animation, and I was stoked that I’d get to try something involving animation. My animation is a cutscene from a game that I’d developed for the class. It’s meant to be the first cutscene of the game, when the playable character gets shipwrecked on a strange island with secrets… and clowns and stuff. 

I definitely bit off more than I could chew with my plan for the animation. The storyboard I created involved sitting up, walking, and a head turn, which I couldn’t learn to do within the time limit. I’ve tried a walk cycle before, but I’ve never done one where the character is walking uphill, plus the dress was giving me a headache. In the end I had to cut out a few shots. The final animation still ended up eight seconds over the maximum time limit, so I suppose it was for the best.

Cutscene Storyboard

The first parts I did after the storyboard were the backgrounds. I thought that those would take the longest so I should do them first. Oh, how wrong I was. I completed all the backgrounds much quicker than I thought I could, and I had unexpected fun with them, particularly the ship and lightning. A few of the backgrounds didn’t get used because the shots got cut out, so that wasn’t exactly an efficient use of time. 

The animations took me the longest, and this was the stage where I realized I would have to cut shots out. The parts that I thought would be simple took me a long time. The hair, for example, which is only four frames, took me at least five hours, and I still wasn’t happy with it. I hate accepting that I can’t do something how I want it done, but at four in the morning on the day that it was due, I had to accept that I didn’t have the skill to complete it, and I certainly didn’t have the time. 

Although I’m disappointed that I couldn’t fully realize the idea, I am happy with the result, given the stress I was under. I never would have thought to try making something as ambitious as this—at least I wouldn’t have had the determination to finish it—without the deadline. I’m glad I got the opportunity to try it, and it has only made me more excited to try animation again.

P.S. My brother made the music, which he whipped up in about an hour… I don’t know how he does it! I could only use a short section of it, but the full piece is really impressive. The animation would be much less cool without it. 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.