Art: Hand Drawn Music Video (school assignment)

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  1. #1
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    Hand Drawn Music Video (school assignment)

    For my film class, I have to make a 2-5min music video. I have chosen L'Estate-presto by Vivaldi which is about 2:43 long. Since this will be done on video at about 30fps, that means that I have about 4890 frames to work with. Since this is due by winter break and I have other things that need to be done, that is obviously too many for a single high school student to do by hand.

    What is the minimum number of frames per second that I can get away with and still have the appearance of motion, albeit a little choppy? Could I get away with only 6fps, 10fps? Does anyone know of a site that has examples of motion at various fps?

    Does anyone know of a program that will let me print the audio waveform as a guide for my frames? (winxp)

    I am planning to do this on a chalkboard so that there is a minimal effort to change frames. Has anyone used a similar approach? Any thoughts?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    Last edited by jvgig; November 6th, 2008 at 07:51 PM.
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  3. #2
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    Not really an expert or even intermediate in this field, but I have experimented with animation both in flash and in stop motion photography animation.

    The way I see it is the reason why an animation looks staggered is because there is too big of a change going from one frame to another. You will have to play around with how much change(motion) you can achieve between two frames so that it doesn't seem jumpy. The reason why movies look like crap if the fps is below 30 is because there is just too much going on (too many objects in the scene) which move, for the eye to capture as a smooth movement if it is any slower.

    This is just my guess as to why, and I urge others to correct me if my perception is wrong.

    My point is that you can get away with much less fps in simple animations like the one you are doing compared to shooting a movie with real objects.

    If I understand correctly you are going to use a chalkboard to draw your frames, capture the frames with the use of some sort of camera and then animate them via computer, right? You should look at this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u46eaeAfeqw as it is close to what you are trying to achieve.

    Good luck with the music video

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  4. #3
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    Getting a hold of the waveform is a brilliant idea. Perhaps you could record your itunes visualizer and try your efforts as a sychro interpretation of the motion in that program.

    In terms of 30 frames often if you can get that many frames there is too much going on. Anyway 4000 is a lot of frames. It's a good idea chop it up into exact frames for screentime of objects then decide how and when they will move at what fps.

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  5. #4
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    I have printed out the waveform and have divided it by 6 and 10fps. Based on the intervals for the stronger beats, I think I have to go with 10 as it lines up pretty well, while 6 is not even close. I think I will start with that and adjust if necessary. Once it is done, can any software create the 2 missing frames between each drawn one within a clip? I have adobe products at home and apple products at school.

    Does anyone know where I can get a chalkboard in the 18x24" range? I have looked at a few stores and can only find really small ones (5x7ish) which I think would make it more difficult, or classroom size ones which cost a few hundred dollars. I read about the chalkboard paint and it seems like painting a piece of masonite with that may be the best solution, but can anyone compare it to a traditional board in terms of color acceptance and ease of erasing?

    Is there any reason not to do it in HD resolution/aspect ratio?

    Thanks

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  6. #5
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    Its going to be pretty hard to find a chalkboard of that size. What I would suggest is that you use a dry-erase board instead. Its a whole different medium but its so much easier to work with when drawing those fine lines. They have a variety of sizes at most office stores and they are relatively cheap. If its too expensive you can use some smooth linoleum instead. If you are determined to go with chalkboard though, I would suggest ordering it online at some office store and arrange an in-store pickup to save on shipping.

    -Good luck

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  7. #6
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    Yeah... the chalkboard is gonna be HELL as you're always going to have a shadow of what you drew before (unless you wet but then again it won't be pristine and you’ll have to wait for drying time). Painted chalkboard sucks even more. What Crysalis suggested is a great alternative as dry erasers would be easier to work with. THAT SAID, you won’t have a reference when you redraw your stuff. AND, you will only be able to do forward animation.

    Now for the technical knitty gritty stuff; typical TV cartoon shows are (were?) animated “on doubles”, which means 12 fps (1956 frames). You can get away with 6 fps but it might be choppy if you have big movement (that’s where squash and stretch might help you a bit).
    A dope sheet is probably going to be essential for you. Decide what frame rate you’ll use and note them accordingly based on either your waveform or use a compositing program such as Vegas or AfterEffect (Premiere too I guess) to help you if you go low tech.
    Do a few tests with your lighting setup ; when doing stop motion, you might have to use tungsten lights if what you have varies too much. Indeed, artificial light tends to “vibrate” imperceptibly and when you take a pic of something under such a lighting might look like your lights are going stroboscope when you play it full speed. Sunlight changes too quickly for that kind of animation.

    For inspiration, I’ve seen a couple of dry eraser animations on youtube. Look it up!

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    I have begun my project on my painted chalkboard. I really wanted to be able to color in the background in some of my scenes so I just figured dry erase markers would take even longer and cost a lot more. I started out at 18x24, but when any amount of detail was required it was just taking way too long to do a frame, so I shrunk the "canvas" to 8.5x11 which is working well. Anyway, I have chosen to go with about 10fps and play each frame 3 times to get myself up to 29.97/30. I think I will make an SD and HD version, but the HD will still be 4:3 with black bars on the sides. I am even pondering making a master copy that will fit on my computer monitor (1600x1200), but cannot figure out how to do that in premiere. How do I make a custom screen size? All I can find is the presets and then when I go into preferences, the resolutions are all locked.

    I have actually found that the trailing that you get when you erase the chalk gives the images much more depth than my rudimentary drawings would have on a solid background. It almost acts as a shadow that follows the characters around. Also, since my piece has a very rainy dreary background, it works well to convey that feeling and provides a constantly changing background as it dries. So far I have done 308 out of my 1630 or so frames in about an hour and a half a night for 3 nights so it works out to an average of just over a minute per frame and as long as the time per frame keeps dropping, I should be able to finish it in about 20-25hours which I feel is a fair amount of time for the major project this quarter.

    Hopefully I can get some segments posted for some feedback.

    Thanks

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