For this assignment, I faced the same fate as many post-production specialists on exciting shoots — which is, I didn’t go. Boo. Instead, I was tasked with creating the animated assets for the video, which proved to be an expedition of its own.
Using the paintings of renowned 17th century wildlife artist John James Audubon as inspiration, I wanted to create an aesthetic that, while maintaining a sort of classically idyllic, exceptional naturalism, still moved in a way that looked modern and lifelike. Lesley Bullock’s class is a real merger of centuries-tested ornithology techniques and 21st century data collection, so combining the 2 stylistic ideas reflected what we hoped to communicate about the course itself.
|A preliminary sketch|
I feel that the time constraints of the video led to the camera having to pass over the scene too quickly, a little jaggedly; but in the future, I’d love to flesh this sort of composition out even further, with more assets, more subtle movements, and more time for the camera to travel over them and really take in the scene.
|That’s about 200 layers of greenery, waterfowl, fish and feathers.|
While the opening sequence was the main chunk of my work on this vid, I also had the opportunity to create some additional graphics for warbler migration patterns and lower thirds, too… and don’t get me started talking about lower 3rds. Those are so much fun.
This project was a great exercise in combining dozens of tinier compositions into a single massive scene, and it’s a technique that I can’t wait to apply to out next Biology Researchers vid. To see the finished video (with editing by the ever-slick Max), you can mozy on over here.