Whiteboard Animation?


Yes it has been awhile. This time I feel like I was much more productive between posts. I learned new techniques, technologies, and have done thousands of drawings over these past several weeks. Sometimes when we learn a new thing we do it wrong and maybe the hard way until we learn better right?

This was me when I was asked to work with a non profit on a freelance project. One of those where there is learning much more than earning.

Not knowing the magic I tried this approach: draw something enough that the muscle memory allows a quick and accurate illustration upon command. Record the drawing digital. Remove the background in post. If I could not export with a format that could support the alpha channel such as PNG then I default use a bright green background. Just like the weather people use when filming. Fun with chroma. Using premier or after effects the bright green background becomes invisible.

Rather than record the screen then remove the background from the batch of images there was fortunately a better way. I learned about Scalable Vector Graphics; (SVG) is an XML-based vector image format for two-dimensional graphics with support for interactivity and animation. Using a program like Illustrator there are tools like the pen that have every stroke recorded. It is a different drawing experience and vector has some restrictions I don't encounter when using bitmap.

Since the strokes are in the history this can be exported out into a number of different programs who can take the information and play it back. Viola! The magic of stuff being drawn during the commercial/presentation is now possible. Yes there are more tricks to this such as animating the camera... but even I don't have the focus or desire to type all the methods in play. Besides, if everyone knew all that - it would be harder to get paid to make these sort of digital illustrations.

Client project launches in the fall. After they have it for use I will provide a link for followers of this blog to see. In other news yes I will be attending the Siggraph Conference in Anaheim this year. The brief visit will also include San Diego. Been awhile since I have been out there.

Now maybe a few images to show although many are doodles ha ha.

ONE OF MY PERSONAL FAVORITES
Messing with light and hue on Left. On right was an attempt to capture an expression with emotion. No she is not intoxicated!
Doodles like these are like roaches. If you see one or two just know there are a ton you haven't seen!
Looking for variety as I developed characters for the project.
More of that good NOT CLEANED up doodles
Born digital. Paper never wasted on these sketches and studies.
I kept this small just to show a fraction of the raw planning looking into different options before the storyboard.

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