Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dragons, Knights, and a whole lotta Chroma-Keying

This is still one of my favorite things I ever animated. It truly was a labor of love as I combined several different techniques in order to produce this scene. In the story the White Knight is set to complete many tasks to prove his worth to the King for the honor of his daughters hand. The last challenge is to slay the dragon. Being the good guy, the White Knight of course prevails however, the Knight holds a very important secret that comes to light at the end of the story.

For this scene I used traditional paper cut-out puppets. However, as anyone who has tackled paper cut-outs know that when animating them it is always best for them to be as large as possible. Clearly I wanted a huge size difference between the knight and the dragon but wasn't about to make an enormous dragon, so, I had to animated both the characters separately. I used a red cloth backdrop (as that was the color that contrasted the most between the two characters) and animated the dragon first based upon how a large cat would move. I then timed every movement the dragon made in order to move the knight which I did at a separate time. The were then scaled, edited, and had their backdrops chroma keyed out in After Affects and a new background added. I then took the finished product, sans fire, into flash where I was able to animated the fire, and the fire I painted on paper and scanned in to flash. Voila! There you have it! A perfect example of how you can still be traditional, but use technology to its full advantages.

Check it out on Vimeo, here,

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