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Goldfish - We Come Together (making of)

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Uploaded on May 22, 2011

Final Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-tNUu...
Making Of (extra): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pblMKu...

Goldfish Live: http://www.goldfishlive.com
Mike Scott: http://www.bruandboegie.co.za
Qubicle Constructor: http://www.qubicle-constructor.com
The Kiffness: http://www.facebook.com/thekiffness
Stuart Coutts: http://www.scouttsart.blogspot.com
FrameShuffle VFX: http://www.frameshuffle.com

Goldfish and I had a conversation about the premise of the video. They were interested in opposing the forces of smooth jazz and have the 'jazz police' try and stop them. I made a good vs. evil story of smooth jazz cats vs electro-fishes and like a video game there was a princess to rescue, sub-bosses and a final boss to defeat.

I wrote out a whole list of video-game references I'd like to include in the video and was able to adapt scenes to feature them.

I broke the song down into its structure. A verse or chorus was 32 beats each which I then broke down into smaller scenes or around 2, 4 or 8 beats. It was useful to make this visual map of the song - it helped me understand that I should be done with Verse 1 & 2 by the end of week 2, the end of Verse 4 by Week 4, etc...

I had drawn loads of ideas but could only keep so many so I made three piles - one were the scenes I wanted to use, another was maybe and another was no. Then I sorted them into a linear storyline, laying them out on tables and makeshift structures until I had a pile for each section of the song. I listened to the song over and over and pencilled in the number of beats on the cards until the sections ran the proper length.

The song was 125 bpm which worked out to a very neat 12 frames per beat @ 25 frames per second.

The equipment I used was:

- 13" Macbook 2.4Ghz
- Photoshop CS4
- Anime Studio Pro
- Wacom Cintiq 12 wx
- Canon scanner
- Final Cut Express 4 HD

I was then able to redraw the rough scenes into a clean animatic. I showed Goldfish the blueprint for the video. This was also useful to give other contributors to the video an overall idea.

I made the previous 3 Goldfish videos pretty much on my own. For this one, however, I decided to get other people involved.

The 20 or so people that worked on this video came from Germany, America, Australia, UK, Brazil, India, Malaysia, Canada, Spain and South Africa.

For the final clay animation scene I got Stuart Coutts from South Africa on the job early in the process. I was very pleased with his result.

For the 3D voxel club scene I contacted Tim Wesoly from Germany. He created some software called 'Qubicle Constructor'. It seemed to do exactly what I was looking for. Him and his working partner Chris Lutz-Weicken agreed to make the scene. This is the first music video their software has been used in and I'm fairly certain won't be the last.

I did the roughs first so that others and I were both as much on the same page as possible.

PayPal made paying International contributors straightforward.

I drew scenes @ 200 x 113 pixels and later upsized to 1600 x 904 pixels for animation.

I used Anime Studio Pro for the animation. I posted work updates at the LostMarble Anime Studio forums and received invaluable feedback. I ended up removing some of the smooth animation and characters bouncing to the beat to not move too far away from the 8-bit and 16-bit style. I took out a lot of the flashes, camera movements and multi-plane backgrounds that were deemed distracting. I also made the 3D city and box scenes in Anime Studio.

Backgrounds were started once character animation was done. If I sent out background work I supplied detailed notes, sketches and necessary reference material to create a clearer picture of what was required.

I made a 125 bpm clicktrack in Audacity that I used as a visual reference in Anime Studio Pro to land actions on the beat as well as to determine scene length. Scenes were generally locked off to a certain number of beats.

I put all the rendered clips together in Final Cut Express 4 HD.

I divided the video into 5 parts, rendered them out in 720p HD and uploaded them to DropBox for Rafael and Braam at FrameShuffle to download. They did the colour correction.

While this was being done I made an intro and an outro for the video.

My brother, who also goes by the alias THE KIFFNESS made the chiptune music ('Kiff ' in South African lingo means 'cool') He too shares my affinity for 8-bit stuff.

For the TV version, in Final Cut Express I added a BROADCAST SAFE filter so that the modified bright colours wouldn't bleed on TV.

A great pixel art toturial by Derek Yu:
http://www.derekyu.com/?page_id=218

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