This weekend I had a lot of free time, and so I decided to stay home and make myself a music video. Yup! Don’t worry, I’m not singing or acting in it. The idea? The Little Mermaid. Not the Disney version, but the original one by Hans Christian Anderson. There is a song that I’ve been listening to the past few day that is basically about a mermaid. Unfortunately the song doesn’t have a music video, and since it’s quite old, I highly doubt it’s going to get one.
The process. Oh man, this was a tough one. Initially I wanted to do a stop motion animation. However after drawing out 45 images, I decided that there’s no way I could do it by hand. So I decided to do a computer aided design. Now computer animation is not my strong point. So I went down and looked through my basement for anything I could use. Why the basement? Well I went down there I have a lot of videos from my childhood. Turns out that I had one from when I was like 8 or 9, of a version of the Little Mermaid. Now this video was about 45 minutes long. Definitely not intending to recreate a Kanye West music video (in case you don’t know about it, Kanye West’s latest music video’s full length is 34 minutes 32 seconds). Nope, so I definitely had to cut it down. But that’s the easy part. The problem was that this video tape was more that 10 years old. The quality is HORRIBLE. For one thing, it’s a boxy 4:3 and not wide-screen. Also the colours are all washed out. It’s “pixelated”… I could go on and on! It’s just horrible. But it did give me a good foundation to start with in terms of character/set design.
So what could I do? I couldn’t actually use that video, only refer to it. So using the wonders of a computer, I first cut out the scenes that I wanted. Then I exported each frame of the video. With 4 minutes and 26 second of movie at 30 frames per second, that gave me a total of 7,706 images. The next order of business was to recreate each and every one of those frames. Yup, I just finished. 7,706 frames. I now know how those old Disney artists felt. But to be fair, it didn’t take as long as you might think it did. Yes it did take a long time, but using a computer makes the process so much quicker. Since I’ve retraced all the frames, I was able to make it all HD size, use proper colours, and made it look like water colours. Why water colours? Well the plan is to still do stop motion, but use a computer to do it. With these water colour frames, I can attach it to a painting or a book and make it actually look hand drawn. Anyway, here’s what I mean by water colours:
I just realized that the small size of the images don’t really show the intricacies of the paint. So here’s a screenshot of the HD version at 100%:
Also a side note. Each of these frames are approximately 1.3mb each. So for 7,702 frames that’s just over 10GB for a 4 minute video. WOW.
Anyway, I’m excited, it should be finished soon!