OK maybe it’s just me, but the narration on this exquisitely animated piece by French motion designer and director Cyrille Smaha just ruins the visual. It sounds like some jacked up auto tune rendition. There is no punctuation, no timing, no cadence, no flow. Everything is delivered at the exact same tempo which creates an auditory tension that completely takes away from the collage of visuals that are really quite striking in form, and movement. Watch this with the sound off first. I say off first because once you hear it, the voice over will be stuck in your head. Just watch the animation and take it in, now turn on the volume, and give it a second go. It’s jolting, and disconcerting how the audio juxtaposes itself against the visual. this might have been the intent for artistic director Roxane Lagache but it seems to break the overall experience. If you watch it a third time, pause the playback and read out loud the words on screen as you would if you were speaking them with punctuation, and normal inflection. That will make it even more apparent that the voice over is simply not working. It seems completely out of place for the Chanel brand and product line.
Brilliant animation, amazing style and look, great script, killer sound design and audio. Seriously solid work by Toronto based designer and art director Andrew Vucko on originality and creativity. The precision of the timing in this animated short is exquisite. It is so fluid, with perfect easing, and momentum that works with a series of quotes from some of histories most creative minds: Woodrow, Wilson, Pablo Picasso, Dieter Rams, etc. all of which is distilled into a single narrative that defines what it means to be original.
Direction/Design/Animation: Andrew Vucko
Sound Design & Music: CypherAudio
Production/Direction/Mix: John Black
Composers: Tobias Norberg, John Black
Sound Design: Jeff Moberg, John Black
Voiceover: Chris Kalhoon
I’m a believer in the “Keep It Simple” school of design. Things don’t have to be overly complicated, or visually overwhelming to work. Attention to details and simple clean art usually beat big effects, and complex movements when trying to tell a story in a short amount of time. Case in point, Adobe CMO Explainer by VeracityColab.
This animated short features simple clean illustrations, combined with a limited color pallet and a simple voice over. The attention to detail in easing elements as they animate, combined with a light playful visual narrative help sell this. It’s simple, and clean, and it works. I love the look, design elements, and the timing of the animation as the red ball moves through the screens.
Here’s a little something that will bend your noodle. Watch this video and then stop and think about things like timing, editing, transitions, the overall concept etc. What seems like a simple little piece is deceptively complex. pre-visualizing the flow of this, and thinking about how you are going to shoot and edit it would have taken hours of planning. Take a minute and half, watch it, then scrub through it to see if you can see where all the change ups happen.
When you work with video and animation, everything boils down to timing. I have been working off and on for the last couple of weeks on a 4 and half-minute animated short that has to time out to the lyrics of a song. The timing is critical, and the After Effects composition has grown into a hundred plus layered, 30 plus composition, mega effect file. Using lights and multiple cameras have slowed my progress to a crawl, and the thing I keep finding is I have to render the video and play it to catch where the timing is off. After Effects does such a crap job of handling and previewing audio it’s almost impossible to get the timing down on a file this large just by scrubbing in the time line. So this morning after yet another 17 hour render, I played back the video and decided to tweak the timing again. I know I am being a little obsessive at this point. Probably because I am so close to the project and I am catching things most people won’t notice. Still this morning I am setting out again to try to get it “Right”. What ever that means.