Lil’ Red Kap – Anime-inspired Motion Comic

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Lil’ Red Kap is a 5+ year on-going project that is reaching it’s production conclusion this year, 2015. It’s an anime-inspired limited-frame animation project (22 minutes in length) that’s based loosely on the Grimm’s Fairy Tale, Little Red Cap (or Red Riding Hood as it’s more popularly known).

Synopsis

Based in Cold War Soviet Union, a country on the verge of collapse, Kiska, heroine, is on the trail of a serial murder, Major Volk, a young, arrogant major in the Soviet ranks. Being chased by Volk, who’s bribe of a Colonel has revealed her inquest, Kiska flees to her grandmother’s house, a hidden gem in the center of a Chernobyl-like forbidden zone, a secret city where a bio-nuclear disaster meant occupants were forced to evacuate. Only the most stubborn remained.

Current Status

Voices have been recorded. Two local Portland actors, Laura Faye Smith (voice of Kiska) and Andrew Harris (voice of Major Volk) are the primary voices. Secondary voices used actors from Voice Bunny (unfortunately name releases aren’t possible). 3D models for backgrounds and props have been in production as well, with Blender PDX members providing key models. Character animation is 2D, being done in a combination of programs, ToonBoom Animate Pro, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. The majority of compositing is using After Effects. Production is expected to be complete no later than the end of 2015.

Current Needs

Good quality Soviet-influenced models are the biggest need. It takes a lot of models to populate a world – especially a world that is in such decay. If you’re interested in creating static models for a movie production and would like to see your prop potentially used in the film, email me at irishspacemonk [ at ] gmail.com. In addition, if you’re a 2D artist/illustrator/animator, interested in 2D techniques and would like to work on some in-betweens for shots, or drawings used in the film, let me know. These are a bit more challenging from an aeshetic perspective, but definitely open to the help.

Note About Motion Comics, Anime and Limited Frame Animation

Typical films are played back at 24 FPS (frames-per-second). For animation that means 24 drawings every second – and that’s a lot of work. The eye actually doesn’t need that many frames in order to see movement (animation). The 24 FPS is a product of audio sync. This is why Disney generally created a drawing every other frame, or on-twos. This cut the workload in half. But for TV, and faster production, this workload needs to be cut even more. That’s where limited frame animation comes in. This production tries to go for on-threes, or 8 FPS. The reason I’ve selected anime as a primary influence (versus the typical After Effect motion comics you see now) is that we’re used to seeing this style. The overly smooth, creepy drawings of motion comics that use computer interpolation to create animation – it just doesn’t work, distracts from the story and in the end, isn’t successful. But regardless, the style still takes a lot of work. Even at 8 FPS, with a 22 minute production, you have 10,000+ drawings …for one person that’s a lot. That’s why you’ll see a mix of high frame rates, with holds, pans, etc. All to get as much mileage as possible out of the drawings. This production aims for an average of 4-6 drawings per second of animation.

Cheers!

Nate Sullivan
Director – Writer -Animator

Posted in Projects

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