An Odd Encounter – New Animated Short

My newest animated short is out. Take a look.

Every time I set out to make one of these animations, I re-learn just how much time it takes. I don’t log my hours for these kinds of personal projects, but I would estimate well over one hundred hours, usually spread across several months. This one was nearly complete at the beginning of August before I started to adjunct teach an Intro to Graphic Design course at Capital University and suddenly had all of my free time disappear.

Admittedly, it’s a laborious and time consuming process, which feels completely out of step with the internet’s endless need for artists to churn out content on a daily basis. This feeling is compounded by AI tools that can now generate images instantly.

Spending long hours on a single piece of art, which might not even be seen by very many people, feels like a futile effort sometimes. But I believe this is also what makes it valuable, at least to me if no one else.

I do these animated shorts because they give me the opportunity to try new things, whether that is learning new software, or experimenting with different aesthetic techniques. They let me create a little self-contained world you can visit for a minute or two.

I love animation, and will continue to push myself to make better, more interesting work. Even if I only produce a few minutes of animation each year, I hope that it will add up over time to become an impressive body of work that reflects my growth as an artist. It might not be much now, but in a decade? Fingers crossed.

Technical Stuff

One thing I’ve always felt my digital work has lacked is texture. So for this animation I wanted to incorporate more analog textures into an otherwise completely digital workflow. I made a number of ink paintings on paper to provide texture to the ground, and used my own heavily edited photographs to the background to flesh out the world. I am very pleased with the results and will likely try similar methods in the future.

This animation was done pretty much completely within Adobe Illustrator and After Effects.

I used Battle Axe’s Overlord plugin to transfer my art from Illustrator to After Effects. It’s an extremely useful tool, and it’s insane that a third party needs to make something to complete such a fundamental task.

Thank you to anyone who views my work, hopefully there will be more to come soon!