As already described, during a creative phase I had squeezed the first six episodes of LUNAS AWAKENING onto one sheet of paper each, in ultra-short form with small comic boxes. In addition, there were numerous arrows and asterisks that led to comments and further ideas. Pretty chaotic, and the more new ideas I had, the more difficult it became!
When I was finishing the first animation scenes, I realized that a better solution had to be found than my messy paperwork. I also wanted to be able to swap scenes around in sequence and make all sorts of changes during the creation process.
The story of LUNAS AWAKENING doesn’t develop completely in advance in gray theory, but during the production and creation, new ideas constantly come up that want to be incorporated into the existing format.
Some budding filmmakers then immediately install new storyboard software. After all, you want to be professional! For a major motion picture, this is certainly a good idea.
For my animated one to two minute mini-episodes, however, I wanted to keep it as simple as possible. I didn’t need any additional ballast and don’t want to learn a new software first.
That’s why I like to work with the existing systems as long as it makes sense. I really like to use the spreadsheet of LibreOffice for various sorting tasks. So I created a simple calculation table:
The small drawings are currently 300 x 170 pixel sketches scribbled in Corel PaintShopPro with a graphics tablet attached.
As we can see, it wasn’t until scene 30 that I discovered that I could now use COLORS in my film snippet images! For that alone, the switch from paper to digital form was worth it.
My scenes now also got numbers by tens. I still knew this idea from my first Basic computer programs, which I typed in and also wrote myself when I was about ten years old. At that time, each new line of program code always had to be preceded by a number; this created the order and allocation for the computer.
Line 1 did not start with a one, but traditionally with a ten. The next line of code started with an imaginary twenty, then thirty, and so on. That was practical, so that later a few lines of code could be inserted everywhere, if that became necessary.
So I thought I could do something like that with the scene numbers. A few days later, I felt vindicated. Disney animator Dermot O’Connor mentioned it in a highly recommended ninety-minute course on storyboarding for animation. Yay! So, others do it the same way with scene numbers.
It makes it easier to find the small scene sketches of the script and also to sort the finished video files later. I export each scene into a separate, now numbered, video file. These scene snippets are only put together at the end in editing software to form the whole episode.
That’s why order and overview are so important in an animation project. When I was a video producer, I didn’t think much about it, because all the scenes I needed were recorded on tape in some colorful order, and then afterwards one just searches through them on the screen to piece them together and make them fit.
When animating, every single scene involves a lot of hard work and love and creativity. That’s why I need order and an overview.
I can see whether a scene has already been completed by the entry in the “length” column, which I enter there in seconds format. This way, I always get the currently completed film length displayed automatically at the bottom. At the moment it is, it really can’t get any more mystical, exactly 22 seconds! 🙂
There is still a long way to go until the first episode of LUNAS AWAKENING. But the direction is right.
Today, the idea for a kind of series logo came along. It shows the Kundalini rising through the heart.