Treasure All Animation Behind the Scenes

The Treasure All animation is an experimental, vertical format film about growing up with autism, through the eyes and words of Peyton Goddard. Here are a few of the tasks that went into creating this moving short film.

Process

Treasure All Animation poster
Treasure All
  1. The animation process began with meetings between the Director L. V. O’Connell, Producer Elaine Dill, and the Goddards. A brief for the project was created and filming was done with Peyton.
  2. Pre-production consisted of researching, writing the script, and creating storyboards. After storyboards were refined character and background design began.
  3. Production fell into two phases. The first phase required casting two actresses (Juniper and Laurel Davidson) to voice the narration parts and recording the audio (thanks to Frank Forth ). The second phase involved rigging and animating the final character designs and placing them in their environments.
  4. Post production included editing the animation together, adding sound (effects and

Experimental Vertical Format

The vertical format allowed us to play with the space in a new way. The main character is shown quite small at times to show how the world came down around her. We also wanted a sense of falling into darkness, to capture the isolation, and the sensation of being trapped that she must have felt when she lost her ability to communicate.

Peyton’s Voice

Peyton’s autism makes it difficult for her to speak. She uses a device that allows her to type in order to communicate. Her written word is unique and poetic. That voice was used as the basis for the script.

Recording audio for Treasure All animation
Director L. V. O’Connell (left) recording audio with voice talent, Juniper and Laurel Davidson, and Frank Forth. Photo by Jessica Davidson

Treasure All Animation Character Design

Treasure All Animation character design young Peyton
Young Peyton

The short film features two character designs. The first is the main character and narrator as a young girl. We wanted a young girl that reflected Peyton’s age and innocence. We also wanted a hand-drawn and imperfect appearance to compliment her imperfect movements.

I am Intelligent Cover
I am Intelligent by Peyton Goddard

Photographs of Peyton as a child were used as inspiration for the young character design.

For the second character, Peyton as an adult we stayed with a 2D character but a more polished design. She is shown larger on the screen, with more confidence, due to her ability to communicate via a device and advocate for herself.

Treasure All character design - adult Peyton

The artwork for each character was first sketched by hand and refined. The art work was then scanned and transferred to Adobe Illustrator, and further refined. The young Peyton was rigged and animated with Adobe Character Animator, while the adult character was animated in After Effects.


O’Connell Design is a consultancy offering creative services in Animation, Motion Graphics, and Visual Effects for film and television.

After Effects Plugins

A few notes and information on After Effects plugins from the San Diego Premiere Pro User’s Group Meeting 2020 March 18 meeting presented by DJ Summit.

After Effects plugins meeting members.
After Effects plugins at the San Diego Premier Pro Users Group meeting 2020 March 18.

Trackmats

Set Matte

  • Applies it to the size of the layer
  • Allows you to set using hue, saturation, lightness, and more chanel (not just alpha or luma)

EXtractoR – allows remapping of red, green, blue and alpha channels to another layer

Color Correction

Levels vs Curves After Effects plugins for color correction
Levels vs Curves for color correction.

Levels

Go into single channel in plugin and use grayscale in color window = make it look like a good grayscale image = dial it in that way then eyeball it from there

Curves

Same thing as Levels but different interface
Use grayscale colorspace
Single color channel on Curves, and pull the line to match the greyscale

Fast Box Blur

Can be used to degrade the foreground footage = 1 to 3 px
* Can control with a mask, check setting in plugin

Optics Compensation – Can help place a figure in a scene

After Effects plugin meeting screen
The meeting was held online due to the Coronavirus health recommendations.

Keying

Keylight

  1. Garbage matt
  2. Eyedropper
  3. Screen balance 50/50, 5 or 95 (balances screen between red or blue)
  4. View: Check status (black = transparent, white = opaque)
  5. Clip Black: keep as far apart as you can
  6. Clip White
  7. View: Intermediate result (not doing cc and other stuff)

Advanced Spill Suppressor – Get rid of the green

Key Cleaner – Can get chunky

Simple Choker – Fastest and cleanest way to get rid of outline

Levels (See above to CC figure to scene)

Note: FX Console from Video Copilot = help access plugins from layer https://www.videocopilot.net/blog/2018/05/fx-console-updated-to-v1-0-3/

Roto

Rotobrush

Good for fur and hair, and high contrast
Control click resizes the brush, pink is in th shot
Alt+w – refine brush, go over the edge (white is alpha, all detail comes across)
Blue box on window timeline with arrows, modifications only go one direction from there.
Add Advanced Spill Suppressor
Freeze will recalculate whole piece

New Plugins

Red Giant VFX Toolkit $999 or $599/yr https://www.redgiant.com/products/vfx-suite/
Good, makes a lot of things more straight forward

  • SuperComp – takes all the assets on one layer (light and atmospheric effects interact with all of your layers and the elements of a scene in a far more natural way than can be modeled with a simple stack of 2D layers
  • KingPin Tracker – Mocha alternative
  • Optical Glow – Inverse falloff (more like a neon light)
  • Shadow – Physically accurate shadow with a plane, animate-able to follow a lightsource
  • Chromatic Displacement – 
  • Primatte Keyer
  • Spot Clone Tracker – 
  • Knoll Light Factory – photo-realistic lens flares that render fast
  • Reflection – 

Lockdown ($249 AE Scripts) https://aescripts.com/lockdown/
Script and plugin (follow directions in the plugin)


O’Connell Design is a consultancy offering creative services in Production DesignAnimation, and Visual Effects for film and television.

Production Design, Set Design & Art Direction: Art Department Costs

A few notes from the San Diego Media Pros Meeting 26Feb2020 discussing Production Design, process and Art Department costs.

Lauren Fehlhaber, Art Director and Set Designer, and Woody Woodburn, Set Leadman and Carpenter, both of Inspired Images Studios, presented the process they use to create sets tailored to their client’s needs.

Lauren Fehlhaber and Woody Woodburn discuss set design and construction
Lauren Fehlhaber, Art Director and Set Designer, and Woody Woodburn, Set Leadman and Carpenter, both of Inspired Images Studios at The Film Hub.

Using a Production Designer on your project will help you make the most of your production budget and will add layers to your project. A Production Designer will not only design the environment but will work through the logistics (how to get the set pieces from fabrication to location, ensure that the set pieces will be able to get through the door, ensuring a smooth strike and removal of set from location, and more).

Why Build a Set

  • Freedom to design the look this allows the client to maintain consistent branding
  • Removing location space restrictions
  • Wild walls for better camera angles
  • Control the environment
  • Control the sound and lighting
  • Minimizes the regulations
  • Cost effectiveness of fewer location moves and travel
  • Flexible availability

Art Department & Set Budgeting

The more details you can provide to start with, the more accurate the estimate will be.

The Production Designer will want to know what the set is for, number of scenes, how many actors per scene, any special considerations (ex. Puppets that need special space for operators), and more…

“The most difficult part of the entire process – getting a picture of what in the client’s mind in your mind.”

Woody Woodward

Typical Process

Production Designer creates the initial drawings using SketchUp for client approval, AutoCAD for technical drawings for scene shop. Leadman takes CAD drawings and generates more detailed plans with specifics on how and supports are located.

Sample Projects & Art Department Costs

National Infomertial ($10k*)

Design: 2-3 weeks
Fabrication: 4 weeks
Set Build (Studio): 2 days (3-4 guys)
Pre light & Dress: 1 day
Shoot: 1 day
Strike: ½ day

Art Department Costs: Kitchen Set Breakdown and timeframe

Kitchen Set ($15k*)

Design: 3-4 weeks
Fabrication: 3 weeks
Set Build (Studio): 2 days
Pre light & Dress: 1/2 day
Shoot: 1 day
Strike: ½ day

Art Department Costs: Kitchen Set Budget

Live Talk Show ($8k*)

* A similar set would cost twice as much in Los Angeles.

Other things to consider

The Film Hub

The meeting was held at The Film Hub, a co-working office space with video and audio facilities, really beautifully geared towards a collaborative film-making environment. Facilities include: professional sound stages, foley stage, podcast/audio recording room, post production suites, multiple sets (incl. Kitchen set), conference & casting rooms, event space, and more.

The Film Hub

170 Eucalyptus Ave., Vista, CA 92084
760-643-0850
inspiredimagesstudios.com


O’Connell Design is a consultancy offering creative services in Production Design, Animation, and Visual Effects for film and television.

Client Video Review Software

Notes From the San Diego Premiere Pro Users Group Meeting

Client video review software FrameIO, Wipster, and VimeoPro

In this discussion on client video review software, Eric Addison of 100 Acre Films, and co-manager of the San Diego Premiere Pro Users Group, presented Wipster. He talked about how he uses it in his workflow, from the panel inside Premiere Pro to the Wipster review website. Final Cut Pro User Group co-manager Michael Towe, and owner of M2 Video Productions, presented Frame io, and talked about how he uses in his workflow. While he showed it from a FCP X point of view, much of it crosses over to Premiere as well. And finally, Bill Davis, owner of NewVideo, showed how you can use VimeoPro for client review as well.

“The toughest part of any of these is to get the client to use them.” – Michael Towe

Wipster

“How professional creative teams deliver faster.”

The offer ($25/mo. for team of 2)

  • Starts at 250GB storage
  • HD Playback & Delivery
  • Comment and review tools
  • Per seat pricing
  • Unlimited free reviewers
  • Video, Image, PDF, and Audio
  • Dashboard and Activity Feed
  • Integrations
  • Support Center
  • Storage add-ons 
  • Custom Branding
  • Private internal comments

Pros: Free basic package with 5GB storage and 540 playback, works with Mac/PC and Android App

Cons: Slightly more expensive

Frame.IO

“Our cloud-based collaboration hub keeps your teams focused on creating great content — from across the hall or across the planet.”

They offer ($19/mo. for 1 seat, $49/mo. For 3 seats, and up)

  • Comment and annotate on videos
  • Unlimited review pages
  • Unlimited free presentations
  • Version management
  • The web’s fastest uploader
  • Active storage 250 GB to 1 TB
  • Archival storage 750 GB to 1 TB
  • Apple award-winning iPhone app

* A seat is the filmmaker/video provider. Unlimited links to the client.

Pros: easy to use, tutorials for clients, has an approval button

Cons: Company is focused on a Mac-based product and doesn’t seem keen to support filmmakers using PCs

VimeoPro

“Create high-performing videos, collaborate with your team, and share anywhere.”

Bill Davis of NewVideo speaking about VimeoPro and his workflow at the San Diego Premiere Pro Users Group Meeting Feb2020.

They offer ($20/mo. 3 team members)

  • Video creation
  • Private team projects
  • Customizable Showcase sites
  • Video file transfer
  • 3 team members
  • Review & approval tools
  • Unlimited reviewers
  • Private video presentation
  • Version history
  • More

Pros: Offers a great balance between security and the ability to distribute (and upload a replacement video at a later date), ability to create portfolios of videos

Cons: Because part of Vimeo’s services are streaming videos to the public, there is the potential for it to be less secure than Wipster and Frame.IO

And how do you get clients to use the client video review software? You kindly explain to them how it benefits them with more accurate corrections and efficient communication.


O’Connell Design is a consultancy offering creative services in Production Design, Animation, and Visual Effects for film and television.

Animation Price Guide

This animation price guide discusses a few factors when determining the cost of an animation project: concept, style/complexity, character(s) and specifications. For a basic 30 second animation pricing seems to start at $2,000 USD and go up from there depending on these factors.

  • Concept: the an abstract idea or general notion of what the message or story the animation needs to tell. This phase can take more or less time depending on how clearly the client’s initial idea is flushed out.
  • Animation Visual Style and the Medium required: 2D Animation, for example can be done using traditional hand drawing (think old Disney films) or vectors in After Effects or others. A 3D animation might use Maya or Cinema4D or other 3D software to create a 3 dimensional space or place an animated item into a real life scene filmed with a camera.
  • Character(s): the character is the person/creature that the audience is most likely to connect with and requires special attention on their creation and rigging.
  • Specifications: no animation price guide would be complete without discussing the final animation’s specifications – this referrers to the frames per second, dimensions (1920×1080, 2K, 4K,…), duration (30 seconds, 2 hours,…) and the quality of the end product (television, advertising, or film).

More Information to Aid Your Animation Price Guide Choices

Below are sample animation pricing information from other animation websites.

Pricing from Get Wright On It

(They have a fun price guide. It’s a fun interactive webpage.)

  • $2162-3149 For 32 seconds, motion graphics, paper cut-out, film quality (character based $7500 and up)
  • $2000-25000/min motion graphics, paper cut-out depending on production quality (television, advertising, or film)

Costs from Whiteboard Animation

  • $2800/min (90 sec. min.) = Entry level whiteboard style
  • $3800/min standard whiteboard introducing color accents, seamless scene transitions, and more consistent hand-drawing
  • $5500/min Whiteboard animation adding fuller color, basic character/accent animation, and multiple edit rounds.
  • $8000/min Whiteboard animation with deeper color, more sophisticated design/visual effects, and more detailed character/accent animation.

Estimates from How Much Does Animated Video Cost?

“The average cost for a 60 second explainer video is $7,972. (That’s around €6,500 or £5,700 for our international readers, at the time of writing.)”

How Much Does it Cost to Product Animation – and Why? – Pigeon

$6000-10000

  • length: 60 seconds,
  • style: multi-coloured flat design in cutout technique,
  • two characters,
  • music, voiceover, and sound effects included,
  • copyright to cover Internet, internal use, and private conferences.

Animation Costs from Full Rotation Design & Animation

  • £1750+/min. Simple 2D motion graphics, can be as simple as animated typography and simple graphics like this example.
  • £2500 – 3500/min 2D Motion graphics with 3D elements
  • £3000 – £3500/min. 2D Animated Explainer Videos with Character Animation
  • £3500 – £5000/min. Stylised 3D Animated Explainer Videos
  • £3000 to £10,000/min. High quality realistic 3D animation
  • £4000 to £10,000/min. 3D Character or Creature animation ( £200 – 300 per second )

Movie Animation Cost per Second… Just for fun

  • Tangled $49,059 per second (68 animators)
  • Toy Story 3 (2010) $36,639 per second (66 animators)
  • Coraline (2009) $11,690 per second (40 animators)

Green Screen Tips

Green Screen Tips setup

A few notes from San Diego Premiere Pro Meeting 27 February 2019 and more.

Setting Up the Green Screen for Filming

Green Screen tips for setup
Eric Addison sets up a green screen at the San Diego PremierePro Users Group meeting at Platt College.
  • Place subject 6-7′ away from the green screen. This minimizes shadows falling on the screen.
  • Keep green screen as flat/smooth as possible.Light green screen evenly (2 lights, same temperature are ideal). Check with a Light Meter or Phone App.
    1. Lux Light Meter (Google Play) *
    2.  Light Meter (Google Play, free) *
    3.  Smart Luxmeter (Google Play) *
      * This is in no wan an endorsement, only a place to start research.
  • Light subject so they are 1-1.5 stops brighter then the green screen.
  • Knowing what the composited background will be will allow you to setup the lights and light the subject in a more convincing way.
  • If possible adjust depth of field to keep the screen a little out of focus.
  • Higher shutter speeds can help with motion blur
  • Camera/formats
    • Use uncompressed formats for heavy keying (422 recommended)
    • Log is rarely useful because you have to color correct in order to key
    • DSLR: flat as possible, ISO increments of 160

Green Screen Tips – Software

Ultra Key: Premiere Pro Plug-in

Green Screen Tip and Ultra Key in Premiere Pro.
Ultra Key settings in Premiere Pro.

Start with a garbage matte then use Ultra Key to remove the green around the subject. There are different output settings (Composite, Alpha Channel – all keyed areas are black, and Color Channel) to check the results. Settings give a preset depending on how good a green screen you are starting with. Start with the eyedropper to select the color to key out (it doesn’t have to be green).

  • Green screen tip: use a Curves Adjustment before Ultra to get a better green.

Primatte Keyer by Red Giant

Primatte is a plug-in for Premiere Pro, After Effects, Final Cut X, and Apple Motion. It allows you to select your background and foreground, and to separate them out for a great key. Primatte/Red Giant

Green Screen Tips for After Effects
DJ Summit discusses Keylight and After Effects at the San Diego PremierePro Users Group meeting at Platt College.

Keylight: After Effects Plug-In

The drop down menu gives several options including: final result, source alpha (transparent parts shown in black), outside mask, inside mask, status, and more. The inside mask can help if there are parts on the inside of the subject that are being keyed out. Status can help show problems. Despill Bias can help with soft wispy hair. Under Screen Matte, Clip Rollback can also help with hair. For more information Adobe has a page on Keying in After Effects.

Books on Green Screen

  • The Green Screen Handbook by Jeff Foster
  • Green Screen Made Easy by Jeremy Hanke, Michele Yamazaki Tepstra

Additional Green Screen Tips

Movie Poster Designs


A great movie poster design grabs your attention and makes you take a closer look.

Here are a few of our favorite movie poster designs created by our very own O’Connell Design team… with a few Theatre posters too.

A great movie poster grabs your attention and makes you take a closer look. They also need to convey a certain amount of information, not the least of which is a call to action. Where to see the movie or find out more. A great movie poster design will also give you enough of the story to let you know what to expect in the theatre but just enough to pique your interest.

Movie Poster Design Credits

  1. Movie: Satellite Drop
    Director: L. V. O’Connell
  2. Film: Mnionic: The Beginning
    Director: L. V. O’Connell
  3. Film: The Answer
    Director: Michael Brueggemeyer
    Company: Amalgamated Grommets
  4. Film: Treasure All
    Director: L. V. O’Connell
  5. Film: 5 Points Vineyards
    Director: Michael Brueggemeyer
    Company: Amalgamated Grommets
  6. Film: Loser
    Director: Michael Brueggemeyer
  7. Film : Recency Effect
    Director: David Dawson
  8. Film: A Single Step
    Director: L. V. O’Connell
  9. Play : The Cosmonauts Last Message to the Woman He Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union
    Company: Oxford Theatre Guild
  10. Play: Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime
    Director: Matt Addis
    Company: Oxford Theatre Guild
  11. Play: The Merchant of Venice
    Company: Oxford Theatre Guild

Lower Third Motion Graphics for CARDA

Lower Third Graphics for the California Rescue Dog Association (CARDA)

We recently created lower third motion graphics for CARDA and their spot on Canine Corner. Founded in 1976, CARDA is a 501(c)3 non-profit, and the largest volunteer search dog organization in America. They train canine teams (dog and handlers) for search and rescue. They deploy throughout the state of California and occasionally to larger search operations outside the state.

Videos such as these and their brand recognition are used to generate funds to support the all volunteer teams.