A Singular Animation Journey for “Explode”
Jodi Sandler on Creating an Animated Music Video In Her Spare Time
How did this music video come about?
When I graduated I came to work here at Vivid Creative Services as I had been working here on and off for six years. I came across the Uh Huh Her Myspace page and emailed someone off their page with a link to my blog and told them I was an animator who would be interested in doing a music video. I was just looking for anything to do in animation and illustration. They wrote back and asked me to submit a clip.
They asked me if I would do a music video and sent me the song (“Explode”) and from there I sent them a treatment, a leica reel. We worked together on the treatment. They gave me a fairly rough concept of what they wanted it to be about: They wanted a guy and a girl and for him to follow her. At the end she goes home and is with someone else. Also they wanted it set in Paris.
So I went to Paris and did some research, some sketching, and I came up with a story reel. It was a good excuse to go to Paris.
What was the technical process for putting this together?
I did the leica reel digitally just to nail down the storyboard. I started animating on paper because I am classically trained. Because I was doing this on my own time, after hours, I wanted to avoid anything that would take a huge amount of time so I decided to animate in Flash. I started drawing on paper, then scanned them and drew on top of those in Flash. I exported .png sequences of the characters from Flash and brought those into After Effects and composited them with the characters.
The backgrounds an almost photoreal quality to them. How did you create the backgrounds?
In Paris I was taking photos for reference. I was sketching from the photos. When I came back I realized I couldn’t make this a two-year project, which would have happened if I created all the backgrounds from scratch. I would take the photos, put some Photoshop filters on, then paint over that to get the look I wanted and then brought them into After Effects.
For the black & white sequence there is a little flicker and texture to that, how was that created?
I drew a couple frames in Photoshop and brought those into After Effects as a sequence. It was all hand drawn with different brushes.