Thursday, December 26, 2013

LEGO Super Heroes Episode 4

Hey guys,

My latest episode (LEGO Super Heroes – Iron Man’s New Toy /Thor’s Old Rival) has been out for a couple of weeks now and it has been getting some great feedback. As a thank you, I thought I’d share some behind the scenes stuff with you, like some tips and tricks and what problems I’ve encountered along the way.

First, I want to talk about the script. I usually write the script for the next episode after I finish the episode that’s in production. This way I can see what worked and what got good feedback, but this one I wrote before episode 3 was out. Initially, I thought it was a solid script, but once I started animating things kept popping up. There are a few plot holes in the video, which I’m not going to discuss for obvious reasons :P (don’t want to bash my own work). This should be a learning point for you guys: always read your script over and over again to see if you missed anything. If you have friends that can read it for you and help out, even better.

With this in mind, I was off to a pretty rocky start. Things got worse when I started animating the car scene. I wanted to film the car on a green screen and then add the moving background in post-production. Needless to say, things didn’t go as planned. Chroma keying didn’t work. Given that lego pieces are so shiny and reflective, they took on some of the green from the green screen. I’ve tried moving the background further back, but that didn’t work either, so I gave up on that idea. Another option was to actually film without the green screen but I didn’t have a good enough background and enough road plates. So, I cheated. I only used a close up shot in which you can’t actually see the background. That, with an added camera shake and sound effects made for a pretty decent and convincing car ride.

Note: If anyone knows how to do a good chroma key with lego, please let me know. I would really appreciate it.

Since I’ve mentioned the sound effects for this particular scene, those were another issue. I couldn’t find a decent sound effect of a car driving at the same speed. All of them, including the one I used, are of a car accelerating. Fortunately for me, the scene didn’t last long so I got away with it. I just lowered the volume a bit so the focus would be on the dialogue.

Someone suggested in the comments that I should change the background I used for the shoot-out scene because the color was off. I somewhat agree here. Not because of the color, since that was my decision; as you can see below the background is actually blue, I changed the color when I color corrected the video. I agree because I’m currently using a plain old wrapping paper and I think I could get something better. Not sure what though. Maybe you guys can come up with something here.

One thing that I’m particularly proud of in this video is the aerial chase. I knew from the very beginning that I was going to do something like that; it was just a matter of fitting it in. Of course, it could have been a lot better, but I think it turned out pretty good. I’m not going to explain how it was done because it’s pretty obvious I think. Just a few still images animated to move around.

I’m not sure if anyone noticed, but Tony doesn’t sound the same as he did in episode 2. This is because I had to change voice actors. The first actor dropped out so I had to bring in a replacement. I found Trevor’s channel and I thought he was perfect for the role. He’s really talented and I’m very grateful he agreed to help out. +Trevor Palczynski , if you’re reading this, thanks a lot!

That’s pretty much it for episode 4. If I’ve missed anything or if you have other questions just shoot me a message or comment below. I’ve finished the script for the next episode and I’m going to start animating after the New Year. Hopefully, it will be out sometime in February.

Take care and a happy new year,
Atlas Animationz

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