Chalk Trees | Certified Conference 2017 Intro Video

Chalk Trees | Certified Conference 2017 Intro Video

Finally! A project that got me into Krita’s new 2D animation tool set. What an incredibly valuable tool have in the bag. Lets talk about growing trees made of chalk.

This is the 3rd year I have done the Certified Conference introduction video, and it is always a joy to work on them. First, credit where credit is due. Neil Bryce is the man who got us this work. He has been a could colleague and friend over the last few years, and through him, Thor Media and myself have had the opportunity to work on a bunch of great projects.

With these conference videos we have taken the “hand drawn” approach for certain elements before. What makes the approach different in this on is that this is the first time where we didn’t use masks or other automated methods to simulate hand drawn effects. With Krita’s new 2D animation tools, I was able to approach the animating of elements that would naturally be hand drawn from a more traditional approach.

I have always had a keen interest in traditional 2D animation, I even took a class in college to help satisfy my interest in the subject. Since that class, I have had a few opportunities pop their heads above the water a few times, but the opportunity to develop those 2D animation skills further have always seemed to allude me. Usually due to budget constraints. 2D animation is a very time consuming thing, and to invest in someone like me who doesn’t have allot of experience, or, the project skill-wise is a bit out of my skill set, it has been a hard thing for me to approach on a serious project. Till now…

Because of the simple concept (Neil Bryce’s concept) I felt that this could be the project to dust some of those old skills off, and give them a go. I am glad I decided to take the risk. Everything, except the obviously 3D elements (rendered and composited in Blender), were hand drawn 2D animated elements. This includes all the text transitions, leaf transitions, along with the introduction of the seed being blown in by the wind with the growing tree.

I am really proud of this piece, and the client really loved the way it turned out, and came back with only some minor revisions to the animation and colors. Nailed it! I also discovered that animating text this way, as opposed to using a mask, feels much more natural, and ends up taking about the same amount of time as other masking methods. The only issue is, is if the text needs to change. In this case, you have to start from frame 1 with the traditionally animated method. I just have to make sure the project script is locked down before working on these elements in the future.