Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Glenn Davis - Be Honest - UNOFFICIAL Music Video

I recently had the pleasure to work on one of my first full fledged music videos. The musician in question is Glenn Davis of the band Way Yes.  At the end of this month he will be releasing his very first solo album titled Waves & Webs.  Glenn recently helped me create the music for my 2016 reel and as a fellow Ohio native I felt extremely connected to helping him create a video for his single, Be Honest.  His entire album centers around the turmoil that followed a failed marriage, so all of his songs have a shared meaning in love and loss.  Be Honest is unique in that it has a very driving beat and higher energy than his other singles.  When we discussed ideas for the music video we tossed around all things relating to what honesty is and what it means in different forms.  We landed on the idea of chameleons and their ability to shift their colors.  How this effects their ability to be honest or dishonest with their surroundings and who they are.  We took the idea a step further by having a central character who did not want to conform with the ever changing colors he is being bombarded with on a daily basis. With this in mind I took off to sketching out and developing more ideas, characters, and storyboards.

As you can see my sketchbook is very stream of conscious and rough.  I like to spend the majority of my time actually developing the art and animation.  I use my sketches as a quick way to just put my ideas on paper.  I did everything from research about chameleons to looking at all shapes and sizes of the species. Once I had these things locked down I went into creating my characters and assets.  I knew I wanted the look to be vibrant and alive to match the emotion of the song, so instead of using a clean vector look in Illustrator, I decided to use hand drawn elements in Photoshop to give everything a much more textural feeling.

Now that my assets were created, I was free to bring everything into After Effects and just get down to the nitty gritty of rigging and animating.  When rigging characters I use a program called Duik.  This is a free program that works great with setting up character rigs within After Effects.  All you have to do is label and parent your elements properly and you have a working character rig within minutes.

It's a little challenging showing all the layers in one shot, but this is what the set up looks like after the rigging is done and Duik has performed it's magic.  Basically I get a set of about 8 controls that let me easily manipulate the character in a way that makes sense.  Once this is complete with all the various characters I do all my animating.  After many hours and hundreds of keyframes you end up with the music video you see below.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it!

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