Among all the little pieces that has to go in to making a Kickstarter campaign, the video has without a doubt taken the longest to complete. Dividing our work so that some people focused on setting up the page, some focused on getting some explanatory graphics in there etc- we all had at some point lend a hand to the making of the video.
Starting out with the stop motion part of it, what we thought was going to be quick and painful dragged out to three whole days of work with first taking the images, realising they were unusable as the lighting changed from picture to picture, re doing the process with a different setup (which took several tests and creativity to figure out) to then fine tuning it in after effects in terms of colour, speed of the sequence and pauses.
Stop motion images
The second part of the process was adding the video of the making of our neat products which we’re going to be shown as stylistic line drawings that played inside the neatbook in the stop motion part. This turned out to be trickier than expected as we first had to alter the videos a lot so they looked like drawings, and then make it merge with the still image of the book it is placed over. After several tries to figure out what the best approach to this could be- the answer was to feather the layer, up the contrast and down the opacity which worked well in the end.
Video into linedrawing
Third part was getting some live film in there as well because we realised we would have to have someone standing in front of the camera and talking, too. It ended up being me that had to do it which I wasn’t super exited about haha but after many takes that just ended up with me laughing, we finally got there when I started thinking about the filming as me doing a regular presentation (just extra smiley and energetic) and after I had jumped around a bit to become more relaxed with the whole setup. There were a couple of things to keep track of as well as my lines as Tati was sitting on the floor next to me recording my voice with her phone and handing me a notebook for me to show, as well as me having to point in thin air (for us to animate things there later on) but at the same time watch my step so I didn’t move out of the picture. All in all though the filming took less time than I thought it would!
Film, adding a blue filter to match the colours of the stop motion
Fourth part was getting the filmed video to match the colours of the existent stop motion part so it would feel cohesive. We tinkered a bit with the colour balance and such but opted for a cooling photo filter in the end. Then it was all just a matter of cutting in to the right places.
Fifth part was putting some arms and legs on our neatbook. As we wanted the book to walk and talk and have a personality of his own for it to be more engaging and make you smile, oliver drew some arms and legs that we then imported into after effects. Firstly trying keyftamimg a couple of positions for them (the book moves a lot) but seeing it didn’t work out well, me and oliver tried to figure out how to use the motion tracking option but couldn’t make it to suit our needs cause it was too imprecise. In the end I had to keyframe the position frame by frame which was boring work but not too time consuming as I just became a robot after a while.
Arms and legs!
Sixth thing to add was the voice of the neatbook. As I was already in the clip, it had to be oliver that did the voice that we then lay over the video. Had to time it to the video, cut parts of it and down the volume a bit too to match the volume of me speaking just before.
Keyframes keyframes keyframes every frame
After listening to the transitions between me talking and the neatbook talking I thought it would be better if we used the same type of sound for me as well (recorded on a phone instead of using the videocamera one) so we used the recording Tati did of my voice instead of the sound the camera recorded which worked perfectly as we got rid of the background noise too.
Eighth and final step was adding some music. We realised that because we aren’t talking all the time, there are pauses that get a bit awkward to watch as they are completely silent. So we added some music that managed to be perfectly in sync with the pacing of the video on the first try. So that’s it, video done! Lots of work with small bits and pieces that had to fit together but I think we can be proud with what we achieved in the end. It looks nice and very kickstarter-y 🙂