Typically, we don’t consider who made an animated movie or why when we sit down to watch it— we simply enjoy the process. Today, however, you will see the opposite side of the screen
First of all, we will share with you an interview with the founder of the HOUND STUDIO, Alex, tell you a little about the author of the video animation “BEAR” and how the story was created and we will show you the process of creating, which we can’t wait to share with you
So, let’s start with the interview:
– Tell us about yourself in a few words.
– Hi, I’m Alex, the founder of Hound Studio. I was born in Ukraine and have always been interested in animation and visual effects. At the beginning of my career, I worked in the gaming industry, and then for several years, I worked in architectural visualization. But I always wanted to do some kind of commercial animation, so when the crisis hit in 2008, I started my journey to create an animation studio in my native Kharkiv. Sometimes I write about my work and the work of the studio on my Twitter.
– What inspired you to get into animation?
– I have always been fascinated by creative work. These are films, cartoons that were created by all famous companies. I also wanted Ukrainians to be involved in this process.
– How much time it took for you to realise it?
– I started doing animation in 2000s. And the studio appeared about 12 years after that.
– What difficulties did you face at the beginning of your journey into animation?
– At first, there was not enough educational material. Almost everything had to be learned independently by trial and error. This took a lot of time. But this taught me to always find a creative solution to achieve the task. This is especially useful when working with clients who want a specific result, no matter how it is done.
– What do you like most about this business?
– This is an interesting and creative work, but very difficult. If you are doing serious projects, then you need to be prepared for overtime, numerous corrections from clients, and so on. But it’s worth it to be part of something that people will watch for many years to come.
– Tell us about “BEAR” animation.
– We usually do commercial projects. Therefore, this project attracted our attention with its unusualness. We always wanted to try to take part in a socially significant project. Therefore, when we were offered this project, we immediately agreed, although, we understood that we had a very difficult year ahead. We did not know then that this year would be so difficult. A terrible anti-human war of Russia against Ukraine has begun. You can read about how we worked during this period in our article about our war article.
– How did you organize your work in such conditions?
– In production, we use the Krock.io software and with the transition to remote work through the war, we continued to use it. So for us, nothing has changed in terms of managing such a large production. The Krock.io system is designed so that you can see all the stages of the project, all the people working on these stages. We shared and exchanged the actual versions of the files and created backups. In a project step, you can communicate with the client, which, just like in other systems like frame.io, allows you to draw and leave visual comments.
– How much time did you spend on this?
– We started work at the beginning of November 2021 and completed the project at the end of October 2022. We spent a whole year making this film. I really hope this will be a significant social contribution for children.
A few words about the “Bear” animation’s author.
The author of “BEAR” is Celia Tewey, a filmmaker, producer, and visual artist based in New York City. Currently, she works as an assistant producer at NBC Universal.
“Bear” tells the story of a young girl named Mila and her struggle with depression, represented by a large, physical bear. The film aims to be a metaphorical representation of mental illness, specifically depression, and the silent struggle it can cause for a young person.
w, and it should be a topic that people feel comfortable talking about without stigma or judgment. It gets easier to talk about a struggle when you have others around you.
And when we asked the author why she chose HOUND STUDIO, we got this answer:
“The art style was my main reason for choosing HOUND. When I looked at the website, I saw the other content that they had created and immediately fell in love. I loved the unique style, colors, and movement of the characters. I knew that I wanted my film to have a similar look.I also was making “BEAR” during the 2020 pandemic and was able to virtually connect with Hound and remotely collaborate across the world, which was a really neat experience!”
We were very pleased to hear such words addressed to us.
And now, we will talk about the process of creating one of the 500 videos that we made…
The “Bear” animation
We have been working on this project for a year, and fortunately, we’ve done it! Congrats to us!
Firstly we want to notice that each project begins with a concept and a style. Three major styles were created for the client. We made this great movie based on one of them.
And here you can see the step-by-step process of the “Bear” animation:
1. Animatic Reel
At first, to create the animatic reel, a storyboard was used. The music, sound effects, and voiceover in each scene are all timed. The storyboard needs to be finished and authorized before the animatic can be produced. We use krock.io software, and the storyboard was created directly there.
After we came to the decision to divide the scenes among the team members, we added tags to the scenes that later helped us monitor the process by filtering these scenes.
The process on this stage looked like:
2. Background Layout and Posting
In this animation, the backgrounds were made in 3D. A background is a part of a place or an angle of it. Once the background was done, it was added to the layout folder.
3. Draft Animation
Each frame of the animation and each character position were hand-drawn by the animator. After the finished animation was sent to the digital stage of the procedure.
The animation cleanup involves converting the unfinished paperless animation into clean, bound, and inked drawings.
5. Inking and Painting + Background Painting
The longest digital step is certainly the ink-and-paint step. All of the drawings must be cleaned, have all of the lines inked, and have all of the colors filled. The complexity of the drawings will determine how long this process takes. If there are many details and lines that need to be inked, the color step will take more time.
The necessary imports included the sound, colored background, and animatic reference. All of these pieces were put together by making reference to the exposure sheet, animatic, and animation. Any digital effects required by the scenario were applied after. They featured shadows, highlights, and tones.
After each scene had been rendered out, it was assembled in a separate program, and the project also included sound. Finally, the filter and effects were applied. The last step involved rendering and distribution.
We want to express our appreciation to everyone who reads all the way through. We attach great importance to this project. It took a lot of work and time, but the outcome brought great delight to our client.
As well as wishing everyone to be fully engaged in animation process and achieve success, we strongly recommend the krock.io platform for online proofreading and approving matters. Working with it, our job has been made easier. We hope that it will be helpful to you as well.