MINIVANS - Ando's trip into the fantastic

Talk about a marathon run in a short time!

The wonderful Prairie Scholars had their only vehicle die on them. They decided a minivan would be the perfect replacement - however, funds were not available. So they wrote this wonderful song in hopes of raising money to purchase one. 

I shot the first footage on June 25th, and put the final credits on at 2AM in the morning July 11th - 17 days for an almost SEVEN Minute Song!!! I needed to have the video done in time for the big fundraising event on the 12th. A bonus was that it was completed on Andy's birthday! Happy Birthday Andy!

All in all I used five different programs to make this video come to life: Photoshop, AfterEffects, Premier, Dragonframe, and Blender. There was a little bit of everything in this video!

Here are some behind the scenes shots of the video and the animation process...

(Apologies phone viewers - the pictures are shrinking to make room for the text. Hit up the site on a computer to see everything)
Andy watches in amazement as I create the base minivan model in Blender. Go for low polygons!!
This shows the setup I rigged for launching the vans out of the colored dots in the beginning of the video. Again, this is was created in Blender. Download it for free! (How awesome is that?)

The checkered background in the lower shot means the background is transparent, which allowed me to composite it over the footage of Andy using AfterEffects. The two square planes in the upper shot (1 wall, 1 floor) used a material that only received shadows but was transparent to everything else, so shadows would also appear on the live video footage, giving that much more realism to the scene.

I also used camera tracking within blender to have the movement of the camera in the live shot make the minivans move as well.
Here we see the more traditional 2D animation style with the beginnings of a multi-plane setup. The camera is mounted above and pointed straight down.

The hanging white ball is called a Chinese lantern, used to create soft shadows. It wasn't used for this particular shot but it wasn't in the camera view so I didn't bother taking it down.
The clear plexiglass allowed me to have two layers of animation happening without one interfering with the other. All 2D and Stop Motion were shot using Dragonframe. (I love that program!)
Here you can see how I made the set for the hot wheels stop motion. The green allowed me to get a good matte around the rocks easily.

My laptop on the left is showing the camera's view.
I made a light desk specifically for this video as I wanted to have traditional hand-drawn animation for one of the scenes. Unfortunately it was taking so long I couldn't afford to do what I wanted, but the most important part was animated. Perfection is the enemy of good! (Or so I've heard...)