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  • Ryan van Eerde

World Builder Animation - Sound Production

Another project I have been working on is audio for 5 short animated clips that depict some form of otherworldly environment. The clips range in time from 15 to 30 seconds of which I will be producing all of the music, sound effects, and some possible ADR. My main focus for this project is to explore and expand on the environment that have been created by multiple different animators in order to better convey what their purpose is for producing the specific environments. The short clips will be of a single scene with minimal character and camera movement, the main focus for the animators is producing an amazing world environment. The first thing that came to mind when I was thinking about how I could produce audio for these animations was to make them almost like a web comic that uses audio to enhance the story telling, see video example below.



This video perfectly blends music, SFX and ADR together to further explore the story that is being told in the comic, its cinematic audio over still images. The animations that I'll be working will have more moving things going on which will help me to work out what exactly I need to produce. The audio comic above is a good reference of how a story can be elaborated with audio.


For the animators themselves I produced a document that outlines my intentions for the project and what information I need from the to successfully complete the audio. The document is as follows.


 

World Builder Audio

Basic premise of the project is to explore and build upon the animated environments with the use of audio which includes, music tracks, sound effects, and dialogue. Not only will this project be good for enhancing the animated environments with audio it is also a good opportunity to see how sound can be implemented into your projects and think about what exactly is required to make it work. It’s also a good exercise in working with another discipline and being able to convey what your creative ideas are to someone else and making them (me) understanding exactly what your world is about.


Things I need

  • Rough animatic so I can get an idea of what the environment is about.

  • Rough audio assets list of specific things that are happening in the environment, such as lightning, earthquakes, footsteps, birds chirping, etc.

  • Ideas for music composition with potential reference tracks, this will help guide me to produce something that is more in line with your creative intent.

  • Any other sound effects that you would like or think would be cool to have.

  • Rough script for narration, this can be worked out later when your world ideas are more solid. It could be of a character inside of the environment or an outside narrator detailing what the story of the environment is.

  • Any other information you want to give me about the world or what you want me to try and achieve.


From me I will try and provide you with weekly updates and progress reports, if I’m having any problems or if I need some more clarification on certain aspects. Also if you could provide me with updated animatics throughout the production process that would be helpful.

 

Due to the animators workflow I have received this information from them later than what I was expecting which has pushed my timeline back a bit but I feel like a can get everything smashed out within the next 3 weeks. I had another one of these short animations to work on but the animator has decided to extend his clip to about a minute so I'll be classing that one as a slightly separate project to the other 5. This longer animation will have the same things happening audio wise (music, SFX, ADR) it will just be more involved than the others and I won't have anything to wok on until later.


My workflow will be to produce the SFX and Foley first in order to populate the environment with what is actually physically happening, next I'll do the music composition to create atmosphere set the tone. After that will be the dialogue of which I have received a few scripts for but seeing as I'm doing this process last I don't really need them just yet anyway, the main aspects for the audio will be the music and SFX, dialogue is just to further enhance the story telling. Depending on time and how well I'm going with the projects I'm thinking of making the music tracks longer than what the animations are, this is only to help improve my composing abilities and give me more content for my portfolio.


All up the animators seem really excited about me producing audio for them, its a great opportunity to work with multiple people and get a lot of work done in a short time frame. I have a couple of other projects I want to work on as well so the quicker I can get this done the better, without compromising quality of course. This project could potentially be problematic working with so many people at once but I'm confident I'll be able to make it all work and produce something that both me and the animators can be happy with.

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