It all started as a commission for a cartoon series where astronomy was explained with sheeps. No further details, stylistic choices nor anything else was given. So, I had to make everything from scratch, and I started by finding a style for the sheeps!
After sketching them, and drawing final models in a vector graphics program, I faced the problem of vehicles: in this series there had to be various vechicles, all seen from different angles in the same episode, and it was planned to add often new ones. So I decided that the easiest route would have been to make 3D models for them, and render them shadeless, to give the same look as the rest of the drawings.
I then started the animation for the intro. I knew the softwares that could be used, but hadn’t really used any of them, so I downloaded Harmony Essentials, studied it for a week and then created the intro.
This is the finished intro!
In the beginning it looked quite easy to work in Harmony, but when working on the main sequence for the video, the amount of layers was so high that the furthest I got in the animation, the slowest it became to work. I found some other problems too, that were linked with the limitations of the Essentials pack. As an example, since I couldn’t import 3D models in Harmony, I had to render the whole spaceship part in Blender, output it in a .mov file to contain transparency, and import the video in Harmony, using the video’s layer as a normal object: when the sheep is holding the spaceship, it’s literally the video childed to its paw!
So, for manageability reasons I switched to 3D in Blender, since it was taking really too much time. Maybe with more persistence I could have found some tricks to overcome the problems, but the agreement on this project was that one video had to be doable in one week, so I couldn’t afford this kind of problems. Overall it was a good experience with Harmony, and if I had to draw a frame-by-frame animation it would have worked great, the vector engine is super nice and it feels very natural to draw with it, it’s just like drawing with normal tools, plus cheats!
In the next post I’ll show you the new, 3D version of this work!