I started by drawing all of Manny’s components, including the ukulele, and saving them as symbols to prepare for the animating stage later. I then assigned each part to a unique layer and added a motion tween to each symbol. I drew two different coloured heads to decide which looked best, and went with the brown one because it complimented his face and the ukulele better than the white head. I used multiple layers on his symbol to create a unique and slightly more realistic texture for his component. For the wooden ukulele I turned the opacity down and drew lots of linear lines over the top of the ukulele to look like wood grains.
To get Manny’s hands to come around his body from the back I had to make two seperate layers for each hand; one layer underneath all the other components and the other on top. Then I just matched the hand position on each layer when they switch so the transition is seamless. I also had to do this for the ukulele as well later on.
The scene when he bobs up and down and strums at the same time was the hardest to animate. I knew that it would be crucially important for Manny to be strumming in time with the music so I found the sound clip and studied the time signature and the strumming pattern to get it as precise as possible.
As you can see underneath in the screen shot I used a repeating pattern to ensure full sync to the sound clip. Copy and pasting the motion tweens made the animation process a lot simpler as well.
After I had the animation to the right standard and I was happy with how it linked to my story boards; I decided to export the entire file as a HD JPEG sequence, just like Gary the Tortoise. This is because Premiere Pro is a fantastic tool for mixing sound and visuals together. It was also particularly useful for adding a better background, which I downloaded from the internet after much searching and Photoshop’d a mushroom in behind Manny so the audience has some visual reference as to which type of mushroom Manny is.
I downloaded key sound clips like the hum of a fridge to create a good ambiance for the film. The crying and the woman’s voice at the end I had to record myself after looking on the internet for them and finding nothing. I recorded my sister and my mum multiple times and then imported the sounds into Premiere where I chose the best one and edited the timing of the voice so the audience can hear everything properly. Also timing is key with humor.
I also added track matte keying to all the JPEGs and then added a sixteen point garbage matte to a black video in ‘Video track 2’ which allowed me to create my own vignette which I knew would be successful after using it in my Griffin animation.
After I was happy with all of the timings and sound I rendered it in full quality to achieve a professional polish.