Eeter (2004)

animation | 05:16.18 | Watch

Based on a children's book by Jens Sigsgaard, this rotoscoped animation explores the notion of being alone - if given the chance, do we really try to live out our innermost desires, or does "common sense" prevail?

Spanning over a period of six months, producing this animation has so far been the most demanding project we have undertaken, and also our first.


How it was done

After shooting the matieral on MiniDV, the clips were captured (PAL, no fields) and edited in Premiere 6, chopped into a. 150 frame pieces which were then exported as Filmstrip files (.FLM) for rotoscoping in Adobe Photoshop 7.

Note: Premiere seems to be the only NLE that supports .FLM (ie You can't use this workflow on a Mac!)

Depending on the scene and camera movement a different background drawing technique was used. For pans, we combined several frames from the .FLM to form one big .PSD For more erratic movement, a frame-by-frame approach was needed. To decide how many FPS to paint, we analyzed the DV source and drew every 3-6'th frame for smooth/slow motion to every 1-2'nd for fast movement. After painting, the .FLM files had to be cut up into individual frames as .PSD files (.FLM doesn't have an alpha channel that's necessary for final compositing)

In AE, we imported the .PSD files as a "Photoshop sequence" (don't" Force alphabetical order" or else "11" will come before "2"). Create a new Comp (720/576, 25 FPS, or drag the PSD sequence icon in the project window onto the "new comp" button).

Imported the backgrounds with the same method, used "As composition"in case we had more than one layer and dropped it into our main comp.

To not overload our PC, we used a different AE project file for a. every 2 mins of animation. For the PSD sequences, we enabled time remapping and frame blending (turned them on in the monitor also for RAM previews) For some static backgrounds, we used Vector Paint with wiggle enabled and "Color clone" turned on + Turbulent Displace to make them consistent with the hand-drawn material.

What could've been done differently

Tools used

Other rotoscoping tools