This animation project was outside anything I had ever done before. Although we’ve been using Flash CC this whole semester, I did not feel experienced with the software in any regard. But as much as this made me nervous to create something brand new, it also excited me that I had complete creative control to make something totally new. This retelling of the classic “cat and mouse” cartoon motif was especially fun because it adds an element of surprise and wonder for the unsuspecting viewer.
My animation is called “Gone Fishin’”because it is a recognizable saying often seen on signs and has the connotation of a relaxed outing. However, it is clear from the beginning there is some unknown uneasiness. I was inspired to tell this story by the YouTube video “24 Animations in 24 Hours – Short animated Flash Films all created in one day” created by James Lee and Hania Lee, posted by James Lee on September 11, 2010. The first animation in a list of 24 opens on a creature seemingly chasing after an ice cream truck. The animation then cuts to the image of the truck casually moving forward. After bouncing back and forth between the two characters it is revealed that the creature is not chasing the truck, but rather it is the opposite with the truck pursuing the creature. I really enjoyed this surprise because it did just as it intended and caught me off guard. I wanted to keep these technical and story techniques in mind when creating my animation in hopes of replicating the “Aha!” moment I had for my audience.
The story follows an unsuspicious small orange fish as his day takes an unexpected turn. Many different fish fleeing and a pursuant/predator join the orange fish’s character in his story. The background is also an important visual aspect of the animation as it sets the scene and is constant throughout the animation. To create the background graphic I layered multiple vector waves together from a graphic found on the vector sharing website Vecteezy. I used images found in the original graphic as well as other sea creatures found on the free vector library FreePik and sea plants also found on Vecteezy. The main Orange Fish, supporting blue fish, and supporting shark are all an integral part of the story and are used throughout the animation.
When I approached the project I realized there were multiple different movements and optical illusions I wanted to include that I did not know how to initially create myself. I started by going back to YouTube and finding the vlogger Flashythingy’s video tutorial titled “Flash Tutorial 5.How to make a continuous moving back ground.” The video was posted on June 7, 2010, so it was clear I was working on an updated software. However, the principles taught in the video cover the basics of creating a scrolling background, and the software change was not an issue. The scrolling background was used in my animation to simulate continuous swimming and movement from the fish in the frame. After understanding the basics of adding continuous motion to my animation, I spent time fleshing out the storyboard and planning my shot list.
Finally, I was ready to create the full animation and include some fun new things such as a background song and sound effects. Again the use of sound was new to me so I went to Google and typed in “how to add sound in Flash CC?” The first response was a step-by-step list from the Flash Professional Help guide published by Adobe. This resource was extremely useful and straightforward in adding my music.
After researching what kind of music was most often used for a classic animation I realized a lot of instrumental/classical music is used due to its heightened emotions and sounds. I thought a modern yet recognizable song would be “Sing, Sing, Sing” by Benny Goodman. I love this song and feel it effectively adds emotion and suspense to the jump cuts in my animation. However, when choosing my song I did not realize how long the intro was (18 seconds!) and was faced with a challenge. I did not want to have 18 long and boring seconds filled with a single fish swimming across a screen, but I also wanted to keep the fantastic audio cues for the change of scene. To solve this problem I decided to include more fish and heighten the danger feeling in the first scene. Thus, instead of a single fish a viewer sees multiple fish fleeing to safety from the unknown threat. While it was originally unplanned, this addition added to and expanded my story wonderfully.
Overall, this animation project challenged me, excited me, and gave me a chance to really explore the features and power in Flash CC. I am extremely proud of my creation and have thoroughly enjoyed this experience.
I downloaded the graphics from multiple artists on Vecteezy and the free vector library FreePik and then manipulated them into a new image. I found the song “Sing, Sing, Sing” on YouTube and converted it to mp3, then I cut it in Adobe Premiere. I found the “chomp” sound effect on the free site FindSounds.com.
Sea background – http://www.vecteezy.com/vector-art/93482-underwater-scene-colorful-background
Sea plants – http://www.vecteezy.com/vector-art/86022-bright-coral-reef-and-fish-vectors
Sea creatures – http://www.freepik.com/free-vector/colored-fishes_794584.htm#term=sea life&page=1&position=19
Seaweed/rock – http://www.freepik.com/free-vector/colorful-sea-elements_804676.htm#term=ocean&page=1&position=24