One of the art directors at Robot Entertainment asked me to storyboard some Orcs Must Die! (OMD) logo ideas. The requirements and direction was essentially keep it short; keep it simple; comedy via orc violence; get the OMD logo on the screen. Some other logo animations were already complete, but he wanted to look at different options, perhaps a different direction. Six seconds was the maximum length established from the completed logos. Because some artist time had already been spent creating a usable (and great!) logo the time frame for the one I would create was short: Not including storyboard time, this would be done (animation, render, sound, etc...) in a week with minimal effort from the art team; 3d animation and reused assets.
Of course, my mind started blowing up with ideas that didn't fit within that requirement. (Thanks brain, you're awesome.) So, I storyboarded those ideas over the next three working days. Unfortunately, I saw these as short animations rather than just a straight up logo, which is probably why we didn't move forward with any of my ideas. As such, I was trying to tell a small story with some (2), and others do exactly what the art director wanted (3). I finished a total of five. As I said, none of them were chosen and we went with the already completed logo. One animatic/idea, for me, stood out above the rest (above). I wanted to see it to completion. Below are the other animatics I did that aren't going to see any further work.
Here is a video showcasing the multiple stages I went through to get Gauntlet completed. Starting with the animatic and rough animation moving all the way to final animation, color, and effects.
This is the final Orcs Must Die! Gauntlet animation. The animation was created using ToonBoom Animate Pro 2, and backgrounds in Photoshop.
I broke out some of my smear/multiple drawings and squash and stretch drawings from my Orcs Must Die! Gauntlet animation. Smear and multiple drawings are typically used when your character needs to cover a really large distance over a really short amount of time. Much like what motion blur does in live action video footage. The camera stretches, smears and blurs the action if something is moving really quickly.
I use multiple drawings usually if only the limbs are moving big distances but the body isn't. Multiple drawings are also a great way to convey, in one or two frames, the spacing and arc of the limb; allowing for a more accurate interpretation of the movement. I'll use smear drawings more if the entire character is moving very quickly; if I want the sense of a fast motion without the actual direct understanding of how the character got there (which means for me that the movement and distance traveled is so unrealistic, I'll use a smear drawing to convey the character's movement from the start and stop spots.) Of course, none of this means you can't use smear drawings instead of multiple whenever you want or vice versa; use the method that gives you the desired effect that you're looking for in your animation, or whatever appeals to you more. Anything or everything I've said could be completely wrong, this is just how I understand it, and utilized it in my own work.
I must say, smear and multiple drawings are really fun to draw!
Click on the images to see the sequence of smear/multiple drawings.
And finally, I made this nifty little gif animation of the looping portion. Right click the image to save. If you want a higher resolution version, download it here.