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Arthur Lemon-Butter

One of my sisters just crossed the 50 year mark. To celebrate, I made her a short animation.

She's always been a fan of artichokes, so I thought I would animate her favorite vegetable doing something. I wasn't quite sure what it should do, though. Dance around? Eh.

While I designed and built the character (first you do the artwork, then you rig it with "bones"), I kept trying to come up with a situation. Maybe he should stand at a podium and give a speech of some sort? Nah. Pose by a poolside and express regrets for not being able to attend the party? Close... Hang out in a hot tub of butter?

In the end, I opted for a stand-up comedy routine, and a string of jokes about being old. This required a script, then a soundtrack to be recorded. The sound track could then be used as a guide for the animation.

Animation is done in passes. In this case, I got the lip sync out of the way first, then worked on accenting punch lines with eye movements. The last pass was to move him on the stage and add some secondary actions (like tapping the microphone). All of this is done on a big timeline, at 30 frames per second.

This was all a surprise, but the birthday day has passed and I can share this with a wider audience. So, if you are old, or feeling old, or know someone old... and need an artichoke to give you a hard time, watch the following:

Arthur Lemon-Butter from Christopher Grotke on Vimeo.



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Feliz Complementos

What a nice gift. In our commodity culture what could be better than a personalized borsht belted choke fest?

Arti indeed.


Magic Kingdom

I've always had to admire movable graphics like most of us, brought to me on-screen. It was, is also the ambition behind it that impresses me.



It was fun to do.

One of the hardest things was getting the timing of a stand up comedian, while working one frame at a time with no audience. Had to imagine the "beats" and pauses. Don't want to step on any laughs, but also not leave any silence floating for too long.

Speaking of artichokes - anyone else have those HUGE artichokes they had recently at the Co=op? Wow. Those were the biggest I had ever seen, and pretty darn good, too. With lemon butter, of course.


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