I promised you a new holiday treat for this year, and here it is: A COVID Christmas Anti-Viral Holiday Special. It is a super cute animated Christmas story made especially for a special year, featuring a masked snowman, masked singers, socially-distanced Santa, toy shopping, Mom, and a decorated tree by a fire. And lots of mask jokes.
I didn’t set out to make a new holiday special. I was working on some Christmas card ideas and Lise saw what I was doing and suggested they might make for some nice animation. That got me thinking, and before long I was able to string together a series of card ideas into a parody of a couple of my favorite holiday films.
There’s a big nod to Charlie Brown Christmas here, as well as a wink at A Christmas Story.
For anyone curious, it took just over a week. It started with the card sketches. I used Moho Pro to build the characters. Each character needed to be created piece by piece, then rigged for animated movement, then fine-tuned.
I sent the script to my cousin Jason in Buffalo and he and one of his daughters, Zoe, recorded the vocal track for me.
While they did that, I drew my background by hand, scanned them, and painted them using Pixelmator Pro.
Once I had the built characters, the backgrounds, and the vocals, I got to work animating. Lip sync wasn’t too bad (and it adds an inside joke for animators…) using masks to cover mouths, but it still needed to look right.
The final step was sound effects and music. I used Garage Band loops to simulate a jazzy Vince Guaraldi sort of track, which I was really happy with by the end. The little flute loop makes it for me.
Once everything was done, the last thing to do was to double check audio levels and upload it to YouTube and Vimeo for you to enjoy.
Happy holidays, feel free to share this with anyone who might enjoy it, and stay safe!