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Building Planes

Kathleen De Vere | 19 Jul 2012 16:00
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This week's video was Pocket Planes, an animated ode to a mobile game that has become a little bit of an obsession among certain members of the LoadingReadyRun crew and our friends. As we explain in the video, the script was originally penned by longtime LRR fan Alexander Ditto, and was then adapted by the rest of us with an animated treatment in mind.

Speaking of animation, according to Graham, despite how complex Pocket Planes looks, he felt it actually wasn't as hard or as stressful to put together as other recent videos, specifically GearsGear. For those of you who don't remember that video it required a substantial amount of post production work and 3D animation. For this video - which was still very time consuming - Graham harnessed the raw power of Adobe After Effects. You can learn more about his lip-syncing technique in the video.

This was also one of the videos I was most invested in, since I helped a lot with the art. I drew many of the bitizens, all the luggage, some of the assets for the airport like the sign, and the lights. Most importantly however, I drew that Kangaroo-M airplane. By tracing a very rough, blown up version of it from the game and then kind of "freestyling it". This is commonly referred to as "hardcore mode." Having never done any pixel style art before it was a fun challenge, but working on a very tight deadline (less than 30 hours from story meeting to finished product!) made it a bit stressful for me. Dinner that night was order-in Chinese food, before plunging back into the video mines.

This week's trivia:

  • If you look carefully during the intro you can see bitizen versions of Graham, Paul, myself, Matt, James, Lee Lee, Cam and my friend Lindsey.
  • After very carefully drawing six different types of cargo using the in-game graphics on Graham's iPad as a reference, I found there was a Pocket Planes wiki... with screenshots of all the different cargo types. Dang.
  • Every time Doug the Pocket Planes employee talks, Graham had to put in what animators call keyframes. There is one for every time his mouth position changed. Over the course of the video, there are 1357 keyframes, just for Doug!
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