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Saturday Morning Double Feature
by Kory Schaubhut
While Kory is still in limbo (we think he made it to the states, but the witness protection program won't let him contact us), I picked out my favorite Fictional Universe column to share with you once again. -M
This week we have two videos for you, a limited animation cartoon featuring "Captain Obvious" and a live action (if you can call it that) show about living hot peppers in outer space.
These videos are representative of the house style that Fictional Universe is moving toward, both intended as retro television homages. Limited animation cartoons are familiar to most people. The other style could be called "Animotion" after its roots in "Claymotion" that is similar in feel, but focused more on clay characters specifically.
We've intended to do something with Captain Obvious for a while. To belabor the obvious, the character has his origin in the idiom, "Thanks, Captain Obvious."
The main thing that I, if not the average viewer, consider noteworthy about this cartoon is the evolution in our technique for making them. The production level speaks for itself, but what isn't so obvious is the time involved in making it -- approximately three hours.
Strategies that we've come up with to speed production include use of chroma keying (blue/greenscreen effects) and more careful regard for character design that facilitates limited animation techniques. The method used to animate the children's mouths makes its first appearance in this video. I'm rather happy with it.
This is the video that I mentioned last week was apparently destroyed by an accident with a cup of coffee and my laptop. As it turns out only the touchpad was rendered permanently inoperative in the accident and I was able to access this file using a USB mouse.
I call this style "Animotion" because the most conspicuous thing in my mind about it is that the characters are objects, photo cut-outs, etc animated mostly by moving them around during filming or digitally afterwards. This is our first use of chroma keying, which is painfully evident.
Everything in this video is a photo, except Mr. Roboto's mouth when he speaks and the disintegration beam. Even the Rat space ship is not a drawing, although it mysteriously looks like one.
We did most of the mouth animations with a program called "Crazy Talk." A bit of public domain stock footage also appears in this video.
Kory was once known as Captain Not So Obvious