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Marci singing a new song

Hello! As you might have seen, we animated, designed, and directed a seven minute sequence recently in the Adventure Time episode titled “Beyond the Grotto”. It was such a delight and joy to work on, where we were given a TON of creative freedom by the AT and Cartoon Network staff to really take this episode of AT and make it our own. I had a lot of ideas on how to make this dreamy sequence truly feel other worldly and layered conceptually, and had the wonderful opportunity to really put my vision into the ep.

I thought this would be a good opportunity to share some process that goes into working on higher concept shorts like this. As you’ll see above, the sequence starts out VERY rough before it can come to a place where it looks finished and hits all the marks we’re going for. A lot changes between the roughs and the final, especially timing. The road to cool animation is paved with a lot of laborious stuff, haha!! A labor of total love though.

Here is the initial rough sequence, or a small step up from story boards. Beneath them you can even see some of the initial boarding. Here is where we work out the gesture and some of the timing.

Here is where clean up begins; we take the rough animation and work to make it clear and readable. Here is where we also work out the finer details of timing, to make sure everything is clear and the moments/acting hit as hard as possible. Since we animated the whole episode in flash, we worked to make the line quality as weird and “un-flash’ as possible. We found a nice settling place with a dispersed line tool setting created using the pencil.

For Adventure Time, we ended up doing some more interesting coloring techniques. Here is where the BGs (By Matt Cummings) start to get dropped in and we’ve applied flat color to the animation.

The finished product! I had to idea to do an offset printing style of color starting after Finn and Jake consume the purple stuff and start forgetting themselves. Before that point, they’re colored how they normally would be in a traditional AT episode, but as they descend into an outer body experience, I thought it would be neat if the colors were literally out of body and slowly became more purple as the episode progressed.

Thanks for checking this out, and check out the Adventure Time episode “Beyond the Grotto” if you can!