When I was twelve years old, celebrating Thanksgiving with a large family gathering, my youngest sister, six years my junior, asked me for a bedtime story. Being a Star Trek fan, I created something that my twelve year old mind thought was absolutely hilarious: a Star Trek parody about an incompetent but ambitious intergalactic villain. Later I wrote four more stories with the same character before forgetting about the universe I created until looking for an idea for this project.
I wanted to capture the essence of that story in animation, so I began by hand-drawing the art. I quickly realized that, like Star Trek, I would need background music, so I used MuseScore to compose that, which a few members of my a capella group then recorded for me. I fixed small errors in the script and then recorded my own narration, all before opening a piece of Adobe software.
Once I began animating I realized what a monumental task I was facing. My animation, despite the requirement being 30-60 secs, ran for four and a half minutes without trouble whatsoever. I was fortunate that the animation itself was relatively simple, but it still took a long time to animate. I split the project into seven different Adobe After Effects projects, which I then used Adobe Dynamic Link to combine in Adobe Premiere Pro. This allowed me to make minor edits to one part of the story without needing to drastically edit the entire project’s file.
The end result looks remarkably similar to what I initially imagined the story to be, which I am quite proud of. It uses only audio created by the human voice, and feels very much like what a twelve year old would create if they had the animation prowess. When starting the project I was certain that it could turn out one of two ways: hilarious or awkward, but that it would be unclear which it would be until its completion. I am confident in saying that the final product is not awkward, and based on feedback I have gotten it is far closer to hilarious.
“Applying Noise Reduction Techniques and Restoration Effects.” Make Local Adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw, helpx.adobe.com/audition/using/noise-reduction-restoration-effects.html.
- After recording the various audio recordings I discovered that there was a consistent background noise in each one. Fortunately Adobe Audition has a simple process that allows the user to remove that background noise. I used this article to learn that process and applied it to each audio file.
“Create, Open, and Import Images in Photoshop.” Make Local Adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw, helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/creating-opening-importing-images.html.
- This article showed me how to import PDFs into Photoshop, which was important considering I had hand-drawn the images and when scanning them they were exported as a PDF. From here I was able to edit them to fit the color scheme of the project instead of appearing as pencil sketches.
“How to Better Blend Voiceover and Music?” Adobe Experience Manager Discussions, forums.adobe.com/thread/1303811.
- One of the final issues I ran into during this project was that the music was overpowering the narration at certain points, even after the music volume had been lowered. The answers on this forum helped me solve that problem and in the finished product the narration sounds really clear regardless of the music.
“How to Compose Music in Musescore.” YouTube, YouTube, 18 June 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VwZqAM0dgA.
- After determining that I needed some form of music in the background, I decided to compose my own. I talked to a few members of my a capella group and they recommended MuseScore because that’s the software they use for the group. This tutorial taught me enough basics that I was able to compose the simple music with the aid of a piano.
“Share Media between Premiere Pro and After Effects Using Adobe Dynamic Link.” Make Local Adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw, helpx.adobe.com/in/premiere-pro/using/dynamic-link.html.
- Because this project was so long I needed some way to split up the work. When I wrote the story eight years ago I split it into sections, so I created a different Adobe After Effects project for each of those sections. However, I did not want to need to encode each After Effects project whenever I made an edit to it in order to update the Adobe Premiere Pro file. Adobe has planned for this, and this article showed me how to have After Effects files directly in Premiere Pro that allows edits to transfer over immediately.