Plastic City: The Animation Process


Below is my animation so far! Because of the time commitment that this became, I am now aiming to finish this (a minute long) as my project. Unfortunately, this means that I had to scrap the Documentary element for now.

I still have to add in my sound (I worked on the ambiance but need to add in the sound effects) and I also need to finish the compositing of the rest of the 30 seconds. I am in progress here, it’s just a matter of some more editing. I will also insert facts about plastic consumption and the ban in NYC throughout the animation so that it still educates the audience.

Below is my animatic to show the rest of the animation framework:

Here are my backgrounds to show the style I have moved through with:

Below I recount the approximation of my process and how long I thought each step would take versus how long it has taken. It has been much longer because of my significant learning curve. This was a very new process for me. I had never made an animation before or used much After Effects. So although it put me behind a lot more, I am so happy to have learned this much!

My Process:

  1. Drawing Thumbnails (get story arc) — thought 2.5 hours/took 3 hours
  2. Expanding –> Drawing each beat — thought 3 hours/took 3.5 hours
  3. Editing into Animatic — thought 3 hours/took 4 hours
  4. Style Frames (plan the overlook look) — thought 3 hours/took 3.5 hours
  5. Painting Backgrounds — thought 6 hours/took 8 hours
  6. Painting Foregrounds — thought 2.5 hours/took 2.5 hours
  7. Compositing BKG/Foreground — thought 8 hours/took 19 hours (still 8 hours to do)
  8. STOP MOTION — thought 5 hours/took 12 hours
  9. Compositing Stop Motion — thought 20 hours/took 35 hours (still 10 hours to do)
  10. Full Composite tweak — thought 7 hours/took 16 hours (still 7 hours to do)
  11. Sound — thought 3 hours/took 3 hours (still 2 hours to do)
  12. Credits / fine tuning — thought 1 hours/took 1 hours (still 2 hours to do)

IN TOTAL: I thought it would take 44 hours in total. It will take 110.5 hours instead. I still have roughly 21 hours left until I’m done!