The R&B artist Elhae approached me to create an album trailer to coincide with the release of his 2019 album Trouble in Paradise. I broke the trailer into two separate videos, 'dark' and 'light', to reflect the opposing emotional forces that drove the album's concept.
Story & Script
Elhae supplied me with an overview of the album's concept, and an idea of the direction he wanted to take the video in.
I took his idea and ran with it, writing a script that incorporated a fantasy 'woman in the clouds' and a distressing call from an unseen party. He gave me approval on the script, and I set to work.
Working from photos of Elhae, I came up with a visual style and character designs in his likeness, following him up with his fantasy woman foil. From these I created final Character Sheets, to be used for reference when animating.
Elhae Concept Art & Final Character Sheet
'Fantasy' Concept Art & Final Character Sheet
Storyboards & Animatic
With the character designs approved, I sketched out storyboards and edited rough 'animatics' to decide on shot angles, pacing, and editing of the final trailers.
Getting the animatic to a stage that can be clearly followed is hugely important in animation, as making changes after beginning production can have huge knock-on effects.
I painted several pieces of background art, including the stylised 1970's Dodge Challenger, bold silhouettes to represent the island at night time, and finally a complex 'hero' shot of the entire island to close out the trailer in an epic way.
Animation & Compositing
At the start of the project, I had decided to approach it with a combination of hand-drawn animation and 3D elements.
I animated several character shots 'traditionally' for the emotive heart of the trailer, and then composited them into scenes that were built in 3D space, adding visual effects throughout.
Once animation was completed and approved, I worked in sound effects and mixed them with the music Elhae had supplied.
In Part I, the music is quietly playing from the radio of the car, so adding believable effects that emphasised the dark mood was important.
In Part II, the tone lightens, so I threaded pleasant sounds of nature throughout. They eventually overwhelm the noise of the car as it stops and is swallowed by the beauty of the island.
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