The goal of this project was to create a hand drawn cel animation of Jenis Splendid Ice Creams logo. This was a passion project because I’m passionate about quality ice cream and Jenis is just that!
Jenis is a different type of an ice cream place. They are big on using real from-the-farm ingredients in their ice creams instead of synthetic flavorings. My challenge was to convey this awesome aspect of them in a short logo animation. The solution was to create an animation that was equally as hand-crafted as Jenis ice creams. So I ended up hand drawing each frame in Adobe Photoshop. It certainly wasn’t the quickest animation technique, but it was so worth the process!
During the discovery stage of the project, I narrowed down what made Jenis such a special ice cream brand for me: quality ingredients. As I mentioned before, Jenis does not use synthetic flavorings, dyes or off-the-shelf mixes. So in addition to being incredibly delicious, their ice creams are also made from quality ingredients. This birthed the idea of creating a hand drawn cel animation of various ingredients morphing into a Jenis ice cream cone.
My next step was to explore the web for images that could spark inspiration for the visual direction of this project. I compiled all the images I found into one single document we call a moodboard.
After that, I moved to sketching out how I wanted the animation to progress. I assembled those sketches into a storyboard as well as an animatic— sketches edited to the music track of the final animation. The animatic helps with figuring out the timing of the shots before moving into the tedious frame-by-frame animation stage.
The storyboard, animatic and the moodboard are all powerful tools for visualizing the completed animation. However, I find it’s also important to have a concrete example on hand of what the final product will look like. This is why I create at least one fully rendered sample frame—otherwise known as a style frame—for all of my projects. The style frame serves as an example of the quality that can be expected from the completed animation.
Frame-by-frame animations are a lot of work. There are no keyframes or programed movements. Everything you see had to be hand drawn. So this means that a typical 24 frames per second video requires 24 unique drawings to make up one second of animation. Thankfully, there’s a hack!
By holding each drawing for the duration of 2 frames instead of one, I immediately cut down my drawings by half. So now a 24 frames per second video is made up of only 12 drawings per second. The video plays back less smoothly, creating a stop motion effect that is still quite popular in animation.
It was such a treat to be able to delve into a project like this. It required a lot more time and attention to detail by its very nature. But I’m a patient artist with a slight bend towards perfectionism, so I enjoyed this opportunity to indulge. Unfortunately, this project had a deadline. So it was important for me to optimize this slow-cooking process as much as possible. Holding each drawing for two frames helped me do just that. As a result, I was able to both indulge in crafting the details of each frame while also lessening my workload by 50%. It was a win-win!