My first animation with the together yet unnamed Blit (and my 2nd ever, the very first being a trivial walk bike of a duck) was as necessary called "Alien Test". This was mostly an exercise in acting and also timing, and likewise in working with the software and distilling a good skeletal constraint setup. I wanted to watch if I could put the scene that I saw in my head into the computer. In this piece, together in the 2 subsequent pieces, the set is minimal in stimulate to focus on the animation. Ns finished that in so late July of the year, and I believe it to be a moderately effective piece, though ns could certainly do it better and much faster today.

Next I decided to take it what I had actually learned on "Alien Test" and try something an ext ambitious. I spent some time reworking the constraints and the model, and I constructed a gun because that him to use as a prop. My will for this item was to give the character and also the pistol a feeling of weight, and the layout of motion and camera job-related was influenced by martial arts films and also Japanese animation. Therefore was born "Alien Gun", which i completed in late November the 1998. I"m nice satisfied through the finish result, despite in retrospect I would certainly tailor the walk more to the point of check out of the camera.

After much more constraint revisions and also the addition of a shirt, Blit was prepared to relocate on. Ns figured the was around time ns tackled lip-synch so I began to watch for exciting audio sources. Ns didn"t desire to use my own voice due to the fact that I don"t favor the method my voice sound in recordings, and also I don"t think the Blit would sound choose me anyway. I was considering a wilhelm Shatner bit or estimates from few of my favourite movies when, in ~ my wife"s office Christmas party, the DJ placed on Gloria Gaynor"s "I will Survive". I was instantly struck through the photo of Blit emoting ~ above a stool under a blue spotlight. I"m no a big fan that disco, but I believed the song had some interesting emotional transitions and a rigid that would lend itself well to animation. The combination of Blit and "I will Survive" is incidental. Blit was the just character I had setup and ready come animate, and also I believed the tune was an excellent for lip-synching in its very own right. The line in the song about "outer space" was just a lucky coincidence. There"s yes, really no other justification as to why a dorky environment-friendly alien is singing prefer a black color diva, however I think this absurdity is somehow functioning in favor of the animation. Mine only worry is that people might think the Blit"s personality is the of a diva, once in actuality ns think of him much more as he showed up in "Alien Test": goofy and vulnerable.

You are watching: Alien song i will survive

ns started manufacturing on "Alien Song" by creating a dozen or so mouth shapes for Blit so that he might enunciate the words. I situated a copy the the song on a disco compilation CD and digitized it. A musician girlfriend of mine, Jamey Scott, edited the track down to just the lyrics I wanted and adjusted the tempo to make it an also 120 beats per minute (this made figuring out the timing because that 24 frames per second a snap). I imported the audio and also bitmap renderings that the mouth shapes right into Magpie Pro, a good little stand-alone ap because that figuring the end lip-synch and also making dope sheets. After lots of scrubbing and also pushing images around between frames I had the simple lip-synch worked out, and also I transferred that info into A:M. Note: the existing version of computer animation Master currently has comparable lip-synch features developed in. As soon as in A:M I had the ability to fine song the lip-synch much more and add areas that emphasis. Of food I would not it is in satisfied v Blit simply reciting the lyrics; I had to do a huge production the it! inspired by 70"s range and music shows favor "Solid Gold" i choreographed a hokey phase number finish with fancy lights, camera dolly and also a run floor best out of "Saturday Night Fever".

I sketched out thumbnails of concepts for "story" poses that would certainly emphasize the vital phrases in the lyrics in the song.


compare these with few of the final poses from the animation.


From over there I would certainly go in and create much more poses in-between, and establish anticipation and follow-through. Periodically I would certainly animate tradition constraints, such as a "Translate To" on the Hand control Bone, so the I can dynamically attach his hands to his chest or hips there is no them slipping together his torso twists.

While working on the seated part of the animation I was likewise creating a looping "strut" cycle that would type the foundation for the second fifty percent of the sequence. This cycle included animation for all components of his body other than for the arms, i beg your pardon were tradition animated throughout. V the strut bicycle in ar in the Choreography I was able to animate extr motion top top top, as needed. A:M"s capability to class animations or "Actions" top top a character was vital in the execution of this piece.

The trickiest component of the sequence was probably the shift from sitting to standing. I never ever really got the weight transition or foot location right, but I had the ability to hide this through a little creative framing and also camera switching. One more "cheat" occurs once Blit points at the camera top top "weren"t girlfriend the one...". Ns couldn"t gain his hand close enough to the camera to acquire the result I wanted, so for the gesture i scaled his hand up by 20% to make it appear much more "in your face".

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This computer animation was created both on the Mac and PC, and also the last frames to be rendered in ~ D1 resolution (720 x 486 with pixel proportion of .9) and sampled under for the web version. I likewise did many of post-processing in Adobe After effects as I constantly will, given the chance. I softened the images, added some bloom and film grain, made sure the colors were for sure for broadcast and also created the sparkles top top the disco ball with Knoll Lens Flare Pro.


In total I functioned on this piece for around nine months on my spare time, which functions out to approximately 250 hours. Due to the fact that it to be a an individual piece I enabled myself the deluxe of time to tweak it until I was happy with it. I also have a propensity to modify his constraint setup in the middle of animating, i m sorry is normally not a great thing to perform in production. A lot of of civilization ask me if i had any type of reference because that Blit"s motion, and also indeed some have actually gone so far regarding accuse me the using activity capture. The truth is, I had neither. The way Blit is moving is just exactly how I thought a diva would certainly move. There were part bits the I had to act the end in former of a mirror to number out the mechanics, but ultimately it"s every from my imagination. Ns must, however, offer credit to the members of the CG Char mailing perform for your help. The was thanks to their critiques and also advice that i was able to press the computer animation to what it is today. The version of Alien tune that is floating roughly the net today is actually the 3rd version I"ve posted. The an initial two (which ns shudder come look back upon and will refrain from posting here) were functions in development that ns submitted come the perform for criticism, and also I am indebted come those professionals and also novices who available up your opinions and also suggestions.

As for the ending, i didn"t want to animate the complete three or 4 minutes that music, and I was trying to find a quick way out. As I said before, I"m not a huge fan of disco, therefore this seemed like the perfect chance for a little comic irony. Some people have complained around the ending, saying that Blit have to get earlier up and keep singing. I also get a many requests from civilization to do much more disco lip synch animations, and I"m very wary the that. I don"t want to pigeonhole myself or Blit, and I"m much an ext interested in moving on to new stories and ideas.

In the meantime i am thrilled at the overwhelming an answer it has actually generated! ns still receive dozens the emails a week from people of all ages, from everywhere the world, informing me just how much they appreciated it. Every when in a while that will turn up in one newspaper or ~ above a TV show, though usually no one bothers come ask my permission. Blit and also Alien song have additionally garnered me many methods such as licensing deals, speaking engagements at seminars, and also most importantly, a project at Pixar. One French reporter request me if I distributed this movie ~ above the net as some sort of calculated public relationships ploy. I never ever intended this movie to travel beyond the tiny group of human being I showed it to, much less to attain such virus-like saturation over the internet. Even if I want to I can probably never achieve the same result again. I feel really fortunate that I have actually received all this attention for a item that was a an easy labor the love. I hope that my next computer animation will be also received!