This project had a clear direction from the start. Sells Agency, the advertising agency we were working with, provided us with a rough (but very clear) storyboard and a voice over script; the "how to" was left up to our imagination.

An overhead (or overhand, in this case) camera was set up so Larry Rains could sketch rough illustrations on green paper with a green marker. This way, I could key the footage (remove the green background), while still leaving enough contrast between the green paper and marker to base the final illustrations on. Larry Rains went to work on the final illustrations, making sure to draw them in the same path as the original, while I started to key the footage.

After finishing the technical aspects, Jeff and I started experimenting with rotoscoping the illustrations, frame by frame, giving the impression that the hand was doing the drawing. With some painstaking rotoscoping, quite a bit of time-remapping, and a little help from RE:Vision Effects' ReelSmart Motion Blur plugin (ok, a LOT of help), the illusion of a speedily drawn marker board illustration started to emerge.

Each scene was a tricky little project to itself, but overall it was a fun and rewarding challenge. Jeff and I split the project pretty evenly, which helped us finish it in record time. The client was thrilled and accepted it as it was after the first viewing.


· Jason Simpson: Green Screen Keying, Rotoscoping, Animation & Time Remapping.

· Jeff Holsted: Rotoscoping, Animation & Time Remapping.
· Larry Rains: Rough Illustrations, Final Illustrations & On Screen Hand Talent.
· Todd Gill: DI Colorist, Editor & Music Selection.
· Bryan Frazer: Sound Design.

Client: Arkansas Tech University
Advertising Agency: Sells Agency
Post & Production: Dempsey Film Group


P.S. I'm not one to selflessly promote a product, but seriously, ReelSmart Motion Blur (RE:Vision Effects) is an unbelievable tool to have if you do a lot of rotoscoping, especially if it involves movement. Check it out, I believe there's a free trial (with watermarks) so you can see its work in action… seeing is believing :)

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