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Animated Narrative Process Book Mary Katherine Butler Type Studio II GRDS 755 Prof. Merrick Henry Summer 2011


My process started in my sketchbook that I keep for this class. I wrote down a few ideas for the narrative and decided on Sonet XVII by Pablo Neruda. Since the poem is pretty long, I decided on the last two stanzas. I wrote down in the left margin ideas for how I would approach

the project as a whole and where to go next. The next step in my process was to research other ideas of kenetic type on the web. I decided that my favorite videos were text focused, with few symbols, so the meaning is in the type. I like symbols but type only seemed more clever.


I decided I wanted to give the animation a personal feel right off the bat by bringing in a hand written script. I ended up with League Script after trying out a few different typefaces. I decided that the annimation of the letters would give the handwritten feel. Here I start to

explore how the words “how,” “when” and where” can be impactful, and how words can illustrate themselves and become metaphors. This is an important part of my process and is the early stage of developing the ideas I use in my final animation.


Here I decided to go do some reasearch on the poem. While I didn’t find a lot on the last part of this specific sonnet, I found that the sonnet as a whole is a nod to Shakespeare and that Pablo Neruda feels that the images do no justice to the feelings he is describing, this is why I

decided to rely only on his words and no other imagery. He felt that anything else would cheapen the type of love he describes. I continue to explore on the right page how to continue to use the words to create the metaphor. I decide pride should grow and complexities should be complex.


Here I explored some type ideas as well as how I would create an interesting visual for the background. I explored the idea of a textured background in photoshop and then decided on book pages as the stage. I wanted to give the storybook romance of this poem a nod of seriousness. The

stanza I had the most trouble personifying was “where I does not exist, nor you...” and here I wrote it out as to try and come up with something. At this point I am in the beginning stages of exploring creative ways to work the words “so close.”


I explored different ways to make the type “where I does not exist, nor you” combine together in between the character forms of the other. This seemed like it might be unsuccessful so I decided to use the ven diagram symbols to convey an overlapping. I wanted to illustrate the hand on

the chest in the next stanza without being obvious or trite, so I decided that the idea of the word inside the letterform would show the overlapping that occurs with a hand on a chest. I later decided to make them on the word “close” to really illustrate closeness (seen on the next page.)


Here I explored how to incorporate the beginning script into the animation again. I decide what to do in the last few frames. I decided that the text “as I fall asleep� would fade to mimic someone fading peacefully off to sleep. The poem emphasizes an uncomplcated kind of love, where all that is

unimportant fades away, leaving the quiet lovers. As I tried to personify this in the letterforms throughtout the poem, I felt the fade at the end would show this simplicity, giving the animation an impactful ending.


I found the multipule artboard technique in Illustrator very helpful for this project. I used a separate artboards for each individual frame so that I could re-order them as I found it necessary. I used this space to continue exploring type decisions and placement and to explore with color. This is

where the whole illustration came together. You can see each individual frame that was laid out to get ready to be taken into Flash on the following pages. In some instances I tried just exporing from Illustrator on separate layers. This was a good method but made tweening harder.


I left the handrawn annimation to last. This is how I got the effect of the letters spelling themselves out. I used a mask and then colored a little of the letters on every frame to slowly reveal the type.


Process Book