It’s Kinda funny where life takes you. I wrote a script , recorded the audio, and made it halfway through the animation for the Radius and Ulna bone origin and insertion video a little over 2 years ago. I recently came back to it expecting to finish it up quickly, just to get a video posted. After attempting to do so , I soon realized I needed to start over from scratch. Because I learned that the reason I didn’t finish the video in the first place, was because I wasn’t excited about it. It didn’t tug on my creative nerve strings. It just became another project on the back burner and was easily forgettable. So I started over from square one.
Step (1) The rewrite! I took the previous script and deleted half of it and rewrote the other half. I then wrote the rest of the script that I removed, with some new stuff I could get excited about creating. I always find it funny, saying I got excited about writing a script about Bones, sometimes I feel like I’m living in my own little Anatomy world. This whole process took approximately 2 hours to complete.
Step (2) Obviously with a new fresh script written, comes the next step. Recording the voice over audio. This is probably the worst part of the video creating process for me. Every line you hear in the video more then likely was recorded 5 or 6 times over, before getting to the one you hear in the video. My memory is horrid! Which is why I tend to use images and word play in videos to remember bony landmarks and muscle insertions. See the video proof below if you don’t believe me, A good tongue twister would send me to my grave. The whole recording process took another 2 hours to complete.
Step (3 & 4) The next two steps go hand and hand together, Animating and drawing. I will often start the animation process until I get to a point in the video where it needs a picture or graphic. I will then stop the animation cold turkey , start drawing the picture immediately. I also may make a note to draw the picture during my work lunch the next day. overall this is the most tedious and time consuming part of the process. Everything in the video is drawn by me, I will often use images on google images as references, but everything is still redrawn. A prime example of this is the Winnie the Poo image w/ Christopher Robin. This was taken from Google images and redrawn to make Christopher Robin more stylish with his Iphone in hand, sunglasses, and watch. Funny thing is that he is on there so briefly , im sure hardly anyone notices. Sometimes I need to learn to manage my time. Like when I spent 8 hours making a helicopter for the what is torque video, with a lot of details down to the screws on the window. The thing is, the helicopter was in the scene for about 15 seconds and the view is so far away, you don’t even notice the screws. A very important lesson was learned that day, I promise you that. The animating took an estimated 24 hours and the drawings took an additional 8 hours.
Step (5) Once its all animated and is presentable, It’s time to Render. Rendering is the process where you take all the frames of the video. This video has 15,900 frames in total for the Bone Origin and Insertions portion. And then have the computer stitch all the frames into a video. A very powerful computer could process this fast, “A powerful computer, I have not -Yoda”. The rendering took approximately 2 hours. When it’s done you can view the rendered video for the first time. This is where I notice small mistakes in the video, that went unnoticed skimming through the frames quickly, doing a preview. Once I watch the video and mark down all the mistakes to fix. I then go back into the animating program and fix them. Then render again, 2 hours later, a new video to watch. Here is the frustrating part about animating, It’s not far from stacking dominos, You make one change on a frame and it affects something else 3000 frames down the line. So you fix it again, render for a 3rd and final time. The rendering is done and took another 7 hours in total. There is a feature I learned about, where you can render every other frame, called 1/2 rendering. It cuts your rendering time in half and is a good way to watch your video for the first time and correct any mistakes. A new lesson learned in animating, always try to improve.
Step (6) The final step is putting everything together, this project was 2 videos. The main Radius and Ulna video, and a short ” Happy studying my friends” video at the end. Sounds easy enough. But, now I have to add sound effects, background music, and adjust the volume of those sounds. If this is all done right, no one will even notice your extra work. Did you notice the pop sound every time a word appeared in the video. How about the breaking sound when the bones separated near the end? Some sounds are meant to be heard, like the Beavis and Butthead sound clip, when they make their unofficial appearance. I Brevis and Longus Butthead actually , so they were affordable. The most tedious part of the sound effects part, is finding the royalty free music and sound clips online. Some of the sounds I even make myself if possible like the pop sounds you hear when the words appear, is from my fat face. The final step is render the final video, which is faster then the animation process. It take like 5 to 10 minutes in total. The video and sound process took another 5 hours to finish.
Step (7) Now to the good part, watching the completed project, 48 hours later. It’s like watching your baby walk for the first time. Ok, maybe not that great, but it does feel good seeing something that started out as a thought and turned into a video. I know very well I could spend a lot less time making these videos, But I’m trying to bring something different for you to enjoy. I could easily purchase a bone online and review then landmarks in a video and call it content. But I want to bring something with a little spunk to the kinesiology, biology, and anatomy world. Changing the way to learn about anatomy and myology, one video at a time.
Happy studying my friends 48 hours later, Chris Litten