Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Mighty Small Screen

No, not talking about the image on my tablet laptop, but the image size on a cel phone when you're making a movie for it.

I'm close to completion of a pilot two minute movie for cel phones. Mind you, I don't have a cel phone. I have no one to call! I'm always home when other people are awake.

I've been pretty pleased with how it's been turning out, with background animation and music and weird stuff. I've been fussing over line quality to make it more artistic. I sent a dialog channel along the bottom in case you're watching it no sound, or forgot to listen to the dialog.

Then I looked at it in the mini Windows media player and it looked so wildly shrunken. I thought surely that couldn't be the size of a cel phone. The type was unreadable. I held a credit card up to the screen. It matched the size of the card. I emailed Sal, who has an i-phone, to measure her screen size. eek, it's the size of a credit card. I'm going to have to rebuild this movie a lot to make it work in that mini-mini size.

(Not much progress with the laptop tablet today. They gave instructions on how to use a paper clip to attach the pen's string to the laptop and I puzzled over it for half an hour, with no success. And I had a paperclip.)


Linda Davick said...

Sally! My heart started beating madly when I saw this and I clicked on it madly hoping to see the cartoon. This was a teaser! Don't ever do this again. I love the color of that blue, red and yello thing. Is that the miserable beach ball?

(So what size ARE you using when working on this? Lots bigger?)

A paperclip? The pen's string??? Sometimes I find that if I wake up really early, I can think clearly. Take the paperclip and pen string to bed with you, and I bet if you wake up at 3:00 am, you can figure it out.

Namowal (Jennifer Bourne) said...

Thought I left a comment earlier but I must have hit the wrong button (wouldn't be the first time).
It's frustrating to put so much work into a progress and then be forced to scrap big parts of it because they don't work.
Still, I really like what I see so far!

Sally said...

Thanks. It's still in progress, not ready for putting on line. I guess I'll build two versions of it, one for cel and one youtube size.

I have After Effects, which really helps putting a flash cartoon together anyway, so I can add a lot of zoom ins, camera moves, and rebuild the black screen along the bottom in After Effects. It just appears that multi characters in a full shot are too small to work if there's background detail. The shot I included looks better than most of them.

After Effects is used to assemble the different clips and edit them, add transitions, and try to refrain from using a zillion wild and weird moving effects which come with it.

When I work on a longer Flash piece, I start with a single time line, because I want a sense of the thing. But you really need scenes rather than one time line, because when you start adding or removing frames in one part you can really mess up the rest, and then pretty soon after that you realize you really need to break all the scenes into separate movies, because Flash can suddenly go goofy and get corrupted, or the file will get so big that it crashes when it opens. Funny things like that. Just thought I'd pass it along.

I need a name for the character but I'm not doing a contest because I may want to make up my own name! She looks like a Reba but I have a character named Rebozo in the same cartoon.

Anonymous said...

hey we like Reba in Nashville....

Jesse said...

*peering* at example screen shot. X)
Yes, I'm thinking for this screen size your challenge will be inability to focus on a face and a figure at the same time.

That is to say, when you want to see a person's expression, you'll need to zoom in so that you can't see their feet. And when you want to see their feet, you'll be zoomed out enough their face will be too small to be expressive.

Yes, I know, 30 years in this biz certainly trumps my observations, but I'm a guy! I'm obligated to pretend I have useful advice to impart. :)

If "Reba" is a name likely to collide with another, I could see "Mona" as an option. (Ever watch Who's the Boss?)