Live! from E.V.I.L. (Premier!)

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Live! from E.V.I.L.

(Evil Villain Island Lair)

In eight days, I made a cartoon – mind blown!

Even SuperVillains celebrate the holidays…
Watch the premier “Evil Greetings” here:

Eight Days from Voice to Cartoon: The Making of E.V.I.L.

You can learn a lot from a 7-year old. The spark that ignited this idea came from 7 year old William Boyns, son of fellow voice actor Andy Boyns. William created an animated video using the Muvizu program. Many thanks to both of them for introducing me to such an intriguing tool.

Eight days of work in my spare time went into the creation of “Live! from E.V.I.L.” The tools I used played a big part, but so did years of preparation. I’d used many different graphic, video and audio programs in the past. This is the first project that brought all of those skills together.

Here’s the story of how it happened:

I started by going to the Muvizu site, downloading and installing the software. It took a little while, and there are a few minor software issues. But after install, it ran well.

Next, I played with Muvizu a bit, and after creating a set and characters I needed some audio to try out the lip sync. For this, I used Adobe Audition, but any audio recording tool would do. Lip syncing is done by assigning audio clips to characters. Character movement and actions are handled by directing them, much like real actors. When I was done, I had a movie file ready for viewing.

The short animation I’d created was fun, but didn’t really stand on its own. My wife pointed out that it really needed some kind of introduction to help the audience understand the premise and characters. I needed to fully flesh out the concept. An opening, closing, titles and credits were next up.

I decided to have an opening montage of photos accompanied by some theme music. The photos came from screen captures. I used the GIMP image editor to turn the captures into photos, as well as create an opening title card for the cartoon.

For theme music, I thought about using a free online music site that could build songs based on preset loops. However, the site wasn’t working. I then remembered that I had an old copy of Sony Acid – a multi-track music editor that also works with loops. After installing it, creating a short theme song was fairly straight forward.

Like Frankenstein’s monster, I now had a bunch of pieces that needed to be stitched together. Sony Vegas video editor was the tool for this step. I’d been using it to put YouTube videos together for a while, so a draft version of the cartoon was ready to test.

My VO pal Herb Merriweather was kind enough to review it and give his feedback. With additional advice from my wife, I planned the finishing touches. Two more short animated scenes and a bit of polish on the video and the final cartoon was ready to go.

Eight days from downloading Muvivu to the finished cartoon… Pretty astounding. Of course, you have to take into account all of the other tools and the years of playing around with graphics and audio software. Still, this would have been much more difficult only five or ten years ago.

Gratitude:
Much thanks to the following people for their help on this:

  • William and Andy Boyns
  • Herb Merriweather
  • My Lovely Wife

… and a special tribute to the late Bob Fraser who taught me:
If it is to be, it’s up to me!

Bonus! Production Shots:
Click on any thumbnail for a full version…
Live! from E.V.I.L. - CastLive! from E.V.I.L. - LairLive! from E.V.I.L. - Virgil VillainLive! from E.V.I.L. - WeevilLive! from E.V.I.L. - Guy GoodmanLive! from E.V.I.L. - SparkyLive! from E.V.I.L. - AnnouncersaurusLive! from E.V.I.L. - Title CardLive! from E.V.I.L. - Cast Title

Software Used:

If you’re curious about any of the tools used to create this cartoon, here’s some additional information and links:

Animation
Muvizu: 3-d animation software, with free and paid versions – more info at their site:
Muvizu.com

Music
Sony Acid: There are several versions of Acid available from Sony, ranging from the free “Acid Xpress” to the “Acid Pro”. Visit the following link to compare and download:
Sony Acid product comparison

Also, be sure to check out Acid 8-packs. Free loops posted weekly at:
AcidPlanet 8packs

Pictures
GIMP: Gnu Image Manipulation Program
Great freeware photo and graphic editor. Here’s the main site:
GIMP.org

Sound
Many free and low-cost options are available for recording and editing audio. Audacity and Garage Band are great choices. Below are links to the tools that I used on this project:

Adobe Audition

Sony Sound Forge product comparison

… and for the island background sounds, there was this free site:
Nature Sounds for . me

Video Editing
Sony Vegas: The software line starts at around $50 USD. To compare versions and features, see this link:
Sony Vegas product comparison

Wrap-Up:

I hope you enjoyed the premier of “Live! from E.V.I.L.”, and if you have any comments or questions, be sure to post them below.

Thanks!
Joe

 

All content created by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com

 

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18 thoughts on “Live! from E.V.I.L. (Premier!)

  1. Very cool! I’m actually in the planning stages of doing my own superhero short (although it’ll be less of a parody and more of a pastiche of everything I love about superhero cartoons). I’ll look forward to the next episode.

  2. Pure E.V.I.L.! Of course I mean that in a good way. Excellent cartoon, and summary of how you went about it.
    Thanks for crediting William – I am sure he has only just begun inspiring others. In fact a translator I was talking with today for one of my projects today said, “Say hello to my yo-yo teacher”…
    Looking forward, as ever, to your next project, Joe πŸ™‚

  3. Pingback: Live! from E.V.I.L. (Premier!) | Voiceover Blog...

  4. Awesomeosity! (A new word I am trying out!)

    I, too, will be spending the holidays in an animated state of video making!

    Happy holidays to all your E.V.I.L. counterparts!

    Stimy

    P.S. So happy to see you credited your parents for creating you!

  5. Pingback: Live! from E.V.I.L. - Therapist - Joe's Dump

  6. Howdy! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog.
    Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast.
    I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any ideas or suggestions?
    Thanks

    • Hi.

      The easiest way would be to get a free account on WordPress.com and just start writing. You can figure out more as you go along. The important thing is to take that first step!

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