Hot Air (2010)

Hot Air is a 5-minute-long limited animated short I did for Animation 1 at Grand Valley.

Premise: Two boys, Dan and Michael, are sent to the principal to explain their sides to a story after hitting each other with rocks on the playground, however they’re more interested in making up stories than telling the truth.


There are things that I like in this short such as the gags and overall weirdness of it.

The gag with the rabbit’s sleeve is still one of my favorites. Looking back, though, there is a lot that could’ve used more care. The voices were recorded in my apartment room on my mini-DV camcorder, which is why it sounds so echoey. I hated doing backgrounds, so they’re all very rushed and nondescript.

The animation is very limited, which on one hand is smart, but sometimes it’s too limited, which is especially obvious in the shots of Michael with the party animals.

The animals don’t move at all. Having them bob to the music or at the very least blink would’ve helped give them more life.

The stiffness in the animation was partly due to the fact that I was new to Flash at the time and didn’t like the way the brush tool worked. Also my tablet wasn’t pressure sensitive enough so draw accurate lines in Flash, so instead I cleaned up and colored everything in Illustrator (Which is fine for graphic design but a pain for animation.)

I imported all the assets into Flash as .png files, where they could be positioned, re-sized, rotated, etc. but adding anything new meant having to draw it on paper, scan it in, clean it up on illustrator, and import it to Flash. It was a flawed process (Especially since I didn’t have 24-hour access to a scanner) and and in a lot of cases it was easier to work with what I had. Just thinking about it makes me so grateful to have a Cintiq now.

Hot Air…Flawed as it may be, it’s still something I completed, learned from, and can still enjoy its goofy charm.


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