14 Days of The Simple Carnival, Day 5: “Tornado” animated storyboard

14-days-of-the-simple-carnival-03Welcome to Day 5 of the 14 Days of The Simple Carnival!


Every day until February 14 (Valentine’s Day), I’ll be posting one cool, free Simple Carnival thing.

On February 14, The Simple Carnival’s new (and final) album, Smitten, will be released. It’s been nine years since The Simple Carnival has released an album, so I’d like to celebrate the occasion by sharing a bunch of good stuff over these 14 days.

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So far, the “Simple Carnival thing” I’ve been sharing during the 14 Days of The Simple Carnival has focused on The Simple Carnival’s past. From here on out, we’re going to focus on the present.

As you may already know, one of the reasons why the Smitten album has taken so long to create is because there has been a good bit of time where I was working on the album’s companion project — Smitten 3D.


Since 2011, I’ve been creating this animated music video movie. As of this writing, half of it is done. Even though the soundtrack is being released on the 14th of this month, it will be several years until the movie will be complete.

Today is an interesting video that came out of working on Smitten 3D. Nobody has seen this video in full. First, though, some context.

When creating animation, it usually makes sense to create what’s called an animatic. An animatic is essentially an animated storyboard. This gives the film’s creators a chance to see an approximation of what the finished product will look like. It’s really important to get a preview of the finished product because ANIMATION IS EXPENSIVE.

Even if you’re working alone with a low budget — as I am — animation is expensive in terms of time and human labor. So an animatic tells the creators if the film is on the right track. It’s much cheaper to alter the animatic and get the visuals right rather than to redo what is supposed to be completed animation.

In large animated productions, there are people whose main job is to create beautiful illustrations that will be used in the animatic. In a low budget one-man-band sort of production — as Smitten 3D is — horribly-drawn stick figures work just fine. In fact, horribly-drawn stick figures are kind of a funny, abstract way to see the work in progress.

So today’s Simple Carnival thing is a stick figure animatic that I created for the video “Tornado”. “Tornado” is a song both on the album Smitten and the music video movie Smitten 3D. Directly below the animatic is the finished version of the video, which was created with construction paper cutouts and painted backgrounds.

If you watch the finished video first and then the animatic, your reaction might be, “Well, *OBVIOUSLY* the animatic is pretty much the same thing as the finished video.” But if you watch the animatic first and then the finished video, your reaction after first seeing the animatic might very well be, “What the heck did I just watch?” I’m curious to hear your comments below.

Here’s the “Tornado” animatic. You’ll notice that it’s an early mix of the song, as some instruments are missing.


And here’s the finished video for “Tornado”:


A special shout-out goes to Jeff and Jess Decuir of Hyperbubble, Rob Gibson of Mister Fusty, and Matt Williams of The Brigadier for lending their fine voices to this track!

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Day 1: Girls Aliens Food album
Day 2: Really Really Weird remixes
Day 3: GIVEAWAY! Last t-shirt standing
Day 4: “Bittersweet”: The Simple Carnival song you’ve never heard
Day 5: “Tornado” animated storyboard
Day 6: GIVEAWAY! A one-of-a-kind Simple Carnival ViewMaster reel!
Day 7: The making of the “Smitten” 3D music video
Day 8: “Smitten” cheesy laptop demo
Day 9: The making of “The Problem with Friends” music video
Day 10: The making of the “Everything that Grownups Know” music video
Day 11: The making of the “A Geek Like Me” music video
Day 12: GIVEAWAY! Inframan VHS tape prop
Day 13: GIVEAWAY! The Simple Carnival CD collection
Day 14: I wrote some songs…and you won’t believe what happened next

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Get The Simple Carnival’s fantastic final album, Smitten, from Bandcamp or iTunes!