To maintain the visual consistency, we decided to assign one person to design the visual assets first and then let everyone to animate it. I was in charge of creating the visual assets. Regarding the visual style, I use strokes with crayon texture to create a childlike drawing. However, we remain the fill of the main character – Angeldevil because we want it to stand out of the scene. Since we decided to use a simple and childlike visual style, the assets look somewhat same as our storyboard. I used Adobe Illustrator to make it. All the assets are shown as follows:
When I was designing the assets, I had to consider all the details after we import it to After Effect. Hence, I’ve already started to animate it and project it in my mind when I drew these. I had to pay attention to which parts are going to animate, which parts should be static, and which elements should parent together. I organized them in Illustrator layers. Besides, naming all these layers is another challenge because I have to call them understandably and intuitively, which could allow my teammates quickly catch up and manipulate.
To make sure our style is consistent, we met on the weekend during the Thanksgiving break and do it together until we finished it. In the beginning, it took us hours to animate just one thing. But after we’ve gotten familiar with all the tricks, it was getting faster and faster. All in all, apart from learning the software skills of After Effect, I learned a lot about project and time management since I was in charge of design the visual assets. Even though our animation is straightforward and understandable, it still has tons of details to consider.