Computer ArtsNews

Animation and ice hockey

Jordan Scott combined his two passions - ice hockey and animation - in his latest motion piece

It's great when a design project is about something you're interested in - even better when you can combine two of your passions in a creative piece. That's exactly what Jordan Scott did for a personal project he tackled at Seattle-based motion house Digital Kitchen, where he works.

"I am a bit of a hockey superfan - the Vancouver Canucks - and wanted to apply my animation skills to this passion, trying techniques I've not yet experimented with," says the Canadian export Scott.

The naive style animated imagery was all done by hand.
The naive style animated imagery was all done by hand.

So he thought up a series of questions to ask his hockey-ignorant American colleagues and filmed their candid responses. He edited together their most natural and humorous responses, and that was when the creative fun really began. "Then I used Flash - which I've used very little - to hand draw each frame, using the edit as a guide and drawing with a Wacom tablet. This was a goal of the project: to use Flash for a style that I've not done, and learn a new tool," he says.

There are very few sticks, pucks and missing teeth in the animation.
There are very few sticks, pucks and missing teeth in the animation.

The style he chose to work in was natural, naive and doodly, taking his inspirations from the things his colleagues said about ice hockey, but not in a literal way. There are no hockey sticks or broken noses in it. In total, he drew some 1407 frames over the video. It was a time-consuming process, taking three months to complete and swallowing up all his free time, but it was worth it. "It was a process that taught me patience very fast and gave me a new found respect for this type of animation and style," he adds.

Every frame was drawn over the video with a Wacom tablet, and animated in Flash.
Every frame was drawn over the video with a Wacom tablet, and animated in Flash.

If you know the sport of ice hockey, it's amusing to watch Jordan Scott's Hockey 101 which is brilliantly edited, and the animations make for a quirky complement to the strange responses some of the interviewees come up with. If you don't know hockey, it's still enjoyable to take in Scott's painstaking hand animation, which flutters through each frame.

 

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