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a crack in your ear through which sound surreptitiously slips, or an illicit substance which gives your ears immense pleasure while enslaving them to a crippling addiction

Sunday, March 19, 2006

rubber porcupine

I wrote this song a while ago, and I thought it might be fun to make a music video for it. It just somehow seemed appropriate to animate it like a Saturday morning cartoon. This is my first big animation project. It took a long time, but it was really fun. It's a lot like mixing sound, but with pictures.

UPDATED July 17, 2006 -- New, improved version!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

bravo! too bad the sound quality is particularly bad.

What software did you use to create it?

You may also want to post it on google video. The streaming quality also stinks, but it allows viewers to download the original high quality version that you upload. There is also no limit to file size.

10:49 AM

Blogger Jonathan Mitchell said...

I took your advice and uploaded it to google video, and they have this long "verification process". So while i was waiting, I tried bouncing it using a different compression setting, and that actually improved the sound quality a lot (still using youtube). Unfortunately the video still sucks, though -- it's all choppy... may google will be better.

1:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really cute porcupine! The animation looks really professional. What's your visual training--scene cuts, movement, etc?

9:38 PM

Blogger Jonathan Mitchell said...

thanks! I don't have any formal trining in filmmaking or anything like that. I did take one graphic design class and two film theory classes in college way back when. I've always been very interested in film and most of the books I own are about some aspect of filmmaking, so I suppose that made it a bit easier. This is really my first video project (aside from a video of my grandma's birthday I made a few years back), and I was excited to try out a bunch of stuff.

it reminded me of when i started working with analog synthesizers in college -- a lot of it was trying to discover what the instrument was really good at (and how to play that against it's limitations), and then trying to use that in a fun way. in this case, i was "playing" the animation software, finding the stuff i thought it did well, and trying to think of how that might work well with the music.

9:55 PM

Blogger Jonathan Mitchell said...

The animation software I used is called "Toon Boom".

9:59 PM

Anonymous becky said...


What exactly IS a rubber porcupine?

Just wondering.

3:40 PM

Anonymous Martina said...

Okay, I was impressed enough by it that I sent it to 4 of my closest female friends. None of us ever want to show up on that pan of the women from your congeniality canyon. Well, actually, I wouldn't mind if you animated me someday and put me in one of your music videos, but you'd hopefully render me in a flattering way!

4:13 PM

Blogger SohoSally said...

Hey Jonathan, Looks great! But why is the image quality so bad? Is it vector? If so, should be much smoother looking. Your animation deserves better!!

Have you tried flash yet? Seems like you'll like it.

10:25 PM

Blogger Jonathan Mitchell said...

becky asks...

What exactly IS a rubber porcupine?

well (if you don't mind me getting all metaphorical on you), it represents the childishness of objectification. for me, this is a song about arrested development.

it's also a bath toy that I had as a child. it was orange and looked just like that.

10:21 AM

Blogger Jonathan Mitchell said...

hey sally,

the software i used will let me bounce the movie as a flash animation, so I will definetly try that. the video quality is disappointing to me too, especially because the version on my computer looks so much better. i uploaded a compressed version to their site, but even that looks way better than what it looks like after it's been uploaded. i have seen videos on youtube that look much higher-res, but i can't find a place on their site where i can change their compression settings...

10:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jon, I always take showers. This song makes me want to take a bath -- in a tub that is, not in the stock market. Dad
P.S. The main character in your video looks alot like you. Did you draw this? From scratch? d.
P.P.S. I hear water running in the background. Better go jump in while it's hot. d.

5:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok, I am not making this up. Your rubber porcupine reminded me of MY childhood bathtub toy. A pink hippo.

Go figure.


4:31 PM


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