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Guest Post: The Zen of (Yeti) Making

To bring you a little silliness on a Sunday afternoon, I asked my husband, Jeremy, to share a funny animation project, and explain how he made it. Jeremy doesn’t do the same kind of making that I do, but he’s a very talented designer, and I’m always impressed by his creative endeavors and professional projects! (And, because I’m a doting wife and get to brag about such things, he also worked on the Emmy Award-winning title design for Mad Men, which is awesome.)
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Little known fact: Yetis don’t sing often, but when they do, they sing David Bowie.

A couple of years ago I worked on the end title sequence to The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Admittedly, the movie was pretty bad, but the title sequence was a lot of fun to be involved with (dragons, and nians, and yetis, oh my!). Anyway, part of the sequence started on a mountainside, which, as the picture zooms out, turns out to be the head of a yeti. The director loved the sequence (though he was adamant that the yeti’s eyes must be blue), and I finished the section thinking that that would be that for the yeti. However, a couple of weeks later, I had a nagging feeling he was not being used to his full potential. During some downtime while waiting for renders, I revisited the yeti, and this was the result:

Yeti sings David Bowie from Jeremy Cox on Vimeo.

Being a making blog and all, I will go into a little detail about how I made the clip. When I decided to make the yeti sing, I re-rendered him from the original title sequence, animating him to perform only a simple opening of his mouth. I linked the mouth opening movement to the volume of the song, so the louder the audio got, the wider the yeti’s mouth opened. Finally, I manually stopped him from singing along with the guitar solos (funny, but not what I was going for), and added a little bit of glam rock pizazz. There you have it!

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