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Need new music? Add this Harmony-animated Diplo music video to your playlist

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While the Buggles claimed video killed the radio star decades ago, in today’s market it is less a murder and more a merger. Artists in the digital age need compelling music videos to attract attention to their singles. The proof is in the play counts; music videos represent almost a third of all time spent on YouTube and comprise 94 percent of the platform’s most-viewed content.

To cut through the noise, build buzz and have high-quality content on a reasonable budget, the industry’s top artists are increasingly turning to animated music videos. Among them are JAY-Z and Moby, whose pieces will both be in competition at the Annecy International Animation Festival, as well as DJ and rapper Diplo. The latter released a 2D-animated piece for his recent single with Mø and Goldlink, “Get It Right” – and it was produced entirely in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Harmony.

 

The “Get It Right” music video has over 334,000 plays thus far – and that number is growing. It was produced by Viskatoons, an independent animation studio in Melbourne, Australia. Incredibly, the music video was created in just three weeks with eight animators.

Toon Boom spoke with animation director Mark Sheard about making the “Get It Right” music video a hit, the benefits of producing it in Toon Boom Harmony and what’s next for Viskatoons.

Hi Mark. Can you tell us a little about Viskatoons?

MS: Viskatoons is headed by Peter Viska, who is an iconic Australian illustrator and animation veteran with over 35 years in the industry. He’s also got a reputation for being the loveliest person in the biz so Viskatoons is a really fun and vibrant place to work. We create and produce high-end animated series, as well as content for television, advertisements, music videos and online.

Speaking of music videos, the Diplo piece looks great. How did Viskatoons get involved?

MS: We were approached by illustrator Nagú, who had caught the eye of Diplo’s team –MAD DECENT– with her fantastic fan illustrations on Instagram. She needed a little assistance bringing her vision to life and we were more than happy to help with our producers, animators and director getting involved.

Viskatoons_diplo_toon_boom_harmonySource: Viskatoons.

Given there was already a live-action video being produced, why did Diplo want a second animated version?

MS: The new animated edition is a remix of the original, now featuring additional lyrics by renowned rapper Goldlink. As this is a new version of the song, they couldn’t just re-edit the same footage, but wanted to retain the same feeling. So, it was up to us to reference the original video clip, take it to a higher creative state and inject elements that could only be achieved using animation.

It seems more artists are choosing animation for their music videos now – any insights as to why?

MS: We have done numerous other music videos before, including The Divinyls’ “Don’t wanna do this” and Victoriana Gaye’s “60 foot lady” (produced in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Harmony). Animation is a great way to stand out – the images can be striking and iconic.

How long did it take to produce the video and how many animators worked on it?

MS: Three weeks (one week pre-production and two weeks of production) with eight animators in total doing shifts around the clock to meet the tight deadline.

Viskatoons_diplo_toon_boom_harmony_2Source: Viskatoons.

Was it storyboarded in Storyboard Pro and then animated in Harmony?

MS: Yes, we always use Storyboard Pro now. It works so seamlessly with Harmony and allows us to speed through our animatics and scene planning processes.

What were the key features of Toon Boom software that made production smoother?

MS: We had a straightforward pipeline. Using the overlay and underlay layers for linework and shadows allowed us to easily colour and shade the frame-by-frame animation.

Did your team use the Toon Boom Learn Portal during production?

MS: Not on this job, but we constantly update our skills using the Learn Portal and webinars hosted by Toon Boom.

Do you have any upcoming productions in Harmony you can share about?

MS: We have just finished working on series two of Jar Dwellers SOS, which is a 52 x 11-minute series made 100 percent in Toon Boom Harmony. We use Toon Boom on all our jobs now, big and small.

Are you working on an animated music video in Harmony? Let us know about it in the comments below.

Banner image source: Viskatoons.

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