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Filming whiteboard animation

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Kevin GonzalesFilming whiteboard animation
by on Jul 31, 2012 at 1:49:28 am

I need to know filming techniques for whiteboard animation kind of like this one.

I really need to know how they do the camera movement and thats it. We have a very good artist. A large whiteboard on a wall, good lighting. I just need to know how they do the camera movement. Especially when they are moving from left to right and going up and down at the same time.


Kevin Gonzales

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Mark SuszkoRe: Filming whiteboard animation
by on Aug 1, 2012 at 1:54:30 am

Can't see your sample for some reason, but, I can think of two ways:

1 shoot it wider, in very, VERY high resolution, then do virtual cameras moves in post, by moving the frame around inside a lower-rez composition.

2 Use a motion-controlled jib arm and camera head.

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Jason JenkinsRe: Filming whiteboard animation
by on Aug 1, 2012 at 4:27:26 pm

Here's one I like. The message is really good!

It looks like they are actually jockeying the camera around in this one. In others I've seen, it looks like they are shooting a large area in high rez (like Mark said) and doing virtual camera moves in post. They also composite together some of these segments to get seamless transitions and make it look like it's all on one giant whiteboard. You might even be able to accomplish this with a still camera and an intervalometer, depending on how often you need to snap an image. I'm writing up a script this morning that utilizes this timelapse art method, so I may get the chance to try this out!

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my profile.

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Mark SuszkoRe: Filming whiteboard animation
by on Aug 1, 2012 at 5:23:03 pm

There is one other crazy approach... and that's to leave the camera fixed, and move the boards. You could lay the board out on a couple of dozen golf balls as bearings. But that sounds crazy. Since the picture is blacjk and white, you can grab sections and re-composite using a change in blending modes. so if it's not a high rez capture with virtual camera moves in post, and it't not a computer-controlled rig, my last guess is some heavy duty compositing in aftereffects to haul sections around in a new white comp.

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Robert K. Cole SrRe: Filming whiteboard animation
by on Aug 2, 2012 at 2:06:29 pm

[Jason Jenkins] "Here's one I like. The message is really good!"

Thank you posting that. I am planning to use this technique in an upcoming project and remembered seeing this but couldn't remember the subject matter. It was driving me nuts.

I am going to attempt this by having each section drawn in time-lapse and make each its own comp in After Effects. Then lay them out as needed. I will report on how it goes if we move forward with it.


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Kevin GonzalesRe: Filming whiteboard animation
by on Aug 2, 2012 at 5:24:53 pm

Great. Would love to know how it comes out. We are going to use a five foot jib arm with a fluid head on the tripod and one for the end of the jib. The DP will control the jib at the camera and the PA will be locking down the jib arm on command.

Kevin Gonzales

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Greg Gibson AIARe: Filming whiteboard animation
by on Feb 18, 2013 at 6:23:44 am

Me too. Gonna give this technique a go this month. Probably try a photo rig w DSLR tethered to PC and mounted over a tilted drawing board vs vertical whiteboard.... so it (the whiteboard physical camera/lighting setup) can be reproduced like a copy stand. And be available for think segments frequently. Starts with a good script of course.

Will be checking in to see if anyone else has more details about their technique for this. I noted in the "23-1/2 hours" clip you showed: The scriptwriter was the producer and he must have also done the voiceover. Separate artist on the whiteboard which was very important. Separate person built the WB/set? A camera/film person/crew. Separate credit for the whiteboard segment editor (NLE) I suppose. So this looks great, but took a huge well planned effort.

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