Pre-production and design
I wanted to tell 2 things.
One was tell a story about someone going through the post lunch dip since its a thing that is have to deal with from time to time and its hard!. It`s like suddenly shutting down in the middle of something, I did some research of the subject (the post lunch dip is actually what this condition is called) and it seemed more common that I thought. I`ve met very few people that just shut down for a moment after lunch and I thought that maybe by trying to explain my experience someone might connect with that.
The other thing was talk a little about coffee. I love coffee and I had tasted dozens of different varieties but I realized I knew pretty little (if any) about what makes one coffee different from another. So I did another research on the subject and It was overwhelming to say the least. I decided to pick just the most general characteristics and go with that.
Mixing both ideas was easy since while I`m working and it hits me, I take 10 minutes, have a coffee and problem solved!. Here`s the script and the storyboard.
With this I began designing concepts for every scene and also for the main character. This was a bit tricky since the differences within different coffee characteristic had to be clear but some of them where a bit complex to describe. Every part when though many iterations until the ideas explained became visually clear.
After having a big picture of the entire project I moved forward with choosing the right concepts and started working with colors.
Before starting the animation there was a twist in the project. My main character was a guy but since I needed a VO for all the film my mentor (David Stanfield!) helped me get a VO from a friend of his called Ariel Stern (http://www.voicebyariel.com). Since suddenly I had access to maybe the best VO I could ever dream of I had to change the main character. I worked based on a initial sketch I did when I didn`t decide yet who was going to be my main character. This was a huge plus for the film and I`ll be forever grateful with David and Ariel for their help.
This was a particular project since everything was illustrated straight in After Effects. The idea was to explore new workflows looking for a more efficient way to handle this projects. The biggest advantage of this was that the whole project was contained in one 20mb file which is crazy and also I wanted to have full control for animating shapes. However it didn`t bring to much of an advantage. It might be the last time I do that since Its so much easier to use Illustrator but It was a good learning experience,
What did work is that I created rigged characters with duik and animated the shapes on top of that for more complex scenes. It`s not a very intuitive process but It`s been very helpful and since then I`ve been using this technique for other projects.
With the sound design I wanted to have some sort of "uplifting tropical" mood given the tropical nature of the coffee plants. I got some stock music tracks more on the tropical and jazz side that fitted perfectly on several stages of the film.
By the time I did this project I already had many years of experience as a CG artist but this was the first time I ever had the opportunity to take on a project of this nature from start to finish. Building a film from end to end (script, storyboard, design, animation, composition, sound design) proved to be a big challenge but also an incredibly fun experience. It really sparked a strong desire to keep telling stories and keep doing films which I luckily have been able to do since then.