Audio brings life to animations

Written by David Shapton

SR partnersResonance

I was present at the audio mixing stage of Aardman Animations' "The Wrong Trousers" or "Wallace and Gromit" as most people remember it. This stop-motion animation classic was hilarious from the first frame to the last, but for me the most memorable thing was seeing it without sound, and then with sound

With an animation, there's no location audio, so absolutely everything had to be created. Every footstep, every floorboard creak and even the tinkle of a teaspoon on a saucer has to be planned, recorded and mixed in with the dialog and atmospheres.

The short film was funny without audio, but it was a distant, slightly claustrophobic experience (probably due to the dry acoustic environment of the dubbing theatre).

But with audio, the film burst into life. The sound effects, dialogue and realistic reverb gave a context and shimmer to the animation, and it is easy to see why it was so successful.

Finding the right sound

Sound design is rarely just a case of finding the right sound for a screen event. A single sound is often a composite of many. Adrian Rhodes, the dubbing editor for The Wrong Trousers, told me that each footstep taken by the robotic garments was made up of thirteen sub-elements (including a motorised camera drive) that were adjusted individually depending on the context.

Audio is part of life, and here's a good illustration: abstract animated objects, brought to life not just by the skills of the animators, but by their collaborators in this work - expert sound designers.

Plug the subwoofer in and turn up the volume to enjoy this experiment in abstract sound and vision.

Resonance was organised by SR partners.


Tags: Post & VFX


Related Articles

19 May, 2020

Adobe Releases Updates To Creative Cloud Video Applications

Adobe today announces release of updates to its Creative Cloud family of video applications.  Fresh on the heels of Adobe’s release of Productions...

Read Story

12 May, 2020

A look at the Adobe Premiere Pro Workflow for Quibi

Quibi came along at just the right time.  Never mind that it was founded by media mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg and boasts eBay and HP's Meg Whitman as...

Read Story

7 May, 2020

Boris FX's Continuum 2020.5 the Swiss Army Knife of plugins?

A number of years ago, I wrote that BorisFX is the Swiss Army Knife of visual effects plug-ins. As the soft-spoken but highly driven Boris...

Read Story