Monko Goes to Hollywood in 3D

Director/Animator: Robert Powers
Composter: Jody Gray
Sound Design: Jon Smith

This originally my thesis film when I attended The School of Visual Arts in 1999. It was originally shot on 16mm film using an Oxberry Camera. That was an ordeal in itself. At that time many of the students were switching over to digital or video formats. I was unable to do that due to the cost of a computer and software at that time. So Bob Lyons taught me how to use the camera. There was a great deal of prep before I spent an overnight session at the school to shot the film. Picture me with box of all the art, film stock and a sleeping back. I did not enjoy this process even thought the outcome turned out great. The lack of imediate results was so stressful especially with impending deadlines.

The version of the film above has been assembled from original scanned artwork from the film and retimed out using Photoshop and After Effects. The sound design and music were also redone do to the fact that I didn’t have the rights to the original music that accompanied the film. Once the film was finished I spent time converting a second angle to create a 3D version. This was time consuming but extremely enjoyable trying to figure out how to best tackle each shot. Some techniques worked well for some shot but not others and that discovery was a lot of fun. I did benefit that the original artwork was on separate layers so much of the 3D effect could be achieved by offsetting the art left or right. For the background art that was originally flat watercolor and markers on watercolor paper could not be done the same way. I did split the art up in Photoshop but another technique I used was creating a greyscale depth map layer that I then used to distort the artwork left or right for that second angle.

Please enjoy this simple story of friendship and fame.