Animation for the Lazy Writer

Those of you who have read this blog before might have seen my Lego Riot Police animations. If you are curious, this is how I make them.

The basics

I have three shots of the Lego riot police which I use. One is an establishing shot and the two others are shot/reverse shots featuring each speaker. These are stills which I took with the Lego men on a white background. I then used Photoshop to put them on a real street. Β Once I had those I needed to do the mouth movements. This I did in Photoshop by just drawing in mouth movements onto the original composite stills.

Establishing shot

Helmet guy

Yellow man





I have about twenty or so of these including ooo, ah, ee, frown and the accompanying eyebrow and blink movements. If I had known how much work it would be, I would have had them both wearing helmets. These are the basic tools which I now use every time.






Here’s how the process works.

Write the script, record the script, lay down the soundtrack in Adobe Premier, then just match up the images. I try to match up the images so the timing emphasises the comedy of the situation but that’s the hard part so I’m still learning. Sometimes a well timed blink is better than any line of dialogue. South Park is the gold standard for this sort of thing. I also lay down a few layers of background noise so it sounds like they’re on the mean streets of the UK.

Once I have done the edit and I am happy with it, I try to put it through Adobe After Effects to give it a hand-held camera quality. I haven’t quite got the hang of this though and I can’t get it to do it in high definition, so I have left it off most of them. I will persevere though.

Here’s my latest.

About Not So Great Dictator

I make films featuring Lego and other assorted creatures and historical figures. If you do not think they are all funny, then I am afraid there is something wrong with you. Seek medical attention.
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6 Responses to Animation for the Lazy Writer

  1. I get a chuckle out of this EVERY time I watch it. Really. Thank you!

  2. therealbitzymum says:

    Well, am this face right now >>> :-O as I always throught you had managed to capture two live ones from Legoland, all be it sweary ones with welsh accents. I truly know nothing.

  3. therealbitzymum says:

    I’m printing (badly spelt) T-shirts as I type, ‘Free the Lego too’ πŸ™‚

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