We hit up our good buddy, NZ-based Illustrator and surf frother Nanda Ormond, to create the opening animation to our first campaign clip! The process was very in-depth and super interesting, so we decided to sit down with Nanda and have him run us through the process!
VONU Illustrator Nanda Ormond
Yeah brother, thanks for joining us!
Where’s your studio based?
I am working from my parents property just outside of my hometown Whangamata, in NZ. We have a a few fruit trees, a stream, painfully slow internet, and a black cat named Hari.
Is there any particularly inspiring reason behind why you chose to set your studio up in this area?
The rent is cheap and there is all you can eat citrus for most of the year. Or feijoas.
I was in Japan last year and finally visited the Ghibli museum, something I’d been hoping to do for a long time. Ghibli is an animation studio whose work you probably know, and in the museum as a permanent exhibit are some rooms set up as an idealised traditional animation studio, filled with trinkets and old desks and paintings and all sorts of crap. I loved it so much. It is now my dream to recreate that for my own work space, although I can’t completely commandeer my parents house. I am planning on building small studio on the property with my brother, but we’re both clueless so who knows how that will turn out.
What are the TOOLS of the trade? What programs/apparatus do you use to create these works?
For the animations I am using a combination of Adobe Flash and Photoshop, drawing on a tablet straight into the computer. It is essentially the same as traditional animation, except there is no paper and I don’t have to scan the drawings in.
What are the steps you go through when creating this kind of animation?
I do storyboards and concepts on paper, and when they are approved I take the story board frames and create a moving reel, with the shots roughly timed out and some suggestion of the movement. Then once that is approved I break the whole thing into separate shots and draw a few finalised frames to figure out exactly how it will look. If it is a surf shot I will find reference footage for the kind of move shot I want, often I collage the shot together from different sources, a bottom turn I like from one, the wave from another, and the actual turn from some where else. I do this to avoid as much as possible the ” rotoscoped ” look, where people just trace over footage. I do the same technique but I like to think of it as creative rotoscoping, I’m choosing the best poses and exaggerating the timing and movement to my liking.
How long does it usually take from ideation to completion?
Always longer than I think (and quote for), is the answer to that question. At the beginning I tell myself I’ll keep things simple, and cut corners where I can, to try make the animation easier, but once I’m animating and I think of something I’d like to see happen, or see something I’m not happy with, I find it very difficult not to make those changes. This always costs me more time and I’m yet to work on an animation that didn’t end with a week of almost round-the-clock work to meet a deadline. This project represents probably three full weeks of between 10-16hr days work. No joke.