I started with a simple beat and it turned into something bigger...

A story about how a simple beat I was working on turned into an artistic venture

It all started with a beat

I was out at the studio and I was just messing around with a simple little beat using this drum machine program that I have called Hydrogen.

Then wrote a piano line to go along with the beat and added this Calf Studio plug-in that's supposed to make it sound like old vinyl.

Then I messed around with a few more instruments to add to the song. One of them I added was a bassoon.

(Watch the first 2 scenes here - FIRST 2 SCENES ANIMATED FOR SHORE LEAVE VIDEO)

It reminds me of something?

As was listening to what I did so far a funny thing happened. It reminded me of something. 

I started thinking of the movie "Big time" the live concert movie by Tom Waits that he did for his album "Frank's wild years".

In particular, it made me think of the song "Shore leave" and that's a song I've wanted to cover for a while.

So I was like, what if I take what I have so far and do Shore leave? Do the version that's in that movie, not the version that's on his album.

I changed some of the parts that I had recorded to match the song, then added the vocals.

Then I got another idea

As I was doing this I started getting another idea. I've been looking for something to animate, I've been looking for a cartoon to make and I'm like, what if I just animated this song? What if I animated my version of what it would be?

I pulled out the tablet that I have and I drew this picture of the character that I would use for the story.

illustration of a man holding a hat

Now as I was working on the song I started storyboarding what the animation would be in my head. 

I was thinking not only of writing the song but what I wanted the video to do!

Set up the first animated scene using Blender Grease Pencil

I've been wanting to mess with the animation software Blender. Mainly with their grease pencil set up for 2D animation. I wanted to see what it's like? So I decided that this was going to be the project I would use to learn it.

I set up the first scene based on the drawing I did in the Blender software but it took me just as long to do this first scene as it took me to come up with the song! 

I didn't want to wait so long to do all of this.

I'll animate it as 6-second video segments

The animated segment I did of the song so far was only a few seconds long so I thought, what if i just animated it six seconds at a time? 

I thought of it kind of like an Instagram story or one of those YouTube shorts

What if I just created and released segments from the song piece by piece as I go along? Releasing these as I'm animating it! 

That's where I'm at right now. I'm gonna be releasing this song animation in short segments.

So that's the story about how I started working on a beat that became a much bigger thing!

-Tom 

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