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Thread: The Mailman (animation)

  1. #1

    Default The Mailman (animation)

    I am posting this link here, mainly in thanks for the assistance received in these Forums regarding the length and placement of credits. However, I am interested in feedback in any cinemagraphic (i.e. ignoring that it is only an animation - not made with a real camera) aspects of the video. Get those knives out!
    The intended audience are myself, friends and our relatives, so I really won't get upset if you all hate it. But, like all Forum posters; I am keen to do better next time. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Blog Entries


    Well, I liked it. I did... Honestly.

    Bearing in mind the caveat that's it for kids, friends and relatives it's as good as (and better than) a lot of stuff we see. I really liked the fact that the music was original (did you record it? If so... Nice job!). That adds loads of kudos in my opinion.
    I'm interested in the animation, I assume that it's a program with ready-made characters.

    I would have expected at least one character with a beard to elevate this into high art but...

    I LOVED the dance sequences, really!

  3. #3


    I liked that you appear at the beginning but I didn't like the distortion after the titles had gone. It's a great story song which to give interest to the video as we want to find out what appened. There are tons of errors, things like objects going through hands etc. BUT that kind of adds to it's charm

    I couldn't do this kind of thing so I can't knock it.

  4. #4


    Not my kind of thing but i can appreciate the effort that has gone into this. How long does something like this take to make ?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    By the time it had finished I'd forgotten I was meant to be looking for the length of the titles/credits, but I read them anyway (as one does, in case for some strange reason one recognises any of the names) and I was neither rushed to read then nor tapping my fingers waiting for them to change so I'd suyggets that the timing was perfect - at least for me. I like dthe imaginive way to made the credits appear.

    I didn't spot the errors to which Midnight alludes - simply becase I got involved in the story.

    I thought the choices of shot and camera angles (as well as the moving camera where you used that) were superb.

    I wasn't so sure about the structire of the song, but only because the chorus seemed like a total non-sequiteur on its first appearence. Totally threw me. I'd have been tempted to write a different Mailman chorus, perhaps as an introduction to the character.

    Then again I probably missed something crucial.

    Farntastic job.

  6. #6


    I would have liked some mouth movements for some of the video... Especially when you have the dancing people in the crowd shots!

    But at the same time, if I think of how many animated videos I have created with people....0, Well done!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    London, England

    Default Mailman Animation

    I'm not sure I understood it all, but the whole was well crafted and worth waiting for the next one . . . . I also liked the Credits.
    Am I right in thinking "Mailman" is a Postman, here in England? . . . he appeared quite late, but so what? It was a treat to watch and listen.... Friend, you don't need a camera.

  8. #8


    I truly thank you for your useful comments I shall try to be brief.

    I used a commercial application named 'Poser'. It is not a complete 3d animation package. It is commonly used creating characters, dressing and posing them; and then porting the data into more powerful 3d graphics apps, such as Autodesk's 3dMax. I am not proficient at modelling 3d objects from scratch. I used modified 'out the box' characters and freely available, ready made props. The materials (e.g clouds, grass, cloth) came from a trip to my garden with my standard Stills camera.
    At its simplest, the software lets you layout props within a scene, add characters, lights and cameras. The user can then set keyframes in a timeline for the start & end times and positions of each objects. As to be expected, the software generates the intervening frames using standard interpolitive systems.
    I used "Poser" to generate frames as sequentially named JPG files, then imported the 4,500 JPGs into Adobe Premiere for some contrast and brightness adjustments. And to create the final video.

    My talented friend did the playing, audio recording and mixing of his real and MIDI instruments. I simply wrote the lyrics (took at least 15 minutes) and provided the banjo part (MIDI).

    With more time or care, I could have prevented the remaining (yet.. charming!) collisions for which MB quite rightly reprimanded me. The major problem was the time taken to render each frame; which in many cases took more than 3 mins each. I conceded there came a point where I was fed up leaving my PC running overnight just to get a few seconds of video. I decided I had redone enough scenes. I was getting bored. A poor excuse. I will try to do better next time, Sir.

    Alot of the time was spent learning how to use the software (and learning its limitation) and writing additional code (python). I started creating my storyboard and notes about 12 weeks ago, and for the past 5 weeks, may have spent almost 2 hours a day generating the scenes. However, it is clear that a more proficient user would have done it alot faster and better. Perhaps less than 40 hours.

    My main interest became how to make my workflow more efficient. Many of the tasks are similar to filming with a modern camera (location, props, actors, lighing, camera position). However, almost no editing is required, and scenes are easily "re-shot". But you can't see exactly what it will really look like for hours. In effect, I could be working on one scene, whilst an earlier one is rendering, whilst another awaits import into Premiere.
    It was not until last week that I could watch all the scenes together for the first time. Only then I realised that some of the scenes did not work as well as I had hoped. Next time, I shall do even more planning before I start!

    vidmanners mentioned my use of the word 'Mailman' whilst the voice is clearly not American. I considered finding an American actor to do the narration; but decided on an English voice. I used to hear alot of Lonnie Donnigan, an English singer who performed American songs. To me, it sounds as odd as American actors reciting Shakespeare. But it saved me any trouble from any offended, inbred American 'Deliverance' type of people.

  9. #9


    I will try to do better next time, Sir
    Oh please, if I had a tenth of your patience and skill I'd be happy.

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