iBIBLE Production Part 6: Motion Comic and Digital Animation

Over the course of previous weeks, we have explored the various steps that go into the creation of a chapter of iBIBLE: how we make the script, what goes into the research process, which Bible translations are used, how storyboards and animatics are created, the process of finalizing character sheets, detailed sketches, and colored artwork. This week, we will discuss the next step: bringing scenes to life through motion comic and digital animation.

Rachel goes into labor.

The tools and technology available to animators today have allowed us to bring the story of Scripture to life in a way this is both engaging and powerful. They also allow the Divine narrative to take center stage. The animation style that we use for iBIBLE is a combination of motion comic and digital animation.

Historically, art was brought to life through analog animation. This is done by drawing each individual motion that happens on camera: falling leaves, moving hands, feet, changes in facial features—everything. For a high-end production, analog animation requires up to 30 drawings for each second of film!

On the other hand, motion comic animation, a newer style of animation, allows the animator to begin with still images and apply filters and animation programs to bring those still images to life. We chose this approach. This style does more than just animate; filters can be added apart from simple movement, such as lighting and particles in the air, making for a much more dynamic and immersive experience.

Let’s look at some of the effects of motion comic animation.

SHOWING ACTION

 Jacobs tribe crosses euphrates

Here is one example. This image is a powerful image, but it could be confusing to some. Where should the viewer look? What is the focus of the image? There is intensity, but it’s unclear. Animating this shot allows us to focus the viewer’s attention on a few elements at a time and add even more drama to an already dramatic image. You can see, for example, droplets in the air and the lens flare effect indicating the camera movement.

See this image in motion: https://youtu.be/obWIaZBrB8s

MOVEMENT OF CHARACTERS

Rachel goes into labor.

These filters also help reveal character movement. Here we have an image of Jacob holding the reins of a camel as Rachel goes into her hard labor. We see two women hurrying in the background. This is a very powerful image. But let's see how the motion comic animation impacts this image. We see Rachel feeling the contractions in her belly, Jacob rushing over, and the women in the background moving quickly as well. The scene changes from serene to intense with the movement of four elements of the image.

See this image in motion: https://youtu.be/DsqkkR5sbjw

EMOTIONS ENHANCED

Abrams shepherds fight with Lots

In this final illustration, we can see a great picture which is already full of life and intensity. Shepherds are shown arguing with one another. But look at what the animation does. They move toward each other, heightening the intensity, and you can even see sheep bleating nervously in the background.

See this image in motion: https://youtu.be/eRCX8wD2dDw

As with every element of the creation of iBIBLE, great care has been taken to steward the gift of God’s Word faithfully, and to present it in a way that is impactful, beautiful, and accessible. With your help, your prayers, and your contributions, iBIBLE—the world’s first animated and interactive Bible—will be available for FREE for the whole world. As we create this compelling and accurate representation of the Biblical narrative, we ask for your continued support. Join us on our mission today by clicking the link below.

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