After discovering Crockett Johnson’s book, "Harold & the Purple Crayon" as a young child, Brett knew that when he grew up, he too would bring life to his drawings (although, not always in purple). After receiving his Bachelor’s in Art from the University of Wisconsin‐Madison, he moved to New York City to pursue an illustration career while studying the art of animation. He received his Master’s degree from New York University’s Center for Applied Digital Applications with an emphasis on 2D Animation, in January of 2012. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he works as a freelance animator and illustrator.
In a cold, bleak field there hangs a lonely, old scarecrow, but he won't be alone for long in this thesis animation by New York University student Brett Underhill. The short combines a painterly aesthetic created using digital tools, with rich sound design to create tension and environment, inspired by directors such as Sergio Leone and Akira Kurasawa.
Every single eye-popping animated film begins with rich, evocative concept art. Each character and environment begins as a simple ink or splot on paper that can be as crude as it is captivating. As production progresses, the designs evolve into a more refined, slick object, that often lose the energy and personality of those initial sketches. "Threadbare" sets out to create an animation that retains those tactile, rough sketches using only digital tools, specifically the Adobe Creative Suite.
Adobe After Effects was the primary software for this project. Each character and element was created and animated from 2 composited jpg textures in Adobe After Effects (the backgrounds sky plates are all composited in After Effects from Corel Painter illustrations)
After Effects CS4, After Effects CS5