How to Make a S'More

Growing up, I wanted to make an animated movie, or short. I had made hundreds or hours of stop-motion videos with clay, but I wanted to use my drawings as the subject, something that I just didn't have the right resources to make (or at least make look right). It wasn't until I started making videos in 2009 with the limited software I had that I realized I had the right kind of tools to make something work, mixed with patience and perseverance.

"How to Make a S'More" was an idea I had conjured up when I was at camp with Boyscouts over the course of a week. The end result was a nifty poster-ready single page that had the completed s'more in the center, surrounded by the steps needed to get there. What made it so amazing was the mixed feelings you get due to the cuteness and innocence of the characters: the marshmallow, graham cracker, and chocolate versus the deliciousness of the treat itself. Now, if I could only find that original...

My adventure of turning this concept into an animated short began in August of 2011. I started by developing the characters (which aren't too terribly complex) and giving them names (which definitely adds even more "guit" when assembling them into a s'more). After nearly three months of pretty much non-stop drawing, scanning, and Photoshop, I shared my first (and so far only) animated video on YouTube, which to this day is watched pretty consistently.

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Puft McMallo sketchesHoney G sketchesChoco Suave sketchesS'More Stack sketchesMcMallo squish sketch 1McMallo squish sketch 2

As I briefly mentioned above, I used Photoshop, a LOT, and just Photoshop for this project. I hadn't invested into Premiere Pro or After Effects yet. The process was essentially getting the scanned images from my sketches/drawings into Photoshop, establish what piece would be on which layer (for appropriate animations), then use Photoshop's primative timeline window to make the layers appear and disappear.

I also used Photoshop to give me a sense on how timing and would work to know what to draw, as you can see in the two versions of the s'more stack:

Test FootageFinal Footage

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