Merry Christmas, and whatever else, everyone!
This is a piece I've just finally competed for my father for Christmas. One of his and my favorite historical individuals, George Washington. I wanted to depict him in a truly epic way. I first had the idea of depicting him as he was as a colonel in the French/American Indian war, as that is where the most famous of instances with him being shot at and surviving happened. Well, then there was this time the British sharpshooter had him in his sights when he was a General in the American Revolution, but he just felt the need to drop his weapon... At any rate, as a colonel, he was ordered to deliver a message by horseback across the battlefield to his acting general. He did so, but not before surviving two horses shot out from under him and three bullet holes through his clothes -- two through his coat and one through his hat! Needless to say, that's quite the image of a man having his horse shot out from under him and his clothes riddled with bullets, yet still he doesn't waver, presses ever forward, and survives unscathed! I liked the uniform probably better from his colonel days, being an awesome red and blue. But, ultimately, I decided to meld that in with this showing him in his General regalia, leading his men in the Revolution, instead. So, it's a piece more depicting the seminal character and symbol of George Washington now than any one particular event.
My next thought was animating this to music, and I really got crazy ambitious with all of that. First, I've never animated a flash piece before and second, I've never composed a musical score before. I was very rusty on my reading of music, and have only ever played the trumpet over a decade ago in my Elementary through High School days (graduated in 97). However, I have mixed musical scores for films before, and I found that I could work midi through Garageband and also ProTools. I wish I would have started with ProTools, because having to switch back and forth due to Garageband not having adequate ways to share was painful. But, anyway, I was intending to use the Star Spangled Banner as inspiration. This is The George Washington March, as I've now labeled it. *One final master was mixed to give little more separation to the instruments by a friend that offered to do it really quickly, once he heard it. I eventually animated this piece, fighting it tooth and nail because of how large and slow it was, through After Effects, then had to search around crazily to try and get it properly converted to swf. After Effects, let's just say, while it can do it, I wouldn't recommend it for something this large. A 1GB to 5GB flash file also is completely useless. I wound up saving the portion I could get working to an MOV file, editing that in Final Cut Pro, and taking that MOV file and using a converter to make it into a workable swf file. The MOV, I think I will upload to YouTube later. *later is now
With all of that together, though, and after 2 1/2 months of composing, photoshoping, and animating (the animation itself didn't take but a night, or two), literally forgoing lots and lots of sleep, exercise, and working sometimes all night and all day (I felt like I was possessed), here I finally have my ode to Washington and a tribute to him for my dad -- the best dad I could ever ask for
I hope you enjoy it, too. PS: if you're not American, I hope the piece at least speaks to you also in some way
View the Painting by itself here: [link]