Pat Bradley is an award-winning animator and illustrator with a unique, playful style and a knack for storytelling. His work can be seen in national advertising campaigns and in some of the nation's top museums including: The Field Museum, Chicago Botanic Garden, Lake County Discovery Museum and Art Institute of Chicago. Bradley helps businesses and museums connect with their audiences by creating highly visual and memorable educational experiences.
Not only is Bradley a very efficient and reliable one-man boutique studio, he has also become Toon Boom Harmony Certified, which attests to his high level of proficiency at using technology for the benefit of art creation. Two of his most recent projects are testament to his skill and knowledge.
One of these projects is The Changing View of T. Rex. Created for The Field Museum, a natural history museum, this three-minute project is a mix of cut-out with traditional animation. Live action was also included in order to associate the story with the museum. The main character is an actual scientist who works at the museum whose voice was recorded to explain all the new findings made since the first Tyrannosaurus Rex was discovered in 1905, and how each one has changed the way we understand this fascinating prehistoric animal, in relation to its anatomy, its posture, its sense of smell, its feathers, and so on.
In essence, the subject was dry, and using animation helped to bring it to life. The project took three months to complete. Bradley received the script and made some recommendations to make it work visually. He then received the soundtrack, which he used to storyboard the project. Once the boards were approved, he started creating rough animations of the project. "In Harmony, I mostly used the different brushes available in the drawing tools, then the deformers and the lip sync tool. The deformers proved to be very useful when you have a character that talks a lot; it enabled me to create a more fluid body language and give the character a smoother attitude," explained Bradley. Then, he imported the soundtrack and synchronized the mouth shapes. "I used the cell swapping tool to fine-tune the lip synchronization. I built a full library of mouth shapes and kept adding to it as I progressed in the project," he added.
All compositing was done within Harmony as well. "I created a handheld camera feeling because the character is walking through the museum and the audience is following him. I was quite pleased with the result," stated Bradley.
The second production is The Charles Dickens Project for the Lake County Discovery Museum. This project consisted of three forty-five second shorts, once again combining cut-out with traditional animation. "When you have limited budgets and tight schedules, combining cut-out with traditional animation in Harmony proved to be very efficient and enabled me to make the best of both techniques," shared Bradley. "I had five days to deliver this project and the voice recording I received was of poor quality. I reused a lot of assets in order to meet the deadline. The style looks like the old animation of Dickens's time; I used hatching lines and grayscale colours for the main character. And as this was a monologue, I wanted to make the animation as dynamic and interesting as possible, so I included a lot of camera motion and played with panning on the Z-axis," he concluded.
Pat Bradley has certainly become an expert in developing captivating animations in help explain and illustrate scientific concepts. The result is always impressive and certainly helps to reach all audiences who come across the museum exhibits. Thank you for making learning so much fun!
Pat Bradley is an award-winning animator and illustrator with a unique, playful style and a knack for storytelling. His work can be seen in national advertising campaigns and in some of the nation’s top museums including: The Field Museum, Chicago Botanic Garden, Lake County Discovery Museum and Art Institute of Chicago. Bradley helps businesses and museums connect with their audiences by creating highly visual and memorable educational experiences.