Toon Boom Studio Keeps an Animated Beat for Brad PaisleyHow long have you been in this profession?
I have been playing music since I was eight years old. I got into animation only later on but of course like all children, I loved animation. As an artist, I draw really well and the guys in the band joked about the big screens we have on stage and the videos that were shown on them. We all thought it would be cool to have a cartoon based on the band. This is how two years ago, I investigated what technology was available and was recommended Toon Boom Studio by Scott Scovill from Moo TV. I then purchased the software and started learning it on my spare time. In two months, I developed the Superband with seven superheroes flying all over the place, obviously each one depicting a member of the band.
For my previous album, Mud on the Tires, I played an instrumental piece with the band, and that first cartoon running behind us was a big hit. In the current album, Time Well Wasted, we have another four-minute fast instrumental piece for which I developed a new cartoon. I created a cartoon version of myself and I use this character interactively with the crowd. For example, I am standing on a particular spot of the stage and the character is pointing to the crowd saying: I play better when you applaud and everybody goes wild. I also have a funny dinosaur character coming in and out of the scene, which triggers great reactions as well.
Yes, I do everything in Toon Boom Studio.What kind of animation do you create?
For now, I am creating animations for my tour, with an opening and the special piece for “Time Warp” song. I am planning to create complete music videos that will be compatible with the iPod.Please describe your workflow
Basically, I draw, color and animate everything in Toon Boom Studio. I do one scene at a time and export it as a Quicktime or SWF to edit it in Final Cut Pro.What are your favourite features in Toon Boom Studio?
I really enjoy being able to paint all of the consecutive frames quickly, drawing using the line smoothing feature and the simplicity of the whole application. It is a great way to create frame-byframe animation, enabling me to visualize the movement I want to create step by step. I haven’t found any other program that could do the same as simply.How do you feel about Toon Boom Studio?
I love Toon Boom Studio. I can honestly say that it is enhancing my career in many ways. I travel a lot and with almost all my traveling time on planes or by bus, I spend it animating, creating new content for the show. To promote my next single, I am planning to email radio programmers a personalized animated message that will include a cartoon version of themselves. I know them all personally so it will be a more creative way to promote my new song and have them play it on the radio.Equipment used
I am a Mac guy. I use a PowerBook G4 to be mobile on the road. I am pretty good using the touchpad to draw but occasionally, I use a Wacom tablet on the bus for anything that requires more details
Courtesy of Matt Dell
About Brad Paisley
Since making his debut in 1999 and being awarded the Country Music Association's Horizon Award in 2000, he's been showered with a total of 27 nominations and four more trophies by the organization for the 2001 Vocal Event of the Year, the 2002 and 2004 Music Video of the Year, and the 2004 Musical Event of the Year categories. There have been Grammy nods (including one for Best New Artist), three Academy of Country Music awards (including 2005 wins for Video of the Year and Vocal Event of the Year), and Brad's most treasured honor, his 2001 induction to the Grand Ole Opry. There's been a solid string of top 10 songs and number one hits, including "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)", which remains one of the most played songs on country radio more than a year after topping the charts and still draws huge cheers when the first note is struck in concert. There’s Brad’s own headlining role in CMT's inaugural Most Wanted Live tour. And there's the respect shown by his fans, who come to see him in person and have made his first two albums – (2001's Part II and his 1999 debut, Who Needs Pictures) back-to-back platinum sellers.
Smiles and laughter are important to Brad. "That's where I try to be a little different than some. It's really important to me that I entertain people. And that comes down to being willing to go out on a limb and be funny." So there he is, poking a little fun at notoriety again in "Famous People"; telling a joke from start to finish in the concert favorite, "The Cigar Song" (Brad says, "It might be an urban legend, but I think it's true."); setting the stage for a cartoon from the Old West in "Spaghetti Western Swing," or another one depicting the band members as superheroes for "Time Warp".
Brad’s fourth Arista Nashville album, Time Well Wasted, released on August 16, 2005, selling 192,747 units in its first week, setting a new career-high for Brad and debuting at #1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart and at #2 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart! The disc held the #1 slot for two weeks!
His career album sales now top 7 million units, with 4 back-to-back Platinum albums to his credit. His 2003 release, Mud on the Tires, is certified Double Platinum for over 2 million shipped and his 2005 Time Well Wasted was just certified Platinum.
Brad performed on The Late Show with David Letterman on November 14 and on The 39th Annual CMA Awards on November 15, both on CBS.
Amid August and September media appearances surrounding the launch of Time Well Wasted, Paisley performed on ABC’s Good Morning America , NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien, CNN Headline News’ Showbiz Tonight, and ABC’s The View.
Brad guest-starred on the October 2 edition of ABC’s extremely popular Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and lit up the late-night with an October 3 performance on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live.
On September 23, Brad launched his headlining “Brad Paisley Time Well Wasted” tour, featuring Sara Evans and special guest Sugarland, with sellout performances in major cities across the country, including Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles.
Check out his website at www.bradpaisley.com to join his fan club.