Foley is fun!

  / by Jan

The first scene reached “final” status last week (which means that it’s still in animatic state, but editing and character movements are frozen), so I was able to start working on the foley and SFX tracks. Foley refers to “everyday” sounds which are usually not noticed unless they’re not there, such as footsteps, cloth movements and sounds made by things the characters interact with. As you can imagine, this is a lot of fun! Here I’m denting an old PC-XT chassis from my attic. The small, rickety ladder adds some metallic resonance and rattling.

Also starring in the finished movie: rough gravel, giant cardboard boxes, power staplers, plastic buckets filled with water, styrofoam cups, a rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle, 7.5 miles of string, a singing woman,

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29 Responses to “Foley is fun!”

  1. Dungeon Master said on 19 Jan, 2006:

    Foley is SO much fun. Did you know that in the Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers, in the scene where the wraith flies with his fell-beast over the swamp, that the fell-beasts wooshing tail and wing movements were simulated with a cheese grater? Although that might not count as foley.

  2. knowsnuttin said on 19 Jan, 2006:

    This is such a tantalizing behind-the-scenes look. Would it be too much to ask for the extended DVD to include the sound effects in isolation – along with a short phrase description of what was used to make the sounds? (e.g., “PCXT_case_on_metal_stepladder.ogg”)

    Finding the isolated sounds in the context of the finished product would be a) a fun time waster and b) an educational experience for us budding sound designers.

  3. Pitel said on 19 Jan, 2006:

    Yes, it IS fun. When i was making my short flash movie called kennygate, where kenny from south park was travelling through wormhole, but died by smashing on the stargate’s iris, i did the smahing sound by crumpled plastic bottle which I smashed on the rug. :)

    P.S. If anybody has this movie on his/her hdd, please tell me ;)

  4. Rui Campos said on 19 Jan, 2006:

    Here’s some more foley, hehehe…


    — Rui —

  5. Epsilorn said on 19 Jan, 2006:

    AhAH… i noticed the rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle…Lucas adventures fan, aren’t you?

    sigh…will ever be a new monkey island?

  6. grafixsuz said on 19 Jan, 2006:

    Looks fun, BWT, what software are you guys using?

  7. ex_ssn_yn1 said on 19 Jan, 2006:

    Do you determine which sounds need to be foleyed based on the script, or does the animation team say ‘we need the following sounds’
    in other words – do you have artistic license with regards to the sound effects?

  8. JiriH said on 19 Jan, 2006:

    Sounds like you really enjoy.

    Is already known what opensource application will be used for final compiling (adding and mixing sounds, merging renders etc.)? VirtualDub, Jahshaka?

    Will be all these applications available on DVD?

  9. 4Daniel said on 19 Jan, 2006:

    Dorgh Epsilorn, you beat me to it! How I loved Money Island (and still do)

  10. BArrYZ said on 19 Jan, 2006:

    Very nice aspect shared!

    Thanks Jan! ;-)

    As others said: what was the HW used for recording?

    (what micros, mixers, setup, DAT?, direct to the computer?, notebook? etc etc)

    And what the software to recording all the sounds in realtime?

    Thanks for sharing! ;-)

  11. Jan said on 20 Jan, 2006:

    Heya, thanks for the comments!

    First, my recording chain: Neumann KM184s or AKG CK91 (Mics) -> FMR RNP8380 (Preamp) -> MotU 2408MkII (A/D Converter) -> Mac. I’m using Logic Pro for recording and mixing.

    knowsnuttin: We’ve thought about including an isolated SFX track on the DVD; the problem is that I’m occasionally mixing my own sounds with SFX from commercial libraries, and those are somewhat restrictive in their licenses and forbid isolated distribution. I think there will be an isolated no-dialogue track however (so others can do their own dubbing), and if it’s of any interest, I can comment on how some of the more distinctive elements were done later.

    ex_ssn_yn1: The better part of the sounds is determined by the script, although I take the freedom to suggest things if a sound event is open to interpretation, and hope that the director gives me a good beating if I overshoot the mark. ;)

  12. Scorps said on 20 Jan, 2006:

    Just don’t overdo with the grog!…

  13. AniCator said on 20 Jan, 2006:

    foley’s fun
    but how to produce high quality sound with a microphone?

  14. Epsilorn said on 20 Jan, 2006:

    with an high quality microphone ;)

  15. FastEddy said on 20 Jan, 2006:

    It’s amazing ever and ever again, what sounds you can create with things in the household. ;-)

  16. yfkar said on 20 Jan, 2006:

    How about a special DVD edition which comes with the rubber chicken? It’d be great to have for crossing chasms. =D

  17. Alexander Ewering said on 21 Jan, 2006:

    AniCator: The Mics Jan is using all cost anywhere between EUR 500 and EUR 1000 per piece, so it’s pretty possible to do high-quality sounds with them ;-)

  18. Ian Gowen said on 21 Jan, 2006:

    AniCator, I wasn’t aware that there was any other way to get high-quality sound ;)

  19. Carl Rudy said on 23 Jan, 2006:

    You could always use a speaker…

  20. Wade Bick said on 23 Jan, 2006:

    “The first scene reached “final” status last week (which means that it’s still in animatic state, but editing and character movements are frozen)”

    Right now I have just a rough idea of the whole animated movie making process (mostly from what I see in the “Bonus Features” on DVDs). It would be really interesting to see kind of a timeline for your project that:

    -Indicated what the major areas of work effort are.
    -Indicated the sequence of the work (if not obvious to beginners like myself!)
    -Indicated some sense of time spent on each area.

    I’m trying to understand, for example, is more time spent in storyboarding or animatics? More time modeling or lighting? Textures? Foley or dialog?

    That kind of information could be invaluable to others following in your footsteps. It will give them a sense of how to schedule their own project.


  21. knowsnuttin said on 23 Jan, 2006:

    Wade Bick: Try /production-planning for starters. It even has a neat-o mini gantt chart.

  22. Wade Bick said on 23 Jan, 2006:

    Yeah, that’s the kind of thing I’m looking for, thanks!

    So the other area to look at is what we call ‘post-mortem’ in my company. When the project is done, describe what areas of work took longer or shorter than expected and why.

  23. Bassam said on 23 Jan, 2006:

    yeah, it’ll be interesting for sure… things aren’t exactly how we expected , either :)

  24. Myster_EE said on 23 Jan, 2006:

    Who is going to be doing the Renders? (I seriously doubt you guys have the space/money to have a renderfarm in your backyard….)
    It’d be cool if you guys pulled the community in on this one!

    (Although I guess this would defeat part of the purpose of the Extended DVD, because you would have to give out the finished .blend files….Or you could do it through Verse!)

    I don’t know how fast Verse really is, but I guess that would solve a bit of the problem…

  25. Rui Campos said on 23 Jan, 2006:

    Myster_EE: They already have a renderfarm available for 24/7 usage called XSeed I believe.

    — Rui —

  26. Myster_EE said on 27 Jan, 2006:

    Aaah! That’s right! I completely forgot!

    Oh well. It’d still be interesting to have a renderfarm that uses the Verse protocol… (VERY Interesting in fact…)

  27. HITACHI said on 22 Apr, 2006:

    Ill be back very soon to see any update!!!

  28. panasonic said on 3 May, 2006:

    Your site has very much liked me. I shall necessarily tell about him to the friends.

  29. Scypior said on 1 Jun, 2006:

    I thought the audio was produced on open source too, but when i look on the jan’s page and saw logic pro i was dissapointed;) It would be very interesting to see tha audio production files too…

    Great job btw:)