What is Rodenburg Films?

Itís the cartoon, puppet and other videos made by me (Paul Rodenburg).

Who are you?

Iím an animator, comedian, and web producer who has had his videos shown at film festivals across America, on Television (for Comedy Central), and on the internet.

How do I ask Napoleon a Question?

There are a multitude of different ways that you can ask Napoleon a question, but the best way is to leave a comment on the most recent Napoleon video on youtube. That is where I usually look first for questions. Unfortunately I canít answer every question that is asked, but I try to get to as many as I can.

How long does it take to make a cartoon?

It varies with each and every cartoon. Cartoons that have more action or locations usually take longer than those that donít. On average, Iíd say that it takes about 20 to 40 hours of work for each minute of finished animation. Though Iíve had projects that were much faster or much slower to complete.

Whereíd you go to school?

Iíve gotten this question from regular viewers and Hollywood companies that Iíve done work for. I never really went to college. And I never took art classes in high school or outside of school. I am totally self taught. I honestly only started animating because I wanted to do sketch comedy and had no one to shoot with late at night when I was awake. Animation was a way for me to do videos with sets that I couldnít afford and to play a bunch of characters at once.

Did you draw a lot as a kid?

No, I was never really into drawing or animation growing up. I was terrible at art. Comedy was my passion, but that didnít start until High School.

Do you need any voices for your cartoons?

A lot of people kindly offer this to me, but I have to sadly turn most of them down. I do almost all of the guy voices for my cartoons myself. Usually if I need a voice, itíll be a female voice, as I am not very good at those.

How do you make your animations?

I get this question the most, and itís the hardest to answer in a few lines as a youtube comment response.

Usually it starts with a script that Iíve written, then I figure out what kind of artwork I need to make the cartoon. For important characters, objects, or sometimes locations Iíll first draw them by hand. I use a #2 pencil or a mechanical pencil depending on what is at hand. I mostly just care about having a sharp tip. And I just draw on some cheap printer paper. Whatever happens to be in my printer at the time.

Then I take that image, put it into my scanner and scan it into my computer. I save that as a jpeg and bring it into Adobe Photoshop. In Adobe Photoshop I trace the image and change it slightly to better achieve the look I want for the character or item. For characters I save certain body parts on different layers (head, arms, etcÖ) so that I can move them separately when I animate them.

I record the audio dialogue, usually in Adobe Audition, but itís not a big deal where I record it. Then I cut the audio down and edit it together so that it is one finished file of all the dialogue for the video.

I then bring the finished audio dialogue and the Photoshop files into Adobe After Effects. There I can see the sound wave of the audio file, which allows me to animate the mouths to it. I can also move the various Photoshop Layers around in After Effects moving and animating the characters.

Finally I take the finished After Effects file and bring it into Adobe Premiere where I add the opening, and music and sound effects that havenít been added yet, and end credits. Then I export it as a finished video and Iím done.

And for any of you interested in getting into this field, there are much cheaper and easier ways to start out than to buy all of these Adobe programs.

© Rodenburg Films Ltd. 2012