“Death of a Businessman,” a Doodleronomy animated short

I created this animated cartoon with Adobe Flash in about 2003. It’s not technically a doodle, but it was made for no good reason. It matches the spirit of things here, at least.

The original version was a little different:

  • At the time I created this, I was not concerned about copyright infringement. I was more concerned with having material to experiment with than making it legal for mass distribution. I have no idea where the original images on the opening title card came from, so the ones you see here are new. I ran into a similar problem with the music, but I was able to track down a public license version of it.
  • Call me George Lucas, but the typography in the original was not very good, so I prettied it up. I also tweaked some of the characters, but that was nothing major, just some empty spots that I had to manipulate so I could flood fill them with color. Contrary to popular belief, I didn’t change it so Greedo shot first; you just wanted Han Solo to be bloodthirsty or something like that.
  • I couldn’t directly convert the file to video, so the animation is likely a little different. See notes below.

Warning: It is a pain in the butt to convert a Flash cartoon into a video.

Without spending $100 or more, my easiest option was to capture the Flash animation playing on my monitor with a screen recording program. I used HyperCam 2. This was not easy, either; it took me 27 tries to configure the recording settings correctly. (Stuttering animation or horrendous image quality were the culprits.) If you are going to try something similar, here were my settings:

I picked the 3ivx MPEG-4 5.0.3 Video codec, recording 20 frames per second. (It was created in 24 fps, but it recorded incorrectly when set to that in HyperCam.) My frame compression quality was at 100 percent. Under “Configure this Compressor,” I changed the encoder mode to “Single Pass – Constant Quality” and turned the quality meter to 95 percent.

Good luck.

4 Responses to ““Death of a Businessman,” a Doodleronomy animated short”

  • seamus Says:

    With all due respect to the technical prowess needed to convert a flash animation to video, I am trying to figure out what happens in this brief film. My conclusion is that this looks like a lost scene from “The Deer Hunter” since it appears the businessman is undone by some sort of Vietcong fighter. But why is this booby trap is laid down on this poor knucklehead’s street? More questions than answers. On the other hand, the animation works pretty well.

    • Andy Says:

      Harold the businessman just had a bad day is all. Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes, well, you step on a spike board planted in the middle of the sidewalk. Wednesdays, ya know?

      The more important issue is what the film means. I figured I would leave that up to you, the viewer, to decide.

      But now that I’m here, check out these interpretations:

      –This is biting commentary on the rat race we partake in during the work week.
      –This is a shock video designed to convince people to watch where they step, à la “Wheels of Tragedy” or whatever from driver education classes in the 1970s.
      –This is a Communist propaganda film.
      –This is a Capitalist propaganda film.
      –This is part of a viral marketing campaign for a booby trap manufacturer, specifically targeting cutthroat business people.

  • AnEscapeGoat Says:

    It’s an illustration of the old proverb “If by chance you view a spiketrap lying upon’eth your path, be confident that your feet are not the first to tread forth.”

    In this case, the Viet Cong soldier was wise to wait for the witless businessman to step on the trap before continuing down the sidewalk to the bus stop.

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