Lucy and the Lily Pond - Children's Book Trailer


My brother asked me if I could create an animated trailer for a children's book he was writing. He didn't have any real instructions for it other than it had to look really cool.I told him if he gave me the assets I'd get to it asap.


My brother sent me a PDF of the book so I could read it and also sent me PNGs and Illustrator files of various art assets. I read the book and went through all the assets, marking those that I thought would be the most useful. I then went about attempting to craft a story that could sell the book without giving the actual plot away, as the goal was to eventually make money from sales of the book not to give it away for free.
I wrote copy that would be used in the trailer and then set to work mocking up storyboards in Photoshop and using the Timeline to quickly figure out how transitions may work when I moved the project to Premiere.
Once I had an inkling of how I wanted the trailer to flow, I brought the assets into Premiere and set to work producing a rough cut.
I knew I wanted to add some magical particle effects to the mix to really captivate children who may look at the trailer. I have a program called Particle Illusions, which I like very much because it is very easy to create 2D particles and then export them as PNGs to bring into After Effects or Premiere. It is also much more robust than After Effects built-in particle system.
I set to work creating custom particle animations (falling flower petals, text-to-particle transition effects, etc) and exported them out as PNGs and imported them into Premiere as PNG sequences.
Once I had a rough cut in place, I exported an mp4 video and imported that into Cakewalk Sonar so I could begin composing music for the trailer. I wanted something that would help the trailer move well and keep an audience of all ages interested. So, with a bit of Disney and a pinch of Gershwin, I set to work writing music that flowed from action to action, scene to scene.
From start to finish, this project took my only around three or four days. When I am really focused and have a clear path, I can very quickly produce high-quality work.


My brother was ecstatic about the final result. He even said it looked better than the actual book itself (I think he was being kind, his book is absolutely beautiful).