Interview with CarBot Animations
Thu 7th Dec 2017 - 6:36pm
We got together with Jonathan Burton of the infamous CarBot Animations to discuss how it all began and where his unique art style came from. Check out our short interview with Jonathan from Blizzcon 2017!
How did you come up with CarBot Animations and how did it start?
CarBot: So the way CarBot animation started was actually... So I was going to school for animation, and I was in my second year out of four years, and I love animating and I love creating, but I was getting really really bored with the homework because it wasn’t characters I wanted to do, it wasn’t animation that I particularly wanted to do. I wanted to do my own stuff. And so YouTube was an option, it was a free option. So I said to myself, at the time I was working on a farm picking tomatoes, not something I particularly have a passion for, but it was good fun. So I said to myself, “I don’t want to do another job unless it furthers what I want to do for a career in some way, shape, or form.”
And so I started to do YouTube. I did three episodes before I released the first one because I wanted to make sure I understood what I was doing and kind of level the ground. So that’s kinda how it started and to my surprise, the first month my goal was one thousand subscribers, and, blew me out of the water, I don’t know how, but for some reason, twenty-five thousand people subscribed the first month and it was amazing! So it was really encouraging. People were really nice, it couldn’t have been more encouraging on everyone’s part.
What is the process like for creating an episode of one of your animated series?
CarBot: So what we do for the episodes is actually... Sometimes I tackle it a couple different ways because one way might become mundane or boring so I try a different way. Every once and awhile I’ll start with a scene that I think is just, this is the scene that I want to do, and that’s what I do. It doesn’t matter what happens before or after, I know that I want to do this particular scene because I think it’s a funny situation or ridiculous. When I get that one scene down then I think about what comes before and after. It’s just something to get me excited and motivated. We’ve done like, two to three hundred episodes now? I don’t know how many.
So that’s a lot! So sometimes, you know, I love my job, sometimes it gets a little, you know, “Well what do I do now?”. So we start like that, choose a scene that we think is really fun and then we kinda expand from there. There are other times where we take the kinda regular approach and start from the beginning to end. But usually, I find that’s the best way, to start with something I’m really excited about.
Where did your art-style evolve from?
CarBot: So they art-style is actually... It’s funny because the very first time I tried that art style was for StarCrafts when I started YouTube for CarBot. Before that, that was not my style at all. And so the way I came to that conclusion that I wanted to do that style was two reasons: one, there’s a YouTube channel called Burbock Studio and it took really simply characters without any dialogue and made these funny little stories that I really admired, I thought it was really cool and the animation was great.
And the other element that kinda brought me to that was that I knew I wanted to do frame-by-frame animation, and I knew I didn’t want to spend months just to do one animation, so I chose simple but still defining characters that you could understand who is who, because I was going to be drawing them a million times, over and over and over again. So that’s kinda how I arrived at that. And it’s worked out pretty well. It’s kinda evolved over the years a little bit. It’s become more crisp and cleaner, but it’s still basically the same.
Do you play all the games that you portray in your videos?
CarBot: So I do play every single game for any of the animations I have done. I don’t have time to play them all always. There was even a time where I couldn’t where I couldn’t even play any games because I was so busy. But it’s kind of like my studying time, is to play games, which is great, it’s awesome! So yeah, I do play them all, but I go through phases of which one I play more. For a half a year it’ll be Heroes, maybe the other half will be StarCraft.
Who is part of Team CarBot Animations?
CarBot: So we have a bit of a team going. It kinda grows and shrinks at times, so people aren’t always there. We have two animators that I met online actually, who are part-time, so they come in every once and awhile. There’s me, who does most of the animation and storyboarding, my brother Sam who helps out with storyboarding and ideas, and also he does all the audio for the episodes, and then my wife Justine who does a lot of the taxes and all the fun stuff.
Do you have any shoutouts?
CarBot: I wanna say thanks to all our fans, whether it’s just watching the videos, liking them, if you’re a subscriber, but especially if you’re a Patreon supporter, that is a huge help. Our supporters on Patreon are what made me take it as a full-time job and not just a part-time job, so special thanks to them. And of course, you guys are the reason why we’re even recognized by Blizzard. All your guys’ support, Blizzard saw that and they saw something awesome here and they obviously took us in. And Blizzard has been so awesome as well, so thank you to Blizzard as well. And of course, Team Dignitas, for being awesome and making this interview happen!
Huge thanks to CarBot for taking time to talk with us during a very busy BlizzCon 2017. You can follow him on YouTube to keep up with CarBot Animations latest HeroStorm and WowCraft videoes and on Twitter for updates.