Wishfall gives some tips on joining and hosting multi-animator projects.
In the Warriors community there is a very talented and creative group of people: The Multi Animator Project Community! (or MAP for short) These people create animated videos that (usually) have a song that they are animated to. Each MAP is divided into many different parts which are given to animators to animate. MAPs can also be done in many different art styles such as traditional (paper and pen) or digital.
In short, creating a MAP can be a very fun and fulfilling experience! It brings many talented people together to work on a project and participate in something. But, definitely the best part about making a MAP is the end result. So, now you’re wondering, “How can I make/participate in one of these?”
Well, don’t worry! I’ve got that covered.
Participating In a MAP:
Taking part in a MAP is actually fairly simple (thankfully!).
Usually most MAPs are hosted on platforms like Youtube. The host will post a ‘MAP Call’ which is usually a video that details the song/sound that will be animated to, the script (if there is any), and any extra details like character designs. Most of the time, all you will have to do is fill out a form or ask for a part and the host will reply some time later to let you know if you got in or not.
NOTE: Most MAPs are NOT first come, first serve! Meaning, even if you asked for a part first, it doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to get it! Don’t be discouraged if you are not given a part when you apply! It doesn’t mean that your art is worse than anyone else’s, some hosts are just looking for specific things. Just keep looking for MAPs to join and eventually you’ll find one.
After joining a MAP and being assigned or choosing your part(s), you will usually have a set time frame to complete your part. Though, if you are running behind schedule, most hosts will let you have an extension. Also, don’t be afraid to drop your part(s) if you cannot finish them. It’s better for the host to be able to know ahead of time and get a back-up ready than for the MAP to be delayed because of it.
Once your part(s) are finished, you’ll usually submit them to the host using a platform like Youtube or Discord. Then, when all the parts in the MAP are finished they’ll be put together by the host and uploaded as a video!
Hosting a MAP:
Hosting a MAP is a bit more tricky, so it’ll take a bit more explaining.
1. Find an idea.
Find a song/sound and an idea that you think could go well together. It can be funny, sad, happy, exciting, etc. Then, figure out who/what you want to be in it, and what you want them to do. After that, you can make a script for your MAP, which is basically just writing that tells the animators what to animate, or you can make it unscripted and just share the general idea! Also, don’t forget to make sure that the song/idea you have chosen hasn’t been used already by someone else!
2. The MAP Call
Most MAPs are hosted on websites like Youtube, this is because it will be able to reach a large amount of people, but you can host your MAP really wherever you like! So, once you figure out where you want your MAP to be posted, you should make a MAP call! A MAP call is basically just a post/video that says “Hey! I’m making a MAP! Here’s what you need to know!”
MAP calls are usually videos that show how the MAP’s parts will be divided. Example here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiPOu6qbhu0
A good MAP call will have all the information on it like the script, rules, character designs, and submission form.
3. Picking participants.
Once you have your MAP call up and people start to apply, you will need to pick animators for your MAP! Obviously, the criteria for how you want your MAP to look is up to you, so I can’t exactly tell you how to do this, but I will try! When picking animators, don’t be afraid to reject participants, sometimes they just aren’t what you’re looking for and that’s okay! It’s your MAP after all. Of course, don’t reject everyone or be mean about it either.
Communication is probably the MOST important thing a MAP needs. Your participants need to be able to talk to YOU and EACHOTHER. Meaning you’ll need to find a way to let all of you talk together and share your parts. There are many good websites and apps that can help with this, Discord, Google Hangouts, etc. Though, also, be understanding if some of your animators cannot go on/have access to these websites and find an alternative way to speak to them individually.
Also, remember to check in with your participants every few days to see how progress on the parts is going! I once joined a MAP and completely forgot about it because I had no way to contact the host! (It did not go very smoothly :[ )
5. Put it all together!
Once your participants finish all their parts, it is time to enter the final steps and put all the parts together! There many free (and watermark free) websites, apps and softwares that can help you put videos together. Though, I would not recommend downloading ANYTHING from online if you cannot STRONGLY verify that it does not contain viruses or malware! One good website I suggest you use is this: https://www.kapwing.com
But, of course, it’s up to you how you decide to put it together! Once you have your video all put together and edited to your liking, you can post it.
And there you go! The recipe for making your Warrior Cats MAP Masterpiece!