Ashland Independent Film Festival Alum Patrick Neary’s latest animation uses hand-drawn characters and miniature sets to answer the age-old question: what if cows could fly?

CowBurd is a hand-drawn cartoon that follows a hapless dairy cow, inspired by a little bird, as she takes to the skies. This cartoon started life as a string of doodles in a sketchbook, then grew into an experiment with a technique to place 2-D, hand-drawn characters into miniature sets built from cardboard, clay and other elements. The sets were small, averaging only 12 inches or so across, and the animated characters were composited into still photos of the sets using Adobe After Effects. The animation took place over the course of several months, with compositing and post production taking another several weeks to complete the film.

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