Foley is an interesting part of the production process, that adds sounds other than vocals and music to video. Since an animated short is close to being finished, we've started working on the foley for it this week. And since this is a fully animated short, there is a lot of foley work to be done for it since there are no recorded sounds from a film shoot.
Part of the process is just keeping your ears and eyes open. As part of the modeling process, I am always looking for interesting textures that I can take a picture of. If I see a brick wall I like, I'll take pictures that I can later use on a model. In the same way, when I hear an interesting sound, I'll try to record it on a voice recorder. But part of it is just using your imagination to try and think of a way to create certain sounds and trying lots of things out.
For example, in the video sequence I was just compositing, I needed a pair of large metal doors to swish closed. I also needed the sound of footsteps on metal and a thrumming sound for the machinery in the background. So in order to get the doors to swish, I used a tried and true technique - I held a large coffee mug close to my mouth and the microphone and made the 'ssssshhhhh' sound several times.
To get the sound of the woman walking across a metal walkway, I took an old boot and hit the railing of the porch with the heel to give me the reverberating sound of shoes on a metal surface. And for the thrumming of machinery, I recorded my computer fan and a bathroom ceiling fan, mixing the sound together and modifying the pitch until I got what I wanted.
The last step in the process is to take those sounds and sync them to the video. I had to time the footfalls to the woman's motion, the door swish to the doors' motion, and the background thrum was just a continuous loop.
And now here's a sneak preview (from the longer animated short that's coming soon) that shows our final foley result.