Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Character design!

the first 3rd of the cartoon is a very different style from that of the "Agent" portion. To be more specific I used the modern style, popular in the 50's and 60's. Something i hated as a kid, but love now. why the 2 different methods? My grandpa is fond of telling stories about when he was a boy he'd spend all Saturday afternoon at the movies. not because he was theater hopping (i don't think that was even an option back then) but because before the feature film you'd get a string of news reels, cartoons, 3 stooges shorts, cliff hangers, etc. so that's kinda what i'm referencing. that, and the variety helps to keep me from getting bored. ANYWAY, the main character of the opener is supposed to be an everyman... an average Joe, if you will.

as you can see, it took me a few tries to get Joe just right. his design was particularly important, because i used his basic elements to create all the other characters of the opener.

now we need to get Joe digital! I've always drawn my animated elements in Flash, but I've been told by pro's that it's preferable to use Illustrator then import to Flash, because Flash's brush tool stinks. so i thought i'd test the theory.

If you enlarge the image you'll see the Illustrator version IS better that the Flash version (the one in the middle)! i was a little despondent with the results, because it's a pain in the rear to keep bouncing between applications, AND i'm not entirely convinced that the quality difference was enough to warrant the time and work it would take. so i worked for quite a while to optimize the settings on my drawing tablet and those in Flash. Thankfully the work paid off. as you can see, the optimized Flash version of Joe on the far right is close enough to the Illustrator version (at least for me) to allow me to just draw everything right in Flash. YAY!

All's left now is to animate!
[click on the box below]

until next time!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Doom and Gloom

OK, I'm done with the backgrounds and have begun on character design. Unfortunately i just started last night, so i haven't amassed enough material worthy of a post yet. Instead, here's ANOTHER BACKGROUND!

There wasn't a storyboard frame for this one, as it's part of a montage and i didn't feel like drawing it all out at the time (shame on me). so if there are no objections we'll skip straight to the perspective guide.

While caught up in the magic world of vanishing points i didn't stop to think about what a pain in the @$$ it is to animate a 3/4 view walk cycle, which is exactly what i've set up here. CURSES! It's going to be part of a quick montage of The Agent walking through the "twilight trails" trailer park. Which was until recently a real place, btw.

yessss... gloomy... run down..... i love it! the kind of place i'd go to shoot photos, were it not full of creeps and meth labs.

Speaking of gloomy, Arthur C. Clarke died recently and as a nod to the old fella HAL makes a cameo in the cartoon. Not that i particularly liked 2001 (i still can't watch it without falling asleep) but it's become an icon of sci-fi cinema and literature. The IDEA behind the movie is great... an AI going crazy and killing everyone because of secretive orders from on-high? Awesome. the execution, however, was a snooze-fest.

NOW Charlton Heston died last Saturday to boot! On a day i chose to watch Omega Man, oddly enough. Heston made several movies that i like so i was a little more moved by his passing than that of Clarke's. I think it fitting that i give Chuck some kind of nod in the 'toon as well. I'll think on it.

seacrest out!