Creating a comic and creating an animated video are very different processes. I decided to run down a few of the differences and a few similarities in my recent project. The following images are from scene 2 of dot-EXE.
This one had to change because whereas in the thumbnail I wanted to show that ships were zooming closely the finals had to have the ships cut out so I could show them near miss one by one.
The second shot here changed so that the action could flow better and the first image i switched to an inside the ship view to clear up confusion about what had exploded.
The first shot changed to focus on just two of the characters, while the second is practically unchanged.
The first, again I focused on just two of the characters, in the second I felt the action wasn’t going in quite the proper direction to focus on the right characters.
This is the same case as the previous shots. direction change to change the emphasis.
The first shot stayed the same but for the second I faced the challenge of visualizing a “hyperspace jump” in a way the would make sense in the video.
Now that you know how I got there check out the video below.
I have worked on quite a few interesting projects in the past few months. The video for my friend P.SO’s song “Quasars”, chief among them. In the post below I’ll explore the process that I went through to create the video clips that went into that project. The scenes I made come from a story I created called “dot-EXE” (or possibly “Random.Access.Machinery). It follows the story of 3 kids being shot into space and ending up stranded on a planet of robots.
The process starts with the story excerpt below:
A bright red LAUNCH button glows and buzzes. The rhythmic alert intermittently drowns out the sound of light snoring.
“Wake up”….”Stevie wake up”….”wake UP”. Stevie jolts sharply awake from London’s stout jab to his arm.
“Oww, hey London come on…oh, yeah”. London silences any further argument by swiftly directing Stevie’s attention to Branson, sitting in the front of the space pod readying the communication from the section 24 launchmaster.
“I’ve got the launchmaster on the main screen London” Branson is good with computers “There’s some magnetic interference but the signal is holding at 93%”…very good with computers.
I write all my scripts in prose I don’t have shot breakdowns or any stage direction-like annotations. I feel that If I write the story well enough the essence of how everything should look should come across, and while it may not be exact, the artist’s (also me, but still applies) interpretation of the story will add to the whole.
The next step is the thumbnail. I’m not sure if I’m just horrible at thumbnails but mine look terrible. I’m just not concerned with how it looks it’s just a composition and angle thing. I don’t show clients thumbnails and I’m sure you can see why but I feel like it is good to show sometimes just so people understand that things look very different in the formative stages. These thumbnails have some directions on them because I intended to animate them.
The pencil stage is where I am much more concerned about how the image looks. The composition stays largely the same, I just flesh it out and make each shot a fully realized image. At this point I should note the backgrounds and characters are all designed by this point so I’m not just creating them on the fly after the thumbnails, but in the interest of brevity (and since I posted them elsewhere) I left them off this post.
I don’t actually end up with a comic book page for a project like this, but for display purposes I composted the shots that I created and later animated in Adobe After Effects into a comic. Everything is very strait forward and somewhat technical after the pencil drawing, I ink the drawing, and color it in Photoshop. The difference with an animated project is that before I color I “cut out” all the portions of the image that I intend to animate and I have to fill in the drawings so that I can move the characters over the background.
…And now. Without further preamble I give you the debut of scene one of dot-EXE.
My last post was called “My Last Drawing” (much dramatic!). In said post I declared that it was NOT my last drawing, but a lack of output since then may have convinced some otherwise. However, I submit to you “Quasars” an animated music video by P.SO created my me. View it in all its glory below. You can also check it out on the music blog 2dopeboyz here
This Video is a combination of a few projects, that I re-purposed for P.SO’s video. Please enjoy the video, check out P.SO’s album “Gateway to Greatness” and get the accompanying graphic novel (illustrated by myself), on Comixology.
In the coming days I will shed some light on the other projects that were a part of this video and the process that I used to take those from concept to animation.
This is a drawing titled “My last Drawing. It is NOT my last drawing. It is a drawing of all my characters from all my stories. I have Branson, London, Stevie and S.T.ef-7 from Random.Access.Machinery (formerly known as dot-EXE). I have the main characters from the eponymously named Carter and the Angel. And I have Vlad and Slim from No More Vampires. There are additional images detailing the coloring process beyond the break.
Steve jolts as London gives him a smack on the arms. It’s time to “wake up!” Their about to begin their journey, everyone needs to be alert..
The kids have just made the transition from hyperspace to regular space, and Stevie is showing signs that he is still afraid. He is very concerned as to whether they are safe.
This picture depicts a diagram of the Pod the children will use to travel to the new earth. It also allows you to view the inside cabin.
This picture depicts the inside cabin of a rocket ship destined to transport children to a new home on a new planet. More
This is the second of the character designs for London. The first was a turnaround and this one is intended to show off a bit more of the personality of the character, It also helps to draw the character in some different poses to make sure the design makes sense with the character in movement. You can find the preliminary drawings below. More