For people who aren’t used to big projects, here’s a weird fact - the hard part isn’t the massive deadlines, it’s the other times, when you just have to keep going without getting the buzz of a deliverable.
We’re doing great on the project timeline - we have our story, we’ve started storyboarding, there’s been a lot of visual development going on….but nothing *fantastic* or “finished” that you can point to and be excited about.
I met with our lead animator yesterday, and we've got our next full team meeting on the 8th. These projects aren't won or lost in a day, or a week, or a month.
Thanks for following along and being a part of this with us :)
Well, since I missed posting last night due to watching the fan-edit of "The Hobbit", it only seems fair to pick one of the artists who worked on concepts for the movie :) He may not live here now, but he's a Vancouver boy by birth.
Things are progressing! We have a team together (I will introduce everyone later), we have a rough schedule, and it’s taking pretty much all of my free time, which is about what I expected.
This month, my #1 job is to get the story to the strongest place it can be. In a film we are budgeting on 5 minutes to tell, there’s not a lot of time for fluff. We want the viewers on the edge of their seats, and we want things to make sense without wasting time with exposition.
In a live-action movie, I would make a tight script, revise it a couple of times, and then storyboard it out a bit to see how things flowed. Live action gives you the flexibility to “fix it in post”, editing down extra stuff you don’t need and potentially even doing some reshoots.
Things are a little different over here. With the help of the art director and head of storyboarding (yeah, I like titles), I have hashed out a beat-outline of the major plot points, and how the story will string together. From here, it goes to boards, so we can test how the flow will actually feel. We are doing our editing before we “shoot”, because animation takes forever to create in comparison with just shooting an actor in a location.
My visual part of this is to create a whole bunch of keyframe images, either drawings or paintings, that capture the feel of the scene, so that the board artists know what the mood they are trying to hit feels like. These paintings are what most people think of as “concept art”, and they are a part of that process, but at this stage, keyframes are less concerned with what a character looks like and more with how does it *feel*.
Meanwhile, the entire team (yeah, we’re all artists) are drawing characters, locations, vehicles, weapons and magic effects. We are creating a pantry of designs that we can mix together and hopefully come up with something that is both exciting and unique. At this stage, the drawings aren’t much to look at, they are just thumbnails and shorthand to express ideas to other members of the team.
Our next full-team meeting is the start of February, and the hope is by then, we can go full-bore on both storyboards and design.
As always, thank you for reading, sharing and otherwise supporting this crazy idea!
There appear to be at least 2 painters with this name, but today's artist was the British illustrator/pin-up artist in the 40s. I've been looking a lot at painted simplifications of people, and this sort of pinup style works really well for the sorts of cartoon vis-dev work I have in mind.
I've always loved animation. I tell people without exaggeration that the movie "Akira" changed my life. I literally mostly dream in cartoon. It should surprise no one that I moved into the industry I have.
....But....As much as I love working in studios on shows, it wasn't scratching an itch - the desire to tell my own story. In December, I watched "Poet Anderson - Dream Walker", which was the animated short that won at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival.) I was blown away by how good it looked - even more so when I did some research and learned it was basically made by a group of friends with no major studio experience. I took a long, hard look at myself.
What was my excuse?
I've been saying, "One day I'm going to..." for years.
My friends, that day is now.
I connected with some people I know in Vancouver and around the world, and together, we're in the process of creating a 2D animated short. It's going to be loosely based on WWI, but with magic, airships, crazy assassins and all the other good stuff we love to draw and create. Right now, we're thinking "Miyazaki meets the Gorillaz" when people ask us what it's going to look like.
In the last couple of weeks, we have written our initial breakdown of the story, and we've started doing the design work we're going to need.
I'm going to try to post once a week with updates, letting you all know how the project is doing. I have no experience in these sorts of things, this isn't going to be a "how-to" written by an expert. I'm hoping I can shed a light on how regular, every day artists solve the problems they encounter while working their way to something cool.
Right now, the project doesn't even have a name....but a lot of babies don't get names for a LONG time after their conceived.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy following along, and tell your friends to do the same :) This thing is going to be sweet! Next week I'm hoping to talk a bit about who is working with me, and maybe share some more of our ideas.
Ok, the *plan* was only to do 1 year, every day...and I liked that plan, but there are still tons of cool artists out there, and I like finding them and sharing them...so I'm thinking I'll keep going, but instead of every day, I'm going to do one a week on Fridays.
Today's artist worked in BG paint on Wakfu, which is one of my favorite cartoons, both visually and from a story perspective. Her character work is awesome too :)
(OOPS! My internet in Mexico was bad, and this didn't post! )
Well, we made it! A whole year of artists who inspire me...and so, the last day, I want to remind everyone on this journey with me to be inspired by themselves. Keep doing projects, keep pushing yourself, keep remembering you *can* be better than you were yesterday. Thanks for staying with me for the year, it's been really fun!
Today's artist didn't start drawing until he was 33 years old. He used to be a computer consultant. Now he paints and draws in the animation industry for a living, and he couldn't be happier. He's inspired by a TON of other artists, many of whom he is friends with in real life, and he hopes he has helped inspire you.
Seth Rutledge is a visual developer and concept artist for the animation and video game industries, a photographer and a coffee snob living in Vancouver, British Columbia. Before he discovered illustration, he received a CSCI/Math degree from UNC-Charlotte, and has lived and worked all over the United States and Canada. He has run marathons, taught English in Japan, been CTO for a pharma marketing company and done fashion photography in NYC. Seth has two albums he wrote and played keyboards on, and he plays the theramin whenever he gets the chance. Seth spends so much time in coffee shops drawing that he is mentioned in online reviews. He would love a career drawing elves and goblins for a living.