Thursday, 22 May 2008

So many decisions

This week I started designing the backgrounds for the short film (and therefore the style of the series as well), and realised how much there is to learn about cartooning. Until now I've been using photos for the backgrounds, but for various reasons I need the series to be drawn mostly in Flash.

The pictures above show my first attempts to find an appropriate style. The first mixes drawn lines and photographic textures - and I quite liked it until I had the brainwave of actually putting a character into the image, and found that the textures make it far too "busy" and will distract from the action (I think this is because I've chosen very tepid, desaturated colours for the characters). Underneath is the second attempt, which I think works better (although I still have to add some shadows and other details).

It's at times like this I wish I'd been less arrogant during my year at art college, and actually paid attention to what the tutors were trying to teach me.

And once I've sorted out the design, I need to learn to animate. Joy.


Luke said...

I prefer to colours on the first, looks more natural but the level of detail on the second.

Mike said...

Yeah, since posting this I've been rethinking it and it will probably end up as some combination of the two.

The difficult part is making a final decision and saying "No more tweaks, it's done!"

Jeremiah said...

You might be aware of this, but one of the best spots on the internet is John Kricfalusi's blog, which has a lot of great posts about background design, color theory, etc. Might prove useful.

Mike said...

Hey Jeremiah

And where have YOU been recently?

I look at John K's blog a lot and it is extremely useful. But he's mainly concerned with the cartoon style of the 40s and 50s, and there are so many cartoons that try to emulate those I want to find a different approach.

I'll probably end up going back to using photos, but maybe there's some kind of photo/collage style that would work.