Tuesday, 4 December 2012

"Come closer, kids, and I'll tell you more about my process..."

So, another rather big gap of updates...

Though I havent been slacking around, your honour, I swear.

Im in the process of drawing a short story written by the REALLY cool Dave Hendrick

Really fun and open script, a pleasure to work on, seriously.

Anyway, I thought Id take the chance to talk more about my process to those 2 or 3 chronic insomniacs who probably follow this blog (IF anyone does, that is).

After I read the script I do my thumbnails, usually on templates I saved on photoshop or even on the edges of the script papers, if Im struck by sudden enlightenment (it almost NEVER happens). At this point the focus is on making choices about how to tell the story in terms of camera angles and shots, and the drawing itself is little more than stick figures, probably only fully comprehensible to me. But I heard thats pretty standard, so I dont worry too much. Theyre around 5cm x 7,5cm for now. Anyway, for example the layouts for the first 4 pages for this story looked like this:

Once Ive sent them to the writer/editor and got approval, I go back to them and "fix" them: add digital panel borders, appropriate photo refs or 3D SketchUp models that I either make myself (for simpler things) or snatch off their AMAZING library, perspective grids when needed, bla, bla and fucking bla.

From here I used to simply print them to A3 and lightbox them for the penciling stage, but lately I slightly changed approach: since at this early stage of my career I really wanna keep ALL my pencils to show on my portfolio it's important that theyre pretty clean and tight, so I added an intermediate stage of pre-penciling (or roughs, or prelims) in which I just go loosely to block the shapes and get anatomy and gestures right, so that Im free to erase and properly ABUSE the paper to a pulp until Im happy, without having to worry about how the page is gonna look to posterity. These are A4 coz I found out that at this stage, still working out the balance and "elegance" of figures and postures, the smaller is STILL the better for me. The roughs for these 4 pages look like this:

Once Im happy with these (and Im usually NEVER happy with them, but OK) I scan them again, blow them up to full artwork size and print them on A3 paper. Then I lightbox them AGAIN, but this time free to focus on nuances and details like textures, facial expressions and having proper, nice graphite marks overall.

Because dealing with deadlines is ALL about creating unnecessary, redundant steps in the workflow, isnt it?

Also, OF COURSE this post is incomplete for now, coz Im still not finished with the roughs stage so I have no pencils whatsoever to show, but theyre coming. I swear.

And thats it. Thanx for watching and all that ;)


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