Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lil' Red - The Making Of

Welcome to my 'Making of Lil' Red' Post.

When I set out to make Lil' Red I had a couple things in my mind I wanted:

A) I wanted it to play alongside the song 'No Think You' by the band Panurge
B) I wanted to keep it very simple (as I have a habit of making things grow and get ridiculously complex).
C) I wanted the style to be very graphic. Relying on simple shapes and colors to sell the mood and
D)I wanted to animate it in Photoshop.
E) I wanted to be able to finish it.

 I created the Short using Photoshop, a little Flash for roughing animation, and After Effects for compositing.

To say the background style doesn't have a heavy Scott Wills influence would be like saying cows don't moo. Scott's work (ie. Samurai Jack) has been a real inspiration to me and in many ways I used Lil' Red as a way to develop/explore my skills in background art.

These couple quick little color keys are what first got me excited about doing the short in the simple very graphic style.

These rough little storyboard thumbs below pretty much remained my final vision for the Short through-out the entire process. I could picture the shot order/timing in my mind and just wanted to get it down on paper fast and out of my crazy overflowing brain.

Once I actually began to work on the Short, a Shot-List was definitely needed to keep things organized as well as motivate me in what I needed to do (plus is feels AMAZING to check off things you have done on the list!).

I do tons of thumbnail sketches in my art and Lil' Red was no different! Here is just a lil sample page from one of my Field Guide notebooks, planning out some of the later scenes. Thumbs always help me plan out layout, poses, and ideas without getting too caught up in any details.

Once I started getting into working on the background art for the Short I usually starting with a small rough Color Thumb. Here I played with layout, color and mood ideas. Here are many of the Color Thumbs as well as a couple completed backgrounds that I cut or altered in the Short.

I even played with real paints a little bit when doing color idea! It's a scary world out there in no 'undo' land.

Even though the short has a very limited amount of animation I still wanted what little it had to be very fluid and thought out. Here you can see a bit of the planning going into Lil Red's simple turn.

I also wanted to use the Short as an opportunity to play with roughing some animation traditionally on paper. Most of the animation in the short started on paper, though some moved into roughing on the computer in order to move the short along quicker.

This uber rough little pencil test was the first thing I did re: animation for the short. It was just a fun loose attempt at throwing down some lines on paper and playing with how Riding Hood could look as a character more. The frames are just photos I took with my phone so please excuse the quality.

I roughed the 'Keys' of her turn on paper then finished the rough in Photoshop.
I wanted all of Lil' Reds movements up until her 'jump' to be very calm, slow and gentle.

The Cleaned-Up version
(I accidently made her pupil pop a little at the end here :O)

Here is the attack in a very early rough stage (done in Flash). Prior to this I sketched a couple basic ideas for poses and timing.

Once I felt the Flash rough was enough to go off of I brought the frames into Photoshop and tightened the rough up.

The rough was then cleaned up and colored in Photoshop.

Just for fun I also included the clean-up of the Wolf entering Lil Red's scene.
Funny how in the end most of this was lost due to the darkness of the scene, tis the way it goes sometimes though! :)
For the Wolf I wanted to play with a very 'harsh' brush look. Something rough and aggressive to match the deadly beast on the hunt.

Once the backgrounds and characters were finished I brought all them files into After Effects to composite and put them together with any camera moves. Most of the backgrounds were broken up into a 3D space to help push the depth.

Mix all that together with a lot of late nights, many cups of tea, an amazingly supportive lady and BOOSH you have Lil' Red! :)

I hope you all enjoyed my little peek into the making of Lil' Red!
If anyone has any questions regarding my process making the Short please feel free to leave a comment and I will answer it as soon as I can! :D