So, on many occasion, I have found myself with an exciting project, that promises to challenge me with having to learn new skills, teach myself new disciplines and stretch my abilities past what I'm able to do at the time. Sometimes these projects get started, sometimes they never leave the gate, and some stick in my brain like an earwig because I was so looking forward to something that would be great for my reel, for my business and ultimately might bring more work like it, so that when someone says, "hey, have you done something like ____?" I can say, "absolutely! Take a look at this." Then, in my head, I add a, "BAM!!"
A couple of years ago, someone asked me to design a couple of characters for a children's book, and this was going to lead to a 2 minute animated promo for a possible longer animation of the entire book. After completing the character designs, I jumped right into animating, what I had planned out in my mind, would be the opening scene. The main character running through his neighborhood, and sliding up to his house, stopping and running up his driveway to his front door. I don't remember exactly how long it took me to animate the run, slide and run away from camera to the house, but it was probably in the 4-5 day range. I loved every minute of it. I went as far as taking a picture of some houses in my neighborhood and drawing them to complete the scene. It's one of my favorite animations I've ever done, mainly because it was the longest piece stretch of cell (frame by frame drawing) I've ever accomplished.
But this is where the project ended. Things happen, directions change and goals shift to other things. My client loved it, but it went no further, so the project died on the table. (cue heart monitor tone).
Fast forward to this summer, when things got a little slow at CreationStudios, and a boy's heart longs for inspiration and something to sink his teeth into. I don't know why I wanted to re-visit this project, but as fate would have it, it's turned out to be something that I needed in my reel for new work ahead of me, and beyond that, the new work ahead of me will require that I create this type of animation, even if my goal for this project happened to be more complicated than the work to come. It has given me the confidence to promise great things for new clients. I've also been studying other work on YouTube. I'm fascinated with the digital painters out there who do the speed painting in PhotoShop or Sketch. I've tried the digital pen/Wacom/PhotoShop painting, but I'm still learning. I've been much more tuned to trying to paint backgrounds in Illustrator, so that's what I set out to do. I created the 3 additional rooms I needed to complete the majority of the bygone project, but wasn't completely thrilled with them, so I went back to the digital drawing board, scrapped much of the other work and went back to basics, beginning with choosing 2 or 3 point perspective (3 point for one scene and 2 point for another) and following my perspective guide lines this time, instead of eyeballing it. It really made all the difference in the world. I also dove into Pinterest for inspiring scene artwork from some amazing artists. This was so helpful, mainly due to the fact that I'm not an interior decorator, so I don't know what is in a room that would make it interesting. This time, I deliberately chose a style and tried hard to stick to it. My big complaint with the first part of the animation that was completed a long time ago was that the outdoor scene seemed to draw from 3 or 4 different styles. Something I think I'll also go back and totally redesign.
Long story short, I decided to do my own, speed painting or speed designing of my second redesigned room. It's unfinished at the moment, but I like where it's going, and really only needs a couple more things to complete it, so I thought I'd share my progress.