Today I want to write a little about our keyframes drawing workflow. The described workflow is not something that we come up at once, but this is something that formed up spontaneously during the last week.
Nikolay uses MyPaint to draw the keyframes and some edits are done in GIMP or Krita. Thanks to the GIMP’s ora plugin and native support for ora files in Krita we can seamlessly edit MyPaint files everywhere. Well, in fact Krita’s ora support isn’t that perfect (2.3.3 here), but we can live with that.
So, our basic working format is OpenRaster (ora). My task is to prepare all animatic images – compose them together with all reference data into ora files, so Nikolay can proceed directly to the drawing. We have a special production sheet to identify pending, prepared and finished keyframes. I also mark keyframes which are considered relatively “easy”.
Keyframes production sheet
Nikolay looks at this sheet when he needs to choose next keyframe to draw. After the keyframe is drawn he sends me ora file for review. My job is to look for style consistency and general quality issues. If the keyframe is accepted then Nikolay moves to next one in the list. If there is a issues then I put my notes onto separate layers together with some explanation sketches, send the file back and process repeats. On the images below you can see how it’s usually looks like.
Typical "work-in-progress" screen
Having a production sheet allows Nikolay to proceed with other keyframe while I’m doing review, so the work keeps to be intensive.
Also we can’t go without phone conversations – although Nikolay is quite familiar with the matter it takes from 10 to 30 minutes for discussions on each keyframe. Discussion can take place at any moment, so the mobile phone is an only option for that. Although Nikolay lives in other town, we are lucky to reside in the same region – that allows us to have all talks at the flat rate.
Needless to say that we have certain conventions about file naming which allows us to keep all data in the order. I will not cover them here as it may sound boring and there is a high probability that those conventions will change with a time.
That’s all my notes about the current workflow. If you would like to see the finished keyframes please watch the recent images page at our wiki. Cheers!