Archive for April, 2012

Weekly progress

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

It’s the last days of keyframes drawing campaign and this week was especially interesting, because besides of usual drawing of Ivan and Morevna Nikolay was working on the shots where we have many new characters. They all are appear in the Demo only once or twice, but some of them will play a significant role in the whole movie. So you will see a lot of new faces – Doctor-Sister with her husband Businessman, Mechanic-Sister with her husband Rocker, Rapper (who is a husband of Priestess-Sister) and musicians from the bar. Some of them more detalized, some less but still it’s been a big work. I don’t name who is who, I think it’s easy to guess by looking at the picture.

Regarding to the whole keyframes drawing process. We are on the edge of the deadline (1st of May), but we still have 2 days. It was decided to use 3D models for some long-distance shots with complex camera turns and movements (I’m referring to shots 07, 38, 41 and 53). So we have 7 keyframes left. I’m sure Nikolay will finish them in the next two days.

Keyframes production sheet (29.04.2012)

It looks like our fundraising campaign is failing. It’s 2 days left and we still have $1619 to go. Anyway, it’s awesome to see that we have done that far and we are very grateful to everyone who gave us their support! The fact that you all believe in this project make us feel so warm and we will do our best to continue with our efforts and proof that your faith is no waste. Thank you!

Tomorrow I’m taking off in my trip to Libre Graphics Meeting 2012  (2-5 May, Austria) and exactly at the 1st of May I’ll be on the road.  I’ll post the final report about the keyframes drawing and our plans for the future as soon as I will get back. And of course if some of you have a chance to be at this great event – will be happy to meet you there!

Finally, it’s been a long time since I was posting my favourite “work-in-progress” drafts. They are kind of outdated already (since all those keyframes are finished), but I won’t feel as myself if I won’t post them now. ^__^

Everyone, have exciting week!

Weekly Progress

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Again, I will be short. Our keyframes drawing phase is coming to an end – there’s only 9 days left. Still a lot to do, but it’s almost finished. To be honest I already can’t wait to put all those images into Synfig and see how it all will look vectorized and tweened!

Keyframes production sheet (22.04.2012)

See latest images

Message to our sponsors

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Dear sponsors!

Everyone who donated $40 or more, please take your time to look at the credits page to ensure that your name is spelled correctly. If you find a mistake please contact us.

Thank you very much for your support!

Weekly progress

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

I will not write much today. It’s only two weeks left before deadline, so we are in hurry to finish all keyframes to the date. This week was a very productive, BTW. ^__^ Stay tuned!

Keyframes production sheet (15.04.2012)

Latest Images

Another headturn video

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Some folks say that my previous video (the one about creating headturn guides) was too fast. And that making it’s hard to figure out what’s going on. So here I posting another screencast without timelapse.

Cheating

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

Today I want to talk a little about the ways we cheat at drawing. ^__^

When you start drawing a characters you usually have “front” and “side” concept reference images. And when you need 3/4 view at some gradation it’s always a bit tricky part. And here’s Synfig to the rescue! No, it’s not a tracing time yet, but we can use Synfig’s tweening capabilities to extend our concept references. For example, this is how we get guides for Ivan’s head at particular angle.

Notice how your brain rebuilds the inbetween positions of the head basing the guide lines as references.

The next helpful trick is to use photos as references. Yes, sometimes to figure out the correct look of some elements at certain angles or positions we have to go with shots like you see below.

Hands position on the photo...

...turned into this.

And of course we cheat by using 3D models. Of course the easiest way would be to have 3D models for all characters and do all drawings on top of them. But there is a bad part about that. My experience shows that when you rely much on 3D models in drawing, the characters loose some flexibility or some kind of “creative sparkle”. And it’s not about “uncanny valley” only. Using model clarifies your image, it allows you to make the “right” image, according to “right” rules, “right” perspective, etc. But at the same time it puts your imagination to the limits and that’s bad. Because, you know, the hand-drawn animation takes much of its effect from the exaggeration and the most cool and exciting images come exactly when you breaking some rules. Understanding that is very important and that’s why we tend to use 3D models very carefully.

Currently we started to experiment with the soldier model. The funny thing happened with shot 35 – it’s the shot where the camera makes a long dolly out and all soldiers are thrown into the air. Initially we wanted to use soldier model as a base for drawing keyframes on top. But when we put the model into animation we found that the model looks very naturally as it is.

Considering that it will be masked with some vector elements, effects and dust we decided to use soldiers as pure 3D models in this shot. Of course that saved Nikolay a lot of efforts in the keyframes drawing.

Keyframes marked as to be done with 3D models

That’s everything I wanted to confess about our cheating. ^___^ As usual, you can see our progress for keyframes drawing on the image below. Don’t forget to check the gallery page to see the recent images of this week. We hope you like them. Stay tuned and have a great week!

Keyframes production sheet (08.04.2012)

Weekly progress

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

OK, I hope everyone had a great 1st of April day. And I hope you enjoyed our little joke. I want to assure everyone who cares about the project – we don’t plan to turn everything into “Nazar Style”. Though, the funniest part of this joke is that it wasn’t a pure joke at all – Nazar The Brave character will really look like was shown in my previous post. I hope you enjoy that turn. ^___^

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Meet Nazar The Brave

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

I guess you have tired to see a boring production sheets in my every weekly blog post, so this time we have prepared something special. Those who read the screenplay might remember that Marya Morevna have a brother – Nazar The Brave. He is also appears in two shots of the Demo so we can’t go without a concept list for him. And here it is! Meet the very new character of Morevna Project. ^____^

Nazar The Brave - Character Layout

We are very proud of this concept as it represents the latest trends in our drawing style. We plan to continue expansion in that direction applying it for the whole project. We hope you like it. Cheers!