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Frame Process

Frame Process published on No Comments on Frame Process


Here’s the process I use for each frame.

1. Rough:  I’ll scribble some lines to get things in place.  I do this step for all frames and check the animation.  Sometimes I have to scrap frames because they don’t add to the overall motion.

2. Background: A separate layer from the frames. The frames all go on top of the background.  If the background is busy, I have to check that the animation doesn’t get lost in it.

3. Tie-down: Next, I hone the placement of the lines.  I try as hard as possible to keep the sense of life that’s in the rough, and nearly always fail.  It happens.

4. Color: Once reasonably satisfied with the tie-down, I add color and lighting.  The colors are informed by the background and the panels preceding this one–where is the character in the scene, where’s the camera, where’s the light source, what time of day is it? And so on.

These steps don’t include the page thumbnail, the page animatic, or the actual animating.  It’s just the steps I go through when making one frame within one panel.

I’ll talk more about my process for page thumbnails and page animatics next week.