Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sneak Peek #18: Thumbnails of Disorder

As the annual Halloween contest builds, Volume 3 has been continuing it's inexorable march towards completion behind the scenes.

Having finished all our special seasonal art for the year, (I can't WAIT to show this year's Halloween Prelude!) can you guess what specifically I've been working on lately? If you can, good for you, no need to read further. Congratulations for being on top of things.

If you're still reading this, then you don't know. Excellent - I LOVE delivering a good surprise! Sit down avid reader, quell your anticipation - and prepare for the veil of mystery to be torn asunder!

While Chapter 7 color blocking continues thanks to the ever-brilliant Liz, I've been doing thumbnail layouts for the Chapter 8 pages. That way we can keep our production groove continuous - no hurdles will be in the way of gliding right into Ch. 8 page pencils.

Thumbnailing is one of those tasks which always takes longer than I expect... There's just so much that hinges on them. The script is one thing, but the layout determines how the scene is expressed, where the characters are in relation to everything, the narrative pacing, the camera angles - in short, most of the actual directing (to shamelessly plunder terminology from film) happens during the thumbnail stage. Every subsequent drawing relies on the thumbnail for it's foundation. There’s always the temptation to simplify things and draw the thumbs from an orbital view, thus nixing a lot of drawing work - but Google Earth probably won’t let us user their images in our books.
I'm about halfway through the thumbnails for Chapter 8 right now - which is shaping up to be a 40 page chapter. Yikes. Volume 3 is going to be a book-and-a-half.

An odd production quirk for V3 - these are actually the last thumbnails I'll be doing for the entire book. The Chapter 9 thumbnails are already done, finished back in January. During the winter, while getting Volume 1 and 2 revised for download sales, we were also writing the final scripts for Volume 3. Chapter 8 needed another draft though, and actually wound up being revised until February. So when I jumped into thumbnails that winter, I went for Chapter 9 first - and now here we are!
You may notice the labeling system on these thumbnails - by Chapter, page, and panel. This helps us keep organized when we’re revising the scenes and sketching out alternatives and improvements - if we didn’t improve our rough drafts (which these are), our work would be on the fast-track to mediocrity.

I know it has to be frustrating waiting on this behemoth of a book, but take heart. The script is written in stone, the thumbnails are 84% done, and that should really help us keep the art in production at a nice steady pace until the end. Even so, thank you again to everyone for being so patient.

Actually, as a show of gratitude (And to demonstrate that, yes, we're getting this book done) we have a surprise coming around December. Will it be Santa, gift wrapped and delivered to your door? Nope. Because I don't mess around with Santa. Never. Santa is NOT welcome in my abode. I'll explain why, in detail, closer to the "Yule-tide," whatever that is. In the meanwhile, don't trust Santa.

And let's end things on that note.


†Prf.JenningsQuestorOfAZ said...

I wouldn't trust a man who comes down peoples chimneys and leaves gifts. >> Your fear of Santa is a healthy one.

Anonymous said...

so a jolly fat guy falls down from the chimney, wants some ho's, and then says he has something for the kids... yikes... XD

Screalies said...

I love your layouts so much, even though they got me in trouble when my friends couldn't follow the way my panels were trying to go. It just makes every page so dynamic.

Andrew said...

Santa is not to be trusted! He sneaks into your house at night and leaves behind suspicious brightly colored packages! And how does he know what you want for Christmas? Does he spy on you all year, trying to determine what you want?

Also, keep up the good work! :D Looking forward to Volume 3!

Thomas said...

Yule-tide.. Hmm must be form the Nordic countries of Europe. In Denmark we have the word "Juletid" (Almost pronounced the same). Translated, it means Christmastime.

Anonymous said...

"Santa" is an anagram :) He sees you when your sleeping, and knows when your awake. He knows when you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!

Okay that was dark humor I apologies.

Anonymous said...

I have two theories on Santa:
A: He is an evil ninja, capable of traveling around the world in one night, breaking in to every house on they way.
B:or, Santa is really S.A.N.T.A, some kind of criminal organization, dedicated to breaking into houses and leaving gifts, possibly containing explosives and other deadly devices.
Either way, deadbolt your door. He's coming for you.

Peregrine said...

I logically disproved Santa at the age of 7.

With the knowledge of psychology I have know, in regards to the importance of characterized symbolism in modern society, I kinda wish I hadn't.

Knowledge is power, but ignorance is bliss. They didn't get to be cliches without being true.

Serafino Faolan said...

Methinks I see Bast beating up some guy in the second picture, then the guy uses his power... I'm not sure....