Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The making of LIGHTNING SQUARED, part 2

Time for another look into how I made the cartoon music video for the Abby Travis song Lightning Squared. This time, we'll examine the characters...

The video almost had a very different look indeed. My original plan was to animate the whole thing using dolls brought to life with stop-motion, with distorted photos of old monster movie stars for the heads. It would have looked something like this rough. I actually got as far as trying to animate a couple of shots using the dolls, and gave up. It was too much work, and it looked crappy. I was also worried about the rights issues. I didn't want to put a lot of work into something only to get a cease-and-desist from the Karloff estate.

Lacking a working scanner, I used my cell phone camera to take pictures of the monsters I doodled in my sketchbook.

Once the doodles were uploaded I could take aspects I liked from one drawing and combine them with another. Then I would shade the drawings and fiddle around with the colors. I hadn't been drawing much for a while before I started making this cartoon, so I was pretty rusty and character design was a challenge.

The Mad Doctor was one of the characters I really struggled with. I kept coming up with designs that just didn't work.

Some of these designs got pretty far along before I aborted them. This Doctor was rejected for being too Nixonian/Bob Hope-y.

For the Angry Mob, I used the heads of a bunch of Confederate generals. That's some cutting-edge political satire, sticking it to John Bankhead Magruder!


Seven said...

Nicely done, Ursula. I was wondering what you were up to. Sorry that I'm just getting around to commenting - I've been crazy busy recently!

Mindi Flyth said...

As have I! Thanks for the kind words.