Hey folks! Hope everyone had a happy holiday. It's already March now, it's been about 3 months since I last blogged.
Not much to report on. We sort of lost a bit of our momentum over the break - other projects have been eating at our time. But the team has a new work schedule now, and the blog will be updated at on a bi-weekly basis (at least every other Thursday).
As we're still in the conceptualization stage of the production, I'd like to share with you some of the influences I'm drawing upon for the film. I'm doing a lot of experimenting right now with character design, and I'm turning to a variety of artists to get ideas for style and technique.
Last time I posted an influence blog, it was about Alice and Martin Provensen
This time I'm going to look at a comic book illustrator, Will Eisner.
You can always hit up wikipedia for more information on the guy. Here's a brief rundown: Will Eisner is one of the most acclaimed and influential comic book artists of all time. He started his career back in the 30s when the industry was in it's infancy. While other artists within the medium were still taking baby steps, Eisner made leaps in sequential comic storytelling. He's often called the Orson Welles of comic books because of the innovation, craft, and competency he brought to a juvenile art.
His most well known creation is The Spirit, a super-hero-ish book which you might have heard of recently because of the Sin City-esque film adaptation that came out recently. I heard the film was shit. I assure you, the comic is not.
I'm specifically looking at Eisner's work because I'm contemplating rendering the characters in Burp's Christmas with a similar, inky/sketchy finish. I love the character of Eisner's lines, especially when he draws buildings. He has a loose hatch that is lively but not sloppy. There is an energy to his illustrations that makes his still images come alive.
He is an economic illustrator. That's not to say he won't render objects with lush detail if the drawing calls for it - but he balances it out by suggesting background or unimportant objects with simple, sparse lines. His compositions are balanced expertly with his use of black and white space.
2D Computer animation is often vector based and sterile. There is a trend to render things extremely clean and crisp. I think this is a detrimental aesthetic for the medium. Computers are sterile things, and I think rendering Burp's Christmas in such a style will make the film seem too shiny and robotic. We're already at a warmth disadvantage because we're using After Effects, which I think is harder for humans to relate to than hand drawn animation. I think rendering the characters with such a flawed, human inking style such as Eisner's will give us a much more relatable film. It's warm and inviting. It's alive.