Colour me Happy

Sketches are nice enough, but add a dash of colour and, boom! They come to life.

A Different Approach

In the Bullet Animation, I rendered all of my sketches in Inkscape to vectors. This made them look flat, however I noticed that when I added the colour regions and overlaid that on the original sketch, it looked kind of like a watercolour.

I responded to that.

So this time I thought about doing things a wee bit differently. Getting into Gimp, I added the photographs of my sketches and cleaned the up the best I could, desaturating them, upping the contrast, adjusting the levels.

Then, adding a Layer (Layers are super) I created and coloured in my regions. I ended up with flat colours. OK, OK, nothing too different yet, may as well have done them in Inkscape, but, whatever, bear with.

Adding Layers makes the process a lot safer and easier
Adding Layers makes the process a lot safer and easier

I then added another layer, and another. One for shadows, one for shines. I bundled these into a Layer Group (Only learnt about these recently. They help a LOT). Now, with the aid of Gimp’s tools, I could shade in the various regions, quickly adding some dimension to the colour which, in turn, added life to the sketches!

The Results

And they’ve come up nice. Of course, they aren’t vectors, so that means I can’t animate them as I’d like. I guess I could pass them through Inkscape if I wanted to but I don’t think I want to. I’m still deciding whether I want to go down the sprites path, or down the stills path.

Transition for Master Pietro - Colour, Shading, Blend
Transition for Master Pietro – Colour, Shading, Blend

That’s Master Pietro. Here’s Brother Holland:

Brother Holland, drained of blood, eyes staring at the roof.
Brother Holland, drained of blood, eyes staring at the roof.

And Master Penelope. I toyed with a mustard suit, but purple seems to suit.:

Transition from sketch, colour, shade and shine, and blend
Transition from sketch, colour, shade and shine, and blend

Darn it, the print is showing through. I’m going to have to filter it out somehow… *sigh*.

Anyway, as I sketch and colour in more, I’ll post them for y’all.Mini Jeztyr Logo

Some Sketches

Even with my plan in place, I’m not entirely sure how this is all going to fit together. What I do know is that I can’t sit around umming and ahhing to the point where nothing is done.

That’s a philosophy of mine: When stalled, do something. That something might be thrown out later, but at least there’s something to throw out AND more often than not, whatever you’ve got has got a chance of being exactly what you need.

Waddya got?

So I looked through my pile of ‘Things that I’d like to show in the animation’ and picked out ones that formulated a scene in my head.

Master Pietro, with his wonky nose, strong jaw and weathered appearance

The first is Brother Holland and Master Pietro. I’ve got a half-idea of Master Pietro discovering the murder, and a close-up of Brother Holland’s blood-drained body. Master Pietro will be aged, weathered, gnarled. That won’t be too hard. Brother Holland, however, will pose an issue.

It’s one thing to draw a face, another thing to draw a face in recline, and yet another altogether to draw one that has had all of the blood siphoned out of it.

My first few attempts looked too healthy, too plump and firm. Kind of like a movie where they slap a bit of tomato sauce on the hero to show that he’s been beaten up, yet you can see he’s still fighting fit and feeling well. Hmm.

Brother Holland, emaciated, blood drained, face sunken, lips drawn and eyes skyward.

I then trawled the internet for examples of mummified or desiccated corpses. OK, that wasn’t fun, and the example were too dehydrated. It went in the opposite direction. So I mixed a bit of both and ended up with something that might pass as Brother Holland, staring at the ceiling with his lips drawn back over his teeth.

Last one my list of must haves is Miss Penelope. She’s not someone you see the back of. Nor her profile. She is always looking your way, watching, observing.

Master PenelopeSkewSmall
Miss Penelope, crisp, sharp suit, glasses, hair pulled back.

Now, Miss Penelope does a lot of talking, but no one wants to see a head yapping away, so I’m thinking I might include the head shot in some kind of introductory way, perhaps as a contextual piece or to juxtapose the various ‘action’ oriented scenes.

One thing you’ll notice is that there is print on the back of the images. This is a mistake of mine: To save paper, I used an old proof of Hampton Court Ghost and drew on the back.

Now those letters are coming through on the front. I’m concerned that, with the paleness of the pencil, upping the contrast to get some lines will also include artefacts from the print. I’ve run into that problem before and I’ve found that re-taking the photo with a black piece of paper behind the image works well enough, but we’ll see.

In any case, these are the first of many that (fingers crossed) will give me enough material to work with.Mini Jeztyr Logo