Friday, July 30, 2010

How them Switchez were Hit (more How To stuff!)

Well kids, it's learnin' time again! Some of you have mentioned that you really like seeing the process of how I do these ghettomations. I thought I'd give you another glimpse behind the velvet curtain of the ghettomation empire. Really nothing that new, just thought I'd share some of my sketchbook and storyboards with you. Here goes:

As you can see above, all of the elements were drawn in one of my handy sketchbooks. Much of the line art is broken up into torsos missing limbs. If you see an arm lying on the floor, that's because I'll use that arm for the character on a separate layer. I tend to try and use as much real estate in my sketchbooks as possible. I go in with Photoshop and select each piece and put it all together in one jpg, for a final finished product.

For example, the girl ("hot chick") in the upper right corner, she was dawn full body with a head. I drew an alternate body (for dancing) and just reattached her head to that body (copy/paste). It's a bit mad scientist and a little Dr. Frankenstien, but it works. I've come to call this method my "Freakdaddy method", because Freakdaddy was the first cartoon where I started reusing artwork like this.

The opening titles for Hittin Switchez were also hand drawn. Some of the backgrounds in the final product were actually drawn with a mouse in Photoshop. Mainly for backgrounds that are moving while they drive. I blur them out heavily. It saves time doing them digitally. I really enjoy drawing in my sketchbook, otherwise I might consider going all digital. I've done that on some of my early cartoons (Prison Love, Chicken n Cigarettes, Fresh Meat). I prefer old school ink and paper, though. Caveman style rules!

Above are the storyboards I did for Hittin Switchez. They were done on a regular post it note. I drew them tiny. This cartoon was one of the first cartoons that I can remember actually sticking shot for shot to the storyboards. Usually I wander and cut or add shots like crazy. For some of the cartoons, I didn't even use a storyboard or thumbnails. I just made them up as I went along....commando style. Oh yes, I live dangerously.

Watch the cartoon above and see if you can match the shots from the final to the storyboards. Its hours of fun for the whole family. Hope you enjoyed this peek inside my mind. Comments are welcomed! Enjoy!


Mike Garvey said...

Hey Jim, great stuff! Once you've colored the drawings in Photoshop, do you then bring pngs into Flash to animate? I'm also wondering how long you spend coming up with the story, and visualizing it in your head, before you start storyboarding?

Jim Lujan said...

Hi Mike,

I occasionally use PNGs for my main characters on top of a jpg background. UP IN MY GRILL was entirely done like that. Mostly, I'll just save each jpg as it's own shot, naming them something like hittinswitchez_01A and 01B and such. Each jpg is a different movement captured, differentiated by the end letter. Andrew Miller over at also does that. He uses tons of jpgs. I only use a maximum of about 15-18 if its an advanced shot. The car bouncing was only 2 jpgs back and forth.

Story- That's the quick part. I come up with them and sometimes jot them down. Switchez was about 2 yrs old. Really basic plotlines. The humor is in the details. HOW you end up getting to the conclusion. I usually come up with the beginning and the end first, then fill in the middle. It's really only a matter of a couple of minutes in my head before I document the idea in some form (unless I keep it in my head for years). I flesh it out from there.

Hope that helps!

o f l o d a said...

Hi Jim! This is some really amazing stuff. Thanks so much for sharing.

Jim Lujan said...

Thanks for viewing! I have to remember that people are interested in this stuff.

Sherm said...

Wow, Jim -- I do a lot of boarding on Post-It notes, but you're the only person I've ever seen who storyboarded an ENTIRE cartoon on ONE Post-It! Now THAT's HardCore!

gonzalexx said...

Awesome sharing process, Jim!
This is a treat!
You did not tell us what you do to get creative (at the story stage). You know, the mood, the post-it note color, your aromatherapy or incense, your affirmation, that sort of thing.
Do you say Om a lot?
You know I'm nuts about process stuff, especially THIS process stuff. Thanks so much.
Keep kicking butt!

Jim Lujan said...

I'll talk about where the ideas come from in another post.....sooooo many ways. Fun stuff.