February 22, 2008 by Tim

Pricing for the second season of the animated series goes up to $24.99 tomorrow, so if you sign up today you can save yourself a few bucks, and all that good stuff. Also, subscribers get the season DVD at half price at the end of the season.

I’ve talked a bit about all of the changes we’ve made to the process to improve the overall quality of the animated series, but today I thought I’d show you what that process looks like a little bit.

One of the biggest improvements is that I now get to see the scenes in every stage, as they are being produced. At the end of each day I review the new dailies, and this allows me to see the scenes as roughs, clean lineart, and colors, so that I can make changes immediately, before too much work has been invested in something that’s wrong.

This is a huge benefit with the art, because these animators have to emulate an artstyle that I’ve been doing for over five years now. Seeing each scene in the rough stages allows me to catch things, and show them the way I would draw a particular pose or whatnot. Here’s an actual example of what some of those changes look like.

First I take a screen cap of a scene, or parts of a scene during the rough stage (which is basically an animated sketch) where I want some changes made.

I drop the opacity down, and then draw on a layer directly over the screen capture what changes I want made. This lets the animators see what I’m talking about, and even use the lineart as a guide for the changes.

So when the animation team moves onto the clean line stage and then the colors, we end up with artwork that not only more closely resembles something drawn by me, but helps the animation team learn my artstyle in general.

I have to admit, I have been very impressed with the progress I’ve seen, even just over the course of the first episode. I am very pleased with the improvements this season will bring to the animated series, and I hope that you guys enjoy it and notice the improvements as well.

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