Here you can see the full development of a scene.
We started thumbnailing the full project in a brainstorm, drawing very loosely and brainstorming ideas that would tell the story in the best possible way.
Once we are pleased with it, we test it in a first animatic pass, watching the timing carefully and how it flows. Seeing things in a video is the first test for seeing if a thumbnail idea works or not. If it does, timing in Flash is added.
When we have the scene timed in the animatic, we proceed with the layout. Drawing each shot very carefully, focusing in the perspective and mood that we want to express. In each shot, we try and push everything to the best of our abilities. Richard is the specialist in perpective and technical drawing; while I am more inclined to do characters. So every lineart drawing that you will see, is his fantastic craft.
Note that we had to do a design phase for Canterlot before entering the Layout stage, I will talk more about that in the next entry.
After reviewing the layout, it is time for color and here is when I take over and pick up the work, for I am the color key artsit for the project.
The first thing I do is the flat inks. Though this appears to be easy, there are a lot of things that I have to mind. One of them is to mix warm and cool colors, in order to avoid a monochromatic (only one hue) look. I also have to combine them properly to help the scene express the mood as best as it can, and of course, alter them to be believable at nighttime.
Whenever a show element appears, ,like the castle, I take the original inks and modify them following all those principles too.
After the colors, is shadow time!. In this project, one of the key ideas was to follow FIM style only partially; fleshing out the backgrounds a lot more , and using lights and hues to create an atmosphere. Most backgrounds have at least two sources of light.
Once the shades are done, it is time for "Da Magics of FX". Which means integrating everything in atmospheric perspective, reviewing the values (black and white) and adding extras such as stars, streetlights... etc.
And the final touch! Adding our dearest Lulu and determining her color key as well. Why this? Well, that is because our production does have lighting on the characters, and her tint and lights must be determined in advance.