July 22, 2009

Production Design: Farewell, Manga Squad Coloring

When 2A! worked on Farewell, Manga Squad for Sony Pictures Entertainment and Camp Chaos, we had lots of techniques to practice so we could get that Anime look. One of the most challenging, and fun, was the detailed color job on each of the characters.

One of the things that sets the Anime style apart from most American cartoons is the level of detail they use in their coloring. Normally we use two colors, a flat base color and a darker shadow color. However, Anime tends to have multiple shadow and highlight layers of color. While this adds to the detail of the piece, it also adds to the difficulty of the overall animation production.

Once the key frames were inked, I went through each one and laid in all of the outlines for the shadows and highlights (pictured above). Working on the key frames first is important to help keep things in focus. Next, I went through and in-betweened all of the outlines for the in-between drawings to make sure the shadows and highlights moved correctly with the character.

Above you can see a final ink and color of Rainbow, the girl on the left. The other character on the right, Rocket, is awaiting a full color job on his key drawing, where the shadows and highlights will be added. While this process was very intricate and time consuming, I really enjoyed myself while doing it. I'm hoping for the opportunity to do this again as it was really fun to flex my coloring muscles in a Japanese-type style. :)

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