Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A little Background info on Manny and Khan (part 1 of 3)

In these next three posts I will attempt to go through our experience creating the look and feel of Manny and Khan's world.

We had a little less then three weeks to establish a style in the rough drawing phase. Not to mention create the 40 or so rough layouts that we would send to Bigstar for reference. So we turned to "dream-boat" designer Chris Tsiriotis.

We meet with Chris and showed him some concept drawings that we had done and the final rough drawings of our characters.

We talked about shows and styles that we liked.

We wanted to create a forest that felt dense without having to fill the entire screen with trees. We also wanted it to stay true to the natural organic way a forest grows but still feel cartoony, that way Manny and Khan looked liked they belonged. Our plan was to create a sort of vignette style with lots of negative space that would eventually be filled with a base color that would carry through all the scenes. We also wanted the drawings to feel very loose. We didn't want to hide the fact that it was drawn by hand, we wanted to celebrate it. We also wanted Manny and Khan's tree to look as if a meteor had smashed through it, leaving a giant chunk missing.

Below are just three of many drawings that Chris did after our first meeting

After seeing his first pass we went through and discussed what we liked and didn't like in all the drawings. Josh and I naturally gravitated toward the middle drawing above because it was so loose and rough. We asked him to explore that drawing some more and he came back a few hours later with the drawing below.

It was so close to the rough, hand-drawn, vignette we were going for. All it needed was a little variety in the types of trees, some perspective to add depth, and a little more of the roughness that he captured in the original pass. We talked some more and then Chris came back with the drawing below.

And the style of Manny and Khan was born.

check back soon for part II - painting the BG's with Tim Barnes...

And thanks again to all the amazing people at Toonzone, you're Awesome!!


Racattack Force said...

You guys were only given three weeks to figure out the style for your cartoon? Sounds hard. I love how the backgrounds eventually evolved into something with a realistic/cartoony feel. Watching the short, the backgrounds looked like they came out of Little Golden Books. Really warm and inviting, allowing me to open up to the characters. You two succeeded in making sure they weren't out of place.

Brubaker said...

Enjoyed reading this. Looking forward for more!

Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm one of those people at Toonzone! Yipeee!

This is really nice stuff, Josh. Above all the things I loved about Manny & Khan, I have to say the backgrounds pop up first in my mind. The colors were so vivid and the style so appealing. Even if the short wasn't as funny as it was, I would've been entertained by simply looking at the marvelous design of the short that you guys came up with. A spectacle at the least.