Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Branching Out ::

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Ready for something totally new from the Fictory?? The studio is in production on their very first puppet based productin!  Better’n Recess front man Hoagy Wing contacted the Fictory to help create a video concept for their song ‘Pi is a Transcendental Number.’  You might know Hoagy as a long time member of the band Slo Mo, a Philly favorite.  This side project of his is semi-education and 100% awesome!

As the song explores the mathematical concept of Pi, muppet style puppets will journey through the trippy, circular themed set.  Construction has already begun on the scenery, which consists of several experimental moving parts.  Fictory animators and artist are busy creating the puppets.   This is the Fictory’s first chance to work with puppetry as a medium, and an exciting challenge for the studio!

Our sneak preview this week is a few early design sketches of the moving set.  Check them out and get excited for this musing, mystical music video…

Comment on this post and be entered to win a sweet prize next week!

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Posted in Education, Fictory Production Blog, Pi, Press/News, Second Fiction | No Comments »

How To Make a 2D Background ::

Monday, August 13th, 2012

With only a few exceptions, the majority of Atomic Robo: Last Stop is old school, hand drawn 2D animation. Even though we use computers to draw, paint, and animate, we are still using a fairly traditional workflow to make our short.

This week we’re gonna look at  making one of the backgrounds to a shot, from start to finish.

We start off with a storyboard of a shot. The storyboard gives a rough idea of where the camera is and where everything is positioned in the frame. In this case, we are looking down at a traincar.
A background artist interprets this into a quick sketch.

Once the sketch gets approved…

The artist cranks out a more finalized digital painting.

The main traincar is actually a separate element. Notice only the exposed portion of the floor is painted out.

Out of the 150 or so shots in the 12 minute short, only a few of them have similar backgrounds that can be reused in more than one shot.  We’re talking over a hundred unique paintings before we’re done with Atomic Robo!

Posted in Atomic Robo: Last Stop, Education, Fictory Comics, Fictory Production Blog, Kickstarter, Press/News | No Comments »

Otakon Day One ::

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

What happens when you get a bunch of animators at a Convention table with nothing to do but talk to fans and doodle? You get a lot of strange drawings. Check out the above. We had a lot of fun making Helsie and Robo do some rather out of character stuff… wait… get you mind out of the gutter.

Look out for us at Otakon all weekend!

Posted in Atomic Robo: Last Stop, Education, Fictory Comics, Fictory Production Blog, Kickstarter, Press/News | 1 Comment »

Old Robo vs. New Robo ::

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

As with the first round of Robo, we always want our models to match the art of Scott Wegener as closely as possible. Since graphic-novel-Robo has evolved in his design since we first started, our model sheets had to be freshened up a little before we got to work.

Here’s how we had Robo before…

(Robo 1.0)

…and below, the updated version. Still Sexy, with just a touch more of that new Robo charm. We poured through all six (to date) graphic novels and found that  volume 4 (Atomic Robo and Other Srtangeness) and Volume 6 (the Ghost of Station X) were the most apropos.

(Robo 2.0)

If you don’t know already, model sheets are a very important step in producing a 2D animation! They keep the characters consistent, which is especially good for when multiple animators are collaborating  on a project.

Til next time!

Posted in Atomic Robo: Last Stop, Education, Fictory Production Blog, Kickstarter, Press/News | 1 Comment »

Robo 2.0 ::

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

(working hard at The Fictory)

Initially when we decided to take a shot at a kickstarter for Robo we had modest expectations. We thought that we could secure enough funds for us to put in a few weeks and stitch up what we had in the production pipeline and at the least “finish” what we had. The original $12,000 was meant to bring in the principles for the a short sprint to bring the production to some type of ending.

(Robo’s model sheet)

By the time the Kickstarter had wrapped on April 12th  at $72,941 we had learned a few things. The first thing that became very clear was that Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener have a fantastic fanbase with Robo. They gained this fanbase the hard way, which to say they earned it by putting out kick ass content that people like to read on a regular basis. That fanbase turned out like gangbusters in support of ATOMIC ROBO: LAST STOP. Within 36 hours of launching the campaign, ATOMIC ROBO: LAST STOP was funded by  over 300% at $36,890. By the end of the 45th day campaign we had accumulated $72,941 in pledges. The second thing we learned is that we had drastically underestimated how many folks wanted to see this project finished.

(details on Robo’s head and hands)

After the campaign wrapped we got done freaking out, getting drunk and patting ourselves on the back we had a decision to make regarding the production. We now had a few options.

1.  We could just pay ourselves more for the work we were going to do. We’d just finish what we started.

2. We could make what we had longer. We’d  take what was going to be an animated short and add a few minutes on the end.

3. We could harvest what was working from the initial short and basically start from scratch. We could block out a few months and do a number on this short like we had always wanted to do.

(modelling Helsingard)

The decision was unanimous.
We would turn what was an unruly project that we did in our free time into a well oiled production and make a 12 minute short that properly displayed what The Fictory’s capablities are in 2012. The whole staff was a year and a half nastier then the last time we worked on Robo.

(a few storyboards)

In short, we got better and ATOMIC ROBO: LAST STOP will be a reflection of that.

(Robo, looking cool)

Posted in Atomic Robo: Last Stop, Education, Fictory Comics, Fictory Production Blog, Kickstarter, Press/News | 5 Comments »