Archive for the ‘Fictory Production Blog’ Category


Friday, February 5th, 2010

When we started this short we all knew Helsingard would make an apearance. Scott and Brian had pointed out that whenever Helsie appeared in the pages of Robo he had a different configuration, so we should feel free to design our own for this short.¬† Awesome…right? We all took shots at designing a Helsie for this short. Now the tricky part with animation is providing “interesting” character design that isn’t overly detailed. We argued and redrew but ultimately none of us was 100% happy with what we came up with.

We recently added another production artist to our ranks, a Mister Steve Becker. Steve is a cat I’ve known since we both attended the hallowed halls of Pennsylvania College of Art and Design. His first job was to design us a kick ass Helsingard. He took it and ran wild¬† generating a LOT of art for us to pick and choose the best bits. I’ve included a few pieces for you guys along with a good shot of what Helsingard’s main design will look like. It’s still a work in progress so stay tuned for the final full color design with a complete turn around

-Jeff McComsey

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Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Hey all, Dominic Vivona, production director here for this installment of The Atomic Robo blog.

This blog will deal with a little bit of concept work and also a thing we like to call, “Meta Keys”. After the script had been written and before we went to the storyboards/animatic, I talked with our director to see what he thought about doing a pre-visualization to the pre-visualization. A sort of overview of the entire short to give us a very loose working visual guide before we had each scene broken down into storyboards. We found these “Meta Keys” a lot of fun and very useful as we could eliminate and keep panels before launching into the more detailed storyboards. Since the last few blogs have dealt with character concept and storyboards, the images that we will show here will deal with the same subject matter plus an additional peak for all of you who might be chomping at the bit to see more of our vision of the animated Atomic Robo.

Don’t mind the censored panels on the Meta Keys. Our intrepid director will free up what we all can see as the animation keeps truckin’ on to ultimate Robo animated glory. Cheers!

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Monday, February 1st, 2010

Laying out Helsingard piece by piece

Stephen working on Shot 09

Another fantastic production day here at the Fictory! This week we ironed out some kinks with our Helsingard model (yes, Helsingard’s in the short). Adapting Scott and Brian’s creations for animation can prove tricky at times. Any animator will tell you things that work on the page don’t necessarily work on the screen. But our boy Steve Becker is lending his pencil to insure that we’re solid. Look forward to a production still from the animation next week. Jeff has a killer background I composited with one of Dominic’s frames I’m dying to show the world!

This week I managed to nail down the issue of Robo’s glowing eyes. I won’t bore you with the technical details, but my solution actually involved the same technology used in Green Screening. All I’m going to say is it works great and, the Foundry is to thank. Only the most die hard vfx nerds out there will know what I’m talking about. Anyway, we’ve got some great blog posts coming at ya this week, so be sure to check back in.

– Joseph

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Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

One of the great pleasures, and frustrations, of character design is the process. For this project, we had the privilege of already having half of our work cut out for us. Series artist on Atomic Robo, Scott Wegener, has created a character design that is instantly ready for animation. Still, whenever you attempt to bring a character to life through traditional animation, the team must have a fully realized and comprehensibly understood character model. Even with the beautifully iconic and streamlined Robo illustrated for us through two graphic novels, we had to come to a place where the scale, mass and the angles of every aspect of Robo were understood. This turned out to be a fun process but much longer than we originally thought.

In my own expirience with comic illustration, I never realized how much I have the tendency to go “off model” to enhance and stylize a character in any given panel to emphasize the action that is going on in the page. When reading a comic book, the reader fills in the action between panels allowing the artist to take more risks or leaps of faith with the understanding that the reader will take his cue and mentally “see” what is never actually drawn. With animation the same effects can be achieved but there is a narrower margin for error. With this in mind the team needs a solid charcter model that can always be referenced before altering any shot to achieve a desired effect.

Overall, The process was a blast and we came up with an Atomic Robo that we believe will be true to Scott’s vision.

Included in this post are a few samples of the evolution of Atomic Robo from sketchbook to character model sheet, to the finished color pass. Cheers!

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Monday, January 25th, 2010

Hey Gang, Jeff McComsey here! It looks like I’m the first poster to our brand new Atomic Robo production blog. This time around The Fictory has about six artist working on Atomic Robo. With an undertaking like this we all wear many hats. For instance during pre-production I focus on story boards and then I transition to background design once production starts. Here’s a few of the boards I produced for the animatic. I’ll be posting some process stuff later on showing how we take a storyboard to the finish scene. Stay tuned True believers we got a ton of art we’ll be posting in the coming weeks!

Thanks for looking!

Atomic Robo Storyboards

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