Doing all these drawings for this video is really teaching me a lesson in patience. The show is about 50% hand drawn illustrations and animation… My process goes like this:
- I sketch out the drawing in pencil, usually on the back of a print-out to save paper.
- I’ll go over the sketch on a piece of tracing paper with these nice office pens… Staples OptiFlow. They work great but they take a while to dry on the tracing paper. (this is whats teaching me patience)
- I’ll scan the drawing into Photoshop as a 300dpi grayscale image – then “select all” (cmd-A) and float that to a new layer (cmd-shift-j). Using the magic wand, I’ll select the white of the new layer and then delete the selection. Finally, I’ll set the layer mode to Multiply, which hides white edges. Now I duplicate that lineart layer to darken the lines, then merge the 2 lineart layers (select both layers, cmd-E)
For colored illustrations, I’ll create a new layer underneath the lineart layer, change the color mode to RGB (don’t merge layers), and then use that new layer to apply color to.
Once the drawing is done, since it’s big (300 dpi) then I’ll copy the image into a widescreen screenshot of the video screen which I use as a template. The background layer is set to the bg color of the video, it has “action safe” and “title safe” guidelines on it, and it’s the correct proportions (1280 x 720).
That image makes it easy to either give it to my director who puts everything together in Final Cut Pro, or I can load that PSD into After Effects if I’m animating the sequence myself.