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"Red Sails" indie sci-fi anime pilot development thread
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Posted 2/10/14



Quick behind the scenes image of my workspace. For the past few weeks I've been cranking away on storyboards and an animatic so I've been careful to keep all my important reference close by. Having Miyazaki and Otomo's storyboards handy is definitely a bit more intimidating than inspiring but I got the job done and I'm happy with the results. Astute observers may notice a printed character lineup from the short. That is actually a stack of all the model sheets created for the project. I have to admit I got a little giddy when I finally had a stack of printed sheets like that. It makes the project feel more legit when you have printed materials you can hold in your hand. Animation is right around the corner!!

Stay tuned for more updates!
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Posted 2/12/14






Alright! After a long absence of updates I’m back with a little sneak peek. We’re starting a part of the production process called “layouts”. Coming from a CG background the concept of 2d layout is a bit foreign to me. Shironinja explained it to me as, “a blueprint for the shot, telling all the different departments what they need to handle.” So apparently the animation director and key animators would take the storyboards and then create these detailed images of each shot with all the necessary elements drawn for each dept. These layouts are distributed to the animators, camera operators, background artists etc… Since we’re doing a 3d - 2d hybrid production the process is probably going to be a little different, but above you can see the layout for shot 51. I’ve included the storyboards for the shot as well so you can see the evolution of the shot from boards to layout.

If you want to explore the idea of 2d layouts more, Lesean Thomas does a nice job of explaining them in his video “Seoul Sessions #5” which can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcQRp5JSDVo

Stay tuned! Animation is around the corner!!

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Posted 2/15/14


I was reading a Joss Whedon interview. In it he said this about his writing process, “let them eat cake”. Basically his philosophy is, instead of setting out in a linear fashion he indulges himself in the “dessert” of the story, the bits that he’s really excited about. I find myself really identifying with this philosophy. It really helps keep interesting what could be very boring repetitive work. I was giddy last night when I realized that I’m at the phase now where my job is to make awesome looking pictures. I hope they’re turning out sweet!

Also a quick note: the working title “Red Sails” has been changed to the actual title “Heavenly Escorts”.

Stay tuned!

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Posted 2/17/14
I hope you like Spaceships! Pew pew pew...sc033 layout:

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Posted 2/21/14
I decided to do some animation today! Sc031 rough:



Stay tuned!

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Posted 2/25/14
Ho, that's awesome!
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Posted 2/25/14

Lethargic_leopard_Seal wrote:

Ho, that's awesome!


Thanks man! I'm furiously working over here so hopefully I'll have more updates soon.

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Posted 3/15/14
Quick update today, 42 of 70 layouts complete...28 left to go!!

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Posted 3/17/14


"I got this"

[sc025_layout]

46 down…24 to go…

Stay Tuned!!

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Posted 3/17/14
Wow! Awesome job! I can't believe how quickly you can churn out such high quality work! Keep it up!!
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Posted 4/6/14
Animation production has officially started!

Here's the rough genga for sc037:



My posts are going to get more sporadic as I try to finish this thing...

Stay tuned!

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Posted 4/15/14 , edited 4/15/14
more animated goodness:



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Posted 4/16/14
So, once you scrounge together what seems to be a pilot wrought with kick-assery, you may want to consider presenting this to the boys at Frederator. If Bee and Puppycat got a pilot, maybe you could wrangle in a nice big production team- assuming you don't have one that is.
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Posted 4/16/14 , edited 4/16/14


Lethargic_leopard_Seal wrote:
So, once you scrounge together what seems to be a pilot wrought with kick-assery, you may want to consider presenting this to the boys at Frederator.


Historically the kinds of cartoons Fred puts out and the ones we want to make are at two completely different ends of the spectrum. I have other connections of that level from my time in the animation industry so I'm not completely dismissing the idea, don't worry...

Right now our goal for the studio is to create original independent content. The kind of content that we don't see widely represented here in the west. We love the fact that anime can create mature stories with great visuals and we'd like to mix that with a bit of western style storytelling to make animation that's a bit more accessible to a mature audience.


Lethargic_leopard_Seal wrote:
maybe you could wrangle in a nice big production team- assuming you don't have one that is.


As of right now I have done the majority of the physical labor on this project by myself. A buddy of mine just started helping with cg animation last weekend, and my wife has been instrumental in helping me make crucial decisions and gain perspective on all aspects of the production process.

I agree it would be great to have a nice big production team. Honestly, 5 skilled workers would make a huge difference. But right now we have no plans to continue this project to series. In the grand scheme of things this project will have served to sort out production pipeline issues and help us determine how to make animation more efficiently in the future. We already have a web series project planned to start production after this and I'm heavily considering using the pilot episode from that to pitch a kickstarter.

Needless to say, we're in this for the long haul...

Stay tuned!

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Posted 4/20/14
I check this thread every so often and I love the progress! I can't wait to see how it turns out!
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