Thursday, October 14, 2010

Episode 006: Adios Amigos

This episode was a fun one to work on... lots of action as usual. Laser canons, lava inside a volcano.
Above: A few of the characters for this episode, designed by show creators Jorge Gutierrez, and Sandra Equihua.

In most t.v. shows, the character colors are usually final BEFORE the color script has even been started. Usually these colors are "locked"... because of production reasons. Meaning, you have to use the colors given you, and you can't change those colors. One of the biggest challenges in making a color script is getting the characters to read clearly on the backgrounds. This usually doesn't mean a single background, it usually means an entire sequence of backgrounds. Imagine designing a room for the lineup of girls above... each one of these characters has to read clearly. Sometimes as a compromise you have to design backgrounds that aren't so nice to look at color wise... just so that all the characters can read. Even with careful planning, I would sometimes miss a character, or a spot of action, and have to rework things a bit. It's a lot of work... but it's a nice challenge... and it's satisfying when you pull it off.

Episode 004: Boots! Sole of a Hero

Another super saturated, exciting adventure of El Tigre!

This episode had a lot of elements... so to make this easier for Jorge, and Roman, I gave a few variations of each scene. Which by this point in the production was sort of the standard way I was approaching the show. One of the disadvantages of not working in house was that that all of us couldn't look at the same computer monitor. The colors, and values, appear different on every screen. I found it easier to get approvals when I gave a range of things to pick from.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Episode 003: Claws of the Beast

Episode 003: Sometimes color design comes quickly... and often it takes several passes to get what the director and art director are looking for. In "Claws of the Beast" I didn't have that many keys to color, but it took time to get the the right feeling for each sequence. When working with color... it's easy to design a single shot... but things get more complicated when you have to make each shot work together with all the other shots in the story.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Pilot Color

After the initial board pitch, Nickelodeon approved a pilot episode.

Above: The first color pass on the "El Tigre" pilot episode. Just putting up a lot of swatches to get an overall feel for the color transitions from sequence to sequence. These were later adjusted after talks with Jorge, Roman, and Dave. But it was a good place to start.

I was experimenting with making the flashback sequences in super limited color... almost like a comic book. In the end it was decided to keep them black and white by Roman, Jorge, and Dave ... which I think made the sequences more interesting.

Above: Here we were still experimenting with the idea of "colorizing" sequences according to the character. For example here we were thinking of coloring Rudolpho's superhero sequences in blue... to make them stand out more. Ultimately the idea was dropped early.

Above: The "Money Madness" sequence. Manny and Frida steal from all the super villians... Jorge wanted this sequence to "Melt the eyes of the audience" with it's powerful color.

Above: The final showdown with "Sartana of the Dead"

Below: A few of my exploratory pencil sketches for some of the locations in the episode. Sketches like these are made after reading the script... then handed off to Jorge, Roman, and Dave, often ideas are worked back into the boards and location designs... and sometimes they lead to other things. But it's a fun part of the process.