And he modeled all the teapots and creamers and cups and what not maybe we could save time and make the 3D look like the 2D. The result were pants.
It was 2004 and if cel shaders were around then (which they probably were) I didn’t know about them. I returned to old school and started drawing (on paper scanned in) and painting in photoshop.
It took ages and the results were okay but nothing special given the effort. Over the years I have come to realize that I am willing to put in the effort but only if the results warrant it. I used to just attack things without much forethought and then after the sweat had crystallized I would sit back and look at the outcome and go meh. This was another one of those moments where I knew the route I started was a dead end. Hand painting like this was not only time consuming it would be an impossible task to ‘farm out’ as consistency would be too difficult to manage.
Years later when I returned to Creamers – software had improved, I had let go of my Touch of Evil opening shot and I hooked up with a new 3D guy Dave Delisle who was able to model Ester and Joy’s workspace plus a perfect creamer incredibly quickly and accurately. We then created a flat simple texture for the painted creamer and rendered the environment with a few lights and a toon shader…hmmm maybe….
Using the method of stencil painting I had been working with in TV Paint for the characters I was hopeful I could use the Maya line and tone export as paint stencils. I wouldn’t have to draw all those creamers- I would only have to run big brush over my stencil and it should match the ‘look’. Even more importantly it would be simple and easy to teach. I did a test drive before I got too excited and Dave created this
Using my photoshop mask technique for my line I grunged it up and got this
Then we started our production line of backgrounds and creamer variations. Dave was given a reference drawing that also showed light sources and how many creamers were on the shelf and what the pattern was (if any) – continuity has been a bit of a unexpected nightmare on this film. Are they dots are they circles? yaddayaddayadda
And he would give me an unpainted creamer and a painted creamer version of the layout
In a manageable amount of time…well relatively manageable in animation terms not any sane person’s terms.