The concept was birthed out of the love for space + adventures + little robots + stacked odds. Using this as the catalyst for the project, I incorporated equally loved hard-edge black and white art from early arcade games with limited color data, and graphic novels using similar stark styles. I felt space was a good fit - known for it's one-source lighting and it's infinite star-peppered atmosphere. After getting the theme nailed down, the story and pacing came from finding the right music with a building, progressive feeling/element to it (not necessarily used in the final piece). The music helped solidify a series of scenarios or ideas I had for the piece, whether that be goals, pacing, tempo, angles, or flow. Then I further developed the story by sequencing shots, making sure they cut with each other, through shot lists and story boards.
One of the biggest challenges during the production stage was figuring out and creating shaders that could be easily defined by one-source lighting, against pure black, and retain a graphically hard-edge style. Making a clear outline between objects and edges was key. From the beginning I knew I didn't want to rely on dedicated Cel Shaders - I wanted to try something different and unique. Through layer shaders I blended between high-contrast fresnels, various noise shaders, and real world textures using layer masks stacked on top of each other. This allowed me to give the shading a more custom look.
The next biggest challenge was creating a "clown car" effect for the small droid character. The mass of the the giant canon, or BFG, was way too large to fit into such a small machine, so it was a challenge to figure out how exactly it would telescope from it's body.
In order to get the edit locked down, I rendered each shot out as a hardware preview, then stitched them together until I had a solid cut. This helped nail down each shot's frame range, reducing the project's render time. After completing the scenes from beginning to end, ingesting them into the master edit, and approving the pace, I rendered the files at full res in a queue. I then replaced the previews with the full renders and finally completed the composite on each shot.
This is the final render and edit. A big thanks to JM Cifonie for incredible sound design direction.