For People Crazy About 2D Animation!

Acme Punched! is for people crazy about 2D animation. It may be enjoyed by beginners and others, but it is aimed at animators who know already something about the process of animation and the basics of character animation. In large part, it will attempt to provide a deep look into the problem solving that goes on in my head as I work out a scene, often in step-by-step posts that I will sometimes enter in "real time", without knowing in advance what the outcome will be. Mistakes and false starts will not only be included but emphasized, so that the creative process of animation will be portrayed realistically. And, while my own bias is for 2D drawn animation, many of the effects and principles discussed here can apply to CGI 3D animation as well. I hope the blog will prove useful and instructive for all.

-Jim Bradrick

Friday, February 28, 2014

No. 55, Setting the Color Palette

As I worked on this project of mine, I have tried a number of variations on character colors.  Now that I am ready to commit some scenes to digital ink and paint, the time has come to determine my final colors. 

At the same time, I have worked out the rendering style for my backgrounds.  Here is the result:

When choosing character colors, it is necessary to think not only of color but of value, getting good value contrast between adjacent color areas as much as possible.  Thus, the blue of the man's overalls and that of his shirt are not only different in hue but in value.  All of this makes the images read more clearly, just as good poses and silhouettes make things easier to read.

Here is a black and white rendering of the same shot:

This is a good way to prove out the readability of a chosen palette.  You will notice that in the lower left foreground, the grass stems are very close in value to that of the path, but the area is not a critical one and creates no confusion to the viewer.

Detail of the background.
The background style I have kept simple and graphic, with simple gradients or flat color as fills, no silhouette outlines on objects, and linear detail used sparingly and only inside objects, as shown here in the bits of grass and in the roof and wall textures on the house.

For some scenes I will need a night-time palette, but that will be worked out later.

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