And here are still other production backgrounds I illustrated for the Jack and the Beanstalk iOS interactive children’s book app.
Backgrounds aren’t the only things I reused to expedite the art for Jack and the Beanstalk. Illustrating the beanstalk took enough time to warrant creating it as an independent asset. By creating it large enough, I was able to resize it, cut it, edit it, and move it around to reuse more than once. I was able to change it enough that it never looked the same way twice. Maximizing assets like this will help speed you through time-sensitive projects.
Here’s another production background I used more than once for Jack and the Beanstalk. Since I had to show Jack run away from the giant’s castle a couple of times, I used the full production background in one instance, and I then tightened the shot a bit on the second time around.As you can see below, besides slightly tightening the shot, I also changed the clouds in this second shot. That’s because I didn’t feel the zoom-in was substantial enough to look different, so I thought something else should change. Those taller billowy clouds were prominent enough that their removal would give the sky a significantly different feel. I also added more clouds to the foreground and softened the overall shading of the clouds.
I also reused the background below by doing a night and day version.
One thing about doing backgrounds completely separate from any other elements is that I’m able to save time by using the same background more than once. In the image below, I used the same background as in the page above, but I zoomed into the shot so that we’re not looking at exactly the same thing. Using the backgrounds like this helped me to create more story pages.
Although we create interactive iOS applications and not animated films at Ayars Animation, I still have to illustrate completely separate production backgrounds for our apps. This is because the backgrounds might be reused at a different size, or with characters arranged differently on a different page. Moreover, because we have interactive or animated elements, the production background needs to be complete, with no empty spots. I could never take a chance that a part of the background will be revealed when a character or element moves, and so I have to treat these apps as if I’m creating an animated film. In fact, each element must often be a separately illustrated object, simply because it may need to be animated or part of an interaction. Here is a rough draft of a page from Jack and the Beanstalk, with the production background and the completed page below it. Illustrating an entire app like this all by oneself is a lot of work, but it’s fun. I’ll feature more of these throughout the week.