Pre-Production Art Kickstart
With Daniel finishing up the character concept sheets (more will be featuring on our front page over the next few weeks), the time is coming to raise money for his "real" commission work, which is to turn those into design and model sheets we can use to model the characters in 3D and rig them for animation.
At the same time, I am proceeding through the design and development of the mechanical parts of the "Lunatics" universe -- the "Lunar Transportation System", the Moon colony itself, and other supporting vehicles and equipment. Of course, we're focusing first on what will appear in the pilot episode, "No Children In Space", and that will require a few special models, such as the Soyuz launch vehicle and the "cosmotrain" that brings it to the pad for launch. And the pad, of course.
I've already done quite a bit of this planning, but there's still a large collection of sketches, plans, and 3D models that I will be creating during this phase to finish up plans and correct inconsistencies.
Of course, we are going to be raising the money for this phase with a Kickstarter campaign. I'm still working out the picky details, but so far, this looks something like this:
- Finish design plan views and model face animation reference drawings for 16 characters -- our main 8 colonists, 4 supporting characters, 4 "generic" characters with mix-and-match features that we can use for modeling "extras". (Daniel Fu)
- Create the character line-up graphic (Daniel Fu) and a revised version of the "poster" image we use for marketing, based on this (Terry Hancock)
- Finish out the complete plans for the lunar colony itself and create the base 3D model of the whole set. Create a fly-through animation to test it out (Terry Hancock)
- Rig the "Lunar Transportation System" model and draw plans for the lander and transfer module interior sets (only have sketches right now). (Terry Hancock)
- Finish "Storyboard-quality" models of the Soyuz launch system: "cosmotrain", transporter-erector, launch pad and gantries, launch vehicle stages (and rigging), and the Soyuz orbiter (Terry Hancock).
- Finalize the script for "No Children In Space" (Rosalyn Hunter).
- Finish the storyboards for "No Children in Space" (Terry Hancock).
- Record the temporary voice track for the pilot "No Children in Space" and combine with the music (Terry Hancock, Rosalyn Hunter... and family).
- Cut together an initial "story reel" animatic for "No Children In Space" using these. (Terry Hancock)
- An art book including all of the pre-production art produced from concept to final drawings and 3D models (where available). This will also include the final script for "No Children in Space", a writer's guide to the character backgrounds, and probably some other extras.
- A disk (either a CD or DVD) containing electronic versions of all of the art, the Blender files for the 3D models, and the story reel animatic. Another possibility would be to put this on a custom flash drive, though that would cost a little more.
- Versions of these signed by Terry, Rosalyn, and Daniel.
- Prints of the marketing poster, vehicle design art, and colony set plans.
- Versions of the colony plan drawings signed and numbered by me (Terry Hancock)
- Original artwork sheets drawn and signed by Daniel Fu.
- Credits in the production book and/or on the data disk.
I'm still working that out. Daniel will get paid a minimum of about $1600 in advance for his commission (against a profit-share of future creator-endorsed merchandise sales). The rewards will obviously cost something to produce (basically, to be certain of having enough, I need to figure out what the breakdown would be if all support came from the lowest-margin item -- I'm still pricing the printing options). And there are some other overheads including Kickstarter itself.
Should we earn more than our minimum, we'll probably increase the scope of the project -- design additional characters or even commission some of the character modeling work, if there is enough.
And of course, no Kickstarter campaign is complete without a talking head asking you for your support. Ironically, this is proving to be the hardest part -- we're not a live-action production after all, and I'm a much better writer than speaker. But I'll manage.
I'm using a camera I purchased with the intent of using it for motion-capture and recording sound separately on our voice-recording rig -- synchronized the old-fashioned way, with a clapper. We'll see how well that works when you see me on screen...