Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Scene 2 Storyboards and Update

Caravan: Scene 2 Forest EXT

To think Caravan, at one point, was just a fleeting idea in my head, let alone a couple of pages worth of storyboards in my sketchbook. Now, it's a fully rough-animated film, halfway on its way towards life in technicolor. I was thoroughly entertained to find this scan of one of my pages of boards filed away in a very random location on my computer, and thought I'd share. Mia meets Kelsey, from scene 2 of the film.

At the moment, I'm one week into the two week break I have has scheduled for rest and re-compiling of thoughts/sanity/personal health, fresh after Graduation from CCS. At the end of those two weeks, I'll pick right back where I left off with the film, smack in the middle of clean-up and coloring process. I look forward to that. Until then, I'll stick with my gardening, camping, freelance and personal art projects, a couple of which you can follow over at my art blog, if you'd like.

Also, because I love it so, here's one of the latest tunes fueling my Caravan inspiration: "White Summer/Black Mountain Side" by Led Zeppelin. I can just imagine the entire convoy trekking up a country back-road to this somewhere, pitching camp one late summer evening... little miss Mia in tow, of course. Love it.

Led Zeppelin - White Summer/Black Mountain Side .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine

See you in a week, Caravan!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Roadside Rest - Final

After the Tale: Roadside Rest

I'm absolutely thrilled with how this image came out! It was a blast to work on, and I'm looking forward to creating more Caravan-themed artwork along this vein soon. A lovely print of "Roadside Rest" along with the original line artwork from my sketchbook have been framed and matted in a lovely composition, and will be available for sale at the 2010 Student Exhibition at the College for Creative Studies on May 14th.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Roadside Rest (Flat Colors)

I've gotten a little attached to the lineless vector-like flat colors for this image (Which I've given the impromptu title of 'Roadside Rest') So I thought I'd share. I'm really enjoying the pallet to the image so far - it continues the fall colors at the end of the Caravan short, as it's within probably two weeks of that point in the story, but the tones will be slightly cooler and slightly calmer than the intense tones seen in those mid-day scenes - this scene will take place at dusk.

On to textures! :D


"Mel-Style" Caravan

Kelsey, Mia and the fuzzies (Hoobler the mutt and Icklefitz the cat) resting beneath the shade of a young oak in one of the first campsites the Travelers inhabit after the events taking place in the film.

One of the more interesting aspects of working on Caravan has been the fact that I, from the start, chose to design the characters in a far more graphical, simplified, "cartoony" manner then I typically draw when designing characters of a more illustrative basis. Keeping the characters more graphical in appearance certainly has aided in allowing me to animate faster, in the end (especially where clean up is concerned!) so the decision ended up being a smart move. However, it has also very frequently left me craving drawing the cast more in my regular day-to-day style of drawing - after all, my usual style is how I actually see the characters in my head, not the simplified style you see in the final film. Strange, perhaps, I know, but that's just the long and short of it.

For fun, here and there when I find the time and am able, I thought I'd start drawing the whole film's cast in my usual more comic-style of drawing. There are hints of the film's graphic 'toon style throughout the character designs, but at the same time, I think the differences are evident, and both fun and interesting to see (Check my original character line-up sheets for easy comparison.)

I'll be coloring the image above throughout the night, and if I get the chance, will throw up some process work from it here and there. :)


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Caravan Official Trailer (Updated!)

Caravan Official Trailer (Updated!) from Mel Miller on Vimeo.

Caravan's first official trailer, (Now with two new shots!) compiled both for the CCS 2010 Senior Show, and for use by the Stratton Foundation, who was recently kind enough to award the film and myself a generous scholarship. A film (Concept, Animation, Backgrounds and Color) by Mel Miller. Compositing by Niles Bontrager. Music by Larry Larson.

New shots include Mia and Kelsey dancing by the campfire and Charlie debating whether or not to cold clock Ethan... a hard decision indeed.


Thursday, May 6, 2010


So, I spent the better part of my day deconstructing my work space in Senior Studio, cutting and hole-punching three reams of paper and loading the entire lot of into my car. Tomorrow, I'll be clearing my locker out of all of my Caravan animation and hauling it home as well. Somehow, I think I should be more tore up about having to vacate the work place I've been holed up in for so many months - that would be the typical reaction, I guess - but as with so many transitions in my life (and there have been a plethora) I find myself looking at it quite evenly as just another step, and focusing more on how I'm going to make the next phase of things work - How I'll be able to produce the rest of this film from home, store and sort the metric ton of animation and paper, and have a feasible work space in general back at the house (though granted, I'm blessed to live with three other animators, so I'm certain we'll make it work) - as opposed to how things are changing - i.e., the sudden lack of Senior Studio and the lovely people in it.

I guess I relate rather well to the Travelers in Caravan in that manner. I've gotten almost too used to being able to drop things and places at the drop of a hat, and look immediately look upon the next place as home instead - little to no emotional transition between them, because the constant change is just the way things are. Life's a trip like that.

Though at least this time around I can say I will genuinely miss the people involved - classmates and professors alike. I adore every one of them, and there isn't a single person involved who hasn't left an indelible impact on me in one fashion or another. I owe them a lot for that.

I'll update more again soon - the Senior Show and graduation are next week and I, blessedly, have been given honored with the spot of runner-up to Senior Select this year, which is completely and totally awesome. (Means a huge show space! Whoohoo! Thank you, Professors!) For now, here's a few of the last work photos I took in Senior Studio, on the tail end of Finals all-nighters.


Monday, May 3, 2010

I kill trees for fun.

Caravan, so far.
More again, after I've slept ;)