If the title of this post was a spoiler, THAT'S YOUR OWN FAULT!! The short has been out for over a month, free online! SO DEAL WITH IT! I HAD TO LIVE WITH THAT SECRET FOR OVER A YEAR!!!
This post is long overdue. I kinda just wanted to talk about my involvement on Double Rainboom - how I got into it, what I did, yadda yadda.
My story starts in early 2012. I found myself volunteering with Zach Rich, (better known as *FlamingoRich
) teaching drawing to elementary students once a week. It wasn't hard to figure out he was a Brony - he taught flash workshops by showing off Present Prank and Ballad of Mecha Pinkie Pie, for example. And it was always clear he was dedicated to his craft, and had a determination like no one else I've ever seen at SCAD. It was pretty inspiring, really.
During our drives from the animation building to the elementary school and back, he told us about this idea he was tossing around about making a longer MLP short. He was writing a script and he was looking at doing it for a SCAD class. They made him get permission and he got it. And he told us it would be a crossover, with Powerpuff Girls.
Now, see, at this point, I hadn't seen so much as two seconds of My Little Pony. I knew about it, and knew the animation was great and the story was great, just didn't have much interest in watching the show myself. But Powerpuff Girls....
I can't say for certain that if Powerpuff Girls hadn't been involved, I wouldn't have been a part of Double Rainboom. It was a big drawing factor, but I also saw a great opportunity in all of this. At this point, I wasn't familiar with Flash, I didn't know how to animate, or storyboard, or draw the ponies, or anything. But I wanted to be a part of this project, to learn how to make a film, to network with tons of amazing animators. I sat in on the earliest storyboarding meetings, over spring break in March 2011. One of them, Alex Blair, looked at me on the bed with my sketchbook and was like "And you are...." and I was just like "Pretend I'm the intern. I'm just observing."
Over the next few months I took it upon myself to learn the Powerpuff Girls style, along with Flash. By the end of Spring Quarter, Zach had approached me to be the lead background artist for Powerpuff Girls.
That's right you guys. I was background supervisor for Powerpuff Girls for a FULL YEAR! AND I COULDN'T TELL ANYONE! I was under a nondisclosure agreement. Zach could've sued me if I'd spilled! Keeping such secrets is SO HARD YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW!!
In the three weeks between Spring and Summer quarter, I spent 8 to 12 hours a day many days a week at Zach's house, helping him with storyboards and animatics. I was the one who put in a ton of the fight scenes between the monster and the PPGs, and I helped come up with the final PPG scene, with them being sad that Rainbow Dash got away. I helped build spreadsheets to keep track of backgrounds, and I learned how to interact with strangers over skype, a skill that is far outside of my very small comfort zone that is social anxiety. Not just interact with them, but keep track of them, enforce deadlines, critique drawings, and teach those who are still learning. In the end I supervised over 20 people on the film. It actually got to a point where I couldn't draw any backgrounds myself, because I was so busy supervising others. It was kind of strange for me, and intense. I pretty much made the final decisions for all the backgrounds in those sequences (Zach did have veto power, which he did use, but not often). This meant understanding the style thoroughly, understanding perspective definitely, understanding how Flash worked, and understanding how the characters would interact with the scene. It was a lot of responsibility! Holy cow! But Powerpuff Girls became my baby. I fought tooth and nail for certain things - like the color of the girls lines. Oh my god you guys, they looked TERRIBLE! And fortunately, I can say this now because Zach totally now sees the error of those lines, lol. But man... those lines... you don't even know guys. You don't even know.
I also got to storyboard the entire Imagination sequence - the part where Twilight Sparkle is hypothesizing what would happen to each character if they drank the potion. I designed the mini!Ponies (someone else rigged them), and I came up with more than half of the geeky references that were put in the sequence (hence why Starfire appears in the mannequins, lol). Not gonna lie, I'm pretty proud of the whole sequence. I pretty much had a seizure of happiness when I saw it animated for the first time....
All this work, on top of schoolwork, definitely took up almost all of my time... but I did want to animate something. I really wanted to animate something. I managed to convince Zach to hold a shot for me. Just one shot, that's all I asked for. Which shot? Why, that shot at the very end of Pinkie Pie pulling out Bloo from Foster's Home!
That was me! It was honestly a hard shot and took me forever to finish, but I did it!
So... yeah. That is what my contribution was to the Double Rainboom project!! It's amazing to see how much I've grown since before starting - I know how to animate now. I know so much about Flash - how to do animatics, how to do backgrounds, how to rig puppets, how to animate puppets. I made so many connections. I learned so much. I also watched the show. Finally. XD Pinkie Pie is my favorite. Can you tell?
I'm hoping to get some stuff posted to Deviantart - rough backgrounds, my animation shot, and maybe even the animatic for the imagination sequence. Hopefully very soon.
Did any of you watchers see Double Rainboom? What did you think?