CASE STUDY: The Cap'n Crunch Show

I've been excited for this day for awhile, because this is the day that 'The Cap'n Crunch Show' trailer went live online! We've worked for months on the show, and today we got to share that work with the world. Well, at least a teaser for it, anyway. And when I say 'WE', I mean 'Visual Creatures', a studio in Santa Monica that employed me to draw. THEY'VE been working for months on it. I only come in and draw for a week and a half and then I leave. 

OK, now we're all clear.

This gig was an absolute blast to work on, as I was given free reign to create the Cap'n's ship from the sea up. The directors, Ryan McNeely and John Cranston of the previously mentioned Visual Creatures, knew they wanted the Cap'n to have a bowl on the deck of his ship that he would conduct interviews from and in. Also, they didn't want the boat to feel too 'regal.' The Cap'n had been living there for years. There would be some wear and tear. It wasn't dilapidated, mind you, but it was to be worn in. Comfortable. Able of comfort.

So, with those things in mind, I began drawing. And I wish I had earlier versions of the boat to show you, but again, I don't really know what all is fair-game right now to display publicly, besides the things that are already online.

And here are those drawings.

This is the first image I drew for the deck (grabbed this from Mashable, actually). The mast is to the left over there, towards the front of the boat. The spot lighting is indicative of late night talk shows, so I used it on all the sets I drew.

The ship being made up of wood, as all old boats are, really tends to skew your color palette warm and brown. With that in mind, I knew we needed some accents, so I used the blue from his outfit to toss in a few places like the mast and the carpet. We also used the gold from his hat and jacket to add a little punch to the boat, with lamps and platforms being outfitted in it.

This is actually one of the last images I drew, but it's my favorite. After drawing the boat's deck from a few different angles, I really wanted to change it up and draw the Cap'n's chambers. Every boat has a Captain's chambers, and the Cap'n's boat was no exception. I spent 2 days on this drawing. If you've got a spare second, peruse the details over by his desk.

When you're drawing backgrounds for animation, the angle at which you draw, your 'composition', if you will, is dictated by the storyboard artist. They storyboard the entire cartoon before you begin doing any final backgrounds. Usually. We kinda went back and forth on this, a bit. I would draw the boat from as many angles as we could think of, and had time for. So, Ryan and John would tell me we might need a certain angle and I'd bust it out. This angle, however, is the second shot of the teaser, and we knew exactly what needed to be done here.

The four images above are all of the hallway in which the Cap'n receives his morning scrubbing and clothing. He gets launched from the bed onto the conveyor belt rug and arms swing in from all sides and give him a proper once over. We needed continuity from the bedroom shot to the beginning of the conveyor belt, so I made sure to match the items on the wall as best as I could.

Personal favorites of these frames are the 'Warhol Crunch', the Moustache clock, and the Milk Martini (all gags that I came up with, huzzah!)

Here's the Cap'n in front of a curtain delivering his monologue. I saw that Quaker used this for the Cap'n's twitter homepage, so I assume I can show, as well.

Ah, here's the Cap'n's ship sailing free on a calm night.

Final exterior shot for when the Cap'n is awakened by the Seadog and screams repeatedly.

There you have it! Thanks for swinging by and hope ya keep checking back in on the new Cap'n, from time to time. The episodes will be pretty stinkin' funny.