I have begun production on the first of several fight scenes in the first episode of Cosmic Rage. The first fight is made up of over 30 images that are going to be animated. One of the initial issues I had when drawing some of the first shots and layering it out was the fact that the drawings got a little hard to ink and also started to get a little messy. At this stage I knew that this was not a sustainable workflow when I would get to this stage of the animation. I had to come up with a solution to this.
After thinking about various solutions for a few days, I finally decided that the best solution would be to simply use tracing paper to layer my shots, then I could focus on each character or asset while drawing and when I needed to see how the characters interacted I could simply place them them on top of each other and see.
One of the problems in some of the other ideas I had, wasn’t so much about the drawing, but more about the scanning and inking process. I was concerned that my layered art would still be hard to ink, and if I used to separate images I wanted a way to make sure that they were placed in the proper spots.
To solve this with the tracing paper method, I had an idea inspired by camera tracking in After Effects. I would draw two crosses on the underlying image and then trace them to the paper. That way I would have both images layered for easier inking but I would also have a good method of being able to overlay the 2 images in Photoshop or Manga Studio and then rotate and reposition the images if needed so the sets of crosses lined up.
So far this method is working great and I hope to get some of the images up to show you a sample of the procedure.