Saturday, May 11, 2013

Belated updates, and Frankenweenie stuff

It's been too long...

So here's a little update. I work for DreamWorks now, currently at the PDI/DreamWorks facility at Redwood City. In other news I'm leaving San Francisco for LA after a tumultuous two years that have seen many highs, but just as many lows. I'm working on a completely awesome project for the mighty Kevin Lima, and I couldn't be happier! To celebrate I'm posting this very unhappy sequence from Frankenweenie. Sparky has just been killed in a car accident, and as is the title of the scene,  "Victor Grieves".


  1. Awesome boards Patrick, I can see lots of it has ended up in the film. I hope all is well, best, ;)

  2. Great storyboards. Makes me wonder what other scenes from Frankenweenie you drew some storyboards for.

  3. Fede Board Padraig.

    Faldt over din og side syntes det var sjovt at hvad du har gang i. Så Frankenweenie i biografen da den kom og kunne vildt godt lide den.
    Tænkte jeg ville spørge dig lidt om din arbejdsprocess.
    Da jeg selv arbejder som storyboarder er jeg ret imponeret over den høje detaljegrad og tonelægning i panelerne. Synes aldrig der er tid til det inden for de tætte deadlines der ligger på en produktion. Har du et specielt set-up i photoshop eller er der bare væsentligt mere tid på en større produktion? Viser du først de tonede paneler til instruktøren eller ligger gråtoner på efter boardet er godkendt? Anyways. fedt at se.
    Meget inspirerende.

  4. Hej Jacob!
    Mange tak skal du have! Er det okay hvis jeg skriver paa englisk? Det bliver alt for besvaerlig med en amerikansk tastetur:/
    You are right, we do get more time on the american stuff than on the European- if I remember correctly Djungledyret and Hjaelp Jeg er en fisk had around 3-6 months in boards, whereas we get anywhere up to two years on a movie, though usually it's around 18 months. However, the amount of time per scene is around the same as we do many, many takes and versions of each scene, and of course the amount of time given gets shorter and shorter as animation production nears.

    The Frankenweenie boards were drawn in storyboard pro- not sure if you've ever used it, but it's the single worst drawing tool I've ever worked with. When I started using it on Gnomeo and Juliet I had never drawn digitally before, so I thought that's just the way digital drawings looked. The upshot was that I spent ages trying to figure out a way to make the drawings look better, and looking at what other guys did I came up with that look. Now that I work in photoshop I still stick to the flat, vectorized line that I'm used to looking at in STB Pro. I can send you some examples so you can see how I do it if you'd like.

    But to be honest, a lot of my work is line drawings, it's only when I get a heavy emotional scene like this one (my favourites!) that just beg for the extra love and attention to detail to sell the idea that I'll go all out. I know that other board artists object to working the drawings so much, but since we are the springboard for all the other departments, if we set the bar high, then they will (hopefully) take it to the moon

  5. Thanks for your quick response

    I am at the moment working in storyboard pro. Think it is very intuitive, but you are right about the terrible drawing tools. Thinking about changing to photohop. I would really like to get some exaples, think the force in SB pro is the vector and the possibility to scale your drawing up and down without pixilation.

  6. Do u know why this scene was trimmed down in the final version ?

    1. Hi Krista,
      Mostly it was trimmed for time; we wanted to get to the re-generation scene more quickly, and not soak in Victor's sadness for so long, because that could make the film a real downer. In a film like this it's a tricky balancing act between servicing the emotions of the characters, and moving quickly enough so that the audience can start to have fun again.

    2. Another thing about the old version of the windmill was some role reversers, like Sparky meant to go into the windmill before being lit on fire and Victor running in shortly afterwards. Also, instead of Victor, Elsa was unconscious and was saved by Sparky. Why were these changes made, like what you realize was a problem in the scene?

    3. Hi Krista,
      Those changes were made to focus more on Victor and Sparky, it's their story, a kind of love story between a boy and his dog! Elsa, though very sweet is really secondary to Victor and Sparky's story. We also wanted to show how brave and heroic Sparky is, so we decided that his sacrifice had to happen at a point where it was really dangerous for him, and his chances of survival were nonexistent. Remember, we had to make sure that the audience were really touched by what Sparky does, and wanted to have him come back a second time, so we had to do all we could to show that he really, really deserved it:)