Games of Zones is back! Check out the official season premiere:
I’m doing background design this year, so here’s what I did for this episode:
I have to write a few words about this ceiling. Holy SHIT this was fun. It was a mini-masterclass in renaissance art. Many of the figures are very nearly traced from famous paintings, while others (Lebron James, Kevin Durant) are my own drawings based on poses from famous paintings. Easter Eggs abound here for both the art lover and the NBA fan. Oh — and finding photos of NBA players heads from the exact angles I needed… a massive project in itself.
Starting back in December 2015 I formed an LLC to use as my business entity when doing freelance work. I didn’t really do much with it, until recently, when I changed the name and built a website for it. Behold, Exclamation Media!
It’s a broad name intended to encompass the full range of projects I might undertake – everything from freelance to publishing my own books, animated shorts, or potentially even live action and VR content. We’ll see what happens!
What will become of richardsilvius.com? I’m not sure yet. I may continue to post artwork here and use it as a companion to the new Exclamation site, or I may start from scratch with something like a photography site. There’s a whole other side to my creative life that has virtually no outlet to the world. Working out how to approach it has been difficult since I have sought to avoid confusion when people visit my online presence. It’s on ongoing process and may require some trial and error.
Check out the full episode here!
Game of Zones episode 4 covers the Brooklyn Nets, Orlando Magic and Toronto Raptors.
Here is the animatic from the Nets segment:
I slipped in a few architectural references — such as the Brooklyn Bridge inspired drawbridge in the establishing shot, and the Brooklyn Arch in the background of the courtyard, behind Bojan Bogdanovich.
Originally the Bros had asked for a painting of Jay-Z in Kenny Atkinson’s office. The painting seen here was something I just found on the internet that was so perfect I could not resist using it in the animatic just for fun, though for legal reasons it obviously could not be in the episode.
The character drawings for the Nets in this episode are a little more simplified. The more detailed characters of previous episodes became too time-consuming to maintain as the production schedule tightened.
The next segment takes places in snowy Toronto Raptor “wildling” territory:
Originally we had planned on having the Magic trudge past a raptor skeleton buried in snow with an perched owl on it. Sadly there wasn’t time for it, but here’s the layout. I’m not sure what the owl thing was about, but I’m sure it was a joke.
The wildling snowman in this shot was another casualty.
Check out the full episode here!
Season 4 of Game of Zones was already well under way when the Charles Oakley thing happened. I hoped Craig and Adam would incorporate it into the show, and a few weeks later my wish came true.
For the Pacers segment, I did the thumbatic as well. That took some extra time, hence the much more inconsistent character drawings. Also, around this time Toon Boom released Storyboard Pro 5.5, which completely changed my workflow with its excellent new perspective tools. From this point on in the series, layouts were all done in Storyboard Pro. I also began to shade the layouts with basic values. It made things easier in parallax situations where characters were sandwiched between multiple background layers, as well adding depth and clarity.
Here are the animatics for the two segments of Bleacher Report’s Games of Zones Season 4, Episode 2. Watch the complete episode here!
Once again again, Craig and Adam had a very well thought out thumbatic to guide me. Those guys are incredible. I think this staging with the horses is a brilliant way to shake up a dialogue heavy animation scene without over-burdening the production team — I wish I could take credit for it, but it was their idea!
Episode 2 also takes us to Houston — Games of Zones’ “Dorne” — to look in on James Harden and Mike D’Antoni…
In addition to the layouts and animatics, I also did background paintings for the Bulls segment. The challenge was to make them detailed enough for the long camera move as well as the tight cropping in the close-ups.
Layouts from the Rockets segment.