JOURNAL

Brian Wonders:  The Making of a Children's Book

The Making of a Picture Book: journal entry 19

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THE SHIP MONSTER

There's a monster in the story shaped like a scary cruise ship.  My 5 year-old nephew calls it "el barco monstro".  I think he's scared of it but I also think it's his favorite page.

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The original idea was to have something fantastical emerging from the pool... I had the thought of a cruise ship, something like the Titanic...  When I sketched it out, the ship took on a life of its own.  I gave it eyes, a gaping mouth and a menacing smile, and after that the story went off in an unpredictable new direction.  

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Here's some of the CG modeling that went into it.  A friend helped me with basic curved hull of the ship (thanks Mike!).  Then I went in an pushed and pulled the CG model using 3D lattices, forming it to the shape I wanted while using the original sketch as an overlay guide.  You can see the sketch overlay on the top right quadrant.  

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After the CG modeling is done, I have the image printed out and it becomes the underpainting to the illustration.  Above and below are the two raw paintings that were later comped together into a final illustration along with other elements like balloons.

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At the time I thought PHEW!  All this was a bit of overkill for one illustration, but the results were a cool combination of newfangled CG and traditional paint and I moved forward with this technique for other illustrations in the book. 

We are selling books!!  And thank you for the pre-orders!  The shot below is from a set of color proofs that I wedged into a book from my library.  Just wanted to start seeing what the finished picture book will look like.... 

 
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