PHASE 6 – Clean up and Cover Concept
Vivian is now cleaning up pencil marks and sharpening all images as well as finalizing color. She has also mocked up a cover design. At this point, we have all images done but we will be fine tuning every last detail. Correcting spelling and punctuation errors and making minor changes to the placement of the text will also need to be made. The final PDF file needs to be absolutely perfect before submitting it to the printer. Because we are using CreateSpace, we need to make sure we submit our file to their formatting specifications required. While Vivian has been busy finalizing the art, I have been busy setting up my business and making sure that all of the accounting, tax forms and necessary licensing are in order. We have decided to push for a December release to get the holiday market, but will hold our release party in January of next year. This way, we won’t be pressed for time just in case our file needs to be resubmitted. We are in the final stretch!
PHASE 5 – Adding background color
Vivian is starting to add the background color and samples a vignette effect across the picture. The faded color in the background makes the characters and main action of the story pop. Here you can see the three phases over time. The color really makes the story come to life! Vivian has also formatted the page to fit an 8.5″x8.5″ size trim for the book. All sizings and formats have to be exactly the way we want it in order to ensure the quality of the print.
PHASE 4 – Adding Color to Character Action
After all pages were proofed and certain changes were made to the penciled storyboard (see ‘Meeting Notes‘ to preview a detailed list of all changes made), Vivian will add the color in bit by bit. She has manipulated the texture and color to look like watercolor through her magic on the computer. This cuts down production time nearly in half rather than doing all drawings in watercolor by hand and then putting them onto the computer to be formatted.
PHASE 3 – Penciled Storyboard
After the storyboard was blocked and the text was divided page by page, Vivian sketched each spread in full detail. Kevin, Vivian and I then sat down to go over the penciled storyboard and certain edits were made by our suggestions. Kevin had a lot of great ideas. Every detail from what Sausages was doing in every picture to changing a certain expression on Mom or Dad’s face was taken into consideration. Every detail of every spread was thought over to maximize the humor in the story and to visually tell the story as best we could. Changes to the text were made. Placement and size of the text on the page was very important as well as thinking over how each page would turn. I made a book dummy with the finalized penciled storyboard so I could see how the pages would turn, thinking about the story and how it unfolds. Does it make sense? Is the grammar correct? Where do my eyes go when I turn the page? Is the placement of the text on the page okay? These are all such small details, but they really make a world of difference. You really have to consider every single detail on the page and what is so much fun, as the writer, is how much I felt I could contribute to any of these changes needed to be made even though the mastery and genius of the artwork was all Vivian.
PHASE 2: Thumbnail Sketch
These are the very first thumbnail sketches of the storyboard. After Vivian created each character from the story, she mocked up the storyboard using the format on the text which provided some visual element page by page. (See “Drafts” to see the actual manuscript Vivian used!)
PHASE 1 : Character Line up
These are the characters Vivian created based on the manuscript of “A Little Goes a Long Way.” Once these were approved, she mocked up the storyboard.