Wednesday, September 9, 2015

We are the Crystal Gems~

      While trying to keep a hold on my fleeting youth over the summer, I managed to fall in love with a cartoon called Steven Universe. Amazing, the representation in this show is goddamn incredible with gender and sexuality but I also want to cry at the aesthetic that it upholds. While the crewniverse (all of the people who work on the show) keeps the fans updated on tumblr with most of the process that it takes, all of the backgrounds and character sheets that are used are posted in high quality. I've personally found that they help as reference sheets for my own work and actually help a lot as colour palettes. Some are just plain cute, honestly.

      Their early designs were a lot more complex character-wise and it took a little tweaking on their part so they could animate the characters in a quicker fashion but they been noted to say that a lot of their actual focus goes much more into the story, music, and backgrounds specifically. The show tends to have a very overall relaxing quality and after looking at still frames of the show, I've found that it's really the backgrounds of the show that enthrall the viewer and suck them into this almost tangible world.
    The detail that is put into some of the backgrounds genuinely gives you more of a sense of the fuller environment and even though the backgrounds tend to be static, the motion of the surroundings can still be noticed, especially in the clouds, the ocean, and the beach scenes. I believe they actually put motion blur on those things, which is honestly very smart and an easy way to get away with minimal animation in the background, keeping the focus up front.

      Another thing that I very much love about SU is that there isn't much hidden in the process that they use to create the show. Aside from the simple behind the scenes that is usually given in a pathetic ratio to the actual show, SU gives more than they honestly should. But who's complaining. They post all of the creator, Rebecca Sugar's, demos for the songs (which, by the way, are adorable) and most of the storyboards including this little bit of the full version of the theme.

      Anyway, what I'm getting at is that you should definitely just watch the show for the weird storyline and the sweet gift that the damn thing is.  The style and the colours are definitely a constant inspiration for me art-wise and the efficiency that they've strived to gain is very admirable. I hope to be able to pump out as much as they have and in that amount of time as well; god knows that my time is spent procrastinating and watching Steven Universe so my extra time would need to be well spent.

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