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Here's the tutorial I promised from last time! See the step - by step photoshop techniques used to take scanned pencil drawings to the final image.
This scene knocked my socks off when it was complete.... I'm very happy with how this, and the subsequent pages in this setting came out. The coloring and layout here is some of my favorite I've yet had the privilege to create, and the color choice and blocking was excellently executed by co-writer and editor Liz Thomas.

2-27-07

Chapter 4 is FINISHED! This will be the last entry into 'Behind the Scenes' for Chapter 4. Only 2 more chapters to go, and Volume 2 is complete! Subsequent chapters will go a lot faster, without any freelance animation to distract. Keep your eyes out for Chapter 5 'Behind the Scenes' to begin soon!

To recap, Chapter 4 came out really fantastic. There are a lot of great scenes and settings, a couple important figures and plot points introduced, and a lot of character development. Get ready for Chapter 5 and 6, though - they'll feature the most extensive and thrilling action sequences seen in DreamKeepers to date!

Thanks to everyone who's keeping up with the progress of the next book - you won't be disappointed, both the story and artwork have improved since Volume 1! Two more chapters, and then Volume 2 will be available! Speaking of Volume 2, the title is now finalized:

'Flight to Starfall'.

 

Wisp and Randy in the cove... the plot thickens... (Click thumbs for full size images)
Mace awakening. He doesn't really expect his day to happen the way it does....
Grunn, Igrath, and Scinter strategizing over a really cool table. Look, there's a map of Anduruna inset on the top! Isn't that cool? .... I think so.

2-13-07

Shading is going fantastic so far. Above are 3 examples from different scenes in the book - a cove at sunrise, a shadowy early morning interior, and a brightly lit interior. The lighting is really strong in this chapter, I think it might be some of the prettiest work I've done yet. Next behind the scenes, I'm going to show how I color a scene in, stage by stage.

 

Here's a scene from the festival. Bast is in the middle of the shot, with DreamKeepers enjoying the celebration on all sides. If you check my deviant art (go to links to find it), you may notice a few of the commissions making cameos in the shot...
The color blocking alone is just plain pretty here - I can hardly wait to get to the shading stage, and incorporate the sunrise and unique snow lighting effects! I think this shot in particular is going to come out really stunning.

1-30-07:

The pencils are done - on to the colors! See some more art samples from the book in-progress up there. There's a massive background shot with the color blocked in, and the pencil stage for one of the scenes from the Harvest Festival, where some unexpected events are about to unfold...

 

See some pencil previews for new settings in the book - also, exclusive notes on some of the cool features and details.
Page 1 complete - I'm pretty encouraged by how it turned out, I think my attempts to improve my shading ability are showing. I can hardly wait to finish the rest of the chapter!
Check out some cool 3-D DreamKeepers art here - plush ryuu-nekos, and a sweet Namah figurine, all created by Liz Thomas, editor of the series.

1-17-07:

Chapter 4 nears completion! The pencils are nearly complete, and coloring is following right along behind! Check out some of the cool samples above. There are some notes on background details in some new settings in Chapter 4, a sample of the first page completed, and also some fun random stuff. Have fun! And if you didn't see the frontpage, also new this week is 'Prelude' - a new webcomic for DreamKeepers! Check it out, and have some fun!

 

1-03-07:

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! I know I did. Reviews are in for Volume 1, and people seem to like it. A LOT. everyone has been asking when Volume 2 will be finished, and the answer is, sometime this summer! It should be available for purchase in the fall. Chapter 4 will be completed in early February - stay tuned to see the last few progress samples in Behind the Scenes: Chapter 4.

 

 

December 20, 2006: Huge day for DreamKeepers! Finally, the books are available! Talk about a Christmas present! I feel like Santa, sending out so many packages. I'm finishing up the first round of orders to ship out tomorrow, Friday at the latest. Above is the print that will be included with the Pre-Order shipments. I think it came out really sweet - Maybe I should make a poster based on this at some point in the future.

Well, from now on, DreamKeepers is officially published! Progress continues on Volume 2.

 

December 6, 2006: Yeah, can you tell I've been distracted a bit? Finishing the animation on a TV pitch and those commercials I mentioned last update. I'll knock all those miscellaneous jobs out this month, and then I can hit Dreamkeepers full force with no distractions starting right after Christmas. Right now I'm going slower on DK than I would prefer, but things should fire up once these... um... masterpieces are out of the way.

...Seriously, the character design up there is not my fault. I just do what they pay me to do.

 

 

November 15, 2006: The penciling continues on Chapter 4 - progress is being slowed slightly, as I'm animating a few freelance commercials and a TV pitch side - by side right now, but once those are finished, I should be able to make up for lost time. The pencils are nearly 1/2 finished regardless, and the work is coming out fantastic!

 

 

November 1, 2006: We're past the concept stage, and on to production! The pages are coming right along - the pencils are finished for the first couple of scenes, and the color blocking is following right along behind! A sample page with the story removed can be seen by clicking that thumbnail to the left. More art in a couple weeks! ....And no, the entire book is not going to consist of Tinsel in ludicrous undergarments. I swear.

 

October 18, 2006:

Progress is going great so far - the script for Chapter 4 is complete! I'm really excited to get started on some of the scenes, a lot of the shots are going to be just beautiful when they're done. The layout is finished for all 31 pages, and concept art / color swatches were finished just today. Click the thumbs below to see more.

Well, nothing left to do now but start on the actual artwork for the book! Check back for more samples in a couple of weeks.

Concept art for one of the nightmare creatures that will be appearing - partially - in Chapter 4. I don't want to give away any story points, but there's a pretty cool concept behind this character, and it's functionality.

Cold weather gear, with color swatches, for the main characters! Mace, Lilith, Namah, and Whip.

Concept art for the Anduruna Shock Troopers, who will be making their debut appearance as well. Enforcing the law with a gigantic gun - is there any better way?

 

October 3, 2006:

Hey everyone, this is David! Here are some of the characters that will be introduced in Chapter 4 - That's Nabonidus on the left, and Wisp up top. The scripting for the book started October 1st, and it's going great! The Chapter is slated to be finished by mid - December, if I work hard enough. 8 ) More to come in a couple of weeks - the script will be done, and some artwork will be up!

 

To the right is a reference photo I took that will help when painting backgrounds - there are going to be some very unique snow settings in Chapter 4. The light coming through this ice block should help a bit when I get to the supernatural effects.