I must point out how amazing it is that the technology exists that allows me to do this. Everything for Surreal Orange is done on two computers that I built myself and it blows my mind every day that I can do in my apartment what took an entire studio just a few short years ago. But even though I love the tech that goes behind all this and can never say enough about how much I love Blender I do try to as much as possible start with pen and paper. I’ve always been in love with illustration. Storytelling with images is magical to me. Plus my first artistic love was pen and paper probably because that was all I had until I discovered paint- but paint has never been cheap so even then pen and paper was always my default. Almost all of the textures in Surreal Orange started as simple line drawings. Some of them really just doodles. I overlay colors on them in Photoshop and perhaps add in some filtering or effects if they will help but mostly its just line drawings with simple colors overlaid on them. I knew this world was going to be VERY visually busy. I love that- I’m a patterns person- but it can be overwhelming and worse yet distracting at times so keeping it simple helps it sit more in the background.
After that its all about Blender where all the lovely 3D animation stuff happens. I’ve been working in Blender for more than a decade and I’ve grown quite a library of items I’ve created. Practically anything and everything you can image. I’ve built it all. And that comes in handy because I don’t have time to worry so much about the sets and props. I’ve got characters to worry about and thats where most of the energy goes, of course. To me building in Blender feels just like playing with Lego bricks when I was a kid- And that makes perfect sense cause thats where all this started. On my bedroom floor trying to be super quiet finding the piece I need in the pile so my parents don’t wake up and make me go back to bed.
And then of course once I have all the elements rendered and the music, voices and sound done the next step is Premiere Pro to put it all together. To be honest I could also do this in Blender just as well but I’m already paying Adobe for Photoshop and with Premiere you get all those lovely industry standard presets which really help speed things up. I don’t want to fiddle around with video compression settings- I just want to watch so its worth it.