Akira: First Glimpse

I’ve been touting this Akira project for months now.  The whole point of this thing is that it’s supposed to be animated, right?  Well, this morning I finished the first motion that will be featured in the short.  It’s not ready to be shown, but I did a tech demo to plan out my colors and make sure that everything will run smoothly like I plan on it doing.  So here we have the first peek at the final-quality look of the short.  Animation will continue tonight, if my work permits, and perhaps there will be a pencil test video on Vimeo sometime in the next few days.

I can’t wait to see this thing move.

I made several considerations for the color choices for Kaneda.  I considered giving him the iconic pink shirt and white pants from the movie, or using the coloring scheme from the McFarlane miniatures model.  I eventually decided to use the scheme from the manga.  The colorized US printings of this page feature a green shirt similar to the McFarlane miniature, as well as khaki pants.  Here’s the original page, that I dug off the internet as my graphic novels weren’t close at hand.

This is the original color version for Epic Comics, by Marvel colorist Steve Oliff.

I based my initial color choice on Oliff’s illustration, but modified it slightly.  My coloring on the backgrounds is brighter, warmer, and reflects a sunnier day, so I lightened Kaneda’s shirt just slightly to match the vibrancy of my digital coloring.  Other than that, not much is different.  My version will have shadows and highlights, which is going to complicate the animation process some, but I think it will be worth it to see the finished effect.  Stick around for pencil tests!