The production process was interesting in that it was backwards when compared to how an animated production would typically be handled. I went into animation without much of an idea about how the environments were going to look, because I couldn't paint or draw environments. I worked on the animation with a general idea of where the character would fit into a shot, but I had to take several basic painting classes to be able to actually do the backgrounds themselves. I feel that I still have a long way to go as a painter, but I don't think these turned out too badly.
|Scrolling background for a long right-to-left walking shot.|
|Not as long right-to-left walking shot|
|In the film, there is a cross-dissolve from the shot shown in the top pic to the one at the bottom|
|Distorted BG to accommodate for a pan from right-to-left.|
Corel Painter X was used for both layout and background painting. Because I learned to paint with actual paint, Painter's mixer felt way more natural to me than picking colors out of a swatch in Photoshop.
I started off by exporting a snapshot from Toon Boom Studio that I felt best represented the shot.
I then brought the image into Painter, reduced the characters' layer opacity, and drew the environment, as well as notes and framing information.
Then I painted the backgrounds, giving attention to layer hierarchy for when the artwork was imported into Toon Boom Studio. This was especially important for the shots that involved camera movement. Toon Boom Studio was used for all of the compositing because (1) I didn't know how to use After Effects at this point and (2) the ability to position and move elements in 3D space within Toon Boom is awesome.
Not that I recommend going about a project this way, but if you can't draw/paint environments worth a lick and you're willing to learn, at least you aren't completely dead in the water.