Our Kickstart was a Success!

Thanks to the support of some very
generous backers, we are now able to commission Daniel Fu for the
character design artwork. Work will start in January!

I couldn’t have asked for a more exciting introduction to
using Kickstarter. After a somewhat muddy start right before
Thanksgiving (possibly a mistake?), we had a slow trickle of pledges,
which ended in a three day rush right at the end. And thanks to a small
number of people raising their bids dramatically, we cleared 100% with 8
MINUTES to spare, late on Sunday night! And I’d like to give a special
thanks to our two organizational logo sponsors, “The Luna Project”
and “The Chamba Project”.

I finished inking and painting portraits of the eight main
characters, using Daniel Fu’s concept art sketchs, and now that the
Kickstart is over, I have sent these “concept art posters” to the
printer. They’ll go out right at the end of December for anyone just
getting the posters. The rest will go out with the production materials
we send out in April (we’re trying to finish pre-production work by
April 12 for Yuri’s Night).

Rosalyn and I discussed an interesting idea for a one-set /
no-characters “teaser trailer” for Lunatics that we can start work on as
early as January (actually, we had this idea when we were thinking the
Kickstart wasn’t going to succeed, but it’s still a good idea!). This
will give us a relatively low-difficulty project for testing out our
modeling and rendering pipeline, and generally establishing a little bit
of “Blender cred” — which is probably our weakest area in terms of
convincing anyone we can do this series. 🙂

I have to admit I do feel a little bit like Kennedy promising the
Moon when the USA had only flown somebody in space for about 15 minutes
and hadn’t even made orbit yet.

Still, I’m quite confident that this can all be done, and I’ve heard
some very encouraging things from Brett, who has been working diligently
on his Pyppet digital puppetry project all during the time I’ve been obsessing with
the Kickstarter arrangements. This is software that we are expecting to
make extensive use of in our production chain. This will probably be our
biggest technical innovation — and an essential one in order to handle
the animation of the longer character scenes that Lunatics requires
while staying on our expected budget.

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to a very exciting New Year in 2012!