#OO1 | introduction
Welcome to the start of the PROGRESSION BLOG exclusive to the Patron Supporters ~ There used to be an old UPDATES BLOG on the Killing Stalking website but this was removed.
In this post I'll summarize the old updates for you and continue from here to exclusively update you on the progression of 'killing STALKING: The Animated Series'
[ FIRST UPDATE ]
In Killing Stalking we spend a lot of time in Oh Sangu's home, this is the first environment I started working on. There isn't a floor-plan available so I've had to pay close attention to Koogi's art. There are plenty of panels for reference so I took screenshots of them and began to blockout the house. Later on I asked Koogi for a floor-plan since I noticed she used a 3D software to place models of buildings / furniture into a scene and traced over it for her backgrounds. I thought she could've sent me a render of the house without the roof on but she saw my progress and said that the house was accurate and there was no need for a floor plan.
There are a total of 7 rooms that we've come across so far [ as of chapter 10 ] and these are:
I noticed when studying the backgrounds of the panels that there are a few inconsistencies. I never noticed it when I first read the manhwa and you probably didn't either but I was deliberately looking for details, shapes and sizes of the house so I picked it up.
We've all seen artists do this at some point so by no means am I exclusively exposing Koogi. This can happen when you're running short on time and need to leave details out to reach a deadline / when you're evolving as an artist and begin to change how you draw backgrounds / or if you simply forgot something was there from 100+ panels ago.
I'll only show this example to reference what I'm talking about :
As the chapters progress the BGs become more consistent, so when deciding what version of the house to model from I'll be choosing the later chapters. I began modelling the interior of the house based on the first few chapters but I had to change a few things when I saw the changes in the house furniture and layout. So if any of you with a good eye noticed that some things don't look how you might've remembered them from certain chapters, this is why.
So I began with the Hallway as the centre point of the house and expanded outwards from there.
I'm creating a blockout of the house by defining what the environment is with basic primitives like cubes, spheres, cones, cylinders ect. I have several references for furniture and where the final pieces will be in the house. We don't need to worry about textures or colour at this point. Once the foundation of the house is laid out I start to add assets I have available from other projects, stuff like chairs, cutlery, doors, curtains ect. that will be replaced with an exact replica from the manhwa once it's been modelled at a later date.
I don't have floor plans or measurements so I use the height of Sangu and the height of the average door as a reference for guesstimating the sizes of the walls, furniture, ceilings ect.
Here are some early progress shots of the house in the beginning of production :
[ SECOND UPDATE ]
KILLING STALKING is a manhwa 만화 of 67 chapters. We've got two options: a feature length film or a series of episodes. If I had a big team / funding I'd have the freedom to ask the audience of Killing Stalking what they would want to see. I could've done some kind of poll somewhere and tried to get a general idea of the preferred media but I'm not in that position.
A decision needs to be made based on what I'm able to achieve by myself. To be honest it's the same amount of work either way, the only difference would be to make the audience wait longer if it was a film where everything would be shown all at once compared to episodes where they'd get to see them each week/month. Putting that aside, what would be the best creative decision based on the story length / spacing of events? Let's have a look..
The episodes could be short and sweet, leave you on the edge of your seat wanting more, around 25 minutes each.
The episodes could be longer, around 60 minutes each, I could fit a few chapters into an hour.
Or we could go all out and produce a full-length feature film. This would basically be all the 25 minutes episodes packed into a huge movie.
I timed myself re-reading chapters 1 and 2 as if it were a storyboard with animation in mind, I included extra time in my head for each panel, for the characters movements and conversations, and environment shot transitions. It took me 31 minutes.
I can assume that for every 2 chapters there would be a 30 minute episode give or take.
Based on this, that would mean there will be either a 16.5 hour film OR about 17 episodes of 60 minutes each. I never wanted a film to be out of the question but looking at this math there really isn't any other choice. I refuse to cut out any part of this story so I'm left with one option.
With any series of episodes from any show there's always an opening and an ending, sometimes a first-look preview of the next episode at the end.. but I can't visualise any opening for this series at this point, mainly because I was leaning more towards a film than a show, maybe there won't be one and we jump straight into the episode? do I break the fourth wall and add some kind of repetitive montage at the start of each episode or could this be more like a documentary-series following the events of the story in a realistic setting..
I've always had this horrible view on cliques or anything in media that blindly follows what's been done 100 times before without any effort for innovation or improvement. Some call me a perfectionist.
Although perfection isn't something you can achieve for yourself, it's something that others find in your work, you can continuously improve upon what you've created but it's what the audience falls in love with that becomes the perfect design. I hope to strive for perfection for the audience, the team working on the production and for Koogi.
PROJECT CAEDIS will be the production of 'killing STALKING: The Animated Series'
A series of 17 episodes will be planned, this number may increase or decrease depending on the size of the team, permissions, chapter lengths and the personal circumstances/availability of the team.
Thank you so much for your following and support🤍
More updates to come!
[ THIRD UPDATE ]
In this post I'll be taking you through the process of mechanical development for the locations in Episode .O1
Episode .O1 will only feature chapter 1, all the other episodes feature 3 chapters each and are 1 hour long. Based on a read-through with the intention of scene timing, dialogue length and camera shot transitions, Episode .O1 works out at around 30 minutes long . Now I need to begin building the Episode.
I start with Location Listing, then Asset Listing & Character Listing. In the first Episode there will be 14 LOCATIONS and 24 separate scenes within that. I've named them conventionally for the sake of organisation within the game engine in which it's being made.
▶ BUM BEDROOM (FALSE)
▶ TRAIN CARRIAGE
▶ TRAIN STATION
▶ CORNER SHOPS
▶ SANGU HOUSE
﹂ SANGU STREET
﹂ FRONT GARDEN
▶ BUM HOUSE
▶ ARMY BASE
﹂ ARMY FIELD
﹂ ARMY HALL
﹂ ARMY ROOM
▶ STREET 01
▶ TOWN WEST
Now that I've got every 3D space listed that will appear in the episode, I list every asset that will be needed for each scene. I can't miss a single thing, I have to study each panel from chapter 1 of the manhwa and note every piece of furniture, every object, every piece of litter (trash), every human, every environmental detail (trees / wildlife / foliage) and every visual FX that will be needed to compose the scene. I won't list that here because there are over 600 objects.
I've got everything written down in a spreadsheet, it makes the process of creating the environment much easier. Now is the long and tedious process of hand modelling all 600+ assets and placing them into an empty 3D space to re-create the environments in the manhwa. Luckily in the 3D industry there are ways to relieve the pressure of working as a 1 man team, with model packs, model collections and importing pre-made models from previous projects, this means I won't have to spend a year making everything. Although it's not a magic wand that makes the job easy, it makes it easier, and that's what I look for in every aspect of doing this alone.
[ FOURTH UPDATE ]
I'm a visualist, diagrams really help me to grasp what I'm working on, so I draw out the episode as a timeline with the Locations and the order in which they come into each scene.
With the preparation sorted, I begin building each scene. SANGU'S HOUSE was the first to be built and is in construction. Next is BUM BEDROOM (FALSE), This is when we see Bum as a girl on a computer looking at Sangu's social media profile, but we're led to believe Bum is a female at this point, and based on his later appearances in his flat (apartment) there's a high chance he never had a computer, and the 'bedroom' we see him in doesn't look anything like the flat he lived in in the beginning. So I'm safe to assume this was a false vision. I need to model this 'bedroom' of Bums but I can't use it again in later episodes for anything since it's not the same room.
In the manhwa there are scenes that only appear once or for a single panel, for the animated series I'll still need to recreate the entire scene for the shot. Even if it's only going to be in a shot for a few seconds or in a short flashback. Blocking-out a scene is the process of defining what the environment is with basic primitives like cubes and cylinders, no texture or colour, to block-out a location will take me a full day depending on the size of the location and how much solid reference imagery I've got available from the manhwa.
[ FIFTH UPDATE ]
Animated films are like live-action films, except the sky is the limit! There will be a set, actors, cameras, lighting and a soundtrack, in this post I'm going to focus on the process of creating the environments for the series. First I gather a list of all the places we visit in the manhwa for each episode, then they need to be dissected into scene locations > location buildings > building rooms. Most of the places are fictional or they simply don't have names so I use a generic naming system that will also be applied when referencing them in code later on. Here's a list of the scenes in order of appearance [chapter 1 only] :
BUM BEDROOM (FALSE)
﹂ SANGU HOUSE
﹂ Lower Bedroom
﹂ Living Room
﹂ Army Hallway
﹂ Army Room
I don't need to model every room of every scene if we're not going to see it. Like in the Gay Town, there'll be a lot of different clubs but we only ever go into one of them, so all of the others can be hollow shells, this will save a lot of time. Some scenes / rooms / locations only appear for a single shot that could be under 20 seconds long and won't be seen again, I'll still have to create the whole thing. Like the train scene for example, we're only inside the train for a moment while Bum introduces himself but I'll still need to model everything inside. Depending on the location and size of a scene it could take anywhere between a day and a week to complete.
I'll begin with the Train Carriage. I gather reference images of the scene directly from the manhwa. In this case, there is only one shot of the background and it doesn't show us much, there's not enough there for a clear reference. Since this is a train and the story takes place in South Korea, we can assume that the train will look like a generic Korean train carriage. So I go to the internet and find some reference photos I can use.
Since this scene is very generic and doesn't specify any particular design, I take a train carriage from a different project I had already and fashion it to look like a carriage from Korea. This is an easy example of designing a scene since it's quite small and modular, I have a lot of the 3D pieces already available and only have to change the UK details to the KOR ones like text, colour scheme, fabric textures, adverts on the walls and passenger information.
Here's the blueprint for the material of the passenger notice board on the train with the full text that will play on a loop :
It's then applied to the wall of the train with a light for extra effect :
And here's how it looks in the train :
Once the location is finished, I can then take out the pieces of furniture that the characters will interact with for that scene and import those into the animation software, where I then animate the characters interacting with each other and the exported furniture. The now animated characters are then imported back into the scene where the animation will be rendered as a finished shot.
The train still needs some work done to it but here's a preview of where it's at so far :
That's a summary of the old public updates from the website. The future posts here will be much longer and include exclusive content and imagery / videos that the public won't get to see.
I will keep this Progression Blog updated with a new post every month. I hope you find some interest in this information 'behind the scenes' of the production. Thank you again for supporting my work and the chAosOPUS STUDIO ~ ¬mOss 🍄