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Star Wars Spoof Extras: A Behind the Scenes Look

Have you ever finished watching a Spoof cartoon and thought: "How did he make that"? Well if so, you're not alone. This section will show you the process I go through to draw and animate a Spoof.

View the spoof in it's rough phase.
View the spoof half way completed.
View the final version of the spoof.


The tools used to create a Spoof are simply an animation program called "Flash" by Macromedia and a Wacom drawing tablet which hooks up directly to a computer.

1.) Using the drawing tablet I quickly sketch in an image. As you can see from the picture above, this is done extremely rough and is used as a means to gauge size relationships. This rough sketch is used when I am animating the cartoon. In animation, it is essential to make sure that the movement and timing are working properly before any quality, cleaned up drawings are done. Animation is all about movement, so there is no point in creating perfectly drawn images from the begining only to test the movement afterwords and find out that the animation is completely wrong and all of the work that was created will have to be thrown away and done over again. This is why animation is drawn roughly in the begining. Once I am satisfied that the rough animation is moving well, then I go back and draw a cleaner version.

2.) To begin creating the cleaned-up polished version of the art, I add another layer on top of the previous drawing. Think of it as adding a new piece of paper on top of the rough drawing. I can still see the rough version below. At this point when I was drawing the speeder bike, I made sure I had some actual photos of speeder bikes from the movie to look at to make sure that my drawing would look right. This drawing is done rough as well, although not as rough as the previous drawing. Here I am making sure that I have all the details in, and that the size relationships are correct.

3.) At this point, the first rough drawing is no longer necessary, and would only be obstructing my view as I continue on so I delete it. I now have only the second, more detailed rough version. I change this drawings color to a light blue so that I will be able to see my new, clean black line much easier. Adding another layer, I take some time and draw carefully the final lines. Here I make sure angles are right and add smaller details and make sure that I like the thick and thin of the line weight. This is usually the longest part of the drawing process, as I redraw lines numerous times, that don't look right to me, and carefully erase any extra lines that don't belong.

4.) Again, I no longer need the light blue rough version, so I delete it. Now with only the clean black line version, I choose my colors and click the empty spaces and drop in the colors.

5.) Now I want to add some lighting to the bike to bring out it's contours and keep it from looking flat and looking more three-dimensional. Using the Pen tool, I think of the light source as directly above the bike and add lines to indicate where the light or dark tones should go to bring out the contours.

6.) Now I drop in the different shades. To show a highlight, I add a color that is slighty brighter, and to add a shadow, I add a color that is slightly darker.

7.) The great thing about using the Pen tool to draw the contour lines that hold in the highlights and shadows, is that you can eliminate the lines and they won't erase or harm the image underneath once they are gone. To get rid of the red Pen lines, I simply click on them so that they are highlighted and then hit the "delete" key and they disappear! Now I have a completely cleaned up, colored and shaded speeder bike ready for action!