When Matt and I started working together, one of the first things we created was a blind box series of toys for a company we both used to work for called Beantown Toys. In addition to developing characters and designing packaging, a critical part of our duties was constructing color mechanicals for overseas production. These are basically PDF blueprints for the factory workers to follow. Matt would draw the line art, I'd convert them to vectors, and then we would digitally paint the figures. This became not only the launching pad for many of our current methodologies, but it was also the start of our late-night insanity trying to make deadlines for China. Fact: a mechanical is not ready to be submitted until it has been tweaked one last time between the hours of 2:00 and 5:00 AM. Hence, Formanchies and other horrid midnight snacks were created and consumed all too often.
We've developed a fairly steady system of generating Glyos mechanicals over the years. Matt will put together the initial palette of colors (usually connected to a specific story arc), then we'll play around with the PMS codes (Pantone Matching System... not the most regal acronym for the rainbow) and see what color families work well together. I'll make a master page displaying the full wave of figures and we'll proceed to tweak it all until everything comes together as a unit. We're normally together for the leg work of this, but often we'll spend days or weeks editing the line up, leading to 50+ strings in our email conversations about the outer eye color of a Pheyden. It can become all consuming- since we assemble these batches so far in advance, we constantly need to switch gears and refocus on what we started months ago to get ready for the next release. It's a cyclical, challenging process for sure, but in the end very rewarding. As satisfying as the colors look on our monitors, nothing compares to holding a production figure in natural lighting.
I love making cards and stuff for my nieces to color, and recently put together a mini coloring book featuring "those 'lil guys I make". This process got us thinking over here. In the spirit of celebrating 5 years of Glyos, we'd like to share with everyone our actual production mechanical files, to maybe have some fun playing around with. Included below is a hi-res/printable PDF featuring our first production characters, waiting to be vandalized via computer, marker or crayon. I plan on posting a few more of these type of entries (with MUCH less banter), and if you guys really get into it, we'll release all the mechanicals we've done to date. What would you like to see next?