Skip to main content

Xylus and Dexter in Space! "Fly Right" Episode 1 - Cartoon animation

Episode 1 -
of my animated cartoon series Xylus and Dexter in Space!

Watch the cartoon episode above

I watch a lot of cartoons and like to pause and view them frame by frame so I can study how they're made. I took some of the things I learned and wanted to try them out, so I decided to make my own series of cartoon shorts.

Concept

Xylus and Dexter are traveling through space, flying above the planet Mars when a slight mishap causes them to land earlier than expected.

illustration rocketship flying and red clouds
Xylus & Dexter flying above Mars

(Related post: Xylus and Dexter in Space! "What's That?" Episode 2 - Cartoon animation)

Artwork

I spent more time on the layout of the storyboards for this series. I wanted to make sure I knew what everything was going to look like from the very beginning.

pencil sketch of a rocketship flying
Storyboard: Rocket ext. Pan in
Pencil sketch drawing of two boys
Storyboard: Dexter turns to touch the window
pencil sketch drawing of hand pushing button
Storyboard: Xylus pushes the button
Pencil sketch of rocketship and rocks
Storyboard: Rocket ext. Mars surface

Animatic storyboard scenes with audio

Here is the audio file I created with the storyboard to use for animating the scenes.

Watch the original storyboard animatic below

Inking the characters

When it came to drawing the actual characters for the cartoon at this point I was still inking everything by hand on paper and scanning them into the computer. I would then convert the line art to vectors, clean them up in the animation software, and color them there. I paid a lot more attention to the line art clean-up while making this cartoon but the outcome I think was worth it.

Animation

For this series, I decided to let the software do the in-between animation for me. I started using the "squash and stretch" method ever so slightly in the program, nothing to exaggerate. Mainly cuz I didn't realize until later that it was okay to get extreme with those concepts.

Audio

You may notice that Xylus' voice sounds a bit "different" quality-wise than Dexter's. Well, when I did this episode Xylus was staying at his mother's house so I had him record his part over the phone. I thought to make it look like it was supposed to sound that way I would put a 2-way radio mic on his character's helmet. Seemed like a good reason visually to explain it I thought.

illustration of a boy in a helmet
Xylus with his 2-way radio mic

Watch the full cartoon episode at the top of the page!


Next time: Watch episode 2 "What's That?"


Listen To The Podcast

Popular

How I use one Gmail address for multiple Soundcloud accounts

Do you know the Gmail "+" trick to use one email for multiple accounts on one service? Here's a little trick I use that works for any service.  I talked about this on the podcast episode I did with artist Mortimur K . In this case, let's say I used up all the uploads I have for my free Soundcloud account . With this trick, I can open a new free account and use the same Gmail address. I don't want to create another Gmail account to sign up again.  Using my one Gmail address for multiple accounts on the same service I don't remember when I learned this but you can alter the name on a Gmail address. Like, let's say mine is "tom@gmail.com". To be clear that is not my email. I wish it was, but this is just a short example. Start with the original Gmail address Add a "+" after the email name Where it says "tom" on the address I can put a "+" after that. Add a "+" after the email name After that "+" I ca

S03 Episode 1: Kelly Sauvage Angel, Writer

Listen: Apple Podcasts | RadioPublic | Google Podcasts | YouTube Kelly is a writer who contacted me through the American Bandito Facebook page. She's written a book called "Om Namah..." available on Amazon . As she explains it's a story of healing from betrayal, discovering spiritual discernment, and the best ribs on the east side of Madison. We talk about the book while walking around the Atwood neighborhood in the fall of last year. Plus, a segment from a series of pop-up interviews I did at the Hibernation Liberation event. You can buy the book Om Namah... for Kindle or paperback here .

Smoke alarms.

It was maddening.

License plate.

I never noticed the license plate before so why is it affecting me now?