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Xylus and Dexter in Space! "Laser tag" Episode 5 - Cartoon animation

Episode 5 -
of my animated cartoon series Xylus and Dexter in Space!

Here is episode 5 of my animated cartoon Xylus and Dexter in Space!


In this Episode: The boys search the castle and meet the "The Ghost".

(Related post: Xylus and Dexter in Space! "Finder's Creeper" Episode 4 - Cartoon animation)


The "ghost" uses a giant ray gun in this episode. The gun is a drawing that was based on an old toy that I have from the Mars Attacks! movie. The toy gun is called the Martian Brain Disintegrator.

picture of toy gun in box
Mars Attacks! Martian Brain Disintegrator Ray Gun Toy

illustration of ray gun a ghost and two kids in a doorway
Ray gun artwork screenshot from this cartoon

I also started drawing the backgrounds in the animation software using a Wacom tablet instead of inking them on paper and scanning them. 

I had not really captured the grit of drawn backgrounds yet doing this. I learned from this episode that I needed to work on how to translate the detail from the drawn backgrounds to computer-only drawings. 

The characters themselves are still being drawn and scanned from ink on paper though.


There's a lot of walking and running in this episode without dialog then it occurred to me...

How was I going to know when the characters should be doing something without the dialog?

Here is what I decided to do. 

I put the audio I recorded for the episode in a video editing program that I use called KDENLive. Then I took the storyboard scenes I penciled and imported them into the video editor. 

From there I arranged those sketches in the editor, switching them around to work out the timing with the audio.

Here is one of the storyboards with the drawings of the running scenes

image of boxes and blue pencil drawings in them
Storyboard drawings

Then I took that video and added it to the animation software. 

In the animation software, I used that video as a guide for the character drawings. When I was done I deleted the reference video from the animation software.

TV Commercial Joke

The episode was actually shorter than the usual 2 min episode I make so at the end I added a tribute to the old Flinstones TV commercials for Winston Cigarettes they used to play during the show when it was first on television.

And here is a screenshot of the commercial for whiskey and cigarettes I made for the end of this cartoon episode.

Illustration of tv and two boys sitting on a couch
Xylus and Dexter commercial spoof screenshot


As I said before, with all the running and walking in this cartoon, the audio in the episode was mostly foley sounds. So I spent a lot of time looking for sound effects to use.

When I was done animating I added a few more sound effects for random character reactions too when I saw that some of the parts needed it.

Next time: Watch Episode 6 "Mirror, mirror"

Check out the previous episode 4 "Finder's Creeper" here

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