Q. Why was it decided to create an anime themed overlay?
Pilar: In recent years, Japanese anime culture has continued to gain popularity around the world, while being a huge inspiration among content creators and our community of game developers. Since the genre is often characterized by colorful graphics, aesthetically stylized characters with superpowers, and fictional themes, we thought it would be fun to capture that vibe and energy in a series of overlays and share it with the community.
> Can you tell us about the characters?
We chose heroines to have feline characteristics because in Japanese folklore cats have protective powers and symbolize good luck and luck. Once the characters were decided, we contacted an illustrator to create the first sketch.
> There is also a lively background. Can you elaborate on that?
For the design and the world that was supposed to surround the characters, we explored the contexts that combined technology and gaming culture, characterizing the genre without losing the element of fantasy. We then used backgrounds with vibrant colors and incorporated manga and anime elements, such as the glitches that go with the animation and night shots of a retro-futuristic city reminiscent of the splendor of ’80s Tokyo.
The animation was done by 2 animators, one of them in charge of the traditional animation of the characters, and the other working on the 3D animation of the kittens and the rest of the pieces. We focus on the gaze of the characters, widely used in anime, as a point of tension in the scenes.
Although the end result was very satisfactory, it was quite a challenge to prepare as the project was attended by many people and each focused on a specific task.
Next we talked with artist Mercedes Bazhen about character design
Q. Mercedes, tell us a little bit about the creative process.
Mercedes: I usually embark on a project looking for inspiration. I look to fashion and different color palettes to get the inspiration flowing. Then I start sketching out some ideas and present them to the client. After the drawings are approved I proceed with the line art and basic color approach. Once everything is in place, I do the final touch ups and prepare the files for production.
Q. Do you have a personal connection to the anime world? If so, tell us about it!
Yes! When I was a kid my mom didn’t allow me to watch sitcoms or popular shows, so I watched a lot of cartoons and anime in my spare time. It really defied my childhood. Since then I have been a huge fan of anime and manga.
> Did you have any special inspirations? what were they doing?
I follow a lot of artists on social media. They are a great resource of inspiration and inspiration. I love that with social media you can see the processes and get to know the struggles of each artist which can make them more human and approachable.
Q. What challenges did you experience during the creative process?
The fear of “blank canvas” is real to me. It’s hard to start sketching things out in the beginning because everything looks really bad. Sometimes it’s a matter of trusting the process and your skills (and sometimes with your fingers crossed you’ll get to the point where you’re proud of your production). In other cases, though, things get really easy and I especially love those days!