So, despite the recent shift in focus to Robot, Balloon Cat is still in full swing, preproduction wise. Below, are two additional space shots I created, working from my terrible storyboards. These served two purposes: 1) To help me visualize these two shots in the proper aspect ratio, and 2) To provide a clearer understanding of the general aesthetic I wish to move towards with this film. (It has been painfully clear to me that I am, generally, terrible at explaining my internal processes to anyone. Hopefully these sort of things can help in that regard.)
Moving forward, I am considering creating the entirety of the galaxy in Maya in order to have more complex camera moves and whatnot. When it comes to animating the cat, I'll just rotoscope a stand in model that is placed in the scene in Maya. Doing the space (and, subsequently, the sky) shots like this will also make sure I have the cat in proper perspective when drawing him during these camera moves.
Now, an issue arises from this: I am not very good at using Maya. I'm proficient in the basic sense. But when it comes to having actual lighting, texturing, and mood, I'm a bit out of my element. However, with the winter break coming up, I can use the next six weeks or so to really brush up on those skills. (I'm not looking to do anything super complex with these Maya scenes, so a basic grasp of these techniques will probably suffice. Balloon Cat is, and will always be, a 2D animated film.)
Below is a test render from Maya that I did quickly. The first image is the scene directly from maya. The second is my attempt at enhancing it in Photoshop. Let's marvel, together, at how terrible these actually are:
(JUST BLUR EVERYTHING. THAT"LL MAKE IT BETTER.)
As it stands right now, I really prefer the top two images. Despite their flaws, I believe they're better overall. Perhaps, I'll create the space in After Effects and only use Maya for the vortex and black hole (but, I'm getting ahead of myself, here. Black hole, what?).