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Featured Artists - The Zurvan Club

Adolf Navarro

I was born in Barcelona in 1959 and after studying Telecommunications Engineering I was quickly absorbed by the world of computers and become a software developer. The powerful programs for graphic animation captured my attention and since I never have had a special talent to draw, they became the perfect tool to convert my imagination into a comic story. I'm responsible for the script and the drawings of "The Zurvan Club".

Izara Maise

I was born in Barcelona in 1978 and although I have a chemistry
degree by the University of Girona, I was also attracted to the world of computers and the web development. I'm the responsible for the location, creation and modification of the props and 3D models used to make the vignettes of "the Zurvan Club" and the preparation of the files to download.

Discover a New Kind of Graphic Novel with iClone

1- Tell us a bit about your team and your current work.

My name is Adolf Navarro. Two and a half years ago I decided to start a new project creating a big Graphic Novel saga called "The Zurvan Club" so I started looking for software that could help me materialize my ideas when I stumbled upon iClone. I quickly realized it was the tool I needed and I have been improving my experience with it ever since.

I started the project with Izara Masie, who helped me prepare the props for scenes as well as the character clothes and also work on the official website and social media networks. Little by little more people joined us, people like Marina Toledo, Pete May and Steve Wildman that proofread the English versions of the Novel, Michel Comblen and Kathy Van Lottum that are currently translating the novels to French, and Cristian Parras whom composed the musical themes for the Promotional Video clips. All of them are scattered around the world but we connect almost daily through Internet.

We have the first two episodes of "The Zurvan Club" ready in English and in Spanish for free downloading on our website , Google Play, Amazon and other App markets. And we hope to add the French versions very soon. We are currently working on the third episode (200 pages done of 450).

We are also preparing an animated TV series for children called "The Funnybots" using iClone not as a previz, but as a final production tool. We are very confident we could minimize costs while maximizing production time by wisely using iClone 5.5.

2- When and how did you discover iClone?

I found iClone4 on the Internet two and a half years ago. I googled "animation tools" and I started checking the different options. I had used 3D Studio Max, since a long time ago but it was too "heavy" and complex for this project. Besides, my version was old and the update was too expensive, so I checked the "fresh blood" in the animation software industry. I was amazed with the possibilities and the power of the new Apps and my final options were DAZ 3D and iClone, but after some tests I quickly realized that iClone was the tool because I needed to be very productive. You have to consider that each episode of "The Zurvan Club" has about 450 pages.

3- Why did you choose to use iClone in your productions? What's the advantage?

There is not just one reason - iClone balances perfectly between price, quality and productivity. Its learning is very intuitive, the menus and tools are designed to be "user friendly" and I discovered that it provided me with much more than I originally expected, and at this point it has become the backbone of my projects. It provides me the ability to create characters, to make their facial expressions, to do poses for the slides but also to create whole sets filling them with props, changing the camera views, the lighting conditions. I can even use particle systems for special effects such as rain, sparks, etc... The more I use iClone the more interesting features I discover. Recently I made the promotional video clips for the stories and once again iClone surprised me by allowing me to create effects playing with textures and the particle systems that otherwise would be very complicated and expensive using other software.

4- Could you briefly run us through the procedure of creating a comic? How long does it take?

How They Did It?

Uuf! It's a long process. In my case I started scratching the whole picture of the story, acquiring information about the Sumerian Myths and its culture as well as other legends like "The Annunaki" or "Saint Brendan" Island. Then I worked on the main characters one by one. Each character has its own personality, its own past and life. It means that the way they dress, the way they talk and act have to be consequent. We created a entire wardrobe and the accessories for each character according to its personality.

After that I started with the script and then the "real" work began. We spent hours and hours creating the sets on where to place the "actors", and take screenshots. Here is where iClone's help was priceless, well, it already was creating the characters and the sets but when we started putting expressions in their faces and posing them in front of the camera I realized I had chosen the right tool. Once the pictures have been rendered I masked, filtered and brushed the slides to obtain their final, characteristic aspect and then I add the speech bubbles as well as the texts. It took us about 7 months of intensive work to finish a whole episode of 450 pages.

5- Do you have any future project plans you can share with us?

Sure! We are very happy with the reviews received by our readers and we have scripts for at least 3 more episodes of "The Zurvan Club". Recently we have received propositions to convert the stories of "The Zurvan Club" into an animated movie but we prefer to wait until at least the third and fourth episodes are done.

Meanwhile, we have started a new animation project called "The Funnybots" intended for children. We are just in the preproduction phase, developing the environment, the characters and their behaviors. As it's going to be an animated project, we are also creating the music and sounds needed in the series as well as a library of personalized motions using the Kinect mocap device plug-in. It's a big effort considering we have to combine our time with "The Zurvan Club", but fortunately we count with our enthusiasm and with wonderful productive tools like iClone. :)

I would like to enter in the fascinating world of cartoon stories using CrazyTalk Animator, another amazing application made by Reallusion that I still have to deeply investigate, as it shows an enormous potential. I have several ideas to develop, but at the moment, unfortunately, we literally, haven't enough time for more. But time will tell.

To Learn more about Antareus Ltd productions, visit The Zurvan Club

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