3D BOOK TRAILER - MARKED





Book trailers are becoming more and more popular these days. Publishers are hiring big companies to produce high end trailers for their upcoming books. Book trailers like movie trailers give you a preview of what to expect. They can be as simple as moving pictures with floating texts and some music, or like mine, a complete 3D animated trailer.

In the end, it all depends on how much you’re willing to spend and what your objectives are. For me, is to get as much visibility for my books as I can. What can a book trailer do for an author? Think of it as an investment in your career. If it goes viral, you’re more likely to be noticed by the media, readers and booksellers.

Here’s how I did mine:

Phase 1: Storyboards/Character Design/Environments

Since I chose to do a book trailer in a 3d medium, I hired a fantastic character designer to create my characters in 3d. With my limited budget, I could only afford 5 characters. Since I had my storyboard in my head, I knew which ones I wanted. He sketched them out on paper first.


Then slowly modeled them in 3d.

 


We also needed to determine what to use as backgrounds. Environments are really important to the look of the final movie, they set the mood. We created 5 different backgrounds for the trailer. Some were made entirely of a 3d environment and some were just blurred pictures as backgrounds.



Phase 2: Script/Animatic/Layout/Cameras

Like any great movie, a good book trailer starts with a script. Work in a beginning, middle, and end to your trailer. You need to grab the viewers’ attention, but don’t give away all the details of your story. They need to be left with a sense of intrigue, enough for them to want to read your book.

Next came the animatic (series of moving images edited together to determine timing and shot sequence). As a retired Animation Supervisor this was a no-brainer for me. I put together an animatic to determine the mood and pacing of the trailer. I used the software Adobe After Effects and inserted images in a timeline to get an idea of what I wanted to see. Once I was happy with it, we moved on to the Layout and Camera phase. This is where the 3D begins. The layout was done in a 3d software called XSI from Softimage. I hired an animator who transformed the 2d animatic into a 3d moving story. In the layout, it’s very important to set the cameras so that we only work on what we ‘see’ in the scene. The animator then did a ‘blocking’ phase with the animation (key poses and timing). Think of it as a rough sketch before you start coloring.
Click here to see the Blocking movie clip.

As you can see in the clip, the final animation is somewhat different,but the general idea is there.


Phase 3: Final Animation/final Cameras

With the blocking approved, the animator now had a visual reference of shots and timing. In the final stages of animation, the animator locks all cameras and polishes the animation with facials, and subtleties that were not animated in the blocking (hair, cloth).


Phase 4: Lighting/Textures/Special FX/Renders
After months of hard work, the animation was approved and could now go on to lighting, textures, and FX. Here’s an example of a shot before and after lighting:



Here’s lighting and FX added for Kara’s power:



Phase 5: Music/End credits

If you want to add music to your trailer, make sure you own the rights or have permission to use it. You can choose to download some public domain music or purchase music clips. I hired a musician who composed the music for the trailer. Good choice of music is critical, it sets the mood.
We put all the renders into After Effects, added the credits and music and outputted the trailer. Done.



Phase 6: Youtube

Upload your trailer to Youtube, your website, facebook page and any other social media sites. Book trailer awards are also a good place to get more visibility.

Marketing your book trailer:

You need to market your book trailer as much as you can. Make sure to put it up on Youtube, Vimeo, Facebook, your website or blog and get people to write blogs about it. There are also blog tours where they can help promote your trailer. Another way to get noticed is to enter your book trailer in competitions like the International Movie Trailer Festival's 2013 competition:

http://www.internationalmovietrailerfestival.com/all-trailers/marked-soul-guardians-book-1/






More on the trailer



Here is an animated clip of Kara and David at Orientation.

 



Another animated clip with David fighting a Higher Demon. Still needs textures and effects, the blades are not finished.












Higher Demon 3d design. Love the style of these bad guys. I think the team has captured a unique style for all the characters. Love it!






David in 3d. Still not approved, but i do love the style.




A 'work in progress' model of an Oracle. I think this is a great representation of what I had imagined them to look like.





 















Here are preliminary drawings for the 3d Marked teaser i'm working on with my friends. I love all these characters. The next step is to create the 3d models of the characters. Then we apply the textures. In the next month we should have 3d renders of the characters with lighting.

What do you guys think?

























































































34 comments:

  1. I love this it should be a movie I only read book 1 so far and i am 33 years old. I am a Twilight fan also please try to get a movie deal for this I think it will be a big hit dont make it into a cartoon if that is what you are soing with these images above. That will ruin it. I am telling everyone about these books now even the library is ordering them for everyone to read and take out I told them all about the books and they loved it.

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    1. Thanks Leah. I do hope the books make it to the big screen. I'm doing a 3d teaser because i can afford it and i have friends in the business. Thank you for spreading the word about my books. This is a very happy day :)

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  2. <3333 I think a movie would be an excellent idea! I would so watch it. Over and over. Haha! But i personally think a cartoon would be a better idea, kind of like how you're doing it above. I personally always imagined it that way :)

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  3. I love these books best ones Eva but I also don't think they should be cartoons. One more thing when does the last one come out?

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    1. I don't have a date yet, still working on book # 6. It should be released sometime early next year. :)

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  4. Ok thank you and btw I'm a huge fan of your books.

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  5. I think if you do get a deal for making the books into a movie, it would be great seeing them in computer animation. being able to but more detail into your characters would be delightful. I am so looking forward to the next book plus other books you may be working on. can' t wait to see what you come up with next.

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    1. Thank you Olivia. I have my fingers and toes crossed for a movie deal. What i've seen so far in terms of animation/preview - it's really fantastic, so i have a very good feeling :)

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  6. love the Soul Guardians Books:) got book 1 & 2 from a friend but that is as far as i can go :( the rest of the books are to expensive in South Africa. :) cant wait to see the 3D book teaser xxx jessica

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    1. Hi Jessie. I'm glad you like the books. Hopefully, they will bring the prices down. I can't wait for your guys to see the teaser...it's going to be amazing!

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  7. dear kim i am 13 years old and recently read Marked. I think you have real talent and will enjoy reading the rest of your books as soon as i have enough money.

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    1. Hi Daisy, i'm so pleased you took the time to tell me who you felt about Marked. I hope you'll enjoy the other books ;)

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  8. LOVE IT!!!!! I think it will be a great movie. I read all five books and I can't wait till the next one comes out. I am 14 and I read the first book in one day. It took only one weak for me to read all five books and they are great. You are awesome at writing. Do you have an idea on when Mortal will come out?

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    1. Hi Rachel. I really do hope we get a movie deal. I'm glad you liked the books. I always love to hear from readers. As of now, MORTAl's release date should be around March 2013. - but it's not %100 certain. Thanks for reading :)

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  9. Hi Kim! I love Oracle and David's 3D (its' soo David if you ask me :D ). Im currently reading Elemental. Its so cool and I love the action

    I noticed some "inconsistencies" on the plot, forgive me if these points are explained on latter part of the series.
    1. If GA's can only stay for a short period of time, how come Kara's mother is living like a mortal. No explanation as to how she lives as a mortal.
    2. If Kara is what she is, how come David can touch her and keep his soul intact?

    These points aside, I love the book. I'm so happy to know that there are like 5 books published. While I'm excited to read up the next books, I hate to say goodbye to a good story/series. Its like the characters are somehow became my friend. Im weird that way, i know. Haha

    Keep it up Kim! God bless!

    Your fan,

    Bori
    Manila, Philippines

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    1. Hi Bori,

      I'm glad you're enjoying the series.

      Kara's mother can stay on Earth for an unlimited amount of time when she is “mortal”, just like any other mortal. But when Legion calls her back for an assignment, then as a guardian in an M-suit on a mission to Earth, she can only stay up to a few hours.

      Kara is part elemental (born of demon and mortal – not angel). She is only part elemental also because her soul is part guardian angel as is her mother’s. Because of her demon/mortal mix, her power manifests differently, and other angels can touch her as well.
      Hope this helps clear it up.

      Best,
      Kim


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  10. Hi Kim,

    I read all your books in 3 weeks. I tried to take my time because I knew, and I did not want them to end. I can't wait to read your new book Mortal, and I have told all my friends and family about this series. I do hope you can make it into a movie, that would be awesome!!! Thanks for these great books! :)

    Alma

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    1. Thank you for READING them and spreading the word to your friends and family. I hope the trailer will spark the interest in someone in Hollywood, i believe it would make an awesome movie.
      Kim

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  11. I just love this trailer. The book is incredible. One of the best or probably the best ones I have ever read. I cannot put your books down. You are so talented and creative and imaginative. Hope to see this in the movies.

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    1. So do I Chloe...perhaps one day ;) I'm so pleased you enjoyed the books. I hope you'll enjoy my new series just as much!

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    2. I saw the preview of your new series and I love the idea. Hopefully one or both get the chance to become a movie. It would do an amazing job

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  12. I'm still deciding on wether or not I personally would want an animation or not. But I LOVE it. I would totally watch the movie. But make sure it has as many details from the book as possible, we don't want it dull and out of line with the books. Kara's hair should be maybe a little lighter. But so far, it's amazing! David still looks cocky and cute!

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  13. David's Design is exactly how I imagined him! You painted a better picture than I did. I really think you have a gift. Kara's design is really good but her hair should be a tiny bit lighter. I know why you made the higher demons design the way it was! ; ) I just have a question... Why is Kara a "Demon Magnet" Like David say in the books. I think its her Elemental essence. I think this movie would be a big hit.

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    1. Yes, Kara is a demon magnet because of her Elemental essence. Glad you enjoyed the books :)

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  14. Hi Kim,
    I was wondering if you were considering writing another book for Soul Guardians after Mortal. You probably want to wait for after your done with Mystics so as not to over load and stress yourself. But I was just simply curios and hopeful.. Thanks for being such an interactive author.

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  15. Hi Mary,

    Yes, i am going to continue with the Soul Guardians once i'm done with Mystics. I'm writing the last book in the Mystics series, then i'm immersing myself back into Soul Guardians. Not sure if i will use the same characters, or create new ones. Still undecided...but that's the fun of writing stories.
    Kim

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    1. Oh okay. Well whatever you decide will be great. I personally would like to keep going with the same characters. But that's up to you and what you think would be the best thing for them.

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  16. I have read all of the Guardians series and also the Mystics so far and I am dying waiting for the next book # 3 I am a 52 year old woman and I just love these books, I just wish that there was at least one more Guardian book. Love your work Mrs. Richardson
    I have become a great fan.

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    1. Thank you so much :) I'm so thrilled you enjoyed both series. There will be another Soul Guardians book, # 7 that i should be starting soon. Hopefully it'll be ready by this summer.
      Kim Richardson

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  17. Hi Kim,
    Yesterday I read Marked and I immediately fell in love. I loved the way you think about
    the afterlife. I really love the trailer and I wish that maybe they going to do a movie. I'm going to buy the other book of Soul Guardians and please don't stop the story now and don't change the characters. I think that they are perfect like they are.

    Amelia
    Quebec, Canada

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  18. Hi Amelia from Quebec!
    Thanks for reading Marked, i'm very happy you enjoyed it, and hope you'll enjoy the rest of the series. There is a visual effects company that bought the 'rights' of the movie (if there will be one) and they are shopping it around. It could become a movie, but it could almost amount to nothing. So i'm still keeping my fingers crossed for a movie deal. I will continue with the series. I'm working on a Survival Guide for the Soul Guardians series and a book # 7. Take care,
    Kim Richardson

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