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Backstage: Redrawing Rewritten

Posted by The Toontown Team on August 30, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Howdy there, everytoon! I'm Toontown Rewritten's lead artist and illustrator, Kati. Some of you may know me better as Captain Sandy, Piranha2021, or not at all. I’m here to bring you the next exciting installment of the Backstage Column focusing on just how much work goes into painting the pictures that you've seen throughout the game -- and some of them that you haven't seen!

As an illustrator and graphic artist, I’m basically the gal that creates most of the fancy pictures and doodads you see outside of gameplay. From the logo, to the launcher, to this very website that you're reading from: It’s my job to paint the picture of what Toontown really looks like.

From day one, the team has had a lot of artsy on-goings. You've seen plenty of them, but what you may not have seen are the stages we go through when designing – that is of course, until now. So without further ado, I present to you the exciting tale of:

A Logo for Launch

One of the very first projects I was able to work on when joining the team was establishing the new logo design. We wanted to create something that still carried the vibe of the original design, while giving it an identity all its own. On top of that, I needed to finish it before September 19th, 2013 so that we would be ready for our big announcement!

The initial idea for the logo I only had two requests from the team: A big toon hand to write "Rewritten", and fitting Doctor Surlee's stopwatch in there somewhere. Believe it or not, despite not having much to work with -- there has only ever been one design for the logo! Two days after receiving the request, I went ahead and passed along a sketched out version to the rest of the team. We all loved it, and I began my work on the logo that we see here today.

In the months to come, there would be be plenty of tweaks and changes to the logo, but never a complete redesign. Minor things would come about like fonts and borders, and then a few major things like updating the gears and hands. There’s lots of things this little logo might change up in the years to come, so don’t be surprised if you see it getting a little festive for things besides ToonFest!

Designing Displays

Logos aren't the only thing I've worked on, of course! If you’re reading this post on our website, chances are you see some fancy scenery surrounding you! Some of you long-time Toontowners may remember that it really didn't start out that fancy.

When Toontown Rewritten first launched, our website had been put together in a few days just to give people a place to register. The team gave me a ToonTask of giving it a quick background, which became loosely based off of Toon Estates. In the end it was meant to have a smiling sun shining down on a layered hillside, a little house or two dotting the horizon. Keeping things fairly simple so that the page content would be the main focus.

Shortly after our announcement, I had the chance to work on our website redesign involving the streets of Toontown. I took much of my inspiration from the awesome concept artwork that Disney created for a Toontown reboot in 2010 (Give "Downtown Toontown" a search, they did some awesome work!)

The idea behind this was that since Toontown Rewritten was taking all the elements of a game we all know and love, while bringing in fresh new ideas, I wanted the backdrop to give that same feeling. You start out walking the streets of Toontown Central, a famous and familiar place, but the further into the distance you go, the more new and exciting things you start to find. You may even recognize a few buildings inspired from the original artwork.

Creating the Concepts

Aside from illustrated works like the website or launch window, there's plenty of things that I do behind the scenes here at Toontown. I'd love to tell you all about them, but the team had a team of Lawbots put me under lock and key to keep them secret until they are released! I did manage to sneak a few out to talk about though that might pique your interests.

Part of my work here at Toontown Rewritten has been making concept art for the new content that our team will work on. As a minor example, you can see the drawings I did for the Toon Council Presidential Election in our last Backstage post, "Designing Doomsday". If you click on that fancy picture over to the right, you'll see a few others that I think you'll find fun to look at, and a bit of a tease for the future.

I know I may not run around the streets of Toontown as often as other folks here on the team do, but if you ever spot a puny purple rabbit with a vest named Captain Sandy, make sure to stop by and say "Howdy!"

You can also keep up with some other behind-the-scenes work along with my other projects on my deviantART page, which you can get to by clicking on Captain Sandy over to the right.

That's it for my Backstage column, and I hope to see every last one of ya’ll over at ToonFest. See you soon!


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Cornelius said on August 30, 2014 at 2:15 PM
Wow, you're really talented.

Flame said on August 30, 2014 at 2:20 PM
Wow, this is a great story! The artwork for Toontown Rewritten is AMAZING, and can't wait to see more!

Gothic said on August 30, 2014 at 2:21 PM
And here I am thinking my stick figures looked good.. Keep up the awesome work! :D

Red said on August 30, 2014 at 2:31 PM
Wow, what inspiring work! Thank you for your hard work and effort to make this game every bit as good, maybe even better than it was before.

Hot Potato said on August 30, 2014 at 2:36 PM
Awesome art work! That's amazing! Very inspiring :)

Funny Quackers said on August 30, 2014 at 2:42 PM
This is so cool! I love the artwork, and can't wait for the ToonFest!

Ooowoo said on August 30, 2014 at 2:49 PM
I think I saw an image of the final battle. I hope you guys have some surprises in the future. I also hope the finale is exciting. P.S. you gotta prepare the server for the ToonFest. It will be crowded.

Winter said on August 30, 2014 at 2:53 PM
Nice! That's amazing! :D

Duck Tape said on August 30, 2014 at 3:03 PM
Great art work!

King Droopy Electrohoffer said on August 30, 2014 at 3:07 PM
Amazing story; You did an excellent job with the designing, keep it up! :D

Royal Blue Bear said on August 30, 2014 at 3:08 PM
This is a very good idea.

John said on August 30, 2014 at 3:15 PM
I met you during the elections and you were very nice! Thanks for giving us a little about what you do and the work behind redrawing rewritten. :)

Sir Goopy Whiskerspeed said on August 30, 2014 at 3:58 PM
Your designs and art is awesome! I cant wait to see them in the game!

Mystical Magic said on August 30, 2014 at 4:30 PM
The craftsmanship that has gone in to this game is amazing. However as I run hither and yon trying to complete my toon tasks, I have noticed the wonderful scenery. There are subtle changes I am sure, but it still has the look and feel of our treasured game. Thank you for taking your precious time, to rewrite a big part of our history. Hope to meet the whole team at ToonFest. GOOD JOB!!!

ProfPalefuddy said on August 30, 2014 at 6:14 PM
Captain Sandy: Thank you for your gift of art. I hope this effort brings you and the rest of the team lasting recognition. You have participated in a remix of a master. The game rewritten like the retelling of a folk story. Brilliant, demonstration of art work modification, and creation and preservation of the basic story, game, experience. The team has respected the abandoned original work by the creation of the rewrite. In doing so I think you have added to the broader conversation regarding abandoned software and code. That is an important conversation to be had. Much thanks to you and all the developers and alpha testers. The ProfPalefuddy Orange Duck.

Gold Mouse Cool Toon said on August 30, 2014 at 6:46 PM
Howdy Captain Sandy! I love your stories and artwork on deviantART! I write Toontown stories myself.

Sir Doge said on August 30, 2014 at 7:04 PM
All of this artwork is amazing, you did a fantastic job designing. I can't wait for toonfest

The Epic Toon said on August 30, 2014 at 7:12 PM
cant wait for sep. 19!

Miss Coconut Purpleswirl said on August 30, 2014 at 9:04 PM
I just love these backstage posts! I love learning how you have brought back my childhood! I just can't keep myself from smiling :) Thank you TTR! You make my day!!

Miss Coconut Purpleswirl said on August 30, 2014 at 9:06 PM
I will keep an eye out for you Captain Sandy! I've seen two toons from the team and it feels like I've met a celebrity!! I LOVE TTR!! THANKS TTR! you make my day! :)

Persimmon said on August 30, 2014 at 9:13 PM
I was wondering who the artist who designed the website, logo, launcher, etc, was! Thanks for sharing. I love behind-the-scenes stuff like this.

Tara Dactyl said on August 30, 2014 at 9:17 PM
I could never draw like that!

Cool Pinky said on August 30, 2014 at 9:48 PM
Wow! That is amazing work! :) These backstage posts are getting better and better!! Toontastic job, Captain Sandy!

Larry_And_Ziam said on August 30, 2014 at 11:09 PM
I just found out that toontown was shutdown and that you guys are making a new one. Honestly i think its an amazing and wonderful idea because once i found out it shut down i literally bawled my eyes out because of the memories i had so much fun, but it was such a hassle to pay every month but now that its free... i can actually have fun without having to worry about saving that 10 bucks. Thank you so much it means the world <3 I will defiantly be talking about you guys allot Love- Alyssa you biggest fan already <3

8stoplight8 said on August 31, 2014 at 2:22 AM
Wow, that's pretty impressive, you have really inspired me to start making my own game, I think ToonTown rewritten is going to be great, I have already met some amazing friends!

loopy von nickleflip said on August 31, 2014 at 4:22 AM
That is amazing!

suzy said on August 31, 2014 at 4:29 AM
you are amazing and very talented

Beantown said on August 31, 2014 at 4:30 AM
Fantastic Job !!! <3 hearing behind the scenes stories. It is all of you that make this game possible

Parky Pig said on August 31, 2014 at 5:09 AM
love people who can express our Toony hearts with there art! Thanks

flame said on August 31, 2014 at 6:00 AM
WOW, this is a great story! The artwork for Toontown Rewritten is AMAZING, and cant' wait to see more

Old Cheese said on August 31, 2014 at 7:30 AM
Your so amazing! Your effects and animation are so cool! And you draw like my dad! (And he draws good >3)

C.J. Weaselhoffer said on August 31, 2014 at 7:39 AM
This is so cool! You're an amazing artist, by the way. I don't think I've ever seen you but I've seen Sir Max, but I don't know if it was the real guy or an impostor.

Aj said on August 31, 2014 at 8:46 AM
You're so amazing! I love your art! Thanks for all the TTRW effort! :) -Aj

Princess Whiskers said on August 31, 2014 at 9:05 AM
So glad I got to watch TTR grow! Truly amazed at the work y'all have done! Thank you for bringing our beloved game back.

Kitty Kat said on August 31, 2014 at 9:58 AM
Thanks for doing these Backstage articles guys! The Toontown Rewritten team is awesome!

Spunky Monkey said on August 31, 2014 at 11:20 AM
I cant draw for nothing. Only stick figures and simple things! But this is truly a feat someone with get practice and artist skills to make all these doodles! (and not the pet doodles either!)

Lady Rose said on August 31, 2014 at 12:41 PM
I believe I follow you on Tumblr, if not then it is another TTR illustrator, and I totally agree with every one here. Your art is AMAZING and I'm so glad the team is so talented. Us toons seriously have much respect and gratitude to you, and the entire TTR team. You guys have given all us players the gift of memories. Wonderful wonderful memories.

Kiera said on August 31, 2014 at 1:57 PM
Wow! Really great job on all of the artwork!!! I have always wondered who did it all, and now I know! Stay toontastic! :D

Harvey said on August 31, 2014 at 2:58 PM
Wow! The logo and the site design are really Toontastic! This shows toons everywhere, you guys are toon enough.

Cool Furball FuzzyBoom said on August 31, 2014 at 2:59 PM
This is so cool! You're a GREAT artist! :)

Nuttyquack said on August 31, 2014 at 3:51 PM
Holy cog baked in a cake, if you do all this by yourself I'm honestly 110% amazed, good job either way,

Princess Ayane said on August 31, 2014 at 4:06 PM
I know I've said so before, but omg what a cutie. I'm glad we have such a nice, talented person doing the art :3

Scribble McShortie said on August 31, 2014 at 5:55 PM
I'm a big fan of your art, Captain Sandy! I wish I could draw half as well as you can!

Ice said on August 31, 2014 at 9:12 PM
Your artwork is truly amazing! I draw good too, yet for right now DeviantArt is being weird and won't let me upload! Eh, well! Will we see you at the ToonFest? I reckon we will! See ya!

Olive Petalpocket said on August 31, 2014 at 10:30 PM
Amazing Artwork! Really inspiring :)

Super Raven said on September 1, 2014 at 3:58 AM
Nice animation, and you did all this?

Sara said on September 1, 2014 at 4:13 AM
Amazing! Keep it up!

Zoot said on September 1, 2014 at 5:09 AM
Captain Sandy, I've put you pretty sky-high in my list of idolized people after reading this post. I've always dreamed of being an artist and animator, and seeing you talk about your work being put to good use on this beautiful game... it almost brings a tear to my eye. (I won't go sad, I promise. I'll stop... eventually.) P.S. Your waving bunny at the end made me vocally "d'aww".

Misty said on September 1, 2014 at 6:16 AM
Wow! Thank you so much for you hard work! Amazing art too <3

Captain Valentine said on September 1, 2014 at 6:22 AM
Awesome!! I am studying animation and this would be something like my dream job! ! It's always my dream to work as a concept artist for Disney and Toontown has always been my favorite Disney place!! Thank you for keeping the dream alive!! Much love from Singapore

Princess Lily said on September 1, 2014 at 9:08 AM
This was really interesting! It was also great that you were showing us everything to making the sketches, the work in progress, and then finally the final design, so we could see how much work really goes into the amazing art on this page!

Buster said on September 1, 2014 at 9:15 AM
Wow! Whatever it is that your working on keep doing it because your doing a fantastic job.

Chip Crinklecorn said on September 1, 2014 at 11:58 AM
I just looked through your whole deviantart, and I am in love. How you are so good is beyond me. I'm so glad you're a part of The Rewritten Team!

Little Foot said on September 1, 2014 at 12:27 PM
I too am an artist and I LOVE drawing! I've been drawing scenery and characters (mostly characters) since I was about...3 years old. I was drawing all stick figure, of course, but as I developed, I got better and better, and now I've learned to draw real human flesh xD haha. Anyways, I've always wanted to submit my art over to something but...I'm always afraid people won't accept it because its not "hot" enough or not the kind of art people would like anymore...but when I get to go to places for other art opportunities like face painting or freelance drawing for a children's book that a friend is writing, I've always gotten good reviews and feedback. Things like that always get my hopes up about my art and drawings. I've never won any kind of award for any of my artwork...I've only seen it being showed on display for about a month or having the teachers show it for an example for my art class but...that's about it. I've never won a ribbon or anything like that...all of the dark, weird, and somewhat evil artists have. It's like...my art doesn't really belong anywhere except for in illustrated kids books I'm writing...or drawing assignments in class...or gifts for friends and relatives, those are almost the only times my art will get accepted. I don't think I'd even want to try submitting art on here because you guys already have an artist...and plus, it's probably not as good as theirs...thanks for reading this...eventually my "talent" will be recognized...

Sparkle said on September 1, 2014 at 1:32 PM
Wow! Nice artwork! (:

Alex Mc Toony said on September 1, 2014 at 1:45 PM
Wow, Nice drawing, I like the way how smooth your drawings are and how they move around with ease and how they keep changing and how they eventually end up in one position for a couple of years, and others come to remember the old ideas. :D In my opinion, I think you should make the next backstage post about Muddy Paws, the Mac OS developer for Toontown Rewritten, I admire all of you developers including Sir Max, Captain Sandy, Fat McStink, Muddy Paws and all the others.

Good Sir Crazymouse said on September 1, 2014 at 2:14 PM
Do my eyes decieve me? Or did that loosely sketched piece depict a bunch of explosive gags? Do I smell a new gag track in our future, certainly a "blast" to play with?

Airspeederz said on September 1, 2014 at 2:54 PM
We can all blame this toon for drawing in those selfies for Sir Max. On a serious note, you're a really talented artist :). I hope you keep pursuing art.

Nandatil said on September 1, 2014 at 3:36 PM
This is absolutely incredible, I love seeing concept art like this! Thank you guys so much for everything :'D

Mister Duck said on September 1, 2014 at 3:44 PM
Hi Cap'n Sandy! I really like looking at your amazing artwork and first drafts compared to final versions. But i still have one question. How did you make the artwork? I know the drafts were hand written but did you publish it on a computer? Did you use special paint or pastels? Or did you (being the toon you are) use jellybean paint? I just really want to know. (But the Lawbots don't want me to) I say we make our own toon law services and call them the L.O.L bots. (Law Obeying Laughers) Thanks! - Mister Duck

cartoonboss said on September 1, 2014 at 4:19 PM
thanks for the game! it awesome!! ;)

Pamcake Dynodoggen said on September 1, 2014 at 8:13 PM
I cant believe you made all the drawings for Toontown Rewritten

said on September 2, 2014 at 8:34 AM
I just can't believe that Toontown Rewritten is opening :D

Charlotte said on September 2, 2014 at 10:29 AM
Wow! I've always loved the idea of digital art. In fact, I want to become an animator when I grow up! Right now, I'm only 13, but I still love the idea of animating my own show as an adult! Showing me that you've accomplished so much at only 19 years old -- that's really inspiring! Thank you! :)

Blue Bunny said on September 2, 2014 at 1:32 PM
I can hardly draw stick figures,I cant imagine how tough every little detail is! Keep up the good work!

Yellow Mouse Cheese Guy said on September 2, 2014 at 5:23 PM
You guys are truly the best. I have been playing in open Beta, and it has been awesome since I pressed the play button! Thank you guys so much for all you have done to revive the toon community. ToonFest, count me in!

clyde said on September 2, 2014 at 8:16 PM
The artwork is amazing! WE have much to be thankful for to you and the whole team. Your work is wonderful Kati. Or should I say Captain Sandy. Hope to see you on the playground.

Trombone said on September 3, 2014 at 2:23 PM
thank you for your awesome work. I love the logo.

Dr. Pep-Purr said on September 3, 2014 at 3:59 PM
Thanks for giving your all! Hope to see more like this in the future!

Ryno said on September 3, 2014 at 5:51 PM
Very nice art. You're way better than me.

SqueakyCheese said on September 4, 2014 at 2:54 AM
Thank you for helping make this game run! You guys are the best. You've brought back the toontown we loved!

Nay Nay said on September 4, 2014 at 12:51 PM
Thank you so very much for bringing this game back ----- You will never know how many kids and adults you made happy !

Stardust said on September 4, 2014 at 7:23 PM
That's so awesome! :D Thanks for all your hard work you and the TTR staff put into the game!

HappyCrush496 said on September 4, 2014 at 7:56 PM
This is great!! I remember playing the original toon town when I was young, and now I can honestly say that the graphics have improved considerably! Thanks for working so hard on this! I love it!

Dr. Gates said on September 5, 2014 at 1:50 AM
The artwork is pretty good in all honesty. Keep it up Capt. Sandy ^^

rose518 said on September 5, 2014 at 1:28 PM
Wow, this is a great story! The artwork for Toontown Rewritten is AMAZING, and we can't wait to see more! And by the way,you're really talented. And here me and friends are thinking our stick figures looked good.. Keep up the awesome work! :D

Mo Mo said on September 5, 2014 at 2:23 PM
...WOW! can you just give me some of your skills?!?!?!?!??! thanks.

Domino said on September 5, 2014 at 5:22 PM
I really like the one that's up right now and seriously your great drawers! :D

Toonstar said on September 5, 2014 at 6:16 PM
I'm ready to play this game!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lets do it!!!!!!!!! XD

Silent Sara said on September 6, 2014 at 9:27 AM
I can't WAIT for the open beta release! It's gonna be huge!

LoonyLeopard said on September 6, 2014 at 10:13 AM
I Am So Happy About How This Is Going, Keep Up The Good Work! Leader Leopard ~LoonyLeopard

Angel said on September 6, 2014 at 11:09 AM
Awesome art styles. Is really beautiful what you guys did for this game.

Sheriff Fireball Wrinklezapper said on September 6, 2014 at 12:17 PM
Wow, amazing! I was just wondering when the client performance will improve because there are a lot of lag spikes and studdering in the game. I freeze every few steps and its getting annoying. Thanks, The Sheriff of Toontown :)
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