Monday, 20 December 2010


Ive spent a few hours making the Hunter today. I think hes come out looking better than the reader but hes really a major focus in the animation so i guess thats a good thing. I need to give both my characters teeth and i will most likely have to refer to the  "Stop staring" book for tips on how to properly do this and other facial elements.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

On a slightly different note...

I found this animation but forgot to post it but its just fantastic.


I now have the body of the Reader. This is the plumber. I like it so far but i think it may be worthwhile to try out the business man look and see how that looks. I have also realised that I am going to need to find a way to rig and animate these eyes so its time to do some research. I remember there was a Digital tutors rigging tutorial out a short while ago with a character with similar eyes so i'm going to have to check that out.

Reader/Plumber variation


I now need to figure out what the bodies of my characters is going to look like. I already know that the Readers body is going to be based on a business man and the hunter is likely to be a combination of Yosamite Sam and the old man from Pixars UP.

Edit: Im starting to think it may be better if the reader was based on a plumber or a builder. The steroetypically overweight people.

3D models

I took the characters into Maya and begun modelling the heads. By doing this i thought id be able to see what features will work and which wont because i am seeing it closer to the end product.



More work

I've been doing some more drawings of the hunter and reader. I made the hunter look like an old man as iot establishes him as a grumpy character. This is a stereotype with old people and i have used that to establish this character. The Reader had 2 alternatives. I first tried to give him glasses but that character does not look like the sort of person thatll refuse to get off a bench so i did another character and this time i gave him a foreign looking moustach and this makes him look ignorant and arrogant.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Todays work

So today ive been gettin this blog back up to date and doing some analysis on characters and character designs so ive uploaded these and annotated one of them and i hope you can read my handwriting on the other.

Hunter VS Reader

The current progress of the slapstick story

Hunter walkin along bored.
Finds map on floor
Looks for X on the map
Walks towards X, but bumps into a park bench
Looks up and sees some guy on the bench reading a paper.
Tries to get his attention
Explains that there is treasure under his bench
Asks him to move to another bench
He refuses /He asks him to wait as he’s only got a few more pages left to read
I’ve realised that it may be better to have the treasure hunter as the villain.
The hunter gets angry and storms off
The hunter pops up in a bush behind the bench and drags out a pivot based mechanism.
He lifts up the bench and places it on the pivot
He drops a cannon ball unto the other end and sends the park bench flying into the air
He quickly grabs a shovel and readies himself to start digging
He hears a sound and looks up, then looks at the screen in dismay
The park bench drops straight unto him
He is then stuck inside the gaps in the bench
Reader is not fazed by anything that just happened and continues to read
Or maybe
The pivot breaks under the weight of the bench and the broken part still attached to the pivot, flips round and squashes the hunter.
He pushes the bench into a hole, but when he comes back to where the X is, the bench is back.
He pushes the bench into the hole again but this time he covers it back up.
When he returns to the X the bench is back.
He goes back to the hole, and jumps in.
The Hole gets covered up.
We see the guy on the bench, and the hunter comes into screen covered in dirt.
He snarls at the guy on bench and walks back off screen.
He comes back to the scene where the bench was and the bench is back.
He turns around, stares at the camera un-amused then walks away.
 He plants dynamites around the bench and when he triggers them, they do not explode. So he goes round checking each one and as he picks them up, they explode in his face. He does this with each piece of dynamite. (We only see the first 2 incidents and then it fades out and fades in, as he’s about to do the last one) (The last one is actually unlit but still explodes) or (he sees the last one unlit and decides not to go to it but as he is walking away it explodes)
He’s dazed and walks off screen dizzy
Hunter goes to guy on bench and asks him how long he’s got left, and he pulls out a huge book.
We see the hunters’ expression (angry)
We see the guy on bench smile and wink?
The end
Maybe we switch the dynamite scene with the hole scene and have him come back to the bench covered in dirt and then ask the hunter how long he’s got left.

Pressing issues after tutor discussion.

The bench needs to be impossible for him to move physically.
So maybe the reader is overweight?
He needs to put a lot of effort into moving the bench to make it funnier when he fails.
Maybe he has to get a crane to move it?
If the reader was fat, then will this be offensive to fat people? And I want slapstick, not stereotype jokes.

This is the plot for the No story.

Bob and Steve are good friends. Bob gets bored very quickly and thus always needs to find something to do to pass the time.
One day Bob goes to Steves house randomly and asks him to come and play football in the park.
Steve says no because he’s got a lot of work to do. He explains that he’s got work due in the following day for his workplace, but Bob does not take “No” for an answer, and soon convinces Steve that he’s going to have plenty of fun and that it wouldn’t take that long.
When they get to the park, a pretty girl walks past them, and so they stop and stare.
Bob nudges Steve with his shoulder and dares him to talk to her, but Steve instinctively says no, but after being patronised by Bob, he soon changes his mind. They both approach the girl but before Steve could get a word out, Bob quickly introduced himself and steals the spotlight and leaves Steve in the background as a spectator.

During this conversation, the girl lost interest in Bob as he babbled on about such and such, and stared at Steve who shyly stared back. As the girls attention is averted, a fly decides to fly unto her shoulder and Bob spots this and makes an attempt to scare it away, but ends up startling the girl.]
The girl shouts out daddy and sure enough, just a bit further away is the girls’ father, who is a slightly overweight clumsy policeman. Seeing his daughter in trouble, he clumsily reaches into his pocket as he approaches the 2 young boys. His aim is to use his weapon to scare away the 2 boys but as he struggled to pull it out, he accidently fires a bullet, which flies past Steves Head.

After this close encounter with death, Steve quickly made a run for it, but on his way, he steps of dog poo but keeps going and when he attempts to look behind to see where the police officer is, he runs into a tree, falls down and has a bee hive land on his chest.

At this stage, he is almost unconscious and as he goes completely unconscious, we see bees approaching him from above from Steves point of view.

Next thing we hear are door knocks and we soon see Steve get out of bed and look at the mirror where he looks on, unamused by his injured face.
Steve then goes to open the door and surely enough its Bob at the door asking steve to come and do something else again and this time Steve shakes his head and closes the door and makes his way back to bed.

There will be no dialogue, except maybe the girl saying Daddy. This is so that the animation can be understood by many different people/cultures from different counties and thus applies to a larger audience.

Steve and Bob are teenagers between the ages of 14-18 and the girl is around a similar age range.


Woo finally caught up to today. Today i have been working on character designs for these characters. I am going to pay quite a lot of attention to this because the characters and environments are things that have been critised the most in my past work. Before i could start drawing the characters i needed to take a few important steps:

1. Rough profile: Age, Height, Weight, Special features, personality and backstory.
2. Questions: What sort of audience are they aimed at?
3. Research: Look for inspiration. Try and find people or other character withfeatures that you want in your character.

Well this is the step im at right now so when i make more progress ill be sure to add it.

Another tutorial...

It was time for another tutorial with Will and i had my new story and some very rough thumbnails ready so i was feeling pretty damn confident.Will liked the story but he had some doubts. Even though it is animation and you can often cheat logic, you cannot overdo it. In the story i had an idea of the Hunter pushing the bench into a hole but by having this in there it really eliminates the point of his extraordinary efforts that he was using to move the bench. Obviously I could implant the idea of him going into all that effort when he could have just moved it, into the story, but then this will result into a happy ending for the Hunter....? or maybe hell just be very disapointed with what he finds.

The aim now is to get at LEAST an animatic completed by febuary but before i can start that i need to get the characters and story completly established, especially the end.

Will adviced me to watch "The cat that came back" which is a short animation that i found very funny and it sort of felt like de ja vu so maybe ive seen the animation before or a similar plot but the cats 9 lives joke is something ive definatly seen played upon a lot. It actually reminds me of Top cat the most.

A week later...

A week went by and I had another tutorial with Will and during the week I had seen Despicable me and i was completly in awe of the yellow minions. The way they were animated and the way they interact is something that i have not seen for a very long time. The simple slapstick humour got my full attention and even made me laugh most of the time or at least chuckle a little.The simplistic character design also grabbed my attention and its because of all these things that I watched the movie twice in 1 day.

I discussed this with Will and he recomended that I watched Pib & Pog. Pib & Pog is a stop motion animation made by aardman studios and it's based around a 2 man sketch. The two characters are very wierd/funny looking and the things that happen to them are very absurd. I really enjoyed watching this stop motion but this led me to other duos like Purple and Brown (aardman).

I soon decided to look at the old school slapstick animations, so I started with Wile-e Cayote and the Road runner then went unto Bugs Bunny and even went all the way to Foghorn Leghorn. I got plenty of ideas from watching all these animations and i decided to scrap all my old stories and make a new one from scratch. The Story did not take as long as the others took but when i finished i realised the story actually had elements of my other two stories in it. An example being the location from the first story and the rendering i made for my presentation.

Brief and some progress

Well there is actually no brief for this project. I just need to create a piece of animated work that is a reasonable lenght (2-3 mins) and with my chosen medium (3D animation).

Shortly after recieving the brief we were told that we needed to a PechaKucha themed presentation so I managed to get one prepared for the story I had. I initially thought I had a good story, conviniently named 'NO' but whilst doing the presentation and trying to explain my story, I started to have major doubts about my story. The story took ages to explain and did not even sound exciting.

I actually started having doubts when I was trying to type up the story, but they were fully confirmed during this presentation. The concept of the story got a good reception though, so I decided to work on it a little longer. The week after I had a tutorial with my tutor, Will, and after having a few discussions, we came up with a different story.

Now the story was going to be a series of sketches with 2 characters in different situaions. So in 1 sketch theyll be climbers, in another theyll be aliens and in another theyll be spacemen, but to be honest I was not completly thrilled with the idea so as i was progressing this idea I was constantly thinking about other alternatives.

 I managed to do some character designs for this idea though, with "Little Big Planet" being the biggest influence. I modelled the characters in maya and did some quick movement tests for them. These include a sketchy walk and run cycle.

Ok so....

Ok so, that last modules over and I am now starting on my FMP. I've been working on it, but I have not been posting anything on here for a while and also with this project I will be posting links to interesting things I find that are not neccecerily relevant to the project but i will try and catergorise things so navigating to what you want to see would not be too hard.