Sunday, 19 May 2013

Specialist study 2

for my Specialist study 2 project i planed to work on my own story. this animation would be cut into four parts.By cutting the information into 4 parts it allowed me to work on them individually testing case if I was knowing ball to fully animate all the scenes.


Before I could work on the storyboard and character design I first had to look up Japanese traditional art. With a little help I was told about different types of Japanese art one of these art styles “wood print"
 was closer to the style that I would like to take my art to. Japanese wood prints is a style of art which has been turned into a “stamp" which is green card from wood and then inked in order to create the end result of a print onto a piece of paper the art lines are sharp and easy to see and this also allows they are to have multiple patterns on it without messing up the line at.

Other types of Japanese traditional art is there paintings these paintings use if it ink-based line. This art style is more fluent but harder to recreate. For my animation I plan to use the wood print look to my artwork as it allows me to use flat textures on the characters design.

beat board

 To sum up the story I created the board with all shows the main character.  I wanted to show within the picture what the story always based around which was the character out for revenge in the name of love. As that a mysterious creature in the distance to show the mystery and fantasy within the story itself. while I was working this beat board was also trying out the Japanese print style in my work. In my opinion the art style fit what I wanted to make it look because of this I planned to use in my animation.


 After I created and the board and did the research I then started work on the storyboard. My 1st concept of the storyboard was more action packed part of the story this was going to take place in what I call Autumn (climax). This was mostly based around the main character of the masked woman. The storyboard that I did for this was not very clear on the stories plot and so I decided to work on a new storyboard this will mean based on beginning (Spring). This storyboard was to start off slow allowing the viewer to get to know the characters story. This begins at the point where the character has met her true love and is still a normal person. This animation would be mostly silent at this point allowing people to take in the atmosphere of the animation.

 after working on this storyboard I came to the realisation that the animation will be too long and so I had to drop this storyboard and go for the shortest Storyboard to make an animation out of. This left me with the ending of the story (Winter) a storyboard focused on the fight between 2 main characters the masked lady and the samurai armour. This animation was fairly short but still had a lot of action as well as capturing the story. After I worked on the storyboard I moved on to doing the live action recording of which are used to turn into the animation using rotoscoping.


 Before I began working on the 3rd storyboard I turned the 2nd story world into an animatic to see how long it should run for after a while I realised that the animation would be too long and so went onto my 3rd Tory board for the final project.

character design

 My main focus was to work on character design. This story based mainly around the main character the masked lady and the 9 tailed fox. After doing research on the art work that shows how Japanese artist would draw their females I finally started working on the final concept that I would use for the main character.

mask lady

 Just let the women in the Japanese prints the faces elongated but yet still rounded off giving a smooth faced design. The mask ladies mask is based off a Japanese play mask. I wanted this character have a looming movement to her design doing this would make the characters seem more expressive through body movement instead of facial features.

nine tail fox

 The 9 killed Fox character is the mischievous character changing the story by giving the main character the choice to dish and think wrong in order to get back someone. This character design had changed multiple times at 1st it started off looking more like the European Fox with its head being more oval shaped then elongated. I also changed how the tables were going to be drawn instead of being a straight line they were a repeated pattern of the 2 match closer to the design used within Japanese paintings and other concepts. Although this character is not appear very often within the story his presence I wanted to make it stand out so that you would not forget who the “ villain" is.


 The samurai design came in later through the project his concept was to simply be a empty shell of armour. His design was very straightforward based around real Japanese samurai armour I modified the patterning of it making it simple and design to draw repeatedly the character also has a mask face as well as being of the same colour palette. I made them the same colour in order to link both characters together as both were tricked by the Fox into doing evil deeds. 


Friday, 12 October 2012

development in character design

Today's date: 12 October 2010

At the beginning of my specialist in these I 1st had to choose what I was going to face my work around. For this I began a poll on what to choose for my specialist it is one, from this I received a lot of support in finding the right methods to do my work on. most people suggest that I would do a story from a book  so I went out looking for a story to use in my specialist Studies are planned to do was to work off short stories create character designs for them do a small storyboard reviews and turn into an  animatic and if possible into animation. The main thing I hope to achieve is to make sure that I make this suitable for my target audience as well

From the books that I had chosen one of them being about multiple folktales from a Zimbabwean tribe and the other book filled with different mythos stories about gods and heroes from the past the one that interests me the most to make and work on my character designs and concept art was the stories from the Zimbabwean story-teller with this I can start on my research on to this culture is artwork to base my art design off as well as plan out my work.

From this idea I will plan out my weeks so that I don't spend too much time on one piece of the project, my 1st is to choose the stories I will work from, then do some research on the art style and body design to make my work look more authentic to the book I am basing my character design off. While I have not been able to do my full research and concept art I have been drawing some character designs in my own style to get an idea of what I'm planning to do for the character designs themselves.

15th of October 2012 to 28th of October

research and case studies

for this week and the next i'll be doing research on the art style of south afrca art and artist/ animators to reference my work off while trying to develop my skills in body forms in humans.

To help with my research and references on the African arts style I've plan to use within my character development I wanted to look at a animator who uses this type of style of art in their animation. To help me out with this someone had gave me the name Erica Russell, an animator he uses African music and dance within her animation. In the early 1970s she moved to London and joined Richard Williams animation studio as a paint and tracer she worked on numerous amount of animations through the 80s and gain experience by assisting a Disney animator Art Babbitt after that then establishing her own studio and making a solar animation debut called "feet of songs" (1998) 

For the animation itself she used the rotor scoping on people to get this simple movement of the dance but it I use of colour and shapes that truly define the animation itself. The body design of the dancers are very shape based giving only the  baseline of the body in lines and triangles alone letting the colours and atmosphere takeover of the animation itself. This style of art like most art of the African traditional and modern emphasise body parts giving at least some indication is to weather the character may be male or female in certain emphasis of the body like chest and hips, but the most about Erica Russell animation is the flow and colour within the animation itself the body designed our simple yet effective allowing the music to speak for itself this and traditional African art is something I wish to place within my own character design for this module.

Unlike European art African art varies in all the different parts of Africa most backward symbolise  worship or the embodiment of man to some as is meant to tell story within the artwork itself. Out of what I've researched so far I've come to realise that most African art is found within sculpture this will prove interesting in my work process as it allows me to think in a three-dimensional environment. From the artwork that is paint based I have gathered that the style of art includes a lot of pattern-based this giving the artwork bright colours as well as different shapes and textures for the eye to capture, the patterns and colours are something I definitely wish to add to my characters  development as it will show my work basing around the art patterns and designs of African art.

(mask and sculptures that i may use as a reference for my work) 
 the shape on the faces of the masks are oval shape with distinct facial figures making them very interesting. Most of the mass's eyes are closed this said by the artist to make them was to represent a "woman not to fall in love with a man desire And keep their eyes half closed". quote from the book African art

After further research into African art it was clear to see how it influenced a large amount of artistic back in the 20th century and to this very day with its own unrealistic shapes and simple designs of characters and sharp pattern. The well-known of all of these artists was pesao who uses Cubism in most of his work. Back in the 1900s the European artists became very interested in collecting African art most of the artists who collected African art believed the art to be primitive unlike the European art which was known for it's realism and smooth design. As time went on African arts history became somewhat confused as to what the art truly meant, mostly are being sculptures and masks were used in Africa for tribal ceremonies and sometimes performances in dance and plays. 

As most African art was built from sculptures and masks I have to go through not just their art work but also their design in clothing to get a sense of colour and pattern designed to use in my artwork for the final character designs. I will also be starting on the character designs themselves to see what I can make of them in my own style as well as  design around the inspiration of African art.

In 1962 a Conceptual artist called Yinka Shonibare born in the United Kingdom who moved to Nigeria in West Africa and then returned to the United Kingdom again was an artist who loved the design and colour of African clothing and wanted to ask a question that he himself wanted to answer within a art piece. Before making the picture Yinka Shonibare asked himself what people imagine when they think of Africa, he remembered the traditional African fabrics from sale in the local market in london in which he wore, these fabrics were traditionally made of cotton mix with other materials then dyed and waxed to create outstanding design and pattern. All of these designs came in different styles some very detailed to others very flashy outstanding. To him he believed it to be what true traditional African clothes were, but too much of a surprise the art pattern style of the West African clothes came from another place entirely.

Before West Africa had this pattern of clothing these designs were originally made in Indonesia and when Holland still owned the local area they created a trade in which they sold their road design and pattern to other parts of the world. Not only Holland but the United Kingdom also sold these ideas to West Africa and in time they themselves design their own version from the original and sold their work on. For all of this Yinka Shonibare created his art piece which not only showed the Art of Africa but different parts of the world that brought it all together this is said to why the art piece is called the "line painting".

This will give me a little more of an idea of where the designs and what I can use in my own character design. I believe using the patent design mainly on the characters clothing as used for most this will give the characters as sharp and bright look while using a different type of paint style file the background objects and so on. For this I will be testing out what materials to use for the character designs themselves to make sure that they will blend well with what I plan to use this means creating a background to base the character design making sure that the characters do not blend into the background themselves.

(this will be updated with work and my rewrite)

References and research

“The village storyteller Zimbabwean folktales" written by Sarudzayi Elizabeth Chifamba-Barnes and published by the lion press

“mythology" written by Philip Wilkinson and Neil Philip published by DK

"African art" written by stefan eisenhofer published by Taschen

"african design" written by rebecca jewell published by The British Museum press

"contemporary african art" written by sidney littlefield kasfir published by thames & hudson

"your painting episode 2" TV show on BBC talking about artist Yinka Shonibare

Yinka Shonibare artwork "line painting" link

bio on Erica russell: link

some art Descriptions on African art: link

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Case Study

for this case study i had to choose a character artist that inspired me into doing character designs, I had many people to choose from. All of these character artists are very unique and different to one another for example Nicolas marlet character designs are very sketched out and even suit the style of which movie it would be portrayed an example like for how to train your Dragon the way he drew his character designs for the Dragon themselves looked like the style that the author would have used in her books.

When it came to choosing someone to do a case study on I went with someone who has influenced me through my years, this character artist is Andy Bialk. the first time i saw his work was on a show called dexter's laboratory, this show started in 1996 and along with other cartoons that came out in the 90s the art styles were very unique to the shows themselves all of which used a strong, sharp, dark outline to there characters as well as a "line of action" which gave all the characters a feel of motion. its from this art style that Andy Bialk work shows the most.

(picture of Andy Bialk) 

Thought out Andy Bialk work you see his sharp lines and lines of motion, in the character sheet below (from Madagascar 2) you can see how he shows the character reacting, never showing a picture with the character not in a feel of motion. this is something I have always enjoyed about his characters, as the character is not just showing motion but give a sense of what kind of person the character may be (in this sheet I see a kind yet strong character).

    (madagascar 2)   

but not all of his work is strong outlines he also works with other materials like painting. in the paintings below you see his rough sketch of the character. As seen in the sketch there are lines of motion which like his character sheet give the character a sense of motion but in the painting to the side he shows a very detailed, tonal and bright design to his character designs. the paintings just give the characters live and leave the eye to look at all the parts of the character to the hat in his paw to the pads on his feet. 

(madagascar 3)   

But like most all character designers Andy Bialk also does character development and from his development sheets you really see his creativity. From his work you really get a sense of how his ideas work from the picture below you can see just how many designs he comes up with for one character alone, as he designs a news reporter. There are many alternative designs some that look like caricatures to others, which look closer to comic book style of the character, but all trying to betray a strong, smart character that looks to me like a character willing to do whatever it takes to get her story. Although his character development sheets are different to his character sheets themselves you can still see his style within his rough work while still working on the main focus which is trying to make the character have the stereotypes that most people would think to see in the character.


From all this what I like the most about Andy Bialk work is the design of his characters, most of his characters have unique shape to them whether the character has sharp angles to the face or more softer rounder lines all the characters are uniquely distinct from one another even though they're all drawn in the same style. Another part of why I like his work is his characters are not all in proportion, I always liked characters who take on a different look to the real proportions that we see in our day-to-day lives and to me making the characters look more like characters gives a sense of the fantasy and un-realism that makes me like watching the characters react on TV.

pictures and research

Andy Bialk blog

Andy Bialk on IMDb

info of Andy Bialk 

Friday, 28 September 2012

brief for special studies1

the brief

For my specialist studies I plan to specialise in character design and concept art mainly focusing on developing it and researching up more methods and design I can influence my own work as well as working on the side on my storyboarding learning different types of styles to use. From this I plan to do for my special studies 1 is work from an already made script and design the characters from the script and make a small storyboard based off the script itself. what I plan to achieve from this is to work off a already made  script that can not be altered by myself and design characters based around the main script writing but adding my own unique style to it.

why I chose to pursue this as a job career was my passion to design and make characters that felt like they were in motion and the through my years I have worked on my designs of characters looking at other art styles and animators who have drawn and painted character designs for movies like Prince of Egypt's, kung fu panda, Alice in Wonderland and so on.

 another thing I will be doing for this specialist in these is working around my target audience this will mainly be based around an audience who are looking for a simple design and liked hearted character designs something for younger years and may be young teens.

so as a recap I will be working off an already made character design script design a character based off the script and add my unique style to it while still in the guidelines of what was asked and work a little on storyboarding as well.


research and references 


Andy Bialk (character designer) worked on:  DRAGONS: Riders of Berk (TV), Shrek and after (film), Madagascar 2 (film), Dexter's laboratory (TV series), Megamind (film)

Michael Kutsche (character designer) worked on:

Alice in Wonderland (film), Thor (film), John Crater of Mars (film),  Viking of Asgard (game), Oz: the great and powerful (film)

Carter Goodrich (character designer) worked on:
Brave (film), hotel Transylvania (film), despicable me (film), open season 1 & 2 (film), ratatouille (film), Sinbad: the legend of the 7 Seas (film), Joseph: King of dreams (film), the Prince of Egypt's (film)

Nicolas Marlet (character designer) worked on:

kung fu Panda (film), over the hedge (film), Madagascar (film), Sinbad: the legend of the 7 Seas (film), the road to El Dorado (film), the Prince of Egypt's (film), how to train your Dragon (film)


"the art and making of hotel transylvania" forward by Genndy tartakovsky, written by Tracey Miller-zarneke

"the animation bible" by maureen furniss- published in 2008 by laurence king

this post will be updated over the week

Monday, 19 March 2012

Advent brief 2

"Heinz Advent"

for this advertisement animation we were given multiple briefs of which would we could choose from. there were multiple brief based on different Clients product. For this advert animation I chose the brief based on Heinz salad cream the brief was simple and easy to understand and what was asked was to create a unique advert which would appeal to the 18 to 25-year-old consumer showing off the brand is being unique and still usable on any food product. For this I came up with a couple of ideas based on the idea of student living in what they would do.

Idea for advert

1st idea
I was thinking of someone going to the fridge looks in sees a lot of food thinks of what to have then sits at a table with a sandwich and the Heinz Salad Cream with the end saying "make it sweet and simple" with the Heinz Salad Cream at the end.

2nd idea
a student is holding a party at his house he looks into the fridge insignificant but leftovers and some Heinz salad cream because that up with the idea to use the leftover food is the party platter with some Heinz salad cream it goes off well and at the end of the thing they're all dancing the end saying everything is better with Heinz.

For the animation I've chosen the 1st idea would some parts of the 2nd idea implemented into it where it would still be a single student going to the fridge to get food but at the end party would be happening away of expressing a party in your mouth. After getting the idea of what I was going to give I did some research on the background and how would make it and also the style of animation that I would use to make the mission itself

After watching adverts that were based on the product itself I chose to do my style and a flat 2-D animation with the product being a cut out picture of the product to make it standout or monks the background. How made this animation was by using after-effects and its puppet tool by using a still character made of separate parts put together an animated within the program. Throughout the animation I found multiple complications with objects disappearing and some timing errors of which are found simple solutions to by renaming objects and using effects to pass from one scene to the next. 

test design
 charcater model

background designs

Throughout this project I have gained a lot of experience using a different software and learn new ways of planning out scenes better, if there were anything that I would like to do better it would be speeding up some of the scenes to make it flow better.