Update: I’ve done some proper storyboards and touch up the character designs. You can find the newer stuff here.
I’ve decided to make a short film in my spare time. So with a lot of determination and some help from friends I’m going to complete this film. I have a long road ahead, but I’ve been steadily making progress. Now that I’m into the 3D modeling I’ll start posting about the production process. The first place I started of course was with an idea I felt was worth sharing.
I wanted the film to tell a simple story through a complex use of color. I feel that a story and viewers’ moods can be enhanced by a smart use of color. This is no stunning revelation. People have been doing this in art and media for decades upon decades. The thing is I feel a lot of time that people don’t consider color enough.
Color is a great thing. Difference is a great thing. Variety is a great thing. This film is a little about color telling a story, but it’s a lot about how the act of something different coming into your world is a great thing. I feel adding new experiences and people into your life will make it better place. If people take anything away from this film I hope they take away this concept and don’t shun differences that enter their world but embrace them with passion.
For the look of the film I want it to be highly designed. Having a final product that looks like a modern day UPA cartoon. I feel like with the story I’m trying to tell and the way I want to tell it the modern art UPA style is the perfect fit. The reason I want to do this in 3D is to help create some richer character animation than would be in a traditional UPA cartoon. UPA was known for making more stylized animation, but I feel like having full rich character animation is needed because the characters drive the story and I want that push forward to be a strong bold statement. Below is a synopsis of the plot, some rough character designs, as well as my color script.
The world that the main character lives in is bland and monotone. As an artist this frustrates him, because he can’t produce beautiful vibrant art. In a fit of determination he leaves his studio to head to the park for inspiration. He initial observation leads him to more disgust over the bland and mundane; that is until he sees someone or something that really pops out of the blandness.
This little guy ended up with the name Sir Toppin Hat after my wife saw me sketching him and said that should be his name. When I was making him I was just focused on recreating the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland as a human. Lately I’ve been playing around with scale and proportion when sketching out characters. With this sketch I continued to push my proportions in the design to see how far I can go with the balance of large and small features.
We had a very sad event happen today. My wife’s grandfather passed away suddenly. While I was around the family I felt like there wasn’t anything I could say to make things better. As I drove home I thought well I couldn’t say enough but perhaps there was something else I could do to show my feelings. Since pictures are worth a thousand words I hope this portrait I painted on my iPad will suffice.
I was watching a video with a character named Francis and thought to myself “Wow! This guy is so animated I have to make him a cartoon.” This was the result of that endeavor. I thought I’d include various stages from the original sketch to the final piece to help show the process.
We needed some sketches of sea creatures and other nautical items for a project at work. Here are some of my favorites that I’ve done so far. I’m really glad I’m getting a chance to do this, because I’ve been inspired a lot lately by nautical designs in the sketches I was doing for fun. Now I have a professional outlet for that inspiration. It’s always exciting when your work and fun collide. The results are always awesome. I can’t wait to see what it all looks like finalized.
These are excerpts from a series of pieces that tell a story. In every piece I use a different tool to do the inking. Markers were used in the first to create big bold shapes. In the second piece I used a nib pen and created optical grays through the use of hatching. For the third piece I used a Windsor Newton series 7 brush. Then in the fourth and final piece I’m showing I used a dry brush technique. Each has its own feeling but they’re tied together by the story.