Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Behind the Ident: ideas and thoughts

Randomly found this gorgeous picture of a lizard on the web:

however that's not where the character development first started. Here's a still from one of Aleksandr Tatarskiy's great shorts (together with now-famous Igor Kovalov) "Wings, legs and tails".  (cartoon is all about questioning which of the three is better- a bit like we did in the studio the other day*)

To me that lizard's face looks extremely expressive, although nothing like my character's. (p.s. I didnt actually look at that cartoon while I was making the ident, but I did recall it on the back of my mind somewhere)

And of course there were some concept art bits n bobs to get me started,

-Visualising the chewing

-thinking of the final look

-and the teeth, scene that was later cut out

* remember our discussions tails vs wings. according to the statistics girls go for the wings and cheeky boys prefer tails. I like cheeky boyz X

Thursday, 19 March 2009


The project is now officially finished.

Happy? Hm. 1/2 happy, a bit annoyed, quite satisfied with the fact that it's now over. (BEACH!!!! SUNTAN!!! SUNGLASSES!!!)
I used Flash for the whole piece so now the wacom is practically an extension of my hand. On the plus side it was quite simple to get the look I want.
Before I go into details, let me tell you all how ★ PROUD ★ i am for all of us...

I am proud for Simon Carter who almost lost his head rendering stuff out, for Sarah Crombie who reckoned she isn't computer literate yet managed to achieve something wonderful, for Tom Dowler who helped every confused soul put things right and composed some very nice music, for Emma who managed to keep both food supplies and work going (and some nice work it was!), for Matt Luxton who sat there modeling from the first day right to the last, for our angry German who managed to do some fecking awesome after effects work in 3 days, for Orla who despite all the doubts about her work has managed to impress the people from Chew TV, for each and every soul that spent days dwelling in the studio like some group of crazy hawaiian hoary bats..Last but never-ever least I am proud for Andy and Georg who strongly resisted temptations of the outside world to help their "kiddies". ★ i am proud, folks :)

As for myself...
Almost everything went according to plan. A few silly problems with "pencil tool" in flash were very easily sorted.
More time would have been helpful for adding shadows to the characters, but it's not necessary.
I was lucky to pick the right soundtrack from the beginning of my animation so that went well too.
The only real thing to complain about is actually the lack of challenge. The project was time-consuming all right, but it somehow lacked technical difficulties. so i promise myself to use Maya for my next project.

Whats been used?

Literally CS Flash for the whole animation, not even tester's been done on paper (as I thought I would do to start with) . It started off as testers of the head movement mainly (in Flash). As you can guess the head was the most complex/interesting part of my animation. This is when I first applied the personality I imagined the Lizard will have (duft yet playful, not concerned about the outside world too much, finding it hard to concentrate on thinking processes) .
I found the invironment part less important as firstly-> all the attention of the audiences should be on the mein character, second-> "sketchy" style of the whole thing doesn't require detailed artwork for the background (plus it saves time) . However there was a 'boil' on the BG, which basically means that it has been redrawn (and repainted) a couple of times.

The "logic" behind this...

Is very strange indeed. It "growed" from obscure thoughts that I had when we were given the brief. General human logic was not involved I'm afraid. Going with one of the first ideas was risky. Im having to confess that there was almost no research, no diagrams to help me think, to organise possible galore of concepts.
Now ideally I will not pick the first random idea that comes across simply for the sake of being a nerd person who knows better.
(Besides all this experience tells me its not the most artistic idea, its the one closest to what the employer is looking for.)

Suspecting my animation of being a bit too "obscure" and "weird" for the general audiences (from Chew TV's point of view). Intuition tells me that the pink pallet is confusing for the eye and not exactly the right choise. Off course you dont expect your tutors to tell you this...

General Pluses +

- Flows well. Has a good "beat" to it.

- Has an element of surprise/obscurity

- Nice general design
of characters ("style"?)

General Minuses -

- Some more work should have been done on the bit where camera zooms in on the opened mouth. Certainly another "boil", not "hold". It makes the animation look like a picture, something best to be avoided (unless you are making anime.)
- Apparently pixilated logo