Friday, 10 December 2010


So, this week hasn't been a complete waste!  I have missed all my classes and been a big snotty lump on the couch for the past four days... But I got some drawing done!  And, surprisingly, it's exactly what I had wanted to create all project long.
Maybe my brain is fuddled from lack of sleep, but I actually prefer the character pictures I've done this week to all the ones I've drawn while in good health.  That's why I feel comfortable posting these up online:


[Pencil drawings.  Dodge and Burn Tool in Photoshop to shade and strengthen lines]

This is the orphan that Piper will meet on Andona and can't get rid of.  She doesn't have a name, so he comes up with one for her from 'Andona', settling on 'Andi'.

You might have noticed that I've taken away her left hand - the cruelty!  It's all a part of her back story and will tie in with how the story plays out.  Not only that, but I got fed up of looking at how gorgeously perfect female and child protagonists are in animations - either looks or personality, if not both.  I wanted a sense of realism, and what's more real than admitting life can be cruel and unfair?

I'm toying with a few ideas at the minute; making her a boy, less cute, short hair....
What do you think?

J. x

Monday, 6 December 2010

Redesigning. Recuperating.

I've finally been struck down with whatever horror has been doing the rounds!  There's nothing more deadly to your artistic energy than illness.  And maybe television.  Which is what I only have the energy for at the minute!

To feel like I'm capable of something creative I made the banner above.  What do you think?

I hope I feel better soon - I've been wanting to draw so much all day.
I'm prescribing myself a good dosage of children's films.

J. x

Saturday, 4 December 2010

"Less Disney, More Grimm"

The Games Design course I'm on has given me the liberty of deciding what I personally want to do for the year's final project, which is fantastic as I'm already growing weary of 3D modelling.  I think self-directed projects are the easiest to motivate yourself for, it's what you want to do.  I'd say if you're not finding it easy to be enthusiastic over it, then don't be afraid to change direction.

My proposal is to create pre-production work for a would-be animation, then storyboard several sections.  I will finally produce four final images, taken from the storyboards, to look like film stills.

I instantly wanted to adapt a fairy tale or children's story, as if it were going to be a feature film in the vein of Dreamworks and Disney - a classic 2D animation!  I looked at the usual suspects; Hans Christian Andersen, Brother's Grimm, and classic children's literature.  I knew I didn't want to do anything that has already been famously adapted, even if I were to put my own spin on it.  It took a lot of strength to step away from the original Little Mermaid story!

I finally decided on The Pied Piper of Hamlin.  When I told people this it was greeted with mixed reactions, from, 'oh, how boring' to, 'wow, how creepy!'.  This actually made me convinced I was on the right track.  The Piper tale is so vague, the ending so mysterious, and the amount of historical theories over what really happened makes it easy to work with.  Furthermore, I'm not adapting it precisely.  The end of the original story is not the end of mine.  If anything it's the central event.

So far it's been a lot of fun!  Researching, deciding on settings, costumes, characters, and writing it all.  I've completely made a new story, a new world, set in space, with Hamelin becoming the planet Andona and the Piper a space traveller looking for work wherever he can find it in the galaxy.

Planet Andona Concept

Here's a brief idea of what I've got so far:


Piper, a part-time pest controller, part-time musician, comes across the desert planet Andona infested with an alien vermin.  The Andonian Princess employs him for the job of ridding the planet of the infestation, promising a large sum.  During his work he sees the poverty of the Andonians and begins to doubt the Princess' word.  Along the way, Piper meets an orphan who he can’t shake off.  Job finished, he returns to the palace where the Princess refuses to pay Piper for his work and is escorted back to his spaceship where the orphan has secretly stowed away.
Piper flies back to the Odd-Job space station where he resides with all manner of characters.  Piper tells of his misfortune and his want for vengeance.  The Andonian orphan reveals herself giving Piper the idea that people will pay anything to get their children back.  Together, with the orphan’s knowledge of the planet’s people and the help of the Odd-Job space crew, Piper comes up with the idea to hold the Andonian children hostage until the Princess pays up - but not all will go to plan…

I've been working on it for about 4 weeks now, and I think my enthusiasm blinded me from just how much I have/want to do.  Designing each location, costume, vehicle, animal, character...  EXHAUSTING!  But exciting and really enjoyable.  The story's world has become more in-depth than I had ever hoped, and possibly not what anyone would expect.  Less Disney, more Grimm.

I'll post visual work soon.

J. x

P.S. Happy birthday, mum :) x