Sunday, 31 October 2010

Finalised character designs - Enzo & Bird

Happy Halloween!!!

Anyways, now that I have posted the developmental sketches for each character I can now start posting the finalised concept designs for them. To start it off, here's the design for both Enzo and his friend,  Bird.

Enzo and Bird

Enzo Design process

Enzo was born in the mines as a slave. He has never seen the outside world at all.

I wanted his design to some what resemble a bird but still be humanoid. He has feathers poking out of his helmet and his face has a sharp chin to look a little similar to a bird.

I wanted his skin colour to match the mines so that it seems as if his race's skin colour has evolved to resemble the colours of the mines they are confined in. The logo on his chest plate is his identification symbol and will also be a part of the animation's title logo.

Bird Design process

Throughout mining history, birds have had a connection to the mines to indicate any anomalies in the atmosphere. However, Bird is not that type of bird. Instead he is a resident of the outside world where the mines are something new to him. I wanted his colour to be something that stood out in the mines to emphasize that he does not belong here.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

A film about Power, Greed and Slavery

This post will focus on the themes of power, greed and slavery that will be explored in 'Project Enzo'.
Whereas my previous theme related post focused on friendship which reflected the story of Enzo and the bird, these themes are the existing themes present in the world of Project Enzo. They are represented by the intimidating Overlords.

Rule 1: Overlords are the masters!

Primarily set in the underground mine world, the Overlords are the rulers whilst Enzo and his species are slaves. The Overlords are fond of  valuable ore that are found in the mines, the feeling of superiority and dishing out unnecessary punishment to the slaves for their own amusement.

Rule 2: Overlords are happy as long as they get richer

These themes are already in place and make the world seen in the animation. It is this group of themes that will become obsolete by the end of the animation thanks to a simple frienship between a bird and a slave name Enzo.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Meet the Scientist

Now that you've seen the Zombie concept sketches here is the design for his creator, the Scientist.
This character will be speaking towards the camera talking about his creation. During his glorified speech, he realises the experiment has escaped its cell and paranoia and fear creeps up. The animation ends as the experiment leaps on to the scientist (just as he finishes talking).

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Original Character Designs part 3 - True Overlord

Scans from my sketchbook showing the first sketches of the Overlords in their true form.

Overlord Concept sketch

The Overlords in reality are just small, weak goblin-like creatures who barely reach the knees of the average slave. They built the huge mechanical Overlords to appear intimidating and keep their control over the slaves. They sit inside the belly of the robot and control from the inside, enjoying the pain and misery they deal to Enzo's kind.

It will be an awkward moment when Enzo learns the truth as the tables are turned. Here's a Size comparison chart between the robot and the real overlord.

You all look like ants from here...

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Original Character Designs part 2 - 'Bird'

Scans from my sketchbook showing the development of Enzo's avian friend, 'Bird'.  (Most imaginative name EVER!!!).

My sketchbook is full of pages of bird drawings so I've only scanned a selection of them. Before this, I struggled a lot at drawing birds so its pretty cool looking back at my sketchbook to see the improvements. I looked at a ton of bird photos and videos to understand the anatomy and movement.

At first, I went with the a realistic wing but slowly deformed the drawings back to a more cartoonish style to fit the original idea of a having a small, cute bird. Despite, yellow budgies having a big connection to the mines, I wanted to have a small blue bird to emphasize that it doesnt belong there.

Bird was strangely enough the most difficult character for me to design and finalise and you can see the concept drawing for him below.

Finalised sketch concept for Bird

The animation for Bird will be even harder as so much emotion needs to be shown from this character. Here's hoping I can pull it off.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

'Project Enzo' Original Character Designs part 1

Scans from my sketchbook showing the very first concept designs for Enzo and the Overlords.

Designs for the Overlords and Enzo

Came up with these designs surprisingly fast, especially the Overlord. I think I was able to get the design down straight away for their mechanical forms. It took me about 2-3 different character designs to reach the version above for Enzo.

Should be interesting to see how my final designs look compared to the original designs, which I will post soon.

Meet the Experiment

Character Design/ facial expressions for my 11 second club's October entry.
This dopey zombie will escape his containment cell and capture the scientist in charge for lunch.

Nick named "Zombeh"

Currently still planning the animation out with the hope of starting it either end of this week or the start of the next.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Progess Report

Project Enzo

I'm making good progress on this so far. Just finished my colour script a few days ago which I'll post in the near future. The colour script has been really helpful as my weakness in conceptual art is environments so doing a colour script really helped lay out the colour and form of what the scene will be like.

I still place the project in the scripting phase as I'm constantly thinking of ways to improve the story and scenes and cutting out as much filler content as possible. In it's current state it will last between 4-5 minutes which is a big improvement over the original 6-ish minute length.

I also have my current animatic version on my vimeo account uploaded but this will constantly be revised to match the latest script edit. I love writing stories so this process does not annoy me at all. I hope to begin modelling the characters over the next few weeks, providing work for my other modules come to a close.

Professional Animation Project

For this semester, I'm working to the brief of the 11 second club (specifically the October competition) with the added benefit of having more time to work on it. Quite confident with this project and I hope it goes just as smooth when it comes to animating it. I hope to start animating it by the end of next week since I have the animatic done.

It's going to be a 2D animation which i've wanted to do for a while since alot of my work has been digitally made or not a traditionally drawn animation.


I seem to be coping with this fine as well in comparison to past essays where its usually taken me around two months to really get going. I have a clear goal at the moment and know exactly where I'm going with this. Finished my proposal for hand in for next week so it's now down to the research.

For my disseration I'll be analysing and comparing the narrative structures between an animated film , Sky Blue and four games (each with their own narrative structure). These are: Heavy Rain, Half Life 2,  Fallout 3 and finally Flower. As I have a huge interest in story writing, this dissertation should be enjoyable.

Friday, 22 October 2010

A film about friendship

This post will focus on the theme of friendship that will be explored in 'Project Enzo'.

The protagonist, 'Enzo', and 'Bird' will meet each other early in the film and become friends, willing to protect each other from any harm. Enzo is a slave working in the underground mine world when he is introduced to Bird, who gradually teaches him how to enjoy his life and smile.

Enzo attempts to smile for the first time; thanks to his new friend, Bird.

 Indebted to Bird, he must now return the favour by releasing his small friend to the outside world when the atmosphere turns poison.

One of my goals for this film is to successfully show their friendship and how far a friend can go to save the other.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Flip Festival's west midlands animation screening

Stumbled across this today on google:

It's the programme for the west midlands screening for the FLIP festivals launch party. My film will be shown right in the middle of the screening. Here's the synopsis on the programme:

Sentry (Ravi Maheru) 02’ 00’’
An over confident space hero enters the scene to get his hands on a valuable gem stored inside a facility, guarded by various sentry bots. With his trusty blaster he begins his mission. A stop motion animation using nothing but cut-out card models.
Doesn't seem like they edited anything in there as apparently some festivals create their own synopsis/ descriptions. Anyways, can't wait to go there. It will be interesting to see if it causes any reactions or feelings (preferably something close to laughter ).

Also noticed my lecturers (Sam Moore) animation is there too, 'An Eyeful of Sound'. Looking forward to seeing this as I have only seen the trailers/ previews until now. The Brothers Mcleod also have a showing there (who were at last years FLIP festival too). I feel really small now and out of place to have my film shown in this programme, well more nervous than anything.

('A fistful of pasta' sounds interesting :D)

Friday, 15 October 2010

'Project Enzo'

Code named Enzo for now (one of my favourite character names, I think it was from a sci-fi 3D cartoon in the 90's, does anyone remember it?), this is my main project for my animation course.

I had done alot of the pre production work before the semester started since the idea has been cooking in my head since last Christmas. It follows the adventure of a Slave and a bird as they attempt to escape the mines. The focus of the film is the friendship, the sacrifices they are willing to make to eachother and how they understand eachother without speaking the same language.

It's definately my most ambitious project (Im sure I end up saying the same thing every semester) but it's not going to be easy. I want to make sure that my vision of the project is created perfectly, but with time ticking by I hope I can achieve it without compromising anything!

I'll be keeping this blog updated mostly with my developments on this project.

At the moment, I'm constantly revising the script to make sure the story flows right with as little filler as possible.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Sentry at Flip Festival

Sentry will be shown at Flip Festival next month at the launch party in Birmingham, millenium point.

This is my first time having my work shown off infront of a large audience so its quite exciting and scary at the same time.

The launch party for animation is from 7pm - 10pm on November 4th. Having gone to previous Flip Festivals I have never been to the launch party so heres hoping its good.

A little gutted that my animation won't be entered into the student screening section although this is due to the fact I entered it as a private animation and didnt have it entered through the University. Oh well, maybe next year I can do so.

Friday, 8 October 2010


Decided to create a blog at last, especially since its now my last year for my animation course. So for now, this is just me testing everything out and I'll start posting about my progress and what I have done up until now as i get used to everything.