Thursday, 23 December 2010

Story Change

After some deep thinking and reconsideration, we now have a new ending for the animation which shall hopefully work. Pandy is now going to be a real life bear, i feel this is a little too much like Toy Story but we feel the animation may not work as well if he is not a real life character. The difference between the two though is that Pandy shall stay real life so Summer and Pandy have a real relationship instead of Summer just having him as a cuddly toy.
The new animatic is currently in working progress and i shall try and post them both up so that you can see the difference between the two. As that is being done i am now modeling the characters. I had started this process for my other unit for Dan Dali, but now it is time to make them properly. Posts shall be put up to see how things are going. Karl is carrying on with prop modeling as it seems we need more props than what we thought.

Sunday, 19 December 2010


Well the Christmas holidays are here which is great but i have lots of work to get on with. The formative was a disaster. Our teacher Mike did not seem to like many things about our project. Here is a list of the things he said.
He thought our animation was very confusing, it had no clear message and that it would only confuse the audience, so we need to come up with a new ending. He also thought that the character bios were far to brief, they didn't really explain who they are as a person and what they mean to one another. Mike kept getting confused about weather Pandy was a real life person or just a teddy bear. He did not really like the style of Summer and said that i need to do some new designs to her. The one thing he did like was the concept art that me and Ryan had created, but said it was not developed enough.

So just from them things alone, it felt like the whole project had to be done all over again. Which was something we just do not have the time to do. I understand his concern about Pandy as even we were pondering if he should be alive or not. Going backwards is not something we can afford to do as we need to start modeling during the Christmas holidays but it seems that is going to be held off at this moment in time. So the next stage now is to go back and see how we can change the ending of the story as it seems that part is a little confusing, this needs to be changed as soon as possible so that everyone knows what is going on, and then from there we can do our individual things.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010


Here i have draw the main character expressions that will be used for the animation. Drawing the face expressions will help me to create them in 3D, this is also a great way to know how your character will look. This will also be helpful to the rigger as they will need to make blendshapes for the face.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Character Bios

Getting ready for the formative which is coming up soon, i have been creating some character bios, so that the audience can get a little insight into who they are. I have only done a rough summery at this stage as i feel i do not need to go into to much detail about them as the animation is so short. We need to concentrate on the actual animation itself not all the paperwork behind it.

The poses i choose for Summer and Pandy were to show what they are like. One of summers main things is to draw, she loves nothing more than to draw everyday, and in the tree house there shall be many of her art pieces pined up against the tree house. As for Pandy he is a little clumsy at the best of times, and thought him falling over would be a nice pose to show that.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Complete Storyboard

Here is the completed storyboard that Ryan made, these are the key screen shoots and the kind of camera angles we are thinking of using. We were all wondering what would be a good way to finish the animation as it finishes kind of suddenly. Ryan thought of an idea of when the torch hits the ground and rolls, that could be a good time to have the animation title come up and then have the credits roll. With Karls help, he came up with using childs blocks to spell out 'Summers Tree House' which i thought was a great idea and the perfect way of keeping everything consistent.

The next thing now is for Ryan to make an animatic to try and pace the timing of each shoot. We also want this to show for our formative presentation that we have in a weeks time.
With the formative coming up i need to start creating facial expressions which will be key to the animation as well as a little bio for each character.
There is lots of work to be done in a short period of time.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010


Whilst playing around with Summers colour scheme a little more i now have a new final design. Most of the colours before have still been used but they are just in a pastel form. The main elements i have changed are her hair and t-shirt. I have included yellow mainly to represent her name Summer. Yellow is very popular and bright when it is summer time, it makes people think of happiness and joy. I think this suits Summer a lot more than how she looked before and she will stand out greatly when it comes to the dark environment. Her eyes are now blue as they are near oppersite to the colour wheel of yellow (blonde) hair which makes her eyes stand out. Her facial animation is going to be very important to the animation and will want to show messages even through her eye colour.

Here i have the original colour scheme and have played around with the type of baby colours i think would work. I now see that using pastel colours helps to make summer look young where as the stronger bold colours make her look a little more grown-up. Her eye colour has changed although you may not be able to see this all that well.

Sunday, 5 December 2010


Here is the new and improved Pandy. He now looks a lot more like an actual teddy bear but i still tried to keep a little attraction of a panda. Compared to how he was before he has changed in pretty much every way possible. He is now taller and thinner, and i got rid of the flower on top of his head as i felt it had no real purpose to the storyline.

I done a colour study test to see how he changed through colour. I also wanted to do this as a test for the colour scheme of the animation. As the animation is now of a dark colour scheme i did not want him to blend to much with the background, although he is going to be a dark silhouette, but this will be shown through the lighting of the weather. Cream and browns worked best on Pandy as he reflects with the colour scheme of Summer, bright, bold and realistic.
Brown is also a common for a teddy bear which is another thing which makes him a little more realistic but in a stylized way.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010


Our project is slowly coming together. Ryan is making good progress with the storyboard and shall have it finished any day. Karl is already starting to work on Maya with some experimental tests of modeling. I have been making some large changes to Pandy as i was not happy on how he looked. With many drawings, i have come up with a design that the other team others are happy with.

Here is a mood board which shows my inspirations for Pandy. The bottom right image has been a great help as he looks very friendly from the circular shapes used. The bon bon on top of his head helped me with the first designs but have now moved forward since then.

Above are some rough images of how i am thinking of having Pandy. As you can see he has changed drastically to portray him looking more like an actual teddy bear instead of a panda, even though his name is going to remain the same. I am still going to have the circles around his eyes to show that there are still elements of him looking like a panda. I know need to try and make any finishing touches to him and create a new model sheet.

I am unsure if Summer needs any further changes at the moment as i feel she looks complete and can see her working with the animation. I think i may still need to do some more colour studies and see how things go from there.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Story Decided

Since my last post, we all had to make little bullet points for different stories. My other members Karl and Ryan had come up with come really interesting stories. I was finding it hard to narrow down what story would be most interesting and appealing to the audience. I decided that we would swap sheets and put little initials of your name next to the story you like and see which were the most popular. We got it down to 5 different stories and had to work as a team to pick only one. Within a good hour or so, our story had finally been decided. One of Ryan's stories was chosen.

The story out line is:
Summer is sleeping in her tree house when a thunder storm strikes. Summer wakes up and starts to get frightened when she sees a big scary shadow slowly coming towards her. She moves to the corner of the tree house, trapped and alone. As the shadow gets closer to her, she hides her face and when she looks back up, the scary figure is right up to her. A sudden light appears and it is her pet Pandy playing a trick on her.

This story is really interesting as it has a different mood set compared to other animations and has a lot of different emotions to show within a short period of time. The lighting for this could be really interesting and would definitely set the mood.
The next step to do now, is for Ryan to start coming up with a story board whilst i start doing some more experiments onto the characters. Karl will need to look into the types of props we will need for a tree house.

Monday, 22 November 2010


Since we now have the group in place and characters decided, we know need to set on a storyline. I have told the other members to make a list of several different stories which would work for a short animation. Once we all have a number of different stories, we will need to make a group decision on what story we think will work best, but also try to be a little original to other animations out. This is quite a mission as i feel that everything that could possible be done has already been created, so how do you think something original?

My short stories are as follows:

  • Summer is tiding her drawings from her little desk, when she finds a spider underneath and starts to panic.
  • Summer is drawing when her crayon breaks and it rolls through the tree house, underneath her desk of draws and she uses her toys to try and get it back.
  • Summer has a flower pot and she starts to sneeze, so she starts to throw out the flowers from there pots, until get goes to throw out Pandy who was hiding in a pot.
  • Summer is playing with her magic wand when she does a trick to make Pandy disappear.
  • Summer and Pandy are in there own little band, summer xylophone, Pandy drums. Pandy starts to go crazy on the drums and his hand goes through, he lifts up his arm and is left confused.
  • Summer and Pandy have cups with a string, but Pandy is not playing properly. Summer raises her voice, Pandy gets confused on where the sound is coming from. He finally picks up the cup when Summer shouts and he goes flying.
  • Summer and Pandy are playing hide and seek but Pandy is cheating and keeps moving around.
All of the stories above are not the best, i must admite that i am not a story person. As the animation can only be just over a minute i am finding it difficult to try and come up with interesting stories. But with my other team members, i am confident that we shall find a story that can work, and possibly make some changes to make it a little more appealing to the audience.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Changes to be made!

Well i now have my group in place, i am going to be the team leader as we are still using the same idea as what i originally had but have been changing it to make it better.

The main thing which has been changed about the characters is Pandy. He was originally going to be a real panda who is always by Summers side, but we thought it was best if Pandy became a teddy bear. We thought about a few different options, for example we were thinking of having Pandy some what like Toy Story where when his owner is not around, he would come to life and you could see into Pandys character, but as that is too much like toy story it there fore is not really our own idea. We thought that Pandy could come to life at night time where Summer is not likely to be asleep, but again we did not really see the point in this either. So we have decided that Pandy is just a normal teddy bear, which Summer plays with and creates his own little personality.

The colour has been thought about a lot, and most of it shall stay the same, but we have no decided to change Summer's hair colour. This is mainly because our animation is now going to be at night, and if her hair is to remain dark, then you would not be able to notice her hair as it would blend in with the background. So she is now going to have Blonde hair, but i am thinking of playing around with a light orange, just to see how it would look on her.

We have now got a type of style in place. Its not final yet, but i very much liked the style of a video game called 'Fairy Tale fights' which is about childrens stories changed into gruesome ones to make more interesting for adults. This style is something which i have not seen before and could see this working for our short.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Summers Treehouse

Well my day did not start well, i was an hour late for class due to crazy road works which in the end i had to walk for half hour to get into class. I had missed the most important part of the lesson. I found out that my idea was not green lit with many others, and because i was late i was too late to find a group to work with. I had no idea what i was going to do, i was all alone and felt lost. I then found out that Ryan , Kyle, David, Hayley, Sam, Dean and a few others were in the same position as me, but most of them had already formed a group. With only Karl and Ryan left, we decided to form a group which i was happy about but i still had no idea where to go from there. As my idea was not chosen i thought i was not going to be able to do the whole idea all together. Karl and Ryan did not want to work on there ideas. So i thought do we need to start all over again? I had so many different questions in my head i did not know weather i was coming or going.

As lunch had pasted i had calmed down and we had a little meeting to try and see what we could do. The others told me that they had liked my idea and that they still wanted to work on it, but there would have to be changes. I was not really sure on how we could but we finally figured it out. Instead of having the little girl camping out in her garden and having to try and find her pet after he does missing. We decided to cut all that down and just have one location, which was the treehouse. The others thought it would be nice to have a short based around that. What to have as our storyline was a bit up in the air.
We set a task up for us to make a brain storm of as many different story's you could think of which could happen in the tree house, then when we need meet up we need to share our ideas, narrow it down and possibly combine two different ideas into one. The only thing about this now though is that we have to make a number of 30 second clips, which to me sounds really hard and rubbish.
Instead of the short being called Summers Playground, it has now changed to Summers Tree house.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010


Well my pitch had been delivered and i feel i done fairly well. I was really nervous but feel i got my message across to people. I was a little annoyed when none of my teachers gave me any feed back, they just said 'Thank you Karen' and that was it. That made me worry, everyone else before me had some sort of feedback weather positive or negative, we weren't in a rush or anything so i was really confused. Worrying myself silly, when there was a break i had to up to the teachers and asked why they hasn't said anything. I was reassured by Dan when he said that i had ticked all the boxes i needed to and how he thought he idea was really good because i was bringing a panda to life. Mike apologized for not giving me feedback, he just said that he wanted to get the process moving and that i would get a feedback form. I still was not quite happy about what Mike had told me but Dan made me feel a lot better about the animation.

As for other groups, there was some really interesting ideas which i could see myself working on. There was Matt's presentation for this animation called 'Smitten', which is a 2D musical. Now i don't really do musicals but with the way he expressed himself about his idea, i could really set the scene, he also had an animatic which was done to a high standard. I think he will be one of the ideas to get the green light.
I also liked Michelle Vinnals 2D animation as well as Tom Richie's 2D. I seem to be picking all 2D ideas, which is a little unusual for me as my strongest skills are within 3D, but it can't say that i cant have a change of pace for a change.
My last idea i really enjoyed was Andrew Kinnear with his 3D animation called 'The Deep'. His idea is quite original to other pitches that were presented. He had a good story line as well as strong concept art which gave me a good understanding of the style and visualization for his idea. With all that i have mentioned, i think they all stand a good chance of being chosen. I just hope i will be amongst the gang.

Sunday, 24 October 2010


Here is the storyboard i have been working on to give people a better idea on trying to imagine my animation short. I have not been able to complete this though due to lack of imagination when it comes to camera angles, i also did not finish the storyboard, as i started it a little too late and there would be endless amount of frames which may just put the audience off. My short is set at night in the tent which i have a concept piece on. I done this to try and set the scene for the audience to know that she was out in her back garden or even some kind of woods.

Character designs


Here are the designs of my characters. Pandy is a very small creature, who is very mischievous but ever so cute looking, so whenever you Summer (the little girl) looks at him, she can't help but forgive him straight away. He has references to a panda through his colour design and round patches around his eyes. On top of his head you can see a flower, now, depending on his mood, the flower can grow. So when he is excited and happy the flower blossoms, but when he feels sad and lonely the flower closes up.


Summer is between 3/4 years old. She is a loving girl who likes to do things on her own as if she is all grown up. Playing with Pandy is what makes her most happy, he is important to her, they do everything together and have a very close friendship. Summer loves to draw and be in the garden as she likes to day dream up at the sunny sky.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Concept art

Here i have done some concept art in which i can show when doing the presentation. The first image is off the tree house. The tree house wouldn't be in place for all that long, but i thought it could be a place where you can see a little of herself and the types of things she likes, almost as if it is her second home in a way. The main point to the tree house is for near the ending, the last place she thinks to look for her pet.

Here is the little girls tree house, the main thing she likes to do here is to draw and stick them up on the wall. She has some draws which are filled with toys and she uses them to reach the wall so that she stick her drawings up. She also mainly plays with her pet or hides in when she gets in trouble. The tree house was made by her dad so pieces of wood are placed everywhere as he isn't really one for building.

With the colours, i wanted them to be really warm as the animation is on a nice sunny day. You should be able to see a light beam which is the only sauce of light she has as she is not allowed to go up there at night.

The tent is where the animation will begin, as the little girl and her pet are camping out for the night. The little girl likes to think she is a grown up by being alone in the dark. She has a little lantern which she reads with and has her pet to play with.

I was a little unsure of the colours for this, so this is not a final but you can see the message i am trying to send.

Friday, 22 October 2010


Now that i have researched into colours, i can start thinking about the types of props i would need for my animation.

Here i was just drawing the types of toys a young girl would have, i want her to have some learning toys as well as playful ones to show intelligence.
Now with the animation, i needed to think of the things that the girl could look around in the garden to try and find her pet, i haven't figured out if she comes from a rich or poor family. I don't want the family to be wealthy rich where they throw there money onto anything but i do want the audience to know that her parents love her and try to make her as happy as she can without being spoiled. I am imaging the garden to be fairly big, or as what across as big to the audience through the camera angles from the little girl. I want to try and her it from her perspective, so everything would seem fairly big. In the image above, they are the most common types of things you would see in a garden.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


Even though i haven't started any environment sketches just yet, i already know the type of colours i want to use for my animation. For the environments, i was thinking of using, greens, blues, browns and yellows. This is mainly because they are outdoor colours, they relate to nature, the shy, and different types of wood work, like a shed or tree house. They are also bright and colourful which will catch the audiences attention.

Why main reason for picking yellow was so that i could use it for a sandpit, possibly the sun, or the light from the sun. I can also use elements of yellow on the girl as i was thinking that she could be wearing a fushia dress and yellow would be the complementary colour for that.

As you can all guess green will be used for the green, trees and pretty much everything else to do with nature.
Brown is mainly to be used for any type of wood work within the garden, so there should hopefully not be to much of it to darken the animation. This will give the animation more of a balance.
Blue is going to be for the sky, and i intend to have the sky in the background quite a lot as from looking from a child's perspective, they are short, so they would see a lot of the sky.

As for the little girl, at first i was thinking that she could have blonde (yellow) hair, but as i am using this as one of my background colours, i don't want her to clash within the background. So i am thinking that black hair would be best as she would then stand out from the background which will make her more noticed. As i said eariler, i was thinking that her dress could be between pink and purple, with elements of yellow.

Also, if the girl is going to wear a dress, i thought that long socks would go well. So with that in mind, having stripey socks would look cuter as they are more childish. So i thought a few brights colours for them will give her something else to make her stand out.


Well since i was last on here, i have decided to change some things due to little experiments. Below are some rough sketchs i have started on. As i had spoken about eariler, i was going to have a little boy as my main character but when actually drawing him i did not how he was coming out. The main problem i was having was on the hair, how do most young boys have there hair and if it was to be short, how would i be able to model this successfully. I all of a sudden thought, why couldn't the character be a girl? There's no problem in that, and i could portray her as a really cute little girl. Where as with a boy, you normally tend to think of them as little brats. Plus designing her hair would be easier as you have more choice.
Here i was mainly trying to figure out the weight and height of the boy. I was finding it a little hard to get the boy to look young, i always thought he came across around 6/7. The main thing which was giving it away was his clothes.
When starting to draw a girl, it looked very similar to Boo from Monsters Inc, mainly because of her hair style.

Here i carried drawing a girl, but again she looked like Boo, i couldn't seem to get her out of my mind. So i thought i would stop and try to draw her pet. Here i was experimenting with a few things, I was mixing different animals together to see the type of thing i would get. With the bobble on the top of its head, that is from a creature of a video game called Final Fantasy.
The main reason why i picked Boo as my main inspiration is through her big eyes and how she never really talks, but she always gets her message across through her reactions, which is just what i am looking to try and do. Her clothing is not very girly but through her hair style and eyes you would never know because you mainly focus on her face.

I also looked into other children such as:

I've had to start thinking about girls names and the kind of clothing that she could wear. Before i was thinking that i could have the boy wearing dungarees, so i thought, why not have a similar thing with the girl? But maybe she could be wearing a dress version of dungarees.
Girls names that i have had in mind are: Ava, Lucy, Ella and Summer.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010


As my short is mainly situated in a back garden, i need some images to start helping me with my environment and the type of props i will need inside.

Kinds of things you may see in a garden:
Tree house
Climbing frame
Sand pit
Table and chairs
Wooden fence
Back of the house

Childrens toys:
Cuddly toys

Here are some images i have gathered up which will help me to plan out what my back garden should look like. I also need to think about if this child is spoilt with all the toys he could wish for, or use more of the surroundings of the garden to capture the boys imagination.

Here are some different type of trees, some look friendlier than others as i need to think about what sort of theme the short should be. I could have a more dark and gloomy feel to the animation which would have scary looking trees, or i could have a bright and colourful surrounding which would have friendly looking trees, filled with leaves which has a healthy glow.