Portfolio unit

Over Summer I tried to explore working in 2D more, I have a real interest in storytelling and I wanted use summer to experiment with different ideas and carry on illustrating and exploring preproduction further.

Below is a character I wanted to develop, I aim to create a character  which will feature in a sort of murder mystery short animation. I used an initial sketch which didn’t go forward for character performance and spent some time developing it further.

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TEST.jpgI decided to keep it in key with the time period by keeping it in black and white. I experimented with the different brushes as well as the silhouette of the body, which extra elongated torso. To really push the character design I explored the different facial expressions.

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To develop the character sheets further I drew the different angles of the face, this will also come in great help when I come to animate the character in 2D or even if I was to model the character in 3D.
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This sheet is filled with my final favourite facial expressions.  Below are all the sheets I did. I did some research into these character sheets and I loved the exploration of pushing the squish and squash which you can see on the bottom row.
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I created lots of expression sheets! They were really roughly done but I was able to capture the different expressions and try to push them.
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I think I had 10-20 sheets of different faces which I have scanned in and put together. I think that having them together allows me to see where the faces are ended up changing and what I need to rein in. 

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Here are the finalise heads for the expression sheets, I think I could have chosen some more variety for the final heads, but I decided to try and get across the characters personality. 

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Above are some refined facial expressions, the more I worked out the expressions the more the character came out. It was really useful for me to understand how extend just doing one character design drawing.

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Watercolour Pencil and fineliner.
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Digital art. Watercolour photoshop brushes. I am not really used to creating digital art, but I think I am improving every time I practice. I was trying to work on distributing the weight on an object, the hands are poor in this picture but I like the overall shape of the character especially the long torso. 

I wanted to create a short animation based on the expression and background. I did some research on 1920s London, and create some sketches and quick designs.

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Create basic shapes and lines after being inspired by 1920s London, I really like the broken down shapes here. I wanted to see how I could work with London. As quite a chaos atmosphere about it I like these playful lines even if I don’t end up using them it was great to play around with shapes and forms.
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Tunnel designs I want the animation to be sheltered from the rain in a tunnel, here you can see some of the tunnel ideas, I wanted to explore shadows and the way the light could impact the scene.
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I’ve always been bad at drawing cars since I was young, so I decided to do a mini challenge of working on a vehicle. I weirdly had a lot of fun designing the car for the animation.

I wanted to work in photoshop to carry on developing my 2D animation skills. Using the expression sheets I was able to work some easy emotion. I just tried to make something simple, so I had time to work environment and colouring.

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Here is the final animation. I really liked creating this animation and I want to (if I have time) develop more shorts/test with this character. I still wish I had more time to work on the body language but I am happy to explore this for my next test.

I wanted to experiment having another character interact with her so I started to sketch out some ideas for other possible characters. I really enjoyed thinking about the different characteristics and personalities of these designs. I used inspiration form 1920 movie stars as this was the original idea (film studio in London). What I really loved about the 1920s was the such contrast in fashion and clothes compared to the 21st century. I had so much fun designing them that I created 14.

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Above are some of the characters I designed! I don’t know if I will have the time to animate them or develop the characters expression of all, but it was really good practice!!

I had the idea of the characters being in like a film studio, all the characters actors or light people etc. I wanted to experiment with this murder mystery thriller which I am such a fan with. One of the ideas was looking at the 1920s buses. It was so fun to research into these old buses of London, and even more shocking that the buses had no roof. I thought this would be a prime spot to practice an idea. I want to experiment animating a bus in the environment. Maybe look into after effects. I want to really explore how to make an enchanting animation.

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Concept design for 1920’s bus! I had so much fun learning about the history of these buses. Drawing vehicles have always been my weakness so I was shocked when I was actually able to make vehicles that look like vehicles. 

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I created a really simple animation to perhaps work on a scenario. I like the way the posture changes in this shot, and how the eyes have presence in reading the scene. This is something Hitchcock was know for doing. 

Dan showed me a concept visual design help sheet. I wanted to play around with the night time atmosphere and created some pieces of experimental shape and colour pieces of work.

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This did not work well, looks clumsy but I was experimenting to begin with.

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I like this one because it is focused on the idea of a smudging at the hypnotic circle. 
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This one is also really nice as a piece of concept art, it explores the atmosphere and after seeing that concept sheet hep that Dan showed me it has made me be more considered when working.

I wanted to use Hitchcock as an inspiration when animating. His characters are usually sinister but the camera angle means we are close up watching the reactions. This is what make Hitchcock’s films so powerful to watch.

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Rebecca was a film I watched to get inspiration, the main character is pushed to limits mentally and this makes for very powerful acting to watch.

Land Army

Below moodboard is made up of several image I had on my pintrest board. I wanted to make a commemorative piece inspired by my grandma who was in the land army. During War time Britain, “WAF” (Women’s land army) was set up to aid the british farms and agriculture. Britain was facing the possibility of war time famine as many men who worked on/for the farms were at war, women stepped up to take on this role. I wanted to create a piece that thanked the “Land girls” as they were nicknamed.

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This is my really rough storyboard I did, the idea was based on seeing an elderly woman knitting, and it is revealed she is knitting the countryside. I wanted it to show how these ladies impacted more than many think to the aid of War time Britain.
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Here is another rough, but final storyboard. I was trying to challenge myself how quickly I was able to work so this is a 48 hour challenge, hence the quickness of the storyboard.
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It was really fun designing a character who was older and her youthful self. I really loved doing it!! I haven’t worked with an older character as well so this was really a lot of fun.

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Below are some digital sketches I did,  I wanted the style to be really sketched so I played around with designing characters for this. In the end I went for the bottom design I did. I liked the roundness of the faces, it felt really British and cosy which was something I was trying to create when designing.

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This Gif shows the animatic for the really short piece.

Below is the final outcome, I still want to play around a bit more with it, I kept everything lines except for the knitted countryside as I wanted that to be the focus. I want to carry on animated some more elements such as the clouds and even some moving type at the end for the Land Army thank you note.

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Also I played around with doing VERY simple animation, this is something which is a nice way to use pacing rather than lots of animation for short pieces. The slight animations are meant to still be impactful to understand what is going on but enough to make it interesting. I like the balance of the piece but would love to finish the ending.


Tree Travelling

As I said I really have begun to come interested in effective storytelling so over this summer I played about with coming up with an interesting idea, creating concept art and hopefully creating a final piece.

Below you can see how I took some time developing sketches, designs and concept art to envision my idea. I use the research I have done to inform them.

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Concept art, I used some sketches I did in Cornwall as a basic sketch. Here it is a little clearer. I wanted it to feel cosy, and have an English charm. I wanted the shot to be really visually rich which I feel I have been able to do. I am inspired by Hitchcock and one of the films which I love is “Rebecca”, which I have also read, the film is set on this home called: Mandarley. This attachment of the house is running themes and the shots of the house is always stunning. Even though this is not a focal point to my story at all it is nice to remember to frame objects/environments like you would frame a face, reading its emotion and atmospheric merit. This house theme also runs in “Gone with the Wind” another amazing film.
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Hitchcock’s “Rebecca” – Mandarley house. Look at the emotion of the house. I love the way the shot is dominated by the building, the car is almost the second shot.
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Hitchcock’s “Rebecca”- Manderley house. “The road to Manderley lay ahead. There was no moon. The sky above our heads was inky black. But the sky on the horizon was not dark at all. It was shot with crimson, like a splash of blood. And the ashes blew towards us with the salt wind from the sea.” – Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca
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Tara house in Gone with the Wind. 
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Concept art – Taking on this appreciation of environment here you can see some playful shots. I think there should be beauty in the shot, a sort of poetry. I just used these sketches to put my thoughts down on the page, for instance at the top you can see a “Kingdom” of trees, a cluster of trees which I tried to look like a Medieval castle ( As I said keeping to the English atmosphere.) – On a side note for part of my dissertation I am looking in to the lack of british animation in mainstream, so I would love to implement some English/British culture and just be really playful.
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Here is some more concept art, I really want to play around with environment, I find that I can be quite arrogant and just draw really simple thing. I wanted to play around with depth of shot and really using the environment as part of the narrative.
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Developing quick storyboards. I wanted to experiment how I present storyboards, here is a quick storyboard i did, using pencil to quickly shade and give the storyboard some depth. I want to be able to share my ideas clearly so working on storyboards will give me a confidence to share the work I make.
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Quick storyboard – Here is a different version, trying to see how I could perhaps show the child discovering the tree.
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More designs – As I said I wanted to work on environment and non-human elements as a lot of my work has an emphasis on the character. Being able to think about different elements of the animation.
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Creating a character was really fun! This was the first one I made, which I still want to explore further. I have a tendency not to stop at the first idea, as I want to keep exploring the different possibilities. I like the colours however. I put down the little ideas I have as I draw the characters. You can see here ” The first thing she did was take her plaits out”. May not go anywhere but it is important for me to put down every idea I have.
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I scanned in one of my designs and played about with adding colour, to make this gif. It is really simple but it is nice to see the colour tones being added, doing the concept art also allows me to think about the story, how I want it to progress. I like to think about the shapes of the tree. I could be more playful with these shapes of the giant tree giants. Come back to think and explore. 
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Here you can see I scanned in and coloured a piece of concept art. Taking on the colour and the shape of the page which is portrait. I also wanted to play with perspective instead of having the shot just straight on. Being playful with colour and how the shot can be dominating.
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Concept art – Here is another shot I did, this was an idea I visualised on the drive in Cornwall where all the trees grow weirdly angled and slanted. It was the idea the girl would go through a normal tree and end up rolling down the hill of another. I am not really happy with this shot but it is a really fun starting point.
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Concept art, experimenting with how I could represent these trees.

I wanted to have a further exploration of the child and how I could push for a character. I am not used to drawing a child character. I created a pintrest board to compile different references. Below is several pages of drawings I did to grasp the characters features.

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6.jpgIMG_20160929_0018.jpgI really wanted to explore how I could make the child look, and as you can see I went through several variants for how she would look like. Below are some more final looking ideas, however I don’t like any of them. I will continue to work on the piece.

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Here I was considering animating a little bit of animation, but I ran out of time.

Travel blog

One of my passions is travelling, so this summer me and Alice decided to create a travel blog where we can combine animation/illustration with travelling.  I created some gifs to be featured on some of the blog posts. It was fun as the pieces could be quite illustrative or short. I want to perhaps make some short animations. I think it will also be really good for this unit as it allows me to get some of my personality across to future employers.

Experimenting with brushes and textures trying to show some of the lanterns from my trip to Japan.

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This is a gif of a drummer who was walking around with his drumsticks at a Japanese summer festival.

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Me and Alice are hoping to talk about several funny anecdotes, I have been trying to storyboarding some of them, this particular beginning of storyboard is about our search for fossils in the pouring rain clawing through mud.
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Sketches from some of our photographs we took.

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Feedback: Child anatomy isn’t clear enough, need more movement.

I agree with the comments and I want to work on animating the child, however when I animated the above I wanted it to be slight and the child to be shy. But I understand the suggestions so I am going to work on giving more movement. As you can see above you can see Song of the Sea I love the humour in there simple animation which is what I wanted to play around with. But I want to experiment with greater movement.

I also am really interested in concept design, so right now I am trying to figure out how I am feeling.


I wanted to explore some concept art designing, Dan showed us a document to help create more fluid concept art. I’ve never really specialised in it so I decided to work on doing some playful concept art. I chose a scenario from the story prompt.

The prompt being:

A blind girl, a secret garden, a trap, a lasso, Never on a sunday 

I liked this prompt I thought it was really interesting, as I am trying to develop my skill of concept. Below I worked on using shapes to inspire the piece and colour. I also liked the idea of the different shapes establishing where the eye is meant to focus on. I tried to be playful and experimental.

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How the eye flows round the objects.

Secret garden could be something different than what we imagine such as a garden of cactus.

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Different mediums test 1.Watercolour and oil pastel. 2. Fineliner, oil pastels.

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I wanted to stop making some animations as I felt like I was making stuff but not taking the time to understanding the fundamentals again. I used Alice’s copy of Richard William’s to relearn some of the advice given by Richard Williams. I am glad I took a little time because it allowed me to learn the process, and to push some of my animation.

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I wanted to try and do a test with the above character which I did as part of inktober. Just a quick experiment to look at a head flick.

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I wanted to play with the shapes of the figure over pushing the bend. I don’t think it worked in the end but it tested pushing the shapes so the lesson wasn’t for nothing!

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Adding overlap in the hair

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I played around with how I would colour in this shot, choosing a tone.

I decided to further research, appreciating the master of animation! This is something I have identified as my weakness therefore I need to keep learning, practicing and reflecting. I got out these Walt Disney Animation studios Flip book which breaks down a shot. These have been SO useful. It allows me to see how they broke it down so I can see how they favoured the shots.

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I also got this book (which as well as being a really interesting read) Speaks about the different styles of character animators. How each animator got their characters across. How they got across the characteristics, their process!! I have scanned in some of the pages which have been useful! That way I have somewhere where I can keep coming back to.

Below are scanned in pages from The nine old men and the art of animation by John Canemaker as seen above.

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Squish and Squash of Mr.Darling. John Lounsbery demonstrates the exaggeration of a stretch and squash. I think I tend to never push my drawings, and looking at these  I feel I have so much to learn. But it’s okay I’m not going to give up! I need to remember in animation exaggeration is possible, and pushing that exaggeration can add humour to the scene and make for a far more interesting watch. We don’t want to draw realism otherwise you can watch an actor. We want to PUSH IT. So this is the tip I got from this drawing!      ALWAYS PUSH THE DRAWING                     
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Eric Larson’s drawing here show Figaro (I love figaro.) His character is so vibrant without saying one word! What I love about these drawings is the momentum. You really can feel the actions being taken, as well as in true Figaro style. I especially love how he pushes in anger! Its also fantastic to see the contrast in shapes in that one shot. This is again something I want to include in my work.
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This is a really lovely character sheet of a more devious cat, Lucifer! I want to practice my character sheets, this page is away for people to understand the personality, the angles and the anatomy! I thought it is beautiful and a lovely reference for me to come back and study.
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This hands down was one of the pieces of animation stayed with me from the first time I watched Rescuers. It was beyond satisfying but more than that you felt the character. The character feels so real, so human! Milt Kahl is fabulous and this is a masterpiece! I think the idea of exaggeration is here again, the fingers, the facial animation is perfect.
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Here you can see the timing, the timing chart looks so useful and I may need to print of a couple to work with! This scene as I pointed out previously is so beautiful. The character performance is defiantly something to strive for!
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More Medusa, this page is my favourite page. That sheet is so raw and beautiful! I hope do this in my next test, I also love the facial expression. I think what makes Kahl’s drawing so beautiful is the pushing of the face but the way the skin is moved and manipulated. This is something I read, that Kahl loved soft skin interacting with hard surfaces – The contrast of the two. This is something to consider.
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Look at the different shapes! Look at the pushing of the posing. This one shot has so much character. The body shape that oval is pushed every time, I need to consider shapes more. Using them can impact an animation so much!
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Below and above, is another example of how to contrast two poses beautifully. When we consider this contrast the animation is so much more exciting. I like how the whiskers drag!

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Some GIFS!

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Excusing my reference. Trying to play with the face seeming more 3-dimensional. Actually push how the face rotates. Did a quick test using a reference of myself. Above there are three of the same animation, with different emphasis of different frames.

Using all the knowledge that I have done throughout this project I tried to go back to the first character I did (in the tunnel) and see how much I could improve and push the characters performance. In order to do this I would need to think about the face in more anatomical terms. I feel if you look back on my work it dosen’t push the animation. That is what I want to do, I want to be able to take it pass ‘wink’ or ‘blink’ to give it character.

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Here is a piece of concept art of how I would like to finish off the look to be, shadowed. The scenario is this character trying to think of an idea. 

In order to get into the mode of animating I needed to film some reference! I played around with several ways of how someone would think of a answer (problem solve) Below are my two favourites!

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I tried to circle the shots I wanted to emphasise and the key shots in this scene. By doing this I was able to begin working with these as the shell and then come back and add the in betweens. 
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I didn’t end up going for this idea but I did use some of the attitude into this one, working with reference for now has helped me and made me feel more confident! 
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Here is me working out some eyebrows!

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This was the lighting I will be adding to the rest of the animation, as you can see as I animate I am using my reference, my expression sheets and also the side of the page to come up with ideas. It is a constant look at reference to understand what I need to do to push the character to its full potential. 
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Final animation. I will need to finish animating this, as I did not realise how behind I was. However this has been one of my most successful pieces (even though it is bald, and not finished clean lines) It has the most character and life! In a way I am really happy with this term, I think by doing this I have prepared myself for next term. I know now that I need to not stick to the safe animations, but be bold – Push the characteristics. I tried to push my inner Kahl by manipulating the skin when she rests her finger on her face! I also tried to keep pushing the 3d look of the character, moving the head and the fingers. I really want to finish this off and finalise it over christmas as it has really finally help me understand further how animation can ignite a character! I feel like I have been able to test and experiment so much over this term which has led me discover some of the wrongs I was doing in 2D animation and the things which I needed improving in. 
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This was the end that I did not get to animate. It was going to be her bursting out with an answer. I wanted to play with stretch and squash which you can see with the shape next to her face. This was something I wanted to keep playing with and I think I could have push it even more here. It was going to break out of the sullen face into fiery happiness! 
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